Tag Archives: ceremonial vessel

Wild Pottery and Ceramic Fixation

Wild Pottery in the woods of Sussex –   a  weekend course in primitive pot making.


After harvesting the clay from the banks of a running stream at  Wapsbourne Farm, it was mixed with some pre-prepared grog (biscuit fired clay that has been ground to a powder) and fashioned into pots using your hands while sitting on logs around the camp fire which was created from wood foraged from the surrounding woods. The primitive technique used were similar to the methods employed by the ancient Romans. The simple procedure employing the most basic resources is outlined below.


 Harvesting clay from the stream at the WoWo campsite in Sussex, England





 Making the pots. Course leader Ruby Tayor provides Roman-style tools: chicken bones and sharpened sticks for shaping the pots and creating patterns on their surfaces





 Once the pots have been made, they’re left to dry for a week before firing

 Pottery being fired in a woodland fire in Sussex :



 Before the firing, the pots are placed around the edge of the fire warm up so the extreme heat change doesn’t damage them





 A platform is built over the embers of the fire to stack the pots on for the firing





 The pots are stacked tightly at the centre of the fire





As the fire burns up through the platform the sticks catch fire. Sticks are piled up around the pots to keep the heat in.





Pots are temporarily blackened by the flames




 The pots cool in the dying fire





Milk can be used to glaze the inside of the hot, newly fired pots, making them less porous





Frederika Whitehead-475x317

 Final inspection

Photographs above : Frederika Whitehead/Guardian

wild pottery

Wild Pottery

 Native Hands wild pottery course

Ceramic Fixation


A certain degree of fixation and obsession is needed to get any creative project up. Even more so if you are forging new techniques and methods and being lead along an inspirational path to your fulfilment. Sometimes that intense focus can lead to attachment. Michael James Hawk from artblog explored the psychology of attachment for an artist : “ You dive into a piece, the piece gets invested over a long period of time with your skill and passion, sweat and blood (and precious dollars). You begin to identify with the piece as a parcel of your thinking, your intelligence; an extension of your corpus. Pride swells on the brain: pride of creation, pride of ownership.

The symbology (content) itself maybe gripping or stunning enough to send you, the artist, into otherworldy states (artist as audience). Anthropomorphic pieces further trick the brain into subconscious attachments and associations, such is the power of mimesis of the human face, body and gestural expressions.
When it’s finally time to divest of the piece — when that decision has been made — often it is difficult to let it go, so great are the attachments.”

Koan for the day: when an artist gives away their Art, into that dry arms-length marketplace, remember the pain of their bodily spiritual divestment.”

Conversely, in some instances an artist is glad to release their creation and get closure so they can get back to a normal routine or maybe embrace the joy of starting another project. Then again they might just want to recoup their investment and pay the rent.
Below is a random collection of different innovations in clay from ancient to modern that might have resulted from inspired fixation.



Zuni jar-466x410

Zuni jar –  earthenware, white slip, pigments

New Mexico,USA   c.1880

Cincinnati Art Museum





Mervyn Gers Koi swim ceramic

Mervyn Gers – Koi swim ceramic plates

Monumental Minton vase

Monumental Minton vase – height 24.5 “

( Treadway Toomey )

Sculptural vase Andrew Van Assche

Sculptural geometric vase  – Andrew Van Assche



 Let it rock :


 Kristine Tillge Lund Copenhagen, Denmark



Kristine Tillge Lund  Rocking ceramic bottle

Kristine Tillge Lund  rocking a ceramic bottle

( http://konsthopp.wordpress.com/ )





Kristine Tillge Lund Vase,-ceramics

Kristine Tillge Lund Vase






Tile project by Kristine Tillage Lund

Tile project by Kristine Tillage Lund





400 year old pottery village sculpture of Sydney Opera House

 Vietnamese sculpture of Sydney Opera house – The artisans from the 400 year old Thanh Ha village spent two months making this piece.

Fangyi - Ceremonial  Wine Vessel

Chinese Fangyi – Ceremonial  Wine Vessel

 ( the original wine cask ? )



Green Gio Ponti table lamp

Green Gio Ponti table lamp




The Porcelain Sculpture Kate MacDowell

Root Hound  – Kate MacDowell porcelain sculpture

Moser Karlsbad elephant vase

Moser Karlsbad elephant vase – 20th century

( Heritage Auctions )



Steve Young Lee,-Cups Panel

Steve Young Lee,-Cups Panel





Steven Young Lee, Vase

Deformed vase with scroll pattern – Steve Young Lee





Familia Terracotta Teapot Set by Normann, Copenhagen

Designer Ole Jensen




ai_weiwei_cola vase


Culture clash – Coca Cola Vase (1997). A vase from the Neolithic Age (5000 – 3000 BCE) with a Coca Cola logo from the 50’s

From Ai Weiwei’s  Dropping the Urn exhibition.

Nils Thorsson for Royal Copenhagen

Ceramic bottle by Nils Thorsson for Royal Copenhagen





Chewing Gum - Haidar Maidh

Chewing Gum – Haidar Maidh





Emilio Casarotto abstract sculptures

Emilio Casarotto abstract sculptures





Eva-Champagne - ceramic wall sculpture

Eva-Champagne – ceramic wall sculpture

 Hybridized biomorphic sculptures highlighting the infinite varieties and unifying order that occur within the natural world.





FOGLIO - Brian Sironi

FOGLIO – Brian Sironi, Italy




FOGLIO- Brian Sironi vase

FOGLIO – Brian Sironi slab built vase






FOGLIO – Brian Sironi slab built vase





Inalco stoneware porcelain wood textured tiles

Inalco stoneware porcelain wood textured tiles, Spain





Stoneware porcelain textured wall tiles from Spain

 Inalco stoneware porcelain textured wall panels.





Metavoid by Akiyama Yo

Metavoid by Akiyama Yo





Takuro Kuwata vase

Takuro Kuwata vase





pottery Ganesh statue

Pottery in India – making a Ganesha statue




Stephen Bird - Persian blue shoot out

Stephen Bird –  Persian blue shoot out “





Modernist ceramic bathroom furniture ( Basin, bidet, toilet ) – Ceramica FLAMINIA, Viterbo, Italy




Automotive cookie jar  Mainly Art

Automotive cookie jar – Mainly Art




Buick Le Sabre-clay modelling

1951 Buick Le Sabre clay model




1951 Buick Le Sabre

A 1951 Buick Le Sabre

Archaic ritual vessel (Greece )

Archaic ritual vessel (Greece )

 Kangxi Style  Double Moon Flask

Chinese Kangxi Style  Double Moon Flask