BRIAN O'NEILL CERAMIC VESSELS
I find great satisfaction working with basic raw materials that can
be coaxed and nurtured into objects that have shape and
balance - a rhythm in their proportion and surface texture.
It is my hope that some of these universal rhythms of nature are
embodied in my pieces, evoking
the simple strengths that reside in stone and the natural landscape.
Most of my forms are vessels. While not always “functional” in the traditional sense, each piece has an interior and an exterior - much like all of us. The visible form and the more hidden space inside is an anthropomorphic relationship I enjoy exploring.
Each piece comes into existence and develops a personality as it evolves.
Whether the piece is symmetrical as in a sphere and cylinder, or an assembly of shapes, each begins on the wheel. I use a very coarse
Once I’ve finished assembling and shaping the piece, it is set aside to dry. I then scrape the entire piece to pull out the texture of the clay body, and other stone or matter I may add to the clay. The piece is then bisque fired to make it durable enough to handle. I apply various oxides (colorants) either by rubbing or brushing on
the surface of the piece.
Then slips (liquid clay), engobes (a slip/glaze mixture), or glazes are applied. I slowly build up layer upon layer, by “drybrushing” onto the surface of the piece.
My work is fired to over 2000 degrees, which converts the somewhat fragile bisqued clay to stone - hence the name “stoneware”.
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