My ceramic work is primarily slipcast work. Having come from a background in painting, the most enjoyable part of the ceramic process for me is the drawing and painting on the forms once they are made.
Process: I use drawings from my journals to get ideas. These ideas are then translated into 3D forms on the wheel, although occasionally they are also handformed. This process can take quite some time to get a form that feels “right and complete.”
I then need to work out how many pieces the mold needs to be. Making the mold is the most challenging part of the process for me. The more complex the form, requiring more mold pieces, the trickier it is. Other considerations are the weight of the prototype, and how much heavier it will be once the plaster cast mold is surrounding it. Once the mold is made, it is held together with rubber bands until dried.
The most exciting and enjoyable part of the making process for me is the painting and drawing onto the freshly slipcast porcelain piece. It is like being presented with an empty canvas except in 3D! I use stains and oxides to paint onto the pieces either before or after bisque stage.
Because the work is so fine and delicate, I need to glaze the pieces in “stages.” First, I glaze the interior. Once that is dried, I clean the outside of any spillages, and then I glaze the outside.
The pieces are fired 2 to 3 times depending on whether lustres have been used.