Today I popped up to the Ceramics Resident Studio and had a chat with Nao about his work during his Open Studio. He showed me some of the pieces he’s been working on and told me about the new developments he has made.
His focus on texture and movement are a result of his drawings which he had been making very controlled patterns and then began releasing them to become freer.
He was testing out this freedom of movement on a big piece of paper which you can see below, which then inspired him to create marks on his clay pieces using a pencil and a freer hand.
Nao says that his clay works feel very controlled as the process to make them requires time and precision. He created the marks you can see on this clay piece by attaching a pencil to a stick and running it across the surface, the length of the tool giving less control and making the formerly dense and controlled clay piece a sense of movement and texture. Using a pencil on paper and clay shows just how organically Nao’s transition is between the different mediums.
Nao then scrapes clay out from these lines to give them more definition and fills them with liquid porcelain. The contrast between the porcelain and the clay emphasises the freedom of movement but Nao hasn’t decided how they will look in the end, so it will be interesting to see which direction he takes!
Currently these pieces are in the process of drying out, first covered in plastic for different amounts of time depending on the size and shape as Nao doesn’t want them to dry out too quickly and crack. Once they have dried enough under the plastic Nao will then cover them with layers of newspaper. After all that they can be ready for firing.
After firing Nao will decide on glazes and whether he will create wooden stands for these pieces or if they will become stands themselves. Seeing these pieces surrounded by Nao’s drawings is a fantastic experience so make sure you come along to one of his Open Studios and see it for yourself.