Donvè Branch

 "I first worked with clay over 30 years ago, and it has been part of me ever since. For some time I both taught pottery and ran and developed a commercial pottery that specialised in large, architectural glazed and terracotta vessels. I finished with both almost a decade ago, and to heal and revive myself I returned to my studio to explore the dynamic interplay of fire and earth that define traditional African pots. I have always loved the rhythm and focus that come from working on the wheel. Like the clay, I become centred, a vessel for introspection.

Thrown pots naturally retain the purity of line and formal symmetry that characterise the Western tradition. I gravitate to closed-forms that are influenced by the functionality and strength of the rural potter’s ware. It has also been a long time since I used a glaze, as I now prefer to explore primitive firing methods. I love to test, perhaps control, the vagaries of the delicate hues and serendipitous highlights that adorn pit-fired pots. I experiment with various combustibles, surface covers and chemicals, fire green or bisqued vessels in open pits or saggers, subject the pots to single or multiple firings; anything to push the boundaries of my knowledge."

 

Donvè Branch