List of products by potter: Lexa Laurance
Lexa has a long-held fascination in firing kilns using solid fuel from sustainable sources.
This developed when studying ceramics at West Surrey College of Art, Farnham. It developed further whilst working at potteries in Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania. On her return to the UK from Malawi, she and a fellow VSO colleague began running annual kiln building and firing courses on a farm in Wiltshire, a few miles from the city of Bath.
Salt glazing in a wood fired kiln is now central to Lexa's practice.
Lexa's work and working process is influenced by her interest and concern for the natural world, together with research travels to East and Southern Africa and parts of Europe, America and Asia.
Working together as part of a team, the labour intensive process of preparing, stacking & firing the kiln fuels her enthusiasm and interest in the alchemy that takes place during the firing. The meeting of clay and glaze with wood, ash and salt in the kiln to create often fascinating glaze and colour effects.
Her pots are mostly wheel thrown, sometimes fluted (carved) or decorated with slip and oxides before firing. She enjoys the immediacy of fluting/carving or slip decorating, and texturing the pot's surface before drying and firing The textured surface gives emphasis to variations in glaze and colour.
Careful attention is given to the positioning of pots within the kiln, to allow the flow and passage of flames around the pots. Her work is fired for about 22 hours in a downdraft woodfired salt kiln. Small pots of salt are placed within the kiln. During the firing the salt and wood ash combines with the metal oxides and other materials in the clay to create subtle variations in colour, and sometimes forming a textured glaze on the outside of the pots.
She also fires some of her work at the Oxford University Kilns, where the extended firing over several days can produce still more exciting results on the clay and glaze.