Metal and Fire: Recent Saggarware

Posted by Randy Spearing on

If you are walking by the shop over the next couple of weeks, you will see a new exhibition in our window. As part of the DesignTO festival, we have invited potter Paul Stewart to display his latest installation Metal and Fire: Recent Saggarware. The installation will be up until January 31st. And given we are living in the age of COVID, this exhibit is viewable outdoors with safe distancing.

About the exhibit

Fire and Metal: Recent Saggarware is a display of intense vessels fresh from the fire. Saggarware derives its name from the ‘saggar’, or container it has been fired in. While the saggar was originally used to keep ash away from pots during the firing process, potters eventually realized that if various metals and combustibles were added to a saggar, the resulting piece would be covered in interesting colours and patterns.

Paul Stewart’s saggarware is wrapped with wire, copper tape, and other metals and then placed inside a saggar along with copper carbonate powder, salt, and combustibles such as sawdust, paper, banana skins, and pinecones. Once inside the kiln, the salt and copper powder cause a pink blush, the metals cause various metallic hues, and the smoke from the combustibles turns areas of the pot grey and black. Stewart also uses iridescent raku glazes that react in the oxygen depleted kiln atmosphere.

About the artist

Following in his father's footsteps, Paul Stewart began potting full time in 1985. Since then, he has produced nearly a quarter of a million pots, ranging from small utilitarian pieces to large custom designed work. Paul's pottery is sold at local craft shows and in Ontario galleries. He also produces work for interior designers, the movie and television industries, and private commissions.

Paul began teaching in 1997, instructing adults and children in his studio and at schools. He has also delivered advanced workshops for guilds across Southern Ontario.

To learn more about Paul and his work, visit his website.

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