Pottery In Australia Vol 39 No 4 December 2000

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Practical Information on


Faults & Remedies

R.w IhterIaIs : Their

Properties and U ...

Glaze Pre.,.ratlon and


DecoratIve Colours and

Their Appli~tion

Stilin. : Speclflcdon.

& Appllution.

Studio Equipment

Choosing A Kiln and

Kiln Furniture

Mixing Casting Slip

Health & Safety



Ceramic Terms

And much, much


Over 100 pages of


and illustrations.

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Fax 03 9725 2289

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Over 100 pages of information and illustrations.

Topics covered include :-

Practical Information on Clays

Faults & Remedies ·

Raw Materials: Their Properties and Uses

Glaze Preparation and Application

Decorative Colours and Their Application

Stains: Specifications · & Applications

Studio Equipment ·

Choosing A Kiln and Kiln Furniture

Mixing Casting Slip

Health &·


Comprehensive Glossary of

Ceramic Terms

And much, much more!



(inc GST)




& handling.

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Front Cover

VICtor Grrenaway, 'Nch'Ne' .

Eggshell white porcelain and


Photo by Terence Bogue

National Showcase


II White Earth/Red Earth - Spiralling towards


Victor Greenaway's most recent wort< with

porcela,n and ltaliarl tJucc;l-ero. Article by

Judlttl Lesley

m godisgreat.com

PalOstan prOVIded thllnspiratlOli for thllatest

exhibited work by Appn Drysdale. Opening

speech by Geoffrey ChaJ1es Allen.

m Porcelain - A Loosely Potted History

ArtICle and rfNieN of wort< by Kirsten Coehlo,

Stephanie Livesey and Phillip Hart by

Stephen Bowers


Publ!shed by

Tl'e PotIErs· Sooe1y of "',s!tala • Variations/Transmutations


Crows Nest 1685

Telephone; (02) 9001 3353

FacsImile; (02) 9436 1681


President of

n-e Pattern' Sooe1y 01 .AIJstlaia

Marian Howell


Sue Buckle



Margaret Hornbuckle

(03) 9584 4536


Stephanie Outridge-Field

(073) 857 2679

North Quee'lsIand

Wendy Bainbridge

(07) 4n1 5044

Far North 0ueensIand

Jacqueline Waters

Western Austral",

Ann Storey

(OB) 9245 4850


Jane Crick (02) 6281 2594

South Australia

Maggie Smith

(OB) 6337 9854

Design and Production

Bowra + Bowra

(0214861 43B8

CcbJ Se!:aatioos


Patsy HeIy's love of porcelain. ArtICle by

Helen Stephens

m Preserved Sound

Reur Schlll - ArtIst StaJement



Exploring Porcelain

Petra Murphy's recent wort<

Porcelain Bowl Refined

Neville French

m Discovery and Journey. Metaphor and


A bretak WIth rou1Jne takes A1eida Aullar on a

journey with porcelain

m Simplicity - Refinement

Prue Venables exPlores subtle IssueS and


m Porcelain and Primrtive



Australian porcela in - what a diverse range of

pra ctice now exists. This issue showcases just

some of the ceramic anislS who are exploring the

porential of this exquisite material. Works that are at

once luminous, powerful, elegant, refined, tactile. These

are objects that reach across the divide between maker

and user, always maintaining traces of the maker's touch

and the esssence of the origi nal unfired material - the

fmest, softest, porcellaneous day. -nlrough the alchemy of

fire this becomes a strong, glass-like material that has

proved itself impervious to the effects of time and wear.

At the sa me time it is imbued with an aU"1 that is both

fragile and precious.

We now have most of the major clay makers in Australia

producing their own porcelain bodies - a fact that gives

ceramists huge choice when working - a choice of

throwing properties, colour, fIred surface properties. TIl is

has certainly played its part in the increased number of

ceramic artists working in this specialist area. Enjoy the

resullS of their explorations and skill.

As I mentioned in my laSt editorial, this will be my last

issue as editor after 10 yea rs. I am pleased to announce

that Tricia Dc

- - - --- - ------------------- --- -------

Top: Angela Mellor, 'Passage of Time'. Bone China on quartz.

28 x8cm, 20 x 9cm. Gallery East, Freeman1le. Photography by lsamu Sawa.

Left: Chris Myers, winner of the Bushells 2000 Classic Teapot Competition.

Below: Carol Rosser. Anagame fired, Blackwood Ash. h34cm




Above: Pamela Irving, 'The Mosaic Carry'. Exhlb~lng Volvo Gallery Sydney,

January 2001 .

Left: Petra Murphy, 'Balancing Act 11'. Earthenware modular forms. h4&::m

Exh i b~ed at Craft ACT Gallery, Canberra.

Below: St~ Bow""', mugs. CobaH underglaze.

Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney. Photography by G. Hancock.




Victor Greenaway's work is reaching a maturity and a confidence that is reflected in the easy,

spiralling lines and finely executed, lyrical forms shown in several recent exhibitions in

Australia and Italy. Article by JUOrfH LESLEY



From those very ea rly, halcyon days of ceramic

production in Australia, in the mid sixties and e'd rly

seventies, Victor Greenaway was inspired by the

skill and an istry of those potters who had mastered the

rigorous di scipline of repetition th row ing. Th e

considerable motor ski ll required in manipulating clay

on a spinning wheel was a challenge that he was more

than capahle of undenaki ng. For morc than twenty five

years in his studio in Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria, he

practiced and generously passed on to others, the fine art

of throwing multiples of the same shape, taking great

pleasure in see ing stacks of hm"ls, plates and cups

mount up in the studio.

ow, aftcr more than thiny years of studio practice,

and with extensive experience in exhibiting and working

in Europe, Victor Greenaway's wo rk is reaching a

maruriry and a con fidence that is reflected in the easy,

spiralling lines and tlnely executed, lyrical fomls shown

in several recent exhibitions in Australia and Ita ly. It is

this maturiry and confidence, together with an increasing

energy and inspi ra tion to keep moving, that has won him

the prJise and support of his peers. Just this year he was

awarded an Australia Council for the Ans Fellowship for


The Australi a Coun ci l Fellowship is awarded to

pract itioners and writers in the field of visual ans and

crafLs. Fellows are sekcted on the basis of an outstanding

record as :4 professional anist, craftsperson or writer. and

the art ist ic meri t of th e activities proposed for the

Fellowship period. Fellowships are granted only once in

an anist's lifetime. Of the four awarded this yea r, only

one was in the crafts.

Victor Greenaway's Fellowship program will foclls on

the development of new work involving rwo individual

and extrao rdinary mate ri als: th e understa ted, fine

4ualities of smoked-black Etruscan hu cchero usi ng

traditional Italian terracotra, and the illustri ous

translu ce ncy of pure wh ite porce lain . In a recent

interview, Greenaway said, 'These contrasting materials

and fi ring techniques arise from very different cultu ral

and historical trad itions. Creating a link herween these

diverse cultu res is a ch allenge in itself, but the real

ch allenge i in pu rring these m·o particular ce ramic

elements together to create a new and eloquent, anistic

statement of form and textu re·.

Greenaway lalks about his approach to throw ing and

his continual st riving for perfection.

'In the heginning, my approach to throwi ng relied on

high levels of ki lls in manipulating the clay into strong

but elega nt forl11S. Over the yea rs, the control over form

became stronger as [ continued to strive for perfection.

The surfaces were always kept clea n to allow fo r a

Previous page: Pair of bowls. Yellow crackle glaze, porcelain.

h17cm / 'Bucchero' bowt, h12cm.

Opposite top: Bowl form, eggshell blue/white porcetain, w22cm.

Also part of 'Succhero' bowl.

Opposite bottom: Group of three 'Bucherro' spiral forms.

TaJlest h35cm.

Photography by Terence Bogue.

restrained line of decoration to suppon the forms. The

past few ycars, however, have seen quite a remarkable

development. 11,e actual process of throwing has become

the focus of my individual forms and has given life and

energy to a whole new work of expression that I can

only liken to the spontaneity of making quick sketches

on paper.

Once the pure form is thrown and while the wheel is

still turning, I apply a special wooden tool or a single

fi nger in a momentary gesture which, when uccessful,

transforms the piece into a li ve ly and me rcu rial

expression of the moment. The creation can easily be

lost, however, if excessive pressure is used during the

gentle thrusting process of the tool, resu lting in either no

piece at all with rhe rim torn apart or the piece slumped

on the wheel. If too little pressure is used it can result in

a weak , unattrJClive "runt". n,e ultimate piece is when

the result is just on the "edge" of success or fai lure,

retaining the vita li ry, energy and excitement of chance.'

This spiraling alteration is the obvious expression in

the final result of Greenaway's recent work, but it is the

origi nal fo rm, rhe perfect symmetry of balance and

proportion, that provides the essential foundation on

which a successful piece rests. n le plasticity of the clay,

the strength of resistance during the alteration and the

ability of the clay to respond to the marks without tearing

all contribute to the success of each piece. Ultimately. it

is the final assessment and selection of t::lch piece that

determines the collective artistry of the body of work and

there is no doubt that this potter's work displays the

finest of all the desirable qualities.

Last year Greenaway was awarded an Arts Victoria

grant under th e "Internati onal Export and Touring

Program" to assist in taking an cxhibition of this latest

work to 1 ~1 I y. The exhibition was held at the prestigious

Museo della Ce ram ica in th e wo nderful medi eval


uildings of the Palazzo Brugiorti in Viterbo, Italy and

was opened jOintly by the Mayor of Viterbo and the

Australian Vice-Ambassador to Italy, Phillip Stonehouse.

Viterbo's celebrated Museo della Ceramica houses one of

the best collections of mediaeval Italian ceramics.

Greenaway's exhibition there marked a first for the

Museum in exhibiting not only modem ceramics but also

the work of a non-Italian, ceramic artist. The Museum

now holds a number of examples of Greenaway's spiral

porcelain forms as well as the new, black-fired bucchero

as part of the pemlanent collection.

Also in 1999, he was awarded an International

Specialist Skills (ISS) Institute Training Fellowship to assist

in the setting up of a program in a ceramic studio in

Umbria, Italy where specialist skills and techniques will be

taught to a broad range of international students, artists,

designers and manufacrurers. This is a continuing program

aimed at providing opportunity for ceramic manufacturing

groups and individuals in Australia to learn the skills,

techniques and business of creating a viable niche market

industry for homegrown Australian ceramic products. 'Ole

training program also provides for individual ceramic

artists, students and teachers to take advantage of the set

up to further their own education and to imparl their

knowledge and skills as a means of promoting excellence

in Australian ceramic an and design.


The influence and impetus that these opportunities

have hrought to Greenaway's repertoire is now heing

seen in the very latest work to come out of the studio at

ungurner. These are being shown at the celebrated

Makers Mark Galleries in Melbourne and Sydney over

September and October and will be represemed at SOFA

this year by Artefact fml'rnati ona!. Greenaway has also

reccntl y been se lected as an individual artist for

exhihition at the 52nd Concorso Internazionale della

Cern mica d'Arte Comempornnea, Faenza, ftaly in 200J.

However, it is the Australia Council Fellowship award

that will allow Greenaway the luxury of time and

opportunity to focus solely on a program that will allow

him to bu ild on the expertise gained over three decades

of cominual striving for perfection. Greenaway says that,

'part of the excitement of the study program is the

challenge in using all my time and energy to explore the

potemial in the materials, each of which has a dynamic

and individual appeal of its own. Together, they provide

an even gre-dter challenge in creating a new approach to

design and presentation. It is a challenge that both

excites and inspires and one that f wam emhusiastically

to pursue'.

Greenaway says that his intemion is to use these two

materials to produce a body of work that exploits this

appea ling comrast at all levels, to face the challenge in

designing and redesigni ng the objects that will suit the

individual needs of the materials and processes, while

pushing the bounda ries further in exploring new

forming techniques in a more sculptural or architectural

context. The experience Greenaway can draw on in a

long career in studio ceramics will emlble him to tease

out the ubtle potential of these contrasting materials

through ca reful manipulation and control over the

various processes.




The Chinese discovered porcelain almost a thousand

years ago but depoSits were not found in Europe until

the seventeenth century, near Meissen in Gennany. Il was

not until the mid to bte eighteenth century U1at the now

renowned porcelain indu try began in Limoges in France,

producing the most perfectly white porcelain ever seen.

It L~ still one of the best sources of pure plastic porcelain

for wheel throwing and hand fOrming. Though there are

now a va riety of porcelain clays on the market, each

offering qualities for various processes, some designed

for casting and others that are also excellent for wheelthrowing

or plastic molding. Greenaway's intention i to

use a variety of firing techniques to reach all the qualities

Opposite: Square-ribbed porcelain bowl, mushroom

glazelceladon interior, YJ9cm.

Photography by Terence Bogue.

and textures porcelain can offer at high temperatures,

with all the pure white translu cency, fineness and

subtleties that may be used to contrast and compliment

the black, smokiness of the hucchero. Gas, eiearic and

wood-fired kilns will be used to explore the rich diversity

of the porcela in clays.




Bucchcro is produced from one special volcanic clay

traditionally dug from the recl Cllnh of the Paglia River in

the Tuscia region in the north west of Italy. The

tcchnique of smoke firing to produce the typical black,

hurnished, smooth surface emerged in Etruria around

600nc. This particular terraCOlla requires a very low

temperature firing, to just 675"C. The technique of

bucchero evolved ou t of impasto ancl involved the

reduction of the cby during the firing process. The result

is a sensational , velvet black finish when polished

(a characteristicall y Etru can finish) but has the fine,

gra iny lexture of slate when left unpolished. It is a very

pl;t tic clay that ca n be wheel-thrown, pressed, handformed

and extruded into tiles or hollow forms and is

rendered qu it e strong in pite of th e low firing

temperature. The Etruscans sometimes covered the

surfaces with gold or silver leaf to give the appearance of

metal vessels, but from the earliest extant pieces it

appears as though the initial intention was to polish and

fire bucchero to a fine metallic sheen. Greenaway first

encountered and then produced pieces using these

ancient techniques whilst working in ftaly in 1999. The

results provided an immediate and exciting contrast for

the pure whiteness of the porcelain.


Th ere are many challenges ahead for Greenaway in

combining these two very different products whi ch

require significantly different conditions in the handling

and Hring. For example, each clay type shows distinctive

discrepancies in shrinkage from wet to dry to fired states,

resulting in products of widely differing mec hanical

strengths. Controlling and manipulating these differences

requires a Singular skill and knowledge in bringing

together th e sophistica ted techniques of high-fired

porcelain against the domestic simplicity of bucchero.

Achieving this balance of aesthetics and raw materials is a

large part of what it is to be a ceramic artist and may be

likened to writing a symphony, where each element and

each addition can result in a harmonious whole that

produces goose bumps in those who can hear it. The

added objective in this exciting and innovative project is

in reaching a symmetry and harmony that brings together

two specialist techniques that arose in different European

culrures, centu ries apart.

It would be a rare and enlivening endowment for any

anist to be presented with the opportunity of a

concentrated period of professional development, such as

that offered by the Au stra lia COllncil Fel lowsh ip. For

Victor Greenaway, I have no doubt tim it will carry him

forward into a whole new and exhilarating period of

growth. 00

JUdifh Lesley is a freelance write and consultant in the arts and


Viaor Greenaway. PO Box 634. Lakes Entrance VIC 390 t.

TeVfax 03 51563219.


'It is a singular pleasure to be invited to open the

latest exhibition of ceramics by Pippin Drysdale.

It is perhaps appropriate that I do so, not only

because I was our High Commissioner to Pakistan at the

time of Pippin's visits to tha t country, but more

impomntly, because Pippin has been a factor in our lives

since the latc 50s when she fi rst met my wu'c, Elizabeth,

and subsequently, in the ea rly sixties, travelled with her

from Perth to Canberra at which time I entered the scene.

I should say that, at that stage, Pippi n had not yet

discovered those un ique talents which have made her

today one of Australia'S leading ceramists.

It is sufficient to say on this occassion that our early

days were more reminiscent of the joys of Bacchus than

the intensity and creativity of lives of early potters.

Since those heady days of our youth, our paths have

crossed rarely - with Pippin returning to Perth and

subsequently moving to Fremantle and Elizabeth and I

traversing the globe on 'government service'.

But each of those rare re-unions was ;1 treasured

moment, ca!Ching up with the happenings of the recent

past, revelling in the present and focusing, with

in creasing amazement, on Pi ppin's slowly evolving

creative ta lents.

It was one such re-union that our invitation to Pippin

to visit Pakistan was issued and enthUSiastically accepted,

Pippin visited Pakistan on two occa5sions in 1999.

On her first visit, she supported a High Commission


initiative to lecture to the students of Pakistan's National

College of the Art in Lahore. That lecture was very well


While in Pakistan Pippin travelled widely particularly

in the northern areas - to Chitral, to Gilgit, to Hunza, to

the Karakoram Highway, [0 the Khyber Pass and [0


As is her wont, she immersed herself, without

reservation, in the local culture, eschewing many of the

creature comforts, dining out on local cuisine, savouring

Ihe precious moments and embracing the cuhural and

social mores of the people she encountered.

She soon became entranced by the country and the

people whom she mel. To Ihose of us who know her well ,

it seemed like a catharsis - a purifying of body and soul.

Pakistan is a country of contradictions.

There are some who argue, even today, that the

concept of partition - the separation of Pakistan from

the state of India - was flawed from the oUlser.

Yet the abundant pride inherent in the creation of a

Moslem homeland and the enthusiasm associatcd with its

earlier years augured well for those who fought and died

for its crcation.

But unfortunately the initial hopes and aspirations

remain largely unfulfilled as the country has faced one

trauma after anOlher - poor governance, abuse of power

and rampant corruption, coupled with wars with

neighbouring India, the bifurcation of the country and

the war in Afghanistan.

In recent years, Pakistan has attracted international

attention by its propensity to dismiss elected governments,

by its development and testing of nuclear weapons and

the means of delivering them, by its having some of the

lowest human development indicators in the region, by its

chronic law and order problems and by concerns abolll

the encroaching pressures of Islamic fundamentalism.

And yet it has much to recommend il.

It is inhabited by some very interesting and hospitable

people. For instance, just the mention of the Pathans, the

Baluchis and the Kalash conjure up some vivid pictures.

It is also an incredibly heautiful country.

The northern areas, where rhe awesome Himalayan,

Karakoram and the Hindu Kush Ranges converge and

through which the mighty Indus thre;lds its way to the

plains, are unique, interspersed, as Ihey are with people

who for centuries remained cut off from the mainstream

of life elsewhere in Pakistan.

Our own intrepid traveller, Dick Smith, when he called

at the High Commission some three years ago, described

the scenery along the Karakoram Highway, travelling into

Pakistan from the Chinese border, as perhaps the lIlost

heautiful he had seen anywhere in the world.


In the south, in a belt stretching from Baluchistan in

the west to Rajasthan in the east, lie vast expanses of

desert, salt lakes and Barren Plateaux, each with its

distinctly individual beauty.

And in between are the immense and richly fertile

plains of the Punjab and the Sindh, watered by the Indus

and its five tributaries and forming the most extensive

irrigated agricultural area in the world.

Pakistan has a rich classical past. Its cities of Harappa

and Moenjodaro were at the heart of the great Indus

Valley civilization over 4500 years ago.

When the Indus civilization faded, the area, which now

forms Pakistan, was invaded from [he north by the

Aryans from central Asia, from the northwest by

Alexander the Great and subsequently by the Turks,

Afghans, Mongols, Murghals and the British.

All of these invasions and subsequent occupations lefr

an indelible mark on the country and its people.

It is rhe British colonial past which is best known to

we Australians - with the mystque of the subcontinent

so well portrayed in novels and fillJJS - the Khyber Pass,

The Grand Trunk Road, Rudyard Kipling, Kim's Gun, The

Bolan Pass, Fort Sandeman (now Zhob), Fort Munro, to

mention afew.

As we well know, Pippin's forte is her love fo r and

appreciation of landscape.

It is therefore, not surprising that Pippin was drawn to,

and profoundly affected by, her exposure to the

landscape and to the peoples who inhabited it.

With her well developed artistic talents she has

captured the light, the colour, the essence and spiriruality

of the landscape and the events, which stimulated her

imagination during her time in Pakistan.

Her ability to reproduce in such a dramatic way these

elements in the works - be they unique colours,

unusual toptgraphical settings, interesting faces, new

experiences - have set her apart from many of her


She has described this exhibition as a personal journey

into the world of spirituality, warmth and acceptance of

the world of Pakistan - a land where God is indeed


The challenge for us (when viewing the works) will be

to travel with her beyond the shape, line and texture of

her works to identify and to savour some of her

experiences and to unlock the messages, which she is

seeking to convey. G0

Above: 'Khizan'. (autumn-Hunza terraces), Pakistan Series I.

Opposite: 'Shab-E-Aatisaeen' (carpets), Pakistan Series I.

Photos by Robert Frrth.




People naturally love the enhancement of life by art and this is why porcelain has held a durable

fascination for collectors and common sense people ever since it was hoicked from the fire by some

pointy-hatted Prometheus. Thoughtful people are forever seeking to uplift the humdrum of life's small

needful rituals -like eating and drinking -

with the refinements of taste and the conceits of culture.

Use a good porcelain plate or beaker and you are well on your way to transcendence.

Article and review of work by Kirsten Coelho, Stephanie Uvesey and Phillip Hart,

written by STEPHEN



Prized as exotic oriental treasure, a miraculous

substance sought aner by alchemists as eagerly as

the Arcanum for gold or the philosopher's stone,

Porcelain has inspired desert caravans and epic, ocean

voyages of trade and discovery. The quest to possess

porcelain, to un lock and con trol the secret of its

manufacture, has bankrupt kingdoms and stigmatized the

ro"'erful and obsessive collectors who fell under its sway

as 'pot heads'.

In thc13th Century the leader of the marauding Mongol

equestrian tide known as 'the Golden [[oard ', that

genocidal jockey of the steppes, Genghis Khan, may have

done his bit for fast hot wok cooking hut he is not

particularly known for his cultural legacy. One thing he

did achieve was to dri ve his enemies before him ,

destroying national boundaries and the established

spheres of power thus opening up the possibil ities of

trade and communication. It was via the caravan trade

routes opened under the Pax Mongolia that the flow of

porcelain was established in the west. The trade in

porcelain followed along the lines established millennia

earlier with the trade in silk, rhubarb and cinnamon. But

Xanadu was still an unseen place beyond the distant

horizon and this strange commerce with remote China

added to the appeal of Porcelain as an exotic rarity


To behold a piece of this porcelain was to experience a

sense of contact over grear distances. This srill remains a

source of its fascination. Porcelain's vitrified durability

and rhe way it resists burial or submersion also provides

a sense of contact over great time.

