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ABOVE Slant vessels, Sang de boeuf
  • LEFT Manganese black soft spined vessel

Sara Flynn

Sara graduated from the Crawford College of Art, Cork (BA Hons) in 1998 and has been working with porcelain exclusively since then.

Each piece is initially thrown on a wooden bat on the wheel, with care taken to create a sharp silhouette and pure form. From this point the vessel is allowed to dry for an hour or two to ‘firm up’ the surface and create enough tension to allow for the piece to be altered without fear of collapse. Getting the timing right for this is crucial to the success of the piece.

Some pieces are altered by the use of either a polished wooden tool or a spoked wheel, dragged in one confident action across the form creating separate ‘plaien’, curves and contours. Other pieces are pushed and pressed to form either a sharp or soft ‘spine’. From here another series may also develop, by cutting out the pressed section and refining the resulting opening. A combination of sharp metal knives and kidneys and soft wooden paddles and points are used to refine the finished surface, scraping and polishing to achieve to desired contours and edges.

The pieces are allowed to dry further and then wired and placed on plaster to aid even drying between rim and base. When the pieces are dry enough they are placed on the wheel resting on their rims. (Due to the fineness of the rims and to protect their integrity, the pieces are sometimes placed on the wheel on sponge or ‘soft’ wooden bats.) At this point the footrings are created using a process called ‘turning’, taking care to finish with a clean ledge which will act as a point to stop the glaze.

All work is first fired in an electric kiln to 1000 degrees centigrade at which point it is ready for glazing. Glazes are applied by spraying which allows for great control of thickness of application, vital as the porcelain demands precision. The work is then fired in a gas kiln to 1280 degrees centigrade with a ‘reduced’ atmosphere created in the kiln chamber at 1000 degrees to create the ‘sang-de-boeuf’(copper), dark metallic (cobalt and manganese) and ‘celadon’ (iron) glazes. This glaze firing takes 9-10 hours.

The kiln is ‘crash-cooled’ to 1000 degrees and then closed again to cool overnight. 
The vessels are finished by polishing the bases with wet & dry sandpaper, resulting in smooth footrings.
Work is held in public collections in Ireland and U.S.A.


2007 ‘CCOI @ SOFA Chicago’, Chicago, Il, U.S.A.
2007 ‘Side by Side’, Hunt Museum, Limerick
2007 ‘Seomra’, SEMA, Paris.
2007 ‘Ballade Irlandaise’, Galerie Embargo, Paris
2007 ‘Autumn Exhibition’ The Stour Gallery, Warwickshire.
2006 ‘Internationally Local’, Keane on Ceramics, Kinsale.
2006 ‘Collectors Event’, Hunt Museum, Limerick.
2006 ‘Collect@NCG’, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny.
2005 ’Collectors Event’, Hunt Museum, Limerick.
2005 ‘Not Just Pots!’, National Museum of Ireland.
2005 ‘Element’, Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford.
2005 “Review 00-04”, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny.
2005 ‘RED’. The Old Sorting Office, Barnes , London.
2005 ‘Forty Shades of Green’, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork
2004 ‘Collect@NCG’, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny.
2002 ‘OF Colour in Craft’, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny.
2002 ‘Irish Designers @ Habitat’, Habitat, Dublin.
1998 ‘Ceramics’, West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen.

Office of Public Works, Farmleigh House, Dublin.
National Museum of Ireland, Dublin
Columbus State University, Georgia, U.S.A.
Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork.
Department of Foreign Affairs (Foreign Embassies Collection)


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