The Journal of Australian Ceramics Vol 52 No 1 April 2013

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Contents<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>ume <strong>52</strong> 1<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2013</strong><br />

S16<br />

(over<br />

Jim Cooper<br />

M il/brook Holiday<br />

(the league for<br />

spiritual discovery)<br />

2012 Premier Award<br />

<strong>The</strong> Portage <strong>Ceramics</strong> Award<br />

See pages 39-43<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Oates <strong>of</strong> Publication<br />

1 Apnl, 17 Juty, 20 <strong>No</strong>vember<br />

Publisher<br />

<strong>The</strong> Austrahan <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association<br />

PO Box 274 WiNe~ NSW 2024<br />

1. 1300 720124<br />

F: 02 9369 3742<br />

mallOaUSlralianceramics.com<br />

WWrN australianceramic:s.com<br />

ABN 14 001 535 502<br />

ISSN 1449-275X<br />

Editor<br />

Vicki Grima<br />

WrI'NI.vldclgrima .c:om.au<br />

Marketing and Promotions<br />

Carol Frac.zek<br />

Design<br />

Astrid Wehling<br />

www.astndwehllng.com.au<br />

Subscriptions Manager<br />

Ashley McHulChlSOfl<br />

WYoW.ashleytiona.com<br />

Editorial Assistant<br />

Elisa Bartels<br />

W\NIN.elisabartels.com<br />

Pro<strong>of</strong>reader. content<br />

Suzanne Dean<br />

Australia Wide Reports<br />

ACT: Jane Crick<br />

NSW: Sue Stewart<br />

OLD: lyo R0gef5<br />

SA: Sophia Phillips<br />

lAS: John Watson<br />

V1C: Glenn England<br />

WA: Elaine Bradley<br />

Printed by<br />

Newostyle Pnnting Co Ply ltd<br />

41 Manchester St. Mile End SA<br />

5011 cer<strong>of</strong>led 10 ASlNZS ISO<br />

14001:2004 Environmental<br />

Management Systems. Printed on<br />

Impress Satin (FSC) stock using<br />

100% "'9"table-based<br />

process Inks.<br />




4 Janet Mansfield by Prime Minister Julia Gillard<br />

5 Janet Mansfield by TACA President Patsy Hely<br />

6 Janet's Story by Judy Boydell<br />

12 Vincent Francis McGrath<br />

13 Robert 'Bob' Mickan<br />

14 AWARDS<br />

15 GALLERY<br />


18 Terrains <strong>of</strong> the Heart <strong>The</strong> life and work <strong>of</strong> Vincent McGrath by Terry Davies<br />


22 An Accumulated History<br />

Karl Chitham considers the work <strong>of</strong> Raewyn Atkinson<br />

28 <strong>The</strong> Significance <strong>of</strong> the Decorative<br />

Anna Miles reviews the work <strong>of</strong> Richard Stratton<br />

33 Of Portage and the State <strong>of</strong> Things Across the Ditch<br />

Moyra Elliott considers the state <strong>of</strong> ceramics in New Zealand through the<br />

lens <strong>of</strong> their principal annual exhibition<br />

40 What Makes Me Do It?<br />

Jim Cooper writes about the ideas behind the imagery<br />

44 Aaron Scythe - a personal statement<br />

45 Mother Matrix David Eggleton considers the works <strong>of</strong> Christine Boswijk<br />

50 Chester Nealie Woodfire Potter<br />

A world <strong>of</strong> his making by Jan Irvine-Nealie<br />

55 Bring on the Jugs An exploration by Christine Thacker<br />

59 Driving Creek Potteries Barry Brickell's story<br />

64 <strong>The</strong> List<br />

66 Todd Douglas Ceramic Artist A pr<strong>of</strong>ile by Karuna Douglas<br />

67 Infinite Shades <strong>of</strong> Green A glaze story by Karuna Douglas<br />

70 Darryl Frost A pictorial survey <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> Innocent Glaze exhibition<br />

72 A Path Less Travelled<br />

Richard Fahey considers the evolution <strong>of</strong> Richard Parker's practice<br />


76 Woodrow Kilns<br />


80 VIEW 1: Hybrid Places<br />

Michael Keighery reviews a recent exhibition <strong>of</strong> work by Janet DeBoos<br />

82 VIEW 2: A Concise Guide to Indigenous <strong>Australian</strong> Pottery<br />

A review by Karen Austin<br />

86 COMMUNITY: Meeting a Need<br />

Don Chisholm reports on his latest invention<br />

88 CERAMICS+: Dreaming with Open Eyes<br />

Pamela Irving discusses her mosaic installation at Luna Park in Melbourne<br />

93 UP THE COMMISSION PATH : Production Ware in a Digital Age<br />

Stephen Benwell interviews Christopher Plumridge<br />

98 CERAMIC SHOTS: Shoot the Studio Potter<br />

t 02 STUDIO: Sue Scobie Q&A with Vicki Grima<br />

106 JOIN THE POTS: from <strong>The</strong> JAC archives - Vincent McGrath<br />

108 THE TRUDIE ALFRED BEQUEST <strong>2013</strong> WINNERS<br />

110 EDUCATION: Where to from here?<br />

Suzy Dunser considers <strong>Ceramics</strong> Education in New Zealand<br />

114 COLLECTION 1: Jeff Mincham's Sea <strong>of</strong> Grass<br />

Patsy Hely discusses a work recently acquired by the NGA<br />

116 COLLECTION 2: <strong>The</strong> Secondary Market for Applied Arts<br />

Simon Manchester shares his experiences<br />

11 9 POTTERS MARKS<br />

120 AUSTRALIA WIDE: State Representative Reports<br />


Editorial<br />

In <strong>No</strong>vember 2012 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Association facilitated a ceramics showca5e at<br />

Eveleigh Artisans Market with more than 20<br />

potters participating from Sydney, regional areas<br />

and interstate. Connections between potters<br />

and their audience at markets, open studios and<br />

community events are becoming an effective and<br />

enjoyable way for us to promote ceramics. <strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong> AustraUan <strong>Ceramics</strong> has initiated a<br />

national open ceramic studio project, the OSCAS.<br />

to be held in mid-August <strong>2013</strong>. So far, around 60<br />

studios have registered their interest. If you would<br />

like to join in, see page 126 for details.<br />

Right: Vicki Grima and Katy Mitchell<br />

(from Queensland) swapping spoons at the<br />

Eveleigh Artisans Market.<br />

Janet Mansfield took <strong>Australian</strong> ceramics to the world and she returned the world <strong>of</strong> ceramics back to<br />

us through her magazines, her personal interactions, her robust woodfired ceramics, and the clay events<br />

in Gulgong. We soaked in all that she gave and we will miss her<br />

Thank you to Judy Boydell who, in the first pages <strong>of</strong> this issue, shares the story <strong>of</strong> her life with Janet<br />

over the last 40 or so years. It's a personal story illustrating the depth <strong>of</strong> Janet's passion for ceramics -<br />

as a potter, a woodfirer, an editor, a traveller and a friend. In the July <strong>2013</strong> issue I will build on Judy's<br />

tribute with more stories from near and afar.<br />

An extra 16 pages in this issue allowed space for our special focus on New Zealand ceramics. My<br />

aim was to capture a snapshot <strong>of</strong> the diversity <strong>of</strong> ceramic practice through a melting pot <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>iles, to<br />

introduce readers to some new faces and to consider how Australia's neighbour is facing similar issues<br />

<strong>of</strong> dwindling funding <strong>of</strong> tertiary level ceramics. Although we have skimmed the surface, I hope this will<br />

lend support to our ceramic fellows across the ditch and strengthen ties between us.<br />

<strong>The</strong> feeling <strong>of</strong> a community rallying in the face <strong>of</strong> difficult times is coming through loud and clear<br />

wherever I go and wherever I look. Many TAFEs around Australia have closed their ceramic studios,<br />

highly skilled teachers have lost their jobs, students have nowhere to study, or, if there is a local course,<br />

they can't afford the fees. We are being forced outside our comfort zone, to be creative and to consider<br />

new ways <strong>of</strong> building knowledge and skills. It is important to find innovative solutions that support and<br />

enable those who have lost ceramics courses in their local TAFE to continue to improve their skills. <strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association, via <strong>The</strong> Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships, is proud to be<br />

playing its part by giving financial and moral support to our five winners for <strong>2013</strong>. See this issue for a<br />

brief introduction to their plans for the year.<br />

I wish everyone a creative and productive <strong>2013</strong>!<br />

~.<br />


Contributors<br />

Dr. Terry Davies was born in Wales. He graduated with a BA<br />

Hons in Art and Design and by 1980 had moved to Australia.<br />

Terry gained an MA from Flinders. and in 2002 a PhD from<br />

Monash University. He is a practising artist. researcher and writer<br />

based in Adelaide.<br />

www.terrydaviesceramics.com<br />

David Eggleton lives in Dunedin, New Zealand, where he is a<br />

poet, writer and arts journalist whose articles, reviews, pr<strong>of</strong>iles<br />

and essays have appeared in the Listener, Art New Zealand,<br />

New Zealand Books, Art News, Architecture New Zealand,<br />

Urbis, Landfall and many other publications. His books include<br />

Towards Aotearoa: A Short History <strong>of</strong> Twentieth Century<br />

New Zealand Art, (Reed Publishing/Raupo Books, 2007).<br />

<strong>The</strong>se days Moyra Elliott spends much <strong>of</strong> her time writing. If it 's<br />

not a rant or a review for her Kiwi-clay blog, it's prep for a paper<br />

at some conference somewhere or it might even be something<br />

towards her second book on the history <strong>of</strong> New Zealand ceramics.<br />

http://conetenanddescending.wordpress.com<br />

Richard Fahey is a Senior Lecturer in the Department <strong>of</strong> Design<br />

and Visual Arts, Unitec, Auckland. He writes regularly on the New<br />

Zealand studio pottery movement. In 20 11 he was curator <strong>of</strong><br />

the exhibition, Richard Parker: Master <strong>of</strong> Craft, (Objectspace,<br />

Auckland). Other curated exhibitions include Peter Hawkesby<br />

(Gus Fisher Gallery, University <strong>of</strong> Auckland, 2011 ), and Clay<br />

Economies (Objectspace, 2008).<br />

E: rfahey@unitec.ac.nz<br />

http://pinterest.com/richardfahey<br />

Anna Miles has a background as an art critic, curator and<br />

lecturer. She established Anna Miles Gallery in 2003, and<br />

lectures part-time in the School <strong>of</strong> Art and DeSign at AUT<br />

University. Recent curaled exhibitions include Bespoke: <strong>The</strong><br />

Pervasiveness <strong>of</strong> the Handmade (Objectspace, Auckland,<br />

2006), and A Lace Life: <strong>The</strong> Alwynne Crowsen Collection<br />

(Objerupace, 2008).<br />

www.annamilesgallery.com<br />

http://pinterest.com/amilesgallery<br />


Tribute to Janet Mansfield<br />






1934 - <strong>2013</strong><br />

On behalf <strong>of</strong> the Goverrunent and people <strong>of</strong> Australia, I pay a sincere and<br />

respectful tribute to the la te Janet Mansfield.<br />

I did not have the privilege <strong>of</strong> knowing Ms Mansfield as you all did, but I do<br />

appreciate the high esteem in which she was held, and can only imagine the<br />

gap her passing has left among her family and many friends.<br />

Janet Mansfield's long and distinguished life saw her rise to the peak <strong>of</strong> her<br />

chosen field <strong>of</strong> ceramics and represent our country with passion and flair,<br />

putting <strong>Australian</strong> ceramics firmly on the international stage.<br />

Today you remember a woman <strong>of</strong> fine intelligence, creative depth and<br />

generosity <strong>of</strong> spirit who is justly regarded as an international treasure.<br />

I join you in acknowledging Janet's exceptional contribution as an artist, author,<br />

cultural leader and teacher. She leaves a powerful legacy not only in her art<br />

and her writings but in the love and respect you will continue to feel for her.<br />

Thank you for allowing me to share these words <strong>of</strong> farewell to a wonderful<br />

<strong>Australian</strong>. Vale Janet Mansfield.<br />

nourable Julia Gillard MP<br />

Pr' e Minister <strong>of</strong> Australia<br />



If not delivered please return to<br />


Tribute to Janet Mansfield<br />

As editor <strong>of</strong> Pottery in Australia. Janet Mansfield is<br />

shown here Interviewing Ivan McMeekin In the 1970s.<br />

Photo: courtesy Margaret Tuckson<br />

<strong>The</strong> Crafts M ovement in Australia: A History<br />

by Grace Cochrane<br />

Janet Mansfield OAM (1934-<strong>2013</strong>)<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association was saddened to hear <strong>of</strong> the recent passing <strong>of</strong> Janet Mansfield.<br />

Many members will have met Janet and most will have benefited from the many contributions she<br />

made to the field <strong>of</strong> ceramics. As an artist she inspired many and her strong woodfire and salt-glazed<br />

work demonstrated a singularly consistent vision . As a writer and publisher she forged new ground in<br />

bringing out the international journals, <strong>Ceramics</strong> Art and Perception and <strong>Ceramics</strong> Technical while<br />

her books on ceramics form a solid backbone amongst published works in the area . Janet donated her<br />

time to a long string <strong>of</strong> public roles: President <strong>of</strong> the Polters Society <strong>of</strong> Australia (1985-86), the Craft<br />

Council <strong>of</strong> NSW (1972-73), the Ceramic Study Group <strong>of</strong> NSW (1968-69) and the International Academy<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> (2006-12), amongst others.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Association would like to particularly acknowledge the position Janet held as editor <strong>of</strong> Pottery in<br />

Australia (now <strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong>) from 1976-1989. A personal remembrance by<br />

longtime friend Judy Boydell is published in this issue while in the July issue <strong>52</strong>/2 a number <strong>of</strong> colleagues<br />

will <strong>of</strong>fer their memories <strong>of</strong> the energetic and extraordinary Janet Mansfield. She will be sorely missed.<br />

Dr Patsy Hely<br />

President, <strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association<br />

THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong><br />


Tri bute to Ja net Mansfield<br />

Janet at a Ceramic Study Group firing at<br />

Mount Victoria in the 19705<br />

Photos: courtesy Judy Boydell<br />

<strong>The</strong> one who stokes the fire is<br />

the flame itself - Kawai<br />

janet's Story by judy Boydell<br />

It was in the early '70s when it was suggested I attend an event at Janet Mansfield's home in<br />

Turramurra. So <strong>of</strong> course I went. I wandered up the drive, which was quite deserted, up the front<br />

steps and through the house, passing Japanese pots on the tables and shelves on my way, but no one!<br />

Arriving at the back door I was greeted by a scene like a Hieronymus Bosch painting complete with large<br />

trees forming a canopy over the whole stage. <strong>The</strong>re were people (clothes on) everywhere, some carrying<br />

pots, wine glasses, boxes and food, and some attending the fire-breathing kiln in the far corner. All<br />

were thoroughly animated and engaged, and oblivious to me as a newcomer. This picture has remained<br />

with me and is typical <strong>of</strong> many <strong>of</strong> Janet's happenings.<br />

Through the Ceramic Study Group, where Janet was variously President, Newsletter Editor, Librarian<br />

and Tour Planner and Leader, fifty <strong>of</strong> us were transported to Peru and Mexico. In an attempt to<br />

reinvigorate the ancient art <strong>of</strong> the Peruvians, Harry Davis had set up a pottery there and we set out to<br />

visit him as well as local potters, then on to see Machu Picchu and to investigate the ancient cultural<br />

pieces that had survived and to which we were given access in the Museum <strong>of</strong> Lima. It was fun and<br />

memorable, a well-researched and informative trip. In Mexico we visited potters, pyramids and galleries,<br />

staying in haciendas. A quote from my diary reads "got back in time for a drink by the pool when Janet<br />

stepped out looking utterly glamorous in a new dress. Off we rushed to find one for ourselves but, alas,<br />

all were too formal, too elaborate or too expensive". Hers was just right. Having shopped with her on<br />

many occasions since, I know how decisive she was. It saved a lot <strong>of</strong> time and anxiety.<br />

In 1979 I joined her again on a group trip to Japan. What fun and excitement. For me she opened<br />


Tribute to Janet Mansfield<br />

both doors and eyes. We visited<br />

exhibitions in department stores<br />

where on one occasion we met Mr<br />

Fujiwara Yu; I'm not sure whether<br />

planned or accidently. He took all<br />

25 <strong>of</strong> us to lunch and invited us to<br />

his home by the Sea <strong>of</strong> Japan for<br />

a tea ceremony by the light <strong>of</strong> full<br />

moon. How fantastic that was. We<br />

visited Kenji Kato who was working<br />

on Persian glazes. It seemed a<br />

little bizarre that a Japanese potter<br />

should look to another culture for<br />

his research when, in fact, we were<br />

aspiring to his! On visiting Shoji<br />

Hamada's Museum in Mashiko we<br />

were welcomed by Mr Shimaoka<br />

who was obviously pleased to greet<br />

us, but even more pleased to see<br />

Janet. We saw pottery everywhere<br />

including work by a young Koie<br />

Ryoji. We experienced Japanese<br />

culture and gardens, visited museums<br />

and the second-hand kimono shop,<br />

ate food from department stores,<br />

bento boxes and little hole-in-thewall<br />

bars, and enjoyed public hot<br />

baths and accommodation at Mrs<br />

Uno's 'ryokan' as well as Japanesestyle<br />

hotels. We visited David Walker<br />

(from Orange) who was working in<br />

Shigaraki. We filled every minute<br />

with discovery, finding pots in every<br />

adventure.<br />

Late 19705. Janet's workshop at Morning View<br />

1979/80, Call Minogue (left) and Janet firing the fast-fire kiln<br />

at Morning View<br />

Soon after this Janet invited me and a few others to her recently acquired property "Morning View"<br />

to bring pots and fire them in the gas kiln she had built there. We seemed to do this quite <strong>of</strong>ten and<br />

over the years several woodfired kilns were built and we fired them regularly. While we waited for the<br />

kiln to cool we took picnics by the river, collected fruit in the orchard, visited the clay works or the glass<br />

maker or one <strong>of</strong> the wineries; there was no end <strong>of</strong> local attractions. During this period Janet worked at<br />

Turramurra and Morning View with one <strong>of</strong> her apprentices <strong>of</strong> the time, Coli Minogue, Alexis Tacey or<br />

Karen Wells. I had a van so on Friday nights the three <strong>of</strong> us would load it up with ceramic pots, food<br />

and sleeping bags and drive up to the farm. Some nights we wouldn't get there until after midnight<br />

and it was the one who drew the short straw who had to get out <strong>of</strong> the car to open the gate in the<br />

bitter cold on a winter's night. I was glad to be the driver!<br />

<strong>The</strong>y were fun times, always making pots and playing with new ideas. <strong>The</strong>re were many visitors from<br />

both overseas and Australia wide. Some were young graduates who came to experience life as a potter<br />

and who better to show them how than Janet. Some <strong>of</strong> the local potters would come over to the farm<br />


Tribute to Janet Mansfield<br />

-------<br />

1979180, Judy Boydell (left) and Janet firing the fast-fire kiln<br />

at Morning View<br />

from Dunedoo and we would fire a salt<br />

kiln together, This may have been when<br />

Jane Hamlyn had visited, influencing and<br />

inspiring us, Around this time Ken Horder<br />

became a regular visitor and he was<br />

invaluable, I never saw Ken flurried and he<br />

stoked away with dogged determination,<br />

even past his designated shift. Wood<br />

was plentiful and was spread over the<br />

adjoining paddock. We <strong>of</strong>ten collected,<br />

cut and stoked in one continuous action,<br />

which was really exhausting in the early<br />

hours <strong>of</strong> the morning. Ken had a fine<br />

sharp axe which he wielded with keen<br />

accuracy but wasn't prepared to share.<br />

All through this time Janet was editing Pottery in Australia, receiving pro<strong>of</strong>s, altering, adjusting<br />

and fine tuning the magazine. She wrote How to Support Yourself as a Potter, <strong>The</strong> Potter's Art<br />

and A Collector's Guide to Modern <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> as well as collating Directories for 1977,<br />

and several other years to 1987. We also had fantastic sale days in the drive <strong>of</strong> her Turramurra home.<br />

We put signs out on the highway where there was plenty <strong>of</strong> passing traffic and, together with word <strong>of</strong><br />

mouth, produced a good crowd. <strong>The</strong> sellers were always different people depending on whom Janet<br />

had been speaking to that week. She was spontaneous and generous: it was a case <strong>of</strong> the more the<br />

merrier. I attended a discussion group, which Janet also attended, led by Peter Travis and held at the<br />

original Potters Society premises in Bourke Street, Sydney, where each week our pieces were assessed<br />

by Peter, Every week Janet produced a fresh body <strong>of</strong> work - her output was prolific; her direction was<br />

committed. I don't know where her energy came from. She has produced many books, publications,<br />

speeches and reference letters over the years. She made it seem so easy, so gracious in her generosity <strong>of</strong><br />

time and energy.<br />

late 1970., dinner in Gulgong after a firing; left to right, Judy Boydell, Janet<br />

Mansfield, leonard Smith, Sandy lockwood, Bob Greig, Lindy Rose Smith, Bronwyn<br />

(from Newcastle), Clare Mansfield and Margaret Tuckson<br />

19B3 Janet Mansfield with l ex Dickson<br />

in Japan<br />


Tribute to Janet Mansfield<br />

-- ---- -------- ----- -------<br />

1983, Judy Boydell (left) and Janet Mansfield in Kyoto outside Doug Lawrie's home<br />

<strong>The</strong>re was always a stream <strong>of</strong> overseas visitors who came to visit at both Turramurra and Morning<br />

View. <strong>The</strong>re were editors, practitioners, recent graduates looking for advice and direction, and also older<br />

potters who needed a sympathetic ear. <strong>The</strong>re were many dinners after exhibition openings, meetings<br />

for Potters Society events, conferences in Sydney and events in other cities. We seemed to attend them<br />

all! We also demonstrated throwing at various wineries around Mudgee. Meanwhile the books and<br />

magazines came out on time reflecting her capable intellectual ability.<br />

I had two more trips to Japan, one being to arrange an exhibition <strong>of</strong> Janet's work with <strong>The</strong> Green<br />

Gallery in Arkasaka, Tokyo. I didn't see the exhibition the following year but she told me it was<br />

received favourably and there were good sales. In the 1980s there were few western ceramic artists<br />

who managed to have their works shown in Japan. We met up with Alexis Tacey who had been an<br />

apprentice with Janet in Sydney and was now working with Yoshida Yoshihiku, near Tajimi. We headed<br />

for Kyoto where we stayed in an old ryokan that we decided had been a brothel in the '30s, and<br />

definitely in the red light district. It had smoked glass windows that were quite ethereal and delicately<br />

Japanese. We were excited to see Alexis again and I know she must have been glad to see us. She had<br />

many stories to tell <strong>of</strong> life in this alien country, in seriously freezing conditions. It was fun.<br />

<strong>The</strong> main goal <strong>of</strong> the 1997 trip was to get Janet's work to the Takekichi Gallery in Kyoto and to be at<br />

the exhibition opening <strong>of</strong> this prestigious show. Janet, Clare (her daughter) and I had our bags weighed<br />

down with pieces for the exhibition, At Kyoto airport, struggling with our overweight luggage, customs<br />

<strong>of</strong>ficial were curious about our intentions. <strong>The</strong> reception was a resounding success with many dignitaries<br />

attending the opening including Pr<strong>of</strong>essor Inui, Pr<strong>of</strong>essor Yasue Arimitsu, Senior Cultural Officer from<br />

the <strong>Australian</strong> Embassy Sachiko Tamai, and Hirokuni Katsuno a well known ceramicist. <strong>The</strong> day following<br />

the opening Shiro Tsujimura invited us for lunch at his home in Nara. It was an all day affair with us<br />

Sitting on the floor <strong>of</strong> his ancient farmhouse. <strong>The</strong> fire was burning brightly inside, whilst outside through<br />

the window we could see the garden with his 'reject' pots lying about casually, some sprinkled with<br />

camellia petals or coloured leaves fallen from the overhanging trees. We sat on the floor eating the most<br />

delicious food served out <strong>of</strong> beautiful ceramic pieces - each a different shape and size, appropriate for<br />


Tribute to Janet Mansfield<br />

------------<br />

1997 Janet Mansfield enjoying lunch at the home <strong>of</strong> Shiro Tsujimura in Nara. Japan<br />

the food or sauce, well savoured with the best sake until we could eat or drink no more. In his desire<br />

to keep us entertained, he made noodles on a large wooden board. Later he led us to his workshop<br />

and threw pots for us to see his relaxed technique throwing <strong>of</strong>f the hump. Still on the entertainment<br />

bent, he showed us his ancient tea house whence followed a hilarious demonstration <strong>of</strong> his version <strong>of</strong><br />

the tea ceremony only to be saved by the appearance <strong>of</strong> a traditionally dressed Japanese woman, a tea<br />

ceremony master who <strong>of</strong>fered a dignified performance <strong>of</strong> the honoured ritual. All stops were out ...<br />

what a never-to-be-forgotten day.<br />

Another <strong>of</strong> our ventures was a little house in Gulgong which we bought with Karen Wells, one <strong>of</strong><br />

Janet's apprentices. We called it 'Three Ways' . We thought it would be great to <strong>of</strong>fer it to potters to<br />

establish themselves in this clay-rich town. <strong>The</strong> bicentennial year 1988 seemed a good omen and with<br />

our <strong>Australian</strong> fervour we found a newly graduated ceramics couple to live and work there (one still lives<br />

in the district and practices as a potter). Next to occupy the house were Mary and Duncan Ratcliffe who<br />

lived there happily for several years, moving on to Dubbo to take charge <strong>of</strong> the ceramics department at<br />

the Technical College. Chester Nealie and his partner Jan lived there for several years, establishing their<br />

presence in Gulgong (they still live nearby). About this time Janet and I were developing an <strong>Australian</strong><br />

porcelain made <strong>of</strong> all <strong>Australian</strong> materials from the Gulgong district. We tested batches <strong>of</strong> clay until we<br />

were satisfied with the product. It was good clay and it was popular with the woodfirers as it produced<br />

a warm pink blush. We thought the cottage would be ideal as an outlet for our product which was<br />

being made up by the local clay maker ... all good on paper but unfortunately the owner <strong>of</strong> the pit was<br />

not able to commit to a regular supply <strong>of</strong> the important white clay. We still have ingredients enough for<br />

ourselves but not for commercial production.<br />

We had other trips together. After sailing with friends on the coast <strong>of</strong> Turkey, Janet and I arranged<br />

to meet in Istanbul where we were assailed by the vastness <strong>of</strong> the Topkapi Palace collection - shelves,<br />

tables and cupboards full to overflowing with ceramics. We enjoyed the pleasures <strong>of</strong> the bathhouse,<br />

the arcades, the markets, the fantastic tiles <strong>of</strong> Ayas<strong>of</strong>ya and the splendid architecture <strong>of</strong> the old city.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n went on to Italy where we called in to Grottaglie to pay a visit to Greg Daly's show for the 2nd<br />

Biennale Internazionale di Ceramica, up north to Faenza to visit Carlo Zauli who greeted Janet like a<br />

long lost lover, then by train to stay with Claude Presset in Switzerland, who joined us on our way to<br />


Tribute to Janet Mansfield<br />

Hohr-grenzhausen in Germany and the Salt Glaze competition where we had entered salt-glazed work.<br />

Again many <strong>of</strong> Janet's friends welcomed us warmly and entertained us in restaurants and homes and<br />

the Museums <strong>of</strong> Keramik <strong>of</strong> Westerwald and Cologne where, on a sunny Sunday morning, there was<br />

a wonderful classical music concert performed. We both enjoyed classical music as well as sharing a<br />

similar taste in ceramics. This was in 1989.<br />

During 2000, whilst still working on our porcelain clay, we set <strong>of</strong>f for China to check out Chinese<br />

porcelain. In Foshan there was a conference on woodfiring as well as a symposium on porcelain in<br />

Jingdezhen, and Janet was invited to give papers at both. We were feted and entertained then sent<br />

<strong>of</strong>f to enjoy the highlights <strong>of</strong> the country: visits to ceramics museums, towns specialising in ceramics,<br />

antique markets, the warriors - it would seem that the whole <strong>of</strong> China was there for our pleasure<br />

to view, so much both ancient and modern work. I don't know how much we learnt about Chinese<br />

porcelain!<br />

Even after starting her new magazine in 1990 and running the Ceramic Art Gallery in Sydney, there<br />

was still the urgency to continue to make and fire pots. Because the Morning View property was now<br />

the sole source <strong>of</strong> ceramic production for Janet, all work was woodfired, which was her preference. She<br />

developed a different rhythm in her life. Having started yet another magazine, <strong>Ceramics</strong> Technical,<br />

overseas travel became more important for collecting articles and promotion. In the past 20 or so years<br />

Janet devoted much <strong>of</strong> her energies to their success. In her first editorial she stated "the magazine will<br />

be one par excellence" - this is indisputable.<br />

I still travel to Morning View for firings, sometimes making work there but mostly I work in my own<br />

studio. <strong>The</strong> most popular kilns are the salt trolley kiln and the racing car kiln, a small anagama which<br />

appeals because <strong>of</strong> a shorter than usual firing time - only about 40 hours.<br />

Every three years, since 1989, we held Clay events in Gulgong with up to 500 delegates participating.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se happenings have that Hieronymus Bosch quality I referred to earlier: the excitement, stimulation<br />

and concentration. Overseas and <strong>Australian</strong> demonstrators and lecturers fire enthusiasm in the many<br />

practitioners who gather in Gulgong. It generally takes a couple <strong>of</strong> years to pull together such an event<br />

and Janet is good at delegating the right person for the job in hand . <strong>The</strong> whole town becomes involved<br />

including the authorities, accommodation places, hotels, halls, shopkeepers, schools and local artists -<br />

no one is unaffected. <strong>The</strong> <strong>2013</strong> event will go ahead.<br />

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,<br />

Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch ...<br />

I th ink Kipling's couplet applies aptly to the roles Janet took on as President <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> International<br />

Academy <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong>, judge, speech maker, facilitator, editor and, certainly not least important to her,<br />

potter, exhibitor and demonstrator. <strong>The</strong>re are also the many roles we never hear about She received<br />

the Australia Council Emeritus Award, the Order <strong>of</strong> Australia, a Doctorate from Hobart University and a<br />

seriously important American award and more. <strong>The</strong> diversity <strong>of</strong> her talents is remarkable .<br />

Over the years I have been visiting Morning View the property has bloomed w ith many plantings <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Australian</strong> natives, vegetable gardens and colourful flowerbeds. Many more buildings have been added<br />

- all with grand and appropriate names like <strong>The</strong> Bibliotheque, <strong>The</strong> Cathedral, <strong>The</strong> Great Hall - each to<br />

house either Janet's ceramic work, over 3000 pieces <strong>of</strong> others' ceramics, and her comprehensive book<br />

collection. All so abundant!<br />

What is beauty but joy found in all <strong>of</strong> life - Kawai<br />


Tribute<br />

-----<br />

Vale Vincent Francis McGrath<br />

1946-2012<br />

Vincent McGrath was born in Leongatha, Gippsland, Victoria to a farming family. He studied art at RMIT<br />

and Melbourne University under the tutelage <strong>of</strong> Jack Knight and Jeffrey Wilkinson. He was inspired by<br />

