I've wanted to create wall pieces to add to my collection for some time, and it was a perfect opportunity to exhibit these with my father's fine art mixed media paintings in our joint exhibition at MOMA Wales, Machynlleth.
I wanted to create a piece of work that can be wall-mounted, and had only attempted this once before.
Unfortunately due to the complexity of the pieces I had been creating, I was finding it very hard to get a complete piece out of the kiln. I decided to work in a different way, and to use a plate as a base layer for the other ceramic pieces to lay on. I could then work over this plate, to give the work more stability, and continue to build up from that flat section.
This way of working was slightly simpler, and each piece was smaller in order to fit in the kiln without using props either side.
Every piece I create is made from broken ceramics that have been found, or given to me as donations. I usually have a shape and style in mind for the making process, and tend to work from sketches or continuous line drawings.
The best type of ceramic pieces to use tend to be ones with a surface decoration that isn't just two dimensional, for example in the image below you can see some Wedgwood pieces, and a Toby jug face. These facets bring the pieces to life, and shadows are pronounced after the mould-making and slip-casting process.
Once the piece is moulded in pottery plaster, I'm able to start slip casting with Earthenware slip. From the initial making, to the final piece I lose roughly 20% in size due to the mould shrinking after drying and the ceramic piece also shrinking after the bisque firing. Here's the final piece below. You can see how various parts of textures are visible and how some more fluid, natural shapes contrast angular, geometric parts.
I like the idea of starting to work with colour. As I've been working for the last 5 years with only white earthenware work, it will be a shock to the system to have a huge variety of hues and tones to work with within my work.