The Ashmolean Museum shop has some beautiful things for sale, including pottery by local artist Jacky Mahony. In this blog post she describes her work – the process, her inspiration, and her design.
I am inspired by a love of nature and the unpredictable results of high fired kilns. My ceramics use labour intensive methods and simple technologies to explore and represent natural landscapes.
I experiment with taking impressions from wild and garden plants and focus on details such as stem, fruit or seed head. Sprigs like those of Josiah Wedgwood are made from these for use on porcelain.
Inspired by Scottish lochs and Hebridean beaches, my crank stoneware dishes capture distant views. Hand-building and glazing methods allow the plates to form their own shapes and surface qualities.
Raw materials and Copper Reds
I incorporate into my work locally gathered raw materials including ashes often supplied by the sitting room fire. The trace elements produce a complex glaze. I develop my own glazes and discovered that my ‘Ash Crackle’ glaze can produce the elusive ‘copper red’. By reducing the air in the kiln atmosphere the starved combustion process draws oxygen from oxides in the clay and glazes effecting chemical change. With the right glaze ingredients there is a dramatic colour change in copper oxide from green to red. In the volatile atmosphere a pink blush may also transfer to other pots.
These beautiful designs – and more – are available in the museum’s shop, which is open at the same time as the museum: 10am-5pm Tuesday to Sunday. Why not pop along and browse