I am fascinated with the concept of transition, and the ‘liminal space’ that is created as one state moves towards another. This is expressed in my work in how I layer two glazes of different chemistry which interact with each other, creating a transitional zone, in which the chemistry of both glazes merge, to form a third glaze.
I work with glazes of different characters, which have a “wet” or “dry” quality. By layering glazes, that are very fluid and reflective, over glazes that offer a drier and matt surface I can create a zone of interaction between the two, with unpredictable results, as their chemistries merge, hopefully creating a bit of magic and beauty in the process.
About Bernard Kavanagh
Bernard’s career in pottery started in 1981 at the tender age of 21, when he left a secure pensionable job as a Telecommunications Technician with Eircom, to start an apprenticeship as a potter with Helena Brennan in Dublin. He then worked, over many years, for a number of the larger potteries in Ireland, such as Louis Mulcahy in Dingle, Michael Jackson in Bennettsbridge, Bandon Pottery in Cork. In 1990 he set up his own pottery in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, moving to Graiguenamanagh in 1997 and returning to Thomastown again in 2019.
Bernard’s work is thrown on the potter’s wheel and is functional in nature. The pottery is glazed with a variety of original decorative glazes and is fired to stoneware temperature. Over the years he has built and fired many types of kilns, including those fired by gas and wood. At present the bulk of his work is fired in an electric kiln to a temperature of 1220 degrees Celsius.
He has a passion for glazes and their chemistry. He keeps his pottery shapes simple and elegant, to enhance the interplay of glaze and form.