A little bit About my practice
For me, ceramics is about self expression and play.
I tend to deep-dive into different techniques depending on where I'm at - physically, mentally and emotionally. As a result, my work is very diverse and it sometimes looks like it's made by different people when it's really just different aspects of me.
Below are brief explanations of a few of the different techniques I love to use when I create.
Nerikomi (also known as nerikome) was originally developed in Japan.
The technique uses differently coloured clays which are rolled out or extruded, then layered, sliced and re-layered many times. This produces blocks of clay - known as canes - with beautiful designs running through them. The canes are sliced to reveal their patterned cross-sections, then slices are joined together like a 3-dimensional jigsaw, creating vessels where the colour penetrates all the way through the walls. The patterns are a combination of meticulous planning and surprise, when a cane is sliced and the pattern revealed.
The texture on these translucent porcelain vessels is achieved using a plaster slab.
In 2018 in was lucky enough to be awarded an Artist Residency on Flinders Island in Tasmania - a truly wild and spectacular place. While there I created texture slabs which echo the geological strata that appear on so many of the rocks which face into the Bass Strait. Porcelain is rolled out or poured onto the slab to attain the textural imprint and then the vessel is hand built.
Holding Light, (very) Translucent Vessels
Translucency is something that has always interested me. These incredibly delicate, textured, sculptural vessels are less than 0.5mm thick in some parts and 3mm thick in others. The light moves straight through them, as illustrated in the image opposite.
The bowls are hand-built on an armature, from a porcelain blend that I have developed after much research and a lot of trial and error! They are incredibly light, but being vitrified porcelain are surprisingly strong too.
Land and Sky
These vessels are about the joy and calm that being near the beach and ocean brings to me, and which I hope to share with others.
They are hand built from very fine (approximately 2mm thick) porcelain slabs. The very loose, almost impressionistic, beach and skyscapes are created using pigmented slip (liquid clay), which is incorporated into the the slabs. As with most of my ceramic practice, the vessels are translucent and light glows through them. I sand the vessels after their final firing, so their surfaces are have a velvety feel to them and are incredibly tactile.
Water etching is a way of achieving subtle layers and texture on ceramic pieces.
I start with a "bone dry", unfired porcelain vessel which I have thrown on my potter's wheel. A design is painted onto the vessel with a resist, usually shellac or wax. Using a wet sponge, the clay is then wiped away from the surface of the vessel. The clay underneath the resist remains in place. The piece is left until it is bone dry again, then a second layer of resist is applied and the process repeated, and so on, until the desired design is achieved.
This is a very delicate process as alternating between bone dry and wet porcelain often causes the clay to crack. In addition, as the surface is eroded back, it is easy to break through the clay completely.
Natural Porcelain Bottles
These jugs and containers are inspired by my time as an Artist in Residence on Flinders Island, Tasmania. They are individually hand-built from very thin (approximately 2mm) porcelain slabs.
The creamy white colour of the bleached bones, shells and wood that are tossed up upon the beaches, and the leaning, wonkiness of the dilapidated corrugated iron sheds that abound on the island, come together to inform these vessels.