April Stephenson Ceramics
My love of smoked fired and Raku pots comes from being intrigued by ancient cultures. You can pick up a piece of pottery and feel the person who created it. The simple cooking pot coiled and burnished then decorated with oxides which have been dug from the earth. Although our society is so much more sophisticated ceramics can still stir a basic desire as ancient as time itself.
For me it is all about the pot, how it feels in your hand does it please the eye? Does it unlock something within us whether it be the knowledge we are no different than those that went before,or whether we are creating our own special piece for future generations.
My work tends to be smoked/Sagga or Raku fired with some detail. Each Sagga piece is wrapped in foil with straw, horse hair, oxides, salt, seaweed etc and fired until the foil turns dull and starts to disintegrate. This works on the burnished surface and transfers different colours/textures to the piece. I also work on Sculptures of animals/people. These are either Raku fired or burnished these are then smoked fired to give interest. Burnished work is then finished with wax and polished to give a soft sheen.
I am part of the Southern Ceramic Group.