Dialogue 2014 – Zvartava
INTERNATIONAL ART SYMPOSIUM
17-28 June 2014
Zvartavas castle , Gaugiena, Latvia
I’ve never been to Latvia before. Latvia reminds me of Sweden, the plants, the air, and cleanness in the nature (and let’s not forget the cold)
We were there during Mid summer (Ligo) with long days and great light, scene that I’ve never seen elsewhere. Being in the nature so isolated and away from the internet is also very refreshing.
10 pm and still not dark.10 pm and still not dark.
There were about 30 participants in the symposium from Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, USA, Turkey and Thailand. Some work with porcelain painting and some make ceramic sculpture. There was a theme which I didn’t follow , animal, .. I’ve never made an animal so I just made my “domestic ware” series.
work in progress, the clay body is light stoneware with lots of grog. i painted red earthenware enboge on one side.work in progress, the clay body is light stoneware with lots of grog. i painted red earthenware enboge on one side.
the clay is very easy to handle, fast to build. so this piece was finished on the second day.the clay is very easy to handle, fast to build. so this piece was finished on the second day.
the second piece, quite small and a bit different in approach.the second piece, quite small and a bit different in approach.
Thanks to the bad weather, we were very productive. After I finished the 2 sculptures I started to pinch a small cup. I like to make pinch pot at the moment. There’s something interesting in the process. How slow and repetitive it is. I’ll start with a certain amount of clay and never add nor trim the cup. Zvartava is a perfect place to do this, especially in my corner. I’d sit beside the window and look outside, dreamt of a sunny day. Whenever it shine, I’d leave my cup behind and go out to see her nature.
the family is growing in that window.the family is growing in that window.
By the second week, we started the firing. Kilns here are the double Olsen. Both kilns share the same chimney (which I’ve never seen elsewhere). One is for soda-firing and the other is just wood-firing. We fired the soda kiln first. Dainis Lesiņš was our wonderful kiln master. Wood is mainly Pine with some Birch and Oak.
Kiln loading/ soda-firingKiln loading/ soda-firing
Early shift on the first kiln. (500-600 c)Early shift on the first kiln. (500-600 c)
Towards the end of the second kiln. (1280 c)Towards the end of the second kiln. (1280 c)
I am very happy with the result. Dainis put Sodium Bicarbonate and Copper Chloride in during top temperature. It gives the glossy surface with tint of blue and red where there’s reduction. I managed to put the cups in different places in both kilns so they came out in variety.