Tools & Talismans #74 — Christina Roos

PAINT BRUSH: I have many paintbrushes or brushes for different mediums. For my ceramics, I often use big heavy not so expensive brushes for the engobes. Engobes is a clay powder colored with oxides and mixed with water. The engobe is like a thick paint. You paint with engobes on wet clay. When I paint on bisque fired ceramics I use a fine brush. The brush painting on glazed ceramic can include all sorts of paint brushes. A variety of paint brushes is good to have as a ceramist.

KNIFE: The knife is a really important tool for me as an artist. Sharp and good quality is best to cut clay and sculpture things. The knife is also a tool when you draw in the leather hard clay surface. A technique called scraffito.

SPONGE: Elephant Ear Sponges are natural sponges with a flat shape and fine surface, very popular among potters due to the absorbent properties. A good sponge is nice to have when making additional work on the clay i.e. when you want a smooth and moisten surface.

CAMERA: Photography is an important tool for me. To see through the viewfinder and focus on one scene or object is interesting and to tell a story about a thing you made is so fun. I also use the camera on my cellphone as a daily tool to collect inspiration for my artwork.

SKETCHBOOK: I use my sketchbook daily. It is a must have tool. I don’t go anywhere without it. It's not only sketches in it, its thoughts, idea’s, phone numbers. It’s a small world of everything.

PEN: I have hundreds of different pens . . .  I love pens! At the moment I like markers.

THE BEAR: This Bear my daughter made when she was ten years old (she is fourteen now). She is not a crafty handy person and this was a hard thing for her to finish and enjoy. Sometimes it is good to do things you don’t like and do it well and finish it and learn something about it. It is a good thing to have new goals that you learn something about.

I love the things made by my children. The things they made when they were 4-10 years old have the energy and naiveté that I personally as an artist am searching for.

Christina Roos is a ceramic artist who likes to illustrate, draw, paint and take photos. She builds small worlds in clay and also makes cups that you can have in your world.