The Journal of Australian Ceramics Vol 54 No 1 April 2015

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Contents<br />



8 SHARDS<br />


11 Guest editorial: Euan Craig<br />

12 <strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Euan Craig and the aesthetics <strong>of</strong> sharing<br />

18 <strong>The</strong> Vibrancy <strong>of</strong> the Slightly Incomplete<br />

Ben Richardson putting the vessel in context<br />

22 Simple Virtues<br />

Damon Moon shares his journey from the road to the table<br />

26 My Journey to the West Cape<br />

by Warrick Palmateer<br />

30 A Cup <strong>of</strong> Kindness<br />

Shannon Garson explores the art <strong>of</strong> living<br />

34 Touch<br />

Mel Robson and Suzi Lyon explore the function <strong>of</strong> art in the community<br />

38 Quiet Unorthodoxy<br />

<strong>The</strong> work <strong>of</strong> Mitsuo Shoji by Natal ie McDowell<br />

42 Constant Movement in Space and Time<br />

Kelly Austin explores the contribution pots make<br />

46 Conversation, Jazz and Pots<br />

Sandy Lockwood discusses art as process and object<br />

50 Shino - Form and Beauty<br />

Angela Walford shares her passion for the unpredictable<br />

52 A Place in Time<br />

Maggie Zerafa reflects on her place in the ceramics continuum<br />

<strong>54</strong> <strong>The</strong> Integrity <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

John Dermer defines his stance as a craftsman<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> <strong>Vol</strong> <strong>54</strong> <strong>No</strong> 1 APRIL <strong>2015</strong> S16<br />

Cover<br />

Euan Craig, Machawan Tea Bowl<br />

Diam.13cm, h.Scm, Jomon rope decoration<br />

Igusa straw marks and natural ash,<br />

woodfired In the Hamada <strong>No</strong>borigama kiln<br />

February <strong>2015</strong>. upright WIth green lea (front<br />

cover), Inverted (back cover), (haire tea<br />

caddy, diam.7.Scm, h.l ' .2cm, with TalsMo<br />

Period (circa 1912-1926) ivory and gold lid.<br />

See pages 11 and 80 for more information.<br />

Publication dates<br />

1 <strong>April</strong>. 17 July, 20 <strong>No</strong>vember<br />

Publisher<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> CeramICs Association<br />

PO Box 274 Waverley NSW 2024<br />

T: 1300 720 124<br />

F: +61 (0)293693742<br />

mail@australianceramiG.com<br />

www.C.ilistfaiianceramiCS.com<br />

ABN 14 001 535 502<br />

ISSN 1449-275X<br />

Editor<br />

VICki Grima<br />

WWIN.vickigrima.com.au<br />

Guest Edito r<br />

Euan Craig<br />

httpJleuancralg.blogspot.jp<br />


Contents<br />


60 VIEW 1: <strong>The</strong> Domestic Artist<br />

<strong>The</strong> art <strong>of</strong> Melanie Jayne by Mark Henderson<br />

63 VIEW 2: Capturing the Ephemeral<br />

A refledion on Stephen Bird's 2014 exhibition at Gould Galleries by Robyn Phelan<br />

65 SPACES AND PLACES: paper boat press<br />

an atelier in Brisbane<br />

66 EDUCATION: Pathways to Practice<br />

Lou McCallum examines the pathways that three <strong>Australian</strong> ceramic artists have taken<br />

69 WEDGE: <strong>The</strong> Whispering Gallery by Glenn Barkley<br />

70 POCKET PhD: Brett Smout Explores Low-fire Vitrification to Reduce Emissions<br />

72 STUDIO: Inside the Studio <strong>of</strong> Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran<br />



80 GATHERINGS: Baptism <strong>of</strong> f ire<br />

<strong>The</strong> rebirth <strong>of</strong> the Hamada kiln, witnessed by Euan Craig<br />

84 COMMUNITY: Touch This Earth Lightly: a participatory environmental art project<br />

Bridget Nicholson shares her experience <strong>of</strong> presenting work to a new audience<br />

86 ASSOCIATION: <strong>The</strong> Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships <strong>2015</strong><br />

88 ASSOCIATION: <strong>The</strong> Trudie Alfred Bequest Follow Up 2014<br />


97 AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS TRIENNAlE <strong>2015</strong><br />

101 AUSTRALIA WIDE: Reports from around the country<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> <strong>Vol</strong> <strong>54</strong> <strong>No</strong> 1 APRll<strong>2015</strong> $16<br />

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Australia Wide Reports<br />

ACT: Sue Hewal<br />

NSW: Jan Downes<br />

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Editorial<br />

From Minakami to Sydne-y:<br />

Euan Craig and Vicki Gnma on Skype, discussing the<br />

Intricacies <strong>of</strong> editing, pro<strong>of</strong>ing. captions and charaders<br />

