The theme of this years Potters Market was wood fired pottery using the ancient art of natural kilns burning wood that is considered a pest plant.
This is the oldest way known of hardening clay. Today potters have a huge choice in kilns and methods of heating them.
The heating method delivers a different finish depending on heat, deposits in the heating enviroment such as ash and the build of the kiln.
Even the way the potter handles the product can make a difference.
Such as flashing flame or being buried in ash at various means (completely or partial depending on pattern)
The finish adds character to the piece such as crusty or craggy patterns. Also gases released when the product is burned can have an effect on the finish giving a different length to the flames. These flames can be easily over 9 meters long.
Charcoal produces very hot, but very short, flames.
Kilns need to be designed not only with the product in mind but also the finish, flame and heat required.
Glaze and natural colouring is achieved by different methods and additions to the pottery. For example silicon or iron in the clay.
Copper in the clay produces a reddish glaze. Stoneware with Nuka glaze and cobalt layering produce these ancient looking mugs.
An addition of glass in firing gives a translucent lakey feeling
John Bauer is an established ceramisist who lives and works in Cape Town. His work has been exhibited world-wide, and collected by two museums before he was thirty. He is globally recognised for his unusual, cutting edge developments in Porcelain production. Using Sung Dynasty techniques, the images on his work rise above the surface of the clay. They are not negative impressions, but positive ‘expressions’ from the clay’s surface
Ceramics Southern Africa ( Western Cape Region ) is a non profit organization whose mandate is to promote and market members work through exhibitions and potters markets as well as providing on going skills training through workshops by local, national and international ceramists. Annually we have two Potters Markets ( on the second last Saturday of March and November at Rondebosch Park, Cape Town ), a Regional Exhibition and in August an all day Winter Workshop.
Up to the mid 1960.'s all glazes and allied materials were imported to South Africa. John Mathey asked Harold if he would start to manufacture glazes using, where ever possible,local materials. Today potters can purchase their supplies from a speciality shop.
The last and most important factor in pottery is the artist rendering and character which they transfer through their work to others.
Stephen Weltz auctioneers where at the market looking items of interest with which they could promote the South Africa ceremic industry