Studio visits are welcome.
Each piece is a unique hollow thrown vessel, which is raku fired and gilded with copper, silver or gold leaf.
Raku is the fastest and possibly most dramatic method of firing ceramics. Developed out of the original ancient Japanese technique, biscuit ware is fired up to approximately 1000ºc in less than an hour - a normal glaze firing takes between 10-12 hours.
Once the pots are glowing hot, they are removed from the kiln using long tongs and placed into bins containing sawdust. The temperature of the pots drops dramatically before they are covered, causing ‘thermal shock’. This manifests itself in the form of very fine cracking in the body of the clay that is characteristic of Raku.
In the bins, the sawdust ignites due to the extremely high temperature of the pots and then bins are sealed and the pots left to cool down. The carbon caused by the now smouldering sawdust is absorbed into the surface of the clay, turning the pots black. The carbon is absorbed more deeply into the cracks in the body.
Once the pots have cooled down, the top rim is ground back to reveal a complex pattern of fine lines and the soft grey tones within the body of the vessel. Finally, Emma gilds the inner surface of the vessel to add an iridescence, which contrasts with the matt black and grey of the outer surface.
This unpredictable and intense firing process invests each piece with a unique character, which is wholly determined by this alchemy of fire. Such abandonment to chance is in stark opposition to the controlled process Emma goes through when making her hand-thrown hollow vessels and their sharp and precise forms.
‘I can never know exactly what will be created when my pots are exposed to this intense heat and smoke – each piece is a surprise, sometimes a delight, sometimes a disappointment. I relish this contrast between making and firing and I am content to relinquish control of part of the process over to chance.’
Each piece is a one-off and I do not try to replicate.
£150 - £1000
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