Marjorie Ritchie in particular, and he looked to the late Harold Hughan and Ian Sprague as mentors.<br />

Vincent received a Rotary International Fellowship for postgraduate study at the Duncan <strong>of</strong> Jordanstone<br />

College <strong>of</strong> Art and Design, Dundee, Scotland. Upon returning to Australia, he took up a teaching post<br />

as Head <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> at the Darwin Community College, now the Charles Darwin University. He became<br />

Head <strong>of</strong> the Art School and in that role guided the fledgling department to national and international<br />

prominence.<br />

In 1985, after a decade in Darwin, he was persuaded to move to Tasmania to raise the pr<strong>of</strong>ile <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Art School at the Launceston campus <strong>of</strong> the University <strong>of</strong> Tasmania. As Head <strong>of</strong> the School <strong>of</strong> Visual and<br />

Performing Arts, he upgraded and expanded all the disciplines within the school and later initiated a<br />

successful campaign to move the entire arts department to a new site. Vincent was the driving force in<br />

creating the impressive Academy <strong>of</strong> Arts building and the development <strong>of</strong> the Inveresk site as a cultural<br />

precinct <strong>of</strong> Launceston.<br />

In 1991 , Vincent was made Pr<strong>of</strong>essor and received a Doctorate in 1992. He was chairman and a<br />

member <strong>of</strong> several national art committees, including the Australia Council's Visual Art/Craft Board.<br />

Vincent expanded the academic curriculum to cater for international students as well as establishing a<br />

vibrant PhD program. He also fostered an outreach program for rural students throughout Australia.<br />

Under his watch the Academy Gallery nurtured and exhibited student and staff research and art<br />

outcomes, as well as showcasing local artists. He led by example as his work constantly pushed the<br />

boundaries <strong>of</strong> his medium.<br />

Vincent's passion for the arts was boundless as his academic record attests. He was a charismatic<br />

teacher and gifted artist. I and many friends, colleagues and ex-students, here and overseas, will miss<br />

him. His was a life crammed with achievements to which this short obituary and accompanying essay do<br />

little justice.<br />

Dr Terry Davies<br />


---------<br />

Vale Robert 'Bob' Mickan<br />

1935-2012<br />

Tribute<br />

Robert Mickan was a major player on the Adelaide craft scene as<br />

main supplier and distributor <strong>of</strong> ceramic materials. He began his<br />

business career in the early 1960s, initially running delicatessens and<br />

greengrocers. He moved to establish a c<strong>of</strong>fee shop and cafe called<br />

Kappys, and it was there, with its bohemian clientele, that he first<br />

started selling bags <strong>of</strong> clay and a few pottery wheels.<br />

By 1970, as demand grew, he decided to open a specialist ceramic<br />

supply shop. After moving to several different premises, which he<br />

outgrew because <strong>of</strong> the phenomenal growth <strong>of</strong> the interest in pottery,<br />

he moved to establish <strong>The</strong> Pug Mill at Rose Street, Mile End, in 1973.<br />

A major factor in this enterprise was the fact that as Ge<strong>of</strong>frey Walker's brother-in-law he effectively<br />

became an agent for the well established Victorian clay supply company, Walker <strong>Ceramics</strong>.<br />

Bob recalled the trepidation he felt when he first looked around the cavernous space that he had<br />

committed himself to and wondered if he had bitten <strong>of</strong>f more than he could chew. His fears were<br />

soon allayed and the business thrived with pottery wheels and other equipment being bought on the<br />

pavement without even touching the shop floor.<br />

Bob catered not only for the swelling ranks <strong>of</strong> studio potters, but many art institutes, hobby potters,<br />

china painters and primary and secondary schools. He was the main supplier for the Darwin Community<br />

College when I worked there. In that role he never failed to ensure that supplies got through, despite<br />

some hairy moments during the wet seasons.<br />

In his dealings he was firm but fair and always generous with his time in answering technical<br />

questions. His depth <strong>of</strong> knowledge in all aspects <strong>of</strong> ceramic products and processes was phenomenal.<br />

With his positive personality, and the business thriving, his son Brett joined the enterprise in 1990,<br />

relieving Bob <strong>of</strong> much <strong>of</strong> the heavy lifting. He always had time to talk to his customers. As an ardent<br />

fisherman he loved to regale those <strong>of</strong> us with an interest in such matters <strong>of</strong> his piscatorial excursions to<br />

South Australia's many isolated beaches in the little time that he could afford to spend away from <strong>The</strong><br />

Pug Mill.<br />

He spent the last few years travelling around Australia and overseas but still found time to be at <strong>The</strong><br />

Pug Mill, as he said, "to keep an eye on young Brett".<br />

He will be sorely missed by his customers and friends.<br />

Dr Terry Davies<br />


Pr<strong>of</strong>ile<br />

Terrains <strong>of</strong> the Heart<br />

<strong>The</strong> life and work <strong>of</strong> Vincent McGrath by Terry Davies<br />

Vincent McGrath was raised on the land and witnessed first hand the sympathetic caretaker role his<br />

parents adopted when establishing their farm with minimal mechanical aid . <strong>The</strong>ir contention was that<br />

man, animal and nature should and could co-exist harmoniously. <strong>The</strong>se early environmental sensibilities<br />

ingrained in Vincent a respect for the earth and the certainty that more flexible and fruitful dealings<br />

with it were possible and necessary. <strong>The</strong>refore it is no surprise that the <strong>Australian</strong> terrain, as subject<br />

matter, is the golden thread that runs through all his art. His artistic dialogue with the environment has<br />

been a continual process <strong>of</strong> arbitration and conciliation seeking to presage a new era <strong>of</strong> compatible<br />

co-existence. Like one <strong>of</strong> his favourite painters, Arthur Boyd, Vincent had an Edenic view <strong>of</strong> his<br />

homeland.<br />

Vincent utilised conceptual ideas which addressed and reflected contemporary issues <strong>of</strong> identity<br />

and meaning involving the land, where the past was informing the present. <strong>The</strong> thrown vessel was<br />

disregarded as he realised that it was a restrictive vehicle for his purposes. He decided that two- and<br />

three-dimensional handbuilt forms were more appropriate in expressing his take on the disparate<br />

terrains he encountered, be they the lush tropical north, temperate coastal south or the parched<br />

interiors. <strong>The</strong> genesis <strong>of</strong> his art began in Darwin when he commenced what he called <strong>The</strong> Platter<br />

Series. <strong>The</strong>se works were essentially snapshots <strong>of</strong> his experiences in the <strong>No</strong>rthern Territory over an<br />

eight-year period. Having gathered volumes <strong>of</strong> sketches and photographs, Vincent began to synthesise<br />

concepts concerning people and their intent and effect on the monsoonal regions, and vice versa.<br />

Additional ideas were conjured up when viewing mining and farming incursions whilst on aeroplane<br />

journeys across the Top End. It was akin to flying across a massive panoramic painting that was<br />

segmented by vehicle tracks and fence lines. He also noted animal enclosures and the encasement <strong>of</strong><br />

homestead buildings ... elements that remained a constant in future work.<br />

Vincent McGrath, earthenware, diam.60cm

Pr<strong>of</strong>ile<br />

During this period Vincent spent a sabbatical year in the USA undertaking his Master <strong>of</strong> Fine Art. This<br />

experience loosened any doubts or inhibitions cementing a commitment to his developing oeuvre. A visit<br />

to Mexico whilst in the Americas led to a series <strong>of</strong> 'platters' celebrating the exuberance <strong>of</strong> that country's<br />

peoples. On his return to Darwin Vincent was commissioned to produce a large landscape mural. devoid<br />

<strong>of</strong> any human representation. for the Alice Springs Law Court. This was to be a pivotal experience. for<br />

when the large work was cut into segments for transportation. firing. and reassembling. he realised that<br />

the drawn figure as a narrative prop (which had previously featured in his Platter Series) was no longer<br />

necessary. Vincent perceived that the abstract surfaces were imbued with resonance and meaning.<br />

becoming more ideograms than pictograms. All this honed his compositional and painterly skills.<br />

which. with the addition <strong>of</strong> a personal lexicon <strong>of</strong> symbols. unleashed his expressive style. cementing his<br />

commitment to the landscape genre.<br />

His boyhood heroes. the early explorers <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Australian</strong> interior. influenced him to such a degree<br />

that he undertook his own mimetic investigations <strong>of</strong> the terrain. With a move to Tasmania. Vincent<br />

explored the new landscape and became fa scinated with the mining remains found throughout the<br />

state. Here again was evidence <strong>of</strong> man's bruising attempts to control the elements. which. successful<br />

for a time. eventually left only decaying ruins. Fired by these abandoned edifices Vincent embarked on<br />

a series <strong>of</strong> three-dimensional assemblages and stacks that were a synthesis <strong>of</strong> sculpture and painting.<br />

<strong>The</strong> crumbling mine works that were slowly eroding into their own architectural minimalism were<br />

captured by the artist in his ceramic tableaux. like frozen snapshots <strong>of</strong> the process. <strong>The</strong> patina and hues<br />

<strong>of</strong> corroding metal. decaying masonry and sulphurous yellow stains. provided a palette <strong>of</strong> colour which.<br />

co-joined with the seemingly weathered clay structures. made for inspiring and evocative work. creating<br />

beauty out <strong>of</strong> the scarred sites. Mine remains at Zeehan. Fingal Valley. Beaconsfield. Mount Bisch<strong>of</strong>f.<br />

Mount Lyell and Derby provided fertile ground for this ongoing series. Vincent's modus operandi was<br />

to take a measured approach that avoided dwelling mawkishly on a tragic past or apocalyptic events.<br />

Fuelled by the certainty <strong>of</strong> experience. accumulated know-how and verve. he produced powerful<br />

allegories heralding a new age in our dealings with the <strong>Australian</strong> environment. His compressed versions<br />

carry a clout. an intensity. that enlarges the emotional reservoir.<br />

Vincent McGrath. Mt Lyell, earthenware, h.20m. w.8Ocm<br />


Pr<strong>of</strong>ile<br />

In a foray away from Tasmania he spent time in and around another mining area, Broken Hill,<br />

producing a large body <strong>of</strong> work, Heartlands. This was his first extended encounter with the arid<br />

interiors <strong>of</strong> Australia that had so taxed the early explorers. Vincent conducted an intense dialogue<br />

with, and an artistic post-mortem <strong>of</strong>. the very body <strong>of</strong> the terrain. At a sweeping glance, his clay forms<br />

appear like a trove <strong>of</strong> large shards literally sliced from rock faces or scooped from the desert's surface. A<br />

crusty thick impasto spread with gusto, alongside sumptuous textural segments with sliced and gouged<br />

linear passages create a rich palette out <strong>of</strong> the seemingly sterile monochromatic spaces <strong>of</strong> the region.<br />

Here the ruggedly cleaved shards with their fissured and cracked surfaces echo the processes that<br />

formed the outback eons ago. This inland region saw the artist's meanderings lead to a kind <strong>of</strong> ultimate<br />

confrontation with the very heart <strong>of</strong> the matter. His next project led him further into the parched stony<br />

wilderness. <strong>The</strong>re resulted a large installation work, Interior, which was Vincent's personal interpretation<br />

<strong>of</strong> some <strong>of</strong> the sites that Charles Sturt recorded on his final epic, but ultimately disillusioned, journey.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se bodies <strong>of</strong> work coaxed and manipulated by the artist from base clay, made the ordinary<br />

extraordinary and were the apogee <strong>of</strong> his explorations. Like a biblical character, Vincent was looking to<br />

find redemption from the failings <strong>of</strong> the past to resurrect a new <strong>Australian</strong> post-colonial identity and<br />

attitude towards the landscape.<br />

Vincent's poetic dialogue with the landscape as an explorer, recorder and cartographer produced a<br />

vast amount <strong>of</strong> reference points, grid maps and snapshots on ceramics for the viewer to contemplate.<br />

Vincent McGrath, <strong>The</strong> Blister, earthenware<br />

h.SOcm, w.2Scm, d.SOcm<br />

Vincent McGrath. Queenstown Legacy<br />

h.81cm, w.31cm, d.23cm<br />


Pr<strong>of</strong>ile<br />

Vincent McGrath<br />

Heartland Series<br />

Each. h.3Ocm. w.8Ocm<br />

Vincent McGrath<br />

earthenware<br />

h.50cm w.70cm<br />

Editors note:<br />

Thank you to Terry Davies<br />

for his efforts in scanning.<br />

from transparencies and<br />

prints, the images used in<br />

this article.<br />

Unfortunately dates were<br />

not available.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se clay works are like the pages from a lost diary aiding our understanding <strong>of</strong> his milieu as we share<br />

in his findings and inevitably embrace the artist's spiritual vision. For me his elegiac vistas on clay are<br />

arguably the most painterly ceramics produced in Australia. Vincent was part <strong>of</strong> a group <strong>of</strong> artists riding<br />

the environmental winds <strong>of</strong> change <strong>of</strong> the last few decades. and his contribution to <strong>Australian</strong> landscape<br />

art has yet to be fully appreciated.<br />

Recently. despite declining health, he returned to his other great love, drawing and acrylic painting,<br />

and in the time left to him he synthesised all his previous experiences into depidions <strong>of</strong> his beloved Terra<br />

Australis. In my mind's eye I shall always remember him in his pomp. with his mop <strong>of</strong> red curly Irish hair<br />

working in the studio amongst his wonderful creations, wearing that impish wry smile <strong>of</strong> contentment.<br />

Dr Terry Davies<br />

www.terrydaviesceramics.com<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

----<br />

An Accumulated History<br />

Karl Chitham considers t he work <strong>of</strong> Raewyn Atkin son<br />

I have always been a big fan <strong>of</strong> collecting keepsakes to remind me <strong>of</strong> moments or experiences I have<br />

found significant in my life. This habit has somewhat dissipated over time as I have tried to rationalise<br />

my own role in the ever-increasing accumulation <strong>of</strong> 'stuff' in the world. I still have a few little mementos<br />

- a stone from a windswept New Zealand beach, a shiny brass button from a military uniform, and<br />

a ceramic shard with an 1814 maker's mark found on a rocky shore in the north <strong>of</strong> Scotland. This<br />

little collection sits in a bowl alongside other assembled and discarded bits and bobs. On top <strong>of</strong> the<br />

pile rests another ceramic shard, this one by ceramicist Raewyn Atkinson. It was acquired during a<br />

cheeky promotional push by the artist during the <strong>Vol</strong>ume Craft Symposium for her show Praising Girls<br />

(2008) at Judith Anderson Gallery, and became another li nk in a chain <strong>of</strong> moments I was to have with<br />

Atkinson's practice over the years.<br />

I first encountered her work at the exhibition Designs on Antarctica (2005), initially presented<br />

at Objectspace, Auckland. This exhibition marked the completion <strong>of</strong> a significant body <strong>of</strong> work by<br />

Atkinson, inspired by multiple trips to Antarctica, both as an Antarctica New Zealand art fellow in 2000<br />

and as a tourist in 2003. <strong>The</strong> content <strong>of</strong> the exhibition was drawn primarily from Atkinson's observations<br />

and experiences <strong>of</strong> the layers <strong>of</strong> human history she had discovered on the Southern continent. Subjects<br />

as diverse as Scott's disastrous South Pole expedition, the Nazi bid for domination <strong>of</strong> the continent<br />

during World War II, and a painting <strong>of</strong> the Virgin Mary in the Ukrainian Antarctic base, were brought<br />

together in a su rprisingly succinct and harmonious series <strong>of</strong> works. As a somewhat curious component<br />

<strong>of</strong> the show, there was also a small carpet <strong>of</strong> porcelain shards that visitors had to walk across in<br />

Below: Raewyn Atkinson, Praising Girls, 2008, slipcast porcelain, each, h.1Scm, w.2Scm<br />

Opposite page: Raewyn Atkinson, Wastefl II. <strong>2013</strong>, (work in progress), found ceramic; photos: artist

Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

---<br />

Raewyn Atkinson with Deep 11me #26,2010<br />

Work. in progress; photo: artist<br />

order to enter the gallery. <strong>The</strong> startling crunch<br />

as brave individuals made their way tentatively<br />

over the work was an unnerving experience for<br />

the participant and the observer. It heightened<br />

the senses and immediately shifted you from the<br />

passive gallery setting to another place - an ice<br />

field in sub zero temperatures, a beach with the<br />

compacting <strong>of</strong> shells underfoot, or the potters<br />

studio after some unforeseen kiln mishap.<br />

This experiential approach is just one method Atkinson employs in order to provide access to the<br />

strata <strong>of</strong> human experience that make up our idea <strong>of</strong> history. In Atkinson 's case, the goal is to bring<br />

these layers together - not necessarily to make sense <strong>of</strong> them, but more as a means <strong>of</strong> giving them a<br />

renewed prevalence.<br />

In 2010, Atkinson took up a residency at the School <strong>of</strong> Art Practice at Berkeley, University <strong>of</strong><br />

California. Working in the space once occupied by Peter Voulkos, a famous figure in world ceramics,<br />

Raewyn Atkinson. Deep 11me #26, 2010, porcelain, chun glaze, h.l54cm, w.l77cm, d.S3cm: Fiat Lux, RH Gallery<br />

Photo: Elspeth Collier

Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Atkinson began to rebuild his immense kiln and expand on an earlier body <strong>of</strong> works called Deep Tim e<br />

(2001-20 11 ). Based on the Deep Time drilling projed at Cape Roberts, these works were a dired<br />

response to the adivities <strong>of</strong> the projed's scientists who colleded core samples from below the Antardic<br />

seabed to gauge the impad <strong>of</strong> climate change.<br />

One particular work fired in Voulkos' reconditioned kiln was Deep Time #26 (2010), described by<br />

curator and writer Felicity Milburn as "a 1.9 metre-high ceramic disk, perforated by a honeycomb <strong>of</strong><br />

circular holes, ... poised like a piece <strong>of</strong> immensely magnified ocean coral or an unearthly white wheel".'<br />

This colossal porcelain artifact was, for Atkinson, the culmination <strong>of</strong> ongoing attempts to communicate<br />

her intense readions to the current state <strong>of</strong> stress the environment was and is still under. Deep<br />

Time #26 became a concise metaphor for the tensions <strong>of</strong> global change - the structure <strong>of</strong> the form<br />

undergoing enormous pressure as the clay s<strong>of</strong>tened, slumped, cracked and then solidified during the<br />

firing process. This work was a calculated risk, a visceral experiment in helplessness and vulnerability.<br />

While still at Berkeley, Atkinson began another series <strong>of</strong> works using found 'blank' shards recovered<br />

from Tepco Beach on the eastern shore <strong>of</strong> San Francisco Bay. She first heard about the beach through<br />

one <strong>of</strong> the technicians who showed her a worn ceramic shard he had recovered during one <strong>of</strong> his visits.<br />

Over a period <strong>of</strong> 30 years, the Technical Porcelain and China Ware Company (TePCo), which closed<br />

its doors in 1968, dumped its flawed or 'unfit for sale' waste on a sedion <strong>of</strong> shoreline now known<br />

affedionately as Tepco Beach . Atkinson initially didn't expect to find much and was not disappointed<br />

when she arrived at a relatively barren stretch <strong>of</strong> rocky shore in an industrial area called Point Isabel.<br />

After further exploration she discovered the true Tepco Beach which has become a haven for ama teur<br />

foragers, mosaicists and artist s.<br />

Like the remnants <strong>of</strong> human occupation scattered around Antardica, Tepco is made up <strong>of</strong> layers <strong>of</strong><br />

material that reference various periods <strong>of</strong> local industrial and social history. <strong>The</strong> process <strong>of</strong> colleding<br />

intrigued Atkinson . Trying to find all <strong>of</strong> the pieces in an effort to reconstrud a whole objed became<br />

an all-consuming pastime. <strong>The</strong> rules around what to keep and what to discard were something akin to<br />

Tepeo Beach, 2012; photo: Raewyn Atkinson<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Raewyn Atkinson<br />

Wasters I, <strong>2013</strong>, detail<br />

found ceramic<br />

various dimensions<br />

Photo: artist<br />

Raewyn Atkinson<br />

Wasters I, <strong>2013</strong><br />

found ceramic<br />

diam.170cm<br />

variable depth<br />

Photo: artist<br />

Courtesy RH Gallery<br />


Focus : New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Raewyn Atkinson Wasters /11, <strong>2013</strong><br />

work in progress, found ceramic and laser decals<br />

various dimensions; photo: artist<br />

solving a complex puzzle. Atkinson suggests that "shards are enduring; they are what we use as a tool<br />

to construct our culture and history - we need them in order to make our understanding whole" .2<br />

While considering what to do with these countless pieces <strong>of</strong> broken pottery, Atkinson was drawn to<br />

the accidental outcomes <strong>of</strong> the ceramic process. Of particular interest was an example <strong>of</strong> a Delft 'waster'<br />

- stacks <strong>of</strong> individual ceramic pieces that have become fused during the firing process. <strong>The</strong>se (<strong>of</strong>ten<br />

beautiful) malfunctions <strong>of</strong> pottery production share elements <strong>of</strong> the intentions <strong>of</strong> Atkinson's Deep Time<br />

#26 - a tangible instance <strong>of</strong> the potential for failure and also representative <strong>of</strong> the physical evidence <strong>of</strong><br />

history. Using the shards from Tepco Beach as a starting point, Atkinson has begun incorporating images<br />

and impressions collected while at Berkeley into her work. Obvious references to over-consumption,<br />

such as shopping trolleys used by the homeless or stacked w ith black plastic bags ready for the<br />

recycling station, become provocative statements in place <strong>of</strong> the decorative motifs commonly found on<br />

dinnerware. Th is is what Atkinson refers to as a "revisionist approach" 3 - her attempt at reconstructing<br />

history through a personal lens.<br />

Th is predisposition towards combining historical references w ith the artist's own impressions and<br />

experiences is what allows Atkinson's practice to have currency. She is intent on commenting not only<br />

on how we have influence over the environment but also how we fictionalise history. For Atkinson, the<br />

shard has become a corporeal agent for a tendency towards what she considers the approximation <strong>of</strong><br />

history. As with my own collecting fetish, shards have become mementos for Atkinson, visual markers <strong>of</strong><br />

the ebb and flow <strong>of</strong> time. <strong>The</strong>y are the substance and the conduits <strong>of</strong> human history in the same way<br />

that core samples are a historical record <strong>of</strong> the environment. Both are reliant on someone making sense<br />

<strong>of</strong> them, tying the pieces together into some semblance <strong>of</strong> truth. As Atkinson reminds us "history can<br />

be a fiction" 4<br />

Karl Chitham is currently the Curator <strong>of</strong> Art at Rotorua Museum<br />

Te Whare Taonga 0 Te Arawa, New Zealand,<br />

1 Felicity M ilburn, 'under Pressure, Raewyn Atkinson's Deep time #26',Art New Zealand, no. 1361$UMME R 2010-2011, pp, 49-53,<br />

2 Raewyn Atkinson, in conversation with the author, January <strong>2013</strong>.<br />

3 ibid.<br />

4 ibid.<br />


Focus: New Zealand Ceram ics<br />

-- -- ------<br />

<strong>The</strong> Significance <strong>of</strong><br />

the Decorative<br />

Anna Miles reviews the work <strong>of</strong> Richard Stratton<br />

Richard Stratton<br />

Disjunctive Ca meos Teapot, 2007<br />

stoneware, thrown, altered, applied sprigs<br />

lithographs, underglaze, lustre, h.22 .Scm<br />

w.17.scm, d.l 8cm; Private collection<br />

Photo: courtesy artist and Anna Miles Gallery<br />

<strong>The</strong> Wellington-based ceramicist Richard Stratton<br />

is a maker <strong>of</strong> conglomerations. His teapots, vases and<br />

tureens are greedily assembled miscellanies that reflect an<br />

unending fascination for the historical forms <strong>of</strong> European<br />

domestic pottery and a personal entanglement with political<br />

issues <strong>of</strong> the day.<br />

Stratton graduated from the Otago School <strong>of</strong> Arts with a Diploma in Ceramic Arts in 1993. He<br />

travelled for a long period and before settling in Well ington he worked as a production thrower at<br />

commercial potteries in the United Kingdom. His clay work is distinctive in the New Zealand context<br />

in that it relates to the world <strong>of</strong> industrially produced ceramics rather than the local studio pottery<br />

movement.<br />

Stratton makes compound vessels that fuse wheelthrown, cast and handbuilt components, many <strong>of</strong><br />

which are indebted to time spent rifling through local 'op' shops acqu iring esoteric componen try. He<br />

is equally keen on archiving arcane ceramic technical information, tools and materials. "My studio has<br />

become a repository for old materials - stains, oxides, pigments, glaze materials, very, hard to get old<br />

ingredients. I like the idea <strong>of</strong> using old things and old materials to make new work." Among his prized<br />

possessions is <strong>The</strong> Manual <strong>of</strong> Practical Potting (1897), originally brought to New Zealand by James<br />

Rowley, who came to Otago to reinvigorate the Milton Pottery in Southland.<br />

Stratton views politics through a domestic prism: A teapot sitting on a suburban kitchen table is the<br />

culmination <strong>of</strong> a long history <strong>of</strong> East-West conflict and trade. He is committed to the significance <strong>of</strong> the<br />

domestic vessel. His first dealer gallery exh ibition Nurturing Dialectics: A Legation <strong>of</strong> Teapots (2007)<br />

was, as the title suggests, composed entirely <strong>of</strong> teapots. <strong>The</strong> fifteen elaborately built and embellished<br />

works referenced his role as a 'stay-at-home-Dad' responsible for the daily care <strong>of</strong> pre-schoolers (that<br />

presumably required many cups <strong>of</strong> tea) .<br />

Stratton is interested in the minutiae <strong>of</strong> an effective teapot. " When you want to be a purist, the<br />

spout has to sit in the right position. It has to have the right volume and shape to balance the handle.<br />

And it has to work. A teapot is basically a pot with appendages. I love them, always have. Don't like<br />


handmade brown 1970s New Zealand ones.<br />

Prefer Chinese or European variants on the<br />

Chinese."<br />

Stratton produced the 'teapot growth chart', a<br />

timeline from 900AD to the present to accompany<br />

Nurturing Dialectics, that makes apparent<br />

the way his ceramic and social preoccupations<br />

coalesce. <strong>The</strong> timeline strings together childrearing<br />

didates, war statistics, great moments in<br />

design typology, and personal milestones. '<strong>The</strong><br />

birth <strong>of</strong> Richard Stratton (1970)', comes soon<br />

after' American media begin to write about<br />

Anorexia Nervosa, and the birth <strong>of</strong> Barbie (1959), .<br />

All work by Richard Stratton<br />

Right: 200 to 1 Teapot, 2009<br />

Below: Old Sins Cast Long Shadows exhibition installation<br />

2009 Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland<br />

THE 10URNAl OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong> 29

Focu s: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

----------------------<br />

Richard Stratton's studio<br />

'Bakelite handles first used on teapots and other domestic ware (1922)' makes its appearance, as does<br />

'Stratton and Scott attend antenatal classes (2003)'.<br />

<strong>The</strong> prompts for Stratton's creations are inevitably social, however his most recent work pursues a<br />

rather different track to his previous mining <strong>of</strong> personal history. His exhibition Structures <strong>of</strong> Stricture<br />

(2012) was inspired by the recent controversial sale <strong>of</strong> 16 New Zealand dairy farms to a Chinese<br />

company. This became the basis for a fantastical trawl through a particular lineage <strong>of</strong> ceramic design,<br />

starting in China and finishing in New Zealand - by way <strong>of</strong> Staffordshire and Dresden.<br />

Stratton has long admired the fusions <strong>of</strong> Chinese and Greco-Roman techniques created by the<br />

influential eighteenth-century potter Thomas Whieldon. His interest in the immigrants who established<br />

pioneering commercial potteries in Southern Otago was piqued when he discovered they were<br />

Staffordshire-trained and hence steeped in the application <strong>of</strong> Chinese-derived technique pioneered<br />

by Whieldon. Stratton 's fascination with the way in which trade and exchange throws up sometimes<br />

surprising configurations is fuelled by utilitarian objects manufadured in early New Zealand industrial<br />

potteries that bear Whieldon's tortoise-shell and polychrome glazes. Today, as Stratton ruefully observes,<br />

local domestic ware is imported diredly from China.<br />

Structures <strong>of</strong> Stricture included large-scale monochrome vases, small Yixing-inspired, lustrously<br />

glazed teapots, and large teapots sporting agateware spouts and handles attached to bodies cast from<br />

an antique local gatepost. Displayed within a large glass vitrine, this line-up <strong>of</strong> the rare and curiously<br />

conjoined looked like floating inhabitants <strong>of</strong> an exotic aquarium.<br />

While the recent works mark something <strong>of</strong> a departure from the 'personal-is-political' ethos that has<br />

governed most <strong>of</strong> Stratton's work to date, these pots also introduce a new ornamental strategy. Typically,<br />

the elaborate shapes <strong>of</strong> Stratton's earlier pots were heavily inscribed with drawn and painted decoration<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> Structures <strong>of</strong> Stricture pieces, by contrast,<br />

are fairly simple forms, encased in a remarkable<br />

new form <strong>of</strong> fragile 'scaffolded decoration'.<br />

This largely monochrome prosthetic-to-the-pot<br />

reflects another aspect <strong>of</strong> Stratton's excavation<br />

<strong>of</strong> Chinese influence, in particular one <strong>of</strong> his<br />

own earliest ceramic influences. As a child he<br />

was entranced by a 'Mud Man' miniature <strong>of</strong> a<br />

riverside bamboo shack on stilts that lived in his<br />

Grandmother's Dunedin house. Relocated along<br />

with a few other ornaments to his Wellington<br />

studio, this tiny ceramic hut was an invitation to<br />

explore a more three-dimensional approach to<br />

applying narrative information.<br />

As Stratton appears to burrow deeper into<br />

his preoccupations with the convoluted social<br />

and political origins <strong>of</strong> domestic ceramic form,<br />

it is interesting to speculate on his links with<br />

fellow travellers. One may be American West<br />

Coast artist Adrian Saxe, whose work critic Peter<br />

Schjeldahl describes as being "packed with<br />

insight about the predicament <strong>of</strong> decorative<br />

handcraft in the late twentieth century". like<br />

Saxe, Stratton is an active participant in an<br />

international revision <strong>of</strong> what - in art terms -<br />

has been much maligned: the significance <strong>of</strong> the<br />

decorative.<br />

www.annamilesgallery.com<br />

All work by Richard Stratton<br />

Whieldon Reading, 2012, cream ware, thrown, handbuilt<br />

additions, lead glaze. h.1Scm, w.17 .scm, d.14cm<br />

Wellington Whieldon, 2012. cream ware, thrown.<br />

handbuil1 additions, lead glaze, h.13cm, w.18cm, d.13cm<br />

Agate Tea Chest, 2012, stoneware, pressmoulded agate<br />

clays, handbuilt additions, lead glaze, overglaze, h.27.5cm<br />

w.23cm, d. t Bem<br />

Photos: Samuel Hartnett, courtesy <strong>of</strong> the artist and<br />

Anna Miles Gallery<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

2001 Prem ier Award: Tony Bond<br />

Of Portage and the State <strong>of</strong><br />

Things Across the Ditch<br />

Moyra Elliott considers the state <strong>of</strong> ceramics in New Zealand through the lens <strong>of</strong><br />

their principal annual exhibition<br />

Oh the days <strong>of</strong> wine and roses that flourished with '<strong>The</strong> Fletcher'. At its height, through the '90s,<br />

ceramics enjoyed an annual brawny boost to pr<strong>of</strong>ile and stimulation that infused the entire sector. <strong>The</strong><br />

economic and conceptual impetus <strong>of</strong>fered by the Fletcher's presence buoyed what could otherwise<br />

be recognised as a foundering sector; its presence largely disguised that ceramics was faltering and<br />

flattening due to withering educational programs along w ith wilting critical and curatorial interest.<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

