This is a smoke fired ceramic plaque appx 25 x 20 cm, showing the view from my studio window in Hastings.
I have been lucky with my last few Airbnb guests in that they have all liked my work and decided to buy a sculpture or plaque. Yesterday, a German lady decided to bring this piece back home with her as she left after having stayed here for a few days.
This plaque was first fired in the normal way (biscuit and glaze fired) in an electric kiln. I then smoke fired it in a metal dustbin filled with sawdust, dry leaves and other organic materials I found lying about in the garden.Smoke firing involves starving a fire of oxygen, so that it draws oxygen out of the fired clay piece. This will alter the colours of the oxides and the clay, and the markings made by the smoldering fire are drawn into the piece, rather than sitting on the surface like a glaze.I particularly liked the way the manganese and copper oxide turned orange/brown and green in the smoke firing.
Unfortunately, many times the piece will crack and break by the fluctuating temperatures inside the smoke chamber. This piece actually had a hairline crack running through parts of the surface, so as much as I liked it, it was still only sold as a second.
To see more of my ceramic tiles, please go here.
Oh the maddeningness of clay. I take a dismal comfort when ‘proper’ potters find it difficult too (not that I am rejoicing in your hairline cracks). Still looks good though!
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