Joseph Collings-Hall: Carbon and other colours – Little Gallery Emerging Artist Program Exhibition

Devonport Regional Gallery

Carbon and other colours

Joseph Collings-Hall

Little Gallery Emerging Artist Program


16 December 2023 – 20 January 2024
Little Gallery, Level 2


The pieces in “Carbon and other colours” have been made using Raku and Saggar firing techniques. There is something about the absence of control that comes with Raku and Saggar firing that makes the process very seductive.

The organic movement created by the natural combustibles imbue these works with that sense of motion that draws the eye. Whether it be a smoke stain from a gum-leaf or a twisting frizzle of Alpaca wool, the movement and energy that the process captures makes it extremely rewarding.

Artist Statement:

Raku and saggar firing incorporates a large element of chaos into their process. There is something about the absence of control that comes with these methods that makes the practice very seductive.

Alpaca wool raku refers to a method where wool is draped over the ceramic piece which is extremely hot, freshly pulled from the kiln. Due to the intense heat, the wool carbonises and adheres to the surface of the work. Alpaca wool is an exceptionally fine fibre, which leaves a beautiful tracery thin of lines. Often horsehair is also used, which creates bolder impressions.

My method of saggar firing involves a special combination of acids and organic colourants, such as seaweed, steel-wool, and other combustibles to create a galaxy-like effect.

Once the vessel is treated, it is wrapped in an aluminium foil which is the “saggar”. The work is then wood fired in a barrel, scoured, waxed, and polished by hand. Traditionally, saggars were made from clay, in essence placing a piece within a piece Russian-doll style. However, I find aluminium foil much more efficient.

The sense of captured movement imbued by the reactions of the natural combustibles draws the eye. The smooth, curved plane of the vessels walls evokes the desire to touch and hold. Whether it is a smoke stain from a gumleaf or a twisting frizzle of alpaca wool, the motion and energy that the process traps make it extremely rewarding.

Combined with the traditional forms of the vessels, the beauty of the uncontrolled nature of the surface treatment is brought to the fore. The unrestrained nature of these methods also means that each piece is unique.

While I have some understanding of what a given mix of colourants, combustibles and application will do, it is still largely unknown. Accepting and revelling in that ignorance is what makes the process so exciting and enjoyable.


For more information visit https://josephsilverceramics.com.au










Joseph Collings Hall, Shepherds delight, 2023, Saggar fired with acid and natural combustibles, 19 x 17 cm.


Exhibition Opening - Meet  & Greet the Artist: 

5pm on Friday 15 December 2023
Little Gallery, Level 2

Please join us at the Gallery at 5pm on Friday 15 December to officially open Carbon and other colours by Tasmanian artist Joseph Collings-Hall, as part of our Emerging Artist Program for 2023.

RSVP is appreciated by registering your attendance via the online form here.

Alternatively please email artgallery@devonport.tas.gov.au with your name, number of attendees, and a contact email and/or phone number.

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Dec 16 2023 - Jan 20 2024


Little Gallery - paranaple arts centre