Open Fires features the latest explorations by Liliana Ovalle and Colectivo 1050º around the firing process used in vernacular ceramics in Oaxaca. The project comprises a variety of exercises where clay pieces are fired in particular geometric setups created with sand, dung and agave leaves. Each composition acquires black traces of smoke and coal, a permanent imprint of the fire they were exposed to.
An initial open fire, traditionally used in the region, hardens the pieces and makes them stable. In the second stage Ovalle worked closely with the artisans creating different setups for individual contained fires to imprint a black smoked finishing. All the materials used in the clay and the firing process are sourced locally by the artisans.
It’s Great Design produced a series of illustrations portraying the making process in a limited edition of 20.
Liliana Ovalle is a London-based designer from Mexico who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2006.