A Tea Cup

The humble ‘Tea cup’ is a feat of engineering if your want your vessel to be as ‘usable’ as possible.

The Tea cup is to be held in your hand, cupping the warmth or by finger using the handle.

Comfort and ease of use is paramount here.

The form easy to cup in the hand.

Handle large enough to accomodate the finger easily.

Size of the cup is important, the user wants a satisfying amount of tea to drink.

Most cups hold between 200 – 300 mls of liquid.

The lip or rim of the vessel should be compatible for lip touch….I like my rim fine.

Visual appeal and clay choice and overall aesthetic is the choice of the maker….but it should entice and engage the user.

With all this in mind……..and after 20 odds year since I last made one.

I made a tea cup.

Wheel thrown stoneware and porcelain with pink slip detail and inlay decoration.

Black Stoneware Pot.

A small wheel thrown vessel, decorated with black porcelain slip.

Inspired by the ‘Beaker’ tradition of the Neolithic/ Bronze Age.

….and they can also hold big beautiful blooms.

What a difference can be achieved with a change in context for each photograph.

How does a background and addition of flowers change the focus for this pot?

From Ancient to ‘Old Dutch Master’ inspired?

How different does it look with a white background?

Contemporary use of materials with a traditional black pottery form.

The use of photographic conventions does make a difference to your work?

Which look…appeals the most?

When does the photography mean more than the work itself?

If someone said ‘the photo does not do the work justice’ is that better than…’it looked great in photographs’?

How does one keep a discerning eye?

Or is it not important?

Is it ‘smoke and mirrors’ ….a bit ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’?

Is it an art form beyond the pot?

Is the pot relevant?

What is the Art your selling? What does the buyer get?

Personally the images of the pot with the black background, says the most to me.

It is more inline with what I hoped the Pot embraced?

X Philippa

Taking our pleasure seriously, changing our habits?

Something to think about, something to change?

What do we need? what do we want?……and how can we turn our needs/wants into a more sustainable choice?

What if we all ate our ice cream from ceramic vessels and spoons?

Just a question to pose and create comment through clay?

Over Here for purchase.

Contrasting Pair

A new pair of ‘Contrasting Pairs’ are fresh from the kiln.

They are slowly revealing their story to me…..firstly it was about looking into contrasts.

Which is easy, change in form, surface, colour but more deeply and on reflection I’m beginning to see more and I look forward to expanding on this idea and sharing more soon.

In the meantime….these are in the SHOP.

New Line in pink.

A trio of delicate porcelain vessels in pink.

A pale, creamy speckled glazed interior with fine inlay lines, a subtle contrast.

This trio of polished, translucent porcelain vessels are available here.

New Line Pottery

Inspiration comes to me easily, ideas drift across my mind daily but for me to know where their source is, where they come from?

I look to my surroundings, I often find it there.

The ‘New Line’ in my work is loose, free, twisting and undulating.

The Tea Tree is indigenous to the Mornington Peninnsula and Bayside suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.

This year I’m looking to develop this line work throughout my pieces, till I have exhausted it.

‘Contrasting Pair’.

Same, same but different, each has what the other lacks but when together are beautiful.

Wheelthrown, Stoneware and Porcelain.
Black porcelain slip and inlay decoration.
Oxidation 1280.

Here are my ‘Contrasting Pair’.

New line, porcelain bangles.

A first for 2018.

A new collection of wheel thrown porcelain bangles decorated with inlay.

The use of a warm charcoal line work contrasts with the silky white, smooth porcelain

This year my practice will be looking into ‘Contrasts’.

A study of contrasts in form, surface, texture and colour. Contrasts the delicate and the strong, fragility and strength, dark and light.

The feminine and masculine.

See here for more.

The Art of Throwing.

I have just learnt this recently……

The gold and complete joy in my practice is that moment when your completing the pot form for its final finesse…..fingertips and turning clay, moving slowly, delicately but in control.

It is the make or break moment, everything leaves your mind, your breathe and thoughts are all about the now. (Yoga taught me that)

This control, this striving for perfection….is all about letting go?

You can’t push it, you have to relax…..and it can takes hours, weeks, months, years to get to this point.

……..this throwing moment is pure bliss.

Throwing with porcelain is, (pictured here is Lumina from Keanes) like throwing with a milkshake, smooth and thick.

I believe the Lumina in particular has a high tolerance rate (very forgiving), a firm enough body which allows you time to create your desired pot form before the water content makes the clay collapse.

Like all porcelain it does have a tendency to slump…….this is where you think you have thrown fine enough but it falls back into itself slightly, so do go over your form again after a rest….see if you can push the clay a bit further?

This avoids heavy bases. (Much of which could be rectified in turning too?)

Keep the throwing water as clean as possible from becoming slip like and don’t be afraid to use a heat gun at the final moments.

Throw with a sponge, it stops the clay from grabbing your fingers

At leather hard stage it responds well to added moisture if the body is drying out too much/fast as well. (Use a spray bottle)

You can bring this clay back from the brink, many times

Lumina fires pure white in an oxidised kiln environment, perfect for surface decoration.

My love of CRAFT.

……..began in the ceramics room.

Fortunate for me my secondary school taught pottery and I relished the term a year I got to indulge in clay.

My choice of further education was clear….I was accepted into the ‘Peninsula School of Art’

Monash University B.A CRAFT in 1994. They offered Both Metal & Glass but Clay was for me.

In 1997, I completed my honours.

In 1999, A Diploma of Education and I left my professional practice behind.

Forward to 2014…and the birth of my second child. I decided it was now or never and I slowly began to bridge the gap of 20 years and make friends with clay again.

To now….the close of 2017 and I look back to what I have achieved in the past 3 years. I feel I have bridged the gap and are now ready to produce a cohesive, resolved body of work in 2018.

This blog will be about my clay practice.