Corobrik National Ceramics Biennale Features a Ceramix Stoneware Platter! October 21, 2018 22:29

The Handmade Stoneware Patter Titled "Escape" by Margaret Melville of Ceramix is selected for the Corobrik National Ceramics Biennale

I’m overjoyed to tell you that my stoneware platter ‘Escaped’, was selected for the wall of plates at the Corobrick National Ceramics Exhibition.

Large Round Stoneware Platter by Margaret Melville of Ceramix is selected for the Corobrik National Ceramics Biennale

In the process to create ‘Escaped’, I used sgraffito (carving into the clay) followed by wax applied in the detail. After that, I painted it with three coats of green stoneware glaze and fired the platter to 1186°C. Not content with its appearance yet, I applied black under glaze here and there to the surfaces of the platter with a fine liner brush and fired again, this time at 1188°C. Two degrees Centigrade made an amazing difference. The second, higher firing completely changed the look of the platter.

A reaction between the black and green glazes brought terracotta clay particles to just below the surface of the glaze, resulting in unexpected pink speckles. In the quiet space to the left, it appears that the glaze application is too scant but there was complete coverage except for the small area with two little lines and the dot after the first firing. This is where the cell escaped. Two degrees higher on the second firing produced a completely different result.

This stoneware platter is one of the first ones I made and it’s completely different to any of the others. I did not pursue the method used on ‘Escape’ on any other platters since I attempted to create depth through layers of glaze, not fine brushwork. I am primarily a decorator of ceramics and brush strokes and fine detail work are second nature to me. While working, I tried to create something new and move away from what I’m familiar with.

Through thousands of hours of practising brush strokes, I have learned fine brush control and decorative painting skills. I’m wondering, will delicate brushwork and doodling work with this new method?

I find moving forward along new creative paths stimulating and exciting. Thank you for joining me on my journey!

I would love to know your thoughts on the ‘Escaped’ stoneware platter.