Debbie Barber makes highly decorative ceramics: bowls, vases and sculptural ceramics, principally bird forms, which feature a wide range of skilled techniques.
Debbie says, “Creating decorative objects is uplifting and nourishes the soul.”
Ceramic forms are either hand-built or slip cast, then press moulded and altered using specialist techniques such as sgraffito, incising, printing and moulding. Debbie then uses coloured slips and underglazes to build her subtle hues. She’s developed her chosen techniques, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in forming, glazing and firing, and developed a recognisable style.
Debbie has had a life-long interest in ceramics, her continuing interest in and commitment to surface pattern reflecting the influences of a textile background. In new work she has moved away her long preference for Raku firing to entirely new techniques. Her surfaces are now very complex with texture and colour: underglazes are painted or sponged, removed, blended or sanded, to create the right surface and depth of colour. Debbie’s birds sit on very elaborate pillar-like bases, much inspired by antique Chinese wallpapers. These bases are either carved directly, or imprinted via patterns carved into plaster blocks into which the clay is then pressed.