Ann Marie Cooper
My ceramics are crafted from individually hand-rolled clay coils. I build my designs in reverse, placing each coil in or on a plaster or bisque mold--depending on my desired finished form. Once every coil is in place, I add a second layer of coils to lock together the first layer. This second layer of coils also provides a smooth back on wall hangings, or interior on bowls. Once the piece is dry enough to remove from the mold, I flip it over to see the results. Sometimes I crumple it up and return it to the clay bin, but most of the time I celebrate the one-of-a-kind success.
When the work is completely dry, I fire it in an electric kiln to Cone 06 (approx. 1800 degrees), which leaves the clay hard, but porous enough to accept glaze. Following this first, or “bisque” firing, I brush on glaze and then sponge it off, forcing it to pool amongst the coils. After a second firing to Cone 6 (approx. 2200 degrees), the work is vitrified and ready to be displayed—and used—with the glaze between the coils offering a dark sheen which highlights the coil-work. Serving ware is glazed with easy to clean, food safe materials.
I also participate in group wood-firings; an intense, several-day process which delivers very different results than the electric kiln.