In the summer of 2018 I participated in the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD) Experiential Learning Residency. During this residency I was able to spend a lot of my time experimenting new glazes and forms. The most successful outcome I achieved was the beginning of my crawl line of pottery.
I initially was interested in the crawling effect after a cone 10 gas firing I had done in December of 2017 where I had some interesting crawling effects where I had thickly applied shino glazes (I was unaware of this at the time as it was one of the first gas firings I had done and I was still learning the basics of glaze and glaze chemistry). I found the effects exciting because it was adding texture to the glaze. I continued playing around with the shino glazes (Barron Shino primarily) and was pleased with the results I was getting.
When I started the residency I no longer had access to the gas kiln at NBCCD but I still wanted to get the crawl effect I was enjoying. This led me to test out several mid temperature crawling glazes. I found one that worked on functional wares and I began to experiment with different colours. While I was developing the different coloured crawl glazes I began to focus on the forms I was throwing. I found the crawl glaze gave my pieces an organic look and the form needed to reflect that. I experimented with heavy throwing lines, and altered forms. I found that altering the piece after I threw it by grabbing and squeezing gave my work the natural look I wanted to pair with the crawling glaze.
I brought this prototype crawl line of pottery to the Garrison Night Market and sold it at The Pot Spot (a collaboration of potters) and I received overwhelming success and positive feedback.
Mid August I had to leave the residency to start an internship with Sculpture Saint John so I didn't really get back on the wheel until the beginning of October.
When I returned to Fredericton following the International Sculpture Symposium internship I had to begin preparations for the upcoming Christmas craft sales. I decided to go with the crawl line. It was successful at the night market, I loved the crawling glaze, I loved the altered forms, and seeing these pieces come out of the kiln was really satisfying for me and made each pot worth it.
I refined the line and narrowed it to 4 colours: white, green, blue, and red. I made several different products: mugs, tumblers, fruit bowls, tea bowls, serving bowls, and more. I was very successful at both the NBCCD Christmas Craft Sale and the Gallery 78 Sugar Plum Craft Show.
I am very pleased with my crawl line of pottery. I enjoy every step of the process. When I throw the pieces I get to squeeze and play with them creating a natural feel. Then I bisque the pieces; seeing them laid out in front of me with all of their unique curves and bumps is exciting because I envision them all in their final form. I even enjoy the glazing process of the crawl pottery (this is my least favourite step in the pottery process) because when I dip a piece in the glaze I begin to see cracks appearing which is the beginning of the crawls. Finally I open the kiln and I see each unique piece full of cracks and crawling in the glaze exposing the bare clay underneath.