This handbuilt flask, while unable to hold any spirits, would still be able to hold some dried flowers. During the firing, iodized salt settled on the front of the flask, leaving beautiful rust spots and blushes.
Raku clay, fired in a charcoal barbecue with salt and combustibles.
6½" x 4½" x 2½", 1lbSpecial Handling Instructions for Functional Items:
- Not Watertight
- Not for Food Use
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I moved to Ottawa in the middle of the pandemic, when my Ceramics Practicum program at the Banff Centre was cancelled. In an instant, my studio was gone, all the projects I had planned were disrupted, and I felt very alone without my community of artists and craftspeople. For a few months, I was quite depressed about it all.
Slowly, I began building myself back up. I sourced some raku clay for hand building and researched alternative firing techniques, finally reading a fantastic article from Ceramics Monthly about using a charcoal barbecue to mimic a pit firing.
The work presented here is a selection of my forays into barbecue firing. I did a number of fascinating tests - from learning how to make a terra sig with raku clay and baking soda, to building saggars out of tin cans, aluminum foil, banana peels and coffee grounds. It was an incredible experience, like learning how to work with clay all over again, but this time in the context of my kitchen pantry and recycling bin. I now have access to a conventional potters’ studio complete with electric kilns, but I am so grateful to have gone through this difficult summer. With each firing, I nestled greenware pots into glowing red coals, bracing for the cracking of clay pushed to its limit. And with each firing, I couldn’t help but ruminate on one shared bond between clay and people: resilience.