This event, the first South Wales Potters event of 2016, took part at the Ceramics department of Cardiff Metropolitan University and this being a demonstration my Korean ceramicist Jin (Gin-and-Tonic) Eui Kim. I first came across his work and met him at Ceramics Art London 2015 and also at Made by Hand 2015, but this event was a great opportunity to see the artist at work where we could pick up little tips along the way and yes, he is a graduate from the MA course here in at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Currently working at Fireworks Clay Studios, so just next door, he done a presentation on exhibitions he had done and possible future ones as well as awards he has received which proves how renown he really is in this small community of ceramics. He also showed us current commissions his working on. Every thing he showed us is on his website. www.jineuikim.co.uk
His work is based on an investigation of the perception between illusion and reality, using colours, tonal changes, intervals in lines, shapes and forms. His pieces play with the viewers understanding of reality . The truth becomes more elusive with changes of light and distance.
Jin throws with LF clay, an earthenware fired to 1120°C and uses 18 shades of engobes to create mainly vessels and wall hanging pieces. He makes his own tools to create the profiles and uses calligraphy brushes with the tip cut off to paint on the lines. The third firing of a matt transparent glaze not only for protection but also it gives more depth to the tone of the lines.
At the seminar space 5 we gathered all around him to see him demonstrate on the making around the wheel and it was a great opportunity to pick up on tips and techniques. He started by turning a cylindrical jar with his own tools as well as the two sided lid. I’m saying sorry in advance before you watch both videos due to the angle of the video, specially coming from me which complains when someone films something vertically.
After turning, he went into throwing where he demonstrated how he throws both the cylindrical jar and the two sided lid. He then showed us how he throws his closed vessels and for our surprised they are thrown upside down, which to be fair makes more sense now.
He used a traditional Korean onggi paddle to show how he beats the clay to create the base for his huge wall-mounted pieces. He then attached a massive coil around the base then throwing it up creating the walls with the help of a Taekwondo belt which with its properties it holds enough water and is stiff enough to give even pressure on either sides of the lift, so I better look for my black belt as its gonna be my best solution to throw bigger pots.
Shape is where Jin has a bit more freedom on his creative practice and it is the painting of the concentric lines on the pots that his work is most famous for. Jin starts by soaking his bisque work on water to control the absorption so the engobes flow smother from the brush to the surface. He makes pencil lines which are numbered corresponding with his engobes.
He demonstrated a range of wedging techniques including this peculiar one called slab wedging.
He finally demonstrated how he throws bigger pieces using section which are then joined. And this should really useful as I am not particularly good at throwing bigger pieces. This technique involves throwing a cylinder and cutting sections off the initial cylinder then replacing and throwing them more when the initial cylinder has been thrown higher. He showed us how he used a hair from his head to check the angle of the joining rims.
It was great having Jin Eui Kim over at the studio as we have learn so much from him, even from the most simple of techniques and tips that he kindly shared with us. Amazing set of skills and really amazed by the sense of patience, sensibility this ceramicist has which I believe captivated us all. So thank you.