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Oeiras Ceramic Art exhibition, Lisbon, Portugal

Lichen effect vase by Linda Bloomfield
Oeiras Ceramic art exhibition, work by Philippa Mollet
Luciana Cravo, Philippa Mollet and Linda Bloomfield at Oeiras Ceramic Art, Lisbon

I had a week in Portugal in October 2023, teaching glaze workshops and visiting Oeiras Ceramic Art exhibition. I was invited to be an ambassador for the exhibition, together with other ceramic artists including Alberto Bustos and Yola Vale. We attended the opening night of the exhibition and gave a series of workshops and talks in Oeiras.

Glaze workshop at Ceramist shop atelier Oeiras
Glaze workshop at Ceramista shop atelier Oeiras

I was invited by ceramicist Luciana Cravo and business owner and exhibition organiser Catia Fernandes to teach two glaze workshops, one at Luciana’s studio and the other at Catia’s Ceramista shop and atelier. We spent the first day making glaze tests and then fired overnight and discussed the results the next day.

Lava glaze test tiles
Barium lava glaze with added cobalt, copper, chromium, iron and zirconium.

The kilns fired to a higher temperature than expected (cone 10 and above 1300C) but there were some great results with lava glazes and crawl glazes. The students also made glossy, matt, satin matt and crackle glazes. Each student made a base glaze and added various colouring oxides.

Crawl glaze tests with various colouring oxides
Zinc crawl glaze by Mariana Figueiredo with added chromium, manganese, tin, nickel and copper

Some of the students from the glaze workshops were also at Oeiras ceramic art exhibition. I met Catherine Portal, Philippa Mollet and Leonora Lockhart, who I had met previously when she attended my book launch in London.

Luciana Cravo at Oeiras Ceramic Art exhibition
Leonora Lockhart, Luciana Cravo and Catherine Portal at Oeiras Ceramic Art

Luciana Cravo makes lava-glazed sculptures inspired by weathered rocks found on the beach. She was extremely welcoming and looked after me throughout my stay in Portugal, taking me for delicious lunches of bacalhau, pasteis de nata and also showing me around the national museum of tiles (azulejos) in Lisbon. We also visited the workshop on the top floor of the museum where tile panels are restored. Thank you for inviting me Luciana and Catia!

Azulejo museum in Lisbon
Tile panel, National Azulejo museum, Lisbon