18 1/2 x 18 x 18 inches
stoneware, porcelain, layered glazes, mineral crust, cobalt blue, mirror glaze, gold luster, appended ironstone, agate shard
Gareth Mason, in his own words:
The materials of ceramics have in my view tremendous evocative power. Their melt and colour, their depth, texture and surface tension, are all are replete with communicative potential. I want to give concrete form to the astonishing transformative force that is ceramic experience. I also want to feel. Materials can give so much more than orthodoxy (the rule book) dictates. They have distinctive accents, aromas, flavours, feelings – they are, in all their diversity, way markers on the rocky road to aesthetic arousal.
I am closely acquainted with risk; risk employed mindfully, as a foil to complacency. Firing is not necessarily the final act: I will return work to the furnace repeatedly – re-visiting the canvas – and I am wont to incorporate elements that diverge wildly from the conventional potters palette. This obsessive-compulsive flirtation with disaster keeps me on my toes, alive to the work as it evolves.
Ceramics, of all the arts, has such a plethora of material voices. I treat them as assets, ready for deployment; to speak, whisper, sing or scream as is their wont. Contriving this arcane language is a mysterious process, but one in which I am fully engaged. I treat diverse surface qualities like jazz improvisation, trying out different relationships, energies and moods. I find harmony and dissonance in the fluid conditions that arise under the mercurial influence of fire, and I revel in them both.
The material alchemy of ceramics is both my inheritance and playground. I embrace it wholly. I will never seek to tame the dragon; rather, I work to earn its indulgence.