--------<br />

2005 Premier Award: Merilyn Wiseman. Arctic Rim, earthenware, h.43cm, w.11Ocm. d.27cm<br />

Judge: Robert Bell<br />

Artist's statement extract: <strong>The</strong> naming <strong>of</strong> a work brings its difficulties, as do too many words <strong>of</strong><br />

explanation ... , prefer to allow the work to speak for itself. <strong>The</strong> Utle is intended to act as a<br />

trigger to activate dialogue.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Fletcher Challenge <strong>Ceramics</strong> Award's demise in 1998 presented a gap that was difficult to fill as<br />

it became clear that more than a competition was in peril. By then there were many other competitions,<br />

although none carried the same cachet or the rewards. <strong>The</strong> real void comprised withdrawals <strong>of</strong> a<br />

variety <strong>of</strong> specialist retail venues that steadily changed focus or closed doors from the late 1980s as<br />

progressively lifted import restrictions allowed in competitive ceramics. A corollary to this meant one<br />

after another tertiary programs removed ceramics from their <strong>of</strong>ferings as students turned to what<br />

seemed more rewarding courses in the shrinking retail and exhibiting environment. When courses were<br />

retained they went under the heading <strong>of</strong> Visual Arts and were part <strong>of</strong> a wider, more generalised arts<br />

program that might include clay, but only under a fine arts rubric and with no cognisance to ceramics'<br />

particular and rich histories.<br />

<strong>The</strong> vacuum has been partially filled by Distance Learning Courses <strong>of</strong>fered via local pottery societies<br />

that resource from Otago Polytechnic. <strong>The</strong>se courses <strong>of</strong>fer a certificate and a diploma but no degree<br />

qualification. Results vary enormously, depending on who can be found to teach in the region, but it's a<br />

chalk and cheese affair when compared with a well-resourced tertiary program.<br />

When Garth Clark was in New Zealand in 2006, he talked about how, in America, ceramics had<br />

settled into two layers. One was essentially taken up by major public and white cube galleries while<br />

the other operated at local and regional level and was active in craft fairs and direct sales <strong>of</strong> various<br />

kinds. What had been in between, the specialist craft gallery and regionally focussed publicly funded<br />

institutions where craft media work was exhibited as such, had for the most part departed from that<br />

purpose or disappeared. <strong>The</strong> first category was small and particular, while the second was still large and<br />

active, but aging.<br />

While Clark's somewhat sweeping generalisations seemed a tad extreme at the time, I have since<br />

realised that much the same has happened here, albeit in our own small way with our own small<br />

community. <strong>The</strong>re are a few whose work has been taken up by white cube spaces who enjoy what<br />

such venues can <strong>of</strong>fer and comply with what such venues expect. Most have no regular gallery and<br />


the solutions found to display and reta il work are<br />

varied. <strong>The</strong>re remains a '!Weens' group <strong>of</strong> established<br />

artists who have stayed with what endures <strong>of</strong><br />

quality craft media venues, have regular shows,<br />

albeit <strong>of</strong> work that changes little, and retain a<br />

loyal following. Economically they probably<br />

do best. Dired retailing by the artist, via<br />

co-operative strudures or craft fairs has<br />

largely disappeared, although vestigial rural<br />

gate-sales remain. Compared with the<br />

buoyant, import restriction-protected<br />

scene that thrived until the 1980s,<br />

the culture <strong>of</strong> interest is bleak and<br />

unfruitful.<br />

At the beginning <strong>of</strong> the<br />

new millennium, into this<br />

arid scene stepped a new<br />

competition intended to<br />

address the desiccation.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Portage <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Award is managed by Lopdell House Gallery which is sited in a hilly, half-hour-from-town western<br />

su burb. <strong>The</strong> gallery had gained sponsorship from a regional liquor management authority, the Portage<br />

Licensing Trust. <strong>The</strong> sponsorship is dependent on that Trust being retained by local voters every time the<br />

issue comes up for public polling, <strong>The</strong> Portage Trust, for western Auckland City, is one <strong>of</strong> few remaining<br />

in the coun try; and herein lays the Achilles heel. Long-term planning by any recipient is impossible as<br />

Trusts disappear as soon as locals decide that getting cheaper alcohol at their supermarket is more<br />

TOp: 2006 Premier Award: Peter lange<br />

Left: 2007 Premier Award: DeAnne Lawford-Smith<br />

Keeping Quiet, h.67cm, w.4Scm, d.13cm<br />

Heart <strong>of</strong> Glass, h. 71cm, w.4Sem, d.13cm<br />

white clay, glass, BRT<br />

Judge: Jeff Shapiro, USA<br />

Artist's statement extract: "Ideas for my sculptures<br />

come from ancient clay and stone fertility<br />

figures. While the exterior form ;s static, I like<br />

to give a sense <strong>of</strong> an inner dimension and<br />

personality. <strong>The</strong> textures and colours aflude to<br />

the thermal and volcanic nature <strong>of</strong> the central<br />

plateau . .. N<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

2008 Premier Award: Matt Mclean<br />

Sca led Heights. mixed day. h.l6Ocm<br />


2009 Premier Award (awarded iointly to Jim Cooper and Philip JarvisIMadeleine Child). Philip Jarvis/Madeleine Child.<br />

Doodads & Doodahs and Widespread Occurrence <strong>of</strong> Possible Symbioses, stoneware, sponge, paint. rubber, glass, metal,<br />

wire. h.32cm. w.12Ocm. d.5Ocm; Judge: Scott Chamberlin. USA<br />

Artists' statement extract: "<strong>The</strong>re are recurring themes about things that come with their own funniness, such as<br />

popcorn, polyps, grey matter or vegetable sheep. <strong>The</strong>y <strong>of</strong>fer some sort <strong>of</strong> organic fecundity that ;s right for clay<br />

because it is mostly poked and pushed or grabbed and squeezed ... "<br />

<strong>The</strong> choice <strong>of</strong> juror is naturally ripe for scrutiny. It has always been someone with a ceramics<br />

background. usually currently practising or sometimes moved across to another role such as curatorial.<br />

<strong>The</strong> basic premise is that they bring little or no knowledge <strong>of</strong> New Zealand work to the task. However.<br />

as most jurors stem from Australia. this is difficult. although some have displayed more familiarity than<br />

others.<br />

It's when the juror is a studio-based practitioner that most controversial decisions have been made.<br />

Exceptionally accomplished makers can be so attuned to their own criteria they demonstrate a lack<br />

<strong>of</strong> sentience to the wider field. It has mainly been the theorists and teachers who make the most<br />

informed choices. <strong>The</strong>y can read historical allusions. and recognise contemporary theory, current trends,<br />

and precedents within the genre. <strong>The</strong>y understand when supreme technique is involved and whether<br />

this work presents new thinking, something in-the-style-<strong>of</strong>, or is simply plagiaristic <strong>of</strong> something from<br />

somewhere else . Accepted is that total originality is extremely rare and probably would not first appear<br />

in a competition situation.<br />

Most jurors have complied with the standard 'one pot shot' nature <strong>of</strong> ceramics competitions. <strong>The</strong><br />

shows have generally been displays <strong>of</strong> otherwise unconnected works, as are most competition shows.<br />


2011 Premier Award: Bridie Henderson, Feathers, porcelain, American white oak, LEOs, h.84cm, w.66cm, d.14cm<br />

Judge: Janet Mansfield<br />

Artist's statement extract: #My journey with ceramics is evolving and I have a pr<strong>of</strong>ound connection with clay. ... <strong>The</strong>se<br />

works were inspired by the ancient use <strong>of</strong> feathers as ornaments ... My present Diploma in <strong>Ceramics</strong> study through<br />

Otago Polytechnic has opened my eyes to the endless possibilities <strong>of</strong> ceramics. #<br />

However, constructing the exhibition has engaged some as primary focus, possibly more than deciding<br />

winners. Two departures from bog-standard have occurred recently, both controversial but both<br />

enlivened an otherwise predictable display format. Interestingly, neither <strong>of</strong> these arbiters derived from<br />

Australia but both are fully engaged in teaching. <strong>The</strong> concern <strong>of</strong> the most recent juror, Paul Scott (from<br />

the UK), was curation . His method was to make his selection <strong>of</strong> outstanding submissions and then build<br />

a show around those from the other entries. This curatorial jurisdictive approach has some similarities<br />

with 2009 when Scott Chamberlin (from the USA) also chose his exceptional works, then (and here lies<br />

the difference) the selected artists were asked for other works to be directly added to the exhibition; the<br />

notion being to contextualise the competition work. But this variation was somewhat ineffective as few<br />

had extra work in reserve.<br />

Both jurors' strategies were aimed at avoiding the obvious lack <strong>of</strong> relationship between the diverse<br />

works on display. That there were differing opinions on both Chamberlin's and Scott's processes is<br />

unsurprising, but for this viewer, a change in curatorial strategy is a pleasurable trail to follow. Instead <strong>of</strong><br />

viewing each work individually and in isolation, relying on imagination, historical knowledge or memory<br />

to <strong>of</strong>fer context, both exhibitions <strong>of</strong>fered alternative itineraries, where the viewer might frame the<br />

exhibits by its neighbours.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Portage catalogue's current format is quite lavish. While conservative in design, this isn't<br />

inappropriate for the only consistent documentation <strong>of</strong> 21 st century ceramics practice in New Zealand.<br />

<strong>The</strong> commissioned essay was a great addition from the beginning and continues with a different view<br />

around some aspect <strong>of</strong> our small ceramic world each time. <strong>The</strong> voices, and the opinions, change each<br />

year - some have proved more readable and valuable than others - rambling, pertinent, obscure,<br />

challenging, quizzical, or excessively academic have all evidenced at different times and that matters<br />

little because collectively, they provide another useful resource toward figuring out what is unique about<br />

our own ceramic culture.<br />

Similarly, the catalogue in general records where changes in practice have occurred. Currently, the<br />

place <strong>of</strong> seriality, assemblage, mixed media and multiples in wider art production is reflected more than<br />

ever before. Sometimes it can be a very slight notion, even a well-worn one, gathered in strength via<br />

repetition <strong>of</strong> elements or the now familiar still life groups. Sometimes it illustrates an exploration around<br />


Fo cus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

a decorative concept; occasionally it manifests as a small installation <strong>of</strong> a number <strong>of</strong> works that perfectly<br />

illuminates an era or an attitude. Just sixteen <strong>of</strong> forty-three exhibits were single works in the most recent<br />

show.<br />

Prize-money is now $15,000 plus $6000 for distribution as the juror sees fit, but alongside that is the<br />

elimination <strong>of</strong> the Waitakere resident prize - its annual redistribution between the same two or three<br />

artists served no useful purpose. <strong>The</strong>re is now the addition <strong>of</strong> a residency at Guldagergaard in Denmark<br />

for an artist chosen by the judge, which will prove more valuable in the longer run.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Portage serves as a reflection <strong>of</strong> the state <strong>of</strong> things ceramic in New Zealand/Aotea roa . Neither can<br />

be termed robust in every sense but have their assets, alongside what is yet to ripen. May both flourish<br />

in the future.<br />

Moyra Elliott is currently a writer and curator, She is working on a second book on the history<br />

<strong>of</strong> studio ceramics in New Zealand, beginning where the f irst left <strong>of</strong>f in 1980. Her blog is<br />

http:// conetenanddescending.wordpress,com<br />

Photos: courtesy Lopdell House Gallery<br />

2012 Premier Award: Jim Cooper, M illbrook Holiday (the league for spiritual<br />

discoveryJ, stoneware, paper backdrop, h.170cm, w.200cm, d.l OOcm<br />

Judge: Paul Scott, UK<br />

Artist's statement extract: "Someone said 'it is lies that life is black and white'<br />

with the realisation that in fact the greatest truths lay in the distance<br />

between (if one can endure the discomfortJ ... Millbrook holiday (the league<br />

for spiritual discovery) has its foundations in Dr Tim's proposal that Psilocybin<br />

and LSD could unravel that which we have created ... ..<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

What Makes Me Do It?<br />

Jim Cooper writes about the ideas behind the imagery<br />

LSD was the finger that pulled the tear-tab from that well-shaken can <strong>of</strong> pop that was the mid- to late-<br />

1960s. <strong>The</strong> resultant uncontrollable gush <strong>of</strong> effervescence seeped into all corners <strong>of</strong> the mundane and<br />

proved surprisingly indelible through successive decades. While constantly referred to as experimental<br />

in arts and cultural reform, it would be foolish to suggest that Timothy Leary and his team <strong>of</strong> graduate<br />

devotees from the Harvard Temple <strong>of</strong> Higher Thought Single-handedly blew the trumpets to herald the<br />

new - but they were a large part <strong>of</strong> a unified global consortium that did, and among the finest minds <strong>of</strong><br />

my generation.<br />

<strong>The</strong> dictum from the heavens, at this time <strong>of</strong> transition, exposed polarities and suggested urgency to<br />

an unprepared, self-indulgent generation <strong>of</strong> baby-boomers whose reludance to accept the perceived<br />

emptiness and material focus <strong>of</strong> their generations' inheritance from their forefathers was loudly<br />

expressed, and suggested that, for some, a more sustaining alternative should be found. I must add that<br />

it was a hard-grafted inheritance, one that had seen two world wars and global economic depression.<br />

Jim Cooper, <strong>The</strong> Last Record Cover, installation at the Taiwan <strong>Ceramics</strong> Biennale, 2010<br />

Taipei County Yingge <strong>Ceramics</strong> Museum

Focus : New Zeala nd <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

This image shows Jim Cooper working at the 2010 Taiwan<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> Biennale (TCS) at Taipei County Yingge <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Museum. Cooper was one <strong>of</strong> three artists invited by Moyra<br />

Elliott, curator <strong>of</strong> the TCB, to take up residence in the<br />

museum and create works for the show. Jim Cooper's<br />

installation (see left) was composed <strong>of</strong> more than 1000<br />

individual pieces.<br />

<strong>The</strong> wonder, naivety and <strong>of</strong>ten selfishness <strong>of</strong> this time, that history showed was short-lived, allowed<br />

expression <strong>of</strong> an unguarded vulnerability and, to its adherents, an indifference to judgement and<br />

alienation from 'them' - the others. This assuredness came from the convinced and the convicted<br />

rendering condemnation powerless. This, in turn, contributed to an increasing generational breach, at<br />

times beyond comprehension or reconciliation.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n here, in this separateness - the day-glow other - acid achieved the status <strong>of</strong> holy host - t he<br />

lysergic supplement.<br />

Guru Doctor Timothy Leary's guide book to the psychedelic experience ran obvious parallels to the<br />

Tibetan Book <strong>of</strong> the Dead and influenced John Lennon's 'Tomorrow Never Knows', and all this while<br />

the Beatles were elevated by the said Doctor Tim to the exalted position <strong>of</strong> avatars.<br />

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ... the Harvard Temple devotee Baba Ram Das, upon returning from<br />

India, the new Holy Land, presented a chemical-free route to Being Here <strong>No</strong>w' . Pink Floyd, Jimi<br />

Hendrix and numerous others consulted and quoted the I-Ching and Bhagavad Gita while middle-class<br />

white kids ingested a potpourri <strong>of</strong> eastern cosmology, psychedelic drugs and music for breakfast, lunch<br />

and dinner.<br />

Dark clouds gat hered, circled, intensified and became darker. <strong>The</strong> deaths <strong>of</strong> Kennedy and Martin<br />

Luther King Jnr, live action replays from Vietnam, drugs, money and media exploitation and life's grim,<br />

harsh realities, corroded the essential core <strong>of</strong> an undefinable philosophical desire to change the world<br />

via mind expansion and corrupted the ideals <strong>of</strong> many who t ried to survive within such an ethereal<br />

structure.<br />


- --- - ------<br />

Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Jim Cooper, It's all too beautiful, 2009, Auckland Art Fair, approx. 85 pieces<br />

Photo: courtesy Whitespace Contemporary Art. Auckland<br />

I realise others have summed up the deluge that was the demise <strong>of</strong> that extended summer <strong>of</strong> love<br />

with a quote from WB Yeats' poem, <strong>The</strong> Second Coming yet it is so strangely appropriate to say, 'the<br />

ceremony <strong>of</strong> innocence is drowned'. By the time Charles Manson had taken things into his own hands,<br />

the dream had vanished. <strong>No</strong> more young girls were coming to Laurel Canyon.<br />

<strong>The</strong> dream still exists in that beam <strong>of</strong> light that extends out into the ether. <strong>The</strong>re is a bit marked 1967<br />

to 1969. It is this sliver <strong>of</strong> history that articulates my work. I choose not to deal too much with that<br />

which is real; I prefer the myth. Always have. <strong>The</strong> real world <strong>of</strong>fers little refuge for the things I want to<br />

explore. In the myth there is this driving desire for communion with God. <strong>No</strong>t the Anglo-American God<br />

who made the universe, but the other one; the God that is the universe - that enormous swirling sea<br />

<strong>of</strong> consciousness and planets. I am not suggesting that a blotting paper ticket-to-ride got anyone there,<br />

but perhaps, for some, it was the catalyst for the question. Others consulted oracles, sought insights via<br />

astrology, studied yoga and got together to discuss revelations both pr<strong>of</strong>ound and ordinary, posed for<br />

photos in fields <strong>of</strong> flowers, talked with animals and the animals replied, or pursued the exotic in modes<br />

<strong>of</strong> dress and appearance.<br />

It is important to me that I can feel there is an honesty in the making and the conception, an attitude<br />

that renders me both modernist and dinosaurian. I'm OK w ith that. I don't want the work to be clever<br />

either. I do this for me.<br />

1 Published by Three Rivers. an imprint <strong>of</strong> Random House<br />


All work by l im Cooper<br />

Top: Sgt p, 2007,168 pieces; photo: courtesy Whitesp.:!ce Contemporary Art, Auckland<br />

Bottom, from left to right: Beatie, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, (details from 5gt P.)<br />

Jim Cooper is an artist and teacher, He is currently on a residency in Hualien on the east coast<br />

<strong>of</strong> Taiwan as ground-breaker with the Taiwan Land Development Corps,<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Aaron Scythe<br />

What I make I feel comes from me ...<br />

When you look around at everything<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is beautiful design everywhere<br />

Yet it is made in a factary, <strong>of</strong>ten without thoughts <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>No</strong>thing left <strong>of</strong> the human soul<br />

Completely dehumanised soulless beauty<br />

Like talking to a wall waiting for an answer ... nothing<br />

Yes, what I make I feel comes from me ...<br />

Designed yet <strong>of</strong>ten not thought out<br />

Fingerprints, imperfect forms, distortion, soul<br />

A human expression ...<br />

You.<br />

Aaron Scythe throwing bowl<br />

http://tinyurl.comlb2gsnwb<br />

Aaron Scythe WorkShop<br />

@ kyouej-gama<br />

http://tinyurJ.comlaJb5ynm<br />

Aaron Scythe, Kete. 20 13<br />

Photo: courtesy Form Gallery<br />

Chr~tchurch<br />

W'NW.aaronscythe.com<br />


Focus: New Zealand Cerami cs<br />

Mother Matrix<br />

David Eggleton considers the works <strong>of</strong> Christine Boswijk<br />

Christine Boswijk's ceramic works are at once so earthy and energetic, so visceral and larval, that they<br />

almost seem to bristle under your gaze, as if they have only paused here on their way to another state<br />

<strong>of</strong> being. It's as if she is a sorcerer <strong>of</strong> shape and form, combining metaphors for organic cycles <strong>of</strong> life<br />

with grand myths <strong>of</strong> the self, <strong>of</strong> the human.<br />

Currently one <strong>of</strong> New Zealand's most significant workers in clay, Boswijk lives with her family in the<br />

province <strong>of</strong> Nelson (at the top <strong>of</strong> the South Island) on a peninsula <strong>of</strong> land that overlooks the Mapua<br />

Estuary. Here, she is inspired by tidal movements across the sheen <strong>of</strong> the mudflats - the passivity <strong>of</strong> the<br />

water as it slithers in and out, the mountain ranges nearby, her garden, the native bush, and the climate<br />

- Nelson's sunshine makes it a horticultural paradise similar to Tasmania.<br />

Deriving a potent iconography <strong>of</strong> the earth from her location, Boswijk has moved over the past<br />

decade or so from being known for her brightly glazed domestic ware, big handbuilt spherical pots and<br />

biomorphic vessels (ultra-wide shallow dishes, very deep bowls, conical vases wit h buckled, wrinkled<br />

and scarified surfaces) to resonant sculptures - ritualistic objects summoning up fears, dreams, awe, the<br />

collective unconscious.<br />

Philosophically, Boswijk's work <strong>of</strong>fers a collage <strong>of</strong> ideas that have remained constant since she first<br />

came to notice as an important potter in the mid-'80s. She's an eco-feminist, representative <strong>of</strong> the<br />

greenie tradition <strong>of</strong> sustainable living, who, using clay as mother matrix, a 'first material' from which<br />

all else springs, has sculpted objects that are fertility objects in shape - seed, pod, husk, bud, womb,<br />

Christine Boswijk, Fact, (detail), Fact Faith and Fiction exhibition, 2003, timber posts, black paint, h.12Ocm<br />

Suter Art Gallery, Nelson

Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

----------<br />

Below: Christine Boswijk, Totems fo r a<br />

Vineyard (thirteen promises), 2004, black clay,<br />

wood, steel. lead, various dimensions<br />

Photo: Elspeth Collier, courtesy RH Galle",<br />

Left: detail<br />

chrysalis - and are equally evocative in their surfaces: her glazes can evoke the sensation <strong>of</strong> looking<br />

through a flowing current <strong>of</strong> water to the riverbed .<br />

But her major installation at the Suter Gallery Te Aratoi 0 Whakatu in Nelson in 200 1 revealed that<br />

she is an artist in essence more non-denominationally humanist than prescriptively feminist. Unfolding<br />

a personal narrative, which drew on a legacy <strong>of</strong> physical injuries as well as a concern with the mystical<br />

and spiritual that dates back to her childhood as the daughter <strong>of</strong> an itinerant Methodist minister, this<br />

installation, with its cabbalistic atmosphere, <strong>of</strong>fered measured, elegiac acknowledgement <strong>of</strong> loss, human<br />

fragility and grief. Its theme, in essence, was metaphysical, asking the question, what is it to be human?<br />

Bringing together the weight <strong>of</strong> wharf timbers, the sparkly black <strong>of</strong> iron-sand, the materiality <strong>of</strong> copper<br />

and lead as well as clay, Boswijk created votive forms resembling the human figure that would not have<br />

been out <strong>of</strong> place in a forbidding temple.<br />

Elsewhere, her ceramic pieces have emerged from the kiln ruptured and split and then been exhibited<br />

to acclaim: fissured objects whose stigmata <strong>of</strong> ruin, rips and vents embody a kind <strong>of</strong> purification like

Christine B05Wijk, Specimen Jar, 2008, white clay, Perspex, steel.<br />

wheels, vodka, h.195cm, w.78cm<br />

Photos: Elspeth Collier, courtesy RH Gallery<br />

Christine Boswijk, Signals <strong>of</strong> Aotearoa<br />

(Group <strong>of</strong> Five), 2012, white clay, steel base<br />

with pin, each approx. h.61cm, w.12cm<br />

that <strong>of</strong> the scourged flesh <strong>of</strong> Christian martyrs. Boswijk has mixed crushed glass, pine needles, paper<br />

and gravel into her slurries. <strong>The</strong> melted glass allows the light to pass through, while the pine needles<br />

and paper burn away to leave random vents and cracks.<br />

Light in Boswijk's work is given sacramental status. Totems for a Vineyard (2007), a large sculpture<br />

commissioned by the Woollaston Estates Winery Gust outside <strong>of</strong> Nelson city) consists <strong>of</strong> a grouping or<br />

grove <strong>of</strong> freestanding forms which seem placed so as to celebrate the light, the life-giving sun. Thirteen<br />

logs, salvaged from blue-gum trees cut down elsewhere on the winery are sky-pointing plinths topped<br />

with collars <strong>of</strong> steel. On each rests a giant black clay egg or pod, grooved with an unCOiling spiral. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

bulbous hieratic forms are a kind <strong>of</strong> earth-work ra ised on high, acting as a focal point for meditations<br />

on New Zea land 's once-primeval landscape - its ferns, birds and chthonic forces - while the grove <strong>of</strong><br />

silhouettes suggest archaic worshippers.<br />

Another sculptural work, Specimen Jar (2009), commissioned by art-collector Glen Schaeffer,<br />

continues a thematic preoccupation with primal life-forms, represented by ceramic objects - which have<br />

been boxed-in or framed by industrial materials. In the past, Boswijk has spoken <strong>of</strong> an interest in the<br />

symbolic way the ancient Egyptians and other cultures practising mummification and embalming would<br />

store hearts and lungs in covered jars. Here, the outsize white ceramic pods, resembling the seeds <strong>of</strong> a<br />

lotus flower, are placed in a transparent vat (a large laboratory jar) on wheels. This jar has a double layer<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Christine Boswijk. Series I, 2010, triptych. polystyrene. fibreglass, oil stid:, wax, various dimensions<br />

Before Words exhibition; photo: Elspeth Collier, courtesy RH Gallery<br />

<strong>of</strong> Perspex, the middle <strong>of</strong> which has been filled with 22 bottles <strong>of</strong> vodka to create the illusion that the<br />

ceramic pods are floating inside the jar.<br />

<strong>The</strong> arc <strong>of</strong> Boswijk's practice, then, establishes an unbroken continuity <strong>of</strong> thematic concerns or<br />

obsessions, but she is always challenging herself to find fresh and innovative ways to present or<br />

investigate them, not programmatically but intuitively. At the centre is always clay as an articulate plastic<br />

substance, but frequently amalgamated with or contrasted against other metaphor-inducing materials.<br />

A five-part 2010 installation, Before Words, at the RH Gallery, <strong>of</strong>fered an extraordinary set <strong>of</strong><br />

sculptures whose roots were in Boswijk's beginnings in Nelson (then possibly New Zealand's potting<br />

capital) in the '70s as a potter drawn to t raditional European craftwork - to old French and Dutch<br />

ceramics and to artisan pottery that valued functional expressiveness. Before Words though, marked<br />

a new departure in its emphasis on scraping back to minimalist geometries, to a clarity <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>ile and<br />

tonality, with the chosen motifs or glyphs s<strong>of</strong>tened by the incorporation <strong>of</strong> bulging rounded contours or<br />

intense, dynamic colours.<br />

Before Words was an heraldic ode to European medieval emblems, to early Russian Modernism<br />

and also to the continuity <strong>of</strong> ancient relics, which, in a way, are still being worn and used vitally in the<br />

form <strong>of</strong> jewellery - necklaces and earrings as well as gilded religious medals and amulets. <strong>The</strong> risendough<br />

effect <strong>of</strong> these cross-shapes or circle-shapes made them intensely haptic, especially when waxed<br />


Christine Boswijk, Series 11, 2010, Multiplication, clay (terracotta, white, black), each, h.S3cm, w.53cm, d.11cm<br />

Series VI, 2010. Pod. fihreglass. binder twine. bitulustre. lacquer, w .68cm<br />

Ph010: Elspeth Collier, courtesy RH Gallery<br />

smooth or gilded. <strong>The</strong> collection <strong>of</strong> culturally-loaded shapes was intended to be wall-hung in a rather<br />

small exhibition space, but some, turning out too heavy, became floor works in a flowing moment <strong>of</strong><br />

responsive improvisation which might be said to characterise this ever-alert artist.<br />

And curiously, though perhaps inevitably too, given Boswijk's characteristic panoptic range and wide<br />

knowledge <strong>of</strong> art history, the series groupings, with their mingling <strong>of</strong> high and low cultural registers,<br />

also evoked the American Funk ceramic scene and Pop Art <strong>of</strong> (Iaes Oldenburg and others. For Boswijk,<br />

the semi-precious stones pressed into the wall <strong>of</strong> a Byzantine grotto in an East European cathedral are<br />

as much grist to the mill <strong>of</strong> her visual imagination as the plant life <strong>of</strong> the New Zealand rainforest, the<br />

waterspouts coming in over the sea, and the prismatic light on the snow <strong>of</strong> mountains in winter.<br />

David Eggleton lives in Dunedin New Zealand, where he is a poet, writer and arts journalist<br />

whose articles, reviews, pr<strong>of</strong>iles and essays have appeared in the Listener, Art New Zealand,<br />

New Zealand Books, Art News, Architecture New Zealand, Urbis, Landfall and many other<br />

publications. His books include Towards Aotearoa: A Short History <strong>of</strong> Twentieth Century New<br />

Zealand Art, (Reed Publishing/Raupo Books, 2007).<br />

www.christineboswijkworkshop.co.nz<br />


Chester gives firing partner Susie McMeekin instructions for the next shift, 2006; photo: Ge<strong>of</strong>f Amble<br />

Chester Nealie Woodfire Potter<br />

A world <strong>of</strong> his making by Jan Irvine-Nealie<br />

Something drives Chester Nealie in his pu rsuit <strong>of</strong> ceramic excellence - drives with singular focus and<br />

determination through months <strong>of</strong> making pots, the rigours <strong>of</strong> preparing tonnes <strong>of</strong> wood and the long<br />

hours <strong>of</strong> firing to bring his pots through the metamorphosis he has chosen for them.<br />

This drive underpins his achievement as a woodfire potter and explains his dedication to the aesthetic<br />

he pursues in his work - the aesthetic that both rewards and fuels his ongoing practice.<br />

Watching Nealie at work - adjusting wheelthrown pots or unloading his kiln post-firing - it's clear<br />

that he has an instinct for what he wants and doesn't want, whilst remaining mindful <strong>of</strong> what he might<br />

come to understand. This forms a direction from and for his work and comes from the accumulation<br />

over years <strong>of</strong> preference, experience and response to results.<br />

Embedded in this awareness is his working knowledge <strong>of</strong> chemistry, <strong>of</strong> cause and effect and <strong>of</strong><br />

interrelatedness during process, understood through a knowledge <strong>of</strong> physics. <strong>The</strong>se science disciplines<br />

have informed his experimental and spontaneous approach to making and firing from the beginning,<br />

allowing him to analyse, interpret and plough that understanding back into his practice.<br />


