handmade ceramic clock peter bowen art

Mantel Clocks

Unique mantel clocks design created by master craftsman Peter Bowen Art in his ceramics studio in rural Somerset. He creates and builds a new ceramic mantel clock design from initial sketches on paper. When the shape and proportions look right they are then applied on to clay that has been rolled out into a flat slab.

It is much like rolling out pastry for baking... the clay thickness is 10mm (3/8 inch) and quite damp which has to dry out and become fairly stiff before it can be cut to shape - even then it is still quite difficult to work with.

After I have cut all of the basic shapes for the mantel clock design I then leave them to dry out so the pieces are quite stiff and ready for assembly. I use a clay slip which is ground up clay added to water to form a soupy mixture much like glue.

 making a ceramic clock

To join two pieces together the edges are scored and then the slip is applied and the two are pressed together. It is a slow process but soon starts to resemble the finished size and shape.

peter bowen art ceramic clock

The first firing in my electric kiln is called a bisque firing to 998°C (1,828°F) and takes about 18 hours,this is when the clay becomes a ceramic material. At this stage the fired ceramic is pure white and ready to accept glazes. 

I use my own glaze recipes. When the multiple coats of hand applied glaze are bone dry the mantel clock can then be fired to 1,031°C (1,888°F) which takes about 14 hours, this is where the glaze material bonds to the ceramic body to form a final finish.

Pete Bowen says "Ceramics and Art have always played an important part in my artistic development and I continue to explore new creative opportunities".

Developing unique glazes is what makes his work stand out from other ceramic producers. He has created a range of interesting glaze colours which are quite remarkable.

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