When clay is fired for 3 to 4 days with kiln temperatures of 1300ºC the resulting pots do not sit quietly. They erupt, corrupt, explode, implode within the drama of the flames, the wood, the ash…Marcus O’Mahony returns to London for his first solo exhibition in The Emmanuel Cooper Gallery.
Wood firing and salt-glazing involves a very singular approach, not least when the wood fired kiln takes 3 to 4 days to fire. Marcus O’Mahony says that he is ‘a studio potter making functional and one-off pieces…’ although true, the simplicity of this statement does little to portray the quality and the drama that occurs when his forms and fire combine.
Marcus works with stoneware clays and porcelain. Pots begin life on the potter’s wheel but can be transformed considerably in Marcus’ hands, interventions made in order to achieve a beautifully balanced form. These pots are then given over to the fire. The heat generated by the prolonged firing moves the wood ash and salt around the kiln, dancing across surfaces to create a canvas of colours and textures. Each firing offering up unique results, each pot born out of the flames.
Marcus O'Mahony at Contemporary Ceramics Centre highlights the power found in clay when craft skill, vision and fire work as one.