A sneak peek behind the scenes at the VN Ceramics pottery studio.
The VN Ceramics pottery studio is based in Hamilton, New Zealand. All shaping, glazing and firing are done on site in the studio.
The raw clay
The raw clay is all hand shaped, either on a pottery wheel or by rolling and shaping by hand. For some pieces, like the Doves, a mold is used to create a symmetric shape that can be joined in two halves – a bit like making an easter egg.
Bisk firing & glazing
The wet clay pieces are bisk fired to dry them out completely. The clay that remains is porous and perfect for applying glaze to. Glaze is what gives stoneware pottery it’s glossy finish and colour. The glaze is applied like paint to the dry ceramic.
The final kiln firing
The glazed pieces are fired again, this time at a much higher temperature. Glaze firings will reach temperatures of between 1180 and 1350 degrees Celcius depending on the clay and glaze used. At these temperatures, the clay and glaze both change chemical composition and vitrify (transform into glass). This results in the finished pieces being impermeable to water and tough enough to withstand daily use.
We have always enjoyed the way Vaughan’s pottery sits at some point where pragmatism and creativity meet. His experiments with glazes on jugs and platters have resulted in visually exciting work while his waka-inspired bowls, and his wire-and-pottery dragonflies, set his work apart.
Robyn & Charles R.