Ceramics Classes

I am always so pleased when I open the kiln and see the bright colours of the glazed pieces! The ceramics students are so creative, they take the basic techniques they are introduced to and run with them. They take the simple colours available and make the most of the combinations.


One of our new glazes, speckled turquoise, is proving very popular! It is both bright and earthy at the same time, with a nice random element in the flecks of brown.


One student used the simple slab pot technique to create a pot planter,and then decorated it with white, a mixture of red and orange for the large Japanese style sun, and hand painted the flock of birds.


This box planter was also made using the slab technique, and then scratched to create an organic grassy texture.


Another student has taken the pinch pot technique to new heights, creating delightful animal characters.


Another planter, this time intended for succulents that will spill out between the points of the “crown”.


A woven pot which takes full advantage of the “sumatra” glaze, which is mainly brown but turns green where the glaze is thickest.


One of our students is creating tiles with a stained glass window effect. She rolls out a slab, uses coils to create separate areas, and then fills those areas with crushed coloured glass. Since the grey-buff clay fires very white, it shows up the coloured glasses very well. Since glass and ceramics shrink at different rates as they cool, the glass “crackles” (or crazes) but is still strongly bonded to the ceramic backing.


Another student, artist Lorraine Whelan, has been making ceramic tiles to use as covers for a series of hand made artist books. I can’t wait to see the finished books!


What always amazes me is the difference between the look of the unfired glazes and the final product. It takes real imagination to picture in your mind how something will turn out when it is finished, and sometimes it is just a leap of faith! Here they are going in to the kiln …


… and here is the same batch when I opened the kiln after the glaze firing.


Next I am going to be introducing the classes to “sgraffito”.

James Hayes