Deirdre Burnett makes mainly vessels, ranging from small translucent porcelains to floor standing forms. Working alone, the pots are wheel thrown, turned and altered or hand-built. Some work is biscuit fired but most is raw glazed, oxidised fired to 1280 – 1300°C in a mixed pack.
Using basic oxides and ingredients, all the slips and glazes have evolved over years. Extreme reactive, volcanic or colour qualities of the surfaces result from the chemical reactions to materials or oxides, thrown or laminated in the body: they are not just a glaze characteristic. By not using heat controllers or thermocouples, Burnett prefers to look into the kiln chamber and watch what the molten glazes and pyrometric cones are doing. The result is a controlled accident rather than a predictable firing cycle.
The plasticity of clay and ability to fossilise both the form and reactive surface, holding them in time, fascinates Burnett. Growth, movement and energy in nature are the inspiration. The work is the statement, it should communicate. Made in families, the pots develop and evolve. The original idea is the thread which links them and to which Burnett returns to explore other possibilities.