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artist experiments Outside surface quality work in progress

Incidental slip effects

My slow burning, smoke firing journey continues….

swirl pattern in a bucket of thick pottery slip

One of the most satisfying outcomes has been the incidental surfaces and effects that appear when I’ve been getting creative applying a slip resist to the surface of my bisque fired ware.

In an attempt to echo the experimental way I manipulate freshly thrown form, I’ll often take a thick brush loaded with slip and flick it at the poor unsuspecting pots. Most of it hits the target but there is also a considerable amount that doesn’t! Splash-back and wayward slip often deposit on the work surface, floor and pretty much everything in a five mile radius!

pottery slip bucket and lid

Below are some examples of chance and incidental slip landings – one of which looks remarkably like the surface of the moon. Wonder if I could replicate the effect on the surface of a pot? Maybe a moon jar!?

pottery slip splatters on a wooden board at jon williams studio in herefordshirecircular board covered in thick pottery slip at ceramic artists jon williams studio near the malvern hills

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experiments Interactive art

A smaller smoke fired snail

Sit’s nicely in the palm this one. Love the markings produced by smoke permeating the layers of clay resist.

smoke fired rocking snail by ceramic artist jon williams

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experiments surface quality

Far far away….

A beautiful galaxy appeared in the slip bucket lid!!!

blue slip bucket lid looking like a constellation of stars

 

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artist experiments Interactive art work in progress

Blue shell

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experiments surface quality

Thorny Charcoal

thorny charcoal sticks created by burning pruned rose bushes by herefordshire artist jon williams

These thorny sticks of charcoal are an inspiring bi-product of recent smoke firing and sagger experiments.

They originated as garden waste, pruned from my father in law’s rose bush and contributed to the marks and effects on this little pot.

I’m marveling at the texture and shape of the charred, blackened twigs and excited by the possibilities of using them in my work.

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experiments work in progress

Sagging saggers

broken saggers used in the fire place by potter jon williams to decorate his pots with smoke

I think its time to retire these ol’ saggers! #kintsugi anyone?

Also… not sure what the shiny black stuff is on the inside the one on the left – tar or creosote maybe? Whatever it is I like it!! 🖤🖤🖤

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experiments garden sculpture Interactive art Outside surface quality work in progress

Snail pace!

Taking time to appreciate the subtle effects of layering and wiping away slip decoration…. 

detail of rocking snail ceramic sculpture by jon williams the flying potter from herefordshire

At the moment, these snail sculptures are at the leather hard stage (my favorite!) and still have to dry for a couple of weeks before going in the kiln.

close up of a rocking ceramic snail by jon williams the flying potter

Once they’ve been fired, the snails are to be exhibited at several garden sculpture exhibitions later this year.

As with a lot of my work, these pieces have an interactive element. Visitors will be able to gently rock the snails back and forth to create rhythmic sounds.

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artist experiments work in progress

Out of the ashes

Somewhere in this blackened sagger is a little burnt offering in need of  wire wool & wax tlc!

thrown torn and altered pot made on the potter's wheel by ceramic artist jon williamssmoke fired thrown torn and altered pot made on the potter's wheel by ceramic artist jon williamsthrown torn and altered pot made on the potter's wheel by ceramic artist jon williams

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experiments work in progress

Slab building

Although I’m a thrower, I do enjoy the challenge of working with other pottery techniques.

These slabbed constructions are ceramic bases, designed to support a sculpture on a metal rod. That said, I reckon they look pretty cool as stand alone pieces. I particularly enjoy the potential for geometric pattern making when the bases are lined up in groups.

slabbed base made by herefordshire ceramic artist jon williams

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Exhibitions experiments Interactive art

Smoke fired bee

I recently made a selection of high fired bee and bug shakers for a gallery in London. The high temperature makes for a satisfying ‘ring’ when the rattle is shaken.

As I was lowering the last beastie into the kiln, I decided on a whim to save it from the firing and give it a lower temperature bisque instead. My intention, to incorporate it into my smoke firing experiments as up until that point all the test pieces had been vessels.

So glad I did!

I’m really pleased with the colours. Deep blacks, a hint of terracotta and the odd flash of white – perfect!…and although the rattle sounds slightly different its still an interesting sonic.

Unfortunately, this discovery came too late for the critters heading to London, but if I could have my time with them again….