I have been trying out, and experimenting with, something new ….. clay. A few days doing ‘experimental ceramics’ at the City Lit has fired my enthusiasm (no pun intended!). I am very comfortable with ceramic processes – my mother has made pots in her own small studio for many years and of course I have done quite a lot of ‘trying out’.
Metal objects were fired inside saggars and the results have got me thinking.
The large sagger contained knitted heat resistant wire (it can be heated up to 1350C without melting). I have squashed some small squares of porcelain paperclay into it and surprisingly the two have fired really well together.
I love the tangled-ness of it and the wire has gone from shiny/silver to soft, matt grey.
I put a sprung hook into the smaller saggar. It has burnt and charred and although it is friable with small pieces chipping off, it remains intact. I love the burn mark left on the base.
These pieces were inspired by Gillian Lowndes, an artist who pushed the boundaries of ceramics, making sculptural works that included metal objects such as the bulldog clip in this picture.
I’m very interested in the way these materials change as they go through the firing process and I’m wondering how the clay can be marked and burnt by the metal as it chars or melts.
The two tiny pieces below were dipped into porcelain slip …. a tiny gathered circle of linen and a few bristles of a brush bound together. As they were fired the supporting material burnt away leaving just the ceramic coating. They bring to mind coral or shells – something from the sea.
I made more of these fragile objects but unfortunately they got lost in the firing process.
Lots of food for thought. How could these ceramic processes be mixed with cloth? Or maybe they don’t need to be mixed but could stand alongside, complementing the textile pieces? Do I need a kiln? ….. I think the answer maybe yes!