Kirsteen Holuj - ceramics
The manipulation of clay in the hand and its response is always an exciting experience, the way it can take any form or texture you chose to express – it is like no other material. My inspiration comes from everywhere there is a texture – plants, beaches, seeds, rocks and all landscapes and regular visits to the Isle of Coll in the Inner Hebrides have also had an influence on my work. It is a unique place where all types of weather can happen in one day; bad weather is dark and dramatic and yet when the sun eventually appears the light and colour can take your breath away. It is not always instant or obvious but all these elements direct my work somehow, with a texture, colour, a shape or glaze.
Much of my past work has been fired in an electric kiln, which is fine, but it does not satisfy the pyromaniac in me or my impatience so I also make work that I can Raku fire (see photo on right), the process is much more sensory … you can see the glazes melt, feel the heat of the fire, smell the smoke in the air. It is always exciting, sometimes unpredictable and it becomes addictive.
The recent completion of a large soda kiln build has taken my work in a slightly different direction with a return to the love of throwing on the potters wheel and exploring what happens to my favourite textures with this dramatic way of glazing clay