Friday, 12 August 2011

Jo Wood: First View of New Work

I found a couple of gorgeous wooden batik stamps in a junk shop quite a few years ago now and bought them on impulse despite having only just started a ceramic course. Over the years I have used them as stamps for sprig work and, more recently, for adding inserted textures into otherwise smooth slipcast pieces.
My latest idea is to use them to create a ‘brocade’ effect on the clay before I pleat or fold it. I was initially concerned that it might make it all too busy, or that my pressing it would lose the texture; however I started with a small pleated bowl form and really liked the effect, so I have made a few with folded style pleating and the deeper pleating effect I use.

I really am in love with Southern Ice Porcelain. It blows my mind that I am able to press out a piece of clay so much with my fingers; press it into a textured plaster mould before handling it again to fold it; whereupon it is STILL wet enough to stick to the previous piece without the need of water or slurry. Having said that, I do sometimes use a water spray with some vinegar added – especially in the summer months when the work dries quicker than I can build it.
I had finished my first lamp form this week and was really stoked about it. It had the look and feel of thick fabric without the weight, and I’m hoping that with the light shining through the clay it will become something else again. However, I do get impatient sometimes with the slowness of my work and, like others, I don’t always learn from my mistakes. I’d left it drying in the mould for a few days and the top part was completely dry. I lifted it carefully out of the mould and left it to fully dry. I went out for an hour and came back to find it shattered. The base had been too damp still to support the weight of the top part. Gutted. But not defeated. Next time I’ll leave it for a week (if I can bear it!).


  1. Wow! they are so beautiful! I love southern ice porcelain too, but i wish they are a little bit cheaper...I look forward to seeing your next post.

  2. Thanks, Keiko! I agree its expensive, that's why I hardly ever throw with it. My technique of pinching it out makes it go a lot further... :)