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Fishink Ceramics

December 11, 2017

Hi everyone, I hope this finds you well, warm and enjoying the quieter run up to the December Christmas madness lol. I spent the weekend at the Sale Arts Trail, Christmas Bazaar, more about that later in the week.

In the meantime i’ve been busily beavering away, getting back to an old love of mine.. ceramics. More importantly, being able to make things from home and not have to be part of a class, course or group. Of course there’s nothing wrong with any of those options, but as I have to pick and choose the times I can devote to my clay work, it’s far easier if I can just get my bits and pieces out when I’ve a spare hour or two and not have to dedicate a specific day to going elsewhere to do it. Of course, this also has it’s limitations. I’ve no potters wheel, so the work I’m making is either flat or sculpted.

You might remember me mentioning my Sunbirds (above) at the end of August ? Slowly we are getting there. I love the idea of combining bird shapes with the sun, nature, plant forms or just textures. I like the retro feel to them (of course) and have begun to decorate (glaze) and had a few early ones out of the kiln too. It’s a long process which begins with drawings and then transforming the ideas into clay.

I’ve had great fun accumulating strange little tools to make a variety of imprints in the surface of the clay. I even took some speakers apart that I was throwing out and discovered a whole variety of new shapes I can use lol It’s a wonderful way to recycle !

I’ve made a whole array of different shapes and styles, to get a feel for which ones I like the best. The round ones are my bird-stones and are more like paintings on a smooth surface. Other forms are 3-d, curvy or even stand upright.

I created raised illustrations using a thin spongy felt, that I can use to roll into the flat clay, again I like the relief nature of this.

Most of the birds are unique, the shape being cut from the rolled out clay and then decorated, smoothed before the initial glazing can take place.

My Birdheads were another drawing idea brought to life and made 3-d.

A few other shapes and animals I’ve been playing with.

My friend Sarah who runs Sllipblog had some of her work in the kiln too. I love her sheep.

Finally some images that Sarah kindly took of my work going in and coming out of the various firings from her kiln.

I can’t wait to pop over and see the first fully completed set…. exciting times ! Any views or comments most welcome as usual and tune in later this week to see more from the Sale Arts Fair.










11 Comments leave one →
  1. Deirdre O'Sullivan from Australia permalink
    December 11, 2017 12:42 pm

    You’re giving away some valuable secrets here, Craig! I think the felt imprint idea, rolled into clay is a very clever way to make multiples of the birds – which I’m sure you will be, as soon as the orders start rolling in! Your birds have a quirky attitude on their cute faces – even a slight upward turn of the beak gives a bird real character!
    I find terracotta much more malleable to work with than the white clay – which is so much firmer, and not as receptive to the push of my fingers. Do you find this, too?

    Well done on sticking to the blue and white colour glaze combination -a classic for ceramics that never fails to please the eye. Perhaps you’ve been inspired by all the blue and white pottery of Portugal?
    What I find so lovely about clay, is imagining a figure, and then magically, it comes out through the tips of your fingers!

    • December 11, 2017 1:49 pm

      Hi Deidre, I’m definitely someone who likes to share info and ideas, so funnily I don’t think of them as secrets. I read plenty on other people’s websites who are generous to share their own techniques so I’m happy to pass mine on too, what goes around etc : )

      Back in my school days we used stoneware and something called ‘kraft Krank’ that could nearly remove you of fingerprints when throwing on the wheel, due to the hard and sharp bits in its make up. I’d still like to try porcelain sometime but the paper clay I’m using right now is pretty good too.

      I’d say the blue and white came down to the fact that I used to be inspired by the Chinese Willow Pattern and also because I just started with one pot ! Thanks for your comments Deidre (as ever). Always good to hear and read. Happy day

  2. December 11, 2017 1:28 pm

    These are all wonderful. I haven’t done kiln fired clay work since I was in High School but I remember the process being very satisfying and I still love the feel of clay in my hands.

    • December 11, 2017 1:55 pm

      Thank you Laura, it is a very therapeutic process. I must admit I’ve often started making not knowing what was going to come out of the end of the day. Sometimes that randomness allows for new things to form and take place. For me it’s important with the ceramic work that it shouldn’t be too prescribed and controlled, as i’m using it as my thinking time-off. Trying to allow the creativity to come naturally rather than being forced or deciding what I’ll make beforehand. Exciting times : )

  3. December 11, 2017 7:23 pm

    Loving your venture into ceramics Craig – more please!! xxxx

    • December 12, 2017 9:16 am

      Cheers Lizzie, there will be more, next year. Hope to catch up soon. Any requests or suggestions undertaken lol

  4. December 11, 2017 9:06 pm

    Thank you Craig, for including me in your post. Your work is FAB, and I look forward to firing your next instalment of birds. Xxxx

    • December 12, 2017 9:15 am

      Thanks Sarah for your constant help and encouragement. Fab to get to spend some time together again : )

  5. Andrew Sliwa permalink
    November 16, 2018 11:26 pm

    Love this stuff … tell me how i can buy ..x

    • November 17, 2018 10:48 pm

      Thank you Andrew, I have a few pieces on and need to add more. If you have an idea what you might be looking for please, let me know and I can send you some photos of what I have available at present. Thank you Craig


  1. Delighted to fire my friends clay | Sllipblog

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