Tulliallan Demonstrator - Peter Hayes

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One of the major introductions into ceramics was digging Neolithic iron age and Roman samien shards on archeological digs somewhere in Wales while trying to survive as an art student in Birmingham.

I have always been interested in the history of ceramics - why and how 'things' are made of clay.  This interest was extended after I spent several years travelling through Africa working with various tribes and village potters and being intrigued how, with limited technology and basic tools, they were able to get such exquisite, beautiful surfaces. I found the same inherent skills in India, Nepal, Japan and New Mexico.  I tried to adopt the ideas picked up from my travels, in my own work.  By building up layers of textured clay combined with burnishing and polishing of surfaces, trying to achieve opposites of rough and smooth.

I have been working on large scale ceramic forms which have been placed in the landscape.  My main aim is that the work should not compete with the landscape, but evolve within the environment.  With this in mind I have introduced other minerals into the ceramic surface such as iron and copper.  With the elements of time and erosion, the individual piece takes on its own developing surface.

In practice I go by the seat of my pants.  I have always worked this way, not going by any particular rules or methods.  It's the material that is in charge and it will only let you make what it wants.  It is my job to push its limits and somehow an equilibrium is made between maker and material.

Peter will be showing his making and Raku firing processes.  We are planning some hands on Raku as well.

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