Student Demonstrations 2013
Supported by the Arts Council of Wales, WAG and Potclays Ltd
As part of the 2013 Festival and in partnership with Potclays Ltd we are running a series of Student Demonstrations which offers four students the opportunity to promote their work, to gain new skills and to meet internationally known potters from across the globe.
Demonstrations will take place in the trade stand marquee. They will be approx. 30 minutes in duration. A timetable for this will be provided in the festival pack on arrival.
Steve hand-builds in stoneware, imaginary animals and people, often cross-bred with machines. They are distinctive in their minute detail, down to rivets and veins. His demonstration would show how he creates these figures, some of their distinguishing features and the modelling and texturing techniques he applies, including extensive use of brushes and impressions to create ‘skin’ surfaces. To preserve the intricacy, most of Steve’s work is finished using oxides, then sponged off to highlight detail and surface texture, rather than using traditional glazing techniques.
For the thirty minute demonstration at Aberystwyth I would like to demonstrate a preparation of a saggar for firing. This will demonstrate a saggar firing technique already commonly practiced, though I have altered this technique quite dramatically to achieve surface effects and qualities I wanted within my own personal work. This development of the technique was achieved through a lot of personal experimentation. The technique is a Ferric Chloride Aluminium Foil Saggar with horsehair. The demonstration given will be of the preparation of the saggar for firing. This consists firstly of the application of the ferric chloride to the ceramic piece. I use the liquid form of ferric chloride and several layers of the solution are built up letting each layer dry between applications.
This is then left to dry on newspaper while the saggar is prepared. For this, sheets of aluminium foil, suitably sized for the piece, are scrunched up and flattened out again, to create a creased affect on the surface. Now dried the piece is placed onto the aluminium foil and horsehair placed on chosen areas of the piece. The aluminium foil is then wrapped tightly around the whole piece completely covering it. Although not a part of the demonstration the process is completed with the work being fired in a gas kiln to achieve the final results.
As I will be working with a corrosive chemical, health and safety will be of extreme importance, I will be wearing protective gloves, mask and apron to give the demonstration and will step away from the open chemical when speaking to explain the process.
I propose to give a demonstration showing the process of extended throwing on the wheel using coils. The demonstration would begin with the preparation of the clay – kneading and preparing the coils. A clay chuck would be applied to the wheel to throw on a bat. I would be showing the basics of centring clay on the wheel, opening out and the process of throwing. The basis for the extended throwing would begin with a bowl form to add the coils on to. A blow-torch or heat gun would be applied to the finalised bowl form to stiffen the clay enough that it can support the weight to add on coils. Techniques like scoring the rim with a serrated edged kidney would be used to begin attaching the coils and spreading the clay over the joins. Only the added coil will then be soaked with slip/water to cement the join with my fingertips and then throw up the coil section. A precise technique will then be used with a wire to cut the unevenness off the top to begin the addition of the next coil with a flat rim to adjoin to. This process will be repeated joining coils until finalising the form at the top. This could be done by leaving an open lipped rim or more closed over like a bottle neck. The Final form would be left to stiffen slightly while I would begin another form. When I would finish the next form I would go back to the first to work on the surface with slips applying this quite messily with my fingers to leave a relief texture with the background original clay showing through in places.
For this application I propose a less orthodox approach to a demonstration. My demonstration would be seen as an interactive demonstration, through help from the audience or an assistant. I will use five glass containers which will be half packed with porcelain, varied between slip and solid clay. Then I will layer chemicals on top using the clay as a window to observe the reaction when put together using heat, moisture and chemicals. Some causing effects such as bubbles, foaming, sparkles, flairs, change of consistency, clotting, change of color. This will include using gas heaters, vinegars and chemical solutions to react with the clay composite and metal inclusions to create an aesthetically pleasing performance. The final forms will continue to change and develop an interesting spectrum of texture, color, and smell in glass containers.