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Emmeline Butler



about the work

Emmeline’s work is wheel-thrown. She throws a basic cylinder on the wheel to shape the top and bottom. Whilst the wheel turns, she holds a pointed stick tool against the clay, running it up and down to create diagonal lines on the pot.

A liquid sodium silicate solution is applied to the areas of the pot to create cracked texture. Then dried a little with a heat gun. The sodium silicate forms a harder surface on the outside of the pot.

Not wanting to disturb the outer texture, Emmeline then shapes the pot from the inside. With a harder surface on the outside, the clay cracks rather than stretches, producing a unique textured pattern with each throw.

With some final shaping of the top and bottom of the pot, the work is dried and then biscuit-fired to 1000'C.

Once cooled, Emmeline paints different coloured oxides and body stains into the pot’s cracked textures. If lustre is to be added, a transparent glaze is applied to the cracks where the lustre is to show. Once dried again, the pot is fired for a second time to about 1200'C. For those with lustre, two paints of coats of either gold or platinum lustre are added to the transparent glaze. And then a final firing to 725'C.

The work is not glazed or fired high, but it is sealed with a water sealant to make it watertight. However, would not be considered to be food safe.

the artist

Emmeline Butler

Emmeline's wheel-thrown ceramics are all about texture – you have to feel them to fully appreciate them. Her love of nature and the countryside greatly influences her work, with natural textures reflected by deep fissures in the surface patterns of her ceramics.

She uses a rough clay which gives a wonderful feel to the finished pieces and compliments the cracked surfaces created on the outside. Her textured ceramics are themed to limestone pavements and moorland habitats; some of her pieces include flashes of gold lustre, reminiscent of the geological seams beneath our feet. Her recent work is water themed, coloured blue with streaks of platinum lustre representing the sparkling light glinting off the water's surface.

Emmeline Butler
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