I didn't expect this change so quickly. From plain<br />

white china being commonplace to <strong>Australian</strong><br />

handmade tableware gracing tables in more<br />

than a few <strong>of</strong> our restaurants and cafes, the<br />

shift has been swift. <strong>The</strong> look is more rustic, with<br />

the earthy colours <strong>of</strong> grey and brown creating<br />

a perfect backdrop to stunning local food. <strong>The</strong><br />

plate served to the table, graced with delicious<br />

food, is a work <strong>of</strong> art. <strong>The</strong> term 'farm to the<br />

table' is now joined by 'studio to the table'.<br />

I have enjoyed working over the last six months with guest editor Euan Craig, and we have proven<br />

that with email and Skype it is possible to edit the journal from anywhere in the world. Euan has<br />

brought to us some unique stories <strong>of</strong> what it means to make functional ceramics today and how our<br />

collaborations with chefs, restaurants and our local communities are at the crux <strong>of</strong> ensuring the value <strong>of</strong><br />

our ceramics is enjoyed by as many people as possible. I'm sure you 'll enjoy Euan 's special focus in this<br />

issue.<br />

In daily discussions with <strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association members, journal subscribers and those<br />

who find our magazine on library and book shop shelves, I have been encouraged to share my call for<br />

your support here. <strong>The</strong> Association has been able to <strong>of</strong>fer this wonderful connection with, and record<br />

<strong>of</strong>. the <strong>Australian</strong> ceramics community over 53 years by your support through membership fees and<br />

subscriptions, and advertising revenue from the ceramics businesses (suppliers, galleries and regional<br />

groups) who generously support us to make this happen. Please support us and our advertisers in every<br />

way you can. Encourage fellow potters and ceramicists to join our Association. Buy your supplies from<br />

our advertisers. Buy a gift subscription to the <strong>Journal</strong> or a TACA membership. Do a ceramics workshop.<br />

Give a gift made by your local potter. What goes around comes around and will help us to make the<br />

ceramics community in Australia bigger and stronger.<br />

I hope to be able to meet you in person at the <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Triennale in Canberra in Ju ly. It's shaping up to be a great coming together<br />

around our common love <strong>of</strong> ceramics!<br />

~.<br />


Contributors<br />

Kelly Austin is a Canadian ceramic artist<br />

currently living in Canberra, ACT. She received<br />

her undergraduate degree in General Fine Arts<br />

from the Emily Carr University in Vancouver,<br />

Canada and is currently half way through a<br />

practice-led Master <strong>of</strong> Philosophy within the<br />

ceramics workshop at the Australia National<br />

University.<br />

www.kellyaustindesign.com<br />

Glenn Barkley is an independent curator, writer,<br />

artist and gardener based in Sydney. He was Senior<br />

Curator at the MCA Australia 2008-2014.<br />

In <strong>2015</strong> he co-founded <strong>The</strong> Curators Department.<br />

A practising artist. he exhibits at Utopia Art Sydney.<br />

Recent exhibitions include Clay 2 and Glazed and<br />

Confused at Hazelhurst Gallery<br />

www.thecuratorsdepartment.com<br />

www.utopiaartsydney.com.au<br />

Photo: My Media Sydney<br />

Lou McCallum is a ceramic artist based in<br />

Marrickville, Sydney. lou is making a transition<br />

into ceramic arts from a career in international<br />

public health and has just completed a Masters in<br />

Visual Art at the <strong>Australian</strong> National University.<br />

Coming from a ceramist family, Natalie<br />

McDowell's interest in pottery began at an<br />

early age. She has lived in Japan several times<br />

and worked as a journalist for a Japanese<br />

newspaper through which she has encountered<br />

many in the Japanese and <strong>Australian</strong> ceramics<br />

communities. <strong>The</strong> Nihon Mingeikan (Japan Folk<br />

Crafts Museum) in Tokyo is her spiritual home.<br />


Shards<br />


For decades, TAFE ceramics studios<br />

have been centres <strong>of</strong> excellence<br />

when it comes to providing in depth<br />

skills development and knowledge<br />

around working with clay.<br />

Many <strong>of</strong> Australia's finest ceramic<br />

artists have taught and/or have<br />

studied through TAFE, benefitting<br />

from the wonderful facilities that<br />

have dotted the urban and regional<br />

landscapes.<br />

Over the past few years, ceramics<br />

departments around the country<br />

have faced huge challenges to<br />

remain operational and in some<br />

cases have closed due to changes<br />

in government policies around<br />

vocational education and cuts in<br />

funding at a Federal and State level.<br />

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

wishes to acknowledge the<br />

dedicated work <strong>of</strong> all Head Teachers<br />

and their staff in the TAFE sector all<br />

over Australia who have strived to<br />

keep studios open and accessible,<br />

so new generations <strong>of</strong> potters and<br />

ceramic artists can continue to<br />

thrive.<br />

Trisha Dean, Head <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> at<br />

