In the mix.
I had a total ignorance of ceramics, OK, I was aware that you shaped them and cooked them in a kiln, Sandy soon put this right by explaining some of the processes to me.
Sandy didn’t come to North Devon by accident. Appledore is a beautiful historic port, nestled at the mouth of an estuary. Whilst searching an ordinance survey map, she discovered there were a number of clay pits in the vicinity, Meeth in particular being a good site for natural clay – apparently there are very few in Japan. It was discovered that the silt on the river banks in Appledore made interesting glazes, with different hues being produced when collected from different river locations. The decision was made. Sandy moved to Appledore , originally having a studio in her home. As her work became more sought after, the Old Glove Factory, Appledore, was purchased, making an ideal venue for a large working Studio, Museum and Gallery.
There are three kilns in Sandy’s enormous, light and airy studio, two smaller electric and an enormous gas powered device, which can been seen in the photo above, with Sandy standing beside. She had just opened it, to give me a peek at one of her recently commissioned works. This particular piece is a ceramic bell, the bronze original of which can be found on the riverside at Appledore. To read more about the bell follow the link to one of my previous blogs Time and Tide Bell The gas kiln reaches a temperature of 1280oc the object inside needs a slow even heat, which is reached over a period of 18 hrs, with a further 24 hours needed for it to cool down. As Sandy herself informed me “the process of ceramics is a mixture of chemistry, physics, biology, maths and alchemy” all of which are beyond me, so I will leave it at that.