It was a monopoly of the east and norhing was known

about how it was made. Marco Polo, writing in the late

13th ce ntury, may have referred to it with the name

Porcelain (a reference to the pig like shape of certain

cowrie shells) but he did little to clarify the secret of its

production or to describe its origin. later accounts, like

those of Jan Nieu hoffs Emhassy from d1e East India Co of

the United Provinces to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperor

of China (tmns 1665), whilst describing the process in

more detail did little to demystify the secrets of its

composition. That magisterial intellectual speculator and

maste r of curious and arcane knowledge, Sir Thomas

Brown, was to write in 1646 'we are not thoroughly

resolved concerning porcellane or chyna dishes'.

Porcelain was a mre item; pieces were prized from the

start. The early records of th e royal inventories of

mediaeval Europe carefu lly list and describe individual

pieces of this exotica - often set in precious metal

mounl5 like the 'Beckford vase' - a Yuan dynasty wh ite

porcelain (yingqing) bottle wit h mounts (now lost)

da teable to 1381. Porcelain became synonymous with

power and taste. Although available in rhe west it

remained exceedingly rare - the preserve of princes and

sultans until the ea rly 15th cenm ry. The value placed on


Stephanie Livesy, left, Limoges porcelain bowl, fluted , pale celadon. 10 x 7.5cm.

Right, beakers, Limoges porcelain tan matt and crackle glaze, reduction fired. 9cm.

Photography by G. Hancock.

porcelain can be seen by the pieces depicted in

Renaissance paintings, most famously in the Feast of the

Gods by Giovanni Bellini, finished by Titian in 1514

'China dishes' are memioned in Shakespeare (Measure for

Measure) as being things of value.



Regarded as an arcane substance, something miraculously

between pottery and glass, the quest for the secret of irs

manufacture possessed the restless souls of enterprising

alchemists and thei r gullible patrons. Success came to


There are records of early atlempts to produce

translucent proto porcelain in Venice, about 1470. An

alchemist named Anruonio succeeded in making and

firing in a furnace at San Simone, near Ven ice, 'porcelane

trasparenti', described in a document dated 1470 as being

as beautiful in glaze and colour as 'the porcelain from

harbarous countries'.

As is the way with alchemy 'difficulties' arose and the

manufacture was not proceeded with until 1504, when a

few samples were made, and others again in 1518 and

1519. No specimens of the early Venetian porcelain are

now known, nor any pieces of the porcelain made at

Ferrara for Duke Alphonso II about 1565-67 by Gulio cia

Urbino and mentioned with high praise by Vasari.

The earliest manufactory of porcelain from which

specimens e,xi~t is that staned in Florence for Francc~co 1.

De Medici, about the years 157).-80. Other manufactories

followed in France but it was in Germany that the great

breakthrough finally came. Porcelain was created as a

result of a breathtaking que~t of discovery. And this

resulted in unlocking the secrets of the composition of

true porcelain, not a soft paste imitation or near substitute

as in the earlier cases.


Tradition has it that an aspiring young alchemist Johann

Fredreich Bottger, whilst incarcerated in Konigstein

fortress in 'the ervice' of Saxony's Augustus the Strong,

isolated kaolin - the secret ingredient of Chinese

porcelain, when his attention was aroused by the powder

he was using on his wig. Unfortunately for Bonger, his

unlocking of the secret recipe was not as easy in reality

as this classic fable of illuminated curiOSity and flash

invention would indicate.

The invention of porcelain in China had been no

sudden discovery, but the result of a long and gradual

evolution. One essential element in this had been the

ability to fire pollery to extremely high temperatures,

which enabled the Chinese in quite early times to make

stoneware - hard, vitreous and impervious to liquids.

This was largely owing to the superior construction of

their kilns. At the same time the development of SUitably

tough glazes that would not disintegrate or peel off with


long usage brought a funher gain through its potential to

vary the quality of the surface. It was through the use of

certain white primary clays (kaolins) and mineral rocks

(petunse) - with which China, as its name implies, was

geologically well endowed - that the development of

porcelain proceeded. Chinese potters of T'ang times used

methods of repeated washing and settling and long

storage times to refine these clays. Eventually carrying

their achievements to the ultimate stage of creating a fine

homogenous substance that was both white and

gleamingly translucent. This was true porcelain and it

was to this ideal that the abjea and imprisoned BOttger,

was to aspire some 800 years later.


The tale of the discovery is a fascinating one. Involving

as it does the insatiable Royal spendthrift Augustus the

Strong, the dark sycophantic satellites and charlatans of

his court and the shadowy figure of the mathematician

and crypto alchemist Tschirnhausen with his burning

mirrors and optical furnaces. And of cou rse, the wretched

but illuminated figure of the soi-disam alchemist Bottger,


The curious will find an excellent account of the whole

epic in Janet Gleeson's recent book The Arcanum',

published by Bantam Press and available from Imprints


Alchemists rarely uncovered any secrets and when they

did they could not keep them.

Disgruntled minions and spies were at work and

Augustus the Strong's dreamed-of monopoly soon

evaporated. With thi break through manufactories of

porcelain spread and there poured forth a torrent of rich

and varied pieces includ ing some master chinoserie

works by Horodolt , Stadler and Herold . While the

modelers Kirchner and Kandler took the medium to new

heights with their modeled porcelain menageries.


Good porcelain pots have lost none of their appeal.

Historical pieces still set record prices at auaion houses.

Potters working with porcelain today achieve some of the

top exhibition sales levels in Australia.

The regional influence of Asia on studio porcelain in

Australia today is not the narrow bandwidth of fantastic

and wh imsical oriental exotica that it was in King

Agustus' time. Styles have changed. Today the cooler

deliberations and restraint of modern European porcelain

provide inspiration. Geographically the colours, tones

and light of the Austral ian landscape have influenced

potters. The vibra ncy and diversity of Australia 's multi

culturalism has also infonned practice. Palticula rly on the

tabletop. For example the cuisine influences and

ingredients of Pac-Rim, OZ-Asia have expanded our tastes

and altered our din ing styles. And studio pottery has

benefited from this practical acclimatization of taste.

Where once to work in porcelain meant to pay fairly

strict homage to what was fashionably accepted as a

picaresque oriental work regime - centered on the

image of the venerable master presiding over a series of

ever more humble and earnest acolytes, all bent, literally

to the task of learning by producing mountains of

anonymous pots. Up-lifted now and then by a piece from

the kiln that took the breath away and brought with it a

sprinkling of Zen illumination to a system of self

abnegation and obedience.

Today's better studio potter still finds lhe uplift but no

longer relies on fictive notions of imported Zen

hegemony or the cul tu ral constructs of an archaic

apprenticeship system. It took some determination to free

porcela in from this thra lldom, and for contemporary

slUdio potters the process of finding an authentic voice

within the medium continues.


The three potters in this exhibition have all experimented

with refinements and particular aniculations in their use

of porcelain. They have all been attracted by the idea of

creating pots for dome tic use. These are pieces that

invite the hand and fire the imagination with possibilities

for use in service. The tones and textures delight the eye

and the touch. There is a studied understanding of the

use ro which these pieces could be pu t. They would

grace a kitchen shelf or table and their clean lines and

resolved forms are the epitome of polished practicality.

As expeaed from porcelain the wares are hard fired to a

brilliant strength . All three artists work here at the

JamFactory - the studios are just up the stairs and may

be viewed during opening times.

These potters all use the distinctive process of long,

high temperature reduetion firing. This is where the gas

kil n is fired with a fl ame that the potters control by

reducing the airflow into the kiln thus starving it of oxygen

- hence the term reduction. This creates a distinctive

blue/green or 'dirty' flame of incompletely burnt gas inside

the kiln, which completely surrounds the loaded pots.

Thus tan'ed of oxygen, IXlrcelain clays and certain glazes

will take on a distinetive pale blue colour. If you get the

chemistry right and can control the roaring flame and bend

it. to your will, other warmer tones are also possible.

Oatme-dl, sand and shingle tones are revealed, along with

metallic iron reds and spectacular speckJed browns.

Look closely at ulese pots and you will see ule subtleties

and textures that are a craft to acquire and an an to master


Kirsten Coelho, left, Limoge porcelain bowl, pale blue celadon with inlaid cobalt decoration. d19.5 x h9cm.

Right, small round dish (fore) h6.5 x d12cm. , oval dish (back), pale celadon with cobalt inlay, 9cm.

Photography by G. Hancock.

- for porcelain is a notoriously difficult medium to work

with. It is a pure clay and is hence easily contaminated

unless meticulously quarantined. It has a remarkable range

of plasticity when wet, has a strong 'memory' of process

and thus easily reverts back to a shape that it enjoyed at

some earlier stage of the making process. ft is hard to join

and must be dried under controlled conditions. ft has to be

fired to incredible temperatures (i300"C) where it matures

properly but may distort easily as it becomes soft again at

this white heat. It undergoes huge shrinkage both from

wet to dry and again in the firing. Finally, it must be

cooled down carefully as it contracts in cooling and unless

done evenly may crack or 'dunt'. All this needs to be

mastered to get to the kind of impervious, dense or glassy

form that you see here in these works.

The road to maste,y is a long one and in different ways

each has arrived at some kind of conclusion to the

journey so far. All three poners have shared in a sustained

investigation of glazes and porcelain bodies. The clays

used here are imported from specialist manufacturers in

En gland and Limoges in France. Quite different in

preparation and in handling these twO clays are pu rer and

finer than anything made locally - at present.


, Phillip Hart is consciously exercising the 'can do' facility

with his use of a range of classic porcelai n techniques

from the orient. Korean ware and the tenmoku-glazed

pieces combine an English sense of utility with a hard-toisolate

mix of the Finnish 'Arabia ware' and Japanese tea

set sensibility.

His brushwork is playful and unstudied, a combination

of loose facility with confident pattern making. Phillip has

used the classic combination of cobalt blue freely applied

with a hake or ca lligraphy brush.

Kirsten Coehlo has used the high brilliance of porcelain to

make elegant and refined tableware. There is a good

grasp of what is useful and her prat1ical shapes are suhtly

inventive within the traditional forms of bowls, dishes and

cups. Kirsten'S forms are well balanced and comfortable,

holding the ir contents with a sturdy confidence yet

decep tively light to the touch. In keeping wi th her

signature style, her incised decorative delibera tions in

these works rarely cross the thin blue line of restraint.

One could see the cool subtleties of her serving bowls

perfectly set off by the hedt of a richly spiced tom yum

soup or a piquant and aromatic red coconut curry.

Stephanie Livesey's work has a soft music and chromatic

syntax all its own. Like renowned queen of the porcelain

'still life' Gwyn Hansen Piggot, Stephanie has worked

away in this refined medium for years, unaffected by the

rL~e of the slapdash vulgarity of brightly coloured middle

fired earthenware and the fas hionable 'n,sh to the brush'

by all sorts of speedy splashers and dribbling doodlers.


Phillip Hart, left, Limoge porcelain cups, tenmoku with celadon. h7 x d9.5cm. (back) h8cm.

Right, money boxes, Limoges porcelain, celadon and tenmoku cobalt brush. Front, hllcm, back h)2cm.

Photography by Kevin Killey.

Stephanie's pieces are thoughtfully and meticulously

created - glated and prepared for firing, carefully loaded

into the kiln - which is then sealed - and the long

process of firing begun. Once the firing is finished all the

work is closely exa mined and only certain pots are

selected from the kilns results. Stephanie consults each

individual glaze result for the traces of the warm toasty

colour blushes and light sa ndy dustings that ~I less

discerning eye would miss. These are the clues she is after

- for back in the studio she will revise her mixtures and

recipes and alter her glaze ingredients in the quest for

ever more refined colours, combinations and sensual


The forms are equally pushed to explore small

idiosyncratic nuances and variations. There is some thing

of the sculptor'S eye in Stephanie's judgment of her forms

and the interconnectedness of foot to rim, of lip to body,

of the inner surface to outer profile - arc all deliberately

selected relationships.

A creative and skill ed cook, Stephanie 'S work is

informed by a harmoni us sense of utility and purpose.

lIer beakers and cups are unobtru ively practical yet

su rprisingly eccentric. Her bowls and small bottles are

hath durable utilities and sensual ornaments.


Porcelain was originally an anonymous discovery of

obscure and unlracC"Jble Eastern potters, its early history

is cloudy, stil l shrouded by specul at ion and th e

piecemeal and painstaking investigations of the cerami(

archaeologist, it wa prized for its abstract aestheti(

qualities of purity, beauty, trJnslucency. And, I would

add, its music. It's own sound and resonance - for when

properly fired to its fu ll maturity in the white-hot maw 01

a large belching furnace - the wood fired communa'

reduction kiln of fabled Korea , Cochin or Cathay.

porcelain acquired its own distinctive sound. An

individual note, the dulcet bell like ring that a bowl 0 1

dish may give when gently tapped. It has a sweel

resonance that speaks to the cultured ear of crystal, 01

glass and seashell, or of wind chimes and temple bells

And all these abstract qualities of beauty informing ane

conditioning something that you could simply serve hOI

noodle soup in - or Sip tea from.

People naturally love the enhancement of life by ar

and this is why porcelain has held a durable fascina tior

for collectors and common sense people ever since it wal

IlOicked from the fire by some pointy-hatted Prometheus

Thoughtful people are forever seeking to uplift tht

humdrum of life's small needful rituals - like eating an(

drinking - with the refinements of taSte and the co ncei~

of culture.

Use a good porcelain plate or beaker and you are weI

on your way to transcendence. 00

rephen Bowers





Patsy Hely's love of porcelain. M icle by HELEN STEPHENS


Patsy Hely, one of our most successful mid-career artists, with

work in major public and private collections throughout

Australia, has been working with porcelain for more than a

decade. Her work is delicate, always innovative and stimulating in the

variety of forms and the ideas that surround them. Each body of work

is conceptually linked. Looking through a series of slides since 1991

one sees a distinctive style and a thread of ideas which comes

through. It is the domestic world of functional objects presented in a

way that gives them a presence that cannot be ignored.

Through the u e of porcelain, ideas concerning light, transparency

and mutability are explored. The functional nature of these objects is

not necessarily put into question but extended beyond the obvious.

This extension from single domestic object to idea is what makes

Hely's work continually rewarding.

Through 1996-97 and beyond, Hely worked particularly on this ide-d

of the material and the object's mutability. A series of strainers, pierced

cones hung from the wall, became aglow as light streamed through

them, wh ile the denser partS created shadows on the wall behind. A

1996 group titled 'alembic objects' gives a clue this fascination with

transmutation. Alembic is the name given to an apparatus used in

dist ill ing, where one substance is convened into another.

In general, people are fascinated by the transmutations that take

place when the raw materials of clay are transformed in high

'Alembic Objects',


Photo David Young.


'Book', porcelain

and mixed media.

Photo C. Meagher.

temperature firing - from a wet dissolving mass into a hard glassy

substance, particularly evident in porcelain.

Hely very generously responded to a number of questions asked

about her use and preference for porcelain as a clay body. She has

been using a Cesco slip-casting porcelain, the same one, for 12 years.

She says "The colour is not so white but [ don't mind that. It is very

translucent and thin and forgiving to work with."

She likes the way the translucency comes and goes with the light, or

with movement. "[ like the paradox between substantial and

insubstantial - on the one hand it is the toughest material, dense and

hard when high fired, yet when it is translucent it seems so barely there.

"[ like the idea that, in that translucent state, it could (if only the

conditions could ever be right) just disappear or fail to be there any

more 'the way clouds just dissolve.'

The fluid design of the apparently fragile objects produced by Hely

also creates an impression that they might easily dissolve into another

shape and this is reflected in the patterning where nothing is fixed.

Colours, lines, shapes and piercing are introduced in what often

seems a random design and this, too, challenges expectations.

A group of objects such as a tea set with teapot, cups with wooden

or glass saucers, a flower-shaped bowl, is often more like a gathering

of friends than a set as we know it in the European manufactured style.

In order to make the porcelain glassy and translucent, pieces are

fired to 1270°C or 1280°C (depending on shape) and frequen tl y

soaked for up to two hours becoming more translucent the longer

they are soaked.

Hely says she uses a combination of bought and made glazes.

"Lately I've been colouring bought brush-on glazes with ready-to-use

liqUid underglaze and mixing them by eye. It means I can have lots of

little pots of colour to play with."

Hely's methods of glazing reveal her years of experience witl] this

material and her willingness to explore other techniques for a better

or more desirable result. She says: "Glazing takes days because the

pieces are so thin."

Much of the work is sanded, using a wet and dry method, after

bisquing. The pieces are sanded even when they are to be glazed and

after sanding they are dried overnight. The next day the glaze is

applied to the inside and again dried overnight and finally glazed on

the outside.


"Quite often I don't glaze the outside surface. I polish the pieces

after bisquing and again after firing to 128O"e. Sometime I use wet

and dry sandpaper and sometimes I use a flexible shaft tool with

polishing attachments. " In this way some areas are highly polished

and the result is a shift in the shine over the surface.

Hely also uses overglazes enamels, lustres or decals on some

pieces, "sometimes on the glazed surface bu t often just on the

porcelain. If the porcelain has been sanded, these work nicely. TIley

don't have the shine, but they have a softer quality."

Returning to the question of why she prefers to use porcelain, Hely

st:llCS "I like the fact that porcelain can take up so little space in the

world with its thin walls so that if you were to compress a beaker, it

might only take up one square centimetre.

"[ like its fmgiie nature and that you need to take care of it, be

mindful and pay attention to it when you usc it.

"I like the look of the denseness of porcelain, ilS melted softened

look, which is another parJdox, because it is so hard.

"And apart from the material, I'm extremely interested in the history

and cultural production of porcelain . I have an incxplica ble,

sentimental, ahsolutely stupid attachment to the city of Dresden.

,.[ went there on a pi lgrimage a few years ago, and also to Meissen.

I IVant to go again. I am interested in porcelain made in Germany

from around the 1830s. There are examples made at the KPM factory

in Berl in in the Charlottenburg Palace and I'm also interested in the

industrial porcelains of the I1rst half of the last century.

"Susan Ostling, another successful ceramic artist and a long time

friend of Hely's, used a quote in the 'White' exhibition (at Ceramic An

Gallery in Sydney, last year) about being able to tell what time of day

it was by the way the quality of white changed. She was referring lO a

comment by John Cage who was discussing the American abstract

painter, Robert Rauschenberg's bare white canvasses of 1952.

"I lhink that with porcelain you get a sense of its being in the

world in an active way and of it responding to its surroundings. When

it sits on a shelf or on a table, lhere is a sense that more can be

revealed when the conditions are right." 00

'Set (3)' ,

porcelain and mixed


Photo Ian Hobbs.

Patsy Hely is a sen ior I ~(t u re r in the ce rami cs studio in th e School or

Conlemporary Arts, Soulhem Cross University.

'·Ielen Stephens is a wriler, Qualor and craft practitioner living in Sydney.



Fleur Schell 2000, -artist statement.

Left and Opposite: '15 Table Spoons', door bell.

Australian Fine China, metal and wood. 21 x 80cm

Each bottle contains 15 table spoons of medicine. As the drill handle IS

turned slowly a subtle ring can be heard. At the very top of the drill are

two resonating bells which can be struck using the hammer hanging

from the wooden panel on UJe side.

lcome from a place where there are rolling fields of

canola and wheat, sewn together like a patch work

quilt and neatly bordered by fences of weathered

wood and wire. Obsolete and rusting pieces of farm

machinery sprout like mushrooms to hreak the monotony

of this vast landscape. From the verandah of my families

old homestead the glimmer from a far off pile of

discarded bottles catches my eye. This fascinating

conglomerate of glass, perched on the edge of an

encroaching salt lake spans five generations and is

referred to by my family as the 'Bottle Tip'.

When I walk carefu lly across the pile of partially

buried bottles their changing colours, form and function

convey the passing of time as if turning the pages of a

history book.

This graveyard of quiescent relics come to life as my



Top: 'A Home For The Forgotten Utensils',

Australian Fine China, metal and wood.

97 x36cm.

7his ve~IC8I.>(y1ophone " played by hitling lhe forks

and spoons USif)9 lhe Ilamroor housed on /he side of

tlla (JICker fraroo.

Opposite (top): 'Not To Be Taken', door bell.

Australian Fine China, metal and fishing line.

23 x 38cm.

'Not To Be Taken' " IflSpired by the sm:x;th SfJI""'ng

acOOn 01 a rlSl'ng roo. As the handle tums small rootal

spnngs spin hitt"'9 Moo bicycle bells creating a ringing

sound. Hargng be/aN the roo fTlOIIIng up and down

are Mo porcelaIn bortles wI>cIl ctime sirrullaneousJy.

I cast /he boffles from a tyown glass bottle I

discovered hidden away if) a wooden crate from /he

earty 1900's filled 'MIll porson fa kJlllng roonadng

crONS on our farm.

Opposite (below): 'Unen Store', Australian Fine

China. 13 x 15cm

The main function of the bottle is as staage

container. To store things away neatly, to keep things

safe and out 01 reach and to establIsh soroo kJnd of


feet navigate through the jumble of ringing and chiming

bottles. Suddenly these sounds conjure images of my

Great-grand parents toasting by ca ndle light at a time

when these bottles stood listening in the centre of the

Lable; new, loved and full of the good oil. As I step over

the more contemporary bottles at the end of this uneven

path of glass there is an obvious cha nge in form and

quality and an increasing lack of distinction. The newer

pile of bottles have evolved into a plain and artless

collection which have sadly lost their identity as their

transient paper labels have perished. The classic bottles of

old that proudly display raised moulded labels, preserve

an era in cultural history when the glass bottle was seen

as a precious object and its decoration an art form.

'Preserved Sound' is a series of work which focuses on

old bottle forms and their decoration, translating them


into a different material and placing them into a new

context. They are reinvented as precious objects once

again and their words and classic designs allowed to reawaken

our memories.

The works are the result of combining slip cast

Porcelain and Australian Fine China with recycled wood,

metal and fIShing line. The ceramic replicas are brought

to life by their ability to move and make sound. This

movement and sound is initiated by audience interaction.

