New pots by Ashley Keller Art

Ashley Keller

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Hi everyone! It has been awhile since I posted, so I thought to share an update on some of my recent work that is currently available for sale.

I have been experimenting with a Japanese "mishima" style carving technique to create very fine line-work that is combined with hand-painting on the surface of my pots. I have always had a soft spot for antique painted bonsai pots and feel so much pride to be able to begin producing work inspired from this. Combining my love of bonsai pottery with painting is very exciting.

Imagery can be difficult to produce on pottery due to the high temperatures to which it must be fired. Traditional glazes are made from silica (a glass former) which moves and melts during firing. Other applications of imagery include brushwork with underglaze, however due to the porous nature of pottery, it can be very difficult to produce fine lines.

My pots are made with a white, porcelaneous stoneware clay that vitrifies when fired to ~2250 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a Korean carving knife, the drawing is first carved into semi-wet clay (called leather-hard clay) after the pot has been thrown on the wheel. The carving is inlaid with black underglaze and the pot is then fired to a semi-porous state. After the first firing, I sand the pot to remove any rough spots from the carving and hand-paint the surface with underglaze colours that have been modified to create a watercolour-like effect. These help to create depth and bring life to the initial line work. Finally, the painting is sealed with a clear glaze and fired again to its final temperature. The clear glaze application must be done very delicately so as to not disturb the underpainting. After the firing, the depth of the carving disappears and only the image remains.

I would be happy to answer any questions about the technique, please feel welcome to comment. I have included a few process photos as well.

These pieces are currently available for sale on my website www.ashleykellerpottery.com with international shipping available at checkout.

Process photos

carving.jpg . after-bisque-inlay.jpgpainting.jpg

After Glaze Firing – More photos and details available on my website

ashley-keller-bonsai-pot-8.jpgashley-keller-bonsai-pot-9.jpgashley-keller-bonsai-pot-14.jpgashley-keller-bonsai-pot-17.jpgashley-keller-bonsai-pot-38.jpgashley-keller-bonsai-pot-40.jpg
ashley-keller-bonsai-pot-46.jpg


This last photo is not mishima, but it was another favourite that I recently hand-painted. You can see the difference in the linework (loose and flowy).
 

coh

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Nice pots! Will definitely be keeping an eye on your website.
 

Mike Hennigan

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Gorgeous work!!! I’ve just started making my own pots, you work is a real inspiration. The level of attention to detail is astounding.
 

Ashley Keller

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Gorgeous work!!! I’ve just started making my own pots, you work is a real inspiration. The level of attention to detail is astounding.
Thank you so much. If I can make any suggestion to an aspiring ceramic artist, keep progress photos as you go. You will be amazed how quickly your work will evolve. I look back at what I was making, even only a year ago, and it is incredible how much my work has changed.
 

Crawforde

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Great stuff.
I will be looking at your site!
 
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