Hornsby TAFE, with student John<br />

Uzzell; photo: Robert Stow<br />

Spring.<br />

1883<br />

SPRING 1883 will return in <strong>2015</strong> -<br />

I and this time it's in Sydney.<br />

I Through its intervention into a<br />

I hotel's context, SPRING 1883<br />

I sees the traditional art fair model<br />

discarded and replaced with a<br />

boutique site for dialogue and<br />

I interaction between galleries,<br />

artists and collectors.<br />

I From 9 to 12 September <strong>2015</strong>,<br />

SPRING 1883 will take over the<br />

entire Establishment Hotel, in the<br />

I heart <strong>of</strong> Sydney's CBD. This luxury,<br />

boutique hotel contains numerous<br />

bars and restaurants, making a<br />

I visit to the fair an experience to<br />

I remember.<br />

I<br />

Twenty-five galleries presenting<br />

the very best contemporary art<br />

from the region will fill four levels<br />

<strong>of</strong> the hotel;<br />

http://spring1883.com<br />

http://digitalfire.com/ are on a<br />

mission to help manufacturers and<br />

I educators who not only want to<br />

make beautiful functional objects<br />

but have a sense <strong>of</strong> accountability<br />

for their durability, strength, and<br />

safety, and a desire to take control<br />

and not abdicate it to suppliers,<br />

consultants or educators.<br />

I It's a thorough website.<br />

I C heck it out.<br />

I<br />

I<br />

I<br />

I<br />

I<br />

Sherbet-like acidity ... fine<br />

bubbles .. . sweet cherry flavours!<br />

A special <strong>of</strong>fer for readers <strong>of</strong><br />

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

can be found on the insert included<br />

with this <strong>Journal</strong>. For every dozen<br />

purchased (cost $199), $50 goes to<br />

supporting <strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Association.<br />

1------<br />

'i , T<br />

I ",ntIR'-'I'1<br />

Big Hearted Business is a love-<br />

I project built to teach creative people<br />

about business, and business people<br />

about creativity, in ways that make<br />

I sense. But really, it's a trojan-horse<br />

here to help big-hearted people do<br />

what they love, make money, and<br />

I save the world (even just a little bit);<br />

http://bigheartedbusiness.com.au<br />

---lID<br />

Join us for our third national open studios event!<br />

<strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Open Studios <strong>2015</strong><br />

Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 August<br />

For the Expression <strong>of</strong> Interest form and more<br />

information go to: http://tinyurl.com/acos<strong>2015</strong><br />

Turn to pages 78 & 79 to be inspired!<br />


CERA<br />

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ...................... .<br />

open studios<br />

15 & 16 AUGUST <strong>2015</strong><br />


Shards<br />

Entries now open<br />


This year Craft Victoria turns 45<br />

years old, and to celebrate this<br />

milestone they are pleased to launch<br />

the inaugural Victorian Craft Award.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Award is a biennial event<br />

facilitated by Craft Victoria in the<br />

pursuit <strong>of</strong> presenting and celebrating<br />

excellence in the crafts.<br />

Entries close midnight 6 <strong>April</strong> <strong>2015</strong>.<br />

www.craft.org.au/see/victoriancraft-awardl<br />

I<br />

StartUp is a series about what happens when someone who knows<br />

nothing about business starts one. Produced by Gimlet Media,<br />

StartUp is a made up <strong>of</strong> 14 high-quality, narrative pedcasts.<br />

I For more information go to: II!::JA<br />

http://gimletmedia.tom/show/startup/ W<br />

rACA Members' Exhibition 2016<br />


I ,<br />

benwell/halpern.<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Stephen Benwell<br />

and Deborah Halpern.<br />

31 January - December <strong>2015</strong><br />

Shepparton Art Museum<br />

Shepparton.<br />

Stephen Benwell, Vase, 1994<br />

I<br />

I<br />

I<br />

I<br />

I<br />

<strong>The</strong> arts matter to Australia,<br />

and the data shows it!<br />

A landmark new report<br />

titled Arts Nation:<br />

An Overview <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Australian</strong> Arts, was<br />

