Elements: earth fire
The starting point for Michele's work is always walking and sketching. She's inspired by the forms, patterns and textures in the world around her - the mesh of branches on wintry trees, the geometric patterns in eroded rock faces or the intricate structure of pods, leaves and petals.
In the studio Michele works with a range of stoneware clays and enjoys the way the forms she builds are affected by the differences in structure of these clays. All her pieces are hand built using a range of techniques; pinching, coiling and slab building. Once the initial form is created, it goes through a series of manipulations until she is happy with the shape. The piece is then allowed to dry slowly over several days and during this phase the surface is altered by carving into the clay. The form the carving takes is determined by the shape of the vessel. As the piece gradually dries it is refined by degrees.
Works are glazed using glazes developed and formulated by Michele, allowing subtle adjustments to opacity, colour and texture. The glazes are chosen for their appearance and visual interaction with the clay and are mainly decorative in nature (not food-safe or dishwasher-proof). Pieces are fired two or three times up to a temperature of around 1200c.
For Michele the process of making as an absorbing and intuitive one and she hopes that the finished pieces also become objects of contemplation and enjoyment for others.
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