Daniel Evans-Pughe is a British based Ceramicist and Sculptural Artist specialising in the art of crystalline glazing. By creating very precise conditions (and with a bit of luck) he coaxes zinc silicate crystals to grow throughout the glaze. These engineered glazes exhibit completely unique formations every time actually making it impossible to repeat the same surface patterns and colours twice. Daniel studied at the University of Nottingham Trent, UK where he graduated with a degree in Decorative Arts specialising in Ceramics. He has worked with, among others, Mark Brazier-Jones and Kate Malone whose influences can be seen throughout his works.
How did you feel about being chosen to make the first ever Colour in Design Award?
I feel very privileged to have been given such a fun and exciting opportunity as this and hopefully it will lead to other commissions of a similar nature.
What was the brief?
The brief was to create a trophy that celebrated innovative use of colour and I was given a lot of freedom over this. For those who have not yet done many commissions all I can say is that this is a wonderful thing.
What was the process - what is special about it?
The process involved mostly slab building but also some rather experimental methods of building too. The most challenging part was getting each piece of the trophy just the right firmness before attaching it all together. This was important to ensure that it held its shape while it dried. The trickiest parts to dry were the columns as they had be attached to the top piece, dried for strength yet retain enough moisture in the bottom 2/3 to ensure I could get some movement into them before attaching to the base.
How long did it take?
All in all about two and a half months from the initial design stage to completion.
As most ceramicists will agree working outside ones comfort zone on commissions with a certain deadline can be challenging. More so when working with the wonderful but rather unpredictable nature of crystalline glazes. At high temperatures the glazes ‘run’ in the kiln and if not applied correctly with the right precautions in place this can ruin an entire piece.
Fortunately none this time unless you count the test pieces, all of which had slight defects. Test pieces for a reason though right.
High points of the whole experience?
Hands down being given the opportunity to present the award alongside Marianne and the judges. It was wonderful to hand it over to such a deserving winner. The talk at the judging table was also very interesting.
What would you like to say to the winner ?
Take every opportunity you can to get your work out there. Look after your clients and don’t let them forget about you. Be persistent, honest and thankful but most of all have faith in your work. It is tough while setting out in your creative industry but also a really fun journey where you meet some of the most amazing people.
What would you like to say to the next Colour in Design Award maker?
First of all congratulations and secondly use this opportunity to be creative and push yourself. Unless you are very lucky it is not often that you get an opportunity like this to create such new and exciting work with so much freedom.
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