Julia Smith

Created 10 Aug, 2011   - 0 Comments  

Julia Smith graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1996 with a BA (Hons) ceramics degree. Since then she has been making studio ceramics and working on private, public art and community commissions. She has set up the Deepfired Ceramics Studio in the southside of Glasgow and runs classes there teaching people of all ages and abilities the skills of the ceramic artist. She frequently sells her work through the Glasgow Craft Mafia events alongside textile designers, jewellers and other crafty types. She welcomes commissions, such as, customised gifts, tiles for the kitchen, bathroom, fireplace or signage, ceramic basins and especially likes to be given a challenge!

Functional and sculptural ceramics

The ceramics are inspired by fauna found in the Dovre Mountains in Norway where the artist visited earlier this year. These tiny plants thrive in the glacial landscape, emerging from crevices in boulders, through layers of snow and in boggy marshland. The artist was drawn to their seemingly vulnerable structure blossoming in this harsh environment.

The clay used is smooth red earthenware from Alisdair Kettles Pottery Suppliers sometimes with cellulose fibres added. It is bisque fired to 10400C, glazed to 11400 C and transfers are fired to 8000 C.

The artist appreciates clay for its ever changing qualities. In its soft, malleable state she creates concentric forms on the wheel and models small organic details. When the clay is slightly drier in its leather hard state she builds larger pieces using stiff slabs which she has often rolled or pressed a textured pattern in taken from a plaster mold made by her. She makes molds of cut glass ware and textiles which she finds at car boot sales and charity shops. Slips (watered down clay) are painted on to the surface of the clay and she then draws through the slip to the clay body, this technique is called sgraffito. The work is dried out and fired and then layers of glaze are applied with areas of the surface usually masked off with latex and filled in later with other glazes. The glazes are fired on and then transfers and lustres are applied and fired on.

Julia's website: www.juliasmithceramics.com

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