Tom Rippon’s legacy is a collection of delicate, technically intricate and humerour ceramic pieces with an intriguing colour finish achieved through applying paint at the final stage. Often giving his pieces an under glaze, he then added fine details and decorated his work using acrylic paints, pencils and it is suggested, car enamel. This enabled him to achieve a highly unusual and distinctive finish, for which he is renowned and remembered.
Another artist who uses paint on their ceramic sculptures is Ken Price. After painting his work with layers of acrylic, he sands them down to get a flat, smooth surface onto which he applies an array of colours. The use of this method allows him to display to maximum effect, the intricate, bright layering of colours.
Both these artists represent how you do not need to glaze a ceramic piece simply because it is historically traditional or acceptable to do so. Although these pieces may not last as long as they may if they were glazed, we must remember that they are pieces intended for the gallery, and not for use. I feel that I may experiment with using some paints in the final finish, so that I can experience this technique first hand and see the visual impact on my pieces. I also am drawn to the degree of control this method provides, over the end result.