Artist: Ché Finch
Medium: Earthenware, glazes, oxides and gold leaf
Dimensions: 19.8 x 28.5 cm
As seen in:
© Ché Finch
Orphan is a ceramic vase that depicts an abstract metal fenced gate at the exit of an orphanage, internally there is a red stain representing the blood of a young boy. It explores themes of childhood loss and abandonment, as well as, an act of remembrance for a young boy in apartheid South Africa. Orphan refers to Ché Finch's experience whilst staying at an orphanage aged four with her brother who had been quarantined due to infectious illness. It recounts abandonment, isolation and hope whilst waiting at the gate for a loved one to visit. The red stain hidden within the pot symbolises the death of a young black boy in apartheid South Africa and an unresolved sense of loss for his life and humanity.
Orphan is a hand coiled vase, with three distinct horizontal areas built up in stages starting at the base of the vase. Texture in the lower third of the vase was created using oxides and glazes to create a chemical reaction reminiscent of volcanic activity with areas of iridescence. Smoothness to depict fence lines amidst this interaction was created using string as a resist. The area was then protected with a wax resist before the second third of the vase was created, with a further wax resist to protect the area. Finally further glazes were poured inside and outside the remaining upper third of the vase ultimately creating a veil over the barium green in the second third of the vase, creating inaccessibility and a sense of obstruction.
Orphan's diverse surface invites the viewer to hold the vase.
This repeated layering process using multiple glazes is a signature of Ché Finch's work, with a focus on glaze interactions referencing flux.