|02: GALLERY : Sculpture : Raku Ceramics|
raku ceramics all originate from the landscape. The surface treatment
and glaze designs are based on drawings from the area around Macclesfield
Forest, the hills bordering Wildboarclough and the Roaches in Staffordshire.
I have always had a great interest in the way the landscape and its elements weather down and back into the substances from which they originated; mountains back to rocks and pebbles; rocks and pebbles back to their constituent minerals; bones, trees and plants back to soil.
These ceramics have developed out of a collection of significant stones that I have found over the years. Art historian Herbert Read once asked why it was that, when walking along a beach, out of all the millions of pebbles we pass over, we bend down and pick up just one that has some mysterious attraction for us; is it the size, shape, weight, colour, structure or form, or a combination of all these? In finding it- or perhaps it finds us - we have identified with it, and in doing so, it is as though we have created it by ourselves, for ourselves.
Thus these vessels are taken from the stones, large and small, that I have identified with and have collected. They can be placed as ‘bowls’, or upturned like the stones they were first encountered as and seen. Their surface textures reflect the strata of past earth movements, their shapes are worked and worn down to an irreducible essence, and they contain interior ‘surprises’ which may be found hidden inside any stone. The raku firing process involves earth, fire and water - the elemental processes that created the originals.
Whilst in my possession the stones are only ‘resting’ temporarily until they eventually return back to their environment, as they surely will, and which will continue to shape them, as it surely will, long after we have gone.
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