Torquay, Australia | 16 Sales


Torquay, Australia 16 Sales On Etsy since 2013

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Announcement   ichimu | hand made porcelain vessels & wearable art | hand stained, polished, illustrated & glazed

imbued with the passion of the hand that made them


ichimu | hand made porcelain vessels & wearable art | hand stained, polished, illustrated & glazed

imbued with the passion of the hand that made them

fiona mcdonald

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fiona mcdonald

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porcelain, porcelain, porcelain!

i began ichimu about 3 years ago. ichimu means a dream, a fleeting thing… what i am trying to do in my work is to capture a moment or an experience and hold onto it. it’s funny but i suppose that each time a piece is used it creates another experience and another moment is captured within the clay...

my background is in graphic design and i think this definitely informs my ceramic work. i have done a lot of pattern based and surface design as well. i also do some screen printing when i can get into the studio and i think all of these practices overlap visually and cognitively for me as well. i would say i have had a creative journey on the way to ceramics and my current practice definitely benefits from all that has gone before and indeed feeds back into my other creative pursuits as well

i find japanese art and pattern based design intriguing… i love colour and also the absence of colour - white space. a small mark of duck egg blue with an even smaller dot of cerise just sings. i am definitely an asymmetrical type - i prefer odd to even, organic to hard edges, messy to neat. luckily for me my partner encourages all of my pursuits and doesn’t mind the detrius of my work covering most surfaces in our home!

i only ever use porcelain as a clay. i find it responds well to what i am trying to achieve. it has an incredible lightness and translucence and yet its strength is amazing as well. i often stain the porcelain before i create anything from the clay which is quite a meditative process and quite time consuming. i suppose i have two processes going at the moment. one where i push the porcelain to become it’s most thin, most translucent and light and another where i use the clay as a backdrop for quite graphic illustrations. the former are so fine and delicate and the latter are weightier and yet have a lightness given them through the illustrations that adorn them

i use a variety of tools and found objects to achieve the end result. each piece is hand formed from the clay and after drying is bisque fired up to 1000 degrees celcius. this is about 48 hours in the kiln once everything has cooled enough to open the door. after this i sand each piece under water so there is no dust… each piece is then glazed on the interior, illustrated and glazed on the exterior. each colour is applied 3 times to gain the depth i want. they are then returned to the kiln and fired to 1280 degrees. waiting to open the kiln door on the final firing is a test of patience but opening it too soon can cause thermal shock which would damage the items in the kiln

the time taken for each piece varies… the process is very time consuming though. it is so exciting to open the kiln when they are finished and hold each one in my hand. it is so incredibly humbling to be able to to look at each piece and know that it began life as part of our earth!

i am self taught in ceramics and i think this is what allows me to explore the medium in an unfettered way - no rules and no manual really works for me. my interest was rekindled when a friend did a few evenings teaching a small group of us about clay about 3 years ago. kirsty manger who is a formally trained ceramic artist (yum design) has been an amazingly generous mentor for me. i have also found that anyone involved with clay is very keen to share their knowledge and experience. the online community is quite phenomenal and i have found some wonderful instagram and etsy connections. although my formal training is in graphic design and pattern based design i think that it is in clay all of my experiences have culminated

because my work is hand built i love the fact that i can do it anywhere. it is not often that i don’t take a block of clay away on a holiday with me! it is also something that works in around my family. i can do it at the kitchen table and still be available to everyone… typically there are small groups of things i have made in varying states of drying, illustrating, glazing around the house and everyone knows what can be touched and what is at the super delicate stage. it is not often that the kitchen table is completely clear of porcelain or glaze or brushes for a meal 

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