Each piece of work takes on the character of an old

found boule, focUSing on its form, resonating qualities

and its relationship with other materials. 00

Fleur Schell

38 Jean Street, Beaconsfield

Fremantle 6162



Petra -Murphy

Having worked with clay for over fifteen years in

both stoneware and terracotta, I felt the need for

stimulation to explore a new direaion in ceramics.

Three years ago I satisfied a long held ambition to be a

fulltime student at ANU Canberra School of An. The

stimulation of the leaurers, visiting artists and enthusiasm

of fellow students made this a vibrant learning

experience. A cultural exc hange visit to Kyoto Seika

University initiated my interest in porcelain, tea cups, tea

drinking and beautiful ceramics.

Inspi red by the texture and form of sea urchins I

experimented with throwing small bowl forms in

porcelain and crea ting literal pieces. These gradually

evolved into more gestural fomls and I produced a series

of 'stacked urchins" thrown and assembled. That was my

first introduction to porcelain. The tiny bowls we re

thrown, and while still pliable were joined and stacked

with spikes and textures applied. Unglazed and fired to

1300"C, the completed pieces retained a spontaneous

relaxed appearance.

Cup forms evolved through the desire to create

functional fonns with porcelain. Interior glazes vary from

smoOlh white, blue and green celadon, black oil spot and

deep blue. Colou r appl ied in a painterly fashion and


Above: Blue Celadon cups on carved

and glazed support rings.

19.5x 12an

Left: Support rings for cups, glazed

and unglazed porcelain (detaiQ.



Left: Porcelain cup with oil spot glaze

interior. Crackle glaze support ring.


Right: 'Urchins', unglazed porcelain.

9.5 x 6.Sern. 8.2 x 5cm

Photography by Petra Murphy.

overglazed with crackle glaze, on the surface of some of

the cup forms, adds an element of interest.

Wheel thrown and turned to achieve lightness and

translucency when fired in a reducing atmosphere to

J 300°C, the c ups are polished wilh wet and dry

sandpaper to create the desired smoothness. The

"doughnut" ring SUppOlt was a natural extension of the

original sea urchin idea.

These rings are wheel thrown, hollow and deceptively

light. Crackle glaze provides a strong contrast to the

unglazed exterior of the cups. Balancing inside the

"saucer' support ring, the cup invites the viewer to touch,

to feci the tactile quality of the polished porcelain, and

reanrange the elements.

A recent exhibition of this work titled "Balancing Act 1"

at the Link Gallery in Cannerra, was the result of the 1999

Emerging Artists Support Scheme, Craft ACT Award.

The 1999 (EASS) Clayworks Award gave me the

opportunity to produce the body work using Southern

Ice porcelain. G\!)

Pelra Murphy is a teacJler of ceramics al Cooma C..olJege ofTAFE.


Tel 02 6452 3219






'Bowls contain space and can

allude to a meditative infinity' .


Helmet bowls

Artist statement by NEVILLE FRENCH.



Porcelain vessel.


My intention is to redefine the porcelain bowl as a

valid vehicle for contemporary artistic expression

through an intuitive investigation of ceramic

materiality. It involves an exploration of elemental

vessels: extending porcelain to develop taut contours and

spatial dynamics. I seek to distil an essence of purity and

evoke notions of quietude and transcendence through

the expressive use of coloured glaze and its relationship

to form, tactile quality, weight and light.



'Membranes of a Rezzo

Fresco 2' detail.


For me, the unique idiosyncratic nature of glaze can be

richly tactile and visually satisfying; it has the potential to

provoke associations, memory and metaphor.

As cultural anifact the ceramic bowl links us to other

times and places and provides a unique insight into the

nature of the human spirit and civilization.

In my work, the bowl is explored in the context of still

life. The forms are wheel-thrown, altered and slowly

scraped to develop a soft line and solidity. I use coloured

matt glazes, layered and fused to the porcelain body

through the multiple firings to give expression and

luminosity to the surface.

The gentle colour, poise and monumental serenity of

the religiOUS frescoes of the Italian Renaissance painter

Piero della Francesca confirm a sense of beauty for me.

The clarity and mood achieved through the effect of

colours perfectly matched to form and space gives the

work a timeless and idyllic atmosphere.

I am inspired by the soft light and isolated, bald rolling

hills near Ballarat where I live and the big domed skies

of Maryborough in central Victoria where I grew up.

I like the way bowls contain space and can allude to a

meditative infinity.

Neville French works, teaches and lives in Ballarat, Victoria. His

works are represemed in public collections.

1203 Wimer Slree" Buninyong Viaoria 3357.

Photography by Terence Bogue






Cape Three Points is a very evocative name for me. Our country has an incredible span of

existence in time, and a parallel existence is that of European man.


is a lookout no! far from Illy studio that

records the log book of a man looking a! this


particular bit of coast for the first time. He recorded

in 1788, that he saw 'a cape, of three points, occasioning

us to call it Cape Three POints'. I enjoy that parallel

reality of this area, the use of the three words, and the

images they convey; they became the basis of my Cape

Three Points Series.

Midway last year a break in my nomlal rouline gave

impetus to experimenting with another clay body, a

porcelain. The break , physically and mentally, in my

noonal routine was the Ceramic Millenium in Amsterdam,

July 1999. The visual feast of exhibitions, galleries,

museums, lectures and films jump staned new trains of

thought on dormant ideas.

Having worked with eanhenware for the lasl 15 or so

years I had been wanting to fil in a porcelain firing

somewhere to experiment but it didn't ever manage to


On my return from Amsterdam the six bags of

porcelain that had been stored under my shelves for the

past year or so finally saw the light of day. After

scrupulously cleaning red eanhenware from all surfaces

and tools to allow for a white clay, bowls of various sizes

were used to explore the new body, Keanes Porcelain.

Because the clay had been stored in the studiO for

quite a while, its firmness made it a pleasure to work,

fine forms were possible without slumping. Bowls of

various sizes, dishes and platters provided surfaces to

experiment on, while taller cylindrical forms provided

bulk for a kiln load. Tile pieces, small and large were

also made to experiment on. Cobalt brushwork over a

semi matt white glaze fulfilled the need for a simple glaze

and the 'tideline' theme washed over bowls and new

tiles. Thin sheets of porcelain became candle shields set

on shallow bowls or tile dishes.

Tiles had been part of the studio output for the last

few years, providing a surface that allowed experiment


Printing letter stamps were added afterward. Mter bisque

firing cobalt is used to encourage development of

various textures before glazing. Cobalt oxide on the clay

body has the quality of ink and the porcelain is very

responsive to the Iluctuations of a loaded brush. The

stamped and printed words are re-echoed but contrasted

in the flowing cursive of the ships log. Glaze at times

feels superlluous - But is not. Just frustrating and

elusive and deliciOUS. While cobalt washes and line give

energy to the white semi matt glazed surface, a need for

more colour in glaze has pushed experimenting with

copper blue glazes. The energy and movement of water

are a constant metaphor in the studio and now

translucence and colour become an extension of this.

Standing looking at the sweep of the beach, water

surging over rocks, sun through pools and shallows is

mesmerising. A glaze that is beginning to evoke these

qualities of depth and colour at the moment is composed


Potash Peldspar 64

Barium Carbonate 38

Bentonite 3

Copper Carbonate 4

Fired to cone 10 and used as a partial or total envelope

of glaze, this adds another layer to surface development.

with visual images and brushwork techniques. Now the

new wh ite body and cobalt was to prove to be deliciously

responsive! AJI this while Paul Scott's 'Ceramics and Print'

book, purchased in Amsterdam, pulled at the notion of

printing in clay. In my head all the images of old

buildings, contemporary ceramics, 17th century tiles,

canals and bridges ran a parallel to, and intersected with,

perceptions of life around me here. Clay almost became a

sheet of paper as it was eased and rolled into thin tiles

wa iting to receive images.

Rather than printing ink onto a surface as with screen

printing, I wanted to create textures that bit into the

surface. BUilding up layers of textures, collagraph blocks

were created that could be pushed into the surface.

Apart from the very different nature of porcelain in teI1llS

of clay body, glazing and firing, the 'tiles' also needed to

head in a different direction. Pragmatic to the end, the

practical nature of rhe tile is partly charm, partly

frustration to me. Frustration because it is always defined

by ill most widely used fom1 rather than as a vehicle for

ideas. Part of this lies in the aniculation of the tile with

the surface on whid1 it is presented. A tile or 'piece' can

be hung as an individual unit, with lugs applied behind

for a hanging loop, or it can be framed . A prim, on

paper, is mounted and framed. A sheet or tile of

porcelain requires a different technology but brings a

new interpretation to framing.

The fire that creates porcelain also forms metal

sheeting that coastal climate erodes. Surfaces form new

texures and colours that echo the landscape that made

them. And so porcelain sirs against weathered iron. The

splicing of different mediums becomes involved with

mechanisms such as screws, pop rivets and th en the

potential of these to enrich surface images. 'l11e exploring

of new connections and technologies continues, interplay

of materials leading in different directions. Discovery and

the journey are metaphor and reality in the studio. 00

Aleida Pullar, 195 Cape Three Points Rd, Avoca Beach 2251.

Tel 02 4382 1463



Prue Venables explores subtle issues -

of relationships between forms and surfaces, of light falling on edges, of space and mood.




Yellow and white

porcelain bowls.

13.5 x 14 x 9cm

Previous page:

Black and yellow

iug,black bottle.


White porcelain jug

and bottle.

Jug 6.5 x 4.5 x lOcm

Bou., 22 x 12 x 6cm


by Terence Bogue

!5tHI remember the container of face crea m sitting on

my mother's dressing table. 1 would watch inten tly as

the small white jar was opened and fingers gently

bent and scooped the soft white contents, carefu lly lifting

their special cargo upwards to be reverently smoothed

and stroked - the stuff of dreams.

The pink lid made a light sound as edge to edge, rims

gentl y searched until threads met, givi ng guidance

towards a final closi ng place.

The opaque white glass of the jar and its contents

beckoned me to touch and hold, to enter into this forbidden

ritual of the adult world. Every detail fascinated me as 1

watched intently, avoiding distraction so as to mLo;s nothing.

Later, secretly, my guilt forcing me to act quickly, 1

urgently tried to recall and repeat the process. The sense

of urgency and a fear of detection, left me struggling to

enter this ceremony. My mother'S delicate smear of cream

became a thick glob that managed to drip and smear,

spreading unexplainable greasy marks and pointing to

certain discovery. Even so, the material itself was softer

and lovelier than 1 had imagined and the thrill of holding

this sma ll jar was wonderfu l.

At this time [ was occupied by physical realities, of

observation and mimiCry, meanwhile, something more

intuitive was also beginning in me.

As 1 try to organise my thoughts, memories of childhood

sutface in my mind, disordered in time, as fragments -

like scattered pieces of a favourite jigsaw puzzle, or the

dancing flickering pictures of an old animation film.

Flashes of images are sometimes clear, sometimes

slipping by without recognition.

1 begin to recall occasions when I watched and

ahsorbcd the reverent use of objects and materials. My

grandmother and her delicately fluted, powder blue,

bone china tea cups. I remember still their perfect

weight, the gentle sound they made when placed

together, the nervous awe with which I handled them

and tile way the light touched their delicate rims. ~

Gradually, 1 began intuitively to develop an interest in th

deUlii that was to penetrate many areas of my existence, bu

it was many I'C'Jrs before my full awareness of this sprang te

life and a more conscious exploration became possible.

I still remember the day when I discovered clay for thl

first time. I experienced an immediate and stron

connection with this material. I was fascinated hy th

breadth of possibilities presented by this substa nce.

wonderfu l teacher set imaginative and chall enging

projects, and 1 was hooked. With breathless excitement, 1

realised that making pots was what 1 wanted to do f01

ever. It was an invigorating discovery, leaving me with an

intense desire to learn and experience as much a~

possible. Pottery now gave me a creative outlet, a ne"

focus in which I could lose myself.

Full of inspimtion, suddenly I had seemingly endles>

energy as I began to notice and explore a world 01

beautiful, hand made objects.

Here was a clear direction for me at last, and from thi~

point onwards I began determinedly to work toward~

becoming a professional poller.

I immersed myself in an intense course of study (at the

Harrow School of Art in London). The structured working

practices and high expectations were both familia r ane

attractive to me. Projects led to the development 01

building blocks - both of technique and perception. Ar


inventive, questioning approach and the gradual

evolution of ideas was seen as essential for the

development of creative and expressive thinking. These

methods connected strongly with my previouS'interests in

science and music. This was very exciting for me.

The course was amazing - intense and demanding, it

concentrated on the making of high quality, inventive

functional objects. Focused and structured, it gathered a

momentum of it's own. Small numbers of students worked

with strong commitment and energy. Ideas and infonnalion

were discussed and shared and the sen



The endless variety of shell

forms is a broad

inspirational area to work

from. The possibility for

dramatic artistic

interpretation is endless.

Article by ASHLEY



lam presenrly working with

two different firing processes

but the common component

in both is porcelain clay. The whiteness of the clay and

the smoothness of the surface of my pots enables me to

get the sheen and the glow that I am looking for. I have

been Haku firing my pieces for many years but it is only

relatively recently (the last 2 years) that I have been

exploring saggar firing. I love the excitement of the Raku

and was very happy with the results but I found it

increasingly frustrating to have to rely on organising

someone to fire with me. I started firing some of my

work in saggas. And so I am delighted wiul the variety of

effects that can be produced.

I have always lived and spent most of my holidays

near water so it is not surprising that I have gravitated

[Owards concepts using water themes. (I also have a fishy

star sign. Some people tell me that is the reason). It's

such an intricate world that we can look into but we can

not survive there for long. It is as complex and wonderful

as the world above sea level but our need to breath air

stops us from spending more time underwater. We just

have [0 be satisfied with the brief glimpses from up


I am drawn [0 the sense of containment and rhythm of

sea creatures and have centred on the gastropod group.

The shell of the gastropod is in fact it's skeleton. Unlike

our own, it is on the outside and functions as a home as

well as the support for it's limp body. They are able to

retreat into their shell at the first sign of danger and can

stay protected inside for a considerable amount of time

Their shell is built by excretions that are laid down on

the edge of the opening in an ever increasing arc with

the result that the shelVhouse grows as the creatune does.

The rhythmical way that this process takes place i1

inherent with many aspects of the ocean, from wave1

crashing on the shore to the delicate pulses of a

nudibranch, from tall sea grasses swaying in the current

to the SWishing back and forth of fIsh tails as they swim

All rhythmically in time to the puLse of life.

Haku and Sagga firing have much in common and

many of the principles overlap. The porcelain clay is jusl

as significant in the saggar process as it is in the raku. I

am still looking for the smoothness of the surface and the

glow that is acquired by having the pure white clay 31

my canvas. In both processes I use terra sigillata that h31

been Sitting around to settle for some time. J use only the

top layer and don't mix it again before I use it. After the

terra has been originally made, tile settling process still

goes on so when it has been Sitting around undisturhed

for months, Ule top layer is even fmer than the Original

mixture. All the Haku pots have terrasig on them, but I

ran into some problems that I didn't like with the saggar

process. I could prepare the work with all the care

possible but often scraped bits on the wall of the sagga


Below left:


Approx h2Ocm.

Photo by Mike Berceanu.

Below right:

'Orange Shells'.

Approx L25cm.

Photo by Ken Wilde.


'Pink Shells', saggar.

Approx L5Ocm.

as I was packing. This resulted in some blemishes in the

surface. Although I am very careful, it still sometimes

happens. As a result, I don't always use terrasig on my

saggar pots. TIlt' pots that [ am firing bare, need to be

extm smooth and well burnished. I use a small amount of

margarine and rub it into the surface before burnishing

for a better finish.

I make groups of pots and in that sense 1 am a

repetition-maker. My aim is to make a number of pieces

from the same press mold but with a variety of

differences. I distort the soft leather hard pots and add or

cut out pieces from the openings. I try not to have a

definite idea in my mind when I come to do the

distorting as usually it is better practice to sense what

needs to be altered in each individual piece. By

experimenting with the openings on each form, I can

give each piece their own touch of individualiry.

If I am using terrasig, I spray a few light coats onto the

finished su rfa ce of my bone dry pots and rub them

generously with dry hands. This buffs up the sheen and

also adds a final gloss before I place them into a saggar. I

have a variety of saggars and try to arrange them in the

suitable Sized saggar without leaving too much empty air

space inside the saggar. This results with more of the

fuming ending up on the surface of my pots. Within the

sagga I use sawdust, sea-weed and pieces of copper wire

and fire to 1000°C. With the sagg"r firing process there is

a limit to what I can do to control what happens during

firing but this is where the exqu isite quality that gives

every piece its own unique appearance is createo. The

final result is decided by the natural elements that are at

work within the kiln.

The results are unpredictable and often r re-fire the

pots until I am happier with them, or they crack from

one too many afternoons lying around in a hot kiln.

Although the results frequently don 't always meer my

expectations, I still find the way the fumes penetrate the

surface and leave their trails behind, fascinating. Another

example of the wonders of nature.

It is the endless variety of shell forms that makes us

want to collect and study them and is a broad

inspirational area to work from. The possibility for

dramatic artistic interpretation is endless. Many species

have already been lost by the advanCing civilisation that

we all hold dear, but, ou r only hope for the generations

in front of us is to experience the wonders of nature that

we know, is to acknowledge that we are the cause of

their demise and we must take gre-dter care in the way

we treat the world around us. 00

Ashlee Critchley, 3 Brooker Ave, Beacon Hill 2100

Tel 02 9452 2324




KAYE PEMBERTON uses an exploration of the

teapot form in a revisiting -of her adult life joumey.

Since 1984 I have been working mainly in porcelain and

for some years based my production on a range of

reduction fired domestic porcelain ware. I used the

body as a blank to decorate, often with intricate patterns and

brush work under a clear glaze. Thus, the porcelain,

combined with simple fonns , aaed as a neutral ground for

the pattern making decordtor in me to have full expression.

Looking back, my mOllo could well have been 'too much

decoration is never enough" At this time, as some of my

South Australian contemporaries were having great fun

decorating brightly coloured low fired ware, my work sat at

the understated end of the scale by virtue of its soft colours.

In 1993 I moved from regional South Australia to Alice

Springs in Central Australia. Immediately the soft pallelle of underglaze pinks, blues, green-greys and mauves which I

had been using for years seemed completely out of

place. The harsh light and dramatic landscape

overwhelmed and overshadowed what I was trying to

express by previously choosing a porcelain body and soft

colour. I therefore turned to a terra cotta clay body and

developed a richly coloured decoration on maiolica as a

response to the desen landscape. This was a time for

responding to my environment in an immediate way. The

pots were robust and there was an endless source of

inspiration in Ole land~cape and vegetation.

Living and working in such an isolated conununity was

very inspirational, yet it could al 0 be quite draining.

Although Alice Springs has a wonderful creative

community, I was somewhat alone in the style and

approach to my practice.

In 1999 another move brought me to Canberra. By then

I was expen at packing and unpacking day, kilns, and

studios. However, the numerous moves I had made in my

adult life were beginning to take their toll. ettling into

yet another new environment and another new life was

pretty challenging. For the first time in many years, I

found myself living in a capital city (i ndeed THE Capital

city) and was privileged to be able to avail myself of

some of its wonderful resources.

In 2000, I was accepted to do Post Graduate Studies in



Teapot, porcelain.


Photography by Ian Hobbs

the ceramics department of Canberra School of Art ar

AI U. ThL~ has been a great opportunity to review and

consolidate my work pmctice. The ceramics department

has a healthy Visiting Artists programme, and this,

combined with lively undergraduate activities and a

teachi ng staff of practicing ceramists, has been a

welcome 'return from the desert'.

I have chosen 10 base my Post Grdduate Studies on the

teapOl fonn and symbols, stories and magic that centre

on thc brewing of a por of tea. Parallel with these

studies, I am revisiting my adult journey, which has been

one of considerable dislocarion and relocation. I am keen

to make sense of these moves, both on a personal level

and a level related to my work. l1le reapot seemed the

obvious point of reference for these investigations. The

potential for exploration of form exists because of its

symbolism as an alchemical vessel.

I am interested in the alchemy of the act of brewing

and pouring a cup of tea. I3efore I begin a sitting and

thinking task, virtually without exception, [ brew a por of

tea. The teapor sil~ with me as I write this piece. [ brew a

por of tea as a comforter when I am in need of nurturing,

as a reviver when I have been working ha rd in the

garden and a a luxury with the Sarurday rapers

(suburban bliss, now delivered to my door!) Sitting down

to have a cuppa with a friend carries powerful

connotations of shart-d storie , histories and confidences.

Does a teapot take on its own poser by being used

regularly? Do rhe secrets rhat arc told in its presence

innuence the next brew? .. or the next in teraction

between friends'

Once again I have reviewed the clay body I am using.

