CERAMICS
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Peter Hayes
Landscapes, textures and beachcombing all play their part in the evolution of my work. I try to achieve opposites of rough and smooth by building up layers of textured clay combined with burnishing and polishing of surfaces. Similarly, leaving pieces in the sea at Cornwall or riverbed next to the studio is a crucial part of the making process. The salts in the seawater oxidises the copper and the verdigre transports into the white clay body to give a greeny/blue 'blush' and a natural random element to the work.

In practice I go by the seat of my pants. I have always worked this way, not going by any particular rules or methods. For instance, I like doing raku firing with completely the 'wrong' clay, which I know will crack or explode in the kiln (especially when wet). But when all the pieces are stuck together and the surfaces are ground down it gives me a piece, a found object, with a pleasingly bruised and battered surface which has been carefully and lovingly honed down.

I find it joyful to work with many different clays, from bone china to crank. Each has its own character, its own limits, and its own tolerance. Some clays fight back, some play the game. I think it is the clay that is in charge and it will only let you make what it wants. It is my job to push it to its limits and somehow an equilibrium is made between maker and material.
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