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The Bismuth Collection

Collection: Gray's School of Art Design Collection
Object Type: vessel
Artist/Maker: Grubb, Alison Thyra
Place Made: Gray's School of Art
Date: 2019
Media/Materials: earthenware
Dimensions: overall: 30 cm x 22 cm
Awards: RGU Three Dimensional Design Purchase Award
Classification: Design: Three Dimensional Design BA (Hons)


The Bismuth Collection, tall vessel
The tall vessel is part of The Bismuth Collection, a series of ceramic vessels inspired by the metal bismuth. The stepped layers and blues, greens and yellows that are characteristics of bismuth are the inspiration for my vessel forms.
Bismuth is one of the ingredients in the type of glaze I use called in-glaze lustre. These glazes use metal oxides, which are fired twice, first in an electric kiln and then in a gas reduction firing where a chemical reaction takes place and the glaze transforms into a metallic, iridescent lustre. It is a difficult process and a single glaze can look different each time, making each vessel unique.
Digital technology was used to make each of the vessel models and to create tools to make plaster moulds for slip casting.
The model for the tall vessel was made using laser cutting and CNC milling machine technology, in a combination of wood and dense foam. The model was then sanded and polished before being cast in plaster to make a mould for slip casting with.
The large flat surfaces on the tall vessel allow iridescent patterns to develop during the reduction process, including a gold bird form on one of the surfaces.Tall ceramic vessel constructed with earthenware clay. The vessel features in-glaze lustre containing bismuth oxide, silver nitrate and cobalt oxide.

Object Number: ABDRG2019.28