Having returned to pottery after a very long lay off, I have been keen to resurrect some of the material skills and techniques of my early potting days. One project is experimenting once more with the making of ash glazes. Having a woodburning stove and a collection of fruit trees makes things a lot easier than plodding around old allotment bonfires with a wheelbarrow and spade as I once did. I am working with wood ash, but plan to expand and trial ash from a variety of plant sources. I wash the ash and then dry and sieve it before preparing a glaze mix. It is all very trial and error, and I have produced a lot of test pieces in my search for glazes that please me.
It is all about the testing
I live in a very geologically diverse county,within a 20 mile radius of my home there are rocks formed by ancient volcanoes,glaciers,deserts and warm shallow seas;the latter being rich in fossils.My aim is to reflect this in my work,and so I experiment and use these materials in a variety of ways.There is a wide range of clays ,and these I use both for producing pots and in the making of glazes and applied decoration. It is always try and try again.
Sometimes you get lucky and it works well first time.
I work mostly with thrown wares ,which I sometimes alter to mirror the original source . Glazes and slips are layered,again aiming to reflect the materials in their natural state.Materials are also applied directly onto the wet glazed surface to give texture.