A new form! My intention with my pottery has been “usable art”: to take art off the walls and put it on your table and into your hands. With the Broken Platter, I’m taking it off the table and putting it back on the wall – with a twist.
The Broken Platter pieces are multi-layered. They start with the clay, which I pack with minerals, quartz and grog so that it will rip. (Note the “broken” edges, juxtaposed with a sharp, cut line.) The platters are fired in wood kilns, either a seven-day anagama firing, or an intense, reduced noborigama firing. The firing process brings out the minerals, as well as marking the platters with ghosting and trails created by the flame and wadding arranged on the platters for different effects.
From there, it gets interesting. Some of the platters have already been painted with wood ash or a stroke of slip as a backdrop. I take a look at the images that come out of the kiln and begin to respond by layering on glaze and lusters. These new glazes each have a different firing temperature, which means that each color can only be applied in a particular order, and never reversed. In this way, I have adopted a “spontaneous style” painting method, considering what the kiln has offered after each firing and then adding on the next layer of glaze, luster and overglaze pearl sheen. I don’t know what the finished piece will look like until the final step.
In the pictures, you can see many different visions, from the highly decorated to a few that came out of the kiln so stunning that I have chosen to leave them exactly like they are. Whether your tastes run to subtle and organic, or painterly, there is a Broken Platter for you.
A note on display: The beauty of the Broken Platter is that it can be displayed in different ways. You can arrange them on your wall in different patterns – vertical or horizontal, parquet or in a line. You can also display them on mantles, shelves, or as a centerpiece on a table. (They have feet.) Each section in the Broken Platter series is approximately 7 inches by 6 inches. They come in series of one, two, three, and four.
anagama, hand-shaped, handmade glaze, platter, stoneware, wabi sabi, wood fire