My interest in making pottery focuses on exploring complex clay surfaces.
I achieve this by either using a computerized electric kiln or traditional wood-firing.
In my studio, I have a Skutt kiln, glaze lab and a muddy basement where I create all my work. I use the potter's wheel, hand-building techniques and occasionally slip cast. From my education at the Kootenay School of the Arts and my ongoing interest in glaze chemistry, I spend many hours formulating and testing glaze recipes. I enjoy the accessibility and consistency I have with a small oxidation kiln. It allows me to test frequently, adjust minute variables and play with a large range of effects. These pots are fired to cone 6 or to 2100 f.
The results of my electric firings produce refined and tactile pottery.
Some have fine crystalline patterns and others are as soft as tumbled stones.
The traditional approach of utilizing wood-fired kilns, allows me to interact with my pots in a more physically direct way, especially during the firing process. I play with clay slips and textures to become reactive in the kiln for my designs. I also experiment with the way I load my pots into the kiln and fire to influence the pot's surface. When I have access to these types of high fire kilns, I not only produce a body of work different in its making and end result but I also have the pleasure of working alongside other talented artists in this labour intensive process.
Photo by Emily Kraus
The process of wood-firing is demanding, from preparing wood, carefully loading the kiln and firing - which can range from 2-7 days with a crew working around the clock. These pots are fired to cone 12 or 2300 f. Finally, the work is sanded and cleaned up after the cooldown and unloading of the kiln. Woodfiring is truly a communal effort worth all the sweat, elbow grease and lack of sleep.
My wood-fire pots are rougher and have dramatic layers of what was left behind in their making. Both veins of my creativity inform each other in their divergence of process, raw and refined.