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Dale Bowen
Past Works

Pate-sur-pate is described by Dale as the "holy grail" of ceramic techniques because of the skill required for its execution and the high probability that something can go wrong in the firing process.

"You have to apply at least thirty slips of liquid porcelain" Dale says "and work freehand without any guidelines. Once you have built up a cameo like image you take a sharp edged tool and cut back into the design allowing for different planes of precise outlined layers. It is only judgement and experience that ensure that the design when fired, will have clearly incised details. You also need to brush and soften the edges to achieve a diaphanous effect and you have to be willing to take risks because the slip can blister or shatter in the firing process."

Once fired, pate-sur-pate becomes a translucent relief which whether executed in white, gold, red or orange retains its opaque appearance. Usually worked against a dark colour such as black, cobalt blue or even turquoise, the effect is one of porcelain having been transmuted to glass.
"It is like alchemy" Dale says "you take one material and it becomes something else without the addition of any other chemicals or high tech ideas."

Dale describes his success at mastering this art form to the notebooks of Marc Louis Salon. Fascinated by works he had previously seen only in museum collections, Dale was able to study Minton's collection before this factory closed.
"Marc Louis Salon was the last great master of the technique," Dale says "and after I had studied his works and his notes I knew I had discovered something that would satisfy my love of painting, and my passion for the Potteries ."

While Dale's work at Wedgwood is in the Jasper Prestige department making unique, special, limited edition pieces, in his own studio he continues to experiment with slip porcelain so as to make works that will appeal to a future generation of collectors.

His independent forms draw from the Art Deco movement as well as fifties and sixties design while his decoration looks from the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, to Chinese inspired motifs, and recently to popular 20 th Century and even Contemporary images. He is determined to push the technique into new realms and to work bigger and bigger as demands from American collectors dare him to go further.

"Who knows" he says "the skies the limit once you know what you are doing."
However few people do and Dale remains almost solitary in his exploration of pate-sur-pate.
"What I am aiming for," he says "are those young City people whose bonuses allow them to support the art trade. But instead they seem caught up in a fad for young Contemporary artists. What they do not see is that work like mine will not be around in a hundred years from now. The trouble is that young people do not know enough about luxury trades to realise that they need to support it and that this is where real art investment will pay off."

Dale Bowen Muneyumi Oshiro
Mano Christelis Beverly Price
Sidwell Rihlamvu Eric Miller
Katharina Vones  
Benjamin Zucker  
Rachel Galley  
Carol Mather  
African Art  

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