All my work starts as a lump of porcelain clay then thrown on an electric wheel. I turn the
pots when they are fairly soft and use a cut down metal rib. I turn the tops of the pots to
refine the rims further and then use the back of a steel tool to burnish the exterior which
provides a really smooth surface so the fine brushlines don’t snag as I’m decorating.
I use a lot of different techniques on each work but in all my pots my background as a painter has been the basis of a successful design. If you can’t make a successful, strong, visually coherent drawing a on a piece of paper it won’t come out well on a pot. I sketch from life as a starting point for the designs. Often inspiration will come from photographs and paintings but to maintain the integrity and liveliness of the work I always refer to either sketches or the real object as I’m painting. I find that if I don’t do this the drawings on the pots lose their life and become slick and “design-y” rather than individual drawings. The freshness of the line is very important to the integrity of the work.
Vessels as Canvas
When using the vessel as a canvas for a drawing I consider the whole of the pots this includes three surfaces, the inside, the outside and the bottom. Sometimes these areas are three separate grounds with discrete drawings unconnected on each one but more often I use the interior and exterior spaces as a kind of jointed strangely shaped ground for a single drawing.
I use a clear glaze given to me by Jackie from my ceramic supply shop “The Clay Shed”. It is foolproof and turns clear and glossy from around 1260 to 1290 degrees. I fire it to Cone 8 touching it’s toes and Cone 9 bowing deeply. I fire in an electric kiln and exhibition pieces require multiple firings often with layers and layers of drawings and surface on top of one another. I run workshops for potters groups and individuals from my studio a couple of times a year and also travel to do workshops in other locations. See more in my Journal and Facebook page.