Maria de Haan
Maria de Haan
Maria De Haan is a highly acclaimed English Ceramicist. We are more than privileged to be showcasing Maria's new collection of smoked pots. Maria explains," the idea you use fire to decorate a pot is absolutely fascinating to me, each pot has its own unique journey in the fire and I love the whole process from start to finish.
Her smoked pots are all hand thrown on the wheel using a mixture of white bodied clays with her most recent collection in a stunning porcelain mix. The pieces are all smoke fired in the countryside using natural ingredients. This is an organic method which utilises the elements of fire, smoke and natural materials.
The vessels are first low fired in an electric kiln so they are strong enough to withstand the smoke firing but still porous. They are then layered in a primitive outdoor metal container. The kiln is packed with sawdust and wood shavings for fuel, in addition, various combustibles are added such as salt, leaves, seaweed, fruit, vegetables. Each pot is stacked one by one with different materials surrounding them.
Once the kiln is packed a fire is built on top and the fire ignited, the vessels are left to the serendipity of the flames and smoke. The pots then smoulder in the kiln overnight until the fuel is completely reduced to ashes, whatever has been burning around the pot is absorbed into the clay producing beautiful markings. Whilst we can influence the atmosphere of the kiln, no vessel’s fire marks can ever be reproduced making each piece unique.