Canberra's soft climare, lush gardens and the presence of

warer have signaled (0 me that it's time to return to a

porcelain body and that celadons and sofl colours are

appropriate again. I have been having fun experimenting

with different bodies and different colouring techniques. I

am learning to let the forms soften and let go of some of

myoid production expectations. (I was shocked at how

few pots one produces in a week when given permission

to play and experiment!) l1lere has been lime to consider

the work and il~ development and give the teapoL~ time

to metamorphose, rather than meeting the next

production deadline. The teapots are beginning to speak

for themselves. Working in porcelain, wh ile at times

challenging, affords a looseness, lighrness and sensitivity

whit'h is extremely satisfying. I am learning to let the

porcelain breathe and rhe teapots to take on their own


In the process the teapors arc leaching me lors about

myself, as I am learning to breathe and understand my

own power. G\9

Kaye Pemberton

147 Duffy Street, Ainslie. Ph, 02 6262 773;





New porcelain by Antony -Brink, Review by JEFF SHAW

In early October this year, Brisbane experienced ten

days 'celebrating the work of clay and glass artists

throughout Brisbane', Ceramica 2000 HOI Clay : Cool

Glass, wa~ an amalgam of exhibitions, forums, markets,

film , and performance art5 organized by Queensland

Potters' Association, This provided an eXCiting and

courageous mix of ceramic related olTerings with many and

varied cross-discipline presentations, At the purist end of

the ponery spectrum was a notable exhibition by Antony

Brink at Craft Queensland's Gallery in Fortitude Valley,

As in his 1998 exhibition of porcelain tableware and

celadon glazes at QPA, Fusions Gallery, ir was pleasing to

nore rhe continuity and development in Drink's clea r,

detenllined and sophisticated sense of personal cera mic

dirc'Ction, From a most varied background of mentors and

studio styles including Frederick Chepeaux, Errol Barnes,

and Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Brink exh ibits a personal

commitment to a developing portfolio of functional ceramics,

seeking refmcment in both fonn and material qualities,

Refreshingly in a period in which many would agree

widl fonner Crafts Board Chair Darani Lewers that [he crafts

movement in Australia 'appears to be slowly dying', Brink

and others like him retain a strong hold on craft rea lities,

Since his previous exhihition Brink's work has continued

aSSiduously in glaze development, specifically celadon

glazes, which logically, need a matching form and surface,

Thus Brink's parallel preoccupation with the refinement

of functional fo rm ha continued unabated and the

holistic or interrelated nature of the process becomes

apparent. TIle simpliCity of the fonns, notes Brink 'are at

once a response to the physical characteristics of the clay

body' - a fine, pale firing porcellanous stoneware, That

simplicity of form eschews the rigidly geometriC, but

follows a sinuous, springing elegance of line witllin the

constraints of fun ction,

The components of critical function , [he handles, lids

and lips are effective, the cup sits in its well; and the

pots work with a life of their own, grouping with familial

ease and speaking to th e user wi th out resort to

decorative devices,



Tea Set. Teapot hl5cm


Cup and Saucer,

celadon glaze. h9cm

The celadon glazes have been consciously adopted for

their intrinsic beauty as for their openness, for their

adding to without hiding the fonn . They are admired for

their playing with light, for their seeming shifts of colour

in various lights. In all, glaze, day, and form are all

closely attuned to the potters distinctive directness and

purpose, a far cry from commercial impetus.

For the past two yea rs Brink ha s undertaken an

extensive research program, conducting hundreds of tests

into celadon glaze making in order to seek a practical

understanding of the beauties, the colour, texture, depth

and translucency of oriental celadons. The sWrting point

for this research he says 'was incubated in my training

with Gwyn Hanssen Pigott', but extensive use was also

made of 'Wood 's Chinese Glazes an d Ian Currie's

gUidelines for celadon limits'.

Brink's range of celadons already commanded great

subtlety and va riety. They now exh ibit a maturity and

depth of colour as transparent glaze and body are seen

to fuse in depth, in a way not previously noticed. In

particula r, a large, deep green pasta bowl shows a

faultless and remarkable depth of colour, the resu lt it

seems of improved glaze application and firings: 'lower

temperatures, longer cycles with very deep, susw ined

reduction'. Coupled with the use of the new Tasmanian

porcelain clay body made by Les B1akeborough , other

noteworthy glaze re su lts have been achieved, as

apparent in the rice Dowis, dipping bowls, and drinking

cups. In all of these the high degree of translucency

makes it difficult to distinguish the transition between

body and glaze.

The evident development in these material qualities

reflects not merely increasing knowledge and skills but

conveys most clearly a strengthening high aesthetic and

driving philosophy, a refreshing distillation of east and

west at a most appropriate time. G\lI

JEFF SHAW is a Srislrane based arts writer, with a background and

special inlercst in crafts and education.

Antony Brink: Studio 07 3257 7801.



''The real utility is not in the physicality of use but the reflective power of the work"




Although currently doing their honours year under

the supervision of Mitsuo Shoji, they found time

this year to exhibit in several shows together,

including 'n1is Way Up 2000' at Object Galleries, 'Holy

Terra' at Cook Hills' Back to Back Galleries, 'Blanc' at

PCl Exhibitionists and 'Utility' at Sydney College of the


In this article, the pair discuss their practices and their

work as it appears in the latter two shows. Power and

McMiJian both use porcelain, firing in oxidation to cone

nine for these exhibitions. It is there the similarity ends.


'Uti lity' is an annual studenr show held at Sydney College

of u1e Arts. This year's curator was Gudrun Klix, senior

lecrurer in the cemmics srudio. Her working title was

'Objects for Reflection' - "The re-dl utility is not in the

physicality of use but the reflective power of the work."

'lemon Spread' was one of thirty works selected for

exhibition. It comprised of twenty seven slip cast objects,

each individual piece being made from Limoges

porce lain slip, coloured with various percentages of

yellow body srain. The fonns are open to the reflection

of the beholder. It can exist as exhibited, as a Focus for

contemplation. It can be dissembled and rearranged. It

can be dissembled and used - every piece will hold

water. Fully vitrified, the form s do not require the

distraction of glaze.

To the maker, the small scale and the colour imply

shared intimacy and happiness. The slllface is an invitation

lO lOuch. Th e colours are sweet. Lemon Spread is

seductive. It has involved moving from the large colour

field of last year, into varying concenrmlions of one or two

colours. 'Sweet Nothings' is another work in this series.

I began working with stained porcelain slip in 1998.

One enjoyable thing about studying at SCA was being

introduced to a wide range of artists who were very

generous wid] their time and knowledge. In my second


year of college I learm colour inlay with

Lorraine Lee and slipcasting with Julie

Bartholomew. Combining these two skills

together I made my first set of tiny candy

coloured cups and afterwards abandoned nearly

all other fonm of making to concentrate soley

on slipcasting.

My technical deyelopment was furthered in

1999 by Yasu Arioka, a visiting artist from Japan

who helped improve my mold making. The

structure of study in fourth year has been

conducive to concentration and experimentation.

The previous yea rs spent accumulating an

understanding of my chosen materials and

process enabled me to commence the final year



My practice centres on porcelain. My thrown

work explores a range of porcelains - Limoges,

David Leach, Walkers Superior White,

Clayworks Southern Ice. I don't have a particular

preference at this stage. [ am enjoying the subtle

differences between the bodies. The colour of

fired porcelain was the initial attraction. Firing in

an oxidizing atmosphere, I achieve a range of

colours - from soft buttery creams through to

pale silvery whites. lhe paleness of the fired

body provides a SUitably responsive surface for

glazes. My current body of work is covered in a

white matte glaze. The softness of the surface

echoes the rounded form of the vessels.

A quality [ found quite liberating to disassociate with was

translucency. 'nlC pre-eminence of translucency is culturally

entrenched. It celebrates the skill of the potter and the

strength of the clay body. However, the traditional

association of porcelain with translucency limits our

engagement with the material.

A key proponent of trccing up responses to porcelain is

Masamichi Yoshikawa, a contemporary Japanese potter. [

saw Yoshikawa throw at Gulgong in 1998. He creates

incredibly thick porcelain pieces in celadon blues. His

forms are robust and confronting in their denSity.

Yoshikawa focuses upon the colour of the body and its

fusion with glaze at high temperature. Disregard ing

translucenty results in work that challenges conyentional

treaunent of porcelain. 11le forms of Neville French occupy

a similar position. French's bowls are heavy and thicken

around the base. His form., are oblique and amorphous.

I enjoy the completeness of vitrified porcelai n; it is the

reduction of a material to its essence. From a minimal

perspective, vitrified porcelain becomes a metaphor for


Below: Ruth McMillan, 'Sweet Nothings'.

hB x w20 x dl5cm.

Photography by Edwina Richards.

Opposite: Bridgette Power, 'Field',

porcelain vessels.

Photography by Bridgett. Power.

essence. A search for essence suggests a search for truth

- of objects, materials and function .

It is my interest in the essence of things that focuses my

investigation into form . The shape of the vessel is

suggestive of cell division. Constituting the basic structural

and functional unit of IiYing organisms, cells seem an

appropriate vehicle for the exploration of essential fOnTI.

These organic yessels seem to elicit an innate response.

One feels compelled to touch and embrace. The sensual

qualities of thrown porcelain articulate basic human

needs. We need to define space, hold and be held.

'Field ' consists of twenty-five porcelain yessels

arranged in a grid. Focus shifts from association with

function towards formal considerations of pattern and

shape. The unexpected placement of fami liar objects

alters our perception. Consolidating a focus lIpon fonn is

an embrace of a pared back aesthetic. GIl)

Funher examples of our work may he seen on the PCL website,






Wat images does the mind conjure up when

you hear the word 'porcelain'. ExqUiSite, fine,

white, exclusive, delicate Oriental vases,

expensive European functional ware, or vitreous

bathroom products - or all of the above'

Some porcelains have claimed in their properties one

of more of these functions - but now there is a

porcelain that can be used for practically everything -

Walker Ceramics Superior White Porcelain.

SWP has characteristics that lend it to coiling, burnishing,

throWing, slabbing, casting, handbuilding, RAM pressing and

thin walled ware. It is a ball-milled body, and in industry

trials, has come back with favourable reports of it's plasticity,

whiteness, strength and translucem.y. It is also reasonably

priced - but best of aU it is totally Australian made.

Porcelains seem to be made of relatively simple

materials - hall clay, c1lina clay, feldspar and silica. TIle

process !O produce this clay Ls not a simple procedure - it

is ball milled, sieved, magnetised twice, filler pressed,

pugged through a completely stainless steel pugmill,

before being weighed and packaged.

The translucenlY of SWP is equal to any porcelain on

the market - local or im ported. The degree of

translucency is related to the iron and ticanium content -

a prerequiSite to searching for new raw materials.

To bring this claybody further into line with craft

market practice the maturation point was lowered so that

a greater palette of colours was avai lable without

compromising durability.

Glaze fit with this porcelain is very versatile - Walker

ceramics Stoneware Glaze EH30 or zinc free EH31 are

suitable. The body achieves less than 2% absorbtion at


The whiteness of the clay body, and the clarity of glaze

come together to foml a vessel of perfection. The highest

quality oven to tableware, resistant to microwave ovens,

chips and dishwashers can now be yours.

Janet de Boos 'found it to be the best porcelain available

in Australia for whiteness, plasticity and rranslucenlY - it is

equal ro imported french porcelains at a fraction of the

price'. The Big Duck & Fish Comp'dny (Melh) claim it is 'a

versatile clay that can be pressed, thrown or hand

moulded. Its fired durability survives the most destructive of

hotel kitchens. Its fine teXTUre gives a glossier glaze result'.


Porcellaneous stoneware

would be the most

accurate description of

our Porcelain No 15. It's

overall versatility and qualities

include, excellent plasticity

that lends itself favourably to

carving and fine detail.

Good green strength ,

exceptional working, joining

and throwing properties

which make this porcelain clay a viable option for a wide

range of uses and a wide range of potters with differing

levels of experience.

Recently, with the asistance of ChrL,topher James, we

have made some small altera tions to the thermal

expansion of the body improving the glaze fit to include

a broader range of functional glazes.

Christopher James: 'I first became aware of Keanes

Porcelain by accident at Hornsby TAFE. I had just

completed a throwing demonstration using what I

presumed to be Stoneware N07 when I was approached

by a student puzzled as to why they had to use porcelain

for this project! I then discovered I had infact been using

Porcelain No 15. I hadn't noticed any difference in the

throwing properties but once fired I could see the

potential for this body. The fired results under my

favourite celadons and clears were superior to the

porcellaneous stoneware I was using. Excellent glaze fit

for a wide range of glazes including traditional Chinese

limestone; excellent workmg and joining properties free

of the bad habits usually associated with porcelain and a

clean white break on rims and handles free of iron


This has become my standard throwing body used to

give lovely surfaces on my exhibited forms:





Alistair IVbyte tests C/aywork:s porcelain clay body.

Having tried some of the new batch of Southern

lee, I can only say that it is an impressive clay

body. This is not necessarily a clay body for

everyone. It serves a special need and requires

reasonable skill 10 benefit fully from the qualities it has to

offer. It is an easy thing to criticise some of the other

porcelain bodies that are available on the market. I do

not wish to enter that area of debate as they all have

qualities and offer variety in an area that has umil

recently had next to no choice, however, I would like to

talk further on the qualities of Southern Ice as I have

found them. Please understand that I throw this clay

body in an oriental tradition, off the hump using a variety

of throwing tools that enable me to procure great

accuracy and thinness.

My first reaction when I began throwing was that the

body was 100 firm as it took considerable strength 10

throw some small cups, however I had just struck an

especially finn block and other blocks of clay proved to

be a much bener consistency. It is true Olat porcelain clay

is easier to throw in a firm state as it trdditionally lacks

some of the plasticity of stoneware and earthenware

clays. This particular body compares very well to some of

those more plastic bodies and throws very readily. My

technique of thrOWing consists of using minimal water,

preferring instead to use the soft slip that is generated

during the throwing process. This enables throwing

without the clay becoming excessively soft enabling

much greater control for a longer period.

Something else that strikes you when throwing this

body is the excessive whiteness of the clay that remains

right through to the finished pieces. Easily mistaken for a

bone china.

This body has not been ball milled which is not so

evident while throwing unless you throw big pieces. This

clay will throw large pots with little effort and holds its

shape when the walls become quite thin. Quite a

remarkable feature for ~ny clay. The fine grit in the clay

is, however, much more evident when turned. I turn

when pieces are past the leather hard stage using

tungsten 10015. And when turning is complete J use a

brush loaded with water to smooth out the turning

marks. This seems to be quite effective with this body.

However for m~king small fine work I do like to use a

body that has been ball milled, though this also has the

tendency of reducing the plasticity of the clay a little.

This body has extremely good dry strength despite

being turned quite thin at times.

I biscuit fire to 900"C at which point the body is fine

for decorating and glazing.

The finished glazed appearance of Southern lee is

quite striking and immediate. The initial revelation is its

incredible whiteness (very comparable to any bone

china) and then the translucency, even in quite thick

walled pieces. It is certainly comparable to any quality

porcelain I have tried and leaves most of them well

behind. I have not tested underglaze colours on this

body extensively as yet, however the use of gosu

Oapanese blue) was fine, contrasting well against the

stark white background. 1 strongly suspect that all qualiry

high temperature underglaze colours will well suit this

body and I intend 10 explore this field more extensively

as the body becomes readily available.

The body stands lip well to cone 10 even when

finished off close to eggshell. There is linle evidence of

slumping or warping that can; be a problem for some


[ would certainly have 10 give this body the thumbs up

and look forward to becoming far more familiar with it as

time goes on. GI!I

Alistair Whyte



Glazing methods for fine Porcelain by AUSTAIR WHYTE.


By nature, porcelain is usually made thin ,

whether it be slip cast or wheel thrown. This

presents some problems when it comes to

glazing because the clay body soon saturates with

water. In my case, because of the purity and

whiteness of the body that J use, much of my

glazing is done using a clear glaze so as not to hide

anything. The glaze is mixed up qu ite thin as there

is no need for a thick application which would be

wasteful of glaze. The best way to ensure that your

glaze consistency remains the same from batch to

batch is by using a hydrometer and recording the

consistancy that best suits your desired method of

glazi ng.

I glaze using techniques I learnt in Japan under a

master porcelain maker called Katsuno Hirokini.

After decoration, the wares were returned to the

workshop where the wheels were covered with

boards to create a large bench top. The glaze bucket

was placed where the wheel would he in a central

position, with the wares to be glazed to one side on

a ware board. Each piece was carefully dipped in

the glaze bucket which was kept nearly full at all

times. Dipping consisted of pushing the piece into

the bucket carefully right to the rim. The glazing tool

often used to assist in this process is called a hishaku

(or ladle),

This tool is used to mix the glaze in the bucket, to

pour glaze, to wipe away excess glaze, and to

suppon wares in the glaze bucket to help lift them

out again. It is a very versitile tool, originally made in

bamboo and on ly designed to last a few months,




Umestone glaze

Feldspar 34.03 Iron silicate

limestone 15.42 Chrome oxide

Kaolin 12.87

Magnesite 0.95

Silica 36.73


100.00 Feldspar 58.59

3.5 Porcelain clay 9.71

0.05 limestone 10.25

Silica 21.97

Iron silicate (FE2Sio) 4.0


these days they are ava ilable in stainless or copper

and last a lifetime.

There are also va rious other tools that you ca n

ma ke out of heavy wi re to ass ist in the glazing

process. or purchase from your ceramic supplier.

Having glazed all of, eit her the insi de or the

outside, the wares are set aside and allowed 10 dry

for an hour or so. Then the process is repeated 10

glaze the other side.

I never use wax on porcelain as it soon penetrates

thin porous porcelain and if a mistake is made the

piece must he biscuit fired again 10 remove the wax.

All cleaning up is done with a sponge. I fire my glazes

10 Cone 10 Reduction. Reduction gives whiteness to

the body and also bener translucency. 00

There is a glaze used in Japan called

ichigosekaiyu that is the main limestone based

glaze designed and used for porcelain.

Si02 AJ.203 FE203 GaO MgO K20 Na20

66.72 12.66 059 7.86 0.62 2.01 1.6



Metchosin Intemational Summer School of the Arts. A Robin Hopper Glaze and Colour

Development Workshop. By SANDRA BLACK.


In Jul y '97 I auended for two weeks an

International Summer School for the Ans at Lester

B Pearson College of the Pacific, Metchosin ,

British Colombia in Canada. Robin Hopper had

promoted this school on his visit to Australia in 1996.

I enrolled in rhe course in exchange for running a

weekend porcelain workshop. The College is sited

on Pedder Bay Inlet creating a picturesque harbour

and refuge for seals, deer and orher wildlife including

the ra coon th at climbed through my bedroom

window in the middle of the night!

Ir is some distance from the city of Victoria and

close to Metchosin where Hobin Hopper and his wife

Judy Dyelle have their studio gallery and a most

extraordinarily beautiful garden.

The Summer School has a broad range of courses

covering poetry, photography, sculptu re, brushwork,

printmaking, life draWing, watercolour, painting,

qu iltmaking, colour th eory and ome different

ceramic courses. A total of 25 courses were run with






. [lIIeresti,jg

also be obtained by



















.35%- .65%

48 POffiRY IN AUSTRAlIA + 39/1 DEGMBCR 2000

around 200 people slaying in College accomodation.

All meals were provided which made for a very

convivial atmosphere. At night there were slide

presentations, films, talks etc.

At the time of my enrolment in Robin's course I

was interested in Cone 6 glazes fired in an electric

kiln. Participants had to indicate their area of interest

some months beforehand so Robin could prepare

individual programs for each workshop participant.

Some 16 people had enrolled and were split into two

groups, one working in low and midfire glazes and

the others into high fire reduction glazes. Students

came from Canada and USA - I was the only

Australian and made a great fuss of.

Classes ran trom 9am-4pm but studios were open

until midnight which most of us took advantage of.

Workbooks were handed out and included individual

programs for each participant and glaze testing

procedures. We had copies of others programs for

cross reference.

I had 15 base glazes with various additions to test.

With all the variations over 1500 combinations could

have been made but I only got through around 700

tiles. Many students got through lots more tests and

our final day between 16,000-17,000 tests were


As a period of intense research I found it both

exhausting and incredibly rewarding. It's not often

that one can take time out just to experiment without

the usual home distractions. Strong commeraderie

and friendships developed that have continued plus a

methodology for rapid glaze testing that has assisted

me in ongoing research.

I used some of the cone 6 glazes developed by

otilers in the course but after running a series of tests

on matt glazes I moved on to highfire redu ction

celadons and crackles.

Have fun trying the glazes out. GI!J

For information about the Summer School conlact :

Robin Hopper

c/- Mctchosin International Summer School of (he Arts

lester B Pearson College of the Pacific

RR,tl, Victoria, British Colombia


Fax: 1-250-3912412

email: admin@pearsoncollege.vwc.ca

Top: Pierced bowls and tumblers with infill celadon glaze.

Umoge porcelain.

Photograph by Victor France.

Above: Test tiles at Metchosi", Cone 6 glazes.

Photograph by Sandra Black.

Sandra runs workshops on using colour in glazes and on

testing methodology.

16 Hulbert Street, South Frelllllntie 6162

PhlFax, 08 93355408




Matthew Blakely's work is ranges made up of 'specials' where every pot has the vitality and

presence to stand on its own.



e making of thrown functional pottery for daily

use has neen at once a philosophy and a passion

since my pottery career began. Not a 'bread and

butter' range, where most care and attention is applied

elsewhere, but ranges made up of 'specials' where every

pot has the vitality and presence to stand on ilS own. At

the Australian Craft Show in November I launched a

catalogue comprising my ranges of woodfired stoneware,

oven to tableware and porcela in that J have been

developing for the past few years. All the pots are made

to be used, lived with, ap preciated visua ll y and

physically. Of all the pOlS I have, made by myself and

others, my favourites would have to be bowls and mugs.

I use them constanrJy and there's something about the

sensuality of a well pulled and shaped handle that J can't

describe for fear of sounding perverse.

I have to admit that I find porcela in quite a hard

material to use. It requires such care I have to get into a

different frame of mind when working with it - so

different to working with a robust forgiving stoneware.

It's not as much fun but it is certainly not without

pleasure. I love its delicate creamy smoothness and the

fluid sheen of a freshly made pol. These are the qualities

that I try to encourage in my work. I throw my pot, as

close to completion as I can, turning only lids and

footrings on bowls and plates. Decoration is only simple

indenrations or undulating lines impressed in the clay

during throwing, or sweeps of porcelain slip across large

nat or shallow areas.

I use porcelain for its whiteness and the gorgeous

quality it gives to glazes. Warm gentle green widl no hint

of yellow or brown, soft misty blue, even my humble

tenmoku is gently dusted with gold speckles, more subtle

than pyroxene crystals, and with a rich amber to ilS break

on edges that just don't occu r on stoneware. I tend to

apply the glazes thickly to give them depth, but they are

not static and at least semi-clear so they don't mask the

qualities of the clay. On the contrary, the slight pooling

of the celadons highlights the simple decoration and

reveals crisp wh ite edges of clay and slip.

The catalogue includes these porcelain ranges - green

celadon, blue ceiadon with clear inside and black and

green. There are about twenty different forms in the

porcelain covering full dinner selS, tea selS, vases, large

howls and cakelcheese serving stands.With use in mind I

have developed all the glazes to be craze free. With luck

and no doubt an even bigger pile of glaze teslS I will be

able to add a satin white and satin black to the IL,t. So far



Porcelain jug, satin white.



Celadon teaset, porcelain.

Teapol 15cm.

Photography by J . Griffin.

they have been too unpredictable and have caused a

grimly disappointing rise in the pile of broken pots

outside my kiln shed. When the white works and doesn't

split the body apart it is ;IS luscious as the softest marble

and looks beautiful with the contrast of a pale blue

celadon on the inside of the pot.

