Process

Moon Jars

I began working with large spherical forms after visiting the British Museum. There I saw Lucie Rie’s 17th Century Moon Jar and I was captivated. Unlike the traditional Korean thrown pieces, my Moon Jars, are coil-built with layers of pressed, grogged clay. Then they are smoke-fired to create the lunar-like surface. The spherical form is lifted by the raised foot creating the illusion of weightlessness.

Shaping a coil from textured white clay and applying it to a half-built Moon Jar by joining, smoothing and scraping.

These vessels evoke thoughts not only of containment and holding, but also of weightlessness and floating. Space is contained within. Transition from inner space to outer space is emphasised by the darkened interior and refined rim.

Marks made in the textured clay are produced during a meditative process of scraping and refining. The finished surface is extremely responsive to changes in light.

Lifting a Moon Jar out from the smoke-firing bin. Markings on the surface are created by carbon trapping.

Smoke-Firing

Bisque fired pieces are placed in dustbins with wood shavings and saw dust packed around. A small fire is lit on top. With lid in place, the bin is then left to smoulder overnight. Once completely cool the work is revealed.

The smoke-fired effects are achieved by the oxidized and reduction atmospheres within the smouldering sawdust. Loosely packed fuel creates an oxidizing atmosphere resulting in more white and grey tones. Tightly packed fuel creates a reduction atmosphere, starving the fire of oxygen creating a black finish.

Bowls

Made through the meditative action of throwing, my carefully curated collection of bowls explores contrasting clays and finishes. Silky smooth Black Ice porcelain contrasts with heavily textured black clay.  Light absorbing naked clay surfaces contrast with reflective metallic glazes on some pieces. Attention to lightness of form is always in my mind and feeling the clay and responding intuitively to it, affects the resulting forms. Each individual piece is marked with my maker’s seal.

Throwing a small terracotta bowl

Applying white slip to a terracotta bowl