You may have been aware that I've had quite a task to make a special piece of Raku for Chelmsford Museum in Essex. They have a brand new Studio Ceramics Collection and have asked me to contribute a Jug.
The Jugs date back to some of my earliest pieces- but have evolved over the years into the "streamlined" form with circle or spot motiffs. (see opposite) They're much changed to the original pieces which I sold back in 1998/9 to Selfridges and Co in London.
The only problem (and the reason I don't make many these days!) is that they're notoriously difficult to "fume" with copper matte slips. The larger the piece you make- the more difficult it is to get the copper fuming to spread across the piece. Coupled with the thermal shock from the rapid cooling and reduction process- and you've got cracking to contend with. I think it's enough to turn a Potter's hair white!
Having said that- I now have at least 2- possibly 3 examples which I'm satisfied with. I have four more Jugs to fume. It's a great relief to have made them and got most of them fired. There's always a moment during the process where you think "can I actually do this?"
More on the final Jug contenders later this month!
View the making process on facebook-