The small vessels are handbuilt from a mixture of stoneware and porcelain clays using a combination of pinching, pressing and scraping techniques. I press with organic materials to achieve some of the textures for the outside walls, and use a selection of gemstones to burnish the insides. The pieces are then low-fired between 950ºC and 1000ºC, and then refined with

a light filing.

I prepare the vessels for smoke firing using a range of resist treatments to aim to control the intensity and distribution of the smoke – course clay slip, liquid wax, copper wire, sand and organic materials such as fruit stones all have their different roles. The smoke firing is carried out in garden incinerators using a mix of newspaper and garden cuttings. Once cleaned, the insides are polished with beeswax to restore the burnishing shine.

The resulting vessels with their delicate thin walls, represent casings that were once protective, broken open to reveal a secret, some suggestion of what once lived inside or a promise of new growth. While these pieces are not functional in the standard sense of utility, they do invite interaction through being repositioned in different combinations, and being picked up and held to appreciate their feather-light weight, their vulnerability, and in doing so revealing our own protective instincts.

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