Stoneware, glaze, oxides and bronze thread
H. 12 x dia. 23 cm
About the Ariane series:"The Ariane series is the link between a recent work I've been doing using minerals and the oxides patterns I've been working on for many years. For the two pieces featured in this exhibition, I've been using my usual oxides combined with this beautiful transparent glaze that has a lovely crackle finish. It looks like coloured ice but it actually feels very smooth under the fingers. It also makes a perfect base for the bronze wire. I really love the way the thread prints its wandering like meanders of a river."
"Ariane's thread allows my pieces to connect together, to ensure a continuity in my work, I can use this thread to create forward or it can get me back to reflect on older work."
About Stepahnie Mequillet
"My work falls at the crossroads of my dreams and the natural world around us. I like to see it as a timeless storybook, each piece being a chapter of a tale or a story in itself."
"I play combining glazes and oxides to create colours and effects, the design of each piece being totally unique."
"When I came to London in 2007, I brought with me lots of peculiar memories and small bits of nature collected in France, where I come from, but also during my travels around the world. These little treasures became my first tools when I started ceramic in 2013. I worked in several studios in London where my love for throwing and experimenting grew bigger. Today I work at the Clay Garden, in Hammersmith."
Artist Q&ADo you plan each piece in advance or do they develop intuitively?S: When starting a piece I usually have a clear idea of the shape and finish look I want to achieve, especially if I work on a series. But sometimes during the process, the emerging shape takes a different direction, more in tune with my feelings on that day or my inspiration. I like to let it go, I see the potential for a new experiment, maybe the start of a new series, or just a graceful piece that will stand by itself.What first drew you to your current process? What’s your favourite reaction that youcan create?S: I've always prefered an organic and unique finish for my pieces. Years ago I realised that using a simple white or transparent glaze over different oxides allows a variety of ever changing and very natural colours. I also sometimes add slips, or more complex glazes, to create a tactile texture. Using organic elements, I have a collection of shells I've been gathering, I engrave a pattern on the clay when it's still soft. I love the way the oxides ultimately reside into this texturing. Of course it's impossible to completely control the final result. I had sometimes ruined pieces I spent days making because my mix of oxides was unbalanced. But it's this uncertainty that makes all the process so exciting and unique.How important is the material itself to your work?S: I use different clays to achieve different textures. I use porcelain for its translucent property and its delicate finish but my favorite is a simple very white stoneware. I love the plasticity of this material and I see it as the perfect base to apply colours, to play with oxides and glazes, to react with minerals. It's like a white virgin sheet, ready to be shaped into a new story.I love trying new combinations or adding materials into my pieces, making something new out of something already known. That's how I came to start adding dust of brass or bronze wire to my work. I had once collaborated with our studio neighbour, a welder, so mineral was easy to source. I was very curious with this experiment and I saw it could potentially be a new chapter of the same tale, or a new story in itself. I find experimentation is the most exciting part of the process. That's where inspiration and creativity can express themselve in the purest way. I want my work to constantly renew itself while a common thread runs through all its pieces.
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