It is the quest to acheive these qualities of glaze and

clay, that appear as hints, often by accident or on the

search for something else, that drives my work. I'm not

interested in intellectualizing about my work or creative

process. It somehow always misses the point. I don't

believe that intellectual analysis is necessary to appreciate

a good POt, or indeed any work of art. It merely takes the

burden of active appreciation away from the individual

or, at worst, masks the lack of quality in the object itself.

I love clay, throwing, firing, glazes - every part of making

ponery. The discovery of 'gems', or 'racers' as Michael

Casson calls them, is what inspires me and keeps me on

the search for ever deepening subtleties.

I grdduated from the National Art School ESTC in 1993

and returned to England for a year, where I am origin.llly

from. I worked for a poller in Totnes, Devon as part of

his production team making ash glazed stoneware fired in

a huge oil kiln. The pottelY was near Dartington Pottery,

where I made some good fri ends and gained useful

experience both technically and regarding the running of

3 production pottery. Also, I was able to see some of the

best contemporary pottery from around the UK.

Back in Australia I worked at the Ross St Potters, Glebe

until 1997 when my family left the high rents and wages

of Sydney for the hills just outside I:leechwood. Here I

built my workshop and adjoining gallery and a 27 cu. ft.

LPG kiln in which the porcelain and most of the

oven ware is fired.

Th e pottery is situated 35 kms. inland from POrt

Macquarie on one of the foothills of the diViding range

overlook ing the coas!. Jt really is a beautiful, tranquil

place to sit with a pint of Coopers stout waiting for cone

10 to gently touch.

The gallery has been open for one and a half year>

now and I sell only my own work. It has enabled me to

take more risks and playa bit more, broadening the

variety of my work.l've learnt far more in the last

eighteen months than in the first 5 years after college.

Without really noticing it, my style has implified from

the multicoloured glaze on glaze stoneware I was

originally making in Sydney. I only realized a couple of

weeks ago that the sole glaze colourant I use is iron.

I built a 10urry box wood kiln earlier this year and use

this for a range of stoneware glazed with shinos, ash

glaze and tenmoku. I really enjoy the differences

between the two clays. The styles are nO! as contradictory

as they might seem. I try to make pots in a way that

reveals the qualities of both clays and use sympathetic

glazes that enhance this rather rhan obscure it. The forms

in both styles influence each other and have evolved

together. What differences there are appeal to me

equally. The quietness and richness of the porcelain and

the robust earthiness of the stoneware with the slightly

scary thrill of a woodfiring.

The cata logue that I've developed at Beechwood

Pottery is nO! an end but a stage in a continual evolution.

Now, I must get back to those satin glazes.. . 00

Mauhew Blakely, 515 Pappinbarra Rd, Beechwood 2446

TeVf.x 02 6585 6611 Email mblakely@nor.mm.au



Exhibition by Melanie Forbes


Form, h14 xw7cm

Integrating Austrdlian archetypal heroes into aboriginal

dreaming and a preoccupation with the figu re in the

landscape, Forbe's work brings about a platfornl from

which new ideas can be generated concerning 'Australian


The exhibi tion showcases the body of work that three

dimensionally depicts the journey of Ned Kelly through

the landscape while silently being watched by 'Blackfellas'.

It is also a bold celebration of our relationship with the

Australian landscape and it's original culture. The work is

delivered with strength of fonn reinforced visually by the

material used to produce them, clay.

Forbes says, 'My role as artist is to transform rhe ghosts

in my vision into tangible reality, sometimes this is

inspiration and sometimes real ghosts. My job is to give

them a worldly appearance and acceptability. [ create a

definite form for them to inhabit and exist, to create

possibilities or pathways for other fornls to exist. 00

Exhibiting al Gallery 8

Until December 23, 2000

Antique Styles Building, 41;0 Pacific Highway, Loganholme Qld




Once a year Mura Clay Gallery in Sydney's Newtown provides an opportunity for a teaching

institution to showcase the creative work of its teachers, This year it was a chance for the teachers

from the ceramic department of the Northem Beaches TAFE, Brookvale,


Top: Bruce McWhinney.

Wall (Shield) Pod'. h98 x d1S x w8cm

Because of heavy work loads, many Above: Bruce McWhinney,

teacher/practitioners have difficulty

finding the time and energy [0 make

work , so group exhibitions such as this

present to th e public a good idea of an

artist's work without the demands of a solo

show - although the declaration of 'teacher'

status probably introdu ces the added

imperative to resolve all the issues pertaining

to the process of making. Perhaps the

greatest cha llenge for teachers lies in not

being diverted from their own aesthetiC and

conceptual interests by the students work and

the need to be 'multi skilled' in class.

'All That's left'. 1160 x d15 x w15cm


For Bruce McWhinney the natural elements of eanh,

wind, water and fire are the 'true makers' and it is the

elusive alchemy of the chance happening Ulal he seeks in

his work. In an earUer series of very disciplined objecl~ ,

he combined organic forms and formal geometry with

smooth surfaces and high colour (blue, red, green and

orange) to acknowledge the co-existence of architecture

and nature in our urban environment. He than began to

extend his ideas by making hemispherical seed pod

forms with surfaces carved in strongly figurative patterns

and named after Australian flora. [n this exhibition the

caving has been refined to a more srylistic representation

as ule anist stakes his claim to the Australian landscape.

Except for two fired and cratered pods and several bird

of paradise flashes, Ule colours of the elongated shields

hanging on the wall and conical shapes standing in line

are dark brown, blackened like charred eanh - 'All

TI,at's Left', bUnlt husks or fossils from an age when giant

marsupials roamed the ancient land of Tem Australis.

Bill Kelly's fascination with cultures past and present is

expressed in a series of shrine-like strucrures crenellated

and patterened in the manner of oriental temples and

layered with a patina of age. Each of the pieces is a

distillation of Kelly 's memori es of natu ral and

architectural landscapes and while they are not sacred

relics or objects of veneration, they do embody a sense

of an inner, spiritual space. However, Kelly insists that

any philosoph ical or religious content is secondary to the

technical requirements of working wit h mou lds,

mastering materials and firing techniques to create their

complex surface geometry. The seductive unstable

surfaces continue to change after firing, forming powdery

encru stations and preCipitates, reminiscent of Janet

Laurence's 'landscapes' of corrosion and errosion, quaSi

alchemical transformations of nature inro culture and

back again as civilizations crumble.

An ice age away are the cool sage green and powder

blue porcelains by Chris James and Betty Riddington.

James' cups, bowls, teapots and 'droplets' (pear shaped

vessels) have been innuenced by traditional glaze and

su rface tcchniques, but are entirely contemporary in ulcir

smoothly minimalist fonns . .lames' ea rlier cylindrical pots

in mall earth hound colours were about fantasies of

'somewhere in the outback' but James grew up near the

ocean and his love of, and fam iliari ry with, the marine

environment is evoked in the limpid colours and fluid

shapes of his work - even to the knobs on the lids

which echo rebound after-pebble splashes.

In this exhibition James' pieces have been honed to a

looking-glass surface. As Brancusi's elliptical marble and

bronze scul ptures - 'deflections of an ideal geometry

and polished to renective perfcction" - invite medita tion

Top: Bruce McWhinney, 'Fired Pod'.

h17x d22an

Above: Christopher James, translucent

porcelain cups.

but resist formal analysis, so James' deceptively simple

forms defy easy interpretation. Their slight deflection

from the ideal of cylinder and ellipse is just enough to

transpose them from the real more ulcoretical cenainty,

into the sometimes chancy world of working with clay.

Betty Riddington concentrates on surface decoration in

the elegant celadon colours of the Song Dynasry. Whilst

holdi ng form functional and respecting traditions, she

explores the intrinsic qualities of porcelain. In contrast to

Chris James, for whom throWing on the wheel is simply a

way of creating shapes, Hiddington enjoys the physical

process of throwing and the repetitive, rh ythmiC I

processes of carving. Living near the sea, she is also at

home in the water and this derives the wavelike pallenlS

carved on her bowls.

Diane McLean not onl y acknowledges humankind's

long history of ceramic production in work centred on the

'Venus of Willendorf', but also gives a contemporary

setting to the belief in the earth as a source of both female

strength and female stereoryping as biological destiny.

54 POTTfRY IN AusrRALIA + 39/4 DECEMBER 2000

Above: 'Structure 1 and 2', Bill Kelly.

h50 x w25 xd25cm

Right: Diane McLean. 'Ear-ringed Venus Posing' detail.


With her full hips, round belly and generous breasts the

primary focus of this small clay figure must be her

reproductive role, but there is an intriguing element of

coquellY in Venus' carefull y wrought hairsryle. McLean's

tall , free standing forms with ample curving hi ps are

perfect mother figures you might say, but their long

tapering Ixxlies, small high bre'dslS and elaborate coiffures

echo the phallic female so he loved of film and high

fashion. Crowned - a regal Venus, braided - :1 counrry

girl, and dark helmeted night Venus - a warrior queen:

by highlighting changing fashions, Mclean subverts the

sometimes too serious Earth Mother image wh ich

surrounds these f undamelllal icons of female experience.

Dawn , noon ... nothing much happens in Willcndorf,

but Venus moves forward through history. In Botticelli's

'Venus De cendi ng' a chubby bikini clad figure steps

ashore from a large seashell which floats away on the

. mythological Se'd. Here McLean nO! only pays homage to

a Renaissance masterpiece but also to Marcel Duchamp,

that ea rly 20th century master inquiSitor of art. 'Ear-ringed

Venus Posing', a cloud moves across the sky to indicate

the passage of time and the smile on the face of Venus

ide nt ifies her as an indiVi dual , not just archetypa l


There have been may changes in art ..,ducation since

the days of the master and his apprentices but teacherstudent

training has remained central to the acquisition of

the analytical and technical skills necessary to create art

- that balance between thinking and making. Much of

th.., work in this exhibition is about balance, especially

the relationship between the huilt and natural

environment, between cu lt ure and nature and how to

express this in clay. It is infinately more than 'I make

what I see'. 00

SUs.1n Sleggall


I. Rosalind Krauss, 'Passages in Modern Sculpture', MIT Press 1989,





Recent work by respected Aboriginal Elder, Clifford -James Ridgeway. Article by SUE STEWART.

Jim Ridgeway's pots rellcct the deeply felt beliefs that

have been passed on to him from family members,

particularly his father. Growing up on a reserve at

Purlleet outside Taree, Ridgeway was taught about the

Christian religion after being rounded up each Sunday to

attend Church. After church Ridgeway's father would tell

him that the Bible was white man's Dreaming and that

they had their own Dreaming. So his father and other

relatives would tell him some of the stories from the

Biribi tribe Dreamings.

Unfortunately it was not permitted to tell Dreaming

stories at the time when Ridgeway was a boy as

Christianity was the dominanr religion. These stories were

told in private and not at the gatherings that would have

been the traditional method of handing on these beliefs.

Jim feels regret for the loss of spirit from not hearing all

these Dreamings stories. However, not being a person to

dwell on the negatives for too long he uses and builds

onro the remembered stories.

Many of the traditional stories told coincided with the

seasons and food gathering - where to go and not to

go. Interestingly these stories continued even when the

Biribi people were confined to the reserve and unable to

follow these 'song lines'. They had no need for the

concept of days and dates, only for seasons. Other stories

told were for the safety of rhe children, such as the

Bunyip tales that were told to keep them away from the

two dams in the area. It seemed to work as it was very

unusual for black children to drown in the very places

that white children perished.

Aboriginals believe animals and bird, communicate with

them and send messages. Most tribes have animal totems,

for the Biribe tribe it is rhe slmk. TIle families have their

olVn totem and this is passed to the children from their

fathers. Hidgways's family totem is the turtle. You must not

eat an animal that is your totem. Ridgway has a vivid

childhood memory of an old man talking to birds in a

manner that seemed a most natural form of communion.

He believes that he too ha s experienced this type of

conununication. On a particular day an annoying gray bird

kept bothering him, making alot of noise. He sensed it was

trying to give him the message that a boy cousin had died,

a fact that was confirmed later in the day.

Life was tough on the reserves and food was often in

short supply so it was supplemented with a diet of

kangaroo, wallaby and fish that was hunted plus an

occasional 'borrowed' sheep.

All of these early experiences have contributed to the

way Ridgway expresses himself in the many and various art

forms he uses to express himself. In the 70s it was as an

entertainer, Ridgeway was an importlJ1t figure in Aboriginal

Country and Western musi c performing throughout

Australia. He was voted the Best Aboriginal Country and

Western Performer in Australia in 1976. This was also a

period of poetry and songwriting, and a poem 'Ticket To

Nowhere' has been published in ale Me-anjin magazine, a

highly regarded Australian literature journal this year.

Painting is another means of manifesting his spiritual

inspiration. He has been painting in a traditional manner

for about twenty years. Ridgeway starts with a vague idea

of what he wants to describe in a painting and continues

working intuitively until the work is completed. As a

community artist/educator Ridgway teaches aboriginal art

as artist-in-residence in many local primary and


Below left: 'Yengo Dreaming Series', 33 x 25cm

Below right: 'Tribal Spirit Birds', 40 x 35cm

Opposite: Jim Ridgeway.

secondary schools. The Education Department has

commissioned him 10 produce ceramic and painted

murals at Gwandalon. Heaton, Gateshead, Fennel Bay

and Tanambit Schools.

The shift to ceramics started in 1995 with a short

course in ceramics for Aboriginal students at Hunter

Institute of TAFE. He enjoyed working with clay so much

that he continued on with a Certificate 3 in Ceramics that

he has almost completed. During these years working

with clay his pieces have developed a very individual

style and the anistic quality of both the fonns and their

decoration is unmistakable. He has been invited on four

occasions to exhibit in group exhibitions at Lake

Macquarie City Gallery. His work is highly acclaimed and

sought after by overseas and private buyers. Hunter

Institute of Technology (Newcastle TAFE) chose Clifford's

work for the 1999 TAFE Invitational Exhibition and it was

selected to tour NSW.

This latest body of work was developed after heing

commissioned by a SOCOG representative to produce

work for the official outlet in the Olympic Village

Aboriginal Arts /Craft Exhibition.

The full-bodied coiled pOlS are made from a he-avily

grogged clay that gives a rocky texture that is well suited

for the animal figures carved onto them. The carved and

oxided geometriC lines pay homage to Aboriginal

tradition. The an imal carvings have been inspired from

the rock carvings in the Yengo area around Wollombi.

The Yengo region is volcanic and surrounded by

sedimentary hills and ridges and is believed to be the

oldest and most significant aboriginal site in the Hunter

Vallc)'. It is believed that these sites represent religious

placcs, which are pan of the song line which runs

between the Hunter Valley, down through the

Hawksbe rr y River and on to Sydney. This area is

important to the Awabakal people and is still used to

carry out traditional culture and to educate their children

in tribal ways.

lllOSC who come in contact with Ridgeway and his work

are bound to gain an understanding of his culture and

enjoy the way that he has interpreted these icons 00

Sue Stewart is a ceramic artist and teacher at the Hunter Institute of




Members exhibition for -the Cairns Potters Club .

The Cairns Porters Club was founded in 1974 and

has develo ped into a group o f over 100

enthusiastic members. The ceramic artists in this

exhibitio n d isplay a di versity of perception and

interpretations in style and approaches that represent

individual "Clay Treasures". Works were exhibited at the

Mercure Hotel, Harbourside at Cairns. 00

NxNe, from left 10 nghl

Jann Marie Dunstan 'Draco Splendens'; Ted Strachan 'Predator 11'; Jacqueline Waters 'Tofu'; Christina George 'Sand Patterns'.


Top: Jennie Scott 'Copenhagen'. Middle left Lone White 'Tea Set'. Middle right: Pamela Dorothy Carey 'Black Pearl'.

Bottom: Mollie Bosworth. laminated porcelain jugs.




thought J had left pots behind for a couple of years

because of a temporary change in personal

directions and I have ended up in Papua ew

Guinea working for AusAiD. J work as a small selae

gold mining advisor which is not too far from my

previous experience in a number of countries arollnd

the world.

One of my first introductions to pots was looking at

an old film of village people making pots in PNG. I

can't remember where it was but it appea red to be

somewhere in the Sepik area.

Last year, as part of my job, I flew to Wewack, the

capitol of East Sepik province and eventua lly drove

over the mountains and down onto the flood plain of

the Sepik River. I was expecting jungle right to the

river but there were many kilometres of open

grassland before we came to the river.

The first sight of the river itself was not as

dramatic as I had expected as everything is so flat -

suddenly it was there. A great swi rling brown mass

of surging water. Flowing at an incredible pace,

dOlled here and there with tree trunks, grass islands

and water hyacinths wildly rushing pas!.

We had to travel to lake Chambri to the ollth of the

main river. First along the Sepik itself, then into a small

river. This qu ick ly became blocked with watel

hyacinth and grass islands and required forcing the

canoe along with paddles as the grass kept fouling the

propeller of the motor.

Then we moved into a narrow channel. This one

was only 1-2 metres wide with the water flowing very

swiftly away from the river. After about two hours 01

progress through dense overhanging jungle we came

out into the thick grass surrounding the lake itself.

We broke clear of the grass and out into the lake -

what a sight. The lake extended for many kilometres.

Mount Garamambu we cou ld see in the distance. It

seemed so close but we still had about 3-4 hours 01

travel to go. The speed of our progress immediately

increased and we had a breeze to keep us cool.

The sun set behind a bank of clouds and we were

trealed !O a display of lightning I have not seen since I

was in the Northem Territory in the 70s. Accompanied

by the syncopated cacophony of nashes and booms


we continued our journey beyond sunset finally

arriving at the village after negotiating the grass

banks on the southern side of the lake.

The next day we carried out the workshop for the

miners and then headed out across the southern

edge of the lake to Aibom pottery village. It is

famous for pots with faces, some human, some

animal and some based on birds. Aibom consists of

several villages in the same area. They make pots up

to 15m tall, handbuilt and low fired. Every house in

the villages had a store of pots under the raised

floor. One village in particular had some massive

pieces that were made by previous generations. They

were part of their cultural heritage and not for sale at

any price. Some anthropoligists had been there

recently and had been offering large sums of money.

The pots would have been taken away and placed in

Museums but one particular man whose father or

grandfather had made many of them years ago had

wanted them kept in the village.

Alborn has become a tourist town to some extent

where you can buy a small representative pot for 5

kina but a genuine pot made for use locally, about

20 times the size, is only 15 kina. They also make

ceramic stoves. These are the large dishes in which

you place three stones or three small pots, light your

fire inside and then place the cooking pot on top. A

very effective stove for a cheap price.

We left Aibom and travelled back nonh along the

eastern edge of the lake where the wildlife was

incredibly prolific. Flights of ducks, egrets and many

others took off passing overhead. They were

obviously feeding on the grass beds and the fish

inhabiting the breeding grounds.

The journey back to Pagwi took all day but we

finally returned to solid ground. 00

Right: Aibom stoves in use.

Top: Canoes stop at the Sepak.

OppOSite from left to right:

Making a stove Aibom;

Pot with Face h8Ocm;

Pot from Aibom ready to be moved.





Establishing what hopefully will become a continuing tradition at the Royal Melbourne Show,

Article by HEDLEY PODS.


is it about th e humble

teapot whi ch fascinates


potter and public alike in an

era dominated by Ihe tea bag? This

fascina ti on conlin ues to be a

worldwide phenomenon documented

in international ceramics publications regularly reviewing

a teapot exhibilion in some part of the globe.

This was the foundation of what hopefully will become

a continuing tradition al the Royal Melbourne Show. Irs

popularity certainly points in that direction, and given

lime and further pUblicity has the capacity to attract more

teapot buyers. Given time il could also attract even more

entries from interstate - packaging and transport not

being insurmountable obstacles.

Andrea Hylands had the difficult task of selecting the

Bushells Awards in two contrasting categories. The Bushells

Classic Acquisition A ward of $ 1000 went to Chris Myers for

a lustered-sandblasted leapot of beautiful proponions and

luscious surface, with second prize of $500 to Mary-Lou

Pittard, the vessel freely decorated with fruit.

Janet Koracas won the Bushells Millennium Acquisition

Award of $1000 with an encrusted teapot almosl direct

from the Barrier Reef, irs challenging incongruity extended

further with th e surprise experience of comfortable

handling! Second prize of $500 went 10 Rick Price for a

terra cotta statement on scaffolding, one branch supporting

an orienlalleabowl, referencing some pottery heritage.

Other prizes and commendations went to Sandra

Bowkett , Elea nor Burnet, Barbara Swarbrick and her

millennium dog named Endal, and Chris Pittard perhaps

titl ed 'Stri ctly Ball room'. Trina Maloney received

commendation for delightful paintin!

of two emu s 'bobbi ng' a tea bag

Heather King, incorporating foune

objects and reminding us of the ole

slenci l pai nted tea chests, Jennife

John with finely carved celadon aoe

Jan Bell for her slip tra iled slabwork.

As expected variety ingenuity and some humour we r<

the essence of th e exhibition, and so much of 111<

attraction for the audience. Bruce Heggie exhibited a larg'

Alice Teaparty vessel bea utifull y painted, and lngrie

Dusselberg made a tall baruim blue rooster, quite a subu,

sculpttlral interpretation of the Royal Show masco!. Pete

Ward from S.A. showed a gold IU5tre piece titled ' Lu ck~

Counlry' with decals of Australiana icons from antiqu<

print med ia , such as the extending arms of Sydne:

Harbour Bridge, and even an old Bushells advertise men

"What Doctors think of Tea". Marg Hornbuckle evel

presented a tea mug with real tea bag in a Bushells ca rton

reminding us how man)' of us take our lea.

Bushells are to be congratulaTed for their generou.

prizemoney, and of course we also appreciate Th,

considerable backup expenses in such sponso rship

Management and Stewards at the Royal Show have beel

most posi tive. The support of the Victorian Cerami,

Group is also acknowledged,

Bravo for Bushells 2000 Teapots! IW

Hedley POllS, Exhibition Co-ordinalor.

Above: Janet Korakas 'Shell Teapot', 25 x 22cm.

Bushell's Millenium Teapot Award. Photo by John Barter.




A title that could apply to the time of year when a mixed bag of 16 Australian,

American and English potters and their partners visited Japan earlier this year, and to the fun we all

Ilad on the workshop and tour. By BILL SHERMAN.

