Materials:Stoneware; China clay and Devon ball clay
Method: Hand built; modelled and carved
Care: Dust lightly
The bowl-forms are hand built — coiled and carved — by esteemed ceramicist Paul Philp in his home studio in Bath, UK. The time-consuming process of building each piece by hand gives the artist control over the material to create the unique forms of the vessels. The combination of precise edges, an unconventional shape and a subtly intricate tactile quality exemplify Philp’s distinct awareness and mastery of material, form and surface texture.
The remarkable texture of the vessels result from repeated high-temperature firings. The body of the pieces are bisque fired before various mixtures of clay and sand are repeatedly applied and fired at around 1000°C. Layers of thick China and Devon ball clay slip, and plain stoneware wood-ash glaze is applied around the rim. A wash of black oxide is applied to the rough sandy textures on the body. The final firing is completed at white heat (1260°C).
The textured surface and understated colour of the vessel embody a serene and antiquarian quality conveying Philp’s interest in ancient culture, oriental art, geology and the natural world.
About the Artist
Paul has been working with clay for over forty years and over that time has experimented with a variety of materials and techniques, some of which have never been tried before. This has resulted in equal measures of delight and frustration as some attempts work and others fail. It’s not an easy task especially as each of his pieces face, what he calls an “unknown future”, as various “breakdowns” (unpredictable cracks and fissures) occur as they are fired multiple times in the kiln. However, this is all part of Paul Philp’s unique creative process. It’s very important to him that each of his pieces develop into something that have their own individual character and identity. He wants them to have a life beyond him and soon after he starts to create them, they should continue on a journey of their own. We are attracted to this idea and hope that as owners and inheritors of his pieces that they will continue their journey in our own homes and beyond.