Beyond the Level House Number 10 - Jennifer Beresford 115 Ditchling Rise
By Katharine Butcher
Introducing myself as a blogger for the Artists Open Houses has been really fascinating as many of the artists have been very helpful when describing their work and the way they make it. One such artist is Debbie Green who hand builds ceremics. She explained to me the process that she uses for her slab pots.
Debbie Green’s slab pot
She slab moulds the clay to begin with, then hangs it over something to get the form - this is called ‘the slump’
Debbie Green’s demonstration of a ‘slump’
It is then all smoothed off before being biscuit fired at 1000 c. This transforms the clay into a ceremic substance. Taking the ceremic shape, she glazes it, fires it again at a higher temperature and then applies the lustre. It is then fired again albeit at a much lower temperature. She says that her favourite bit is applying the lustre as there are lots of lustres that you can use mother of pearl , gold, silver, orange, yellow….the list is endless. Debbie also showed us the effects of a different form of firing whereby she smokes the ceremic pot in a dustbin with combustible material - this gives lovely markings on the pot and on pebbles which she sometimes adds, so giving pretty swirly patterns.
Debbie Green’s smoky pebbles
One of the smoked pots features in a piece of work by Jennifer Beresford who is a classically trained artist who works ‘big’ Her work is mainly 7ft by 4 ft on wood and canvas. Jennifer works with a professional photographer who photographs her work meaning that her work as digital prints can be reproduced to whatever size is needed.
Jennifer Beresford - Aubergines 2013
Part of this house’s exhibits is work by Tara Grant. Her etchings are based on the UK Extinct Short Haired Bumblebee.
Tara Grant - Etchings
Wondering through the house to the garden, my daughter was tickled pink by the pigs in tiaras and considered how they would look in our garden. I would have picked one of Howard Johnston’s wooden sculptures myself but there is no accounting for taste.
Howard Johnston’s wooden sculpture