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searching for "Stephen Parry" returned 2 results:

The second of our ceramic pieces made from offcuts from the OneOak wood has arrived safely at Sylva in readiness for our exhibition at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Complimenting the OneOak jug made by Stephen Parry, this piece was made by Deana Lee and is called Metamorphosis III.

The piece measures 38cm high, and 26cm wide and deep, and its name is rather apt given that the tree has been changed into many different forms. It was made from Porcelain mixed with T-material.

Deana explained the making process:

I actually started making Metamorphosis III at Art in Action 2012 and completed it back at my studio in Wandsworth. After the form was finished it is burnished several times using pebbles and then finally using the back of a metal spoon. The reason for this is twofold – by compacting the clay and polishing the surface the minute detail of the smoke decorating is allowed to shine through, and it also makes the art extremely tactile (I encourage people to touch my work).  Then a layer of terra sigillata (a fine liquid form of the clay) is painted on and artwork is allowed to completely dry (takes several weeks).
Once the piece was dry it was low fired to 900ºC in my electric kiln before being taken to my smoke firing studio which is located in the middle of Wimbledon Common.  Once there I dressed the sculpture in various organic and non organic items such as wire wool, copper, banana skins etc and then it was placed in to a metal drum, on a bed of the OneOak Project sawdust along with various oxides and salt which will add subtle colour to the art.  Hay is placed around and on top of the work, along with oxides and salt, and then finally a layer of newspaper, kindling and offscuts from the OneOak Project are placed ontop and the whole tin set on fire and allowed to burn. After about 7 hours I left it to smoulder, going back the following day to unveil the sculpture, wash off the ash and polish it with beeswax (it is like wood and every so often needs to be polished with beeswax in order to bring the patterns out).”

More about Deana Lee

After a career in marketing which spanned the globe, Deana decided to follow her passion for sculpting and ceramics and returned to the U.K. to study 3D Design specialising in Ceramics at the Richmond School of Art.  After graduating she was one of 39 emerging artists to be selected for the Chinese Arts Centre’s Professional Artist Development Scheme, through which she received a training bursary as well as a mentoring grant.  In 2011 she was one of six international finalists for Potclays Emerging Makers Award 2011, and recently was shortlisted for BBC Two’s programme “Show Me The Monet.”

Each sculpture that she creates is inspired by her passions; the natural world and travel. Her organic, smoke fired artwork has strong forms and several facets and all are highly burnished as this results in extremely tactile shapes and allows the detail of the smoke pattern to shine through – her pieces are meant to be touched!

Deana says “As far back as I can remember I have always been drawn to the ancient method of smoke firing and how the smoke and flames paint designs on the ceramic canvas. I have taken these ancient processes and use them in a more contemporary way to create unique effects that have depth and fluidity. Of course a considerable amount of planning goes into the decoration design of each piece, but by using smoke firing techniques there is also a significant element left to chance. For me that sense of surprise is definitely a large part of the attraction, especially as my final forms tend to be very controlled.”

Her work is in private collections around the world, and she specialises in creating works of art for specific spaces or people, incorporating some of their world (in the form of sand from their travels or gardens etc) in to the clay body.

Deana Lee ceramics

OneOak ceramic jug

OneOak ceramic jug by Stephen Parry

The latest in our final few items made using OneOak wood, all of them from offcuts, has been completed by potter Stephen Parry.

For as long as potters have made high fired ‘stoneware'( firings of over 1200°C), wood-ash has been used as a glaze, on it’s own or as one of a number of materials combined to make a glaze ‘recipe’. The first ash glazed pottery is thought to have been made in China during the Shang period (1500 BC ) These pots were most likely glazed accidentally, when the wood-ash from stoking the kiln landed on the pots, melting onto the surface of the clay forming a runny glaze. It is rare now for a potter to use wood-ash as a glaze on its own, but it is often used as a major component in a glaze recipe. Wood-ash glazes are know for there fluid surfaces and there subtle green to blue colour. Each species of tree will give a different glaze, even the same tree grown on a different soil type will  give a subtly different glaze.

To make a simple ash glaze  the wood-ash is first washed to remove the soluble alkalis,(this is a strong and unpredictable flux) and then sieved to remove all the course particles, with would give a rough surface to the glaze. The ash is then dried so that it can be weighed to make a glaze recipe. A simple ash glaze recipe could be: 40% wood-ash, 40% potash feldspar and 20% clay.

Less than a week ago Stephen told us that:

“I spent yesterday firing my wood-fired kiln with the pot, glazed in ‘one oak’ ash. It should be cool enough to open tomorrow (Friday 26th). It is a risky unpredictable process! – puts a whole new meaning to ‘keeping your fingers crossed’. So I won’t know if it is worth sending until tomorrow.”

He continued “After some consideration I decided to go for the interest value rather that the more predictable – So I have glazed my pot (Jug) with 100% ‘OneOak’ ash, rather than making a more conventional glaze out of the ash. I hope it works.”

The resulting jug did indeed ‘work’ and is stunning, having arrived at Sylva in readiness for our next exhibition. Stephen explained that it is a stoneware Jug 50cm high, wood-fired to 1300ºc with 100% ‘OneOak’ ash glaze. He added:

“Well, it came out better than I could have dreamt – that old oak tree must have got something special. Everything that you see on the jug is from the ‘OneOak’ only.”

The OneOak jug will be on display with all other OneOak pieces at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh from October 12th – December 2nd.

More about Stephen Parry

Stephen has been living and working in North Norfolk since 1981, where he set up Ryburgh Pottery. Most of his work is thrown using high temperature stoneware and porcelain clays, fired in a variety of wood fired kilns, sometimes firing to well over 1300ºC for up to four days.

He makes a small amount of pots for use in the kitchen, although most of his work is more individual, made in small batches, using soft clay and thick Slips.

Some pots are left unglazed, allowing the wood ash that enters the kiln during the long firings to glaze and colour the work,  he also uses wood-ash glazes including Oak, Apple and Pine ash.

As well as the UK he has also exhibited work in France, Germany Denmark and Japan. He is a Fellow member of the Craft Potters Association.

Stephen Parry:  wood-fired ceramics

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