Regina Heinz has developed a special slab building technique that emphasises the softness and tactile qualities of the material.
Clay is rolled out by hand on newspaper to enrich the surface with cracks, stretch marks and imprints of creases in the paper. While still soft, the slabs are either shaped over chicken wire to make relief-pieces for wall hanging or joined and "tailored" to construct free-standing sculptural forms. The final shape and expression of the pieces are achieved by stretching, pushing, folding and incising the slabs, yet at the same time retaining and preserving their original surface texture to the highest possible degree.
This technique is paramount to Regina's work and requires both spontaneity and control. The soft slabs react immediately to every touch, every movement of the hand and are easily over-worked and in danger of loosing their elasticity and freshness.
For technical and aesthetic reasons, Regina uses grogged Stoneware clays (e.g. White St. Thomas, Crank). Grog provides tactile and visual texture as well as strength for better control during the forming process. All pieces are high biscuited at 1080°C and then glazed in several thin layers with biscuit slips, oxides, stains and a Lithium glaze.
The colouring is designed to enhance form and texture and to add to the sensual qualities of the pieces. The final effect is the result of multiple firings and highly depends on the number of layers, the consistency and thickness of the glaze, how fast the glaze is brushed on and whether the colours are fired-on between applications or not.
All glaze firings take place in an electrical kiln in an oxidising atmosphere at 1035°C with half an hour's soak. At this temperature the Lithium glaze is under-fired, the Lithium grains just start to melt and create an interesting speckle effect that adds depth and variation to the coloured surface.