Wheel-thrown porcelain, saggar fired
H. 30 x dia. 20 cm
"This particular piece is a reflection of autumn colours and its creation involves several processes. I start the creative process by throwing porcelain on the wheel, drawing inspiration from traditional forms that inspire me. Once the piece has dried, I carefully sand it to achieve a smooth surface. To enhance its appearance and create a beautiful satin sheen, I apply a layer of terrasigillata slip. This step adds a touch of elegance to the piece."
"To capture the essence of my local Dartmoor environment, I collect various materials, primarily from the woods and pasture. This collection typically includes ferns, cow parsley, ivy, grasses, leaves and seed heads, with seaweed from the coast. These natural elements are thoughtfully wrapped around the vessel, each carefully placed with intention."
"The final step in the creation of this piece involves firing it in a controlled gas environment, where it is placed in a container alongside other natural combustibles. As the firing progresses, the natural materials burn away, leaving their distinctive and unique marks imprinted on the surface of the pot.
Being immersed in the natural world and the unique environment of Dartmoor not only provides me with a rich source of inspiration but also connects my work to the natural rhythms and aesthetics of this place. It's a powerful way for me to create a strong sense of authenticity and a deep connection to my surroundings in my ceramics."
"I'm eager to experiment and embrace new ideas in my work, which reflects my artistic curiosity. It means being open to new experiences, embracing the unexpected, and finding joy in the surprises that come your way. This attitude can lead to creative discoveries and a richer, more fulfilling life. This sense of exploration allows me to uncover fresh patterns, textures, and colours that might appear during the firing process. I wholeheartedly welcome the unpredictability and nature's beauty in my creations. This adds an extra layer of wonder and excitement to my work because each piece becomes a one-of-a-kind, harmonious creation inspired by the natural world. In life, just as in my ceramics, there is a balance between control and spontaneity."
About Alison West
From her studio in Dartmoor, Alison West Ceramics creates natural & thoughtfully produced tableware and vessels to cherish forever. She creates an environment of combustible materials that will use the fire as a painter uses a brush to create natural surface pattern.
All work is saggar fired, a process in which pots are placed in a gas kiln in a container (a saggar) together with locally sourced combustible materials ranging from pine cones, beech nuts, grasses, fungi, ferns, seaweed, wood shavings and naturally occurring minerals. Throughout the firing, the vapours of the ignited materials permeate the ware creating unique and natural pattern and decoration made entirely from these ingredients.
Vases and vessels are wheel-thrown porcelain or Cornish Stoneware and fired with plants that leave impressions on the pots. These are sealed inside to hold water.
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