Introducing Avril Cairncross’s Raku Pots with Spouts and Pots with Pendants to the Old School Gallery.
Avril’s passion for Raku ware, and for the process through which the patterns are formed, are embedded in her work. In Avril’s own words:
“The pots are thrown with a porcelain body, modified to withstand the thermal shock of the raku firing, and decorated with a technique known as ‘naked raku’, so-called because a resist slip is applied to the burnished biscuit-fired surface before glazing. After firing and reducing in sawdust the hardened glaze cracks away like slender pieces of eggshell, leaving behind a silky white surface with smokey veins and dots. Each firing is different, and every pot unique. Sometimes the surface patterns are disappointing, heavy, unbalanced. So they go in the bin or are occasionally re-glazed and fired again. But then at other times you wash off the powdery surface of the still-warm pot and something meltingly beautiful appears, as a gift. That’s what I love. It’s the result of a partnership between the clay, the fire, the smoke, the conditions on the day and the potter getting out of the way.”