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I have worked in saltglaze for more than 25 years. Landscape is a theme in my work. I have walked, drawn and painted it since childhood and this lies behind the evolution of my Birdbaths, made since 1984.
Bird baths - Their forms are prompted by nature, certain man-made structures which relate intimately with their surroundings and landscape, especially that of the South Downs and The Lake District. In these bird-baths I have tried to recreate on a small scale what I have seen on a larger one there. Just as important has been the influence of Romanesque and Neolithic art.
Very early on in evolving these forms I once, at dusk and during a fall of rain, looked out at a birdbath in my garden. Or rather, I found myself looking at an ellipse of mercury, floating in darkness. This was the water in the bird-bath reflecting the last light of day. The sky was overcast and nowhere did there seem light enough to explain this event. I remember saying to myself, "Oh yes, that's what I want".
The bird-baths are made in four shapes, each echoing the form of its base. As a result of the infinite variation of the salf-glaze, each piece is unique. The design of the bird baths is such that only a shallow pool of water forms in them, which has room to expand if it should freeze. The pool of water becomes a vehicle for light, reflecting the sky. It is both form and light that together convey Sarah's intent.
Each bird-bath has either a smooth or sgraffito surface finished in one of six glazes: Blue, Cardrew, Harrow, Keeper's, Orange and Plain.
The bird-baths stand on a timber base made of recycled Douglas fir. The 12 inch (30cm) square bases are supplied in varying heights up to three feet (90cm). No.3 may have a round or square base. The base of No.4 echoes its form. The bases are treated with wood preservative and last for many years.
New work by Sarah Walton will be in the gallery and on the website shortly.
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