Vasefinder Nationals 2010
Exhibitor 114

Margaret Sumich

Forrest Hill, Auckland, New Zealand

Title: Blue Salt Glaze Posy Bowl

Year of Creation: 2009

Glaze: Salt glaze with blue slips

Clay Body: White stoneware

Dimensions: Height 3.54 inches, Width 3.54 inches

Artist's Statement: I am a vessel maker: whether thrown and altered or handbuilt using slab, or pinch-and–coil, each form is based on a vessel. My larger pieces are made in 2 or 3 parts to enable them to fit in my kiln - which is a challenge in itself. Recently I have gone in the opposite direction as far as size goes, and am looking at the body as a vessel.

My interest in low-fired techniques began about 15 years ago with the Raku process: the pieces are heated in a small kiln (in my case fueled with wood) to between 950 and 1000 degrees centigrade, then removed hot from the kiln and plunged into combustible matter (sawdust, shavings, paper, leaves etc.) and covered for between 5 and 30 minutes for post-firing reduction . I mostly like to achieve the freedom of the flame on the pot rather than the rigidity of applied decoration, hence my chosen methods of firing using mainly wood as fuel. I have recently rebuilt my wood kiln, and have been firing to around 1200 degrees C, and enjoying a further glaze challenge.

After many years firing a diesel kiln I now enjoy salt firing my domestic ware at ASP (Auckland Studio Potters). There is much satisfaction in making good functioning domestic pieces that are beautiful as well as a pleasure to use.

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