About Mark Dally Ceramics

Black&WhiteWare

Is a studio tableware range from Designer/ Maker Mark Dally, M.A.  Mark studied at Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent where he specialised in Ceramics and Surface Pattern.
Mark Dally makes Black&WhiteWare as a bold, contemporary take on traditional Staffordshire slipware.  Other design influences include 1950’s surface pattern such as Ridgeway’s’ ‘ Homemaker’, and the motifs and calligraphic styles of pre-Hispanic Mexican and Australian Aboriginal art. 
Black&WhiteWare is made in high-fired white earthenware and decorated using traditional slip trailing and brushed slip techniques.  
The mugs, jugs and teapots are finished in a third firing with liquid bright platinum.
 
Mark Dally Ceramics: Clocks and sculptures
 
Taking my inspiration from mass-produced, recognisable everyday forms, my contemporary ceramic clocks are a reinterpretation of popular culture.  At the same time, perhaps conversely, I strive for quality workmanship in my pieces with strong attention to detail.
In my work I try to transform the everyday into the surprising and witty - yet still faintly familiar.  Starting with shapes taken from plastic childrens' toys or household gadgets, and by adapting some industrial ceramic techniques to my studio ceramic approach, I rearrange and re-assemble elements from mass production to make my handmade clockwork characters.          
These design ideas have developed from my childhood fascination with 1950s and '60s Sci-Fi,  like Robbie the Robot's fake functionalism, or the quaint aerodynamics of Dan Dare's 'streamlined' space rockets.  Other influences include playful cartoon animation, as in Fantasia and Max Fliescher's Hoppity Goes to Town.  More recently, John Tenniel's illustrations for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland seen afresh have inspired me with their odd yet familiar composite characters.  My interest in pre-Hispanic South American and Australian Aboriginal art has influenced my decorative style, along with modish textiles and surface patterns of the '50s.
To make my work I start with hand-modelled or lathe-turned shapes, along with found objects.  From these I make plaster moulds which I use to translate the shapes into clay components.  From my extensive library of moulds, I slipcast components in white earthenware which, later, I join when leather-hard.  Once composition of the piece is complete I decorate the greenware with sliptrailed and brushed slips.  After the initial firing I glaze with a combination of underglazes and brightly coloured earthenware glazes.  Finally, in a third lustre firing I apply metallic lustres and touches of liquid bright gold and platinum.  
 
 

 

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