I think I mention somewhere else in this site that I've been 'doing'
ceramics for about fifteen years now- starting with a weekend raku workshop in Brisbane, Australia. My 'engagement' over the years has been a bit erratic , largely due to the resistance I have so frequently encountered on nearing the studio door! But as always, once engaged, I wonder what all the fuss was about -it feels so comfortable.
My 'neck-of-the-woods' is pretty special-Pūrākaunui, a tidal inlet some 30 minutes drive north of Dunedin, and fifteen minutes from Port Chalmers.
My studio/workshop is here too,-a bit squeezy in the original one but following a move [still within Pūrākaunui] now with enough room to swing a cat in each hand [not that I would of course] .
Raku remains my preferred method of firing- most of all I love its immediacy and its randomness -though the latter is also a source of frequent frustration [as all raku-firers will appreciate.] I [raku] fire in a home-made gas kiln, but have spent more time recently electric-firing -primarily in firing the slab-built boats. [see 'Ship-Shape' gallery]
Work is hand-built using a variety of techniques-often 'invented' as I go; similarly, pieces are also largely worked out as I build them, sometimes informed by a few [very] rough sketches. The glazes are from recipes gleaned and played with over time-I'm definitely not a chemist so I'm not really interested in the science of glazes -though it's a constant temptation -read 'diversion'- to continually be testing new ones -in search of the ever-elusive 'hallelujah' moment!
Of late, inspired by my friend Phillip Maxwell's wonderful boat paintings, I have been making boats: these are reminiscent of childhood for me-with a cartoon-like quality that I sometimes enhance through the use of rough pastel highlight lines.
Much of the pleasure I derive from working with clay is in figuring out the many and various technical issues, especially in the building stage. This may explain why I find it difficult to stay with a given form-or even theme: alternately, I also frequently wonder if my inability to do this is some kind of creative immaturity-a bit 'jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none'?
Regardless, I'm happy to be where I am - with so much to learn!