Focus: New Zealand Ce ra mics<br />

Nealie's working life began in Auckland, New Zealand, as a teacher <strong>of</strong> chemistry, maths and physics in<br />

the early 1960s. While studying at Auckland Secondary Teachers College he was distracted by a potters<br />

wheel. Later, teaching at Westlake Boys High, he built a diesel-fired stoneware kiln and taught night<br />

classes. At Glenfield College he established a ceram ics department, building and firing another dieselfired<br />

stoneware kiln. Later, as ceramics lecturer at <strong>No</strong>rth Shore Teachers College, he initiated a ceramics<br />

course for trainee teachers, using a similar kiln.<br />

Pottery became a passion and led him away from his trained area <strong>of</strong> teaching into a life chasing<br />

his own personal aesthetic. This direction brought together his instinctive love <strong>of</strong> nature and natural<br />

surfaces, his awareness <strong>of</strong> ancient and antique objects and his knowledge <strong>of</strong> chemistry, physics and<br />

geology.<br />

His aesthetic and technical development were greatly informed by studying collections <strong>of</strong> ceramics<br />

and ethnic objects at the Auckland Museum, some <strong>of</strong> which had been collected by his grandfather,<br />

Sijvard Jacob Dannefaerd. He continues to study collections around the world.<br />

Born in 1942 in Rotorua, New Zealand, Nealie lived his first fif1y years in and around Auckland .<br />

Surrounded in his childhood by objects collected by his grandfather, he absorbed shapes and surfaces<br />

from different cultures and developed a respect for ethnic ways <strong>of</strong> life and cultural objects. He formed<br />

a life-long interest in complex surfaces, natural and handmade, <strong>of</strong>ten burnished w it h time and use.<br />

He delighted in studying the accumulated evidence in objects that told <strong>of</strong> their making and cultural<br />

purpose.<br />

As a boy, Nealie was 'taken on' by his<br />

retired neighbour, Mr Baxter, who taught<br />

him the care and use <strong>of</strong> tools, the skills<br />

and techniques <strong>of</strong> fishing, and the sacred<br />

art <strong>of</strong> smoking fish - his first lessons in<br />

reduction firing.<br />

Chester Nealie firing the anagama kiln<br />

he built in 1977 at South Kaipara Head<br />

New Zealand; photo: Steve Rumsey<br />


Focus: New Zealan d <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

------<br />

Baxter's 'old world' knowledge laid the foundation for much <strong>of</strong> Nealie's confidence in making and<br />

building. A comprehensive vocabulary <strong>of</strong> skills and a firm belief in traditional crafts equipped him<br />

with the fundamentals to make what he needed. Over time this has included three distinctive homes,<br />

numerous outbuildings and hundreds <strong>of</strong> kilns.<br />

In his university years, Nealie became interested in paintings. He studied the European classics in<br />

his grandfather's art books. In his university library he discovered a whole new visual language which<br />

sparked a great interest in New Zealand painters, especially Colin McCahon and Ralph Hotere.<br />

In his early years as a potter, his involvement with the Auckland Studio Potters was vital to him,<br />

bringing the camaraderie and shared experience <strong>of</strong> working with others, particularly Len Castle and<br />

Peter Stitchbury.<br />

From the 1960s to the 'SOs Nealie joined with colleagues to develop pottery opportunities in New<br />

Zealand. He was active on committees for the Auckland Studio Potters (including time as President) and<br />

the New Zealand Society <strong>of</strong> Potters, teaching and exhibiting with both organisations. In this way he met<br />

overseas potters invited to New Zealand. Interactions with Shoji Hamada and Takechi Kawai from Japan,<br />

Michael Cardew from England, Paul Soldner and Don Reitz from the USA, and Col Levy from Australia,<br />

were <strong>of</strong> particular influence.<br />

In 1976, Nealie lectured at the World Craft Conference in Kyoto, Japan, where he was introduced<br />

to the Japanese aesthetic <strong>of</strong> woodfiring which resonated deeply with him. On seeing Japanese kilns,<br />

Chester Nealie, firebox bottie fired at South Kaipara Head,<br />

1990, h.27cm; photo: Ge<strong>of</strong>f Ambler<br />

Chester Nealie, Feldspar Slip Jar, 1997, h.llcm<br />

photo: Ian Hobbs<br />

<strong>52</strong> THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong>

Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

particularly those <strong>of</strong> Arakawa and Rokasai, he was inspired to build an anagama kiln on his property at<br />

South Kaipara Head, west <strong>of</strong> Auckland - one <strong>of</strong> the first anagama kilns in the Australasian region.<br />

In building and firing this kiln, Nealie called on remembered observations, intuition and his innate<br />

problem-solving ability. Isolated from other anagama firers, he developed creative solutions and<br />

processes through trial and error.<br />

His intrig ue with the way painters layered colours to give subtle depth prompted him to find ways<br />

to do that in ceramics. He developed a way <strong>of</strong> laying down ash and raising temperature to flux as a<br />

repeated process during firing, achieving a simila r depth on his pots.<br />

His interest in painting caused him to take up a brush himself - a brush <strong>of</strong> his own making, from<br />

bird bone and animal hair - trailing fluid, flowing lines which he used with watercolour and as a resist<br />

decoration on his pots.<br />

Early in the 1980s, Nealie travelled to Australia for conferences and workshops, establishing<br />

connections with anagama woodfirers including Dr Owen Rye. He invited Rye to South Kaipara to fire<br />

kilns and enjoy the bounties <strong>of</strong> the Kaipara waters. Since that early beginning, Nealie and Rye have<br />

shared many firings.<br />

<strong>The</strong> '90s saw Nealie relocate to Australia where he travelled widely, building kilns and teaching<br />

woodfiring. He settled at 'Goanna Ridge', a property outside Gulgong in New South Wales, near Janet<br />

Chester Nealie, Latex Res;st Bottle, 2003, h.24cm<br />

Chester Nealie, Mufti-fired Vase, 2011, h.26cm<br />

Photos: Ge<strong>of</strong>f Ambler<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Chester Nealie reviewing firebox pot post-firing, 2007<br />

Photo: John Nealie<br />

Mansfield's pottery at 'Morning View'. As neighbours and<br />

woodfirers, Nealie and Mansfield shared a strong working<br />

friendship, discussed firing results and enjoyed mutual<br />

friends in the international woodfire community over<br />

many a bottle <strong>of</strong> good red.<br />

Nealie has regularly taken a leading role in woodfire<br />

events, including keynote speaker and master <strong>of</strong><br />

ceremonies. Under the directorship <strong>of</strong> Janet Mansfield<br />

he's been involved in staging international ceramic events<br />

in Gulgong, and he will be there again in <strong>April</strong> <strong>2013</strong>.<br />

Ceramic involvements have taken him abroad where his<br />

experience has been extended by the generous give-andtake<br />

<strong>of</strong> the woodfire fraternity. His associations with Torbjorn Kvasbo from <strong>No</strong>rway, John Neely and Jack<br />

Troy from the USA have been important. as have his friendships with Alan Peascod, Peter Rushforth and<br />

Bill Samuels in Australia, among others.<br />

NeaHe is, first and foremost, a woodfire potter, involved as exhibitor, lecturer, teacher and kiln builder.<br />

He has been external examiner for tertiary studies and judge for numerous exhibitions. He is a builder, a<br />

fisherman, a naturalist and enthusiast, a collector, an enquirer and a gatherer <strong>of</strong> aesthetic influence. To<br />

many he is an entertainer, a rascal and compulsive host.<br />

Nealie is w idely known as a New Zealand potter and continues to represent his country through his<br />

ceramic involvements. He has exh ibited in many countries and enjoys an international reputation. He has<br />

been published as writer and subject and his work is held in private and public collections around the<br />

world. He is a member <strong>of</strong> the International Academy <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> and is Associate Research Fellow at<br />

Monash University in Victoria, Australia.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w, in his 70s, Nealie is bringing his focus back to the studio. Decades <strong>of</strong> experience feed into his<br />

woodfired pots and continue to excite his enthusiasm. He's building another kiln, expanding his practice<br />

w ith other ceramics styles and looking forward to firing with colleagues. Somewhat in the Baxter<br />

tradition, he hopes to share his knowledge with younger potters in his own environment.<br />

By 1964, NeaHe had firmly established a determination to follow ceramics as a life career. This decision<br />

led him to explore the world <strong>of</strong> his own making and has given him a language he shares with likeminded<br />

potters throughout the world.<br />

In 2014, he celebrates fifty years as a potter.<br />

Jan Irvine-Nealie is a textile artist. She lives and works w ith husband Chester<br />

near Gulgong, NSW; www.janirvinenealie.com<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Bring on<br />

the Jugs<br />

An exploration by Christine Thacker<br />

<strong>The</strong> word jug, and it's recent news to me, derives<br />

from the female names and variants <strong>of</strong> Joan or<br />

Judith, and once described a maidservant or low<br />

woman. <strong>The</strong> dictionary cites this usage as rare<br />

nowadays, and quite right too.<br />

As all potters know, a jug begins as a vase<br />

and with the modifications <strong>of</strong> a handle and lip<br />

becomes a vessel for pouring.<br />

Historically, the pottery jug would have been<br />

the common carryall in every household for water<br />

in the days when it was drinkable and w ine<br />

and ale in earlier times when it wasn't. In New<br />

Zealand the word jug became one with ale when<br />

tap beer was dispensed in glass jugs, so much<br />

so that <strong>The</strong> Flying Jug became the default name<br />

for any pub known for drink-induced fights and<br />

evictions. Definitions aside, the jug is a canonical<br />

form for the potter and carries with it the weight<br />

<strong>of</strong> history, nostalgia, tradition, comfort and joy<br />

to temper and moderate ever-changing modern<br />

lives.<br />

In my ears, the word 'jug' shortcuts back<br />

in time to one <strong>of</strong> those shoebox-shaped jugs<br />

standing in the refrigerators (and bearing<br />

the whiteware manufacturer's name), <strong>of</strong> my<br />

childhood. This image is followed by a sensory<br />

flash to the taste <strong>of</strong> icy cold water tinctured<br />

with refrigerant from one <strong>of</strong> those jugs. <strong>The</strong><br />

next memory is the heaviness <strong>of</strong> such a cold and<br />

slippery water-filled jug.<br />

Katherine Smyth, Black Jug, 2006, earthenware, coilbuilt,<br />

h.4Scm; photo: Guy Robinson

Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Without getting too deep into the nature <strong>of</strong> recollection I might not remember the rather plodding<br />

look and shape <strong>of</strong> this archetypal jug if not for experiencing its weight and chilly contents.<br />

So the jug is much more than a jar with a handle and lip. It holds received and experienced memories<br />

and that may be why in the face <strong>of</strong> less domestic need we still want to make and have these almost<br />

anachronistic objects in our homes and contemporary lives.<br />

After twenty plus years <strong>of</strong> making nearly everything else with clay, and a decade <strong>of</strong> dusting (very<br />

occasionally) and gazing (very <strong>of</strong>ten) with admiration at a jug in my house made by New Zealand potter<br />

Ian Smail, and serving milk in a most exquisite small porcelain jug made by <strong>Australian</strong> Sandra Black, I<br />

became entranced by the form and the idea/associations <strong>of</strong> the jug.<br />

Philosophical treatises tell us that the thingness (or jugginess) <strong>of</strong> a jug is the void inside. <strong>The</strong> jug<br />

is only truly a jug when it is being held and poured. But surrounding the vOid-that-is-the-jug is a<br />

w rap-around surface and for several potters in New Zealand, as elsewhere, this surface is a canvas <strong>of</strong><br />

opportunity to prolong the experience and extend perceptions <strong>of</strong> the jug.<br />

Auckland artist and potter Louise Rive sees the jug as a familiar and easily understood form which<br />

can carry painted and drawn stories and emotive expressions. She applies standards such as structural<br />

ease, geometry and balance to her irregular constructions, and while Rive's jugs can be used that is not<br />

her reason for making them. " Each jug is the start <strong>of</strong> a new painted story" and each jug shape tells the<br />

painter how the story will begin.<br />

Katherine Smyth, Fruit, 2012, earthenware. coil built, average h. 22cm; photo: Guy Robinson<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Katherine Smyth, a Wellington-based potter, makes tall, attenuated jug forms (inspired by past Middle<br />

Eastern work experiences) and smaller fruit jug lets with the astoundingly replicated surface detail <strong>of</strong>,<br />

for example, strawberry, melon and lemon skins. She is interested in the linear qualities <strong>of</strong> the jug form,<br />

the groundedness as well as connotations <strong>of</strong> gatherings, sociability and conviviality. Smythe also enjoys<br />

the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic suggestibility <strong>of</strong> jugs where attitude and personality as much as<br />

containment can grace the table.<br />

1 Christine Thacker, Jugscape<br />

2012, white earthenware, coiled<br />

pigment, painted, transparent<br />

glaze, h.38em; photo: artist<br />

2 l ouise Rive, Stdte House Kid<br />

2011, earthenware, slab, pulled<br />

handle, h.22em; photo: artist<br />

3 Christine Thacker, Ian Smail<br />

Scho<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> Jugs, 1980, to 2012<br />

tallest 48em; photo: Mika O'Brien<br />

4 campbell Hegan, 2012<br />

earthenware. thrown<br />

Photo: artist<br />

As for my own foray into jug making, I see the jug as a physical and metaphorical carrier. I try<br />

to adhere to first principles that a jug should be fit for purpose. Also the form needs to look well<br />

proportioned and appear as an evolved rather than constructed form. As for the painting, there are<br />

many small personal rules about colour ratios, symbolism, graphic balance, etc., but the clincher is to<br />

surprise myself, to feel compelled to keep looking.<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong>re are many mighty fine jug-makers in New Zealand, including the triumvirate and well-known<br />

chain <strong>of</strong> mastery - Barry Brickell, Ross Mitchell-Anyon and Paul Maseyk. Another is Hana Rakena, from<br />

Christchurch, who has made one <strong>of</strong> the most sensuous, unglazed, lyrical jug forms I have seen on these<br />

shores, and Aucklander Campbell Hegan whose jug from his 'black and white table setting with jug' is<br />

one <strong>of</strong> the most skilled and lively.<br />

Jugs have a handle and a lip, a void inside and a function but they also have an emotional hook to<br />

sustain a part <strong>of</strong> our own internal void. A little jug-shaped void!<br />

Christine Thacker<br />

lives in Auckland, has<br />

been making pottery<br />

for three decades<br />

and appears in the<br />

2010 lark publication<br />

Masters; Earthenware.<br />

Hana Rakena, 2009<br />

coiled, h.48cm<br />

Photo: Dean Mackenzie<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Barry Brickel l, 2012<br />

Photo: LUCille <strong>No</strong>bleza<br />

Driving Creek Potteries<br />

Barry Brickell's story<br />

Born in 1935 in New Plymouth, New Zealand, a third generation 'Kiwi', the eldest <strong>of</strong> four siblings, lefthanded<br />

and 'arty' and thus a puule to my father, I came into ceramics during my early teenage years,<br />

not through art or craft but via fire, furnaces and steam engines at the nearby coal-fired gasworks and<br />

associated firebrick works in Devonport, Auckland where our family lived _ Fascinated, watching the<br />

sweating fireman stoking raw coke into his round <strong>of</strong> ten fireboxes to achieve 1300°C in the huge kiln, I<br />

built my first serious kiln with waste firebricks to fire miniature bricks_<br />

Later, after meeting potter Len Castle, eleven years my senior, I became ecstatic about making pots<br />

after watching him throw so effortlessly to make big bowls, wine jars and strappy-handled jugs_ I<br />

persuaded my father to make me a crude potter's wheel. Len was having his pots fired in an industrial<br />

coal-fired salt-glaze kiln, clandestinely I believe, but to me the results were so beautiful that I had to salt<br />

my coke-fired kiln which, by now, had pots in it instead <strong>of</strong> mini-bricks_ I regarded Len as my mentor in<br />

studio pottery, but many years later our paths diverged; while he went into more sophistication in terms<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Barry Brickell, Erik Omund.on and Paul Ma.eyk, <strong>The</strong> Weed, 2008-2010<br />

terracona. hAl Oem; photo: Howard Williams<br />

<strong>of</strong> forms and techniques, I strove to retain and enhance my love <strong>of</strong> sensuous earthiness, a 'warts-and<br />

-all' approach, almost the opposite. Indigeneity became my theme: I need to make work that expresses<br />

my love <strong>of</strong> the land, its indigenous biodiversity and the largely untouched wealth <strong>of</strong> potters' raw<br />

materials hidden in the natural environment; but such an approach is not always popular.<br />

Two more influences shaped my later teenage years, the first being Bernard leach. A Potter's Book,<br />

a Christmas present from my parents in 1953, became my 'bible'. It had a worldwide impact that hit<br />

New Zealand about 1950 when our studio potters were mainly dependent on imported materials from<br />

England for making earthenware pottery. This book showed how to use local materials and to build<br />

kilns for stoneware. About that time, with the help <strong>of</strong> a local blacksmith, I evolved a drip-feed waste<br />

oil burner that reached cone 10 easily in the crude small kilns I had built, much easier than firing on<br />

salvaged coke and coal. <strong>The</strong> other influence came from the late Keith Patterson, an expatriate Kiwi who<br />

had worked in Spain with some contemporary painters. On examining my copious drawings and my<br />

crude pots, he told me that I was an 'artist'. But his real influence on my work was to introduce me to<br />

the technique <strong>of</strong> coiling. Having watched Spanish potters making huge terracotta vessels for local wine<br />

makers, he showed me how to roll out s<strong>of</strong>t clay and build up forms entirely by hand: it was an utter<br />

revelation . From then on, I have been experimenting with built-up forms in both terracotta and saltglazed<br />

stoneware.<br />

After a period at university majoring in botany and geology, at age 26 I fled the city life choosing the<br />

remote small town <strong>of</strong> Coromandel in which to become a full-time stoneware potter, hell-bent on ridding<br />

myself <strong>of</strong> a secure career in school teaching. Coromandel has plenty <strong>of</strong> good clay, lots <strong>of</strong> indigenous<br />

wilderness and direct sea access to the Auckland city markets. Although I might pride myself on<br />

becoming New Zealand >s first New Zealand-born full-time stoneware potter, it was Mirek Smisek born<br />

in (then) Czechoslovakia who was actually first, making salt-glazed domestic ware from local clays. len<br />

Castle and others followed in later years, until the impact <strong>of</strong> rogernomics (see below) took effect during<br />

the mid 1980s. <strong>The</strong>reafter, with the influx <strong>of</strong> cheap imported ceramics <strong>of</strong> all kinds, most <strong>of</strong> our potters<br />

gave up and found other sources <strong>of</strong> income,<br />

In 1973, I was able to buy a large hilly scrub-covered property just north <strong>of</strong> Coromandel town, where<br />

I established the present set <strong>of</strong> studios, kilns, clay and brick-making machinery and living quarters.<br />

<strong>The</strong> survival <strong>of</strong> Driving Creek Potteries is a story in itself but it's largely been due to the success <strong>of</strong> the<br />

associated Driving Creek Railway. As an early railway enthusiast, I studied railway engineering and it has<br />

stood us in good stead. While trying to make my living as a potter I was also building, over a period <strong>of</strong><br />

33 years, a narrow-gauge mountain railway. This railway is now a major tourist attraction, the proceeds<br />

from which maintain the potteries, make contributions to the local community and support resident<br />

artists. It had also enabled the establishment <strong>of</strong> an art gallery <strong>of</strong> my own works and also <strong>of</strong> many others<br />

whose works I have collected over many years.<br />

Studio pottery sold quite well until the onslaught <strong>of</strong> 'rogernomics' in the mid-1980s, when Roger<br />

Douglas, then labour Minister <strong>of</strong> Finance, demolished import restrictions and tariffs with a cruel blow,<br />

allowing cheap ceramic products to flood into the country. I was fortunate to receive a series <strong>of</strong> ceramic<br />

mural commissions which literally 'saved my bacon' as a struggling potter, until the railway started to<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

-----<br />

Barry Brickell. stoneware sculpture.<br />

woodfired. sodium bicarbonate<br />

salting: photo: courtesy artist<br />

make a pr<strong>of</strong>it after 1990. Because many <strong>of</strong> these murals are inaccessible to the public, I was persuaded<br />

to publish an illustrated book on them, Plastic Memories, due for publication early in <strong>2013</strong>.<br />

But back in 1974, when Bernard Leach's A Potter's Book was creating much interest, I built a fairly<br />

large downdraught-type kiln fitted with a 'dutch oven' firebox. Taking my cue from wood-burning<br />

boilers <strong>of</strong> old steam sawmills, I was impressed how hot the arched firebox could get, even on wet wood.<br />

<strong>The</strong> kiln worked well on dry pine waste wood from a local sawmill, reaching stoneware temperatures<br />

with comparative ease. It attracted potters from afar to learn the gentle art <strong>of</strong> woodfiring. This kiln has<br />

been preserved as a kind <strong>of</strong> monument, although the arch fell down only recently.<br />

Kiln building has become a major aspect <strong>of</strong> the potteries, driven largely by the need to fire very<br />

large sculptural pieces. One <strong>of</strong> our kilns has a chamber large enough to act as a studio and one <strong>of</strong> our<br />

visiting potters made a very large piece in it rather than having to transport a fragile unfired work and<br />

manipulate it into the kiln. But then, as if this was not enough, I decided to build a trolley kiln closer<br />

to my own studio. Large terra cotta pieces can now be made on the false floor <strong>of</strong> the trolley (with<br />

flues underneath), wound in when dry and woodfired with a firebox on one side. After some trials we<br />

arranged various baffles and now the chamber heats up quite evenly. For salt-glazed stoneware, we<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

----------<br />

Barry Brickell, collection <strong>of</strong> terracotta sculptural pieces. rivets decoration inspired by blacksmiths making boilers from<br />

steel plates; photo; courtesy artist<br />

have also built two phoenix-type kilns. I also found I needed a smaller stoneware kiln for domestic ware,<br />

to be fired on waste oil, and so engaged an ex-engineer potter near Tauranga to build this kiln . It fires<br />

almost smokelessly using a sloping length <strong>of</strong> angle iron into which oil and water are dripped in the<br />

correct proportion. This kiln is brilliant, even-heating, reaching cone 12 with ease and costing very little<br />

to fire.<br />

Today, Driving Creek Potteries <strong>of</strong>fers studio space, facilities and accommodation for visiting potters<br />

and ceramic sculptors. With a capable staff now managing the railway, I can at last return to the studio<br />

without the anxieties associated with money. <strong>The</strong> writing desk still has an old-fashioned electronic<br />

typewriter and now a laptop that occasionally drives me mad. But above all, the architect who designed<br />

my art gallery also gave me an attached 'supershanty' with comforts, something I never thought I would<br />

need ... until recently.<br />

Rails Toward the Sky. Barry Brickell. David Ling Publishing. 2010; available from the author<br />

<strong>The</strong> Story <strong>of</strong> Driving Creek. 8th edition. <strong>2013</strong><br />

www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz<br />


Focus: New Zealand Cera mics<br />

<strong>The</strong> List<br />

GROUPS<br />


<strong>The</strong> Auckland Studio Potters (ASP) has promoted<br />

and supported potters in Auckland for almost<br />

50 years. <strong>The</strong>y <strong>of</strong>fer teaching, studio and firing<br />

fa cilities, support, friendship and fun.<br />

www.ceramics.co.nz<br />


This Christchurch group is 44 years old with<br />

about 120 members.<br />

E: canterburypotters@gmail.com<br />


<strong>The</strong> Hutt Art Society is a community facility<br />

where a range <strong>of</strong> different art and craft activities<br />

are practised in a beautiful old building situated<br />

close to the centre <strong>of</strong> Lower Hutt.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Mt Pleasant Community Centre building,<br />

home to the studio <strong>of</strong> the Mt Pleasant Pottery<br />

Group, was demolished after the earthquakes.<br />

Club activities and classes are being held at<br />

venues around the city.<br />

www.mtpleasantpottery.org.nz<br />


This incorporated society formed in 1965 and<br />

now has around 400 members. Celebrating<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong>, the 54th National exhibition <strong>of</strong> NZ<br />

Potters' Inc, will be held from 23 March to 12<br />

May <strong>2013</strong>. <strong>The</strong>ir members' page gives either<br />

individual information on members or you can<br />

select a region <strong>of</strong> NZ and see members in that<br />

area . www.nzpotters.com<br />


E: wellingtonpotters@gmx.com<br />

http://newzealandpottery.forumotion.net<br />

A friendly community <strong>of</strong> New Zealand Pottery<br />

enthusiasts - Crown Lynn, Titian, NZ Studio<br />

Pottery, NZ Potters Marks and NZ Commercial<br />

Pottery<br />

MAKERS<br />

Kathy Baird is a vessel maker with a beautifuf<br />

studio overlooking Orongo Bay in Russell.<br />

Visitors are welcome. www.mudflats.co.nz<br />

Elise Bishop makes robust sculptural functional<br />

vessels using local clay, stoneware and porcelain.<br />

She now lives on Great Barrier Island.<br />

http://elisebishop.bannoy.net<br />

Peter Collis is currently working with bone<br />

china. Collis Studios, run with his wife Julie, is in<br />

Birkenhead, Auckland. Visitors are welcome at<br />

the studio and gallery. www.collis.co.nz<br />

Kim Henderson has a studio gallery in West<br />

Melton, Christchurch, where she makes slabbuilt<br />

stoneware ceramics influenced by the local flora<br />

and fauna. www.kimhenderson.co.nz<br />

Below: Kim Henderson. Beaded Seascape Series~ 2012<br />

Photo: courtesy artist<br />


Facebook page only<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

--------<br />

Peter Lange works<br />

with clay, bricks and<br />

fi re. He ma kes pots,<br />

fires strange kilns and<br />

builds brick structures.<br />

www.peterlange.<br />

cO.nz<br />

Peter Lange<br />

photo: lucille <strong>No</strong>bleza<br />

Alice Rose is fascinated by illusions <strong>of</strong><br />

perception, imitation and trompe l'oeil. Her<br />

Mirage Vases reference art from the era <strong>of</strong><br />

modern machinery and mass-production, treating<br />

the three dimensional form as a drawn illusion.<br />

www.alicerose.co.nz<br />

Marilyn Wheeler has created a unique way to<br />

glaze and texture clay with one firing. She makes<br />

functional domestic ware and artistic works in<br />

clay.<br />

www.marilynwheeler.co.nz<br />

Jo Luping and her team create collections <strong>of</strong><br />

stoneware ceramic bowls featuring line drawings<br />

<strong>of</strong> flowers, endangered species and insects.<br />

<strong>The</strong> design studio is in Lower Hutt.<br />

http://www.jolupingdesign.com<br />

Royce McGlashen is one <strong>of</strong> New Zealand's<br />

leading potters. He qualified as a Master Potter<br />

in 1971 . He is a member <strong>of</strong> the International<br />

Academy <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> (Geneva) and in 1989<br />

received an MBE for his services to pottery in<br />

New Zealand. www.roycemcglashen.co.nz<br />

Fran Maguire has been potting since 1994 and<br />

has developed her style based on simplicity <strong>of</strong><br />

form and texture. www.franmaguire.co.nz<br />


Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland<br />

www.annamilesgallery.com<br />

Avid Gallery, Wellington<br />

www.avidgallery.co.nz<br />

Form Gallery, Christchurch<br />

www.form.co.nz<br />

Masterworks Gallery, Auckland<br />

www.masterworksgallery.com<br />

Kura Gallery, Auckland<br />

www.kuragallery.co.nz<br />

Morris & James is a production pottery in<br />

Matakana, nea r Warkworth, <strong>of</strong>fering pottery<br />

tours. a showroom and a cafe. <strong>The</strong>y are known<br />

for using the local clay.<br />

www.morrisandjames.co.nz<br />

Art by the Sea, Devonport, Auckland<br />

www.artbythesea.co.nz<br />

South Street Gallery, Nelson<br />

www.nelsonpottery.co.nz<br />

Kiya Nancarrow's ceramic sculptures. also<br />

known as 'energy loops' capture a sense <strong>of</strong><br />

energy. She lives in Rocky Bay, Waiheke Island.<br />

www.kiyanancarrow.com<br />

John Parker is a maker <strong>of</strong> things - pots and<br />

theatre sets and costumes.<br />

www.johnparker.co.nz<br />

Lopdell House Gallery, Auckland<br />

www.lopdell.org.nz<br />

Piece Gallery, Rodney District<br />

www.piecegallery.co.nz<br />

RH Gallery. Nelson<br />

www.rhgallery.co.nz<br />

Elena Renka is a woodfirer whose latest focus<br />

has been on making shino-glazed bowls and<br />

cups. www.elenarenker.com<br />

Vessel, Wellington<br />

www.vessel.co.nz<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Todd Douglas, Pa Kahawa;<br />

2012, handbuilt stoneware<br />

macro-crystalline glaze<br />

porcelain, totara<br />

hAOcm w.23cm, d.6cm<br />

Photo: Howard Williams<br />

Todd Douglas Ceramic Artist<br />

A pr<strong>of</strong>ile by Karuna Douglas<br />

Born in 1965 in Auckland <strong>of</strong> Pakeha and Nga Puhi (Ngati Manu, Te Mahurehure) descent, Todd is a fulltime<br />

ceramic artist living and working at Muriwai Beach . Primarily self-taught, he is recognised for using<br />

a broad range <strong>of</strong> ceramic techniques and surface treatments as well as combining materials such as clay,<br />

wood, lashing and LED lighting.<br />

In his contemporary Maori sculpture, Todd uses carved burnished clay with contrasting technical<br />

glazes and lashing. His work is particularly well known for its beautiful crystalline glazes, referencing<br />

pounamu. <strong>The</strong> theme that runs through this work is the reference to tools, including hoe (paddles), pa<br />

kahawai (lures), tiheru (canoe bailers), and toki (adzes).<br />

I love the chal/enge <strong>of</strong> clay. It's not like any other material. It has a life force, an ageness about it.<br />

Todd's second style <strong>of</strong> work is closely linked to his environment; he is surrounded by native bush<br />

but close to the crashing surf <strong>of</strong> Muriwai. <strong>The</strong>se new works have strong and intimate connections<br />

to geology, biology and astronomy. Most recently, Todd has been developing multimedia work that<br />

combines the disciplines <strong>of</strong> art and function.<br />

A member <strong>of</strong> Nga Kaihanga Uku (the national Maori clayworkers group), Todd has won five national<br />

art awards since 2008 and is pr<strong>of</strong>iled in Denis Robinson's book New Zealand Gallery which pr<strong>of</strong>iles<br />

62 New Zealand artists. Recently, he exhibited at the prestigious biennial Auckland Botanic Gardens<br />

Sculpture exhibition. Todd has work in private and corporate collections throughout the world, including<br />

