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ABOVE Pink bowls on stand

Anne James

Anne's first workshop was set up in Gloucestershire in 1976 where she made domestic stoneware and later, small decorative pieces in high fired porcelain. In 1985 she became interested in raku and smoked lustres, and worked with glazed raku for a time. Anne's present work is unglazed raku, thrown and slab built in a fine porcelain clay. It is covered with coloured slips and burnished. Burnishing is the process of polishing the clay when it is firm but before firing, with a smooth tool such as a pebble or spoon. The pieces are then biscuit fired to 1000c and decorated with resin lustres – mixes of resins and precious metals such as gold, platinum and silver. The lustres are applied by painting, printing and resist techniques. The pots are fired again in a small electric kiln to about 800c, taken out while still red hot and smoked with sawdust. Many pieces are fired and smoked several times with layers of lustres being added each time.

Anne's ideas come from many sources including the traditions of pot making which use burnishing, such as the African, Native American and Mediterranean civilizations. Anne's interest in textiles has influenced the surface of the pots, particularly tribal and nomadic embroideries and weaving of Africa, Japan and India. Objects from ethnographic collections, tools such as axe heads etc. and at the other end of the scale, modern architecture, sculpture, landscape and natural forms are all influences and, over the years, many sketchbooks provide reference and inspiration.


Galleries: 
Candover Gallery, Hampshire
The Stour Gallery, Warwickshire 
Bettles Gallery, Hampshire
Contemporary Ceramics, London 
 

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