When we say handmade, we really mean handmade.
Each and every ceramic piece is hand sculpted in my Melbourne studio. What started out as a way to manage my chronic anxiety became a new passion and a new dream.
I begin each piece with a slab of wedged clay. Wedging clay is a process of working the clay to ensure there are no air bubbles to cause problems in the kiln later. I honestly have no idea what each piece will transform into when I begin. I let the clay and my hands guide me.
My preferred method is a combination of pinching and coiling. I pinch the slab of clay into the base. I usually work the clay until it is half way of my desired height. I then use coils to finish the shape, building it up one layer at a time.
If I am wanting to add a neck to my piece I will roll out a slab of clay using a rolling pin. I will then roll it to form a cylinder and join the two sides. I always score and add water to both sides when I am joining clay. This ensures your ceramic piece is strong and minimises issues in the kiln. It is important to remember that even though your piece dries perfect, it may not survive the kiln and that is ok.
I will always leave my handles to last. I have lately been having fun and experimenting with different sizes and shapes. A unique handle can really add something special to a vase or jug. Make sure you wrap your handles when they are ready to be left to dry, I use cling wrap, to prevent cracking. Your ceramic body will dry slower than delicate areas like the handles and therefore cause cracking. Cling wrap will slow down the drying process for you.
The possibilities are truly endless. In the last year of my ceramic journey I have only scratched the surface and it is so exciting. There are so many clays, glazes and techniques that I am yet to try.