New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Taiwan and the United States.<br />

www.todddouglas.co.nz<br />


Pounamu, origin unknown, circa 19705<br />

Photo: Focus New Zealand<br />

Todd Douglas, Toki Pou Tangata, (detail), 20t I , slip glaze, porcelain,<br />

macro-crystalline glaze; photo: Howard Williams<br />

Infinite Shades <strong>of</strong> Green<br />

A glaze story by Karuna Douglas<br />

In 2007, my husband and studio partner Todd Douglas began developing a series <strong>of</strong> contemporary<br />

ceramic sculptures inspired by traditional taonga', specifically, toki pou tangata (a ceremonial adze with<br />

a carved wooden handle), lashed to a pounamu (New Zealand nephrite or greenstone) blade.<br />

I am Todd 's glaze developer. I don't make objects; I'm into surfaces. I love the infinite possibilities<br />

within the surfaces <strong>of</strong> ceramics. And luckily for me, I have a studio partner who has a diverse range <strong>of</strong><br />

work that challenges me to push the boundaries <strong>of</strong> my glaze knowledge and repertoire.<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Todd Dougl.s, Te Wai Pounamu, 2012, h.162cm, w.17cm, d.4cm<br />

After studying traditional toki, I knew the challenge was going to be the pounamu blade. Half <strong>of</strong> this<br />

beautiful country is named after pounamu, a mysterious, enchanting and highly sought after material,<br />

New Zealand's semi-precious stone. Highly prized by Maori for its cultural and spiritual value, pounamu is a<br />

protected natural resource that is considered tapu (sacred). Te Wai Pounamu (the greenstone waters) is the<br />

traditional Maori name for the South Island <strong>of</strong> Aotearoa/New Zealand.<br />

Pounamu is most commonly recognised for its infinite shades <strong>of</strong> green and its incredible translucency and<br />

depth <strong>of</strong> colour. <strong>The</strong> degrees <strong>of</strong> translucency range from high to opaque, giving the stone its wairua (life<br />

force), Varieties <strong>of</strong> pounamu include kahurangi (translucent clear green), kawakawa (dark mottled green with<br />

dark inclusions), tangiwai (transparent blues/greens) and tahutahi (snowflake). Pounamu also comes in shades<br />

<strong>of</strong> grey, blue, brown, orange and yellow, as well as black and white, variations mostly due to the presence <strong>of</strong><br />

iron and chromium.<br />

What glaze could possibly represent pounamu? It would have to be a glaze that could capture the<br />

materials' elusive and almost indefinable properties as well as have something to add. My desire was always<br />

not to mimic pounamu but to reference it. As I began studying the mineralogy, geology and Maori creation<br />

myths around pounamu, I was immediately drawn to the commonalities between pounamu and zincsilicate<br />

macrocrystalline glazes, which I had investigated<br />

several years earlier as part <strong>of</strong> a glaze research project. I<br />

discovered that nephrite is essentially composed <strong>of</strong> fanlike<br />

fibres radiating from a point. and when subjected to<br />

intense pressures and temperatures (such as those within<br />

the collision zone where the <strong>Australian</strong> and Pacific plates<br />

collide and are forced upwards forming the Southern<br />

Alps), these microscopic fibres become tangled and form<br />

an interwoven texture known as nephritic or felted texture,<br />

giving the material some <strong>of</strong> its unique properties.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se words resonated with what I already knew about<br />

macro-crystalline glazes. This branch <strong>of</strong> glaze chemistry<br />

produces a large variety <strong>of</strong> crystals that vary from large,<br />

well-developed distinct crystals immersed in a glassy matrix<br />

to a glossy surface blanketed in overlapping crystals. Unlike<br />

traditional glazes, crystalline glazes contain very little<br />

alumina, resulting in a glaze with a low viscosity so that<br />

Todd Dougl.s, M uriwai II, 2008, h.Slcm, w.50cm, d.lOcm<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

the fluid glaze runs, allowing the crystals to seed and grow. <strong>The</strong> principal ingredients in the glaze recipe,<br />

zinc oxide and silica, combine to form crystals <strong>of</strong> zinc silicate (Zn,SiO.). <strong>The</strong> crystals seed and then grow<br />

outwards, similar to ice on a window, creating a myriad <strong>of</strong> distinct crystal shapes. In a crystalline glaze,<br />

these crystals allude to pansies and snowflakes, thistles and double axe heads, rods and leopard spots,<br />

which all seemingly float within the glaze matrix.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the primary factors for determining the size and shape <strong>of</strong> the crystals is the rate <strong>of</strong> cooling<br />

and holding patterns used during the firing process. Basically, utilising heat and time within the kiln, you<br />

mimic the geological forces that occur within the earth itself. Of course all this volcanic activity is quite<br />

tough on the kiln, plus the levels <strong>of</strong> heatwork required to make these glazes really dazzle means that<br />

you're <strong>of</strong>ten working at the limits <strong>of</strong> what the clay body can handle, Go too far and the clay melts and<br />

warps; don't go far enough and the glaze is ho-hum.<br />

I knew macro-crystalline glazes could be difficult to control but I had absolutely no idea how<br />

temperamental they really were until I started working with them extensively. <strong>The</strong>re are so many<br />

variables that can affect the crystal development and the fired result that it's mind-blowing. But, when it<br />

works, it works so beautifully I can't imagine a more perfect glaze for Todd's taonga sculpture.<br />

To be honest, before this I had never<br />

been a fan <strong>of</strong> macro-crystalline glazes.<br />

I thought they were flashy, showy and<br />

ostentatious, and too <strong>of</strong>ten the glaze<br />

masked an unsuitable or poorly made form.<br />

Frankly speaking, there's still a lot <strong>of</strong> this<br />

around but I hope this article has illustrated<br />

that the sculptural possibilities <strong>of</strong> this glaze<br />

family can be astonishing.<br />

1 A taonga in Maori culture is a treasured thing, whether<br />

tangible or intangible. Tangit»e examples are all sorts <strong>of</strong><br />

heirlooms and artefacts, land, fisheries. natural resources such<br />

as geothermal springs and access to natural resources. such<br />

as riparian water rights and access to the nparian lone <strong>of</strong><br />

rivers or streams. Intangible examples may Include language,<br />

spiritual behefs and radio frequencies: Wikipedia.<br />

Karuna is a glaze technician<br />

ceramicist and Girl Friday,<br />

Todd Douglas, Toki Pou Tangata, 2011<br />

hand built stoneware, carved, slip glaze<br />

porcelain. macro·crystalline glaze. h.44cm<br />

w.42cm, d.7cm; photo: Howard Williams<br />

1st <strong>Ceramics</strong> Award, 2011<br />

Royal New Ze313nd Easter Show<br />


Focus: New Zealand Ceram ics<br />

Darryl Frost<br />

Darryl Frost works from Playing with Fire, his<br />

piduresque studio garden at Kina Beach, Tasman,<br />

forty minutes west <strong>of</strong> Nelson at the top <strong>of</strong> New<br />

Zealand's South Island. He is t he only ceramicist<br />

in the region to operate an anagama kiln and<br />

is one <strong>of</strong> a small community <strong>of</strong> woodfirers<br />

scattered throughout New Zealand.<br />

<strong>The</strong> images shown on these pages are from<br />

Da rryl Frost's 2009 exhibition <strong>The</strong> Innocent<br />

Glaze at <strong>The</strong> Suter Art Ga llery in Nelson.<br />

http://playingwithfire.co.nz<br />


Focus: New Zealand <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

-----------<br />

A Path Less Travelled<br />

Richard Fahey considers the evolution <strong>of</strong> Richard Parker's practice<br />

Richard Parker's career as a producer <strong>of</strong> commercial utilitarian wares gained traction in New Zealand<br />

during the mid 1970s. This was a moment <strong>of</strong> unprecedented enthusiasm for studio pottery as New<br />

Zealanders turned to the handicrafts as a means <strong>of</strong> reimagining an 'authentic' past and symbolically<br />

reconnecting with their pioneering colonial history. Brownish, artfully misshapen, dribbly glazed, organic<br />

primitivism stood for an aestheticised ideal <strong>of</strong> the cultural vernacular and stories abounded during the<br />

1970s <strong>of</strong> New Zealand craft retailers ordering consignments <strong>of</strong> whole kiln-loads, sight unseen.<br />

In 1978, the large geriatric diesel kiln that Parker fired once a fortnight in a small rural town in<br />

the remote reaches <strong>of</strong> New Zealand's upper <strong>No</strong>rth Island collapsed under sheer fatigue. <strong>The</strong> occasion<br />

prompted Parker's resolve to quit the production line and harbour an altogether different aspiration for<br />

his ceramic practice. He was to repudiate what many considered, a reasonably pr<strong>of</strong>itable and wholesome<br />

lifestyle. Demand for the ubiquitous handmade brown pottery was at the time, seemingly insatiable.<br />

Whether this resolve was a moment <strong>of</strong> intractable wilfulness on Parker's part or a canny anticipation <strong>of</strong><br />

the virtual demise <strong>of</strong> this commercial market that was soon to eventuate, one can only speculate. What<br />

is certain, however, is that Parker was one <strong>of</strong> the few notable practitioners at the time whose practice<br />

survived and persisted throughout the 1980s when the political evisceration <strong>of</strong> trade protectionism and<br />

the removal <strong>of</strong> import restrictions resulted in the local market being inundated with cheaper wares from<br />

third world producers. Parker's subsequent career t rajectory is notable for the determination with which<br />

he has pursued his own creative aspirations, unencumbered by the mutable dictates <strong>of</strong> clay fa shion and<br />

interior decoration .<br />

Parker's conviction is founded in an historical idea <strong>of</strong> the restorative capacity <strong>of</strong> the handmade<br />

object in OPPOSition to the dull indifference <strong>of</strong> the industrially mass-produced. <strong>The</strong> domestic domain<br />

has remained the natural habitat for his work as he has sought to enliven the ongoing intimacies <strong>of</strong><br />

an individual's daily routine. For Parker, the single most defining attribute <strong>of</strong> success is whether a work<br />

made in clay can impart a sense <strong>of</strong> movement. He conceptualises this notion through his fascination<br />

with the way in which the eye is constantly seeking variety within uniformity and by acknowledging the<br />

perceptual mechanics <strong>of</strong> peripheral vision.<br />

<strong>The</strong> edge <strong>of</strong> your eye is really important· it has a lot to do with w ellbeing. <strong>The</strong> visual field is too disturbed<br />

when it is too symmetrical. <strong>The</strong> lack <strong>of</strong> symmetry is what the body desires, where it feels more at home. A<br />

lot <strong>of</strong> the information that comes into the brain is through the periphery; it 's where memory lies. I worked<br />

it out because when / was a kid, we lived in a house that made me pace around like a caged animal. /<br />

began to realise what I was pacing for - / was looking for information, for stimulation, and there wasn't<br />

quite enough. <strong>The</strong>re was much more interesting stuff to be examined in the damp stains on the wallpaper<br />

than the wallpaper pattern.<br />

Parker's desire to insinuate movement is practically abetted by a variety <strong>of</strong> handbuilding techniques<br />

that he applies to his signature 'vases' ; slab construction, coiling, press moulding, and - perhaps what he<br />

Opposite page:<br />

Above: Richard Parker, Vases, 2007, h.26.5cm, w.9cm, d .9cm; photo: Studio I..l Gonda<br />

Below: Richard Parker, Vases, 2009, h.28cm, w.21cm, d .13.Scm; photo: Studio La Gonda; Masterworks Gallery<br />


Focus: New ZealanCl <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Richard Parter, Vases, 1991-2007. various dimensions<br />

Photo: Studio La Gonda<br />

has made most distinctively his own - the practice <strong>of</strong> drawing a wire through a solid block <strong>of</strong> clay as a<br />

direct means <strong>of</strong> generating form in space . <strong>The</strong>se methods <strong>of</strong> construction avoid the uniform pr<strong>of</strong>ile and<br />

symmetry that 'wheelthrown' forms insist on.<br />

Since the mid-1980s, Parker has chosen to work exclusively with low-fired earthenware. It carried<br />

nothing <strong>of</strong> the pr<strong>of</strong>essional gravitas associated with high-fired stoneware that was exclusively adhered to<br />

by the pr<strong>of</strong>essional potting fraternity <strong>of</strong> the time. What it did afford Parker was the opportunity to fully<br />

exploit his other great fascinations, colour and decoration. Cream-coloured slip provided a clean slate<br />

to carry a palette <strong>of</strong> rich amber, verdant green and blood red. <strong>The</strong>se colours form the staple ingredients<br />

from which Parker assembles his wily arsenal <strong>of</strong> ornamental patterns consisting <strong>of</strong> infinite variations on<br />

the stripe, dash and dot.<br />

<strong>The</strong> distinctive wares that Parker has produced over four decades have brought him national and<br />

international acclaim. During this time, however, the audience for his work has been typically polarised.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are those who are confronted by Parker's deliberate courting <strong>of</strong> a nonchalant precariousness<br />

and those instantly beguiled by his raw ambition for direct and fluid expression. Within a local context,<br />


Parker's production defies easy classification. Few have so audaciously departed from New Zealand's<br />

last great ceramic moment (the 1970s heyday <strong>of</strong> utilitarian ware). Parker's fugitive forms look to<br />

capture inquisitive attention through a defiance <strong>of</strong> predictability. His decorative glaze schemes appear<br />

like purposefully ill-fitting sets <strong>of</strong> clothes, worn loosely to unsettle any sense <strong>of</strong> monumental sobriety.<br />

Parker's ideal is not a classical pursuit <strong>of</strong> purity but a productive entanglement with uncertainty. What<br />

he pursues is a deep sensory appreciation, analogous to the infinite variety that can be found within the<br />

natural world.<br />

<strong>The</strong> customary seal <strong>of</strong> approval that comes from acknowledging demonstrable exercise <strong>of</strong> skill and<br />

technique will be forever contested in the appreciation <strong>of</strong> Parker's craft. Parker is unperturbed and<br />

continues his singular quest for that elusive quality in form and decoration .<br />

Richard Fahey is a Senior l ecturer in the Department <strong>of</strong> Design and Visual Arts,<br />

Unitec, Auckland.<br />

www.form.co.nz/artisls/richard_parker.htm<br />


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running the ki ln. How do we come up with this figure? We still make brick-lined kilns here at Woodrow<br />

if the client requests. We built two identically sized kilns, one brick, one fibre, and ran a standard Cone<br />

9 firing while recording the power consumed for each kiln. <strong>The</strong> fibreboard kiln used 60% less power<br />

than the brick kiln . Why is this the case? Simply the excess power is used to heat the brick lining itself<br />

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<strong>The</strong> ramp rate can be up or down so you can control how fast you need! want to cool as well. This<br />

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3. Safety<br />

Woodrow Kilns feature two importance safety devices. Firstly, there is an integrated safety door switch<br />

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5. Support and Service<br />

Your relationship with Woodrow Kilns doesn't end when your kiln is delivered. We stand behind our<br />

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the kiln>s frame and casing . We also provide phone and email support should you need assistance in<br />

learning how to use your kiln, including recommended firing pr<strong>of</strong>iles developed in conjundion with<br />

Orton <strong>Ceramics</strong>. We also <strong>of</strong>fer spare parts for serviceable parts <strong>of</strong> the kiln, including shelves, props,<br />

thermocouples and elements.<br />

Woodrow also understands that not everyone is able to afford a new kiln. This is where our expert<br />

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Promotion<br />

A testimonial from one <strong>of</strong> our happy clients<br />

My Woodrow kiln is the first kiln I have confidently used where the heat is intense<br />

and consistent. As a result, I do not need to guess or over-compensate the<br />

temperatures or saturations. This ca n be seen in the clarity and brilliance <strong>of</strong> the f ired<br />

lustres I used on my award-winning vase featured below. I was presented with two<br />

awards for my porcelain paintings from the representative <strong>of</strong> HRH Queen Sirikit <strong>of</strong><br />

Thailand, HE <strong>The</strong> Privy Councillor, at the Tha iland International Porcelain Painting<br />

Convention (TIPP) 2012.<br />

Award~winning vase by Ingrid Lee, Orchids - Purity <strong>of</strong> Lo ve, 2012, Platinum lust re, paste work,<br />

burnishing gold. hAD.6em<br />

This vase took nine firings to complete. <strong>The</strong> design represents the complex message<br />

<strong>of</strong> the language <strong>of</strong> flowers; in general, the orchid is a symbol <strong>of</strong> luxury, sensuality,<br />

mystery and passion represented by the gold paste work used throughout the<br />

painting.<br />

Ingrid Lee is a pr<strong>of</strong>essional, international award winning artist in modern<br />

porcelain painting, abstract expressionist acrylic painting, mixed media and<br />

fabric art. She teaches master classes and creates collaborative art projects<br />

with public and corporate sectors to share creativity and inspire art enthusiasts<br />

in Australia and overseas.<br />

For information about Ingrid's exhibitions, master classes, art projects<br />

and commissions, please visit http://ingridleeart.com, or email ingridlee@<br />

ingridleeart.com<br />


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View<br />

Janet Oe8oos, Covered Jar 4, 2012. thrown<br />

porceHaneou5 stoneware. black underglaze<br />

stain, terra sigillata, sgraffito, clear glaze<br />

stock overglaze decals, h.27em, w.26cm<br />

d.26cm; photo: Greg Piper Image Solutions<br />

Hybrid Places<br />

Michael Keighery reviews a recent exh ibition <strong>of</strong> work by Janet DeBoos<br />

It is a long time since I have been as surprised, excited and stimulated by a ceramics exhibition as I was<br />

by Janet DeBoos' recent showing at Sabbia Gallery in Sydney.<br />

Picasso supposedly said that "good artists borrow, great artists steal" and so it is with De Boos' new<br />

body <strong>of</strong> decorative and functional ceramics. <strong>The</strong> difference is that DeBoos does not so much steal as<br />

gleefully plunder from a diverse range <strong>of</strong> influences, and she does so with such an exuberance and<br />

openness that the audience is swept up in an almost conspiratorial sense <strong>of</strong> delight.<br />

<strong>The</strong> word 'hybrid' indicates that something new has been made by the combination <strong>of</strong> different but<br />

existing things and in this case, Janet DeBoos neatly and seamlessly welds Chinese floral decals with<br />

sgraffito <strong>Australian</strong> botanical imagery incised through earthy ochre slips.<br />

In the decades since Modernism lost its potency, people generally acknowledge that all work has<br />

antecedents whose ideas and styles influence an artist's work. However, how does one achieve the<br />

degree <strong>of</strong> resolution that DeBoos displays in an exhibition <strong>of</strong> work that draws on such diverse traditions,<br />

cultures and styles? How does she manage to achieve a seemingly effortless integration <strong>of</strong> so many<br />

ideas in her work?<br />

An invitation by Sabbia's Anna Grigson and Maria Grimaldi to open Janet's exhibition and engage in a<br />

short Q&A session allowed me the opportunity to tease out some answers to this conundrum.<br />

Previously known primarily for work that emphasised the making process, with pronounced throwing<br />

ridges and slightly <strong>of</strong>f-centre vessels which were complemented by a minimalist approach to glaze and<br />

decoration, DeBoos says that she responded to her accumulation <strong>of</strong> brushes, decals and overglaze<br />

enamels, and then, as she said, " gave herself permission to decorate" .<br />

In pressing her to elaborate on what she meant, DeBoos confesses to having been a 'fabric junkie'<br />

for years and that the major impetus for this change in direction came from the request <strong>of</strong> a Chinese<br />

factory to decorate her more understated forms which they were producing for the Chinese market.<br />

Rather than simply decorating her existing forms, she decided that she needed to make decorated<br />

forms that reflected her own time and place rather than decorating for a Chinese aesthetic.<br />

<strong>The</strong> finished work is a complex marriage <strong>of</strong> patterns, motifs and colours on forms, and I ask myself<br />

why it is that the work has been so enthusiastically received even by the Chinese. De Boos says that she<br />

"does not know what she has done " until she has done it and she needs time to reflect on finished<br />

work and digest others' responses.<br />

Perhaps the fact that the work resonates across such boundaries <strong>of</strong> place and culture reflects the<br />

zeitgeist <strong>of</strong> our times where things are incredibly busy and we revel in a barrage <strong>of</strong> the old and the new,<br />

the familiar and the unknown rubbing up against each other in a way we see as perfectly acceptable.<br />

Hybrid Places; New works in ceramics by Janet DeBoos, <strong>No</strong>vember 2012<br />

www.sabbiagallery.com<br />

http://keighery.com<br />

80 THE JOURNAL Of AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong>


View<br />

A Concise Guide to Indigenous<br />

<strong>Australian</strong> Pottery<br />

A review by Karen Austin<br />

Earth Works - contemporary Indigenous <strong>Australian</strong> ceramic art<br />

An Exhibition and Catalogue curated and written by Dr Christine Nicholls.<br />

Flinders University Art Museum & City Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia,<br />

1 September - 14 October 2012.<br />

<strong>The</strong> publication that accompanies the Earth Works exhibition is much more than an exhibition<br />

catalogue; it is an authoritative and engaging account <strong>of</strong> the relatively short history <strong>of</strong> Indigenous<br />

<strong>Australian</strong> pottery. In the foreword, former ceramics co-ordinator at Hermannsburg, <strong>No</strong>rthern Territory<br />

(1990-2006) Naomi Sharp suggests that this publication may well be the first ever overview <strong>of</strong> the<br />

history <strong>of</strong> Indigenous <strong>Australian</strong> ceramics practice.<br />

Christine Nicholls <strong>of</strong>fers a concise history <strong>of</strong> Indigenous ceramic practices, covering the major<br />

centres throughout Australia. Whilst acknowledging that ceramics is an introduced practice. Nicholls<br />

provides evidence <strong>of</strong> the pre-contact use <strong>of</strong> clay in Aboriginal societies. Clay played an important role in<br />

traditional medicinal systems as a means <strong>of</strong> absorbing toxins in the body and the treatment <strong>of</strong> various<br />

gastro-intestinal ills including diarrhoea. <strong>The</strong> addition <strong>of</strong> clay also made it possible for Aboriginal people<br />

to consume a broader array <strong>of</strong> native vegetation that othervvise would have caused sickness, even<br />

death. Clay, in the form <strong>of</strong> ochre, was used extensively in artistic and ceremonial life. White, yellow<br />

and red ochres were used to paint secular and sacred images on rock faces, to decorate objects and as<br />

ceremonial body cosmetics . Coloured ochres were also traded along extensive trade routes throughout<br />

mainland Australia.<br />

Hermannsburg Pottery, which began in the 1960s, is the location <strong>of</strong> the first sustained effort to<br />

introduce a ceramics industry to Aboriginal people. This built upon Pastor Friedrich Albrecht's much<br />

earlier attempt to establish an arts-based cottage industry at Hermannsburg. In the 1950s, the small<br />

plasticine models created in the school became precursors for later ceramic figurines, the 'signature'<br />

adornments atop many contemporary Hermannsburg pots. In the early '60s, a non-Indigenous mission<br />

gardener, Vic Jaensch, together with Arrernte men Nahasson Ungwanaka and Joseph Rontji, hand-built<br />

the first kiln, in which the men fired small, hand-modelled figurines. While Jaensch left in 1966 and this<br />

initiative faltered, the seeds <strong>of</strong> a sustainable industry had been sown.<br />

Considerably later, in the 1980s. Ungwanaka attempted to reinstate the industry, requesting that<br />

the government provide a ceramics teacher. This led non-Indigenous ceramics teacher Naomi Sharp<br />

to conduct a workshop in 1990 that, in turn, led to her staying at Hermannsburg for a further 16<br />

years (1990-2006). Sha rp taught the local people various coiling and other pottery techniques and<br />

encouraged them to explore their own style, creating figurines for lids and painting the distinctive,<br />

rounded-belly pots with their Altyerr ('Dreamings') and depictions <strong>of</strong> Country.<br />

Nicholls observes that Arrernte potters have now transformed ceramics into their own distinctive<br />


View<br />

art form. Many pots are decorated with panoramic landscapes and adorned with figurines that reflect<br />

matters <strong>of</strong> significance to artists. Irene Mbitjana Entata's (1946-) Babes (1996), synthetic polymer on<br />

terracotta, 15 x 11.3 x 10.8 cm, is an example. <strong>The</strong> pot is painted with a vivid rendition <strong>of</strong> Country. On<br />

its lid stand two bright pink pigs with curly tails. This work is both a testament to the many feral pigs<br />

that roam the region, as well as to Entata's delight in the 1995 hit <strong>Australian</strong> movie Babe.<br />

In 1966, under the auspices <strong>of</strong> the University <strong>of</strong> New South Wales, Pr<strong>of</strong>essor Leslie Haynes and others<br />

established a Ceramic Research Un it at the Bagot Road Aboriginal Settlement, Darwin. An Indigenous<br />

pottery venture was eventually established for commercial gains and as an outlet for artistic expression.<br />

Nicholls notes that this venture led to the establishment <strong>of</strong> the overwhelmingly male Tiwi Pottery,<br />

providing a foundation for the activity <strong>of</strong> many current-day ceramicists.<br />

With support from Catholic Missions, Tiwi Pottery was established in 1972. Well-known Tiwi<br />

narratives and traditions were <strong>of</strong>ten the basis for works. <strong>The</strong> earthenware sculpture l arakalani lantu<br />

(Turtle Boat) 1999, 56 x 80 x 32 cm, by Mark Puautjimi and Cyril James Kerinauia, is a depiction <strong>of</strong><br />

traditional turtle hunting. <strong>The</strong> work is painted with typical Tiwi geometriC patterns in red-brown, black<br />

and white that parallel designs on traditional barks and canvases.<br />

Nicholls asserts that no account <strong>of</strong> Indigenous ceramics could be complete without reference to<br />

Thanakupi, also known as Thancoupie (1937-2011). Thanakupi was a renowned, indeed inspirational,<br />

linguist, educator and ceramicist. Her works are displayed in fine arts institutions worldwide. She was<br />

the first Indigenous <strong>Australian</strong> to study fine arts at a tertiary level, to establish her own studio (1976),<br />

and to maintain a long, successful career as a ceramicist. In later works, Thanakupi <strong>of</strong>ten represented<br />

narratives associated with her Cape York Peninsula people. Spherical earthenware sculpture, Thaal the<br />

black eagle, Mal the red eagle, 1994, 29 x 32 cm, is representative, and has been incised with deep<br />

figurative and non-figurative patterns representing these sacred eagles.<br />

Nicholls's personal involvement in the (aborted) development <strong>of</strong> a modern ceramics tradition at<br />

Lajamanu (Tanami Desert) parallels her association with the community that she lived in as linguist,<br />

Thanakupi Gloria Fletcher, 1937-2011, Thaynakwith, Love magic pot, 1985, earthenware, salt glaze, h.9.8cm, w.13.Scm<br />

Flinders University Art Museum 2229; courtesy Jennifer Isaacs; photo: Flinders University An Museum

View<br />

school principal, and 'emergency' adult arts educator from 1982- 1991. Amongst the most successful<br />

<strong>of</strong> the adult programs she organised was the 1988-89 ceramics project, culminating in a National<br />

Gallery <strong>of</strong> Victoria exhibition in 1990. Mostly women attended classes and adopted the technique <strong>of</strong><br />

painting designs into black-slip over terracotta pots. Primarily their paintings were, and continue to be,<br />

expressions <strong>of</strong> their personal Jukurrpa, or Dreamings.<br />

Amongst Lajamanu women, Jeannie Herbert Nungarrayi was the only person to have prior knowledge<br />

<strong>of</strong> ceramics, having been inspired by celebrated artist Thanakupi (Thancoupie). Nungarrayi's 1989<br />

earthenware works Ngarlkirdi Jukurrpa and Witchetty Grub Dreaming, 20.2 x 20.2 cm, 20 x 20.6<br />

cm, have been influenced by Thancoupie's signature spherical shape; although Nungarrayi has adorned<br />

hers with strong black and white designs that reflect Warlpiri iconographic traditions and her own desert<br />

upbringing.<br />

Australia's oldest continuing Aboriginal art centre was established at Ernabella on the Anangu<br />

Pitjantjatjara Yankunyljatjara Lands, South Australia, in 1948. However, it was not until 1997, under the<br />

direction <strong>of</strong> Adelaide's Jam Factory, that ceramics practice was introduced to the centre. As there were no<br />

ceramic making/studio facilities at Ernabella, bisque-fired platters were underglaze painted at Ernabella<br />

and sent to the JamFactory for firing. Ceramicists Robin Best and Peter Ward undertook several<br />

workshops in 2001/2002, teaching coiling and form-moulding as well as encouraging development <strong>of</strong><br />

underglaze painting.<br />

As part <strong>of</strong> this growing ceramics movement, Robin Best forged a working relationship with artist<br />

Nyukana Baker to produce some wonderful collaborative works. Settlement, 2005, seven porcelain<br />

works with Baker's underglaze designs, is an assortment <strong>of</strong> bottles that represent grog bottles<br />

introduced by colonists. <strong>The</strong> work provides striking reference to traditional punu carving (although the<br />

works have not been incised, but painted), whilst<br />

referenCing the sinister effects that alcohol has had on<br />

the community.<br />

Recently a number <strong>of</strong> independent ceramic artists<br />

have emerged. Amongst them is Torres Strait Islander<br />

Ricardo Idagi, originally from Mer (Murray) Island,<br />

Queensland. Idagi's politically-charged 20 12 Wolf in<br />

Sheep's Clothing, earthenware, feathers and cane<br />

sculpture, 60 x 27 x 65 cm, comprises a complex<br />

structure <strong>of</strong> a face-mask attached to a traditional TI<br />

headdress <strong>of</strong> geometrical design. Atop the headdress<br />

sits an imposing wolf's head. <strong>The</strong> wolf, with its sharp<br />

teeth and skeletal fish body <strong>of</strong> feathers and cane,<br />

suggests an ominous colonial presence overlaying<br />

and bearing down on the t raditional islander culture<br />

beneath it. <strong>The</strong> wolf implies that imposed colonial<br />

culture has, and continues to, dominate traditional<br />

islander practices.<br />

Danie Mellor, born 1971, MamWNgajoni, <strong>The</strong> totem (mo tif)<br />

2008, slipcast stoneware with feathers, h.7Iern, w.33em. d.Slern<br />

Gift <strong>of</strong> Emeritus Pr<strong>of</strong>essor JVS and Dr M Ruth Megaw, Flinders<br />

