Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE -

Hay­den Youl­ley says mak­ing pot­tery is fun, dirty, chal­leng­ing, re­ward­ing, en­gag­ing and mes­meris­ing. “It re­quires calm­ness, clar­ity, strength, co-or­di­na­tion, fi­nesse and bal­ance,” he says. “When I’m pro­to­typ­ing, my process starts with sur­round­ing my­self with im­ages, videos, songs, ran­dom ob­jects, trash, twigs, just about any­thing that I can see beauty in, that could turn into a new se­ries or art­work,’’ he says. “It gets pretty messy but I have never thought of the cre­ative process as a par­tic­u­larly tidy or or­gan­ised busi­ness. “My day usu­ally starts with open­ing a clean fresh bucket of clay and ends once a sig­nif­i­cant amount of that clay has ended up on the floor. The bulk of my time is spent slip cast­ing pieces to fill or­ders.” Slip cast­ing is a tech­nique used for the ac­cu­rate re­pro­duc­tion of ce­ramic work, and es­pe­cially for shapes not easily made on a pot­tery wheel, and in­volves pour­ing a liq­uid clay body slip into plas­ter moulds. “If I’ve made pieces the day be­fore, I’ll need to hand-pol­ish them all with a sponge and bur­nish­ing tool, stamp them with my logo and dry them out to get them ready to be fired in the kiln,” Youl­ley says. “When they come out of the kiln, I give them a quick sand and paint some glaze so they can be fired a sec­ond time, com­ing out of the kiln smooth, shiny and ready for use.”

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