About the Artist

Short Biography

Alison Brannen has been making art for 30 years, working primarily in clay for the past 20. Her award winning sculptural vessels have rich unusual surfaces. Alison has presented workshops at Fusion: Ontario Clay & Glass Association Conference Sheridan College, St. Lawrence College Brockville, Mississauga Potters Guild, Pine Tree Potters Guild, and Pleasant Pottery Toronto. She currently teaches ceramics at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts in Toronto. She exhibits through Fusion, Toronto Potters and the Hamilton and Region Potters Guild. She also shows at the Gardiner Museum Shop and at Craft Ontario. Alison received her MFA from the University of New Mexico Albuquerque and a BFA from York University, Toronto

Notes on Saggar and Low Fire Salt

I use various methods - hand building, wheel throwing and slip casting to create my work. I build my own molds. The surface of the piece is as important to me as the form. I apply several coats of terra sigillata then buff and bisque fire to cone 010. I apply another coat of terra sigillata before firing to cone 05. The saggar chamber is packed with wood chips, copper oxide, iron oxide and salt. This smoky reduction atmosphere produces some interesting results. I enjoy each part of the process from the wet forming to the buffing and marks of the fire on the finished pot. If I am not pleased with the results I will re fire to remove some of the carbon. Finally I coat the piece with bees wax or varnish to protect the surface. My pieces are intended for decorative use. You can care for them as you would fine woodworking.