All of my work is hand-thrown or hand-built of Canadian, UK, or Jingdezhen porcelain, hand-painted in their entirety by brush. Media are layered and fired in multiple firings to build texture and patina and showcase the luminosity of the materials. A personal interpretation of traditional media.
The over-glaze media include Western golds, platinum, and copper lustre and traditional Chinese over-glaze enamels (gucai, fencai and xincai). Chinese gold and silver also feature. Over-glazes are hand-painted by brush on top of the fired glaze and re-fired at low temperatures in multiple firings, often 5-7 firings to complete.
Mixed media features doucai, literally “contrasting colour”, the combining of two techniques and materials - under-glaze blue and white (quinhua) and over-glaze enamel (gucai, fencai and xincai). The under-glaze media are hand-painted on bone-dry ware, prior to high fire glaze firing. Over-glazes, all hand-painted, are applied over the glazed work and re-fired at low temperatures in multiple firings.
Under-glaze Blue and White: Quinhua
Under-glaze blue and white, qunihua, is for me the “sumi ink” of porcelain decoration in that its versatility ranges from formal/structured 2D line-work to loose, free nuanced 3D wash rendering. The traditional hand-ground media is hand-painted by brush with line media and graded washes using the "chicken head" brush on bone dry clay, under the glaze prior to reduction gas firing.
Celadon is a classification of luminous iron rich glaze considered by many to be the jade of ceramics. Celadon glazes require reduction firing (gas, wood) and feature a palette from grey and pale blues to rich blue-greens, olive green and amber, often used to highlight carving and sculptural qualities.
A non-traditional abstract interpretation of traditional media, rendered to bring out the natural luminosity and effervescence of glass-like water-based over-glaze media (gucai, fencai) to build textile-like surface texture.
The Chrysanthemum is traditionally a male symbol – the peony female. In my work it is also expressive of the inherent goodness and virtue of life, which includes human beings and the phenomenal world - iconographically radiating and gathering with the energetic qualities and warmth of the sun.
The flower design is to personify “basic goodness” as the fundamental innate nature of human beings and life. Goodness here does not mean good vs. bad. Rather, it references the profound vulnerability of human beings that is awake, tender and fresh - open, before thought, before fear; and, the depth of perception open to the direct experience and appreciation of life's constituents - the natural world, daily activities, environments, and others. Basic goodness signifies intrinsic sacredness.
The Warrior series features a crossed arrowhead icon signifying the bravery of the human spirit - fearlessness to step beyond one's fear. Warrior here means bravery in being vulnerable - non-aggression; opening the heart, sharing oneself, not holding oneself back from others, the ground of generosity. The richness of the media is intended to express the warmth and richness of the heart of a warrior, being without hesitation.
To me, any object that empowers daily living is a ritual object in that rituals are normal activities infused with appreciation and a taste of sacredness - worthwhileness, meaning and power. Objects can structure body protocols and focus attention to beauty in a moment that we might miss in the haste of life. Many of my works are conceived as ritual object, but those featured here have particular iconographical meaning. My work draws from diverse iconographical traditions. Some of the works shown in the Ritual Category are informed by Buddhist and Shambhala iconography and aesthetic principles, two distinct yet inter-related traditions - Shambhala a secular-cultural spiritual tradition.