Stoneware enables me to achieve my goals as a potter
With its strength, particular texture and colour tone, stoneware enables me to achieve my goals as a potter.
Artisanship, with its starting point in pottery, is fundamental in my work with clay. I readily acknowledge the tradition to which the craft belongs, and am preoccupied with simplification, form and function in relation to the characteristics of stoneware.
In order to achieve the desired iridescence in the clay and glaze, the work is reduction fired with gas at 1300°C, allowing the flames to bring out the nuances in each piece. Thus, along with the various decoration techniques and three glazes I use, countless possibilities are created.
Ceramics is a broad and exciting field with a long history and an endless variety of production methods and means of expression. Within my special field as a stoneware potter, I am still confronted by challenges and continue to enjoy my work.
The masking method has come after the time at the art academy in Warsaw.
When the object has been trimmed to its final form, it is bisc-fired once at 1000°C, making it easier to handle, but still porous enough to absorb glaze and colour. Then the pattern is sketched onto the surface. Here, too, Sigrid Hovmand is very careful to make sure that the pattern suits the object’s form.
Next the object is covered with masking tape and latex that can be removed along the way, and finally colour oxides and ochre are applied with a spray gun. After the desired result has been obtained, the object, like the rest of her work, is reduction-fired in the gas kiln at 1300°C - that is to say, fired with an oxygen deficiency. The resulting decoration can either be very simple or highly complex, depending om the amount of masking and tones of colour used.
Inlayed clay - intarsia
Intarsia means the inlaying of another material or colour to compose the motif. Sigrid Hovmand lays coloured clay into grooves that have been cut into the object’s leather-hard body. The moment at which this is done is very important because the clay must contain the correct amount of moisture in order to avoid shrinkage between the colours during the following firing process.
The result is a precise, taut expression that has roots deep in the history of pottery and reflects a timeless quality rather than some superficial trend.