I made this piece from a variety of clays and inscribed the decoration by scratching through the surface layers of oxides and clay between firings (a process know as sgraffito).
After its final firing I polished it with wax.
17 × 5.5 × 5 cm
The really tricky part was working out if the piece would balance and rock after the clay had dried and been fired. The kiln gods were again kind to me and on a smooth surface the bird rocks for some time.
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Many of my ceramics start with a narrative that’s either imagined, half remembered, carefully researched or commissioned.
My output is low and slow. I will occasionally return to a theme but, unless specifically designed as a set, every piece I create is totally unique.
I am always interested in taking on commissioned work especially of a commemorative nature.
A love of whimsy, folk art, religious and tribal art and my background as an illustrator, all go into the mix.
I work with a variety of clays into which I often add other fragments of additional material.
These ”inclusions” plus the use of oxides and multiple firings add to the alchemy and often give the clay a distressed or patinated surface.
Once described as “Possibly one of the UK’s most successful illustrators that no-one has ever heard of” Derek Matthews has worked for a raft of top flight clients from Tokyo to Toronto. The Snappy series of children’s books he illustrated sold more than 13 million copies worldwide including a number one American best seller.
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