Brooks Bouwkamp Artist Statement-
It is only natural that I work with crystalline glazed ceramics, the reason being I’ve always been fascinated with fireworks, flashing lights, natural surfaces, and natural textures. The uncomplicated forms I create do not fight with the visual excitement of the crystalline glazes. Of all the stages in crafting crystalline vessels, the two stages I care for the most are mixing the glazes and firing the kiln. When it comes to my glazes I’m always searching for the NEW: new materials, new information, new colorants, and new effects. When working with new materials and glazes, I make adjustments to each firing as needed to ensure the best crystals. When using this type of glaze and firing process: each piece ends up being a unique and one of a kind. In the end my goal is to create work that people can get as much out of as I’ve put in.
The Crystalline Process:
First a vessel is thrown on the potter’s wheel using porcelain clay. It is allowed to dry and then is fired to 1850 degrees F. After that I mix the glaze which consists of several main ingredients and a colorant. I then apply the glaze to the piece and fire it in the kiln for its final, special firing. This time the kiln is fired to 2350 degrees F. After the peak temperature is reached the kiln is allowed to cool to around 2000 degrees F. This temperature is maintained for three to six hours. During this holding cycle crystals form in the molten glaze and begin to grow. The longer the temperature is held the larger the crystals will grow. After the hold the kiln is allowed to cool naturally to room temperature, and then is unloaded. Due to this special firing process I can not control exactly where the crystals grow, but I can control their size, shape, and color. Each vessel ends up being a unique one of a kind piece.
...a connection to the artist and the land
Khnemu Studio LLC on Fernwood Farm
6322 113th Ave