You must have realised by now that I like puns. And root vegetables. I don’t think the two are incompatible.
I began working on the Vegetable Tortures just before I went to EKWC* and the turnip on the right was a small tryout piece that I made in the first week. I don’t like it very much. It was quite unsettling being in a strange, large and bare studio in a new country, wanting to make the most of the time but not yet in a working ‘groove’.
I had been tinkering with radishes and mackerels just before I left Scotland so I decided to pick up where I left off. Beetroots seemed like a possibility, being both red and (usually) globular.
And of course it does me an opportunity to post some more delicious designs from Kenny B. (Love the fact that the beetroots above have writers’ names.
And here’s another for good measure.
Well I made a few attempts at this. I have developed a way of working where I sometimes fire the base vegetable, leaving holes for the inserts and then add them later. In this case I had made the original turnip in the Netherlands but didn’t have time to finish it, so I fired it so I could ship it home in one piece.
When they are fired again the inserts are securely fixed into the original form. I don’t always use this method, the beetroot below was made more conventionally. I work on a small kiln shelf so I can move delicate pieces easily without breakages. The newspaper is to stop wet clay sticking; it burns off in the kiln.
I used a mixture of underglaze colours and oxides.
I’ve made a number of these small pieces and they mostly reside in my cabinet of curiosities.
- From Dover Beach, Matthew Arnold
- European Ceramic Workcentre, I did a three month residency there in 2017