Organised by Destination Man agement and

sponsored by Ponery in Australia, the tour was a

great success from start to fini sh, th anks in

particular to the efforts of tour leader John Massy from

the Queensland An Gallery (a man distinguished by his

love of Japan and ceramics plus a lot more patience than

the author could claim) and Joe 'Samurai ' Okada, our

Japanese tour guide, who gave freely and with a great

sense of fun from his wonderful knowledge of what to

see and where lO go in his country.

Top; The Japan 2000 group in local gear, with

staff from the Yuzan ~ kaku Inn, Yamashiro

Dnsen, where we were staying.

Below: Cherry blossom, seen here in

the grounds of the Shoguns

Palace in Kyoto ,

the time the

tour left Japan.

The workshop and tour followed the same pattern

pioneered by earlier tours. This meant enjoyi ng a

workshop and instruction from working Japanese potters

in Tokoname and visil~ 10 the six ancient kilns of Japan

at Bizen, Tokoname, Eichizen, Shigaraki , Tamba and

SelO, with visit, 10 working potte ries, museums, galleries,

display ce ntres and the homes of famous potters.

Amongst all thi s we found time to look at other

traditional Japanese crafts including Sumi ca lligraphy"

brushes, fan making, laquer ware, pape r making, a'

bamboo shop (just like the timber racks in the local !

hard wa re except they onl y sold different types of!

bamboo - incl uding square bamboo')' lie dying, ai

kimono shop and, of course, a tea ceremony.

The latter was put on with great chaml by the hostess

of one of the famil ies wit h whom we stayed in

Tokoname, Mrs Tokiko Fukushima, assisted by a number

of her friends, all in traditional dress. Beautiful.

Then there was the workshop. This was held in

Tokoname and centred on the Kyoei-gama ceramic art

school. The centre piece of the site is the huge old down

draft kiln which was used until 1971 to fire a variety 0

pipes, such as sewer pipes and drain pipes. In 1993 i

was properly restored and is now used for functions

(including a parry for our lOur group, host families and

potters), actually inside the kiln. Around it is built the

sales gallery, and alongside, the ceramics training school

and modern gas kilns, along with a number of studios

leased by individual local and overseas potters.

We had three days there to see Tokoname and t

make some pots, preferably in the Japanese style, and to

get them ready for a bisc fire. Then we left Tokoname fo

afew days whilst they were fired, came back to glaze

them and then back again for the unpacking and usual


The people of Tokoname really are the most generous I

have met. They opened their homes to us for eight nights

and took us, complete strangers, inlO uleir families. It was

a unique way to experience how people from another l

very different culture actually live. I, for one, am very'I'

grateful to Masahiro and Junko Koie who took me in.

Thanks to the internet this tour was the first to have

participants from olher cou nlries. From the UK we had,

Colin and Margaret Hatfield. Colin is a profesional potter

with a studio near Bristol. From America we had Sheldon

and Judy Bieber and Larry Stem. Judy is a profeSSional

potter and teacher. Larry is one of her students. From'


Ireland came Vivien Spooner oul of County Cork. It was

great to have the impu t from other coun tries which

meant that we were able to look at Japan from their

perspective as we ll as our own.

Of course, there is no such thing as the 'six and en I

kilns'. The tenn is used for the six areas that are generally

credited with being the places where pottery developed

in Japan. Conveniently, they are all in the mid section of

Japan and while Japanese pottery has been dated as far

back as 2000BC it was in these places in Kamakura

period (J IB5-1333AD) thai modem pottery really began,

essentially with the development of techniques for high

temperature firings.

Early production was influenced strongly by Chinese

porcelain but later development was Korean influenced.

The Japanese invaded Korea at the end of the 16th centu ry

and broughl many Korean potters back to strengthen the

local pottery industry. Actually they had used them as

guides in the war and only brought them back to save

them from being punished by their countrymen when the

Japanese left. Many of the descendants are still working in

Japan and their influence has been huge.

The six 'kilns' each have their own distinctive styb

but in general they all use local clays which are fired

once in a kiln that used wood as the primary fuel. The

major differences are firstly in the type of clay used.

Bizen, for example, typically uses a day that is a smooth

dark brown after firing, whilst Shigaraki uses a coarse

whitish clay with large panicles of feldspar in it. The

second difference is the surface treatment - some use

glazes but most depend on ash to do the glazing - and

finally in the shapes thrown.

There are six distinct techniques used in Bizen pottery.

All are wood fired in single or multi-chambered climbing


1 Hidasuki - red streaks made by winding with straw

2 Goma - sesame wood ash leaves spots over the

surface like sesame seed~

3 Sangiri - dark grey from being buried in ash near a

stoke hole.

4 Botamochi - pots are used to pan cover the surface

thaI turns red when they are not directly exposed to

the flame.

5 Fuseyaki - fired face down to keep Ule inside from

being speckled with ash

6 Ao Bizen - turned dark blue hy firing in a high

carbon atmosphere.


Allow: CoIn HaIIIeId (rtghI) from 1IrIIItoI,

England, and the aIIhar try out _ In

a local pottery,ln Chris' cae a kick

Oppos~e from top to bottom:

Pots by Yuichi Hirano are typical of the

traditional work being done In


This pot is typical of the finish achieved

in pots in Shigaraki. The white spots are

feldspar breaking through. Photo

courtesy Shigataki Cultural Park;

A ceramics gallery in Echizen.

39/4 DECEMBER 2000 + POnER)' IN A USTRAlIA 65

Tap: ". 50m langldln • Tamba /I

only fInId once per year. 1118 • muIIIchambered

.spIIt bemboo' kiln. II Ito not

stepped ~ the chambers like the

more sophisticated nobori-gama

climbing kilns which evolved from n.

Above: Pots ready for loading at a small

Bizen pottery. They will be woodfired to

1300"C. The use of straw, covering wnh

other pots and inverting others are

among techniques used to change the

colour and the impact of ash on the

finished pot.

Shigaraki ware depends on the movement of the feldspar

particles through the clay during the firing. The white

feldspar rises to the surface and that combined with the

random effect of ash settling on the piece to fuse and

tum green and brown on rhe reddish fired surface of the

clay creates a lovely warm unique result , that is very

different to the rather sombre effecr of some Bizen


Our first visit was to Inbe, the central town in the

Ilizen area, where we visited a number of potteries, kilns,

galleries and the icx:al museum. The highlight was a visit

to the home and workshop of the FujiwarA famil y. The

ponery was founded by the late Kei Fujiwara who was

made a 'Living Na rional Treasure' in 1970. His tradition is

carried on by his son and nephew. They do four firings a

year in their noborigama climbing kiln. They fire to

1300·C using gas for the first three days to help rhe

process along. Ir rakes six days of fronr sroking and

another two days per chamber of side sroking 10 reach

remperature. Cooling rakes two days. 1500 stacks of

precut wood is used at 100 yen (65yen = AUDSJ) per

stack - 750 polS are fi red each time.

Kei, the grandfather, C'Jn command a million yen for a

rea bowl, his son Yu (also a National Living Treasure), 1-

200,000 yen (AUDS3,OOO) and they sell all they make.

TIlis is reOecled in rhe fa cilities at the workshop. Quite an

eyeopener for an Australian pOller!

With the price of polS, we all invested in books!

It really was cherry blossom time. The trees were just

out when we arrived but were in full beaury by rhe rime

we left on 21sr April.

Add ro thiS, staying in a Ryokan and experiencing

conulluna l bathing in traditional Japanese Inns; having

dinner Sitting on the fl oor in lht local version of a

dressing gown designed for someone half my girth to

enjoy a full 21 dish Japanese banquet; helping ro pull a

ceremonial float through the Slreet~ of Tokoname before

retiring to sample sake with everyone; riding the bullet

rrain ar 125mph, earing a fri et! egg with chopsticks;

visiting Kawa i Kanjiro's house in Kyoto; digging up

bamboo ShOOlS in a Japanese garden - I could go on.

This is an experience every poner should enjoy. 00

Bill Sherman, who describes himself as a 'serious hobby potler' now

working from a studio al home in lhe Southern Highlands, NSW.



The Potters' Society of Australia and Destination Management have organised a special pottery tour

to Turkey and Greece departing June 2001 for 26 days.


No rrip to Turkey is complete without a visir to

Iznik, an ancienr town at the southern end of the

Sea of Maramara . It is, of course, famous the

world over for it's magnificently decorated tiles. Today

there is an exciting project to revive and reproduce the

spectacular 'Iznik tiles' made so famous over hundreds of

years of production. Raw materials and kil ns akin to

those of the 16th century are bei ng reproduced using

information gleened from archaelogical evidence.

Iznik was the centre of tile production from Byzantine

times onward. However, the 15th and 16th centuries

represent the cultural and artistic zenith of the Ottoman

Empire. Tiles made during this time still grace the walls

of many mosques and palaces and have inspired artists

from all over the world since this time.

By the 17th century the technical knowledge was lost

and now, after 400 years, researchers are piecing together

the traditional techniques. There are many factors that

make these beautiful tiles unique in the world:

• 70-8Q of an [znik tile is composed of quartz and

quartzite. The final combination of quartz, clay and

glaze gives the tiles their special, durable fired finish.

• The tiles contain a network of pores that enables them

to endu re shrinkage and expansion in hot, cold and

freez ing temperatures.

• The white of the undercoating is achieved exclusively

from quartz applied in a paste after the first firing.

• The colours used were originally only blue and white

but a palette was developed to include the colours of

precious stones - the blue of turquoise, the red of

coral, the green of emerald as well as black, purple

and grey. Colours that, at that time, were difficull to


• The glaze has an opaque, slightly man fin ish which

makes the fired surface durable and reduces reflected

light, therefore reducing glare. TIle sheen of the tiles

was developed ro co ntrast with the textu res of

surrounding materials used in architecture - plaster

and stone.

• The tiles have a polished texture which varies from

smooth through man to a slightly raised finish.

• Tiles are traditiomilly triangular, square or hexagonal in

. the shape of a six poinred sta r. Izn ik tiles are generally

square, a module corresponding ot the dimensions of

an opened hand.

• The figures on the tiles reflect allegorical and symbolic

characteristics ami the flora and fauna of the region.

The human figure was rarely used out of respect for

Islamic tradition.

• The geometri cal designs can be in terpreted as

descriptions and interpretations of the universe.

• Th e texts, usually prayers, reflect the ideals and

philosophy of [slam. Text tiles were genera lly used to

reinforce the symbolic importance of particular

architectural elements such as the main entrance of the


Today Iznik tiles can still be seen on the enduring

architecture of the past. Thanks to the newly formed

Iznik Training and Educa ti on Foundation, these

techniques are being revived and used in contempora ry

ways. G\!)

For infonnalion call Destination Management

Frc'Ccalk 1 300 307 317

email: travel@powerup.com.au

or follow the links from the Society'S website:

www .polleryinaustralia.com






Following is a list of three commonly held beliefs

about ceramic fibre. All this information is backed

up by documentation, not hearsay ...



This is the big one. This belief appears to come mainly

from tests held in the RCC Laboratories in Geneva in the

late 80's in which rats and hamsters were force fed

extremely large doses of ceramic fibre materials (perhaps

equivalent to a human swallowing an entire roll of

ceramic fibre). Not surprisingly, some tumours resulted.

However, these results have since been challenged and

discredited as it was considered that the amount of fibre

ingested was far in excess of the amount a human would

be exposed to even in the very worst case, and very few

of the tumours were actually life threatening. The

conclusion of an expert authority in the EU is that -

No evidence (exists) of disease in man after more than

30 years of sale and use of RCF.

• RCF is a unique product, which can be used safely.

• The classification of RCF in Europe (as hazardous) is

based only on animal tests whose validity is in


• The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the

Un ited States does not classify HCF (as hazardous).





This belief appears to have been generated from an

incorrect interpretation of the Material Safety Data Sheet

(MSDS) for RCF. The MSDS states that Personal Protective

EqUipment (PPE) must be worn when INSTALLING or

REMOVI G HCF. There is no mention anywhere in the

MSDS of requiring PPE while using an RCF lined kiln.

Commonsense dictates that a kiln lined with RCF in a

poor or deteriorated condition should be treated with

great caution, and that users must never disturb the

surface of the RCF mechanically. Tests by the Workplace

Health and Safety Dept. could not detect any dangerous

level of RCF ingestion by kiln users, where the fibre is in

a good condition.

roNCLUSION: Personal Protection EqUipment (PPE) is

NOT NECESSARY for using RCF lined kilns in GOOD




'111is is a good one. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

for RI Brick and the warning on the packing boxes should

discredit this idea. '111ere are ve,y direct comments on RI

Brick packing boxes such as "This product contains a

substance which has been identified by the International

Agency for Research on Cancer (JARC) as a known

carcinogen to humans", the product being silica andlor

cristoballite, known and accepted as causing cancer.

RI Brick is a Category 1 ha7.ardous product which can

cause cancer. Ceramic fibre is classed as Category 2 (still

dispured) which is defined as a product believed to cause

cancer. Of course, when studied in depth, all these

warnings and comments in the MSDS apply to the

INSTALLERS of the products, NOT the final users. When

you are loading or unio'&ding a kiln, you are not going to

drill holes or cut the bricks in your kiln, no more than you

will tear chunks out of your fibre lined kiln. A bit of

commonsense would help here as well. I believe that this is

similar to the asbestos scare, where people started to

believe that if they as much as lived in a "fibro" house, they

would soon die an excruciating death from lung disease.

Maintenance is always the key 10 safety in any field. If

you decide 10 abandon the maintenance schedule on

your motor car, you shouldn't be surprised if one day it

fails to SlOp, runs off the road and tries to kill you. A

pottery kiln deserves the same consideration.




Dave Coggins, BPQ KILNS, Queensland.

Email dercoggins@one.neL3u

Tel 07 54990733 Fax 07 5498 3345


Firing a Gas Kiln

A gas kiln MUST ALWAYS be installed and certified safe by a qualified gas fitter, before you even

think about using it. Your safety cannot be compromised, and most insurance companies would

love to escape a payout if you were using an -uncertified gas ~In when the house burnt down!!



There is no escaping the fact thal a gas kiln is dangerous.

The first rule should be tattooed on the inside of your

eyelids -




The second rule is almost as important -



If you follow these two rules, you will not have any

problems with your gas kiln .


A floor shelf should be used in all gas kilns. This is

required for two reasons. Firstly, it ensures that the

bottom shelf of ware is fired to temperature, as the floor

of a kiln is vcry much cooler than the rcst. Secondly, it

protects the floor from any glaze runs or drips, which

could damage the floor materials.

If loading for a bisque firing, the ware may be loaded

inside or on top of other pieces to conserve space -

contact between pieces is not a problem.

If loading for a glaze firing , it is essential that no

glazed surface touches another or touches the shelf, they

will stick very solidly together.

For economy purposes, always fill a kiln as much as

possible. Try to avoid firing only a few pieces, 3S this is

very wasteful of resources.

To light the bumer(s) in your kiln, make sure all taps and

regulators are off. Turn on the gas at the bottles or

supply line. If a regulator is fitted at the supply point ,

adiust it to give a pressure of about 50kPa (10psi) in the

gas lines.

Open the kiln lid or door. This IllUSt stay open until all

burners are alight.

If a regulator and gauge is fitted at the kiln, adiust it to

give about 20kPa (4psi).

You can use a lit taper, long match , lighter. electronic

igniter, or whatever, to light the hurner(s), but make sure

that whatever you use works rel iably fif5t time. If the kiln

fills with gas while you are attempting to light it, there

will be a large "WHOOM" when it finally fires up. If you

have followed my advice and left the door or lid open,

there will Ix.- no damage except to your nerves. IF NOT,

you may need to retrieve the door or lid frolll far away

and call the repairman to reaUach it to your kiln!

Open the needle valve to the first (or only) burner.

Have your igniter ready, and depress th e flame fail

hunon. Light the gas inunediately, and hold the buuon

down until it remains locked on. If it won't stay on, see

rule 2 and (all the repairman. These safety devices are

installed for your protection. Don't be tempted to wire

them down, no firing is worth being blown up for. If you

want your hair raised, ask me for Illy stories about gas

kiln explosions'

Adiust the burner air valve or wheel, until the flame is

somewhere between ''blue and hot " and "orange and

smoky". A long flame with touches of blue and orange is

quietest and most efficient. If this can't be achieved, have

the burners checked out by a gas repairman.

Con tinue lighting any other burners as required,


adjusting the regulator lO keep the flames at a low leveL

When all required burners are alight, the lid or door can

be closed.



All clays and slips contain water as pan of the clay

structure - it doesn't matter how dry the piece looks, il

will slill comain a lot of waler. Driving oul Ihe water from

the molecular structure of the clay is pan of the process

of convening clay to ceramic. As well as water, lhere are

a lot of other organic materials in clays, which will need

to be removed if the piece is to become good ceramic


Comrol of the lemperature rise within the kiln is very

important during a bisque fi re. The waler contained

within the clay structure will turn to steam, and if the

temperature rise is lOO fast, the steam pressure ca n crack

or burst the piece very Violently, often damaging other

pieces as welL

The rate of rise of temperature in the early stages of

firing depends entirely on the rype of ware being fired.

The following are examples of firing rates for various

l ypes of ware.

Thin cast pic'Ces, i.e. dolls, sma ll cast ceramics:

200"Clhr (360"F/hr)

Heavier cast pieces i.e. vases, statuettes, etc:

150"C/hr (270"Fihr)

Wheel thrown pottery, small hand made potS:

l OO·C/hr (l80"F/hr)

Heavy handmade pottery, sculptures, etc:

50"C/hr C9O"F/ hr)

These temperatu re rises are given as a guide only, and

apply up to red heat 600"C or Variations may be used

depending on the resultS of your testing. After the red

heal point is passed, the kiln may be turned to full power

until the final temperature is reached.

The temperature rise in a gas kiln is controlled by use

of the pre sure regulator. For very slow rises in

temperature, only one burner may be used lO start with,

th e olh ers lit as requ ired lO maintain the correCl

temperature rise.

Alwa ys keep a log of all firings, lVilh notes on the

resultS. "111 is will allow you to analyze and correct any


After the bisque or greenware firing is completed,

allow the kiln to cool to at least 200"C C390"F) before

opening the door or lid.


When your wa re has been fired once, it has been

permanently convened to "ceramic" and any subsequent

firings are less critical.

The lemperature rise for a glaze firing can be a high as

the kiln can produce, although I recommend thal the rate

be Iimiled to 100"C/ hr (J80°F/ hr) until abou t 200·C

(390"F) to prevent any thennal shocks to larger pieces.

It is advisable to soak at the top temperature for at

least 15 minutes to ensure that all the glaze is fully

melted, and all pinholes and bubbles are gone.

When cooling, wail until al least lOO"C (210"F) before

opening the lid or door, lO ensure that the glaze has

"filled" the piece as we ll as possible. If you hear any

"tink' sounds, close the lid or door for a bit longer to

allow more cooling.

Once again, record all firings and results, lO allow fo r

correclions to be made to firing techniques if problems

occu r.


One of the major reasons for buying an LP Gas fi red

portery kiln is to produce the glorious and unpredictable

colours of reduced stoneware glazes. This sectio n

attemptS to de-mystify the firing method for these glazes

in an LPG kiln.

FIRST STEP is to check lhat tile kiln has been correclly

designed. The items lhal most commonly ca use problems

are the burners and the nue.

THE BURNERS must have much more than just the

ba re minimum power -a kiln is like a motor car, you

may nor need the full power, bur it's greal to have it 'just

in case'. The burners must be 'over-engineered' to ensure

a successful reduclion firing. This will ensure lhat

stoneware lemperatures can be reached even under

reducing conditiOns, which can cause the temperature to

fall instead of rise. Larger burners are also quieter, which

leads to better neighbouriy relations c1uring lhose very

late night firings.

Most LPG burners have a primary ai r adjuslment,

which regulates the amount of air mixing with the gas.

Check lhat th e burners are properly design ed, by

adjusling the primary air adjuslment from minimum to

maximum. TIle tlame on a correctly designed burner will

vary from red/orange and ve,y 50ft at minimum primary

air through to blue, harsh and loud al maximum primary

air. These are the two extremes; the desirable selling is in

between, whi ch produces a long, fairly quiel,

blue/orange name. This is the most efficient flame for

firing a kiln. If you cannot produce such a flame, you will

need to repair/adjust/replace your burners.

THE FLUE is equally as importa nt as the burners. A


flue Ihm is too sma ll has choked many a good kiln. As

with the burners, bigger is better. Ii is easy to reduce the

size of the flue with the damper, but impossible to

increase it (The damper is an adjuslable pia Ie, which

closes off the flue outlet)

To check your flue, the following tesl should be

carried out during a firing. When the kiln has reached

over I JOO"C and Ihe burners are at maximum pressure,

open the damper fully. Remove the spyhole hung, and

place a lighled candle or laper near the spyhole. The

flame should be pulled into Ihe spyhole, which hows a

negative pressure in the kiln, indicating a greater flow of

gases from Ihe kiln than into Ihe kiln. 111is indicates that

the flue is large enough. If you cannot create Ihis effect,

Ihe kiln has a design fau lt, whic h wil l need to be



During the early stages of firing, the damper musl be left

open and the burners regulaled back so as to comrol the

temperature rise. Even with a glaze firing , it is not

desirable to heat the kiln too quickly, as POl' or shelves

may crack if a hot flame impinges on one side unevenly.

When red heat is reached at about 600"C, the bumers are

rurned up to about 60/0 of maximum pressure and the

damper is closed off, until thert' is a very slight airflow

into the spy hole when opened (check with a lighted

taper, etc). This means there is a slight negative pressure

in Ihe kiln , and the kiln is in an oxidising condition. As a

final check, close the damper a little more, and the

airfl ow should reverse, i.e. a slight flow OUI of the

spyhoJe when it is opened. Restore the damper to the

previous position. This is the MOST EFFICIENT way to

fire Ihe kiln AT THAT PRESSURE SETTING, Ihe kiln is

getting the MAXIM UM heal from the gas. Ilowever, when

the pressure is adjusted, the PHOCED URE MUST BE


This is continued umil about 1000"C, or when it is

decided to commence reduclion. Some pollers creale a

reducing almosphere by closing off Ihe primary air

adjustment on the burners. I do nol agree with this

practice because il crea tes an incorrect gas/air mixture

and wasles gas, and can create a lot of black smoke,

which is wasled fuel (money!). I consider that a more

efficient mel hod of creating a reduction atmosphere is to

close off the damper slightly, unlil a positive pressure

exists within the kiln. A taper or candle should be blown

out by Ihe airflow from the opened spyholc.

