Sticks and Stoneware
Exhibition by Creina Moore and Carol Russell
The smell of smoke, as a wood-firer was always pleasurable. The crackle of burning wood was music to my ears, and the results after days of hard work, a joy.
Another face of fire revealed itself in a dramatic event. There was a lightning strike in isolated bushland near to my workshop. The fire spread rapidly wiping out large tracts of native forest. The smoke, the noise and the results were frightening.
This body of work is my response to this catastrophic event and it’s slow recovery.
No longer a wood-firer this work was fired in electric and gas kilns to stoneware temperatures. The “smoke”, grey glaze was fired in the electric kiln. The “burnt”, black glaze, the “renewing”, celadon glaze were fired in long, reduction, gas kiln firings.
My workshop now is ans 1880’s cottage in the city which I share with the woodworker Carol Russell. We collaborated on this exhibition and her influence is evident in my work. I may no longer wood-fire but wood continues to play a major part in my practice.
I’ve always loved being in the bush, collecting sticks and natural objects with interesting shapes and texture. I try to use these elements in my spoons. Every piece of wood is unique, therefor no two spoons are identical. The grain is like finger prints, almost the same but never exactly.
When I make my spoons, I’m aware that each piece of timber carries with it the story of the tree it came from. The character of the grain speaks of diverse landscapes. From high mountain country in Tasmania where King Billy and Huon Pine ca be found, to desert regions in Western Queensland where Mulga, Gidgee and Beefwood grow, hard as iron resilient against the unrelenting heat.
I chose spoons because I love their sensuous, smooth shapes. To me they represent giving, sharing and hospitality. A spoon can be used to serve food or given as a gift. They can be both sculptural and utilitarian.
Where possible i try to use salvaged material or offcuts. I have no desire to see a tree cut down on my behalf, there is so much material available. If you keep your eyes open the greatest discoveries can come from the strangest places.
Carol Russel 2018.