Research: Robert Hessler

Another artist that stood out to me when looking through the book is Robert Hessler. What I found most intriguing about his works is mainly the colour. With Scotchie’s work, it was a combination of form, texture and colour. However with these works I am completely captured by the colour and glaze patterns. Something I am interested in including in my own works are the combinations of colours. Opposite colours attract me greatly, and the combinations of both orange and blue, and yellow and blue are quite heavily part of my colour scheme. Hessler has great examples of these colours working well together and he exhibits evidence of each colour blending into one another, which is something I had desired for my first clay piece. I am keen to discover how to graduate my glazes into each other when moving onto a new colour, much like the photo on the right hand side. Something else that I found myself extremely drawn into when looking over his works, are the surface patterns he’s manage to create on top of his glaze colours. These patterns give his work an organic and natural feel, looking as though it mimic the trails of a wave on the beech, or similar to natural growth patterns such as mould.

Robert mixes his own zinc-based glazes that form crystals on the surface of each piece during firing; this creates unique patterns and textures. This is an extremely unique and individual approach to glazing, and the spontaneity, excitement and anticipation of not being able to pre-determine the outcome of his glazes once fired is an extremely confident way of working, and as you can see, also an extremely successful way also.

After researching in to the way Hessler works with his glazes, I began to think about his work in relationship to my own. With the subject matter I am working with, the growth of deadly diseases (mostly cancer) this way of working is extremely relevant and may be something worth trying within my own work. It would give each of my pieces individuality, just like the way cancer is different for each and every person that has to develop a relationship with it.


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