Our Potter, Claire, constructs the conical shade using a type of stoneware clay called crank, which is mixed with water and poured into a plaster mould. The plaster is incredibly porous and quickly absorbs moisture from the clay, causing it to set. To make sure that the finished pendant light is the perfect weight, Claire has figured out exactly how long to wait before pouring the excess clay from the mould. The cast is then left to dry for two days before taking it out of the mould; if the clay were to dry too quickly it would start to split and crack all over. Once glazed and fired, the shade is brushed with an iron oxide solution to create the lovely crackle effect.
This organic finish, coupled with the subtle warping of each shade during the firing, means they are always one of a kind. Once the ceramic shade is finished, Stephanie, our talented jeweller and metalsmith, begins work on the fixture. The metal collar is carefully drawn onto brass sheet and cut by hand. Stephanie then uses a process called ‘raising’; a technique which involves forming metal sheet over a stake, through a repeated course of hammering and annealing until it reaches the desired shape. The collar is tidied up and treated to give the fixture an authentically aged finish. After that, it’s just a matter of assembly!