Ceramicist Kathleen Tennock takes some earthy inspiration for her work.

There’s a timeless elegance to stone—it’s one of the oldest materials in the known world. It’s also forever inspiring Kathleen Tennock’s uniquely decorative vessels. “I love the energy that a pebble has if you hold it in your hand,” the Whistler-based ceramicist muses. “It has such a beautiful weight and balance to it.”

She achieves the stone-like textured look synonymous with her work through a variation on a centuries-old Japanese firing technique called naked raku. The beauty of raku firing is in its uncontrollable nature. “It’s just such a spontaneous process,” she says.

But not all pieces, and roughly only 10 percent of her larger creations, can withstand the thermal shock. She deposits her clay still red-hot from the kiln into a basket of sawdust and shredded newspaper, which instantly goes up in flames, leaving wonderfully abstract patterns on the surface.

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