For me it is still a privilege to look at something timeless which has been created from basic materials and employing the most ancient of crafts. There is a magic in opening a kiln and holding a pot that has evolved through human passion and endeavour. Porcelain and Terra Sigillata are a wonderful palette.
Photography is a part of my travelling and an integral part of my life. It is a way to record what I see, and if fortunate with the light, a way to express what I feel. In my gallery space at home I use these photographs to compliment and bring context to my work. It is a way of documenting the inspiration behind most of my work. The glazes, the forms, the textures and the decoration I use in my pots can all be identified in some way through the fragments of landscapes captured in my photographs.
My salt kiln, one of many over the past 40 years, is built from Refractory Insulation bricks: not the best choice for such a harsh firing condition, but more economical on fuel. The kiln is fired to cone II, with the cones placed in the coolest areas. In and near the fire box area, the temperature would exceed 1340 or 1350, and I hold in great esteem the pots that endure the firebox conditions and survive the firings.
I have always concentrated on wheel-thrown work and have moved from terra-cotta to porcelain-ous stoneware and more recently have used a porcelain able to withstand double firings without bloating.
Salt-glaze has always been central element of my work, using it to enhance the various effects of body, slip and form under varying kiln conditions. From 1988 I have also produced terra sigillata pots using my own firing technique of encasing casuarina fronds in individually wrapped saggars. These ‘burnt earth’ effects reflect and reinforce the profound impact remote desert areas of Australia have had on me.
The character of my work responds to the seasonal environmental changes in the north-eastern region of Victoria in which I live and work.
150 x 155 mm
Wheel-thrown wood-fired porcelain with salt glaze.
220 x 135 mmWheel-thrown wood-fired porcelain with salt glaze.
Terra Sigillata Urn, 1993
440 x 310 mm
Wheel-thrown wood-fired with casuarina branch decoratrion.