I have been working like a machine for the past 4 days since I got back from the UK. As one of my fellow artists in residence said yesterday, “You’re flying them out Kay, so you are”.
The new slip cast moulds turned out well. With all the intricacies of these pieces, it is rare that they just fall out of the mould (which is what you want, ideally), and some of them do need to be coaxed out with my usual method of extracting clay forms from press-moulds. So I have had an array of 8 closed moulds and 8 open moulds and have been constantly filling them with slip, topping them up, turning the closed moulds over to let the excess slip drip out and turning them out, over and over and over. The second bisque kiln went on 2 days ago and the third goes on this morning.
I have been churning out a lot, but it’s just as well, as I have been selected for an exhibition at the Regency Town House in Brighton, a wonderful Georgian house in Brunswick Square that is being used as a major arts venue while the owner slowly restores it to its former glory. So, that means I now have two huge wall pieces to make; one for The Ceramic House as part of Fantastic Tales with the Danish ceramics, and the other for RTH. This exhibition is a curated showcase of artists who are exhibiting in the Open Houses. I have proposed to make a piece specifically to fit the space, so I am waiting for dimensions. But in any case, I have been making enough pieces to tile a whole room, it feels like!
One great thing is, I was persuaded to put some tests in the soda firing last week. When I first arrived at Guldagergård, I stated firmly “I do not do wood firings”. I said this last year and I said it again this year. But guess what; I’m about to do a soda firing! For ‘non-ceramist’ readers: A soda firing is a wood firing and soda is poured into the kiln when it reaches top temperature. The soda crystals melt together with the ash on to the surface of the ceramic, creating glaze with beautiful random effects. Well I tried it and the results were gorgeous. It didn’t take much to convince me!
So my new plan is to make two different pieces using the same moulds; one for The Ceramic House, which will be using an electric kiln and therefore more colourful, and the other for the Regency Town House. A third piece will be a combination of both that I will put up in Bornholm for the Biennial Ceramic Context 2014 in September.
And now I’m about to get over to the studio and begin glazing for the soda kiln.