University Art Museum 4562; courtesy artist<br />

Photo: Flinders University Art Museum

Nyukana Baker, born 1943. Pitjantjatjara and Robin Best<br />

born 1953, Settlement 2005, cast coloured porcelain<br />

with underglaze, black punuku walka by Nyukana Baker<br />

seven elements, various dimensions; Flinders University Art<br />

Museum Collection 4668; courtesy artists<br />

Photo: Grant Hancock, Adelaide<br />

Originally from Mackie, Queensland, Mamui<br />

Ngajoni man Danie Mellor is an artist who explores<br />

issues <strong>of</strong> identity and inter-cultural relationships<br />

in various art media, including ceramics. His <strong>The</strong><br />

totem (motif) 2008, slip-cast stoneware with<br />

feathers, 71 x 33 x 51 em, is a dog sculpture<br />

decorated with cockatoo feathers that parallel<br />

body adornments <strong>of</strong> traditional ceremonial<br />

practices. Mellor's dogs are a metaphor for the<br />

historical treatment <strong>of</strong> Australia's Indigenous<br />

people by the Anglo-European coloniser-usurpers.<br />

In the book's conclusion, Nicholls remarks on<br />

the unique capacity <strong>of</strong> Indigenous ceramics to<br />

convey traditional thematics and express spirituality<br />

and connections to Country. She believes that<br />

Indigenous ceramics collectively constitute a<br />

Ricardo Idagi, born 1957, Meriam Mer, Wolf in Sheep 's<br />

Clothing, 2012, glazed earthenware, feathers, cane<br />

h.60cm, w.27cm, d.65cm; courtesy artist and Vivien<br />

Anderson Gallery. Melbourne<br />

Photo: Simon Anderson Photography, Melbourne<br />

form <strong>of</strong> conceptual art that draws .. 'a udiences away from the inherent narcissism characterising<br />

certain contemporary art ... [causing] ... us to reflect on the past, and on our shared <strong>Australian</strong> present<br />

and future'. Perhaps less controversially, Christine Nicholls concludes by commenting that Indigenous<br />

ceramicists, like their non-Indigenous counterparts, primarily strive to 'bridge gaps' between people and<br />

objects within a contemporary, global context.<br />

Karen Austin is currently a Humanities PhD student at Flinders University in South Australia,<br />

under the guiding hand <strong>of</strong> Dr Christine Nicholls.<br />

E: klaustin@adam.com.au<br />

Copies <strong>of</strong> Earth Works contemporary Indigenous <strong>Australian</strong> ceramic art (RRP $20; P&H $7.50)<br />

are available from Flinders University City Gallery, State Library <strong>of</strong> South Australia<br />

T: 08 8207 7055; www.flinders.edu.au/artmuseum<br />


Community<br />

Meeting a Need<br />

Don Chisholm reports on his latest invention<br />

For the last twelve years I have been one <strong>of</strong> a number <strong>of</strong> Adelaide Potters Club members who<br />

volunteer each Wednesday during school term to teach craft at the Broughton Art Society, a voluntary<br />

organisation which has been teaching art and craft to disabled adults for forty years. Broughton Art<br />

is sponsored by the Unley Council who provide use <strong>of</strong> a building and finance for exhibitions, a service<br />

which is much appreciated by the local disabled community. <strong>The</strong> Council's efforts are to be commended.<br />

Pottery and craft day is Wednesday, art and other subjects on the remaining days. Broughton is staffed<br />

largely by volunteers and caters for around 100 disabled clients per week.<br />

Over the years I found that teaching pottery to this group was primarily limited by their ability to sit at<br />

the wheel. We have a number <strong>of</strong> people who live in wheelchairs and many <strong>of</strong> them would like to try the<br />

wheel.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Unley Council gives grants each year for projects that may improve the life <strong>of</strong> their citizens, so<br />

I applied for and obtained a grant <strong>of</strong> $3000 to come up with a wheel that could be used by people<br />

seated in a wheelchair. I went to see an engineering company who previously had designed a special<br />

three-wheel device for me to use in laboratories where women had to handle large gas cylinders. This<br />

device has been in wide use for twenty years now. We made many drawings over a one-year period and<br />

came up with a wheel that can be lowered to the exact height <strong>of</strong> each person, with controls each side<br />

at arms length. This makes it possible for both user and instructor to control the wheel's movement. It<br />

has proved successful for wheelchair people as the throwing action proves to be beneficial to their back<br />

muscles which tend to waste in the wheelchair.<br />

Other groups who may also find it useful are tali people, those with back problems and able-bodied<br />

potters who wish to stand. All can adjust the height <strong>of</strong> the wheel to their exact requirements.<br />


Communit y<br />

I had this unit on display at the <strong>Australian</strong><br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> Triennale in Adelaide last October. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

was a lot interest from potters from other States<br />

as well as some who have persistently bad backs<br />

due to using a sit-down wheel over long periods. I<br />

am sure it will find a place in teaching facilities for<br />

disabled people throughout Australia.<br />

About the author and inventor:<br />

Don Chisholm has an interesting ceramic<br />

history. His grandfather, John Ramsay had a large<br />

pottery company in Bundamba, Queensland<br />

(near Ipswich) in the 1920s and '30s. His two<br />

apprentices, John Ramsay Jr and Mervin Feeney,<br />

were sent to Koster's Pottery in <strong>No</strong>rwood, South<br />

Australia, during World War" to throw acid jars<br />

for the war effort. After the war, Merv Feeney<br />

returned to Queensland while John Jr opened<br />

a pottery company in Bowden, South Australia,<br />

making household wares. Merv Feeney purchased<br />

Bundamba Pottery and became the father <strong>of</strong><br />

pottery in Queensland. <strong>The</strong> name is still kept by<br />

Walkers who now make and distribute their clay.<br />

In 1954, Don Chisholm moved to Adelaide to<br />

join his uncle and learn the family trade. When<br />

plastics hit the market, the pottery business was<br />

reduced from 19 down to three employees. Don<br />

left to join Fowlers Pottery who were making<br />

slipcast sanitary ware for the South <strong>Australian</strong><br />

Housing Trust. Later he left the industry to teach<br />

pottery at night classes at Tech Schools, then<br />

moved to Melbourne for nine years where he<br />

continued teaching. On returning to Adelaide he<br />

made small-run insulators and refractory bricks<br />

for the local industry as a hobby. This was a<br />

business left by Koster's Pottery. He has been a<br />

member <strong>of</strong> the Adelaide Potters Club since the<br />

early 1960s and now teaches disabled people at<br />

the Broughton Art Society and works in his own<br />

studio in Panorama.<br />

<strong>The</strong> height and speed adjustable pottery wheel has been<br />

developed to improve access for people <strong>of</strong> all capabilities.<br />

Features <strong>of</strong> the Wheel<br />

- eledrically height adjustable from nOmm to 1500mm high<br />

- wheel chairs can be wheeled with ease under the unit<br />

- the pottery wheel can be raised to be used by a person<br />

standing upright<br />

- a stainless top for ease <strong>of</strong> cleaning<br />

waterpro<strong>of</strong> switches; easy and safe to use<br />

the lower support rail is coloured in safety yellow<br />

the electric motor can be controlled safely by a second<br />

person<br />

the motor features a s<strong>of</strong>t start<br />

Don Chisholm'S latest ceramic interest is firing fine porcelain<br />

using the raku process.<br />

For wheel enquiries, please contact<br />

FS Solutions,S Quinlan Ave, St Marys SA<br />

T: 08 8276 8666<br />


Ceram ics +<br />

Luna Palace depicting HA HA and Mr Moon<br />

Dreaming with Open Eyes<br />

Pamela Irving discusses her mosaic installation at Luna Park in Melbourne<br />

Entry to Luna Park through Mr Moon's gaping mouth is an experience Melbourne kids have enjoyed for<br />

100 years. As I walked through the entrance in December 2012, I reflected upon my own journey as an<br />

artist over the past thirty years that had brought me to this place . How had my ceramic education and<br />

practice taken me from making coil-built ceramics (sculptural mythological creatures, glazed and fired) to<br />

applying 'ready-made' ceramics to more than 100 square metres <strong>of</strong> a permanent mosaic installation on<br />

Luna Park's Luna Palace?<br />

My undergraduate and postgraduate work in ceramics centred around kiln-fired, sculptural works.<br />

exhibited works based on myth, both ancient and modern. For the first decade or so <strong>of</strong> my pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />

practice, I had the time to devote to the technical challenges <strong>of</strong> sculptural ceramics; however, the<br />

arrival <strong>of</strong> children led me on a completely different trajectory. <strong>The</strong> demands <strong>of</strong> newborns did not sit<br />

well with the production <strong>of</strong> coil building, glazing and firing. I resorted, from necessity, to making lots <strong>of</strong><br />

smaller ceramic objects - things that I could fire, glaze and cement together, achievable within my time<br />

constraints. Unconsciously, out <strong>of</strong> necessity rather than by design, I was becoming a mosaicist.<br />

Reference to the history <strong>of</strong> pottery and ceramics has always been very important to my mosaic<br />

practice . I began to combine my early handmade components with found objects and commercial tiles.<br />

sought out hallmarks and shards from some <strong>of</strong> the world's great potteries and ceramic production ware,<br />

which placed the work within a context. At times I used the hallmarks as part <strong>of</strong> the narrative .<br />


<strong>Ceramics</strong> +<br />

My early mosaics used doll parts, figurines and ornaments,<br />

which I altered. Some <strong>of</strong> these were shown in my 2004<br />

exhibition, Treading the Boards, which toured around some <strong>of</strong><br />

Victoria's Regional Galleries. That body <strong>of</strong> work was inspired by<br />

the American folk art tradition <strong>of</strong> Memory ware - a 19th century<br />

craft developed by women who affixed keepsakes to the outside<br />

<strong>of</strong> vessels. I found the notion <strong>of</strong> creating these visual time<br />

capsules as personal mementoes, very inspiring.<br />

It was from this time that I stopped making my own ceramic<br />

components. Instead, I used factory-produced wares and t iles<br />

exclusively in my work. <strong>The</strong> use <strong>of</strong> commercial ceramic shards<br />

makes reference to the demise <strong>of</strong> the production potter whose<br />

wares were rapidly being replaced by cheap Asian imports. My<br />

palette came from opportunity shops and friends who gave me<br />

their broken, treasured ceramic heirlooms and kitchen china.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir trash became my mosaic treasu re.<br />

<strong>No</strong>m <strong>No</strong>m figure<br />

<strong>The</strong> use <strong>of</strong> broken china in mosaic is called 'pique assiette'.<br />

While it translates literally to 'picnic plate', it is also colloquially<br />

used to describe "one who steals from others' plates" . As a mosaic technique, it describes the process<br />

<strong>of</strong> using broken and recycled china as the tesserae. A good example <strong>of</strong> the application <strong>of</strong> this technique<br />

is found in a china-encrusted house in Chartres, France called La Picassiette. Other examples <strong>of</strong> mosaic<br />

environments created from found objects are Nek Chand's Rock Garden in Chandigarh, India, and Isaiah<br />

Zagar's Philadelphia's Magic Gardens in the USA.<br />

Bird Lady. detail

<strong>Ceramics</strong> +<br />

As my children grew, family holidays involved visiting those three sites as well as Niki de Saint Phalle's<br />

Queen Califia's Mosaic Garden in San Diego, Jean Linard's Cathedral in France and, locally, the Old<br />

Curiosity Shop in Ballarat. <strong>The</strong>se places have been enormously inspirational for me. Other travels took<br />

us to the classic Roman mosaics <strong>of</strong> Pompeii, to Carthage and EI Jem (Tunisia), <strong>Vol</strong>ubilis (Morocco) and<br />

Italica (Spain). Inspiration from the modern mosaic environments has combined with my fascination for<br />

ancient Roman pottery and mosaics to inform my current ceramic practice.<br />

In 2010, I received a large commission from the Luna Park Trust. It came about quite serendipitously. I<br />

was travelling with my husband in Tunisia at the time, looking at Roman mosaics in the Bardo Museum,<br />

when I received an email from the Executive Director <strong>of</strong> Luna Park, Mary Stuart. Mary had visited my<br />

gallery/studio in my absence and fell in love with my courtyard, a space encrusted with scores <strong>of</strong> bird<br />

mosaics and bird ornaments. She felt my quirky, playful style would be a perfect fit for Luna Park.<br />

<strong>The</strong> front arches <strong>of</strong> the Luna Palace Building, housing the famous dodgem cars w ith a reception area<br />

upstairs, presented as the ideal site. Located in the centre <strong>of</strong> the Luna Park complex, it is approximately<br />

2 S metres wide and one metre in height. I was given free reign as to the content <strong>of</strong> the work, as my<br />

playful style was already anticipated.<br />

I decided to make large, giggly heads - a reference to the Giggle Palace that adorned the Park before<br />

a fire destroyed it in 1981. I also used my vocabulary <strong>of</strong> animals and characters which inhabit my prints<br />

and drawings. <strong>The</strong> workers at Luna Park (sometimes referred to as '<strong>The</strong> Carnie People', as in 'carnival')<br />

also provided inspiration.<br />

This installation also makes reference to pottery and ceram ic history. On one archway is the SI. Kilda<br />

Mermaid, which is a 2.S-metre reclining figure. Her tail is made from the bottom <strong>of</strong> c<strong>of</strong>fee mugs cut<br />

Installing the HA HA figure<br />

Mermaid tail detail

<strong>Ceramics</strong> +<br />

in half to create scales, each one bearing their hallmark 'Made in Japan', 'Made in China', 'Made in<br />

England'. She is a truly multicultural mermaid, befitting <strong>of</strong> the generations <strong>of</strong> immigrants that have<br />

entered through Mr Moon's Big Mouth since it's opening on 13 December 1912.<br />

My entire mosaic installation at Luna Park is titled Dreaming with Open Eyes. It is not only the title,<br />

but also describes my approach to this major project.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first installment was unveiled on 13 December 2010 by transport magnate Lindsay Fox, one <strong>of</strong><br />

the Park's owners. On that night I was commissioned to do another section, the 12-metre high turret<br />

immediately adjacent to the arches. On the second section many <strong>of</strong> the characters represent people in<br />

the real world. <strong>The</strong>y have more personal significance.<br />

One example is the large 'HA HA' figure, with a face made using shards collected by the vivacious,<br />

tattooed, in-house carpenter, Dalida Azar. <strong>The</strong> Luna Park site was a tip in the 1890s. Dalida collected<br />

the shards for me while repairing the scenic railway. Inside the HA HA figure's stomach, you can see<br />

what he has just eaten - duck, rabbit and chook! <strong>The</strong> little antique animal figurines are perched<br />

inside his stomach, much like the pigeons seen perching around the park. <strong>The</strong> HA HA figu re has a<br />

peg leg. Peg Leg was an imaginary figure I shared with my grandmother. He also has two tattoos with<br />

swallows, which represent my grandfather who worked at the Swallow and Ariell Biscuit Factory in Port<br />

Melbourne for most <strong>of</strong> his life.<br />

Mrs Moon<br />

being Installed

Harry Happy Pants about to be installed<br />

Genie head with skewers in place to<br />

keep the screw holes open<br />

<strong>The</strong> words 'HA HA' emerge from his mouth representing the joy and laughter that rings out<br />

through the park. It is also harks back to the original Giggle Palace that I remember so fondly from my<br />

childhood.<br />

This second section was unveiled for the Park's 99th Birthday by Simon Crean, Federal Minister for<br />

the Arts. <strong>The</strong> third section, celebrating the 100th birthday, was unveiled by former prime minister Paul<br />

Keating in December 2012.<br />

<strong>The</strong> third section <strong>of</strong> the installation covers the second turret and connecting arch <strong>of</strong> the Luna Palace<br />

building. Here, Mr Moon does a kind <strong>of</strong> disco jig and finds a girlfriend - his own carnie girl, Mrs Moon.<br />

Mrs Moon sports whole plates as eyes, salt and peppershakers for eyeballs, and a broken dinner set for<br />

her skirt. My favorite piece on this section is above the archway, Harry Happy Pants. His big, grinning<br />

face is made from smashed Moroccan tagines and Italian smalti.<br />

Creating works using the historic shards found by Dalida, gifted ornaments, and pre-loved<br />

dinnerware, has given the large, wacky pieces their own character as 'Melbourne Memory ware' .<br />

In September 2012 I attended the International Mosaic Conference in Cyprus, where I gave a<br />

PowerPoint presentation <strong>of</strong> the mosaic installation, Dreaming with Open Eyes. From this presentation<br />

I received an invitation to participate in an exhibition at the Ravenna Mosaico, the International Festival<br />

<strong>of</strong> Contemporary Mosaic in Italy, to be held in October <strong>2013</strong>. I have also been invited to create a new<br />

section (the fourth installment) for the Luna Palace building.<br />

So, how did I move from coil-built ceramics to a huge mosaic installation at Luna Park? I suppose<br />

the answer is that my ceramics journey has not been conventional. but throughout three decades <strong>of</strong><br />

ceramics practice, I have always been dreaming with open eyes.<br />

Entry to Luna Park is free. See their website for opening times.<br />

Pamela's gallery at 68 Patterson Road, Bentleigh in Melbourne is open by appointment.<br />

T: 03 9557 2688.<br />

You can see progress shots <strong>of</strong> the installation on www.facebook.com/pamelairvingart<br />

www.pamelairving.com.au<br />


Up the Commission Path<br />

Production<br />

Ware in a<br />

Digital Age<br />

Stephen Benwell interviews<br />

Christopher Plum ridge<br />

While having a telephone conversation with<br />

my friend Chris Plumridge about his recent<br />

commission, I asked to see an image <strong>of</strong> the<br />

work. Down the wire came a photo <strong>of</strong> the<br />

ceramic sculpture in question - a trophy stack<br />

<strong>of</strong> cool-hued, teetering shapes. Chris had made<br />

eighty-five <strong>of</strong> them to grace the tables at the<br />

<strong>Australian</strong> Business Arts Foundation (AbaF)<br />

awards night at Peninsula, an events centre at<br />

Docklands in Melbourne in late 2012.<br />

For a potter like myself, there is virtue in<br />

not making two pieces the same. In contrast,<br />

the clean repetition <strong>of</strong> produdion pottery can<br />

seem an alien proposition. I am curious to<br />

know more about the world <strong>of</strong> the potter who<br />

makes to order and for whom a stray dribble or<br />

unplanned mark spells failure.<br />

I passed the idea <strong>of</strong> an article about Chris by<br />

Vicki Grima. With her encouragement, I drive<br />

to Chris's studio, one <strong>of</strong> a small complex <strong>of</strong> red<br />

brick fadories, in a bayside suburb 20 km from<br />

Melbourne's CBD. His neighbours are cabinet<br />

makers, metal workers and plastic model<br />

makers - all pr<strong>of</strong>essional, technical businesses<br />

<strong>of</strong> single operators.<br />

We sit down to talk next to benches piled<br />

w ith plaster moulds, pots, buckets, and<br />

AbaF Award on the table at lhe award night<br />

Photo: courtesy Creative Partnerships Australia<br />

and Trudi Sheppard<br />


Christopher Plumridge, Individual Rice Cooker, 1989, cast porcelain, h. tOem, diam.13cm, placed within UNI bowl, indented,<br />

2010, h.8cm, diam.28cm; photo: artist<br />

containers large and small, a testament to eleven years inhabiting this studio space. A spool <strong>of</strong> bubble<br />

wrap hangs from a beam. <strong>The</strong> kiln is a tall, electric front-loader, door open, half-unpacked, three cones<br />

bent obediently.<br />

Stephen Benwell; What do you make and how do you make it?<br />

Chris Plumridge: I make tableware, tea ware, decor ware and cookware. My poached egg boats are<br />

my best seller, always have been. I sell everything else but not as quickly. I slipcast, make moulds either<br />

thrown or from found shapes, design and formulate glazes, and do the firings <strong>of</strong> electric, oxidation<br />

stoneware.<br />

SB: Do you have a business plan?<br />

CP: Sort <strong>of</strong> - to make domestic tableware and sell through retail stores, maintaining production to meet<br />

demand. Since 2011, I've been on-line and I've been selling a bit that way. I try and build relationships<br />

w ith store owners, predominately because bricks and mortar stores sell more quickly than on-line stores.<br />

SB: Tell me about the AbaF commission. What was the idea that won you the initial design competition?<br />

CP: It was a competition project-managed by Craft Victoria. <strong>The</strong> brief was to design a centrepiece for<br />

the tables at the AbaF awards night. My idea was a 40 cm high sculpture <strong>of</strong> six sections. It represents<br />

the anxiety I have being a potter. Today everything is zeroes and ones.<br />

94 THE JOURNAL Of AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong>

Up the Comm iss ion Path<br />

Christopher Plumridge, <strong>The</strong> March <strong>of</strong> the Egg Boats, 2000, sliP«'st porcelain, each h.6cm, w.12cm, d.7cm<br />

Photo: artist<br />

S8: Can you elaborate?<br />

CP: I don't make my living out <strong>of</strong> digital information, what I call 'zeroes and ones' . It's a part <strong>of</strong> it but it 's<br />

not my primary skill base . I'm a 3D object maker.<br />

S8: So by anxiety you mean a tension between handmade things and computer generated things?<br />

CP: Yes. Most <strong>of</strong> the products we get today are computer generated.<br />

S8: What is the most challenging aspect <strong>of</strong> your work in a creative sense?<br />

CP: Quality. Maintaining quality.<br />

S8: What do you mean by 'quality')<br />

CP: Ensuring that a product is well made, well finished, not flawed. <strong>The</strong>re are so many subtle variations<br />

in glazes that something can be technically perfect but just because <strong>of</strong> the finish it may look dull or<br />

lifeless.<br />

S8: You had technical difficulties with the AbaF award sculpture. What were they?<br />

CP: I began w ith a plaster construction. Next step was to make the moulds <strong>of</strong> each shape. I bisque<br />

fired and glazed each separat e part. I tried three methods <strong>of</strong> attaching the cone f orms to one another.<br />

One was a screw thread; one was square-to-square interlocking device; and one was cone-to-cone by<br />


Up the Commission Path<br />

All work by Christopher Plumridge<br />

Photos: artist<br />

1 Black 'Bird' Teapot, 2000, crystal matte black<br />

glaze, slipcast porcelain. electric oxidation firing<br />

1280·(, h.14.Scm, w.2lem, d.12em<br />

2 Black Crystal Matte plates and platters<br />

2012, cast (SIRO porcelain (artist prepared body<br />

not commercially available), diam.20.5-5OCm<br />

3 Cosy-cups, group <strong>of</strong> lidded egg cups, 2011<br />

cast, Southern Ice, h.9cm, w.Scm<br />

a pin and slot, built-in shape. Because the porcelain s<strong>of</strong>tens at high temperature, all three methods had<br />

deficiencies. It was only after the glaze firing that I realised attaching the forms would work.<br />

58: What worked in the end?<br />

CP: I used a combination <strong>of</strong> all three methods. Some I fused together with glaze and increased the<br />

casting time to strengthen the forms through weight, and some I glued with Aralditee. <strong>The</strong>re was a<br />

packaging aspect that didn't go quite right. <strong>The</strong> sculptures had to be packaged, labelled, signed and<br />

delivered by a set date.<br />

58: You <strong>of</strong>ten work with clients. Do you have any advice for others in taking on commissions?<br />

CP: I get requests for specific objects in a range <strong>of</strong> sizes. Try (and there is no guarantee you 'll get this<br />

right) and get the brief for the piece very clearly defined. And ensure that the brief is maintained from<br />

the original description. Having the client change the brief mid-project is costly in time and re-testing<br />

things. Sometimes the client doesn't understand that to change any component requires more testing.<br />

58: You do one-<strong>of</strong>f exhibition pieces too. What's the head-space there?<br />

CP: Ideas come to me that have a particular drive and I am excited about and they take precedence over<br />


Christopher Plum ridge, Carbomb Carbon Teapots, 2010, slipcast from plastIC fast food container and altered, 1280 0 (<br />

Julia Gillard impressed photo image, car and bomb image on the other side, copper green gloss glazed porcelain<br />

h.IS.Scm w.7cm, d.9cm; photo: artist<br />

production and financial needs. I'm drawn to an image or external stimulus and see it as a form that I<br />

would like to make. I just come across it.<br />

S8: And do you get ideas from fellow ceramic artists?<br />

CP: <strong>No</strong>t usually. I think I get more <strong>of</strong> a sense <strong>of</strong> inspiration from their altitudes or liveliness. I think I just<br />

pick up on what drives other artists and absorb some <strong>of</strong> it.<br />

We finish the interview there. <strong>The</strong> formality <strong>of</strong> an interview is different to conversation, thinking what to<br />

say when someone else is listening in. Usually we nod and grunt and use expletives and make ourselves<br />

perfectly well understood. <strong>The</strong> phone rings. It's a client, a cafe owner to talk over a range <strong>of</strong> cups and<br />

saucers. <strong>The</strong> design is not his but Chris will be the maker. Somewhere, another world <strong>of</strong> zeroes and<br />

ones - here in the studio it will be hands-on.<br />

http://stephenbenwell.com<br />

http://home.vicnet.net.au/- cplum<br />


1 WINNER: Photographer: Denise McDonald, Denise McDonald, Randwick studio, february <strong>2013</strong><br />

Shoot the Studio Potter<br />

3 Photographer: Belle Brooks, Belle Brooks and Evie Barramundi<br />

Brooks, Mudgee, february <strong>2013</strong><br />


Ceramic Shots<br />

1 Photographer: Rona Sissons, Sharon RidsdaJe<br />

Sharon's studio, Wyong NSW, February <strong>2013</strong><br />

2 Photographer: Anne Gray, Rebecca Bacchus and Brigitta<br />

Kurmann-Fischer; Busselton Pottery Group, February <strong>2013</strong><br />

3 Photographer: Marion Henderson, Kron Kamal<br />

Blechynden, Susselton Pottery Club, February <strong>2013</strong><br />

4 Photographer: Esa Jaske, Esa Jaske, Esa 's Bilgola Plateau<br />

home studiO, February <strong>2013</strong><br />

5 Photographer: leanne Cole. Lene Kuhl Jakobsen<br />

Lene's Heidelberg studio, February <strong>2013</strong><br />


Ceramic Shots<br />

1 Photographer: Esa Jaske, Malcolm Greenwood, Malcolm Greenwood's<br />

Mosman Studio, January <strong>2013</strong> 2 Photographer: Sarah Stackman, Emily<br />

Laszuk, Emily's studio, February <strong>2013</strong> 3 Photographer: Alwyne Parker,<br />

Maureen Kieran, Busselton Pottery Group, July 2012 4 Photographer;<br />

Jacqueline West, Ian Richards. Principal Claycraft, Moonbi NSW<br />

January <strong>2013</strong> 5 Photographer: Alex Davey, Margaret Davey, garage<br />

studio, Pennant Hills NSW, February <strong>2013</strong> 6 Photographer: Christine<br />

Gregory, Martin Gregory, Taylors Beach NSW, January <strong>2013</strong><br />

7 Photographer: Sina Mejias Gates, Kathryn Mitchell, Gold Coast,<br />

<strong>No</strong>vember 2012 8 Photographer: Vipoo Srivilasa, Dean Netherton and<br />

group, Bangkok, Thailand <strong>No</strong>vember 2012<br />

8<br />


1 Photographer: Beverley Lacey, Glen Wardle and Ella , Glen's Toowoomba studio, February <strong>2013</strong> 2 Photographer: Kevin<br />

Boyd, Brian Keyte, Kalorama, VIC, January <strong>2013</strong> 3 Photographer: Kevin Boyd, Arnaud Barraud, Kalorama, VIC. January<br />

<strong>2013</strong> 4 Photographer: Rona Sissons, Rona Sissons, Hornsby studio. January <strong>2013</strong> 5 Photographer: Robin Parke r. Dennis<br />

Chapman, Tintinhull Pottery, Kootingal NSW, February <strong>2013</strong> 6 Photographer: Jason Van't Padje, Lone White, Calms,<br />

February <strong>2013</strong> 7 Photographer: Rona Sissons. Dawn Perry. Westleigh studio, January <strong>2013</strong> 8 Photographer: Anita Kules5a,<br />

lennifer Collier (left) and Kath Crawford, Tarago studiO, NSW, February <strong>2013</strong><br />


Studio<br />

Sue Scobie in her studio <strong>2013</strong><br />

Photo: Rob Burns<br />

Sue Scobie<br />

I first met Sue Scobie at the 2010 ICMEA conference in Fuping, China. 5he had entered the 3rd<br />

International Emerging Ceramic Artists' Exhibition and I was so impressed by the sophistication and<br />

technical skill <strong>of</strong> her pots that I have kept an eye on her work ever since. When planning this issue's<br />

focus on New Zealand ceramics, I thought it was time to catch up on her current practice.<br />

Vicki Grima: Do you have a mentor? Who is/was it and how does/did he/she assist you)<br />

Sue Scobie: I don't currently have a mentor. During the last year <strong>of</strong> my ceramics diploma in 2009,<br />

Anneke Borren was great to talk with, providing lots <strong>of</strong> encouragement to keep going in the face <strong>of</strong><br />

seemingly endless technical challenges. My current work has developed from that fina l year.<br />

VG: What is your favourite tool?<br />

55: <strong>The</strong> only tools I use are my hands and metal scrapers (kidneys) - I can't do without either. <strong>The</strong> best<br />

scrapers are some I picked up in China but they are wearing pretty thin.<br />

VG: What do you listen to whilst working?<br />

55 : Mostly I have the radio on in the background, usually Radio National or RadioActive. When I'm not<br />

covered in clay (and able to change CDs) I playa lot <strong>of</strong> New Zealand music. Nick Cave gets a good<br />

thrashing when I'm in the right mood.<br />

VG: How is your work made?<br />

55: My current work starts with a pinched base and is bu ilt up with coils. I colour my own clay with a<br />

range <strong>of</strong> oxides. <strong>The</strong>se give s<strong>of</strong>ter colours that work well with the land and seascapes I tend to work<br />

on. I sometimes include local materials in the mix, usually to add texture, but have also recently started<br />

including glaze chips in with the clay body which produces a different range <strong>of</strong> textures.<br />

I use mid-fire porcelain together with a stoneware body which can cause no end <strong>of</strong> trouble w ith<br />

differential shrinkage, made worse by the additional fluxing <strong>of</strong> the oxides. At times I lose up to half<br />

102 THE 10URNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRIL <strong>2013</strong>

(or more) <strong>of</strong> the pieces in anyone firing due to<br />

cracking. Really careful joining and drying seems<br />

to be the answer.<br />

<strong>The</strong> patterning that shows through on the<br />

finished piece is not always predictable. I<br />

combine different colours and/or clays in one coil,<br />

which is then <strong>of</strong>ten interspersed with a coil <strong>of</strong><br />

a single colour or plain porcelain. <strong>The</strong> thickness<br />

<strong>of</strong> the coil before and after pinching affects the<br />

result. As the piece builds up, I leave it to dry for<br />

a while before scraping back and refining the<br />

shape and then adding more coils. <strong>The</strong> rim is a<br />

porcelain coil which can be quite tricky to work<br />

with as you only get one go at putting it on.<br />

I fire once only to vitrify the porcelain and then<br />

finish <strong>of</strong>f each piece with a wet sanding.<br />

Left:<br />

Sue Scobie. Around the Mountain 2012, coiled porcelain<br />

and stoneware oxides. glaze inclusions, h.23.Scm w.l1cm,<br />

d.llcm; photo: Rob Burns<br />

Below:<br />

Sue Scobie, Together Alone. <strong>2013</strong> coiled porcelain and<br />

stoneware oxides, tallest h.7 em, w.8cm, d.8cm Photo: artist

St udio<br />

VG: What is your most treasured piece <strong>of</strong> ceramics?<br />

55: A smoke-fired fantail I was given a long time ago. It's very low fired and fragile but really captures<br />

the spirit <strong>of</strong> these small birds.<br />

VG: Describe your studio cycle - how you spend the dayslweekslmonths in your studio.<br />

55: I need at least four consecutive days to take a piece from the start to being able to leave it to dry<br />


