Porcelain - wheel thrown and hand made
The qualities and authenticity of porcelain is a popular subject among potters. When the topic of handmade porcelain is raised among the general public, knowledge is often limited. In many instances people do not know that porcelain can be formed by hand and potter’s wheel. Low firing white ware, poured in plaster molds are many times confused with porcelain.
History of porcelain
Porcelain made its way through the industrial revolution. Josiah Spode, an Englishman in the late 18th century wanted to improve soft-paste porcelain. He added bone ash to his clay body and discovered Bone China. Bone ash is the white residue that results from the calcification of cattle bones and is a powerful flux. This discovery had a huge impact on the porcelain industry in England. Bone China became popular because of its strength and beauty.
Porcelain in the 20th century
By the end of the 20th century, there were more modern potters that put their hands to porcelain and a very contemporary style developed, away from the traditional uses of porcelain and paving the way into the 21st century, in which porcelain is gaining more and more ground and is quickly moving . Peter Lane discussed these potters thoroughly in his book “Studio Porcelain” followed by “Contemporary Porcelain” and “Contemporary Studio Porcelain”.
Porcelain today - online workshops
My husband and I recently launched a porcelain online class with huge success and we are about to follow that up with another one.
With limited time to spend there this time, I focused on a few shows and I chose to zoom in on porcelain. I am not only in a learning curve about this ceramic medium myself, but when teaching others, it is crucial to be as knowledgeable as possible about the medium at issue.
Here is Part 1 of a photographic review of porcelain that caught my eye.
(Photo credit: All pictures were taken by Koos Badenhorst at NCECA 2014)
Ray Chen: "Mother and Child 3"
Raw bisque; unmistakably porcelain, but totally the opposite from the traditional appearance of the clay medium.
Shannon Sullivan is inspired by rock science. She created several works in slip casting molds.
Ian Bassett: Mechanical Advantages.
Slipcast porcelain, photo resist, ink and gold luster.
Michelle Florence: The de Toilette: Self portrait 2
Porcelaineous stoneware became very popular as a substitute for porcelain, because it offers a smooth white clay body, that can be fired to become vitreous without the same firing challenges as true porcelain.
Paula Rice: Skies over Flagstaff.
The artist utilized several characteristics of porcelain. The whiteness allows for strong contrast colors. It is also very susceptible of texture, smooth or rough. Paula used the natural texture that the open , non-plastic clay provide as a means to juxtapose the smoothness thereof.
This beautiful slip cast piece, I believe is created by John Murphy.
Karen Gunderman: Brain Tea Set
Margaret Kenway Haydon: The offering, thrown and cast porcelain.
Jennifer McCurdy needs little if any introduction. She is known for her strong, intricate bowls. Jennifer not only mastered throwing and manipulation of porcelain clay, but she uses the kiln as a partner to get perfect results in the firing process.
Presentior II:Margaret Kenway Haydon
Kurt Weiser is one of America's outstanding ceramic artists. Slip casting his porcelain vessels and painting surreal fantasies on the surface, he is considered as a thought provoking artist.