The Jetty Gallery
“I make my work in my home studio in Crail. I prefer to create pieces using the potters wheel but also like to experiment with hand building. I have become interested in alternative methods of firing as they provide unpredictable and beautiful surface markings. Each piece is unique and the markings cannot be replicated.
Pieces are burnished until they have a smooth surface. Several coats of homemade Terra Sigillata are applied and then the whole piece is burnished again, giving a shiny finish. (Terra Sigillata, meaning ‘sealed earth’, is a liquid which contains fine clay particles, it was used in ancient times to seal vessels.) The piece is then fired to 990 degrees and is ready to be smoke or pit fired.
I collect and dry seaweed from a the Fife coast, which I add to the kiln along with salt, steel wool, dried grasses/flowers from Cambo Gardens and copper wire which bring subtle colours and marks to the surface of the pot. Sawdust is provided by the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, often originating from the Balcaskie Estate. I light the kiln in the grounds of Cambo and leave it to burn and cool.
I take pieces from the kiln and wash them, before gently removing any residues. Finally, they are polished with beeswax which brings out an incredible shine and texture to the surface.
Due to the unpredictable nature of this process pieces are not food safe and may not hold water. To use with water, a small plastic liner is recommended – e.g. yoghurt pot or handwash bottle cut to size.”
Photography by Alistair Clark