Tania Davey Art

Ceramics

Hand built clay sculptures and functional wares

For the past twenty years I have been working in clay. I find the medium grounding, forgiving, tactile and malleable. With clay my hands know how to translate my thoughts into form. I specialise in one-off, hand built sculptural pieces, short series of works and alternative firing processes.

Woodfire

My favourite, most joyful ceramic process is woodfire pottery. I love the way it requires an intimate dance with the elements, a labour of service to the kiln as I feed the firebox throughout the night. Raising the chambers to stoneware temperatures, soaking and then waiting days for the heat to disperse. Once the kiln door is opened the potter will read the work as the kiln is unpacked. We discuss and divine the pathways of flame, ash and heat which have influenced the glazes on the pots entombed in the kiln.

I love these stories and the mystery of sharing my creative work with the element of fire.

This water feature presents my handmade woodfired tiles, perfectly framed in limestone by local stonemason Paul de Beau.

Raku

“Since its development in Japan in the late sixteenth century, Raku has united the spirituality of aesthetic contemplation with the science of ceramics“ (Jim Romburg).

Unique firing and post firing processes characterise this work which connects the artists vision with the play of smoke and fire.

The Raku process is experimental and very experiential as the potter physically wields the 1000 degree glowing red pots from the kiln to a reduction environment in a sealed drum. Kitted up with protective gear and immersed in smoke, smell and fast moving moments, this firing technique is not for the faint of heart!

The work is non functional but lends itself well to my semi abstract sculptures and figurative forms.

Nindup Fire Trees

This body of work was developed after the 2022 bushfires which ran through Boranup forest near Margaret River in Southern Western Australia. After the fire the landscape was transformed into a charred and scolded plain giving a view of the contours of the country.

I visited the swamp frequently and responded to the space and its experience both recent and historic through poetry, photography, sketching, painting, and print.

Wads of clay were used to take impressions from the fire zone. Earth, char, knots in trees, foliage, bark, Balga rings, stumps and twisted metal formed a collection of stamps. These were fired and used to texture slabs of clay. Abstract paperbark shapes were cut and reformed from the clay.

The fire also revealed the snaking creek lines lined with paperbark trees. These curvaceous, voluptuous ancients have a marvellous twisted, sagging, morphing character.

Hand-built ceramic sculpture

Forest guardian sculpture
This character has been appearing in a number of my creative works, from painting to ceramics and print. Protector and defender of the Earth and it’s creatures. Mythical being, part woman, part beast, she will not tolerate the demise of her territory.