The lempef'dIUre rise should he watched closely du ring

Ihis operation - this is the li me th at a DIGI TAL

PYROMETER proves its wonh, as a small change can be

very easily seen. When the kiln has stabilised, a flame

may be noticed from the flu e -this is normal and

desirable during a reduction firing -this is the healed

unburned gas igniting when it reaches the air. The flame

should be no more than 6" long, and may also be seen

from the spyhole when the bung is removed. Obviously,

it is unwise to look closely into a reducing kiln, but the

inside atmosphere will appear cloudy and the contents

will be indistinct A mirror and a welding glass are good

tools 10 have on hand for peering into gas kilns'! tW



TEL 07 ;49') 0735 FAX, 07 5498 334; ~IOIllI.E ();08 886 B;4

E ~MAll : dcrcoggins@one.net.au

WEB SITE, hup/!web.one.nel.au/-dercoggins




Enjoy substantial memberships benefits including:

• An nua l subscri ption to Pottery in Australia magazine • T he mo nthly newsletter Australia

Intouch • Discounts on ceramic materi als at suppliers Australia wide • Discounts on

Society events and workshops pl anned for 1999 including lectures, firing day, exhibitions

and social events • Discount e ntry to the Powerho use Museum, Sydney


Tel: 02 9901 3353 Fax: 02 9436 1681 Website: www.potteryinaustralia.com

Or write to: The Potters' Society of Australia PO Box 937, Crows Nest, NSW 1585



The V.C.G.'s 6th Festival in Ceramics at Bendigo, -September 20Cx} Article by JAN BARNES.

people from all over Australia and New

Zealand gathered in Bendigo over the weekend

Over 200

of eptember 16, 17 & 18 for what proved to be

an amaZing display of talem and innovation from ten

brilliant eemmic artist'.

It is difficu lt [0 recap an event of such scope:

Demonstrations, sl ide presentations, discussions,

exhibitions, meeting up with old friends and making new

ones. Even three days wasn't enough to see it aiL

Here is a brief synopsis of what t"Jch artist showed us:

Bev Butler's designs appear complex , however, she

made the screen-printing technique by which she

ach ieves them look easy. Using coloured transfer

medium, she transfers her screen-printed designs

onto greaseproof paper, wax paper or freezer gobetween.

She then cuts, aff'dnges and gently rubs the

transfers onto a leather-hard clay surface. appl ies

colours as desired, et voila! Sandblasting is another

technique Bev uses. She applies a honey and kaolin

resist, blasts away at the surface (using fairly low

pressure), and ends up with rema rkably delicate

designs - a high 10 rate, but the stunning results arc

worth the risk.

Michael Keighery (pictured right) has married his love of

clay with the latest computer technology to transfer

any image onto Ie-dther-hard clay, lino, wood or metal.

He has developed both a screen-printing technique

and one of laser etching to produce innovative designs

on clay. In his workshop 'Odd things to clo with clay',

Michael played around with a host of ingredients,

mixing a bit of this and a bi t of that. creating

suhstances which are bound to have a use one day to

someone! Add CMe to slip and you ca n coat 3D

objects such as apples, nre them up and remove a

hollow clay apple from the kiln! A plethora of ideas.

limitless applit'dtions and a dynamic presenter'

Tony Conway, who lecrures in Ceramics at La Trobe

University in Bendigo, demonstrated his usc of

moulds to create what appear to be slab-built forms.

Tony draws inspirat ion from the Australian landscape

and parti cu larly the waters that flow through it.

Symholic of natural features and expressing Tony's

personal philosophy of beauty, each piece is

designed to allow his flUid , crystalline glazes to

cascade, pool in small depressions and drip from


Susan jorgense n's mythical figure (pictured right ),

emerged in all her detailed glory, over the course of

the three days. Starting with a simple moulded body

to which a head and arms were added, the figure

gradually took on an individual identity with the

addition , or marking out with texture, of clothing,

jewellery and headdress. Timing is everything, and

Susan knows her materials and exactly when to add

appendages and coils to avoid cracks and involuntary



Left: Michael Keighery with an apple dipped in slip & CMC.

Below: Geoff Maddams throwing his double-sided bowl for


Opposite: Susan Jorgensen.

Geoff Maddams (picnn-ed above right) heads the ceramic

departmem at BRIT, our hosts for the Festival. His

currem passion is exploration of the wood firing

aesthelic Geoff took great care to misshape his neal

goblets as he removed them from the wheel; to gouge

great slashes into the sides of his double-sided bowls

while retaining a smooth interior surface; and to

create hurrs , humps and ridges on his paper-clay

sculptural forms . All are designed for the

enhancement which occurs from the positioning of

pots in the kiln: Flashing, pooling or running glaze ,

ash encrustations, wad marks, and other sometimes

inexplicable magiC!

Sony Manning's intricate inlaid forms are an exercise in

patience and attention to detail. Working with very

plastic clay, sony wedges and ro lls a range of colours

together to create a pa leue of natural colours and

tones. Slivers of colour are then painstakingly pressed

into a mould to form a pictorial design , based on

landst-ape. When the outer shell is complete, slip is

poured into the mould. This seals and holds together

the outer layer and creates a smooth, func tional inner

surf~lCe. When the vessel is removed from the mould,

the outside can be further refined to more clearly

define the inlaid design.

Jeff Oestreich came all the way from the USA to share

his tricks with us. Jeff loves playing around with

form, dramatically altering his thrown pieces, usually

before he takes them off his Leach kickwheel. lie

cremes sharp diagonal lines "'ith a ruler, squares off

his oversized teabowl . and impresses porcelain

button into the sides of goblets. H is jugs are sliced

in half. cut away to create an ovoid and given

graVity-defying spouts. And all this is before he

applies his eye-catching chequerboard glazes.

Judy Pie rce (pictured over) works from her One Tree

Hill Pottery at Beechwonh in nonh-east Victoria.

With infectious enthusiasm and energy, she taught us

to be spontaneous and adventurous with glaze-on-


glaze, spraying, use of stencils, latex and wax re i t

and glaze trailing. She used pors, test tiles (which are

later turned into business cards!) photographs and

slides to illustrate her results. She also demonstrared

how he makes her glaze brushes using CHILDRENS'

HAl R! Look out, kids '

Jani ne Pilven works in two distinct areas. She u e

·inglaze' decoration on her functional , domestic

wa re. Her brush style is casual bur confident,

featu ring brightly coloured cats, ducks, flowers, pots

and other famil iar images, outlined in black. Janine's

latest area of exploration is slab-bu ilt panels and

vessels constructed from heavily grogged clay. She

applies colourful designs using thick slips at the

leather hard stage, then washes the pieces with

oxides and srains after bisque, before refiring. The

slip crack and craze and the pieces develop real

texture and dimension.

Davi d Stuchbery's (pictured above right) presentation on

glaze calculation programs and glaze enhancement

made sense of highly technical formulae and

conversions (even to a glazeophobe like me) and will

certainly inspire people to seek out programs to make

glaze formulation less of '1 risk. David threw and

decorared some magnificent pots to demonstrare thar

every nuance of a piece is created with the end resuit

in mind: The Ilow and pooling of glaze over lugs,

handles and carving; the function it will selve; and tile

sum of its part~ coming together harmoniously.

Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE provided excellem

fa cilities fo r the Festival: pacious studios fO I

demonstrations, rhearrenes for slides and discussions. and

gallery space for the exhibition of the demonstrators

work. Geoff Maddams, Paul Aburrow and the BRI1

students were great hosts, proViding con tinu ou~

refreshments and information as required to the


The exhibition of work from the VCG Collection, held

at th e Ph yllis Palmer Ga llery, La Trobe Universit}

Bendigo, was opened by Dennis O'Hoy. It gave member1

an opportunity to see a selection of pots that broadl)

trace the history of the collection, with the 'decor-dtive

focus tying in with the theme of the Festival.

Our rhanks go to all the demonstrators who were sc

generolls with their techniques, experience, infonnation

and reeires. There was something for everyone, nc

matter what their area of interest, and I know man}

people have already tested new glazes and techniques.

Lastly, a huge thankyou to Joe Gentile for his tireles;

work organising what was a brilliant Festival. 00

Jan Bames

Above left: Judy Pierce with her 'Childrens Hair' brush.

Above right: David Stuchbery.






In May 2000, internationally renowned Canadian potter

John Chalk e came to Australia to judge the '2000

Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award '

exhihited at 'Ga lielY 10]' in Melbourne. John, sponsored

by La Trobe Uni ve rsity also presented a two da y

workshop at La Trobe University, Bendigo.

Emanating from his many years of experience as a

teacher and ceramic arti st, John shows how a well

considered, inventi veness co mbined with a sou nd

understanding of material and techniques presents

opportunities to push boundaries, at the same time,

giving yourself pernlission to 'play'. The very reason most

of us got involved with clay in the first place.

This follow ing pages illustrate step by step the

rrodu Clion of slump moulded plate forms. tW

David Sruchbcry. Senior Lecturer in Ccrdmics al La Trobt: University,

Bendi~o. Photographs hy Lorena Carringlon.


1. Preparation of clay disc - note slump mould in background. 2. Wire cut pattern texture.

3. Textured clay disc placed over slump mould. 4 . Using a roller to press the clay disc onto the slump mould,


5. Removing excess clay with a cheese cutter.

6. Textured plate.

7. Removing mould form plate form . 8. Adding a coiled and thrown foot.




One of the greatest pleasures I experienced during

my trip lO Mexico in August this year, was that of

meeting so many potlers and crafT artists, all with

varying atlitudes to their art forms and all with different

life slOries.

Tradi tional and contempora ry works, serious and

whimsical, functiona l and artistic - in Mexico you find

artworks to please ali tastes. Without the help of my

friends in dle state governments of JalLsco and Guanaju.lto,

I doubt mat I would ever have discovered such treasures.

Pottery is among Mexico's particularly noteworthy

traditions. From pre-Columbian times, Indian pottery has

displayed great artistic quality, as can he appreciated in

the numerous and beautiful objects that sti li survive.

These archaeological pieces are also testimony to the

technical and artistic progress of pre-Columbian people

of the Central American region.

Many shapes and decorations of Indian pottery

disappeared after the Spanish Conquest in 1521 , but at

the sa me time new elements and techniques were

introdu ced , fusing with the previous tradition and

creating its own.

Indian heritage is clearly reflected in Mexico's modern

pottery. On the other hand, Spanish influence is also

evident, in techniques such as majolica and in the shapes.

During the Colonial period pottery production became

highly prolific. In fact, in the middle of the 17th Century,

there were so many potters, these craftsmen associated

themselves in order to establish rules for their craft.

Guanajuato's traditional ceramics originated in the I

items of pottery covered by a thick, white and glossy

enamel, brought to America by the Spaniards at the end'

of the 16th Century and decorated in lively colours.

Today, me clays employed in the manufacnlring of the

Guanajuato majolica come from the Sierra of Santa Rosa,

located near the City. The white glaze is achieved with tin

oxide. Decoration colours are mineral oxides such as

cobalt for the blue and copper for the green.

The tenn "Talavera" began to be used in Puebla after

several additions were made to me pottery ordinances in


This page from left to right: "Juan", Pantoja, Mexico. Estephen Valdez Rameriz;

Capelo Studio, Guanajuato, Mexico;

Gorky Gonzalez at kiln, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Opposite: Juan pottery shows. HE.V." Trademark.

Photography by Ken Osetroff.

1682. One of the new stipulations ordered that "fine

china" should have the same qualities and charac1eristics

as that from Talavera de la Reina. Until the midseventeenth

centul)' each poner had fashioned his wares

using only his own judgement and wishes. When the

ordinances for the potters' guild were written in 1653,

they specified the conditions for becoming a master potter

and separated ponel)' into three categories, by quality:

fine , ordinal)' and yellow, specifying mixes, proportions,

decorative norms and details of manufacture.

Talavera is bisc fired for over six hours and then

submerged in a glaze made of a four to one mixture of

lead to tin, water, sand and a little molasses. Once it

dries, the piece is decorated with metal oxides and fired

again for over 36 hOllrs.

One o f the most attractive traits of this kind of

ceramics, also known as Hispano-Moorish ware, was its

decoration, which gave it a metallic sheen, acquired in

fine china at the third firing.

Mexico is a country of great contrasts . The very

modern can be seen alongside the ancient. Tradition is

imponam to regions. Each state has different food, music,

folk art, crafts , costumes, customs and even regional

indigenous languages. Trades have been taught father to

son for many generations and crafts passed down never

leaking into neighbouring villages. A person in an

otherwise modern setting can be doing things exactly as

their grandparents did. In many places, machines have

not replaced the hands.

The Mexican government takes pride in the countl)"s

histol)' and supports the arts and artists on all levels.

'Ihere is great respect for the past and attempts afe made

to protect and preserve tradition. 00

For detailed ilinerary and information contact:

Destination Managemenl

P.O. Box 1109, Stafford. Qld. 4053

Toll Free: 1300 YJ7 317 or Phone, 07 3:359 665t Fax, 07 3359 t263

Email: trdvei@powerup.com.au

IntemCl: www.powerup.com.au/ -travel




by Jennifer Isaacs

Published by Craftsman House

'At Hermannsburg, Aranda polters have

established a modern, vibrant and highly

original fom1 of ceramic an that draws on many

influences yet strongly reflects the distinctive visual

culture of the region.

TIlis book trnces the history of the early Hermannsburg

mission, and the effects of key events and individuals on the

Aranda people at Hermannsburg. It explort"S the values of

conununal women's work in past and present generations,

the Cf'dft traditions that have their origins in the school, and

the seminal influence of the landscape painting of the tlrst

contemporary Aboriginal anist, Alben Namatjira, and his

followers. The poners embrace, yet reinterpret, all these

influences and trnditions in their own painted ceramics.

Thineen potters provide accounts of their work with

clay, their family histories, and the themes and influences

of their work.

They speak of the beauty of the desert country that

they depict as seamless landscapes around the full bellied

forms of the container pots, each of wh ich is 'guarded' by

a desert animal or another creature, as the potters say

'from our minds'.

Illustrated with 132 colour plates of ceramics, murals,

sculptures and landscapes, as we ll as rare historic

photographs of almost a century of life and art at

Hennannsburg, this book celebr'dtes the first decade of

the operation of Hermannsburg Pottery and marks the

commemorative exhibition at Parliament House,

Canberra, in June 2000.' (COVER NOTES)

This new release coincided with the recent exhibition

by the Hermannsberg potters at Government House,

Canberra. TIle book is a fascinating social and an history

of a unique community 130 kilometres west of Alice

Springs whose artistic traditions include the well

respected watercolours of Albert Namatjira. It is a

wonderful re-dd and includes archival pictures of artists

and aspects of life at Aranda.

Each potter tells tileir story in a way that enriches the

readers understanding of the work represented as well as

giving inSights into lives still so connected to traditions

unique to the area and its people. Each piece reflects a

sense of place, a sense of family and a sense of the

traditional ways. However, there is also a expression of

new ways and new experiences in the work. These are

very much artists whose pleasure comes from working

with the clay material to make the forms - both vessels

and sculptural - as well as the decoration.

This is definately my Christmas reading.

Sue Buckle



Daryt E. Baird

Published by the American Ceramic Soder

'To the question 'Why the Extruder" my answer

has always heen , 'it's just a tool!'. And like any

tool it is, after all, what we do with the tool that

helps define the wo rk we make. l'laving another gadget

does not impress me. Having another way to aproach the

way I make my work , that rea lly moves me!

What defines the lise of any tool is how it may help

us find ways to express the range of our ideas .. . The

extruder is a tool, a valuable and challenging one. As it

has always been with an y tool, the discovery of

possibilities for creative design resl~ in the fertile minds

and hands of each one of us.' Oohn Glick, Forward)

This is a book that gives all the practical information you

need about why to use an extruder, issues of its

installation, iLS use, its maintenance and the results that

are possible from the many styles of dies available. There

are a se ries of projects that are described in detail in

pictures and text. The instructions include the type of

extruder and its use and then the process of working

with the resulting extrusions to a finished cJaywork.

A gallery section in cludes figurative , sculptu ral,

architectural works based on extruded sections. Boxes,

musical instruments, teapots, candle holders and vessels '

of all kinds both functional and non functional give the

reader more than enough stimulus to do their own

exploration of the potential of this humble tool.

If YOll dont own an extruder th ere is enough

information for you you to make an informed choice

about what is available and most suitable for your needs

as well as detailed instructions about making dies for a

range of extrusions.

Then its back to the pottery to start your own journey

of discovery!

Sue Buckle






Editor's note: My apologies to Maggie for omilling her last

report from the magaline - as I said last issue, there are

always new mistakes waiting to be made.

If visiting South Australia do not miss the South

Australian SlUdio Poners Gallery situated at 54 O.G. Road

Klemzig, which was opened in April this year. This ever

changing display of high quality sculpture, wheel thrown

and hand built pieces in the gallery has been enhanced

by regular exhibitions which have all been very well

received by the South Australian public.

This group of enrhusiastic poners are now well settled

into their new studio premises at 1 Fourth Avenue,

K1emzig which adjoins the Gallery. Their remarkable

complex is home to classes in sculpture, handbuilding

and throwing. Enquiries to Glenys Walters: 08 8379 9534

A great venue for local artists is Pepper Street Gallery

and Community Studio plus a craft and coffe shop on

Magill Road at Magill (very close to the city). Their

exhibition 'Little Treasures' is on sale until Christmas.

Adelaide Central Gallery has got garden sculptures and

(Ydintings whilst Hahndorf Country Garden also has some

wonderful works for the garden.

SEAS gallery in Hindley Street has a Graduate Student

Exhibition until December 3.

Henley and Grange Art Society had a very successful

Spring Exhibition, and are soon to be at the Collonades

Shopping Centre, Port oarlunga. As a group, they rent

space in shopping malls taking pots to people.

-nle Adelaide potters club has geared up for the bus

tourist trade, most successful through the summer

months, and the SA Studio Potters (Klemzig and Elizabeth

Poners have their Chri tmas openings through December.

Without the year 2000 hype that engulfed the world,

this Christmas should be much better for all of us -

wishing you the happiest Christmas ever.

• Maggie Smith


Here in Townsville we've just been treared to a great

exhibition of both functional and sculptural work which

were entries subm itted to the 2000 Townsville Ceramic

Competition. We appreCiate the effort and expense

incurred in sending pieces so far north. NQPA remains

committed to this competition, both to exhibit recent

works from around Australia in this isolated region , ane

to add to the ceramic co llection at the Perc Tuckel

Regional Gallery which provides a wonderful venue fOI

this exhibition.

Sue Buckle judged this competition, mid~t a whirlwine

tour up to Cairns, Paluma and Magneric Island visitin~

potters in the region. The major Award this year wa~

split between Rowley Drysdale and jenny Orcha rd

Other awards this year wem to Carol Hosser, Gary Bish

Sand,,! Black, Leonie and Rick Wood , Shireer

Talibudeen, Len Cooke, Elizabeth Milgate, Chris jame:

and Helen Taylor.

Working our way through the NA VA Draft Code 0:

Practice, Guidelines for Competitions and Awards, we arC

currently reviewing our Ceramic Competition. We havc

been fortunate in secu ring another major sponsor for nex

year which will mean two major awards which will, we

hope eliminate the need to split a major award.

Congf'dtulations to Leonie and Rick Wood who have

just won first prize at Maroochy Arts Festival judged bl

johanna de Maine. They have just been asked to be par

of an advisory committee to conunission art works for th ~

new Mackay Base Hospital , a similar committee i:

working here in Townsville to purchase art works for thj

new Townsville Hospital. ll's good to see such a

increase in art in public spaces, especially here i

Queensland where 2% of all ca pital expenditure 0

public buildings must be spent on public art.

All the best for Christmas and the New Year,

• Wendy Bainbridge


Our congratulatiOns to you Sue for your commitment t

and production of this wonderful publication - s

important to all ceramic communi ties around Australi

and a vital link for us on this CO'dSl. How we will mis .

your cheery and informai ng editorial each issue!

PIA provides a colourful visual feast with inspirini

articles, technical advice and new products. You've done ~

great job nurturing this magaZine over the years as editor

Best wishes from all the readers in the West.

Perth Potters held an extra-ordinary general Meeting tq

discuss and vote on the proposal to sell the Burt Streel

house in Cottesloe and purchase a former bank bu ildin!

in Doubleview. The vote showed that the great majoril)

of members present, including postal voters, wished tc




remain in the Bun St premises, after consideration of the

submissions forwarded to members, An ne Airey and

Frank Parrotte were thanked for the time spent searching

for a su itable prope.ty, Members will now look for ways

to improve the current bu ilding,

The Cera mic Arts Association of WA retained th e

executive comm ittee wi th Greg Crowe continuing as

President wi th the addition of Fleu r Schell , Alison

Browne, Murra y Gibbs, Na than Bray and War ick

Palmateer to the committee,

The Denmark Members Exhibition and the

Clay Ol ympics wi ll be held at the

McKenzie's propeny and studio in Denmark

over the Labour day weekend 3-4 Ma rch

2001. Be there to join the fun , Teams will

compete, artists will demonstrate and the

exhibition wi ll open in the Edge Gallery

on Su nda y, Check for informat ion on:


Current exhibitions show all the diversity

of ceramics from richly decorated terracotta

bowls with maiolica and lustre glazing by

Ma rion Ahem Fischer at the Fremantle Ails

Centre to the solo exhibition of Fleur Schell.

An gela Mello r has returned to Pefl h

foll owing her MA research at Monash

University and is exhibiting her fine works

of translucent bone china at Gallery east.

See; www.galleryeast.com.au

Angela has also had her work featured in

a new book 'Working with PapercJay and

Other Additives' from Crowood Press,

In Perth the founh fabulous Teapot Show

was held at th e Old Bakery Gallery,

Maylands, Best functional teapot prize went

to Dianne Sigel.

Happy Christmas and happy potting!

• Ann Storey


The much anticipated move of Craft ACT to

their new premises on the first floor of the

No rt h Building, Civic Squ are, in the city

centre has been made, Th e newly fitted

gallery spaces were officia ll y opened in

early October by Kate Carnell in wha t

proved to be one of her las t appearances as Chief

Minister of the ACT. CuratOr fo r Craft ACT, Catrina

Vignando, has mounted twO inaugu ral exhibitions - a

stunning and comprehensive retrospective of the ceramic

work of Hiroe Swen in the main gallery and a smaller,

but no less inspiring, display of recent jewellery by the

Gray Street Workshop in Ga llery 2, Craft ACT continues

to use ex hibi tion space in the Link at the Canberra

Theatre Centre and on the first floo r of the Canberra

Centre Mall in addition to its central ga lleries.



