Daniel Skeffington is a local Sydney emerging ceramic artist with a strong passion for contemporary glazed sculptural forms.
A graduate of the Northern Sydney Institute, he is a member of the Australian Ceramics Association. Daniel Skeffington writes regular articles for specialist magazine, Australian Ceramics Journal, on techniques and glazes with interviews by highly recognised artists including Turner Prize winning artist, Grayson Perry.
Daniel Skeffington received a Merit Award from the Australian Ceramics Association in 2013, and is increasingly recognised for the uniquely outstanding colour glaze effects on his forms.
My Barrier Reef series of 2016 are fired multiple times with layers and combinations of reduced paste lustre, slip and glaze that is alteredh before and after firing... sometimes with an angle grinder... revealing the glaze and surface beneath the latest layer and then refired in a deliberately non-standard firing sequence to achieve the desired colour and surface quality. This mirrors my observations of the shallow-water and deep-water reefs that we are in danger of loosing.
These ‘vase’ forms are made in porcelain with coloured slips with details of yellow and white gold... Each piece has been fired four times and the inspiration for the glazes, is taken from a camping break on Fraser Beach, in the Lake Munmorah National Park, Central Coast, NSW. The colours of the scrub land, the rock formations, the sand and the sea are represented in abstract blocks of colour broken by horizon and landform dividing lines.
Sculptured shell motifs found on the beach during these two days anchor each piece to the location.
The detail floral motif speaks of the scrubland around the beach and have been created by stencil blocks applied when the clay is wet. Coloured clay slips have then been applied and then fired to 1050o C. Contrasting coloured slips are subsequently applied and then fired again.
I grind, or "knock back" the surface to reveal more of the scrub motif. A clear glaze is then fired. Last I apply a yellow or white gold in solution and fire to just short of 800 C. ‘Beach bling’.
The overall presentation of each Vase form, comments Skeffington, borrows from Marko Rothko...and colours seen in more recent aboriginal artists' works.
With a nod to Andy Warhol´s ‘Cookie Jar’ collection, Winnie-the-Poo’s ‘Honey Pot’ and the 1970’s ‘must have’ Bendigo Pottery’s Bread Crock, Skeffington’s 2017 Cookie Jar Series, utilises the bright colours of the well know layered sugar candies, Liquorice Allsorts. A sweet with a wide variety of appearances, accounting for the allsorts name. Each of Skeffington’s hand thrown repetitive forms, uniquely adorned with cast and layered Allsorts motifs, has its own unique character.
As with Skeffington’s earlier work, Sweet offers another take on a ubiquitous vessel form of long ceramic history, dressed in the memorable colours of an 111+ year old sweet.