I learned everything I know from my parents at Ajoupa Pottery. Mum is an amazing artist, and Dad is a technical wizard. Together they have built up a great business which, unlike many art-based businesses, has been a financial success.
We use Duncan and Gare glazes for painting on the fired clay. These are a great convenience, and the colours are gorgeous as you can see! Mum and Dad make glazes from scratch as well: Cobalt and silica and other ingredients, which I am too lazy to get into.
For these 18-inch vases, a potter named Chandool threw the forms and I decorated them with "Slip". Slip is wet clay which has Oxides added to it for colour. Cobalt makes that black background of the jellyfish, which is one of my favorite pieces ever. These pots are decorated when they are "leather hard", so that the oxide can be applied with a paintbrush and then scraped off. It's a bit like the school art where you colour a piece of paper with crayons, paint over it and then scrape off your design. These were fired after decoration, and then glazed on the inside. Chandool the potter died a few years ago, and his son Ganase works at Ajoupa. Chandool is sorely missed, he was a genius potter.
These were also thrown on the wheel by Chandool, but then they were "bisque" fired and decorated with glaze. Mum made the jug shape and handle. Ajoupa is really a team effort, and we work really well together. These days Mum is doing more sculpting and I have moved my studio to be closer to the boys' school in town, but we still brainstorm together, borrow each others' designs, and share techniques and raw materials. One of these days I should learn to throw pots properly, instead of just making a Horrible Mess!
These days, I am getting back to watercolours. It's pretty exciting, and waaaay less disaster-prone! With ceramics, you can spend weeks working on a piece and then you open the kiln and AAAARGH! Disaster! Reds burn out, clay cracks (or explodes spectacularly!), weird things happen when chemicals collide at a thousand degrees. Duncan and Gare change their recipes regularly, and so do the tile manufacturers, and that makes the end results uncertain.
So there you have it, some of my work. I am in the process of building a "Work" website, but it's time consuming and I need to locate photos.
We Fedex! Tilework is approximately $200 US per square foot, plus shipping.