It has been nearly a month since I last put together a blog for my website. The reason for this is that I have been a bit poorly, tucked up in bed after catching a nasty cold which I couldn’t shake off. Thankfully I am a bit better now but still have a chesty cough to contend with. It doesn’t help that I work in what can be a dusty environment, so health and safety is a very important factor for me as I am usually quite susceptible to getting a cough!
I thought I would update you on what I am currently up to and it has turned out to be quite an opportune time. As you may recall from my last blog, following my visit to Potfest In The Park this summer I am looking to experiment with a new technique using volcanic glazes. I spoke to a few potters asking for advice on how they create this unusual finish. Using silicon carbide or barium sulphate, these ingredients create a bubbling effect under the glaze as the gas is released in the kiln, reminiscent to froth. As you can imagine it leaves a lovely and interesting textured finish to the piece. So late last week I ordered some from a supplier in Stoke On Trent together with some tubs of texture paste developed by UK potter, Eddie Curtis.
I have only had time to use the textured paste so far, pictures are available on my facebook page before the piece was bisque fired but further photos will be taken along the process to completion to illustrate any changes along the way. Can not explain how excited I am to try out the silicon carbide but I am a bit weary given the hazard notice on the packaging. A face mask is going to be essential me thinks!! Ceramics involves working with hazardous materials so its important to note any safety issues and damp down work areas to minimise dust entering your lungs. I understand it is difficult to recreate the volcanic glazes so I am looking forward to the challenge and the endless test tiles I need to create. I am definitely going to be turning into this mad professor in a chemistry lab developing different recipes for success, all wearing my safety gear of course.
This week tickets for the International Ceramics Festival 2019 went on sale so there I was poised by the phone to get one. With a full programme of events and demonstrations I can not wait to learn from well known international master potters and get stuck in on some of the hands-on experiences like building a kiln. If you are interested in attending check out their website here.
Next week I will be dropping off four of my pieces for my next exhibition at the Dock Museum which runs from 10th November until 16th January 2019, more details can be found on my website under Exhibitions. I am enthusiastic and can not wait to see everybody’s work displayed in this amazing exhibition space. I am also thrilled that Home Images Gallery in Barrow will be permanently stocking my work for sale in their newly created 3D area, which is currently showing the autumn exhibition of the Barrow Society of Artists this month. If you are in the area its well worth the visit.