Lithoidal ceramics (chamotte).
Grog, also known as firesand and chamotte – a special type of ceramics. It is ductile and at the same time extremely robust. It is not afraid of falling from heights, where the ordinary product made of clay will smash into hundreds of pieces, a figure of grog will escape it with just a small scratch. Stone ceramics is not afraid of fire and frost. It is perfect for creating street decorations and sculptures, for parts of garden and park design. Grog – an environmentally friendly material. Products are produced at very high temperatures (1300-1350 Co) – all harmful substances burn out and disappear. Finished products are totally harmless for humans, animals and plants. It is an ideal material for both domestic and decorative art items. Designers all around the world like a stone pottery, for its striking similarity to the natural “aged” stone. Grog surface is dotted with cracks and veins, as if they were influenced by time, rain and wind. Products made of chamotte as if are breathing with a bygone era. Stone ceramics will give a special romanticism, oldness and mystery to your interior.
Amazing properties of the “stone” ceramics are hidden in its producing technology. Its foundation is white clay the same one, which is used in the manufacture of porcelain. Small pieces of clay are fired in a kiln and then ground in a crasher. The already made solid powder is mixed with a fresh portion of white clay and water. Material gains plasticity and ready to be worked with. When working with this material artist needs alot of experience and patience in molding, shaping in the design of small parts. A few days are spent on intermediate drying, after goes dyeing and only then fired in a kiln. At least ten days are spent on the creation of a even a small sculpture.
The works of stone ceramics are presented in the Elfu Fabrika galleries, made by an artist named Mart. He is about 40; he is very talented and promising author. This is what Mart says about himself: First lessons of modeling were taught to me by my granny. At that time the whole neighborhood enjoyed her pottery: pots, pitchers, and bowls. Professional potters were her father and grandfather. I often stayed in her home village. I remember how my grandmother threw fresh reddish lump of clay on the potter’s wheel then she took my small fingers in her wrinkled hands, and together we began to create miracles. The wheel turned round slowly, wet clay oozed through the fingers and I held my breath, watched how our hands produce elegant jug or vase from shapeless mass. I tried to repeat it myself, and was very angry, nothing managed to me. All the grandmothers’ works were very smooth and beautiful. And my “works of art” failed. In the evening we colored dishes. My grandmother told me fairy tales or stories of life, and after I tried to express my emotions in the pattern. Finished the school, I decided to become a professional ceramist and entered the University of Latvia, the Faculty of Applied Arts where I first stepped with a new material for me – chamotte. I was immediately amazed by the unusual appearance of this material, its texture. Warm, slightly rough to the touch a net of cracks or maybe moss-covered rock at the start of the roads, cracked ground under the scorching rays of the sun or crust of fragrant village bread, baking in the oven. In short, I fell in love with stone ceramics for life for its rich possibilities, for the hidden warmth inside of it.