the life of things - number brush set
Hugely influenced by the animism found in the Japanese Shinto religion and in particular the documentation of tool yōkai (tsukumogami) in both ancient and modern Japanese folklore, I see the soul in almost everything; both living and inanimate. My love of the objects around me has led me to try and make some of them in clay; sometimes showing the personalities I always imagine them to have. A lifelong brush fan, I have those that I use regularly and others that are either retired from use or have been collected to display - they are the starting points for these porcelain incarnations. These 'number' brushes are directly inspired by some I use regularly which are from a brushmakers shop in Asakusa, Tokyo. Please note that this set has a few minor quirky indentations on the reverse, but they do not affect the overall appearance of these pieces.
I often receive messages through social media about the irony of telling the stories of discarded objects no longer in use, (in my series 'the life of discarded things') and then choosing to make objects that are not 'for use' in the first place. But rather than being 'useless' I see these art objects as reminders to love the tools and implements that we use in our homes - as a sort of shrine honouring their presence in our homes.
Rolled slabs of porcelain are cut out and formed, then left to dry in racks with boards to keep them flat whilst regularly checked and 'aired'. They must be handled minimally at the unfired stage due to the fragile shapes involved. They are carefully decorated with cobalt oxide before the biscuit (first) firing. They are then coated in a clear glossy glaze (for the blue and white brushes with faces) or brown tenmoku glaze (largely brushes without faces) and fired for a second time. They are stamped on the reverse with a little bear head stamp whilst at the soft clay stage.
ARTIST'S NOTE: As with most of the things I make, my ceramic pieces retain the look of being handmade and this is a part of their charm. My slab pieces sometimes retain my finger marks or other indentations on the reverse, as well as often retaining the texture of my rolling surface. Please make sure you consult the pictures carefully and that you are happy with the piece before purchasing.