What is it?
Well, I haven’t made it all yet but my starting point is a lovely belly bowl that came out of my last firing. It’s pleated with batik texture and then manganese highlights the detail. It’s about 18cm high and 25cm diameter. Sitting on its own it is a lovely piece that looks quite solid, heavy even. Lit up from inside the form explodes with translucency, the pattern becomes clearer and the whiteness of the naked internal clay draws you in. I wish there was some way of getting both views across in the exhibition. I’m hoping to solve that with the presence of a bottle form that I will not put a light in (although I admit I was tempted to find a way to).
I’m aiming at a couple of different size bowl forms, hopefully with lights, and a third piece that will provide a tie-in to an image I had published in the Journal, in the education pictorial survey edition in 2006 (44#2). That was a photo of some of my first pleated bottle forms. I think this will be an interesting platform to show how I have developed my pleating technique.
Why this for the show?
The show is an opportunity to showcase my newest work. This work and the show has strong links to where I began hand working the clay my own way at TAFE and subsequently my desire to get my work seen in the Journal and other ceramic magazines.
Interestingly, the Kerrie Lowe Gallery in
What are the challenges you face?
Getting the unfired work into the kiln without breaking it. It’s so very fragile that I hold my breath every time.
Supporting the bisqued work in the kiln when firing to stoneware. I usually sit my work in silica sand in a support form (yes, I’m very careful with it and use a mask). The work is so thin that if I don’t do this the base of my bowl forms flatten out. I’m finding the manganese is sticking to the sand on the main pressure points and it is time consuming grinding it smooth. I am looking into different ways of supporting the base of my bowls.
Limited lighting knowledge. If there are any electricians out there who would like to collaborate…..talk to me!
What are the victories you experienced?
So far, the beauty of the manganese picking up the texture and pattern of the batik print; and the clay maintaining its translucency.
Where did the idea come from?
That’s a hard one. I’ve always mentally linked my pleating with fabric. I was making small pleated pieces for necklaces earlier this year and, for variety, pressed some of the pieces onto some texture blocks I had. The result was lovely and made me think of luscious brocade-like fabrics. Because of the extra depth in the texture, it has a heavy, thick look to it and yet the lightness of the work after firing is surprising.
What work preceded it?
I’ve been increasingly exploring lighting with the Southern Ice porcelain. My last table lamps that I made for the Kerrie Lowe Gallery were very exciting for me as I had previously only been able to make cylinder forms. However, they also left me wanting to find a way to light forms without a base.
Where will you go from here?
In terms of work I am evolving slowly and very subtly. I’m a slow thinker but when I have ideas I write them down or sketch them and, when I find the time, I look back on these ideas and try and act on them. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.
In terms of selling I would like to get my work into a few good gallery shops that have a website representing their stocked artists.
I would also like to have a website up and running in the next 12 months.
My turn to ask a question. Can I change my mind on all this if it doesn’t work out?!