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decorated earthenware pottery

(0)1629 823669

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Josie Walter - Techniques and processes

Over the past years I have experimented with combinations of paper resist, colour infill and slip trailing (first cutting and then tearing the paper to give a softer effect) I had felt that the surfaces I had been creating had become static and the colour too dense so I have been exploring the qualities inherent in my materials. Pouring the slips thinly to let the colour of the body through, or in overlapping layers. The slip is also used very thick and applied whilst the pot is rotating on the wheel to give a ‘wrapped’ look. At present I am using the paper to mask an area to decorate within, which gives a greater flexibility for variation and experimentation. Using the marks of a brush, highlighted with scraffito has created a greater sense of movement and a fresh perspective. I am always on the look out for new brushes or a way of applying slip - my two favourites at the moment are a coarse pastry brush and another made with dried grass collected from the beach on Anglesey, North Wales. I also decorate with coloured glazes, again both thinly but with detail in thick, rather like applying watercolour, moving from light to dark. Recent work has been based on leaf motifs, very appropriate to the Derbyshire countryside where I live. But I also continually return to images of fruits, intrigued by the way fat pears ‘sit’ or oval lemons ‘lie’. Most of the work is thrown on a momentum wheel, which I made at Chesterfield College, in the 1970s. I enjoy the relaxed rhythm and the quietness of the flywheel as it is the only way to hear Radio 4 without interference! The wheel is built to exactly accommodate my frame and is therefore extremely comfortable. The work is raw glazed and fired to Cone 03 in an electric kiln. All the pots I make are functional and are made to be used in the kitchen or for serving on the table. The decorative motifs are used to complement the food cooked and served in them and provide a pot that is pleasing to the eye when not in use.

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