Collection: About me

My name is Salome Aucamp, a ceramic artist living in a beautiful seaside village, Malahide, in Ireland.

Having grown up on a farm in rural South Africa, I've always been fascinated by nature - the feeling, texture, calm, that perfect moment of just being.

I get my inspiration from nature around me, whether it's moss growing on old stone walls in the Irish countryside, the patterns of the water in rockpools, the mountains from back home... Often that is how a new project will start - I know the "feel", the overall experience I want of a piece, whether that is something strong, majestic, or whether it wants to keep its beauty a little secret, only to be shared with those close to them.

My work is often flexible as I go on - I start with an idea, create the rough design, decide on the type of clay which would suit the size and use best, and then it grows with me over the following weeks. This can involve many different techniques - whether that be pinching the clay as it shapes between my hands, carving, connecting coils, rolling out slabs of clay and draping over plaster moulds I make, or a combination of all. Creating the shape is however only the starting point. Once I am happy with the form, I use rocks, seeds etc to create texture on the by now firmer clay. Slow drying for at least a couple of weeks is then followed by the first (bisque) firing to 1000C.

The glazing process is another exciting part in both the design and actual creation. I like to create contrast between raw clay and reactive glazes. Iron oxide washes accentuate this natural texture outside, whilst highly glossy, flowing glazes inside bring movement.  Depending on the project, I often use up to 4 different reactive glazes which I fire to 1220C. When they melt together and flow, the reaction leads to the most beautiful patterns. Layering it in different thicknesses, patterns and order guarantees, yet again, that no piece is ever exactly the same. 

I think that is also why handbuilding is my chosen method in ceramics. The rules and techniques are actually very strict - compress well, connect all seams or coils well, smooth the clay as you go along, no sharp angles, very slow drying (sometimes up to 2 months!), slow firing, ... the list sometimes feels endless. But here's the beauty - as long as I follow the rules, my imagination has the freedom to go where it wants. I can keep my shapes organic, my edges with that feeling of movement, of life. Same as us sometimes I guess, we can be similar, but always unique.

I also love working with clients on private commissions, as it enables me to create something very personal, with special meaning to the client, that can become part of their everyday life.