Bill Apelian / The Linden Wood StudioAt the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina, Bill Apelian creates heirlooms in wood. Using traditional tools—handsaws,...
The Pottery Shop
Media: ClayI have loved clay since finding it in a creek near my home as a child and rolling it into sticky balls. Over the years I have worked with high fire stoneware, lowfire earthenware and mid- range stoneware, using both wheel thrown and hand built forms. I am currently working with experimental surfaces developed with the techniques of raku with resist slips (Naked Raku), saggar firing and pit firing. These techniques utilize the unglazed surface with its markings made by the smoke and fire that occur during the firing process.
My current body of work uses the technique of raku with resist slip called "Naked Raku". Forms are smoothed and polished to remove traces of the throwing process.. They are then coated with terra sigillata that prepares the surface to accept vapors and smoke from the firing process. Forms are bisque fired then coated with a layer of slip and glaze. The final firing takes place in a gas kiln and when hot the form is removed and placed in a metal container where it smokes and burns. The outer slip/glaze layer develops cracks as it cools and carbon from the smoke is forced through these cracks deep into the clay surface. After the form has completely cooled the slip/glaze layer is peeled away. What is left behind is a beautiful, unglazed surface with patterns created by smoke and fire.