We witnessed a wonderful demonstration of engobe decoration by Renate Galetzka on Tuesday evening, 10th April.
Renate was born in Germany and was on her OE in the 1980's when she met a Kiwi chap (and married him); she says she is still on her OE. As part of her travels she discovered the art of ceramics; she took classes, worked for one of NZ pottery's great dames, Frederika Ersten and gained her Trade Certificate in Pottery. The traditional Swiss mountain engobe decorated earthenware became an interest; from this Renate has developed her own designs and style producing wonderfully coloured pieces.
In New Zealand we tend to use the word 'slip' for a clay slurry wether it is natural or coloured, however engobe is the word for any coloured slip. To make an engobe to Renate's specifications we will be making our own engobes in the upcoming workshop, at the start of July, where Renate will elaborate in more detail on the recipe, do's and don'ts and tips of the trade regarding making, using and decorating with engobes. Keep an eye out for details
Some techniques that Renate has developed are; select good brushes that hold a good amount of engobe and use one brush per colour (this prevents altering the colour onto the pot. Pots should be leather hard; from her demonstration this showed an excellent uptake of the engobe by the pot. When beginning to decorate your work, start with the outside first, the inside next and the rim is last. Use ones free hand to steady the hand with the brush (see this in all the photo's)
Renate's inspiration for her decoration designs comes from Dr Seuss and from her daughter's time as a circus trapeze artist.
A five sided vase was produced and Renate proceeded to demonstrate some of the techniques that may be used to get an engobe decoration design onto a pot: paper resist, where a cut-out pattern of some paper provides a profile, sponging either randomly or in a pattern, drawing/dotting with a slip trailer (produces a texture as well) and sgraffito.
After bisque firing the pieces are glazed with a clear glaze.
Renate's demonstration showed us what we can all produce pieces of beauty and interest using the techniques that she uses. It may take us a little longer but we can enjoy the process in the meantime. Thank Renate.
The Secretary and Members - Mt Pleasant Pottery Group.
Our Pottery Group is based in Christchurch and our potters range from those that are nationally recognised through to total beginners. Everyone is welcome to join our classes as well as casual potters and new members are always welcome.
LOCATION & CONTACT
Phillipstown School Community Hub, Room 7 - 39 Nursery Road, Christchurch 8011 - New Zealand