Pottery is one of the oldest human inventions, originating before the Neolithic period,
Pottery is made by forming a ceramic body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape.
A clay body can be decorated before or after firing; however, prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared.
Wedging the clay helps to ensure an even moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed. Wedging can also help produce an even moisture content.
Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. I hand build, use moulds and throw on the wheel. After it has been shaped, it is dried and then bisc fired to around 950c.
After this i do a vertiy of techniques you can see below.
One of my favourite ways of decorating pots. After the pot has been thrown it is burnished to a shiny finish using a solution called Tara sigralartra. Then, when dryed it is fired to a bisque stage.
The pot is then placed on foil where chemicals and dried sea weed, banana skins and coffee grinds are placed around it then wrapped in the foil and placed in the kiln.
The pottery is fired up to 900 degrees centigrade then removed from the kiln and allowed to cool.
This produces some lovely affects and colours.
I use mainly Amaco commercial glazes.
I love the vibrant colours you can get by layering them over each other. Also the way you can use them individually to give a consistent colour.
In the future I will be making my own glazes. This is a great way of getting completely unique pieces and colours.
I also use under glazes to give me defintion and colour to some of my work.
The pottery is then fired up to 1225c to make it excepionally hard wearing.