The Mini Creamware Wall Light by deVOL
11th November 2022
The Mini Creamware Wall Light, deVOL’s first venture into the world of wall-mounted lighting… and what a beauty it is.The prettiest little wall light, here it is happily in a corner of Cotes Mill – available on the deVOL shop.
I love seeing all the wonderful things come out of our ceramics studio, from iconic shimmering green tiles to pendant lighting, pretty platters and now these wonderful wall lights. I was interested in learning more about this design so I decided to reach out to deVOL’s Ceramics Studio Manager, Claire. It was fascinating to get an insight into the world of clay and slip casting and firing and I thought you might just like to hear from Claire on how this light is made too, along with a few lovely photos of Jim – deVOL’s main caster for the Creamware and Crackle lights – in the studio…Lots of lovely shades in the deVOL ceramics studio.
“To make the Mini Creamware shades, we use earthenware clay and mix it with water until it has a consistency like single cream, this is then known as the slip. It is then mixed in a blunger (a big tank with a motorised mixer for those of us who don’t know all the ceramics lingo!) for a couple of hours until it is smooth and free of lumps, before being sieved and poured into each plaster mould. The moulds are plugged with dowels and left while the plaster absorbs the water from the mixture. Once we think they’re ready, the dowels are removed and the slip drains into a bucket underneath the casting bench, leaving a clay cast in the mould which starts to firm up within half an hour or so.”
The Mini Creamware Wall Light being removed from its mould.
“Once ‘leather hard’, the casts are removed from the moulds and 9 small holes are pierced into the neck of the light in groups of 3. The idea for these small holes around the neck of the light was a bit of a happy accident when I was prototyping them. I was originally looking at the shades as being used for a plug-in light and thought it might be quite nice to have light shining out of the shade, so I started piercing shapes into various areas of the cast and fired them. When I put a light bulb in it and saw all the little circles lighting up the wall it was hung on, it looked really sweet and Helen (deVOL’s Creative Director) liked it too when I showed her, so it just developed from a bit of playing around really! When we developed them into a wall light, that small detail just worked so well.”The nine holes in the neck of the shade allow the light to shine out a little from the top, it looks really beautiful.
“We then use a very fine grade sandpaper to shape and smooth the rim and make the hole the correct size for the light fitting. This is then tidied up with a sponge and smoothed over, the process is called ‘fettling’. The shades are then ready for their bisque firing (the first firing!).”Sanding the shade just a little to ensure it’s the totally perfect size and ready for the light fittings.
“From start to finish, it takes roughly 2 weeks to make the mini wall light. It takes the same amount of time to make 1 as it does to make 40, which is why we always make and fire in batches! Clay requires time to firm up and to dry completely before the bisque firing, it then needs to be sprayed with the cream glaze and fired a second time.”The final step of smoothing everything out before the shades first firing in the kiln.
“Once we’ve unloaded the shades from the kiln, the fixtures are assembled and the light is packed up and booked in for dispatch. It’s the same process as with all of our lights, each step is as important as the next, so lots of attention to detail is required to make sure we unload as many successful lights from the kiln as possible.”
A beautiful light and a fascinating process, how lovely to know exactly who is making the thing you are buying, to know exactly where it is made and how much time and care goes into the whole process. I think that’s wonderful.
The Mini Creamware Wall Light is for you if you like understated and classic and if you want corners of your home to exude a warm glow and have the loveliest atmosphere.
– You can find the Mini Creamware Wall Light on our online shop.
– Keep up to date with all our latest accessories and projects on our Instagram.