Annabelle’s apprenticeship – Textures and forms inspired by others

Over the last month, I have been settling into new, more competent roles in the studio such as kiln maintenance and mixing glazes. We have recently bought new shelves and bricks for the large kiln, so there has been a lot of cutting to size and washing happening before they can be used. At the moment, there is less pressure to make stock but I am eager to make. Ideas for pots float around my head all day long and so I keep a small sketchbook with me at all times.

Here, I used my finger to swipe through slip. This moon jar would have come out really well if the foot was bigger. Unfortunately it stuck to the kiln shelf and the foot broke off. This glaze has such wonderful qualities like where it goes matt in areas and red to purple when thick and hot. It is Callum’s (the first recipient of the Seasalt Bursary) own ash glaze and I’m yet to master it.

After the London exhibition, I had a surge of inspiration to make and so I looked at books for hints of a different style I could begin to cultivate. Warren Mackenzie is such a big talent and remains the person to keep going back to. Usually I look at his forms but I am now starting to notice how he uses surface texture.

I have been using a paddle to square off the sides and a rasping tool to strip away excess clay. This is very different to how I have previously made jars and it is more suitable for a production line. I tried to make some in a similar shape to this image but with a trimmed foot that I dried with a flame for stability, before whacking the sides with a paddle. The foot would always collapse so for the time being I’m making them footless. The rasp (a course file) has been used at different diagonal strokes to create direction and flow around the pot, similar to Mackenzie. This effect will work well with glazes I don’t use that often and help to find new shapes.

I’m finding that changing out your tools really encourages new ways of working.