Contemporary ceramics encompass a large range of making and finishing techniques. Form, surface finish and clay type are all carefully considered. Concept and design are a priority but are often challenged by the limitations of the clay itself.
My core mission is to make pieces that I love to share with others, making with my hands each piece is unique and the forms evolve and change constantly. There is no factory, no production line, just a constant movement in the work as I grow and learn it all gets translated through my hands into the finished pieces.
For more information on my process please check out my Blog Post- Behind the Scenes
Southern Ice Porcelain
I have worked with many different types of clay, and although it can be a little more challenging to use, Southern Ice Porcelain is by far my favourite. It is well known for its qualities of translucency and crystalline whiteness, and ever since I began using it, I have been constantly testing the boundaries and capabilities of the clay, and exploring its amazing qualities.
Unlike stoneware clays, porcelain is not easily manipulated and can warp quite easily. After throwing the form, the subsequent carving, adding to and altering, must be timed precisely throughout the making, drying and firing process. Other techniques used include; resist work, piercing, carving, altering, sgraffito, inlay, transfers, printing, adding colours- agateware, sanding, glazing, airbrushing, and polishing... They are then fired to 1300 degrees celsius, or 1280, depending on the desired finish.
Many of my delicate ceramic forms emphasises the translucency and fragility of the Southern Ice Porcelain. One of the techniques I use is to throw my vessels extremely thin to bring out the translucency of the porcelain, and then to add to this I mask off areas of the unfired clay surface with shellac before sponging away the background to a thinness that, when fired, will allow the passage of light. This is also done by trimming and carving away layers of clay to add translucency and texture.
Glazes are added to some of my pieces, conferring a depth to the surface. By pooling in the carved sections, they also give it definition and a richer colour. The glaze is paler where it is thinner on the relief decoration, raised surfaces and on the rim, enhancing the form and texture of each piece.
Currently I am working on several different collections of work including my ‘Australian Motif Collection’, ‘The Ghost Collection’, A more sculptural and colourful range and a multi-functional porcelain collection.
I am constantly inspired by new things and love incorporating elements of nature from my travels around Australia and other parts of the world. Recent collaborations with other artists on larger works and projects, has also given me new insights into clay as a medium.
As a sculpture teacher, and with my father as a cabinet maker and wood sculptor, I am also constantly trying out and working in different mediums such as stone, metal and wood. This allows me to experiment with new techniques, finishes and textures. Over the years I have particularly grown a liking to working with wood, which has also inspired many of my earlier carved and altered works. I now also add colour to my porcelain clay (agateware) to act as a ‘grain’ for my ceramic work; so that I can carve along these colours in a manner that one would carve wood to enhance its natural characteristics. This has now turned into a play and I love combining these techniques and mediums in different ways. I have found that the unique colours and textures can really complement each other in a beautiful way.