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An Interview with Anna about her inspirations and techniques

Why porcelain?

I love its fluidity and that I can take it to a wafer thin shape. 

Why white?

I love the purity of white, the way the light plays off the shapes I create. But most important, I feel white gives each shape center stage.

What are the origins of my shapes?

My pieces recall the forms and motions of flowers, sea plants and ocean waves. I live in a place where the ocean, landscape and lush gardens are part of my day. Each day I walk by the ocean and take in the views, salt air and light, and I leave inspired.

What is the process?

 My favorite tools are my hands. My fingers can best smooth and perfect a wave's turn or a petal's rise and fall, and I have no worry about breaking through the wall of clay. I feel it, and know it.

Each ball of clay is a unique, unpredictable entity, and so often my twists and turns  are done only with  its cooperation. In essence, I work along with the clay, working to move it to its full potential as an object of art.

With raw porcelain, no shape stays where I leave it. Imagine working with dough, where you flatten it, smooth it, and then try to bring it up into a form.  I prop every single move that hold the direction until the work is firm and totally dry.

Once it is bone dry I dab my fingertip with water and slightly soften the outer layer and then might use a blade to gently smooth out the shapes. Any pressure at this point in the drying process can cause a piece to shatter. 

Once that step is complete, the work goes into the kiln for two days to create a hardened surface called bisque. Bisque can be sanded, and sometimes I do hand sand to eliminate a rough spot or imperfection I may have missed. 

Next, I hand brush three coats of glaze to the  piece, sometimes with two to three hour intervals between coats. Two more days in the kiln for a final firing, and the piece is complete.

Every single step that gets to a completed work is a new adventure and the joy of my life. One really never knows what will emerge from the kiln. The more experience I get, the more daring I have become.

So these days, when I open the lid of my kiln, I am, more often than not, happy with what I see. Happy my risks brought me the reward of a special piece.

I welcome you to contact me to discuss a special request, or to make a purchase. 

Photo of Anna Kasabian, porcelain artist
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