Annika Hoefs Ceramics
Annika Hoefs is a Toronto-based artist focusing on functional ceramics.
She aims to create pieces that beautify and enhance everyday experiences.
The majority of Annika's work is wheel-thrown, which means it was created on a potter's wheel. Throwing on the wheel takes a great deal of patience and muscle control. This challenge adds a certain excitement to the process and a great satisfaction when the goal is reached.
First the clay is wedged, or kneaded into a workable status, usually into the form of a ball or cone. The clay is then pressed into the centre of the wheel-head where water and even pressure from both hands are added while the wheel is spinning, to manipulate the clay into a cylindrical vessel. When the thrown piece has dried to a leather-hard state, it is flipped over and put back on the wheel to be 'trimmed' or 'turned'. After the vessel is trimmed, handles, knobs or other features can be added, as well as surface design elements such as carving, or painting with slip or underglaze. When the piece has fully dried, it is bisque fired to around 1900F. The firing process takes it from being a piece of clay to a permanent ceramic object. After the bisque firing, the piece is wiped clean with water to remove any residue from the kiln before applying glaze for the final firing. Most of Annika's work is designed and carefully taped and or coated with wax to mask areas when dipping or pouring glaze. This process generally takes several days, drawing the design, masking, and waiting for each layer of glaze to dry before finally cleaning the bottoms and putting them back into the kiln to fire at cone 6, about 2200F. The final (and most exciting) step is unloading the kiln. All wares are inspected for flaws and rough bottoms are sanded to a smooth finish before they are ready to be enjoyed.
Unlike throwing, slipcasting is a ceramic process that begins with making a plaster mould of the desired shape or object, then slip (liquid clay) is poured into the mould and left to harden for a time before pouring the slip back out to reveal a hollow cast. The marbling effect is created by adding mason stains to the slip.