Sandra Bowkett - Firebox #1, 2021


In maintaining my woodfired kiln, bricks have been replaced. These salvaged bricks, often broken in the removal process began to interest me. Each brick tells the story of its place in the kiln. The brick that held the firebox arch encrusted with dark pitted metallic like material; arch bricks covered in a grassy green fluid glaze that is molten ash that melts and remelts with each firing to light open textured insulating bricks further from the firebox that have taken on subtle colour changes where exposed to flame. The intensity of temperature and kiln atmosphere are written in the material.

The work tool became an object. I found the variety of textures, colour and the form ratios of 9 x 4.5 x 3 inches appealing. *note, metric dimensions just don’t work for bricks.

I began to glaze these bricks to take equal place with work I usually fire in this kiln. I used existing fired lines to guide the glaze application with the intent of enhancing marks made by the fire, re-glazing and re-firing many often. Forms became related series, transforming into geological cross sections, snowy and shadowy mountain tops in my imagination.

Woodfired Into Lightness
5 April - 14 May 2022
Members Vitrine Gallery

Sandra Bowkett's ceramic journey has moved from the Australian Japanese/European aesthetic student years, colourful tableware of the 80s and 90’s including a period of obsessive decal detail, then a period of simple porcelain vessels decorated in elemental oxide motifs. Since 2002 she has worked with Rajastani potters and in 2012 these connections lead to a three month Asialink residency. This time was pivotal to her current practice. Under tutoring from village potters a new way of making lead to a loosening aesthetic of thrown forms and was also the catalyst for building her wood firing kiln, the newest element in her work.

Materials: ceramic

Dimensions: variable - each installation is shown within a dedicated space of 45cm W x 52cm H x 36cm D

Photographer: Annika Kafcaloudis

Please note this work is part of Sandra Bowkett's exhibition now showing at Craft in the Members Vitrine Gallery until 14 May 2022. Purchased works will be available for collection after this date.

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