The work in this exhibition was all from one strand of Damian’s practice which features a red clay base, a single glaze, two decorative slips and designs abstracted from natural and biological materials or phenomena rendered as dots and circles. The glaze is known as a 'claire de lune' (light of the moon) type. Over a red clay, in natural daylight, due to a light scattering optical effect it appears pale blue. This effect is affected by the thickness of the glaze so the marks of the maker also show up in furrows left by fingers and on edges created by tools.
Each dot or circle is applied individually, using one of the slips, to the pot, by hand. The work is fired to stoneware temperature and is dishwasher and microwave safe.
Damian has been making pottery for over forty years starting with an evening class while studying for his PhD in biology and has had his own studio, wheel and kiln since 1987. He is largely self-taught in throwing and making skills and entirely self-taught in glaze formulation. He has managed to develop, from scratch, a range of stoneware glazes and slips which transform the usual bland electric oxidized surface landscape into a lively and colourful palette with which to decorate his practical domestic forms.
He aims to make things of beauty and utility to enrich our experience of day-to-day life. If you have beautiful crockery even washing-up can be pleasurable. Damian’s background in biology has imbued him with a love of all things natural and he tries to let the natural origins of the materials he uses show through in his work.