11. John Stewart Ceramics
Slip cast, decaled earthenware and wood fired kiln.
– John Stewart –
114 Stewarts Rd, Clunes
Our home is surrounded by our garden, and our garden is a bird’s paradise. Hardly a day goes by without experiencing a “bird event”: the pair of Cat Birds waking us up every morning for months…then gone; the cacophony of sound from every bird around when a Carpet Snake decides to traverse the canopy; the Honey Eaters – Blue Faced, Yellow Eyed, and the rest; the seasonal comings and goings of curiosities such as the Channel Billed Cuckoo and the Storm Bird, and of course the Cookaburra – first to rise and last to go to bed!
The garden and birds are the inspiration and focus of my work – and our home comes with one common structure – power poles and wires – for which our feathered friends have adopted as one of their perching options.
I use photography as a vehicle for design. My intentions are primarily focused on the essential information and the dynamics of the image – and how this dynamic is enhanced by the form to which it is applied. “Power Lines and Cockatoos” offers a clear insight into this approach. The power lines, while straight in the original photograph, develop a captivating curvature when wrapped around the cylindrical vase. This produces a clean, minimalist environment to highlight the beautiful silhouetted forms of cockatoos in flight. The digital removal of extraneous background information is also key to my design approach.
This body of work is slip cast white earthenware. The images employ a ceramic toner laser printer to produce water-slide decals. These are applied to the glazed surface and fired to 840 degrees Celsius. This temperature is critical – the image will become part of the glaze surface without loosing image definition.