New work

Hmmmmm........every few weeks there is a flurry of activity as some development work emerges from the system.

It can take a surprisingly long time to take ideas from model, paper or screen to final form. If I'm starting from scratch with a new terracotta shape then there will almost inevitably be a minimum of a weeks delay before firing while the clay dries in our 'summer room'. This perpetually balmy environment ensures that the clay dries evenly and thoroughly, which reduces the chances of cracking or distortion. Then the work gets scheduled for firing, which may take another few days. Once I have a fired terracotta item in my hand I can speed things up, particularly if I do the glazing myself. If the finish is particularly tricky I have to enlist one of the really experienced decorators to help me out, but otherwise the work can be back in the kiln in a day or two.

So after all this, there is a sense of trepidation waiting for the work to go through its final firing, to see if it will look as imagined!

Here a few things that came out recently. I particularly like the contrast between 'raw' and glossy surfaces, plain terracotta and glaze, although others here are less sure. Sometimes the glaze combinations work well, but the way they are used 'graphically' is less successful. Even when the glaze combinations are successful- the colors remaining true without bleeding or reacting badly with each other- we often have to fine tune the designs.

Sometimes less (decoration) is more! For example, which of the two 'Old Rose' platters do you prefer?

- Nick C


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