My first foray into clay was as a school

girl in England and it wasn't until 1974,

eight years after a move to Adelaide,

that J attended evening classes in clay

sculpture, Ceramics became a serious

pursuit in the late 70s,

Always ambitious, early on I entered three (not very good)

Voulkos white, cobalt decorated vases in an exhibition only

to discover that without exception, every other entry was

glazed in Terunoku or Wengers Dark Oatmeal - there's a


A compulsive decorator (charactature, whimsy, humour and

lots of flowers) using maiolica and underglaze techniques, I

find the variety of working through all temperature ranges,

stimulating, InspirJtion surrounds me everywhere.Handbuilt

figures are a favourite and much in demand,

A traditionalist with firing, I built my own 20 cu ft propane

fired brick kiln,

I've done lots of committee and gaUery work over the years

- J loved organising but now enjoy a quieter life.




The Canberra Polters' Society has been offered the

lease of the whole of the Watwn Craft Centre of which

Craft ACT was the previous major tennant. It is expected

that CPS will finalise leasing arrangements with ArtsACT

for the ACT Government, before the end of November

and that new facilities, including a pennanent retail ourlet

for members work and increased workshop space wiU be

up and running before Christmas. The main gallery at the

Watson Craft Centre will be managed by CPS and will

continue to exhibit a large range of art and craft in many

media and will be available for hire by other groups, as

has always been the case.

Members of the art & craft community in Canberra thank

Sue Buckle for her interest over rile past edilOJial years and

wish her all the very best for her future 'beyond PIA'.

The silly season for sales is beginning and life becomes

more hectic. Exhibitions large and sma ll - everywhere.

Merry Christmas to everyonel

• jane Crick


The VCG and the Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE

presented an exciting and informative Festival in Ceramics

duling September. All the demonstrators were extremely

generous with th ei r knowledge. Interested potters

travelled from all over Australia and New Zealand to

enjoy this event. A sampling of the VCG collection,

relevant to the theme of the Festival was exhibited at the

Latrobe University. Next year the VCG are planning a

similar function over a two day weekend in Melbourne,

more information when it is available.

"me Casey Campus of Chispolm TAFE at Dandenong

held a two day workshop with Jeff Oestreich from

Minnesota, USA. Jeff shared his techniques of potting and

talked about how his philosophies developed from his

apprenticeship in the Leach Pottery through to setting up

hios own studio. He now invites international artists to

work for three months at his studio and have a joint

exhibition of the work afterwards.

The Valley Potters Annual exhibition is running at the

Walkers Street Gallery in Dandenong during October.

Awards selected by Jeff Oestreich went to Glenn

England, Tanya Wa lsh , Trudy Barclay and Kerrie

Lightbody. At the gallery during the exhibition, Barbara

Swarbrick will present slides and talk about new

directions in her work.

Chris Sanders is convenor of 'Pressure Point' thl

National Ceramics Conference to be held in Melbourne

Bendigo in 2002. For more information on programml

details or sub committees, contact Angela Nage

on 03 9899 2777, emaiL vcginc@vicnel.com.au 0


Geelong Potters report that founding members Jad

Jackman celebrated his 90th binhday in August and Chri

Witteveen celebrated his 88th in September. Jack ha

contributed much to the group as a committee member

helping on working bees and setting up exhibitions. HI

still contributes to every newsleller and is still activel:

involved in making pots. Chris is still interested in dll

group but has been forced to give away pottery and ha

taken to the internet.

Seasons Greetings to everyone!

• Marg Hornbuckle


People may not know that North Queensland does no

stop at Townsville! We have Far North Queensland whid

includes Cairns and extends to Thursday Island in thl

Torres Strait.

Cairns Potters Club Inc Members Exhibition, held atthl

Mercure Harbourside Hotel 6-15 October 2000, was mos

successful and formed part of the popular Cairns Ree


Recently Andrew Cope held an interesting workshop

It was most enjoyable and we hope he returns to Cairns.

The annual Christmas Fair on 2 December is a hug,

drawcard for the Cairns Potters Club, 28b Grove Street

Cairns. Interesting pots are eagerly sought after a:

Christmas gifts.

Next year we are holding our National Exhibition (J '

September to 14 October) in the Cai rns Regional Ar

Gallery and invite people from all over Australia t(

participate. At the same time we are working with Th,

Potters' Society of Australia on coordinating a' kiln crawl

holiday to Cairns, Far North Queensland. Participants wil

meet in Brisbane and travel to Townsville and Macka~

visiting studios and potters and enjoying a range of event

specially organised to coincide with the tlip which end

14 September in Cairns. A busy time in tropical Cairns.

• jacqueline Walen- and Lone While


----- -------------- -------------------------------






the AGM held at the Powerhouse Museum in

October Mari an Howe ll was elected the new

resident, replacing 1 arelle Derwent who has

been President for the last two years. 'Firstly I 1V0uid like

to thank the committee for their vote of confidence in

lecting me to the President's position. It's very rewarding

o feel that others have a belief in your abilities. Narelle

erwent has done a wonderful job over the last two years

utting the Society and this magazine on a solid footing

ith a new business plan. Thanks ro reriring Treasurer,

irginia Hollister who instigated this action.

My thanks and congmtulations also go to Trisha Dean,

ecretary, Helen Stephens, ewsleuer Editor and Nicole

ister, web page co-ordinator. As yet the positions of vice

resident and treasurer have not tx.~n filled. Volunteers


It also gives me great pleasure to welcome Trisha Dean

s our new editor of Pottery in Australia. I am sure she

ill continue to produce a first class magazine for the

OCiety. Sue Buckle who has been so dedicated to the

uality as well as being instnl1nental in the development

f the magaZine will be sadly missed in the offi ce (but

ere hoping to have her company at as many meetings

s possible).

TIle society is always in need of extra helpers so I was

pleasantly surprised when over the first week of being

President I had fi ve fantastic people contact me to ask me

hat they could do to lend a hand. Put it in your diary

hat the first meeting in the new year will Friday, February

6 at 6.30, Powerhouse Museum.

Rough plans for next ye:lr will be ro set up seveml sub

ommittees to organize a big social event for 2001 , ou r

sual involvement in the Craft Fair, the possibility of a

ociety hop front, liaison with tertiary colleges and even

arly planning for a year 2005 Sydney conference. Please

eel free to drop a line by post, fax or email with your

wn thoughts and suggestions or come to the meeting

nd get involved.

In the meantime, our best wishes ro you and yours for

the festive season.'

Marian Howell, President

SO(,II"!"' ,''" "\ (I{\\\I'

TO I \B "\oln II ()L IT"\SI \"\1)

The Society, together with potters groups in Townsville,

Mackay and Cairns are planning a trip up north,

September 1-]4 next year, to visit the kilns of woodfirers

including the Rossers, Peter Thompson and Len Cooke

and to take part in special events such as a raku day with

rhe Townsville potters. We will also visit the studios of

Rick and Leonie Wood, Mollie Boswonh and many more.

All the FNQ potters are excited about this event and a

very sociable and informative time is guaranteed!

More details in the March maga Zin e and in our

ncwslener in February 2001.


• PAC RlM IV, OV 4 - 8, 2001

Outrigger Wailea Reson, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii.

An International Conference on Advanced Ceramic and

Glasses Held in conjunction with the 53rd Pacific Coast

Regional Meeting of the American Ceramic Society.

The aim of the conference is ro bring togerher experts

from around the world to exchange key information and

hold critica l disc ussions on all aspects of advanced

cemmics and glass. All very technical but if it is your thing

the conference organisers are calling for papers, Details

are ava ilable from the PIA office.


-nlis exhibition and competition is on every two years in

Geneva, Switzerland . In 2001 The Topic of the

Comperi tion will the -rhe Candleholder'. Entries dose: 1

Ju ne, 200 I. All entries to be exclusively ceramic,

measuring up to a maximum of 40cms. The decoration

may be incised, stamped, enamelled, engraved or painted.

Ilegistration forms and infonnation from the PIA office.

• 2611-1 AlICE CRAFr ACQUISITIO N, MAY 4-27, 2001

Expressions of interest due December 31 , 2000.

Territory Craft, Alice Springs Division

P.O. Box 85, Alice springs. N.T. 0871

Ph: 08 8952 44]7, Fax: 08 89535465

ema il: tcrefras@dov.net.au




• CREATE 2001, JUNE 8 - 11 , 2001

Contemporary Design Craft Expo

Royal Hall of Industries, Fox Studios,

Moore Park, Sydney.

Exhibitor information and application to:

TIle Australian Craft Show Pty Ltd

P.O. Box 126 Wilberforce SW 2756

Telephone: (02) 4579 1288 F~x : (02) 4579 0000

email: auscrdft@auscrafr.com.au www.auscraft.com .au

I'OTTt:H\ E\'I'O \'1''' \BH \'\J)YTE


Showcasing work of up to 30 of Victoria's fin est

ceramic artists. Based on the concept of the highly

successful French Potters Markets, the expo aims to

encourage interaction between the artists and the public,

and hetween the artists themselves, WiUl ule emphasis on

good ceramics, good food, good fun and a convivial


The expo highlights quality and individu ality. In

presenting a wide variety of selected functional and nonfunctional

ceramics for sale, it provides an oppommity for

the public to meet the ce.Jrnic artist and discuss their work.

Concurrently, Potters Cottage Gallery will hold an

exhibition of unique pieces from each partiCipating artist.

Two French ce rami c arti sts have been invited to

participate, Jean Marc Plantier and Yves Gaget. Both have

organized potters markets in their towns in France, and

contest Ulat the survival of the studio potter in France is

mainly due to the development and now flourishing of

the potters markets.

The expo provides a new way of marketing high

quality studio ceramics, in an inviting and informative

setting. Hopefully this will be the first of other similar

events around the country, promoting ceramics to the

public ~ nd informing galleries of new artists. As a "get

together" for the potters, it encourages friendships and

'discs standards of work.

For information [either to p~rti cipate or visir] contact:

Jane Annois, Tel: [03J 9844 2337 Fax:[03J 9844 2339

Email: jannois@bigpond.com

Sl \1\11'.1{ "OBI\SIIOI'S


University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba

Two weeks of creative inspimtion. Ceramics tutor, Rowle)

Drysdale explores fonn - culptural and functional ane

surface development through texture and glaze. \'(Iooe

and electric kilns will be fired and the second week wil

include mixed media demonstrations. Participants wil

leave the ummer school with completed work.

Ph: 074631 2755 Fax: 07 4631 1606

Email: mcgregor@usq.edu.au


four x 4 day Summer Schools at Reedy Marsh Pottery ir

orthern Tasmania.

• Clay & Woodftre - from the known to the new. Tutor

eil Hoffmann Jan 6 - 9th.

• Box of Dreams - wood fired sculptural interpretations

Tutor: Derulis Monks Jan 12 - 15th.

• Encountering the Elements - a French connection

Tutors: Jane Annois & Jean Marc Plantier Jan 18 - 21st.

• Clay, Fire & Self - finding new voice. Tutor: Malin:

Monks Jan 24 - 27th.

Reedy Marsh Pottery, 'ituated 15km from the picturesqul

town of Deloraine in Tasmania, is hosting another Cbydowr

in Ja nu~ry . Four distinct programs each running for 4 day:

have been designed to engage, challcJlge and expand al

comers. \'(lith innovative and experienced tutors to assist ir

practical work project, participants are likely to have thei

ideas around clay and fire shifted and freshly shaped. \'(Iidl il

e'dch program they will complete qUite specific projects "'

they work to fill and fire specialbt kilns. Wood will be thl

primiple fuel for firings. Tutors will present a va riety of slid(

talks. Exhibitions featuring their work will run alongside th(

Claydown program. As each workshop is hands-on ir

nature, the number of participants will be limited to el1sure :

dynamic tutor/partilipant exchange.

The cost for each 4-day event , S260 per person

includes tuition, materials and use of facilities - studio

camping area, hot showers and a bush kitchen facili"

boasting a large clay oven. BYO tent, bedding and foo<

for ca mping in this Tasmanian scJerophyll fores


For full details and registration forms contact Ne i

Hoffmann, Heedy Marsh Pottery via DcIoraine, Tas 7304

Ph: 0363623800 Fax: 03 6362 3294

ema il: nhoffmann@vision.nel.au


SYDNEY. 15-19111 JANUARY, 2001.

Two 5 day intensive workshops lead by Archie MeCal

and Cameron Williams. Archie McCall under the title




OVING THI NGS: manipulating clay through hand,

heel and the painted motif.

The work~hop offers participants the opportunity to

rial handbuilding, wheelthrowing and painti ng for

culptural or functional ceramics. McCall will work closely

ith panicipants to translate ideas into ceramics.

a meron Williams

ACK BY POP ULAR DEMAND Cameron Williams will

emonstrate a wide range of wheel forming processes

nd work with participants to produce small and largecale

utilitarian ware. Surface treatment and firing are also

nvestigated. All materials are supplied. Returning for a

ourth Summer School, Cameron Williams' expertise as a

aster potter and tutor is well known. FEE: S385 per

orkshop (includes GST): there arc discounts available

or returning studenrs and for early-bird bookings.

ontact: Merran Esson, The Ceramics Depanment

National Art School, Forbes St, Darlinghurst, NSW.

Ph: 93398631.


turt Craft Centre, at Mittagong in the Sowhern Highlands of

NSW, will be holding irs nlird Summer School in January

2001. Twenty-nine courses will be offered, including seven

ourses for children. Svend Bayer will be the throwing

tutor, for a five clay workshop which will focus on general

throwing as well as coil and throw techniques.

This in not a class for beginners - palticipanls need at

east a basic knowledge of throwing and centring clay.

Malina Monks is a teacher and maker with over thirty

years experience. Malina will be conducting a course

called "Clay-Sculptu ra l Expression" aimed to assist

participants to find their own language in clay. All levels

of ski ll will be welcome, and all work will be fired. Class

limited to J 2.

Suzie Bleach is a practising mosaic artist who incorpordtes

ceramic tile, glass, river stones and meClL~ into private and

public comm issions throughout Australia. All levels of

experience are welcome for this five day workshop.

For the first time this Summer, a class for younger clay

enthusiasts, presented by Sue Buckle. The class for young

adults and children will explore a range of handbuilding

techniques and include installation work. Pots will be fired

in a variety of ways including a sawdust firing. Sue has

over 10 years experience tC'aching children and adults.

Enquiries to SlUrt on 02 4860 2083 or Megan Patey on 02

4860 2080 or email: mpatey@sturt.nsw.edu.au


FEBRUARY 5-9, 2001

A comfortable c1ulet has been booked for this workshop

period at Pender Lea, Alpine Way, between Jindabyne

and Threadbo. The workshop titled: Pictorial Inlay -

stories in clay - 2001 a clay odyssey, is suitable for

potters of all levels of experience. The workshop will

concentrate on slab-based forms using handbuilding

methods. Decoration will be mainly coloured clay inlay,

coloured slips and textures and markings. Work produced

will be fired in a gas kiln.

Information sessions, slides, videos and refreshment

breaks will be held in the chalet. The studio area is "open

air" with plenty of natural shade. Accommodation ranges

from mobile homes through to cabins to five-star chalets

on the Pender Lea property.

Contact Jane Crick, tel (02)6281 2594.

Write to: 26 Glynn Place, Hughes, ACT. 2605.


FEB 4 -10, 2001

David Middlebrook and Sue Jones at Perisher Valley.

Workshop, accommodation and all meals.

Details, TeL 02 4957 0767 (Sue),

02 4957 2332 (David)


After many years in a run down building at Penrith

campus, the Ceramics department of Nepean TAFE has

now moved to a new larger and more modem facilities at

the nearly Kingswood campus. With spacious light and

airy rooms for throwi ng, handbuilding, plaster, glaze

development, drawing and design, as well as an

exhibition space, the new ceramics department has

facilities that are much more welcoming and productive.

The Kingswood campus is already home to the rest of

epean Art & Design Centre, with well equipped studios

for photography, sculpnJ re, printmaking and painting and

digital art, as well as graphic design and commercial

printing. Student Jane Teddinik says 'It's great to have

ceramics united with the rest of the art department. We're

able to use the other stud iOS and its interesting to see

what the other art students are working on.'

The new campus also boasl~ a bistro, coffee shop, an

active student association and fully equipped gymnasium

available to students. The Kingswood campus is next to

the University of Western Sydney and students from both

institutions ccan share amenities such as the library, a

licenced bar and restaurants.

For information on new courses available contact

Senior Head Teacher, Rob Linigen 9208 9513.




Woodfired Ceramics

by Coli Mil/ogue & Robert Sandman

Discussing the materials, kilns and firing techniques of a group of contemporary wood

firing ceramic artists. Includes many Australian wood firers. ('..clout with MW kiln

photography and plans. A unique resource for those inlerested in the process and wide

mngc of fired effeclS both glazed and non glazed.

Special price: S74 plus GST (il/c/. {lOS/age il/ Australia)

(Rrp $70)


Ceramics for Gardens and landscapes

by Karil/ Hessellberg

A very re-Jdable, highly illustrated book on ceramic art - functional, deCOtJlive and

S(:UlptuiJI - for gardens large and small. Looks at both thrown and handbuih works and


Special price: S74 pi us GST (illc/. postageill Aus/ralia)

(Rrp 70)

weli read ...

Revealing Glazes - Using the Grid Method

by Jail Cllrrie

'Ian Currie has spent the last 25 years helping potters to understand

more about the tech nology of glazing. This new book is anmher

essential addition to my library and I would imagine to all pollers who

wish to he able to have control over glaze technolo,,'y. It is well layed

out and clearly qrillen. It covers a full range of firing temperatures and

provides illustrations and colour photos that make the method and

glazes accessible to the ave!"Jge potter or ceramist who finds maths

and chemistry difficult.

Best of all it is done with a sense of humou r. Leona rd Smith,

Rosedale Street Studio.

Order from The Potters' Society of Australia:

$34 plus GST per copy within Australia .



I. The Encyclopedia of Pottery

Techniques by Pelcr Cosentino

A comprehensive dire


SPECIAL $6.60 each


OVERSEAS $10.00 each



33/2 3314

34/1 34/2 34/4 3511 3512

35/3 35/4 3611

30/2: Yoon, Kwang-Cho, 35/1: The An or FUllction

Pat Cahill, New Gas K,lnPlan.

Pa~r Kiln. R~ ... it!wsand


Fluxes, Clay ;I(Jhcsiw

El~:(.tric kilns

35/2: Graduate Sl:Udenl~

3312: Gr-,ldual'-' Slutknt Anagama pbn. Resspir:uory

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35/3: Commerdal l.ustre,

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perlite. Plllin;llion of copper

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34/4: AUSimiian SloneW;lrc,

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35/4: O:r.lInic; from the

A.C.T. Rt.x/un:d lu~r(:




Technical Booklets (Tick the box) Prices include GST

o Layed Back Wood Firing

o Simple Woodfired Kiln for Eanhenware

o Firing an Electric Kiln

o Energy Saving

o Firing a Kiln with LPG Gas

o Reduced Lustre

o Sawdust and Primitive Firing

o Salt Glazing

o Potlers Beware

o Raku




Max Murray





Rosemary Perry












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Issue 39/4 December 2000


Published quarte rly by

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Tel (61 2) 9901 3353

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Gift Subscription

Published quarterly by

The Potters' Society of Australia

PO Box 937

Crows Nest, Sydney

NSW Australia 1585

Tel (02) 990 1 3353 Fax (02) 9436 1681


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Featuring the work of more than 130

Australian Ceramists, over 50 Galleries,

Suppliers and Potters' Groups

The essential reference for Makers and Buyers,

Collectors, Curators, Galleries, Interior Designers,

Tourists, Teachers and Students.

Produced by the Potters' Society of Australia













*This offer available within Austral ia only

Fax or email your order to The Potters' Directory

PO Box 937, Crows Nest, Sydney NSW Australia 1585

Tel (02) 9901 3353 Fax (02) 9436 1681 Email: potinaus@ozemail.com.au



~- ~-------- ------,




Courses in Fine Arts

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Design courses also available.

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\'{I~ni " j J

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Vellco potters wheels

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Kiln shelves and props

Digital pyrometers & thermocouples


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Telephone or facsimHe 02 4889 8479 • Email: hotnstky@hinet.net.au



Les Blakebrough 's




is as good as it gets

Season's Greetings to all our customers

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Our thanks for your support over the past

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Check out our site www.ozemail.com.aul-claywork

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Enquire at your local TAFE College or Phone 02 9217 4299






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the ceramic education specialists

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email: melb@northcote-pots.com.au


:MllllUlfacture,rs of

p.epare!Ci clay bodies.





Clean Efficient Gas Kilns

and Furnaces

+ Environmentally friendly.

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+ Australias largest range - 32

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+ Over 30 years experience -

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Approximately 14 days visiting studios,

galleries and museums in the states of

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Visit world famous Mexican pOllers Gorky

Gonzalez and Gapclo in their studios.

Extension travel available.

Bookings are limited.

For brochures and more information



PO Box 1l09, Stafford Qld 4053

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Experience a creative holiday in Ihis

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Do )'ou need 10 get away and always wan Led to do something

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Website: www.blacksheeprarm.com.au

or phone Mac on 02 6689 1095

The Log Book

The International Newsletter for Woodf1rers and those

interested in Woodf1red Cera.m1os

A Clua.rter~ newsletter pJ'O'V1dJng a forum for d1souaslOn of the :m&ZI\Y d1v81'se aspeots

of woodf1r1nI. Bdited. by Ooll MInogue and Robert Sanderson, recent oontrlbutors to

The Log Book Include Janet Mansf1eld, OWen ~, Ohuclt 1Dnd8s, Charles zug and

Ilal'la Geez1er.O&rzuJ;. 'l'op108 ooverec1 have Included WoodtJrtng in MUDatwn,

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Bubsorl.pt1ons: AU$35, 1nCludes a.lr-maU postage

!'or deta.1ls W1'1te to:

The Log Book, PO Box 612, SCARIlI'P, Co.Clare, RepubUc of Ireland.


I-C f'< c, . I -

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