Creek Clayworks

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Place Category: Artists & Studios

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  • Elaine Futterman and Mike Allegretti work together at Creek Clayworks in Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast.   The clay studio, located on 5 acres in a rural setting, includes the Gallery where they sell their work.  They both create a wide range of functional pottery in contemporary colours, pieces that are meant to be used and enjoyed.

    Working in the same studio with the same materials creates a unity to their work even though Elaine and Mike use two different forming methods.  Elaine throws, alters and assembles pots. Mike constructs with slabs of clay, assembles, carves, and adds thrown parts.  Elaine focuses on work associated with food and the table: serving pieces, teapots, casseroles.  Mike makes substantial sculptural vase forms, large wall hanging platters and plates for dinnerware and serving pieces.  They occasionally collaborate on decoration or form.

     

    Pottery from Creek Clayworks is fired either in an electric kiln or in a gas fired salt kiln.  These two firing methods result in very different surfaces.  Decorative techniques used for the electric kiln exploit the oxidation firing to the maximum.  Slips and glazes are dipped, poured, trailed and sprayed in layers, sometimes with wax resist between the layers.   The color palette achieved includes blues, greens, black, rusts and earth tones.  These surfaces are excellent for functional ware and are safe for food, dishwasher, oven and microwave.

    Pots for the salt kiln are often textured, faceted or fluted.  Interiors are glazed but the exteriors are only treated with slips, a form of liquid clay.  Salt added to the kiln at high heat reacts with the silica in the pots to form the glaze.  Much is left to accident and little is reproducible.  Many factors influence the final appearance of salt pots: placement of pots in the kiln, amount of salt used, oxygen available during the firing, the cooling process, and even the weather.

     

    Most of work made by Elaine and Mike are one-of-a-kind pieces.  Custom made dinnerware is a specialty. The customer participates in the choice of decoration and shape of the plates and bowls.  Sets may be thrown or of slab construction resulting in squares, octagons or rectangles.  The result is a truly unique set.

     

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