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Ceramic Celebration Portraits

Celebrations are full of stories. So much happens through lifes rich path. The ceramic portraits are a way of celebrating with pictorial symbols representing key aspects of each part.

Lilley pictured above was my inspiration for the 2018 series of portraits. As a yoga teacher and friend she inspired me to explore transformation mind, body and soul. Often the white space of the moon or a square are places to stop and breathe.


Breath is such a powerful tool. 🪬


Below was a great moment when Sian my model for the ceramic piece arrived at the York Potters Fair Winter 2023 so lovely to see her ! This piece has an oxide layer of Cobalt Oxide which has the rich blues 💙 with hues if green from the addition of Copper Oxide.


So much visual detail in each portrait is built layer by layer using natural flora, stencils, stamps and cutters. Each piece is then bisque fired 1000oC.


The next stage uses oxides as a base layer to start the decorative glazing process and moving onto the fabulous velvet underglazes! Velvet underglazes are just amazing! They are so colourful and really bring the portraits to life! The glazeing temperature is 1080oC fired over a day and a night. The alchemical transformation is then complete.


Above you can see the robin as the focused point in the Christmas Spirit portrait this is a 3/4 size piece finished with a copper hook. All portraits are wall mounted pieces.


The oxide underneath on Christmas Spirit is Manganese Oxide, a deep rich dark brown that complements the textured details so well. Not all portraits are finished with a clear glaze. Sometimes a small detail is given the glossy effect, it is really about how the final piece comes out. Every one is unique hand made and lovingly finished.


There are different sizes available for commission.


Life size is £540

3/4 size is £360

1/2 size is £153


To start a commission I will need a profile image or as close as can be found of the sitters. Then details from their life to create a story of their personal journey.

I often use an owl to represent a husband, a butterfly 🦋 to symbolise a wife or daughters. It is your choice. The more details and images to work from the richer the portrait textures. For the 3/4 pieces 8/10 details are often a good amount to fit into the size.


A full size piece has over 20 possibilities for details to fit comfortablely. Pictured above Queen Elizabeth II is a full size piece.


So, if you feel inspired please get in touch I look forward to creating with you 🦋.


Francesca ☀️



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