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ONE SINGLE FIRING | SODA

 
 

Jack has evolved his practice to use using only one single firing technique. Soda firing is a mix of chemical reactions and personal alchemy. The exciting process involves dissolving sodium bicarbonate with water, which is then sprayed into the gas fuelled kiln at high temperature. The vapour is drawn through the kiln chamber where it reacts with the silica and alumina present in the clay during the white heat of the firing  to create a rich patina of surface texture and colour. Firing with flame and soda is a dynamic way of making ceramics where the kiln is an exciting and essential creative environment.

The resulting vessels combine a finely textured, painterly surface with a seductive palette of turquoise, lemon, cool grey, and russet orange, often showing ghostly shadows of vapour trails from other neighbouring pieces, sprayed and fired beside them in the kiln.

For Jack the kiln is both a practical tool and a creative space. His family groupings of vessels consider how objects can be positioned in a confined space to develop dynamic relationships between the forms and fire.

 
 
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These works to me seemed to be survivors. But not in a defeated sense, more that they had emerged from the ferocity which fire and soda can impart combined, with dignity, to create absolutely bespoke forms and surfaces.
— Dr Michael Moore University of Ulster