Sue Scobie, Tidelines, 2012 , coiled porcelain and stoneware, oxides, glaze inclusions, h.17cm. w.1Scm. d.15cm; photo: artist<br />

completely. If I don't have that time, it's not worth starting - catching the right stage between being too<br />

dry and too wet is critical for both joining and scraping back.<br />

Things can get pretty intense with exhibition deadlines. I try to work steadily all year, though in<br />

summer it's easier to make larger pieces due to much shorter drying times. while in winter it makes<br />

more sense to work on smaller pieces. My studio is unheated and not insulated, so I'm mostly working<br />

in the ambient conditions. On really hot days, I've had the porcelain dry so fast it just falls <strong>of</strong>f, whereas<br />

in winter I can leave the same piece for days before I can finish it.<br />

Sue Scobie is participating in a group show at Avid Gallery in Wellington from 2-16 <strong>April</strong>, <strong>2013</strong><br />

with Chris Weaver, Janet Green and Hana Rakena; www.avidgallery.co.nz<br />

www.suescobie.co.nz<br />

THE IOURNAl Of AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong> 105

Join the pots<br />

Porcelain forms, 24cm. Dolomite glaze, air·<br />

brushed copper carbonate pigment. Exhibition<br />

at Museums and Galleries Board <strong>of</strong> the <strong>No</strong>rthern<br />

Territory, <strong>No</strong>v 1978. PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> IS <strong>No</strong> 1 1979<br />

Cyclone Ffashpoint 1, slab<br />

construction, mid range stoneware.<br />

assemblage 61em height<br />

PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 20 <strong>No</strong> 1 1981<br />

Clay slab form draped<br />

into plaster mould.<br />

Underglaze stain. oxides<br />

and glazes applied<br />

through etching, airbrush<br />

and brush. Once fired<br />

vertically in an oxidizing<br />

atmosphere to 1080"C,<br />

64cm x 59cm. Potters<br />

Gallery. May 1981 .<br />

Photograph by Douglas<br />

Thompson.<br />

PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 20 <strong>No</strong> 2 1981<br />

PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 22 <strong>No</strong> 2 1983<br />

Wall (1979-80). Clay - Feeneys raku, handbuilt<br />

format divided into medular elements. 3m x 11 m.<br />

Client: Attorney-General's Department. Architect:<br />

Department <strong>of</strong> Housing and Construction.<br />

location: Foyer Court-house. Alice Springs.<br />

Photo: Gunther Deiehmann. PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 23 <strong>No</strong> 2 1984<br />

PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 23 <strong>No</strong> 2 1984<br />

Wishing for the<br />

West Season.<br />

Earthenware 120<br />

em x 60 em 1983.<br />

PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 24 <strong>No</strong> 1<br />

1985<br />

Darwin 1942 . Earthenware<br />

100 em x 80 em 1983.<br />

PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 24 <strong>No</strong> 1 1985<br />

A collection <strong>of</strong> images <strong>of</strong> work by Vincent Francis McGrath<br />

from the archives <strong>of</strong> Pottery in Australia (PIA)I<strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> (JAC)<br />

Vincent McGrath<br />

working for<br />

the Toronto<br />

Exhibition.<br />

Photo: <strong>The</strong><br />

Examiner,<br />

i..Juneeston. PIA,<br />

<strong>Vol</strong> 2S <strong>No</strong> 3<br />

1986<br />


loin the pots<br />

1985. Earthenware, low-fire glazes, underglaze stains<br />

1.3m x 1.1 m x O.6m. PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 2S <strong>No</strong> 3 1986<br />

Vincent McGrath in his studio<br />

Photo: Marion Bond. PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 26 <strong>No</strong> 3 1987<br />

Through Fingal, earthenware<br />

1 m x 40 cm x 55 cm.<br />

PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 26 <strong>No</strong> 3 1987<br />

Staff <strong>of</strong> the ceramics studio: Bernadine<br />

Alting. Vincent McGrath, Rynne Tanton<br />

PIA, vol 26 <strong>No</strong> 3 1987<br />

Sculptural<br />

form .<br />

PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 27<br />

<strong>No</strong> 2 1988<br />

Vincent McGrath, leader <strong>of</strong><br />

Tasmania '86.<br />

PIA, <strong>Vol</strong> 27 <strong>No</strong> 2 1988<br />

In Search<br />

<strong>of</strong> the<br />

Kookaburra ,<br />

earthenware,<br />

1.2 m. PIA, <strong>Vol</strong><br />

27 <strong>No</strong> 3 1988<br />

Mt Lyell Winter. Earthenware. 70




Congratulations to the winners <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships <strong>2013</strong>:<br />

Verney Burness (ACT), Alice Couttoupes (NSW), Anne-Marie Jackson (NSW), Kate Jones (VIC) and<br />

Antonia Throsby (NSW). Each <strong>of</strong> the winners received $4000 to assist them with their ceramic studies<br />

at a tertiary institution in <strong>2013</strong>. Many thanks to the judges - Stephen Benwell (VIC), Ben Richardson<br />

(TAS), Patsy Hely (ACn and Vicki Grima (NSW).<br />

A call for Round 3 applications (for study in 2014) will be announced in <strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Australian</strong><br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong>, Issue <strong>52</strong>/2. <strong>The</strong> deadline is mid-September <strong>2013</strong>.<br />

About the winners<br />

Verney Burness is studying a Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Visual<br />

Arts (<strong>Ceramics</strong> Major) at <strong>Australian</strong> National<br />

University (ANU). "In late March I will be<br />

attending a three week ceramics tour <strong>of</strong> China<br />

with ANU. I will be most interested in production,<br />

mould making and tool making. I hope to<br />

produce an installation that includes repetition<br />

<strong>of</strong> form, an environment in which the viewer<br />

moves in unconventional ways and references the<br />

scope <strong>of</strong> colour in iron glazes. I am particularly<br />

inspired and interested in rock formations and<br />

the chemistry <strong>of</strong> glaze testing."<br />

E: verney.burness@internode.on.net<br />

Alice Couttoupes is studying a Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Fine<br />

Arts Honours at College <strong>of</strong> Fine Arts, University<br />

<strong>of</strong> NSW. " This year J will be creating a body<br />

<strong>of</strong> work exploring colonial botany in relation<br />

to knowledge systems. Through the honours<br />

program at COFA I hope to consolidate my skills<br />

in ceramics."<br />

E: acouttoupes@gmail.com<br />


Anne-M arie Jackson is studying a Bachelor<br />

<strong>of</strong> Fine Art (Honours), ceramics major, at the<br />

National Art School, Sydney. " This year I will be<br />

investigating the relationship between ceramic<br />

objects and their context. I aim to make sculptural<br />

pieces that engage with the spaces they inhabit<br />

and reflect a sense <strong>of</strong> place."<br />

www.amcjackson.com<br />

Kate Jones is studying a Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Fine Art,<br />

Object Based Practice at RMIT.<br />

"I feel so lucky having access to the fantastic staff<br />

and the facilities at RMIT, particularly at a time<br />

when we are losing so many ceramic courses. I<br />

am going to fit in as much experimentation as I<br />

can, as well as preparing for a couple <strong>of</strong> shows,<br />

the first <strong>of</strong> which is in the Craft 24n window<br />

space from 6 May to 1 June.<br />

www.katejjones.com<br />

Photo: June Cassam. Goulburn TAFE<br />

Antonia Throsby will be studying the Graduate<br />

Certificate in Visual Arts at ANU in Canberra.<br />

" My aim for the year ahead is to be as busy as<br />

possible in my developing home stu dio. I have<br />

ideas I want to develop and ultimately want to<br />

supply outlets in Canberra and Sydney with my<br />

work. Apart from my functional pieces, I am<br />

building on a concept which I have been working<br />

on over the past 1-2 years. I also hope to travel<br />

to China and spend a week in Jingdezhen at the<br />

Pottery Workshop/Sculpture Factory exploring the<br />

many facets and techniques <strong>of</strong> ceramics."<br />

E: antoniathrosby@gmail.com<br />


A call for Round 3 applications (for study in 2014) will be announced in the next<br />

issue <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong>, <strong>52</strong>12 July <strong>2013</strong>, and on our website,<br />

www.australianceramics.com.<br />

THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong> 109

Education<br />

Where to from here?<br />

Suzy Diinser considers <strong>Ceramics</strong> Education in New Zealand<br />

<strong>The</strong> Distance Diploma <strong>of</strong> Ceramic Arts <strong>Ceramics</strong> education in New Zealand, as in many other places in<br />

the world, is facing an uncertain future. <strong>The</strong> last few decades have seen a shift in government policy<br />

away from funding programs in individual disciplines, with the result that skills-based education has<br />

been watered down. <strong>The</strong>re is a reason for this, <strong>of</strong> course: the heyday <strong>of</strong> the handmade everyday object<br />

is long over. A generation ago, making pots was an attradive way to earn a living, but today, choosing<br />

to become a potter or ceramic artist as one's main occupation is as brave and risky as to venture out as<br />

any other type <strong>of</strong> contemporary artist.<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> does, however, still have a strong amateur base in New Zealand with classes <strong>of</strong>fered through<br />

community education. <strong>The</strong> Auckland Studio Potters Society (ASP) provides a particularly successful<br />

example <strong>of</strong> this with a strong and active membership <strong>of</strong> more than 300 people, both amateurs and<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>essionals. <strong>The</strong> senior members and Centre staff have extensive technical knowledge which they<br />

readily share. <strong>The</strong>re is a strong commitment to developing good craft skills.<br />

About ten years ago, the idea <strong>of</strong> creating an in-house ceramics "diploma" course arose at the ASp,<br />

in response to the changing academic environment in New Zealand and the resulting gap in ceramics<br />

education. Most ceramics courses that had previously existed in polytechnics had been shut down. A<br />

few had been integrated with other disciplines to create 'design' diplomas, which gave an introdudion<br />

to a number <strong>of</strong> different areas but without the depth that had existed preViously. <strong>The</strong> strongest<br />

remaining ceramics program was at Otago Polytechnic, so the in-house diploma idea was developed into<br />

the Distance Diploma <strong>of</strong> Ceramic Arts (DCA), administered by Otago Polytechnic and <strong>of</strong>fered at ceramics<br />

centres around the country.<br />

Right: Jo-Anne Rail!<br />

(DCA 2007), Elite, 2012<br />

thrown, handbuilt mid fire<br />

porcelain, h.60cm,<br />

w.30cm; photo: artist<br />

Far right: Helen Perrett<br />

(DCA 2009), Jester, 2012<br />

handbuilt earthenware,<br />

oxides. underglaze.<br />

h.26cm, w.18cm, d.13cm<br />

Photo: artist<br />


Education<br />

Diploma programs traditionally aim to develop<br />

skills to prepare students for a vocation. This<br />

is the starting point for the DCA: students are<br />

meant to learn the skills a craftsman would need<br />

to produce competent work. <strong>The</strong>re are also<br />

classes to teach drawing, glaze technology and<br />

history. If one aspires to become an artist -<br />

delve into theory, develop concepts, and,<br />

with that, learn to write about one's<br />

work - the next step would be to do<br />

a degree.<br />

Unfortunately, in a small country<br />

with few ceramics students and<br />

fewer ceramics programs, this can be easier said than done, and the DCA has been stretched to cover<br />

more ground. In Auckland there are many accomplished ceramic artists to calion, so the program has<br />

benefitted from a variety <strong>of</strong> tutors w ith a wide range <strong>of</strong> experience. <strong>The</strong> sculpture modules include<br />

lessons on learning to research and develop ideas, and the throwing modules cover principles <strong>of</strong> design<br />

and context for use. <strong>The</strong> ASP also supplements the course by organising on-site drawing instrudion and<br />

sessions on marketing and photography.<br />

<strong>The</strong> push for more conceptual content in the course came from the students themselves. <strong>The</strong> first<br />

DCA students were mostly ASP members with reasonable skill levels who wanted to develop further<br />

than they cou ld in night classes. From this beginning, the conceptual development <strong>of</strong> ideas has been<br />

part <strong>of</strong> the program . However, there are some challenges w ith this. After the first wave <strong>of</strong> diplomaready<br />

students from the ASP membership, subsequent cohorts have had a greater number <strong>of</strong> entering<br />

students with little or no background in clay. W ith students at all levels taking the same studio modules<br />

together, the range <strong>of</strong> experience and understanding is vast - a challenge for the tutors, as well as<br />

Above: Annie Mdver (DCA 2008, DCA level 7 2009), Testing the Waters, 20 12, stoneware, glaze. paint, black styrene<br />

h.3 1cm, w.62cm, d.31 cm; photo: John Mciver<br />

Rathel Carter (DCA 2006), Breakfast Set in Blue, 2012, thrown, glazed porcelain, teacup, h.9cm; photo: artist<br />

THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong> 111

Above: Suzy Ounser (DCA 2011 ), Teapots, 2012, thrown earthenware<br />

lead glaze, tallest h,23cm; photo: artist<br />

left: Elena Renker (DCA 2007), Woodfired Shino Tea Bowl, 2012<br />

thrown woodfired stoneware, shino glaze, h.9cm w.13cm; photo: artist<br />

new students who <strong>of</strong>ten feel they've been dropped in the deep end <strong>of</strong> the pool. <strong>The</strong> increased range <strong>of</strong><br />

subject matter has also meant that some technical skills get less coverage.<br />

It is important to ensure that the skills associated with traditional clay work aren't lost. This is not just a<br />

nostalgic view. If you believe that well-crafted handmade objects add richness to everyday life, it's stating<br />

the obvious. But even if you believe that ceramic art has to moved on from the era <strong>of</strong> the studio potter,<br />

unless clay is to be abandoned as an artistic medium, people need to know how it works. Understanding<br />

the medium is a prerequisite for using it effectively as a means <strong>of</strong> expression. (Pause here for a two-day<br />

debate on outsourcing.) Artists who end up working in clay <strong>of</strong>ten don't have the technical knowledge<br />

to manage the material. Statements about their work may include rationalisations for cracks and other<br />

visible indications that things may not have turned out according to the original intention.<br />

Despite the assertion earlier that the heyday <strong>of</strong> the craft era is over, there does, thankfully, still seem<br />

to be a place in the world for well-designed handmade objects. At the same time, anyone looking at the<br />

work being shown in exhibitions and galleries in New Zealand and elsewhere will be aware that much <strong>of</strong><br />

what falls under the heading 'craft' these days is closer to fine art, using ceramics to convey ideas that<br />

mayor may not reference traditional use <strong>of</strong> materials. How can we ensure that students have access<br />

to learning both the technical and conceptual skills they need to have a chance to succeed as ceramic<br />

artists? A few <strong>of</strong> the DCA graduates doing sculptural work have gone on to complete arts degrees.<br />

Conversely, degree students working in ceramics have occasionally shown up in classes at the ASp,<br />

seeking to improve their technical abilities, but neither <strong>of</strong> these is a common occurrence.<br />


Education<br />

Susan St lawrence (DCA 2010, BA 2011), M en, 2010<br />

slipcast from original sculpture, earthenware, engobe<br />

h.3Ocm w.IOcm, d.IOcm; photo: artist<br />

Below: Ann O'Sullivan (DCA 2012), Whiskey Flasks, thrown<br />

altered, porcelain, underglaze and glaze. soda and woodfired<br />

tallest: h. 16cm; photo: artist<br />

Ideally, there would be a range <strong>of</strong> options to<br />

choose from, but the chances <strong>of</strong> new programs<br />

starting up are not good when there are barely<br />

enough ceramics students to keep one program<br />

up and running nationwide. Rather than<br />

stretch further what the ASP <strong>of</strong>fers, it would<br />

be constructive to form partnerships with art<br />

and design schools so students could shape<br />

their own courses depending on where they<br />

find themselves on the functional-conceptual<br />

spectrum. <strong>The</strong>re are currently ways to crosscredit<br />

classes between institutions, but it can<br />

be confusing, and lays the burden <strong>of</strong> initiative<br />

on the students. With co-operation between<br />

schools, standard programs could be developed<br />

that could be available - and marketed - to<br />

incoming students. W ith most academic funding<br />

in New Zealand dependent on the number<br />

<strong>of</strong> full-time students an institution can claim,<br />

this would be challenging. <strong>The</strong>re may be other<br />

options as well. Creative thinking and sharing <strong>of</strong><br />

ideas (with people facing similar issues in other<br />

countries, as well as in our own) are called for<br />

to keep ceramics education not only alive, but<br />

relevant.<br />

http://suzydunser.com<br />


Co llection<br />

Jeff Mincham's Sea <strong>of</strong> Grass<br />

Patsy Hely discusses a work recently acquired by the National Gallery <strong>of</strong> Australia<br />

When the lift opens on the second floor <strong>of</strong> the NGA, a group <strong>of</strong> objects from the Decorative Arts<br />

collection is revealed directly opposite. On the right, Jeff Mincham's Sea <strong>of</strong> Grass sits between a sodafire<br />

work by Gail Nichols and a ceramic and mixed media work by Neil H<strong>of</strong>fman. <strong>The</strong> three have a<br />

strong material presence and each also has in its surface or matrix, metallic substances that glint and<br />

shift differently as you move towards them.<br />

Sea <strong>of</strong> Grass, gifted to the Gallery in 2011, is a large elliptical, glazed, stoneware work and it bears<br />

a family resemblance to midfire works shown at Beaver Gallery, Canberra in 2009, a different Sea <strong>of</strong><br />

Grass and Windswept Hillside. <strong>The</strong> 2011 work is a step on from these, with the surface treatment<br />

more sophisticated, the working <strong>of</strong> material and organisation <strong>of</strong> imagery more fluid. In this current<br />

iteration, the work is much more directly and vigorously expressive.<br />

A boat-shaped foot ra ises the form and the covering glaze is opaque green with copper black<br />

patches. Here and there in the deeper recesses <strong>of</strong> the form metallic areas shine out. <strong>The</strong> surface is<br />

heavily worked and the striations are less organised than in the earlier works and so appear more<br />

naturalistic and less pattern-like. Overall, the form and surface oscillate between abstraction and<br />

representation in both form and surface. <strong>The</strong> form is a vessel and so representational in this sense, but it<br />

slips to the abstract because no function is evident. <strong>The</strong> surface is not directly representational, more an<br />

abstracted rendition perhaps, but what is very clearly represented is the experiencing <strong>of</strong> the interaction<br />

<strong>of</strong> matter and movement - <strong>of</strong> grass and wind. This is conveyed so well that the work's title is hardly<br />

needed at all.<br />

<strong>The</strong> 'sea' <strong>of</strong> the title refers to the large swathes <strong>of</strong> grass around the Coorong in South Australia<br />

where Mincham grew up, a land-based 'sea' in his conception. But that word in the title and the<br />

cool green-ness <strong>of</strong> the glaze also suggest the sea grass beds <strong>of</strong> the Coorong and that particularly<br />

mesmerising and destabilising sensation <strong>of</strong> watching as the current swirls tufts <strong>of</strong> sea grass this way and<br />

that. Either way - land or sea - ideas about bodily experience and the senses are, for me, uppermost in<br />

the work.<br />

In the photograph <strong>of</strong> the work there might be seen echoes <strong>of</strong> the work <strong>of</strong> Gloria Petyarre, the rich<br />

shimmer <strong>of</strong> her repeated marks and undulating fields <strong>of</strong> pattern; though in the presence <strong>of</strong> the object,<br />

this correspondence is less marked. Mincham's oeuvre is <strong>of</strong>ten discussed in terms <strong>of</strong> its relationship to<br />

Japanese Oribe ware, and stylistically those links are clear though less apparent here. Oribe has been<br />

referred to as 'robust, tough, magnanimous" and this I think is a fitting description <strong>of</strong> Sea <strong>of</strong> Grass.<br />

In his notes on the work, Sen ior Curator Robert Bell relates how Mincham is 'continually returning to<br />

the environment <strong>of</strong> his youth'2, a familiar trope for a mature artist. suggesting this has 'engendered in<br />

him an enduring respect for its visual spectacle and subtle ecology .. .' and this respect is on show here.<br />


Collection<br />

<strong>The</strong> once rich sea grass meadows <strong>of</strong> the Coorong are sadly depleted and the river systems are under<br />

threat. A sense <strong>of</strong> nostalgia, <strong>of</strong> longing, is discernible in Jeff Mincham's work over past years and a love<br />

<strong>of</strong> place can almost be felt in the way the landscape is rendered in some <strong>of</strong> his more recent works,<br />

In Sea <strong>of</strong> Grass, the side edges and base are worked as if tracing out t he contours - the bays and<br />

peninsulas - <strong>of</strong> the Coorong river and coast system. An entire area then, described in object form,<br />

1 Ryoji Kuroda, Takeshi Murayama, Classic Stoneware <strong>of</strong> Japan: Shine and Or;be. Kodansha International. Tokyo, 2002. 37<br />

2 Robert Bell, Arronview 71. Spring 2012, 29<br />

Jeff Mincham, Sea <strong>of</strong> Grass, 201 1, stonewa re, glazed, h.<strong>52</strong>cm, w,67cm, d,19cm<br />

National Gal/ery <strong>of</strong> Austra lia, Canberra, Gift <strong>of</strong> Susan Armitage 201 1

Collection<br />

<strong>The</strong> Secondary Market for<br />

Applied Arts<br />

Simon Manchester shares his experi ences<br />

success.<br />

<strong>The</strong> history <strong>of</strong> the secondary market for<br />

ceramics in New Zealand, other than private<br />

sales, really started in the early- to mid-1990s<br />

with the Albany Potters Collective annual<br />

Collectables Show run by Margaret Symes.<br />

Selling mostly Auckland artists, they showed<br />

there was a ready made market for historic<br />

rather than cu rrent work. Following the<br />

success <strong>of</strong> ceramics included in the Bruce<br />

Gall art sale <strong>of</strong> October 1996, the auction<br />

house Dunbar Sloane in Wellington (DSW),<br />

under Andrew Grigg, launched applied arts<br />

sales in August 1997 featuring mostly local and<br />

international ceramic artists addended as a third<br />

day <strong>of</strong> a three-day sale. Based around the disposal<br />

<strong>of</strong> local and eccentric collector Gordon Smart's massive<br />

collection <strong>of</strong> New Zealand ceramics, this was an immediate<br />

Since then, with a few gaps, D5W has had three dedicated sales<br />

per annum. Although underpinned for the first few sales by the Smart Collection, this auction quickly<br />

attracted a steady stream <strong>of</strong> both buyers and sellers.<br />

An early highlight was the Juliet Peter and Roy Cowan Collection in September 1999, which also<br />

included a large collection <strong>of</strong> Leach's work from 5t Ives, sourced from a vendor who had worked there<br />

as an assistant for Barbara Hepworth. This growing wave quickly attracted the interest <strong>of</strong> the other<br />

major auction house in New Zealand, the Peter Webb's Galleries (Webb's). Ross Miller and James<br />

Parkinson held irregular but important ceramics auctions at Webb's from c.2000 until they both left<br />

to found rival auction house Art and Object (A+O) in late 2006. From 2007, A+O has held bi-annual<br />

sales featuring ceramics combined with contemporary art, and latterly, Modern Design (mid-century<br />

furniture object d'arts). Important sales have been the Martin Hill Collection in May 2011 and the Len<br />

Castle Collection in <strong>No</strong>vember 2012, amongst others.<br />

Andrew Grigg, having moved from DSW to Cordys Auction House in Auckland, also ran ceramicsbased<br />

applied art auctions from late 2006. <strong>The</strong>se no longer run, but there is still a strong presence<br />

in their monthly antique auctions, with a distinct ceramics section backed by an excellent knowledge<br />

base. <strong>The</strong> author replaced Grigg at DSW in June 2006 and has continued to run tri-annual ceramicsbased<br />

applied auctions, the highlight being the Dame Doreen Blumhardt Collection sale in July 2010<br />

and the Hill and Castle sales, the biggest ceramics sales ever at around the 200K each.<br />


Collection<br />

And there, perhaps, is the rub. <strong>The</strong> top prices ever reached for ceramic works are 20K for an Ann<br />

Verdcourt work at A+O in an art sale, w ith various other sales at the 10-12K mark at DSW, Webbs<br />

and A+O, mainly for Jim Grieg and Len Castle works. Some Lucie Rie and Hans Coper pieces have sold<br />

in the 1 0-15K range, hardly big money in art world terms and a long way from the heights reached by<br />

the likes <strong>of</strong> Voulkos and Coper etc. in the international market. <strong>The</strong> local top sellers are Len Castle, Roy<br />

Cowan, Chester Nealie, Dame Doreen Blumhardt, Barry Brickell, Warren Tippett, Richard Parker, Denis<br />

O'Connor and a few unusual artists like Peter Hawkesby (for whom there is very little material available<br />

or made for that matter). <strong>The</strong>re is also a small but important market for works from the 19th century<br />

from brick works like George Boyd, P Hutson and Co. and Milton Potteries, but works are rare and there<br />

are few if any new collectors.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is also the issue, as I perceive it, that the 'buzz', apart from the highlight sales alone, seems to<br />

have peaked in the mid- to late-2000s and there is a feel ing that interest and prices have peaked. <strong>The</strong><br />

secondary market is in no way democratic and there is a fairly strict hierarchy <strong>of</strong> people who command<br />

good prices, with some exceptions - a Helen Mason recently sold at DSW for c. 7K<br />

(usually a few hundred). <strong>The</strong>re is some disgruntlement in<br />

the ceramic community that many good artists<br />

are not appreciated. Jim Greig, for example,<br />

OpPOSite page:<br />

Len Castle. Sulphur Bowl, diam.55cm; $8000<br />

Right:<br />

Jim Greig, Solid and Void Series Vase<br />

h.51cm; $6000<br />

Photos: Jo Whelan DSW<br />



Collectio n<br />

Dame Doreen Blumhardt. Floor Vase<br />

h.65cm; S2500; photo: Jo Whelan OSW<br />

who, while he sells well, only gains<br />

prices equivalent to or less than<br />

what his pieces sold for in the late<br />

'80s. Where are the newer artists<br />

to replace these old Masters, to keep sales vital and to attract new collectors7 Does this relatively wellorganised<br />

market that is a world leader in the way ceramics are presented to the public (we note the<br />

first dedicated ceramic auction <strong>of</strong> substance in the USA, organised by Garth Clark, only took place in<br />

<strong>No</strong>vember 2011), simply reflect an historic interest in an arena that faded badly in the primary market<br />

in the late '80s? We will see. <strong>The</strong>re is renewed vigor in the ceramics field here and internationally, but<br />

this seems embedded in the general art market and not so much concerned with 'a ceramics field' to be<br />

seen separately.<br />

<strong>The</strong> current position really seems to be that big names, led by Castle, do well, but, increasingly, many<br />

do not. Ultimately this is market-driven and not dictated by the auction houses. Internet sales on auction<br />

sites seem strong by volume but not on price and I am doubtful <strong>of</strong> a significant future for sales in this<br />

arena for such a tactile art-form.<br />

Simon Manchester is a Wellington-based independent Applied Arts consultant specialising in<br />

ceramics as well as craft objects.<br />


Potters Marks<br />

Potters Marks<br />

Todd Douglas<br />

Vincent McGrath<br />

C; .. --<br />

Chester Nealie<br />

Christopher Plumridge<br />

Sue Scobie<br />

Richard Parker<br />

Aaron Scythe<br />

Aaron Scythe: "I use a lot <strong>of</strong> stamps. In Japan, the<br />

one I used most was a screw head becau~ anyone<br />

can copy the stamp jf you go to a hardware store<br />

... but they cannot copy the pot ... kinda a laugh<br />

at stamps and also a poke in the ribs <strong>of</strong> Mingei,<br />

and the non-stamping thing. as they sure liked<br />

stamping and signing the boxes for their exhibition<br />

pots. Since coming back to New Zealand I use a<br />

lot more stamps: Aotearoa: 18402.6 (the day the<br />

Waitangi Treaty was signed); hip hop (also used in<br />

Japan); god inc (my pottery name); Te riti (the treaty<br />

... another laugh at stamps).<br />

I really do feel that there is no need for stamps. I<br />

use them as decoration on pots, not as a makers<br />

mark. <strong>The</strong>y co .... er up cracks in the clay, mishaps.<br />

etc. and are used for handles to grip better etc.<br />

I feel my work should be recognised by the work.<br />

without having to turn it upside down and look<br />

whose it is."<br />


Australia Wide<br />

act<br />

Satoru Hoshino, internationally acclaimed<br />

ceramic artist from Japan, will be resident artist<br />

in the ANU <strong>Ceramics</strong> Workshop in early <strong>2013</strong> .<br />

To coincide with this residency there will be an<br />

exh ibition <strong>of</strong> his recent work at Watson Arts<br />

Centre from 9 May to 2 June.<br />

Canberra Potters' Society made use <strong>of</strong> the<br />

holiday period to refit its main workshop to<br />

improve the facilities <strong>of</strong>fered to students. <strong>The</strong><br />

greater space, more shelving and increased<br />

number <strong>of</strong> si nks will be appreciated by students<br />

and teachers alike . Many thanks to president<br />

Maryke Henderson and the volunteers who<br />

cleaned the workshop and installed new<br />

equipment in time for the start <strong>of</strong> classes.<br />

<strong>The</strong> annual CPS StudentfTeacher exhibition is<br />

scheduled to take place at the end <strong>of</strong> June.<br />

Japanese artist Ryozo Shibata has been<br />

confirmed as a <strong>2013</strong> artist in residence at CPSI<br />

WAC later in the year. Opportunities exist year<br />

round for applications for residencies at the<br />

Watson Arts Centre and interested ceramicists<br />

are invited to access information at www.<br />

canberrapotters. com.au<br />

Following the resounding success <strong>of</strong> this year's<br />

Summer School, CPS workshop convenor Fran<br />

Romano is proposing to <strong>of</strong>fer a week-long<br />

Winter School in July. Details will be available on<br />

the Canberra Potters' website.<br />

In this year <strong>of</strong> the centenary <strong>of</strong> Canberra,<br />

Strathnairn Arts Association will be heavily<br />

involved in community adivities <strong>of</strong> celebration.<br />

From 5 to 28 <strong>April</strong> the group exhibition Artist<br />

in the House will be showing in the Homestead<br />

Ga llery. This will coincide with the launch on<br />

19 <strong>April</strong> <strong>of</strong> the projed Strathnairn a Place for<br />

