Tuesday 30 September 2014

A Solution For Faceted Porcelain Plates

I was thinking a lot how to make plates that would fit my faceted, diamond-cut cups and bowls. Recently I found a solution: I throw the plates a bit thicker; I decorate only the plate rim with the facets. This way the diamond-cut pattern is reduced to a minimum.

I like how these faceted edges give plates a very modern and refreshing look.

I tried the same technique with plates that were a bit thinner, but somehow I was not pleased how they turned out.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Ice Cream Dilemma

When I decided to visit the Ceramic panorama in Murten (Switzerland) on 6./7. September with my son, the last thing on my mind was that he would find it boring. Not only was he such a great companion on my one-month-exhibition in Vienna last February, he really enjoys visiting museums. He will proudly explain to whoever is willing to listen that his mother is an artist and he her assistant. He is really interested in everything that has to do with ceramics.

So last weekend I decided to spend a few days in Berne with my 3.5 years old and visit this ceramic festival. The whole thing was cursed from the moment we took the train from Berne to Murten. My son complained about everything in the train. I thought his mood would get better as soon we arrive. I recalled that Murten is a pretty small town with an authentic architecture situated on the beautiful Lake of Murten. "And just wait when we get to the exhibition", I comforted him.

I was looking forward seeing my old friends in clay and maybe meet some new ones. I planned on interviewing a few ceramicists and potters which I would share here on my blog. I wanted to breathe the air full of clay. I wanted to make thousands of photos. I was just crazily happy to see all these beautiful and diversely ceramics art.

My boy had other plans on that day. The day was very hot so he decided that it is a perfect day to get an ice cream. The other thing is that on the way from the train station to the exhibition place he had spotted a playground. He knew, as the kids in his age know very well, that all he needs are two things: an ice cream and a visit to the playground.

As I went through the exhibitor tents (yes I got so far) he would push me or scream that he wanted the two things that already grabbed hold of his mind. He had no interest in seeing the raku demonstration. He didn't care about the beautiful translucent porcelain by my former studio mate Irene. He didn’t even want to see the ducks at the shores of the lake. He wanted his ice cream.

Soon I got tired of his constant whining about the ice cream, which was not available anywhere, so we took the first train back home. Also, I had some serious concerns that some ceramics may get broken soon. After all, he is only a kid. I have learned a lesson. Even though I was disappointed that I couldn’t enjoy the show a bit longer I was happy to be able to breathe the ceramic air on the shores of the lake for that short half an hour. Here are few of my impressions made under the tremendous pressure of missing ice cream.

Raku demonstration by Stefan Jakob

Irene Bernegger and the most beautiful porcelain pieces
Porcelain by Irene Bernegger

Taiko Amont and her beautiful ceramics.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Colouring Porcelain

Those of you who read my blog already know how much I love the old Japanese technique neriage (or nerikomi or agateware). Last time I visited my ceramic supplier, I bought some pretty colorants to stain my porcelain. Here are a few steps at colouring porcelain.

I soaked the mixture of dried porcelain and green colorant. I used a hand blender to mix them thoroughly. Once the slip is smooth enough, I spread it on a plaster bat to stiffen up.

As soon as the coloured slip reaches the right consistency, I can wedge it and wrap it with plastic to prevent porcelain from drying out. Properly packed porcelain remains moist for a long time. I will use a part of this green coloured porcelain to throw some small neriage cups on the wheel and the rest will probably end up as some pretty porcelain jewellery.