Working with clay has been the central force in my creative life over the past 35 years. My other great interests, gardening and plants have been my main source of inspiration. The geometry in nature, from the way the leaves of succulent plants curve into a sharp edge, to the full rounded forms of seeds, have had a great influence on my work. I like to let this inspiration percolate through me, and let the ideas come out in my own individual way rather than try to imitate what I see.
I am attracted to the sharpness of straight lines with the tautness of curves springing from them. I like to develop ideas by making subtle changes to what has come before and by so doing, I am led in a new direction. I enjoy this organic way of working and it is the reason I go out to my workshop each day.
I use coils and slabs to hand build the form, then, gradually scrape back the surface until I have achieved symmetry and a resolution. A layer of fine clay -Terra Sigillata - is applied and then the surface is polished to a fine sheen.
I feel that the amount of time involved in the coiling process and the attentive handling of the clay, imparts a transferred intensity and presence into the finished piece.
A pattern made with paper resist is applied and then the work is smoke fired. After this, the paper is peeled off to reveal the coloured surface underneath and then a wax polish is applied. The smoking creates an aged and metallic effect. Through this process, my aim is to get a finish that has a depth to it and to achieve an integration of surface and form.
Alison Kay Curriculum Vitae