Sculpture created by earth, fire and water

PUBLISHED: 12:56 29 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:06 20 February 2013

Sculpture created by earth, fire and water

Sculpture created by earth, fire and water

The ceramic sculptures created by internationally renowned Bath potter Peter Hayes lead an unusually adventurous life before they are ever seen by the public

The ceramic sculptures created by internationally renowned Bath potter Peter Hayes lead an unusually adventurous life before they are ever seen by the public.



Not only are they subjected to the hazards of raku firing, involving huge shocks in temperature and thick, blackening smoke, but they are also submerged in the river Avon beneath Peters studio on Cleveland Bridge for months at a time.



Every now and again Peter will take his boat up river, stopping at various markers to haul aboard long-unseen pieces. Other pieces are taken down to Cornwall and abandoned to the ravages of the sea and tide for a while. A few of them never to be found again.



But this exposure to water is a crucial part of the making process; essential to the finished glowing colour and patina of Peters distinctive, monolithic forms. Erosion and change through time and nature are recorded in a piece, he explains. The main aim in my work is not to compete with nature, but for the work to evolve within the environment.



The minerals, like iron and copper that I introduce into the raku ceramic surface have their own effect on the clay. Each individual piece takes on its own developing surface, its own history and its own aesthetic. I am merely the maker.



Inspiration for Peters work comes from walking along the shore-line - kicking pebbles, picking up pieces of driftwood, rusty iron, examining sea-washed bone and bits of broken hull studded with copper nails - and visiting Neolithic standing stones silhouetted against the skyline.



He exhibits extensively in America, Japan, Europe and throughout Britain. A spectacular collection of his latest work, Earth, Fire and Water can be seen in The John Leach Gallery at Muchelney Pottery, two miles south of Langport in Somerset, from April 18 to June 29.



The John Leach Gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 9am -1pm, 2pm - 5pm and there is ample on-site parking. For more details visit www.johnleachpottery.co.uk or telephone 01458 250324.


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