Maker Page - Karen of HodgePodgeArts

Karen's work is beautiful and inspiring. Had I enough room, I'd fill my house with her wares. Sadly, I have to confine myself to just her buttons...

"I am an artist living in Northamptonshire and am currently studying for a BA (Hons) Design crafts degree at Oxford and Cherwell College. Over the years I have made work in all sorts of mediums but am continually drawn back to clay because of its wonderful versatility. I see my handmade ceramic buttons as mini works of art as I can make each one just that little bit different and unique.

I use a variety of clays to make the buttons but the three main ones are Porcelain, white stoneware and craft crank clay. Each clay gives its own unique quality to a piece. Porcelain has a soft, delicate look, white stoneware has a more solid, practical feel. Craft crank has a wonderful gritty texture that can give a piece a lovely rustic appearance.

Once the buttons have been formed and the texture or pattern applied they are left to dry for at least 24 hours before bisque firing in my kiln. The bisque firing draws away any remaining water from the clay. After bisque firing, they are then lightly sanded, glazed and then fired once more in the kiln to 1250 degrees centigrade. Each kiln firing takes at least 24 hours to get up to temperature, soak and then cool down again. Some buttons will be fired more than twice depending on the desired finish.

Karen can be found at Karen Turner Ceramics