Wood-fired porcelain

[soliloquy id="2313"]

Unique utility items made from high-fired clay has been my field through the first 40 years of my life as a ceramist.

Through the years, I have allowed seashells, jellyfish, ray eggs and conch shells to impose themselves on my creative expression.
I’ve therefore had a natural need to disrupt the smooth surface and clean-cut colours, adding a little “nature” to the mix.
For years, this touch was added with an airbrush, which I used to create shadows in the colours.
But in 2016, an opportunity arose to work with porcelain, a very different material.
I quickly learnt how to work with the new material, and this opened new possibilities. Expressing the “rawness” that I had been missing suddenly became an option. Porcelain does not require the same amount of detail finishing as clay in order to attain exactly the expression I want.

I designed a whole series of items from porcelain and participated in a group firing in a great, wood-fired kiln, with us struggling like crazy for a whole day and night to keep the temperature at 1300 degrees celsius for 4 hours. It was like feeding an insatiable dragon: Hot and unbearable, but insanely fascinating at the same time.
When the temperature is high enough, soda ash is added at appropriate intervals. It mixes with the ashes and covers them like a glaze, much like sediment layers on the ocean floor.
Rustique, yet soft. And varying wildly in expression, depending on the exact placement of the object in the kiln during the firing.
3-4 days after the firing, the doors open and the finished items are removed one by one – with great awe and crossed fingers. The kiln sometimes opens to reveal a disaster, but miracles are, luckily, at least as frequent.
The results are fascinating and touch something deep within my soul.
As is apparent from the above images, my new works differ a great deal from my clay ware.
The shaping process is much the same, but where I’ve spent my entire life as a ceramist working with a clearly defined colour scale, given nuances and character with various layers of colour and airbrushing, I’m now facing a whole new kind of challenge.
I thus return 3-4 times a year in order to get to know the beast, and to bring home new works brimming with wild nature.