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It all started with a Christmas gift for my partner Yiannis. We went to try a macrame workshop led by James from huiswerk_store.  We were very happy with our creations and I have discussed making a planter specially for James.

I wanted a form that compliments the rope work and fits it perfectly utilising negative spaces of the plant hanger. 
Yiannis helped me with model making and figuring out the technical problems. The mould making, pressing and finishing was my job.

Comercial planter in macrame hanger.     

The result was interesting but I still approached it as a sketch rather then finished product.

To develop more forms we started a collaboration: Yiannis was making nets and prepping them for model making while I was curating the overall shapes, making moulds, preparing slip, casting, fettling, firing and glazing. 

     Raspberry vase model       

Raspberry moulds by Aga Robak

The Raspberry (which was the nickname of the first vase model) became a collection of tactile vessels and dishes.

Raspberry bowls by Aga Robak Hand-painted Raspberry bowls by Aga Robak Raspberry collection by Aga Robak

Slip-casting is one of the ways to produce 'identical' pieces in numbers. I enjoy working with multiples of the same form while exploring surface decoration. It gives me opportunity to create unique pieces within certain constrains.

The making process of this collection is almost an opposite of the pinching I use in making Lanzarote vessels. It is more detached and sterile in some sense.

Mould making stage requires precision (in this case the models are made by hand, therefore the finish shapes are 'imperfect'). 
Casting is quite physical as some of the moulds need 5l of slip (a bit less the 10kg) to be poured in and the out of them. That combined with the weight of the mould itself can be quite a lot to lift while slowly turning the mould upside down to drain it.

I handle casts while cutting the rim and fettling but the objective here is to make them as 'perfect' as possible. There is no place for playing with clay and leaving my marks on it, in fact I am removing them as much as possible. It might seem quite restraining but I will gain back the freedom once it comes to glazing and decorating the pieces.

In my everyday life I strive for balance, same can be seen in my studio practice. Fluctuating between natural and man-made, my objects are tactile and functional.


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