2020 - My Ceramic Reflection!
I sit here for a little while reflecting on my year's worth of ceramic creations. Just one year ago I was testing my new kiln and firing from my 9 months of making - ready for my launch back in early January 2020.
Today, I am grateful to be past the rebuilding of my workshop space, and instead have had time to make pieces.
I've done eight glaze firings this year - which equates, on average to one firing every 6 weeks. I didn't think I could manage doing this in such a big kiln on my own. However I am becoming more comfortable with the large makes - which are great to help take up kiln space.
On reflection of my ceramic creations this year:
Functional Ware: I established a style and design of how I like to make and use cups and smudge bowls several years ago when using terracotta. Moving that design over to stoneware has worked well this year. A tried and tested established design and method of making.
Garden Wizards: This quirky character I created about 5 yrs ago was a great focus deep in the 2020 Winter and the Covid-19 lock down. Making Garden Wizards are joyful and fulfill my LOVE for sculpting, character creating and surface texture. These guys evolved this year into having rimmed wizard hats!
Tree Fascination: For a large bulk of this year my LOVE for trees grew into almost an obsession. My sketch book became filled with sketches of tree shapes and silhouettes, and I began a journey in clay working out how to create tree-inspired designs in sculpture. In May 2020 I attended a series of online ceramic workshops, and when I watched Lisa Schenkelberg's technique of 'wadding' clay, I knew I may be able to work with such a technique to build some of the tree creations which were burning to be created inside me.
Animal Sculpting Upgrade: This year I took my previously created sculpted owl on a post design to a finer level - using a finer grade stoneware. I also hand painted the details, and refined the feet and talons. With this I created 4 x such refined sculptures of an owl, falcon, raven and white goshawk. Creating these is a good challenge for me and because they are longer builds - they require my full attention to detail and being a good observer.
Failed Creations and Learning: I have been very fortunate this year, in regards to lost or damaged pieces. Each piece that has been damaged was in the kiln when it happened - although every piece destructed in the kiln was due to some problem in the making. The dragon (above) cracked open in the kiln because I didn't realise that there was still moisture in the clay - which boils and then explodes at high temps - even just a tiny hole that is slightly damp is a problem.
Successful Creations: I have had so much fun creating this year. I don't know if I could pick a favourite. Certainly the finely sculpted and painted animals on posts are striking to me. At the time - when I am making every individual piece - I am fully involved in the creation process. Some things require more time, planning, thinking about and attention than others... and I think the longer sculptures - the ones I have nutted out - the ones I've spent a lot of time with, I feel a personal connection with them. They are my babies.
What's Next: I am happy with the routine and creative expression I have attempted through clay throughout 2020. I trust my interests, surges and curiosities. I let these guide my process, spark my inspiration and lead me into refining designs I have been doing or to attempt new things. I am enjoying my creative freedom, and my ability to use clay as a way to bring the ideas out of my head and to really challenge my internal concepts - ultimately bringing what is inside me out into these creations.
Thank you so much for your support of my ceramic creations this year. I trust you enjoy using (if functional) or admiring (if sculptural) your creation. What an incredible journey it is creating, manifesting ideas and birthing new forms.
Please browse this website to see the creations I currently have available. Some new pieces from my latest firing (18 Dec) will be released here over the next few days.
=== If you enjoy my work, please consider supporting me via this website, or on Patreon at www.patreon.com/templeofbalance ===
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