Large Golden Hydrangea Vessel

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Large Golden Hydrangea Vessel


Hand-illustrated with showy pink and white hydrangeas, this golden vessel can become a centre-piece in your home decore.

In stock

About this item:
These large hand-illustrated vessels with pink and white hydrangeas on a pure gold background are a studio speciality.

The vessel is first wheel thrown from an Australian mid-fired stoneware clay. When the clay has been air-dried to a "leather-hard" stage - where it can be safely handled - the artist pencils-in the floral outlines.

Once satisfied with the design, the artist then uses coloured underglazes in whites, reds, pinks and greens to fill in the details. Once these colours have dried, the artist then outlines the designs in black, using a liquid black clay slip applied using a syringe in a delicate and time-consuming process.

The black slip helps define the design, using a technique favoured by modernist woodcut artists. The decorated vessel then undergoes its first kiln firing - the bisque firing. This essential process fully drives out all moisture in the clay and begins the vitrification of the clay. This turns the clay from a malleable paste-like material into a hard, impervious ceramic.

The bisque-fired, decorated vessel is then airbrushed with a clear glaze inside and out to make it fully functional and watertight. The piece is then fired to 1220 degrees centigrade in an electric kiln.

If the kiln gods are on the artist's side and the vessel has escaped the rigours of the fiery kiln, the design on the piece now shows a lovely depth of colour. Adding the gold background is the final process.

The vessel is carefully cleaned to remove any traces of dust or handling oils. The artist then uses an expensive imported lustre that contains a gold salt in a suspension of essential oils and liquefiers, to allow the gold to be painted on the background parts of the vessel.

Applying the gold is done by hand using a special brush that allows an full application of the volatile lustre in a single stroke. The artist is fully masked and works in a highly ventilated space, as the volatile liquids holding the gold salts, evaporate away. It is an exacting technical and artistic task.

Once complete and the raw gold lustre has dried on the vessel's surface, the piece is fired once more to for the pure gold surface to form on the piece.

So after many days of painstaking work, the vessel is ready for a final quality control inspection and dispatch to its forever home.

26 mm

29 mm

29 mm

1.4 Kg


Techniques & Glazes:
Black Slip Line Art | Dipped glaze | Gold Lustre over underglaze | Illustrated line & colour | Lustre


This vessel is handmade and unique. It comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity from the artist.
Authentic, handmade ceramic vessels can show some variation in colour, shape and texture from piece to piece. Artistic authenticity is our goal rather than identical mechanical reproductions.


Frances Smith is an accomplished Australian ceramic artist and teacher. She is academically trained with degrees and diplomas in graphic design and ceramic arts. Formerly head of design for the Seven Network and working for many TV and production companies, she now lives and works in the beautiful NSW seaside village of Kiama.