Explosive Ceramics 101

This workshop is a workshop that John Bauer offers on the Airbnb experiences platform. John states that “it has been exciting seeing how people respond to clay both veterans of clay and beginners.” He uses fireworks to create a shockwave to be able to reposition the particles of clay and create a large rapidly expanding ball of air which forms the piece. The different colours of clay moves, expands and respond to the shock. Elements of the clay like the coarse grog forms craters as it flies through the air and hits the surface, creating moonlike structures. These are only a few potential techniques using fireworks to form clay pots.

These pots John developed in 2014 (when Cape Town was world design capital) for a designer who needed pots at a very affordable price. He thought about their recommend price and decided the only way he can make work at such a low price is if it is not taking much time and made in an instant. These pots form instantaneously. You light the fuse and within a second you have a pot. It does sound like a cheat, or something fling in the face of pottery, but there is something quiet wonderful about knowing so much about clay and then finding a new frontier to explore. This has been John’s new frontier. This has challenged his mind as a veteran of clay. It has been exciting and dynamic. It has also widened the community and invited a large, diverse group of people to participate, who wouldn’t normally participate with clay.

“I am looking forward to introducing these techniques to you as seasoned potters. Those classes I have taught to seasoned potters have been the most dynamic and the most rewarding. It has been a joyful experience. I am looking forward to welcoming you.”

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