December 20, 2013 § 4 Comments
In September 2013, Gaya hosted a workshop with Candone Wharton focusing on surface textures and raku firing. It was an engrossing experience and quite revelatory for me – I found that I love working with textures and pattern, and what better way to do it than with the batik stamps used here in batik production! Personally I love Candone’s work, so I let her work influence me in all its textural glory 🙂
Days 1 & 2: Tried making boxes like how Candone does. She creates a weave pattern entirely with practiced hands, using nothing but a cake decorating metal edge.
Red Top Boxes
Day 3-6: Because I love to throw on the wheel, I worked with combining thrown forms with textured bits
Day 7: Went crazy with all the stamps in the studio and made this!
And here’s a pic of me plucking pieces out of a piping hot kiln:
You can see the fire from pieces smoking in the tray at the back!
June 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
August 7, 2012 § 6 Comments
It’s been really quiet here, and that’s because I’ve been gleefully up to my arms in clay and sand for the past 3 weeks, assisting in a wood-kiln build at Gaya Ceramic Art Centre in Ubud, Bali, and then making pots to fire up the kiln with!
With other participants, under the instruction of experienced wood-kiln builder and ceramicist Gyan Daniel Wall, I got to heft, chisel and mortar in raw clay bricks to form an anagama kiln that was essentially a large clay vessel to hold pots, flame and fire. We had all the fun, and Gyan and the Gaya boys did most of the hard work 😉 If you’re curious about the process, here are some pictures from Gaya Ceramic Art Centre’s facebook page.
Among 7-8 potters over the course of 5 days, we managed to fill the Gayagama with a load of fresh (and in many cases still wet) pots. And then we started the fire.
The pots that emerged from three days of intense firing were remarkably different from that of a gas firing. Instead of applied glaze, they were gifted with a natural finish by wood ash settling and subsequently melting at high temperatures. They were burnished by flame that traveled and squeezed in between a cargo of tightly packed pots. They bloomed with white sparks and grew organic textures, with a vocabulary of rust, orange peel, toast, moss, iron and gray stone. Crystals formed onto, and carbon infused into parts of the clay as it vitrified. Imagine the pleasure of opening the kiln and bringing out surprise after surprise.
I brought back many of the pieces I made…
The cup above has become my favourite water mug of the moment 🙂
More pictures of the inside of the kiln and some great work by all the potters who participated in the workshop here.
December 22, 2011 § 11 Comments
Would your hamster like a bespoke home with high ceilings and rounded walls? Rounded walls are so ‘Faraway Tree’! Or is there a homeless frog in your garden who would appreciate some shelter?
These pots were meant to be ‘bird lanterns’ but the birds flew away, leaving behind a pot that looks useful but has had me scratching my head ‘what to do’ for ages (could they be table legs? or fern pots? noooo). So to solve my problem, I’m giving them away for free (one a person) to you if you have a use for one. You can come pick them up from my studio in the KL suburbs, or choose to pay for postage and I’ll ship them to you for a fee of RM15 to cover shipping and handling. Just leave a comment here to reserve and we’ll work it out from there!
The main opening measures around 2.5 inches wide, and the pots are 6-7 inches high. They could also be bird houses for small birds (finch or canary size).
And if I don’t get the chance to wish you in person, MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s been an amazing year and I’ve got a fuzzy warm feeling that the next one is going to be even better. For me and you and everybody yeah! (someone take the coffee away…)
December 8, 2011 § 2 Comments
These vases have been up on the bookshelves for more than a year and I’d forgotten about them until spring-cleaning! I made them in Bali, and carried them back with something like 25kgs of excess baggage. They were part of a precious cargo, none of which I’ve sold (some I gave away, and some broke)… until now.
Cluster of Three Black Raku Vases
Mysterious free-spirited lashings of copper, gold, orange and green are captured on the surface of these organic bodies. Two have been dented and pressed after forming on the wheel for asymmetric interest. One even has a little scratch where a bird perched while it was drying! These vases would look beautiful in bright surroundings. The white of the background really shows them off. The tallest vase measures 24 cm high, with the shortest at 13.5 high. Note that over time, the black parts may fade, especially if exposed to sunlight.
RM360 for the set
December 6, 2011 § 3 Comments
This December, I’m potting in more ways than one. The clay kind and the gardening kind of course. All inspired by an encounter with a clumsy cat resulting in bird bowl and bird vase with no bird! It would have been a pity to just throw away the pieces, so I got a ceramic drill bit and made holes at the bases of some of these and got to planting them with a variety of succulents. Other pots with no holes are now home to water plants 🙂
Repurposed Pots with Plants
Making use of pots with small defects which would otherwise be smashed and gone to pot heaven, these pots have been given new life with a variety of plants living happily within. All less than perfect but ready for a home with a heart. All one-of-a-kind. Prices range from RM40 onwards.
ps. look at those beautiful new white walls! and that slatted light gray table… I’m so happy with the new coats of paint in the studio. It’s made all the difference to me.
November 5, 2011 § 2 Comments
The blues to me is like being very sad, very sick, going church, being very happy. There’s two kinds of blues. there’s happy blues then there’s sad blues. Don’t think I’ve ever sang the same way twice. Don’t think I ever sing the same tempo. One night it’s a little bit slower the next night it’s a little bit brighter. That’s cause i have ‘feel’
— Billie Holiday
I transcribed this from the prelude to ‘Fine and Mellow’. What do these pots feel like to you? 🙂
A new crop of windy blue pots…
Malapascua Winds – Three Cups
I picked up a little prickly seed pod on the beach in Malapascua, Philippines. Did I mention the crazy beautiful powerful sea there? It’s still in my mind. All I wanted to do was sit and watch the waves and sky. On these cups, I used my fingers to track the pod over the lower halves, resulting in a trail of tiny dots for texture. Some black slip for extra colour and a matte blue glaze complete the piece. The matte on some pieces is kinda rough, so these cups may end up holding plants instead. They measure 3.5 inches across.
Three-Colour Blues Bird Vases
It’s the familiar bird vases, but in new blue tones! Matte blue overlaps with shiny dark blue to produce a frothy blue, with a splash of brown thrown in for extra tonal depth. Measures 5 inches tall without the bird, 6.25 tall with the bird.
Blue Touched Mugs
Large cups to hold lots of water… the way I like it 🙂 When glazing, I gripped the cups at the base and submerged the piece in glaze, leaving negative areas where my fingers held them. These were touched with a clear slightly greenish glaze for extra interest. Some of the bases have a swirly blue texture too. Sizes vary between 3.5 to 4 inches in height. Again, some of these may be too rough (because of firing method) for use as mugs, so I’ll go through them and some may turn up with plants in the future.