My first contact with sculpture and ceramics is connected to fluor orange. Minium or Red Lead was the most popular glaze in the ceramics workshop where I took my first steps in sculpture during my childhood. Brushed, dipped, poured or sprayed, I grew up watching people apply this red-orange glaze to hundreds of pottery and sculpture pieces. I hardly remember the final tone after the tangerine coloured pieces were cooked, but I cannot forget the bright and almost radioactive orange of the pieces waiting to be put into the oven. Although I was never allowed to use the glaze, it was not until 13 years later that I discovered why everyone stopped using that bright glaze from one year to another. Red Lead proved to be highly toxic, and “utmost care should be used in handling the dry powder pigment to avoid inhaling the dust or ingesting the pigment in any form”. Likewise the 1930s red-orange uranium glazes of Homer Laughlin Company, today minium is nothing else but a memory. This piece represents the memory of that past colour, as I remember it.
London, UK 2019