Ceramics and photography may, at first seem strange bed fellows. Using both disciplines can lead to new and different creative conclusions. Raku pots inspired by photographs of beaches and cliffs around the Bristol Channel.
Raku Fired Ceramics Sally makes a range of unique, hand built, Raku fired clocks, vases, wall plaques, sconces and nightlight holders.
The work is very influenced by art deco design and modernist architecture, combined with unique bold surface patterns and rich lustre glazes.
Each piece is completely unique due to the Raku firing process which originated in Japan and was part of the Zen tea ceremony. The firing process involves heating a gas fired kiln to approximately 1000 degrees C. When the glaze has melted the work is transferred using a large pair of tongs to a container containing wood shavings or straw. This immediately ignites and the container is sealed. The dramatic change in temperature causes the glaze to craze and the carbon from the smoke is absorbed into the clay. The burning also reduces the oxygen around the piece of work which creates the unique beautiful lustre glazes, only revealed after washing away the carbon coating.
Yvonne has worked with clay for several years. She originally trained as a teacher and first jobs included teaching clay techniques and therapy at hospitals and a prison in Northumberland.
She set up her first workshop next to the North Oxford Canal in Warwickshire where her parents ran a narrowboat business. This included making personalised pots for the British Waterways and canal boats.
She now has a workshop in Saltford near Bath, where she produces individual ceramic vessels. These are decorated with brightly coloured bold illustrations inspired by everyday humorous situations and comical creatures. Ideas come from looking around at people, landscapes, events and animals. The clay is weighed out, carefully thrown to different shapes, and handles attached the next day. The clay sheets are rolled out with a slab roller, and assembled into flat or square shapes when the clay has stiffened slightly to hold its shape. The illustration is then scratched onto the surface, textures pressed into the clay and when dry, underglazes painted on to colour the design.
These pots are fired to high earthenware temperatures and finished with a transparent glaze. The kiln fires up to around 1180 degrees centigrade. Yvonne has two kilns, one 5cu ft., and another for smaller firings and experimenting with test pieces.
She sells her work in galleries and exhibitions around the UK
You can find more examples of work on her website.
45 High Street,
Bristol BS31 3EJ
Julie designs and creates a range of unusual and individual wall hangings, figures , birds and jewellery which are made from smooth stoneware clay, kiln fired to 1000c and then hand painted with acrylics.
The earrings, brooches and pendants are finished with an iridescent colour which catches the light.
The wall hangings are modelled in low relief with careful attention to detail.
The figures and birds are free standing.
Julie’s inspiration comes from the buildings and wildlife of the Cotswolds where she lives and works.
The colours and textures found in pond life, trees and lakes, and the mellow stone of Cotswold buildings are something Julie likes to capture in her work .
Recent pieces have a more abstract feel with emphasis on the interplay between colours and shapes.
Julie is pleased to take commissions and can make panels of particular houses from photographs.
Sonya makes unique, handmade ceramic vases, platters and collectable jewellery at her studio in Bristol. She forages leaves from local arboretums, forests and her own garden to inform her designs.
“All my jewellery pieces have codes on the back relating to a page on my website (collectable jewellery) where customers can search their purchased item to find a corresponding photograph, grid reference and notes on the leaves that inspired the individual piece. ”
Inspiration also comes from her oversees travels, with pieces such as her ‘Sonoran’ vases, created after a trip to the Arizona desert where the Sonoran Cactus thrive.