Burnished Pit Fired Ceramics
Collect from gallery £72
Including UK delivery £85
H 19 cm
In the early ’70’s Martin was a full time student at Balls Park College, Hertford, studying Ceramics and Art tutored by Marigold Austin, a founder member of the Studio pottery Movement.
Martin has a fascination with the power of fire on clay, and when clay, heat and smoke interact, the effects can be dramatic.
To begin the process, pots made from white firing stoneware clay, are wheel thrown and burnished smooth at the earthenware stage. Following biscuit firing, various materials are applied to the pots’ surface, and wrapped in tin foil. When fully dry, pots are placed upon a layer of sawdust within a metal drum. The drum is surrounded by well seasoned wood, and a fire is lit, beginning at the top, and working its way to the base of the drum. When fully cooled down, all traces of foil have burned away, the pots are carefully cleaned and a final application of beeswax polish reveals the true beauty of each individual piece.
Alchemy and curiosity are at the heart of this firing process, and Martin’s thirst for a new, exciting way of working is now being satisfied.
The surfaces of his burnished pots don’t wear a coat hiding the clay itself from view, but, instead, feel warm and soft to the touch, yielding their true nature and character.
Martin has now returned to potting after a long illness, with the help of medication, he is now producing burnished container fired pottery using organic materials and firing with wood.