People celebrating the rich and varied history<br />

<strong>of</strong> Strathnairn . From 3 to 26 May, Terrain will<br />

involve community groups, led by artist Gabriella<br />

Hegyes, construding and installing outdoor<br />

artworks at sites 'from the woolshed to the<br />

dam'. More information can be found at www.<br />

strathnairn .com.au. Come to Canberra to<br />

celebrate your capital and enjoy major exhibitions<br />

at your national institutions and at many local<br />

galleries.<br />

Cheers, Jane<br />

E: janecrick@dodo.com.au<br />

nsw<br />

W ith the sweeping changes to TAFE in NSW,<br />

<strong>2013</strong> is shaping up to be an interesting year.<br />

How it will play out is still a vast unknown, and<br />

ironically it is happening at a time when the<br />

interest in clay is surging. New private classes are<br />

opening up and quickly filling and most students,<br />

once they join, are staying on to increase their<br />

knowledge. A new clay supply shop is opening<br />

in Newcastle with proposed classes and a gallery.<br />

This is, <strong>of</strong> course, positive, but without TAFE a lot<br />

<strong>of</strong> deep ceramic knowledge may not be passed<br />

on.<br />

Congratulations to Lynda Stone, Megan Puis<br />

and Susan Myerson on their winning bowls in<br />

Bowled Over Again at Back to Back Galleries.<br />

Gosford Art prize, ceramic sedion, was won by<br />

Keiko Matsui with Chrysanthemum Vase, a fullbodied<br />

porcelain vase with cobalt brushwork.<br />

Julia Meyerowitz-Katz's exhibition, Holding<br />

Spaces was held in <strong>No</strong>vember at the Frances<br />

Keevil Gallery, Double Bay. <strong>The</strong> 15 ceramic<br />

handbags, seemingly everyday objects that<br />

we keep close by to help us through our daily<br />

transadions, were re-contextualised. <strong>The</strong> bags<br />

symbolically represent a memory space. Being<br />

a migrant, Meyerowitz-Katz has given different<br />

handbags a sense <strong>of</strong> place w ith specific textures<br />

suggesting migrations and memories <strong>of</strong> places<br />

from her own and ancestral travels.<br />

In January <strong>2013</strong>, Sandra Black from Perth<br />

gave another very informative slipcasting and<br />

decorating workshop at Newcastle Studio<br />

Potters. Once again she was highly organised and<br />

generous and we hope to have her back again.<br />

Entries for Art Unlimited competition at<br />

Dunedoo are due on 26 <strong>April</strong> for exhibition<br />

from 24 to 26 May. Situated on the Fitzroy River,<br />

Dunedoo is now part <strong>of</strong> the Coonabarabran<br />

Shire, and w ith the Warrumbungle mountain<br />

range close by it's a great place for wa lks and<br />

climbs.<br />

In <strong>2013</strong>, both Central Coast Potters and<br />

Newcastle Studio Potters w ill celebrate 45 years<br />

anniversaries. Endeavouring to keep viable and<br />

running smoothly is a constant challenge for our<br />

groups. Exchanging exhibitions with other similar<br />

groups is one way <strong>of</strong> bringing fresh work to the<br />

region. Sharing Facebook pages is another way<br />


Aus tralia Wall<br />

<strong>of</strong> linking up. Newcastle Studio Potters now has<br />

a Facebook page; please 'like' and send them<br />

your links.<br />

Sue Stewart<br />

E: sue@ceramicartist.com.au<br />

qld south east<br />

In 2008, 20 11 , then again in 20 12, I wrote<br />

about the devastating floods in OLD and other<br />

states. Well, here we go again. After many years<br />

<strong>of</strong> drought, now we have a run <strong>of</strong> devastating<br />

floods. Our hearts and best wishes go out to all<br />

our potty friends affected by floods or fires.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Gold Coast Potters Association Annual<br />

Members Exhibition held in <strong>No</strong>vember 2012<br />

was a resounding success. <strong>The</strong> overall winner<br />

was Leisa Russell with her beautiful porcelain<br />

figures. <strong>The</strong> exhibition culminated in an Art and<br />

Crafters Market Day on the final day with almost<br />

60 stall holders in all craft mediums. It was a<br />

fabulous day with live entertainment, 'Play with<br />

Clay' tables, demonstrations, and loads more.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first market day for <strong>2013</strong> will be held on<br />

Sunday 5 May.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Stefan Jacob Raku Building and Firing<br />

workshop was held at the Gold Coast Potters'<br />

Mudgeeraba studio in October. We experienced<br />

firsthand why Stefan Jacob is called the Raku<br />

Papst (Raku Pope) in Europe. Michaela Kloeckner<br />

reported that" after building more than 2000<br />

IKEA rubbish bin raku kilns all over the world,<br />

Stefan has the preparation and the process <strong>of</strong> his<br />

workshop fine-tuned like a Swiss precision clock<br />

work. Every part <strong>of</strong> the kiln building process,<br />

including the raku tongs, had been prepared in<br />

meticulous order, ready for us to use".<br />

To view the Stefan Jacob raku kiln building<br />

workshop, go to www.goldcoastpotters.com or<br />

their Facebook page. Clay Art Benowa can also<br />

be viewed at their website and Facebook page.<br />

As usual, if any groups in SE OLD have news<br />

they would like to include in the upcoming <strong>2013</strong><br />

issues, please contact me directly.<br />

Happy potting,<br />

Lynette Rogers<br />

E: romeo-whisky@bigpond.com<br />

sa<br />

<strong>The</strong> early part <strong>of</strong> each year in South Australia<br />

is dominated by the arty buzz <strong>of</strong> the Adelaide<br />

Festival and the accompanying Fringe. This year<br />

Fringe will feature exhibitions from established<br />

ceramic artists Liz Williams at BMG Art with<br />

Bride Series, 19 <strong>April</strong> - 11 May, and Neville<br />

Assad-Salha's Between Two Spaces at the Bay<br />

Discovery Centre in Glenelg. Also holding the<br />

ceramic flag during Fringe is a group exhibition<br />

from Studio Potters SA, Fringe Dwellers, and an<br />

exhibition by emerging artist Lauren Abineri who<br />

presented work at Tooth and Nail Gallery in her<br />

show Battlestar Ero tica in which she explored<br />

the hidden and sometimes deviant truths behind<br />

everyday objects.<br />

lauren Abineri<br />

Tender Pink<br />

handbuilt porcelain<br />

found objects<br />

h.Z5cm, w.15cm<br />

<strong>2013</strong> signifies a very important birthday for the<br />

one and only JamFactory. Established by Don<br />

Dunstan way back in 1973 in an old jam factory<br />

in St Peters, the ceramics studio began its life<br />

as a training institution in 1979, run by Living<br />

Treasure Jeff Mincham until 1982. Bronwyn<br />

Kemp went on to head the studio in 1983,<br />

followed by Peter Anderson, Stephen Bowers,<br />

Neville Assad-Salha, Phil Hart, Robin Best and,<br />

most recently, Prue Venables, who has resigned<br />

from the role to focus on other projects.<br />

To celebrate JamFactory is holding numerous<br />

exhibitions and events, including an in-house<br />

exhibition Designing Craft/Crafting Design<br />

which shows the work <strong>of</strong> forty artists,<br />

craftspeople and deSigners who have been<br />

THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong> 121

Aust ralia Wide<br />

associated with JamFactory during the past forty<br />

years including Kirsten Coelho, Jeff M incham and<br />

Prue Venables . In Gallery Two is ReCollections<br />

bringing together past JamFactory products,<br />

commissions and gifts.<br />

It's a good time to visit and muse upon the<br />

achievement that Dunstan initiated and is<br />

continued by a dedicated staff, volunteers, and<br />

the heartbeat <strong>of</strong> the place - the associates being<br />

vigorously trained in the internationally renowned<br />

two-year traineeship program. Jam Factory is<br />

definitely a different place to 40-odd years ago,<br />

or even 20, but the fact that it is up and running<br />

at all is an incredible achievement <strong>of</strong> which we<br />

are very proud.<br />

Sophie Phillips<br />

E: Sophia@sophiaphillips.net<br />

tas<br />

<strong>The</strong> Tasmanian Ceramic Association's 40th<br />

birthday celebrations started in 2012 with<br />

the annual exhibition Forty Years in the<br />

Making. Carolyn Audet took out the Award<br />

for Overall Excellence with her vessel Fish<br />

Monger Dreaming; John Watson won both<br />

<strong>The</strong> ACA Award for Innovative Use <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Clay Medium, and the People's Choice, for<br />

Ridgetop Retreat 11 ; Anna Williams won the<br />

<strong>No</strong>n-Functional Award for Marsupials; and I<br />

(Jude Maisch) took out the Functional Award<br />

with a platter triptych Deloraine Dreaming.<br />

Grace Cochrane gave an inspiring opening<br />

speech, following a packed house attendance<br />

the previous Friday at her University's Art Forum.<br />

Other 2012 events included a potters lunch,<br />

a talk w ith Barbara Cauvin at her Tasman ian<br />

Traces exhibition, and an inspirational workshop<br />

with Sandy Brown.<br />

TCA life member Lilia Weatherly passed<br />

away peacefully on 3 December. Lilia was for<br />

many years an active committee member and<br />

instrumental in many <strong>of</strong> the activities <strong>of</strong> the early<br />

years <strong>of</strong> the Potters Society. Thank you Lilia .<br />

lin the January bushfire at Dunalley, Tim and<br />

Tammy Holmes lost their home and possessions,<br />

including Tim's collection <strong>of</strong> ea rly Tasmanian<br />

woodfired pottery (displayed at Woodfire<br />

Tasmania 2011). Tim said that he is now<br />

planning to get back into pottery. We are happy<br />

that all the family is safe and wish them all the<br />

best.<br />

Dawn Oakford's Promenade at the Sidespace<br />

Gallery in February was an exhibition <strong>of</strong> an array<br />

<strong>of</strong> colourful ceramic creatures, strolling along<br />

in a world <strong>of</strong> their own. In late February, Sallee<br />

Warner exhibited her beautiful tea bowls, made<br />

with local clays and ash, in To Hold.<br />

<strong>The</strong> annual Benchmarking Birchs Bay<br />

Sculpture Exhibition, from 29 March to 30<br />

June, includes work from TeA's Richard Whitaker<br />

and Anna W illiams.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Tin Shed in Launceston is celebrating its 10th<br />

anniversary on 1 July with an exhibition called<br />

Decade at the Mill Providore and Gallery from 8<br />

June to 2 July.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first workshop for the year was with<br />

2solt Faludi at Glen Huon in March. It was an<br />

opportunity to see a master potter at work in his<br />

home studio and use his pizza oven.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>2013</strong> TCA Annual Exhibition will be held 3<br />

to 26 May at Rosny Schoolhouse Gallery.<br />

<strong>The</strong> TeA is always keen to hear from ceramicists<br />

who do workshops and who would like to visit<br />

Tasmania. Please send an email. Also have a<br />

look at our website under construction, www.<br />

tasmanianceramics .com.<br />

Jude Maisch; E: jude@judemaisch.com.au<br />

vic<br />

Many Victorians will be making their 3-yearly<br />

pilgrimage to Gulgong for Clay Push. It is with<br />

great sadness we heard <strong>of</strong> the recent passing<br />

<strong>of</strong> Janet Mansfield. Janet w as the guiding force<br />

behind the Gulgong clay events and she will be<br />

missed. She had a great memory for names and<br />

faces and made everyone feel welcome.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Valley Potters are celebrating their 35 year<br />

anniversary with a personalised tour in May <strong>of</strong><br />

the Kenneth Hood Bequest Exhibition at the<br />

Ian Potter Museum and Gallery, followed by High<br />

Tea at the NGV At their 2012 Annual Exhibition,<br />

ClayScape, judged by Jane Sawyer, the<br />

Acquisition Award went to Jill Anderson. Other<br />

Award winners were Juliet Widdows, Sharon<br />

Dingeldei, Glenn England and Lynda Kent.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir first event for <strong>2013</strong> will be a Sculpture<br />

Workshop with Jenny Rowe on 20 <strong>April</strong> at<br />

Waverley Community Learning Centre. For more<br />

122 THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong>

Austra lia Wide<br />

information email olgamaxwell@bigpond.com.<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> Victoria have organised an exciting<br />

workshops program starting with Greg Daly in<br />

May, followed by David Pottinger in July and<br />

Stephen Bowers in September. <strong>The</strong> closing date<br />

for the Decal Award is 15 May. Up to 3 works<br />

may be entered. For further information, go to<br />

www.ceramicsvictoria.org.au.<br />

Stonehouse Gallery hosted their 4th Annual<br />

Ceramic Student Encouragement Award in<br />

February. <strong>The</strong> students, chosen by their college,<br />

each presented a small body <strong>of</strong> work on a<br />

600mm square plinth. <strong>The</strong> award was judged by<br />

Dawna Richardson-Hyde who gave each student<br />

a detailed report and comments on their work,<br />

a great experience for all the students involved.<br />

<strong>The</strong> winner <strong>of</strong> the Stonehouse Award was Yuso<br />

Lee from Holmesglen TAFE . Other award winners<br />

were Jeannine Hendy, Kate Jones, Sue Lawson,<br />

Lynne Lindsay, Alexander Macklary, Nishar<br />

Neale and Lyndon Sendeckij. Victorian Ceramic<br />

Suppliers generously donated these awards.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dandenong Ranges Open Studios will take<br />

place on 27 and 2B <strong>April</strong> with an associated<br />

exhibition, Tension , to be held at the Burrinja<br />

Gallery from 6 <strong>April</strong> to 5 May. This year thirtyfive<br />

artists, including five ceramic artists, will be<br />

taking part.<br />

For more details, visit www.openstudios.org.au.<br />

Glenn England<br />

Editor's note: Glenn is retiring from her<br />

position as state representative for Victoria.<br />

Her reports over the past seven years have<br />

kept us up to date with workshop and<br />

exhibition news. Thanks Glenn!<br />

wa<br />

We've recovered from post Christmas exhaustion<br />

and are hitting the studios with renewed vigour.<br />

<strong>The</strong> big end-<strong>of</strong>-year sales push saw a flurry <strong>of</strong><br />

activity at Fremantle Art Centre's 'Bazaar', and<br />

many successful open studios throughout Perth<br />

and at various markets. From all accounts the<br />

effort was worthwhile.<br />

In <strong>No</strong>vember the Ceramic Arts Associat ion <strong>of</strong><br />

WA invited UK potter Sandy Brown, who was<br />

here on holiday, to give a talk on her work to its<br />

members. CAAWA members are preparing work<br />

for the Members Selective Exhibition in <strong>April</strong><br />

<strong>2013</strong>.<br />

In January, WA potter Sandra Black presented<br />

a workshop for the Newcastle Potters in NSW<br />

and she's been invited again to participate in<br />

the Year <strong>of</strong> the Snake Teapot Exhibition at<br />

the <strong>No</strong>ble Seafood Restaurants in Shanghai, an<br />

amazing and rewarding experience.<br />

Fremantle Arts Centre <strong>of</strong>fers popular courses<br />

such as porcelain jewellery, raku and sculpture<br />

taught by Stewart Scambler, Sandra Black, Dee<br />

Jaegar, Robin Varpins and Graham Hay. Central<br />

Institute <strong>of</strong> Technology, <strong>No</strong>rthbridge's spacious<br />

modern studios, continue to <strong>of</strong>fer ceramics units<br />

to Diploma <strong>of</strong> Visual Art and Craft students,<br />

along with the popular evening and school<br />

holiday classes. Cher Shackleton also <strong>of</strong>fers clay<br />

lessons in her O'Connor Studio.<br />

In May, Fleur Schell launches her visionary<br />

endeavour, a clay-oriented venue SODA Wet Clay<br />

Centre in <strong>No</strong>rth Fremantle. Together with local<br />

and international talent she'll provide clay lessons<br />

for people <strong>of</strong> all ages and abilities, pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />

development courses, parties and corporate<br />

events.<br />

In February, emerging artists Natalie Acton,<br />

Danica W ichtermann and Sarah Hannah<br />

exhibited new work together in A Porcelain<br />

Perspective, From the Land to the Sea at the<br />

ZigZag Cultural Centre, Kalamunda.<br />

Gomboc Gallery's Sculpture Survey and 30th<br />

Annual Outdoor Exhibition will be held in June<br />

featuring distinguished invited artists through a<br />

cultural exchange from Japan, South Korea and<br />

USA. Many <strong>Australian</strong> artists are participating<br />

along with students from Curtin and Edith<br />

Cowan Universities, Polytechnic West.<br />

Stewart Scambler and Trisha D'arcy are travelling<br />

to India where Stewart will give a talk at a<br />

pottery workshop.<br />

On 1 January, we lost Japanese <strong>Australian</strong> potter<br />

Michiko Love, a highly respected member <strong>of</strong> the<br />

WA ceramics community and a major influence<br />

on Stewart Scambler's work.<br />

We share with potters worldwide the sense <strong>of</strong><br />

loss at the passing <strong>of</strong> the inimitable and dynamic<br />

Janet Mansfield whose influence has been far<br />

reaching and enduring. Vale.<br />

Elaine Bradley; E: lalab@iinet.net.au<br />


Stockists<br />

ACT<br />

canberra potters society<br />

1 aspmal st watson<br />

national gallery <strong>of</strong> australia<br />

bookshop parke

On the Shelf<br />

On the Shelf<br />

More books are available on www.australianceramics.com<br />

Lustre<br />

NEW<br />

NEW<br />

1. Lustre by Greg Daly<br />

This handbook arms to<br />

explain and Simplify the<br />

process <strong>of</strong> creating various<br />

types <strong>of</strong> lustre. <strong>The</strong> book<br />

covers recipes for lustres and<br />


Saturday 17 &<br />

Sunday 18 August <strong>2013</strong><br />

We want to link as many ceramic studios as we can muster<br />

around the country for OSCAS, a national weekend <strong>of</strong> ceramics<br />

sampllnc. sales and mayhem I<br />

Before we are overrun with spring fairs, we will warm our<br />

studios (for those down south), open the doors and welcome<br />

t he locals in to see what we make.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association will create an online<br />

flier for you to distribute via your local networks, while also<br />

supporting the event with a comprehensive list in <strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> 0/<br />

<strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong>, <strong>52</strong>/ 2, July <strong>2013</strong>, and a special events listing<br />

page on www.australianceramics.com.<br />

Open<br />

Studio<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Australia<br />

Showcase<br />

To participate, you (or your group) need to be a financial<br />

member <strong>of</strong><strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association and have public<br />

liability insurance cover for the weekend <strong>of</strong> the event . Your<br />

liability cover may be through TACA or, if not through TACA,<br />

we will ask that you provide a Certificate <strong>of</strong> Currency for your<br />

alternative cover. <strong>The</strong>re is no fee to participate.<br />

To submit your OSCAS Expression <strong>of</strong> Interest, please email<br />

mall@australianceramics.com wit h the subject line OSCAS<br />

EOI. Please give your name (and/or your studio name), your<br />

location, a contact number and your website, blog or facebook<br />

page, and an Image <strong>of</strong> your work or your studio. Deadline for<br />

EOI : 17 May <strong>2013</strong>. This event is open to individuals and groups.<br />

<strong>2013</strong> Focus &<br />

Deadline Dates<br />

<strong>52</strong>/2<br />

Publication:<br />

17 July <strong>2013</strong><br />

Studio <strong>Ceramics</strong> &<br />

Education<br />

Deadline for copy:<br />

6 May <strong>2013</strong><br />

<strong>52</strong>/3<br />

Publication:<br />

20 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2013</strong><br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> & Ecology<br />

Deadline for copy<br />

9 September <strong>2013</strong><br />


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• Tax-deductible Membership Fee<br />

Join now and be part <strong>of</strong> the peak organisation<br />

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Manufacturers and exporters <strong>of</strong> high quality<br />

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GROUPS<br />


50TH YEAR<br />

We invite you to join us at our monthly meetings where we<br />

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Classifieds<br />



ceramic mass production and artworks. Ceramic design<br />

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Providing ceramic artists with digital and traditional<br />

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a full tangB <strong>of</strong> attBndancB ~ackag~ availablB<br />

including fuffy catBtBd on~itB accommodation<br />

fot mOtB dBtail~:<br />

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ICMEA <strong>2013</strong> Conference<br />

September 08-13, <strong>2013</strong><br />

Fuping, China<br />

<strong>The</strong>me: Challenge & Innovation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

I. Call for Speakers:<br />

• Subjects <strong>of</strong> Speeches:<br />

critical writing, marketing, education, gallery/museum/Residency Policy and<br />

other related topics .<br />

• Speech length 20 minutes<br />

• <strong>No</strong> speaker fees and conference fees<br />

• Free accommodation and meals for speakers<br />

• Deadline: <strong>April</strong> 30, <strong>2013</strong><br />

VIew http://www.lCMEA2004.com for application<br />

II. Call for Emerging Ceramic Artist Competition:<br />

Qualifications:<br />

THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRAliAN CERAMICS APRIL <strong>2013</strong> 133

quality pottery supplies and services<br />

<strong>No</strong>rthcote Pottery Supplies Pty Ltd<br />

142 - 144 weston Street<br />

Brunswick East 3057<br />

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New web site:<br />

www.northcotepotterysupplies.co m.o u

(EflAmIH AUSTflALIA<br />


SHIMPO Precision Pottery Equipment<br />

To view our full range <strong>of</strong> equipment please visit our website<br />

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RoUer<br />

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THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2013</strong><br />



RAGLAN<br />


RAGLAN GALLERY hos returned to Manly ...<br />



7 th June - 28 th June <strong>2013</strong><br />

57 Piltwaler Rd. Monly NSW 2095<br />

Open Tuesday - Sundoy 10 300m - 61)m Monday by appointmen t<br />

T 0299770986 M 0420940736 E jun@roCjlongolbY(OmClU WVlW '(Jglunqullcry cornUlJ<br />



1- 5 JULY <strong>2013</strong> • TOOWOOMBA<br />


Learn and create your own masterpieces<br />

alongside renowned tutors in a stimulating<br />

creative and social environment at one <strong>of</strong><br />

Australia's most enduring residential art schools.<br />

Choose from an exciting range <strong>of</strong> fine and<br />

creative arts classes including Pierced &<br />

Translucent Porcelain with Julie Shepherd.<br />

Other classes<br />

include painting,<br />

drawing,<br />

printmaking,<br />

perspex sculpture,<br />

upholstery,<br />

millinery, hand<br />

forging, jewellery<br />

making and digital<br />

photography.<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> Design Studio<br />

www.sit.nsw.edu.au/ceramics/gymea<br />

We <strong>of</strong>fer a wide range <strong>of</strong> specialist ceramic studio courses<br />

Short Courses:<br />

Qualifications:<br />

9 Week Introductory Classes, 18 Week Advanced Wheel,<br />

Mould Making, Handbuilding, Open Studio Practice<br />

Certificates, Diploma and Advanced Diploma in <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

VET FEE help available for Diploma & Advanced Diploma<br />

Photo; Silversalt Pnotography<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Robert Jeffers<br />


mD<br />

Marian.HoweI12@det.nsw.edu.au<br />

<strong>The</strong> Kingsway & Hotham Road, Gymea NSW 2227, Tel: (02) 9710 5001<br />


CATHY<br />

KEYS<br />





8 MARCH- 15 JUNE <strong>2013</strong><br />







look.$<br />

differenF ?<br />

clever design prevents<br />

**** water / slip from getting<br />

under wheel head for<br />

marine grade aluminium easy cleaning<br />

wheel head 33cm (13*)<br />

• bat pins<br />

marine grade aluminium tray<br />

• 10 yr warranty on breakage<br />

• easy clean with large drain hole<br />

• wooden side trays also available<br />

easy clean control pad<br />

• aux. speed control buttons<br />

• fwd/rev<br />

• auto turn-<strong>of</strong>f (power saving)<br />

clip-on seat (optional)<br />

• padded & adjustable<br />

• stainless steel frame<br />

stainless steel body & legs<br />

• no rusting<br />

• ergonomic curved design<br />

• table-top kit included<br />

low pr<strong>of</strong>ile footpedal<br />

• high impact<br />

powerful direct drive motor<br />

• stainless steel &<br />

• no belts - maintenance free polycarbonate , III<br />

• 3/4hp permanent magnet motor ,'.f' ,$ ...<br />

• super smooth and responsive<br />

• very quiet and smooth .r IttJF $ VI CA.;'Y'<br />

toe( A 11$ e y<br />

_ ' ____<br />

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_--------_ Y features<br />

- 5SOW permanent magnel motor<br />

- dedicated intelligent control syslem<br />

- low pr<strong>of</strong>ile footpedal<br />

- smooth, powerful and ulira quiet<br />

- forward I reverse<br />

- auto turrHlfl & overload protection<br />

- 11G-240V SO/6Ohz<br />

- 10 year warranty on tray and frame<br />

options<br />

- dip-on marine ply shelves<br />

- riser bat and standard bats<br />

- stand-up and tablelfloor kits<br />

Also dVdlldPle:<br />

VENCO sldP roller

COLOURS Rockwood Pigments, Cesco,<br />

Walker <strong>Ceramics</strong>, Clayworks, Deco,<br />

Chrysanthos CLAYS<br />

Bendigo, Bennetts,<br />

Blackwattie, Clayworks, Feeneys, Keanes,<br />

<strong>No</strong>rthcote, Walkers EQUIPMENT<br />

wheels, slab rollers,<br />

ACCESSORIES Brushes, corks,<br />

kiln shelves, etc MATERIALS 25g<br />

and more GLAZES Powder and liq<br />

Claytools, Kemper, Giffin Grip and<br />

NEW - Limited supply <strong>of</strong> Duncan<br />

Pottery & <strong>Ceramics</strong> Studio<br />

(!) Pottery Classes<br />

(!) Casual Social Sessions<br />

(!) Casual Studio Access<br />

(!) Firing Service<br />

(!) Clay & Materials<br />


SUNDAY 28 APRIL - SATURDAY 4 MAY <strong>2013</strong><br />

Clay Push Gulgong <strong>2013</strong> is the ninth in the series <strong>of</strong> ceramics<br />

events which have been held every three years (since beginning in<br />

1989) in Gulgong, NSW, Australia. This small, historic and friendly<br />

town, at the heart <strong>of</strong> t he renowned Puggoon clay deposits, will<br />

become the hub <strong>of</strong> the ceramic world, welcoming visitors from<br />

around the world and all parts <strong>of</strong> Australia.<br />

Talks, demonstrations, exhibitions and special events await you for<br />

this unique week in <strong>2013</strong>. Chester Nealie, master <strong>of</strong> ceremonies, will<br />

welcome you to the event, which culminates wit h a special day at<br />

Red Hill.<br />

International artists from Brazil, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand<br />

and USA, as well as <strong>Australian</strong> artists, will lead the workshop<br />

presentations. <strong>The</strong>re will be hands-on activities, experimental<br />

fi rings and opportunities to display your work.<br />

Or fill in the form below and post it to:<br />

Clay Push. PO Box S02 Waverley NSW 2024 Australia<br />


Name:<br />

Address: ____ ______ ____________<br />

Country: ______________________ _<br />

Phone:<br />

(please include country code if outside Australia)<br />

Email:<br />

PAYMENT TYPE: Cash I Cheque I Credit Card I EFT I Paypal<br />

Cheque: Please make out to Mansfield Press Gulgong <strong>2013</strong>; must be in AUS<br />

Credit Card (please indicate type): Mastercard / Visa<br />

Card Holder Name: __________________ _<br />

Card Number: __ _ _ / _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _<br />

Expiry Date: _ _ / __<br />

EFT: · ·use your name to identify the transfe ....<br />

Account name: Mansfield Press Gulgong <strong>2013</strong><br />

BSB 062549; Account NO. 1 0096443<br />

/ ___ _<br />

Swift code: CTBAAU2S; Commonwealth Bank, Gulgong NSW<br />

Master artists Include:<br />

Frank Boyden, USA<br />

sponsored by the Mid-Western<br />

Regional Council<br />

Naidee Changmoh, THAILAND<br />

Diana Fay!, USA<br />

<strong>No</strong>rma Grinberg, BRAZIL<br />

Marianne Hallberg, SWEDEN<br />

Lee Kang Hyo, SOUTH KOREA<br />

Ane-Kat rine von BUlow<br />


Kirsten Coelho, AUSTRALIA<br />

Greg Daly, AUSTRALIA<br />

Jeff M incham, AUSTRALIA<br />

Sunday 4 May<br />

<strong>The</strong> BIG PUSH!<br />

Mud, smoke, music and mayhem<br />

under the big top! Yuri Wiedenh<strong>of</strong>er<br />

and land art Gulgong style!<br />

Somchai Charoen and mouldmaking<br />

experiments; Rod Bamford<br />

will lead the Education Forum and<br />

Coli Minogue, the Writing Forum;<br />

the PUSH Pot Market. PoTwiz and<br />

loads more ...<br />


Dlhg_ $ 45O(fuHRate)<br />

$100 (Day Rate)<br />

Stuot.nt:<br />

$ 325 (Fun Rate)<br />

$7S (Day Rate)<br />

TeMMr willi. SIt 'nlts:<br />

$350 (Full Rate)<br />

$100 (Day Rate)<br />

0P1'I0NAL EXTRAS<br />

PIN5e email firs! to check<br />

availability. lIMn add to your<br />

payment total<br />

[ ) DormItDIy add $IS/nlght<br />

[ ) Bus 11cIret<br />

$JdMpto GuIgong<br />

$ 70 -'" way; $140 return

<strong>The</strong><br />



Association<br />

Need liability insurance?<br />

Teaching workshops or demonstrating your skills?<br />

Renting a studio space or a gallery for an exhibition?<br />

Selling at a market or other retail outlet?<br />

Important: This valuable protection is only be extended to TACA members who have<br />

paid their membership fees and chosen the insurance option.<br />

Annual fee membership with insurance: $188<br />

For more information or to join TACA please contact:<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association; T: 1300720124; mail@australianceramics.com<br />

www.australianceramics.com<br />

For insurance information and advice please contact:<br />

City Rural Insurance Brokers Pty ltd; T: 1300887429; info@crib.com.au; https:/Icityrural.net.au

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association's<br />

Biennial Exhibition 2014<br />

Manly Art Gallery & Museum<br />

28 March - 4 May 2014<br />

the course <strong>of</strong> objects;<br />

the fine lines <strong>of</strong> inquiry<br />

Curator: Susan Ostling<br />


<strong>The</strong> i ntent <strong>of</strong> this exhi bi t i on the course <strong>of</strong> objects: the fine<br />

lines <strong>of</strong> inquiry is to map and take the pulse <strong>of</strong> recent<br />

cerami c work that pursues particul ar lines <strong>of</strong> inquiry<br />

or e xplores o r embodies pertinent i deas .<br />

Working in the spirit <strong>of</strong> unraveling the associations between<br />

things , or discovering constellations in things , I will look<br />

for possible transient affinities and correspondences when<br />

making selections for the exhibition .<br />

Works will be chosen that trigger or extend connections or<br />

references, or that suggest repetitions, echoes, resemblances,<br />

distilled moments, or the thick realm <strong>of</strong> metaphor .<br />

I am not intending to establish an overall exhibition theme;<br />

rather to elucidate methodologies <strong>of</strong> p r actice and inquiry.<br />

Practitioners (potters, sculptors, ceramicists) are invited to submit proposals<br />

for the exhibition the course <strong>of</strong> objects; the fine lines <strong>of</strong> inquiry.<br />

Please send an outline <strong>of</strong> your proposal/rationale (100-150 words),<br />

a disc with 3- 5 images <strong>of</strong> related work and a current I-page CV.<br />

Applications close: 15 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2013</strong> Artists notified: 31 May <strong>2013</strong><br />

Exhibition dates: 28 March - 4 May 2014<br />

Please post proposal packages to: Susan Ostling<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association, PO Box 274 Waverley NSW 2024<br />

Artists whose work is selected will receive a $100 participants fee.<br />

Exhibitors must be financial members <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association.

WALKER<br />

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Clay<br />

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manufacturing<br />

in Australia<br />

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