Background Information

Now retired, I have finally had the time to build a website and list work for sale that was not previously available through the shop. Prices are set low to facilitate their sale  - to illustrate this, and because it may be of interest, I have included an estimate as to how long it took to make each piece. 

All my ceramics are individual  pieces. With the exception of a few miniatures pots, all of the items for sale are handmade and not thrown on an electric wheel.   Over the years I have developed my own wide range  of glazes and  

underglazes.  These homemade ones, when mixed with ready made ones, have  also created further unique effects to the fired work.

My work is made using coils, slabs, extruded forms and pinch pots. Very occasionally now I have done some slip casting using various self-made plaster molds. The majority of the molds are of stained glass designs, mostly from the Art Nouveau and Art deco periods. 

I have a broad ranging style which incorporates both small detailed work and larger, often more complex, sculptural pieces. 

Experimenting with the incorporation and fusing of glass has always been an important and popular aspect of my work. The glass itself comes from a range of sources. The blues, greens and clear glass are sourced from recycled bottles. Some coloured glass beads are used and for higher fired work some coloured glass tiles have been found to best maintain their colour. Most of the glass is fired to earthenware temperatures - anywhere between 

960 - 1000C. Any higher than this and some colours may burn out.

The ceramics with glass pieces are very popular and are sought by collectors from as far afield as the USA and Australia. 

I have recently increased my raku work and have begun to develop a distinctive style of glazes and finishes including a glaze that has the appearance of volcanic lava. Examples of this effect may be seen in the Raku section of the shop. 

The glazes used are a combination of self-made and ready mixed (generally Africana and Mayco). The type of clay used will depend on the style, finish and general nature of any given piece.  Most work, but not all, is earthenware. 

I obviously haven't therefore ceased making, I recently purchased a new electric Skutt kiln (the previous kilns I have owned were mostly from the 1970's and the technology has improved since then if only in term of the quality of the firebricks!). The new kiln has an integrated controller with more segments, and therefore more possibilities when it comes to the use of glass.  THis will help both for my ceramics work and also for planned fused glass projects.   Two of my old electric kilns, one small the other medium sized, I have  converted to gas for more raku work.

My interest  in pottery goes  back to  my childhood. During my teens (and beyond)  I dug at various archaeological sites, and my original degree was in archaeology.  My interest in old ceramics has continued, particulary pottery from the Medieval period. Occasionally the form and finishes from this period have influenced a work.  Some of my own unwanted ceramics I have buried in the ground  - our house is on the site of a Medieval leper hospital. I like the very remote possibilty that some other archaeologist will have to try and work out why it is there!  (When on a dig, I have often been amused by the thought that someone might have done exactly this when material has been found that is totally contextually inexplicable, or has turned up with older finds in the same seemingly undisturbed layer!)

© 2024 Paul Ramsey

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