Gail Darke

Autumn Leaves

The rich, earthy and rustic colours of trees in autumn are the inspiration for this textile piece. 

I made felt leaves and used pieces of netting for tree bark, then used embroidery and machine stitching to create texture on a batik background.  



As a ceramic artist inspired by nature and the human form I hand-build figurative ceramics and large coiled pots.  I love the feel of the clay and find the transformative processes of making, glazing and firing fascinating. 

In practice I like to experiment with different types of clay and non-clay additives to create interesting surface marks and textures. I then layer the forms with oxides, slips and glazes and use different firing processes which can produce unstable reactions creating rough and textural surfaces. The texture of the coiled pot on the other hand is smooth as the shape and size of the body is the primary focus of making. Then it is the turn of the firing process to transform the colour of oxides and glazes that I find exciting, often with some unpredictable results.