25 Sep Coral Wall Project: Ceramic Corals Get Their Colors
The project’s lead artist Courtney Mattisson was in Bali from September 25-29, 2017 to conduct a week-long workshop with Indonesian artists Ricko Gabriel, Sasanti Puri Ardini, Alfiah Rahdini and Anak Agung Ivan B as well as collaborators from Jenggala Keramik and BPPT-Balai Teknologi Industri Kreatif Keramik (BTIKK) on glazing techniques.
Creating ceramic coral pieces is a multiple-step process. After sculpting the clay, letting it dry, firing it in the kiln to make bisques, the next step is now adding glazes to make our ceramic coral sculpture come alive like real-life healthy coral reefs.
“In order to glaze something really well, you have to watch out for thin spots and coverage is key. Glaze is clay material with glass in them that melts at high temperature to form a skin over the clay body. Sort of like corals that are calcium carbonate skeletons and they have the algae covering them to give them their colors,” Courtney said.
After putting on the glaze, the team fired the pieces in the kiln for 17 hours to get the effect of colorful healthy coral reefs. In the next few weeks, the team will be repeating the process to produce 3,000 colorful ceramic corals.
The Coral Wall, which will be a permanent exhibit at the CTC Center for Marine Conservation in Sanur, is a monumental scale ceramic sculptural installation that showcases the beauty of life under the ocean’s surface. The design of this community-based artwork draws inspiration from the beauty and diversity coral reef ecosystems and will serve as a tool to increase public awareness about the value of healthy oceans to the Coral Triangle—the heart of marine biodiversity.