I think flower bricks are fabulous! During my student days studying for a ceramics degree I spent a fair bit of time sketching objects of antiquity. The V&A Museum in London was (and still is!!) a favourite of mine. I remember a wonderful blue & white 18th century flower brick. A rectangular ceramic box vase with a number of small holes in the top so the flowers are kept in position. I found it very inspiring and have enjoyed making box containers of various shapes and sizes ever since!
Here’s a selection my most recent flower brick designs.
The making process
I make a protoype from cardboard first. I cut out templates. Next I roll out a flat slab of clay using a rolling pin ( a bit like rolling pastry). Carefully placing the card on top of the slab I cut out the shapes. Assembling the clay pieces at the correct time is crucial. The clay must be strong enough to hold itself up but still have moisture to minimise cracking. Once assembled , I brush it with white slip and wrap it in plastic overnight.
I enjoy the inherent qualities of slipware. White slip brushed over terracotta is the perfect surface for sgrafitto. I work quickly, scratching into it with simple doodles and scribbles. I finish off with a fun session splattering coloured slips with a paint brush. I place several pieces on a board at the same time and just go for it! Occasionally I miss and prefer what’s landed on the board!! My work is all about mark making and building up layers of colour, one piece could have up to 5 or 6 layers.
I finish off my pieces with cute little feet.
Finished off with a clear lead-free earthenware glaze. This makes them smooth to touch and durable for everyday use.
I have a flowerbrick at The Contemporary Ceramics Centre online shop! (Now SOLD) 27/11/20
I will be adding some of these to my online shop soon!