I make all my pieces by hand using traditional methods such as the potters wheel or straight out hand building techniques of soft slab, pinching or coiling. As I’m not a machine this ensures each piece is unique. I have a passion for handmade items……purchasing and making.
I feel a handmade piece is a gift from one hand to the other. A handmade piece can bring a smile to your face and brighten your day. A lot to ask from a humble handmade item….but I think they can handle the load and that’s the quality that brings handmade to life.
Of a morning I have my coffee in a handmade cup and even though I own several perfectly functioning mass produced cups….to be honest they just don’t feel as comfortable in my hand.
I suppose it’s the same with my cereal bowl….a small wheel thrown celadon bowl that nestles in one hand…..just perfectly.
This is my cereal bowl. Now as an artist I could talk about each of my handmade pieces all day. How I made it, the clay I used, how it was decorated, glazed and fired and I would expect the same from any other artist out there.
So, as a general overview I can tell you that everything I make is made from Southern Ice Porcelain. A beautiful clay that is Australian made. I use a Tetlow electric kiln to bisque and gloss fire all my work. A gloss firing fires between 1280 degrees and 1300 degrees, this gives the clay body its maximum strength and translucency of finer pieces.
I’m very careful with hand cut designs and once they are dried I will smooth the edges. The reason behind this is that porcelain has a high proportion of silica (glass) and sharp or jaggered edges are not pleasant to hold and also it comes down to look and quality of craftmanship and most importantly dedication to quality of your creations.
I use a variety of decorating techniques, none of which are top secret and I share these either here on my blog and at the markets with my customers. If you love to talk ceramics/pottery drop by my stall and I would love to have a chat.
Finally, I’ve had time to take a photo of this finished piece….
After three coats of clear glaze and a firing to 1280 degrees she’s done. These new designs will be appearing on bowls, plates, cups and beakers.
The TEDX Event is fast approaching on Friday, October 19th. Tickets need to be purchased online for the event and are $12 per person.
Marcus Westbury coming to Moreton Bay
We are excited to announce that Marcus Westbury is coming to Moreton Bay this month. Marcus is well-known for his urban renewal work particularly as the founder of Renew Newcastle – a hugely successful scheme that has brokered access to empty buildings for more than 80 creative enterprises.
If you are interested in finding out how short-term licenses have allowed artists, creative projects and community initiatives to use otherwise empty spaces, then you should book into one of Marcus’ sessions. Marcus will take part in two events in Redcliffe on Friday October 19: firstly leading a 3 hour afternoon workshop “Activating Empty Spaces” (organised by Moreton Bay Regional Council) and secondly as one of the evening speakers for TedxMoretonBay (organised by community group 500 hours). Not sure about which one to book into? Go to both!
I have been working flat out on new work and pieces for the Finders Keepers Market in November. I have always enjoyed shopping at the Finders Keepers Market and this year am excited about being an exhibiting artist.
Here is a tiny sample piece of a new design…..
This piece has been bisqued and decorated (fired to 1000 degrees).
To get to the finished stage, it needs to have 3 layers of glaze added and be gloss fired in the kiln to 1280 degrees. This firing cycle takes approximately 15 hours to complete and once that is done the kiln then is allowed to cool for approximately 30 hours prior to opening. (I love opening a gloss firing….it can be exciting and heart breaking at the same time).
Some of the new work is currently in the kiln cooling from a glaze firing I did Monday night. I will post a photo tomorrow of this actual piece….
For now its back to the studio.