I am attracted to clay not because of its soft tactile qualities. Instead, I like to carve it when it has reached the leather-hard stage. I construct my forms initially either by coiling or by using slab construction technique.
The kind of carving that I practice is called 'Direct Carving.' Instead of making detailed plans in advance, I allow the clay (or stone ) to suggest ideas. The ideas emerge from the material itself. Sometimes, I use white slip so that I can create a sgraffito design into the slip as it dries. White slip is simply liquid clay. I like the effect of pouring white slip over red terracotta because when I create my sgraffito design the red clay fires orange. Sgraffito means scratched. I do this with a sharp point .
So, although I don't plan in detail exactly what I intend to make, I do scribble and draw in my notebooks to keep my ideas fluid. And of course, I do have to decide in advance the general form that I wish to work with.
Because carving is to do with taking away rather than adding on, there is a feeling of unwrapping as I develop my pieces as if the final form already resides within the outer shape.
Hilary Bryanston - Artist Statement
Rocking Man; red terracotta with white slip sgraffito. 12 cm wide x 8 cm high x 7 cm deep.
Cave Days with Four Fish; carved Terracotta relief, 13 inches tall, 10 and a half inches wide, one and a quarter inch deep.
Sun Rise Sun Set; glazed terracotta. 6 cm high x 23 cm wide x 13 cm deep (with butterfly )
The Trees the Trees - red terracotta relief with apertures; 29cm wide, 28cm high.
Harpy - glazed terracotta; 5cm wide, 9cm high.
Carved Terracotta figures:-
Left: Figure With Hands Crossed; 15 inches high, 6 inches in the round
Centre: Singing Figure; 15 inches high, 4 inches in the round
Right: The Winter Angel; 15 inches high, 6 inches in the round
The Dreaming - red terracotta relief; 9cm wide, 18cm high, 8cm depth.
Small Figure Wth Hat - red terracotta with white slip; 10cm high.
Open Form,; terracotta with white slip sgraffito decoration. Glazed inside. 14 x 14 x 9cms.