released on 4 March <strong>2015</strong> by<br />

the Australia Council.<br />

<strong>The</strong> report provides a fresh<br />

approach to understanding<br />

<strong>Australian</strong> arts through a new<br />

set <strong>of</strong> indicators that enrich<br />

the existing evidence base<br />

for the arts. It builds on key<br />

data collections and research<br />

undertaken by over 100 arts<br />

and research organisations<br />

across Australia. You can access<br />

the Arts Nation report here:<br />

http://tinyurl.com/artsnation<br />

Go to page 126 for the run-clown.<br />

In Australia we discard 1 billion<br />

takeaway cups and lids each<br />

I year. <strong>The</strong> Responsible Cafes<br />

I Program connects responsible<br />

cafes with conscious consumers<br />

by encouraging cafes to <strong>of</strong>fer a<br />

discount to customers with<br />

reusable takeaway cups.<br />

Read more here:<br />

http://responsiblerunners.org/<br />

I responsible-cales-program<br />


CAFES<br />

...<br />

<strong>The</strong> Ken Don Museum was formed from the<br />

private collection <strong>of</strong> Kenneth lawrence and Don<br />

Evans who began collecting studio ceramics in the<br />

1980s. <strong>The</strong> collection focus is on <strong>Australian</strong> studio<br />

potters from the post World War II period. Among<br />

the artists represented are Arthur Boyd, Merrick<br />

Boyd, Jeff Mincham, Peter Rushforth, Milton Moon,<br />

Les Blakebrough, John Dermer, Gwyn Hanssen<br />

Pigott, Victor Greenaway, Harold Hughan, Alan<br />

Peascod, Pippin Drysdale, Col Levy, Owen Rye<br />

and Janet Mansfield. <strong>The</strong> primary focus <strong>of</strong> their<br />

collection was to show the growth <strong>of</strong> individual<br />

potters, both well and lesser known, over many<br />

years.<br />

Check it out here: http://kendonmuseum.com<br />


Focus: <strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

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

It has been 25 years since I lived in Australia. I wondered what had changed in the pottery community<br />

during those years. Being guest editor <strong>of</strong> this journal gave me the chance to take a core sample <strong>of</strong><br />

potters from around the nation and give them a common theme to discuss.<br />

I asked them to tell their story.<br />

Each <strong>of</strong> the authors between these pages has striven to give words to their thoughts and feelings,<br />

to describe their process and aesthetic, to share their life with us. My role as guest editor has been to<br />

help them communicate those ideas to the reader while staying w ithin the editorial guidelines. I have<br />

occasionally stumbled. Without the help and support <strong>of</strong> all the authors, as well as Vicki, Suzanne and<br />

Astrid at the journal, you would not be reading this. Thank you all.<br />

I have learnt that Australia is still a vibrant and varied nation <strong>of</strong> potters, and that there is finally a<br />

growing appreciation in the food scene <strong>of</strong> the vital role that handcrafted pottery can play. I hope this<br />

will lead to a revitalisation <strong>of</strong> the ceramics education and training system in the future.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is, however, a limit to what words can convey. <strong>The</strong>y are arbitrary constructs which we try to use<br />

to describe things which are real, things which are so much greater than the words themselves, and will<br />

never truly do justice to these potters and their works.<br />

I commend you, therefore, to seek out their works. Touch them. Hold them. Experience the reality <strong>of</strong><br />

them. <strong>The</strong>y will communicate to you, more clearly than any words or images can, the truth that their<br />

creators are striving to share with you. This, <strong>of</strong> course, is something that neither time nor distance will<br />

ever change.<br />

Euan Craig. <strong>2015</strong><br />

Cover Image: <strong>The</strong> Japanese Machawan<br />

tea bowl is considered the pinnacle <strong>of</strong><br />

functional ceramic art. It finds completion<br />

in use and even the beauty <strong>of</strong> the foot<br />

is <strong>of</strong> vital importance. <strong>The</strong> machawan<br />

used on the cover was fired in the<br />

first chamber <strong>of</strong> the Shoji Hamada<br />

<strong>No</strong>borigama in February <strong>2015</strong> during the<br />

editing <strong>of</strong> this magazine. We have tried to<br />

show it in context and as close to actual<br />

size as possible.<br />

See page 80 for more on the firing <strong>of</strong><br />

the Shoji Hamada <strong>No</strong>borigama.<br />

Opposite page:<br />

Euan Craig. ceramic bowl, Nanasun<br />

Moriawase (7" mixed serve), Kaiseki Cuisine<br />

by Chef Touru Hashimoto <strong>of</strong> Kappo Toyoda<br />

Nihombashi, Tokyo, Japan<br />

Photo: courtesy artist<br />


Focus: <strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Euan Craig and the aesthetics <strong>of</strong> sharing<br />

Sometimes we feel very much alone. When I was young and the expectations and pressures <strong>of</strong> the<br />

world around me became more than I could bear, I would walk into the night and the mountains <strong>of</strong><br />

trailings left in the Great Gold Mountain <strong>of</strong> Bendigo. Sitting alone on the heaps <strong>of</strong> mining refuse in<br />

the darkness, I felt embraced by it. <strong>The</strong> cool breeze would runs its fingers through my hair and the<br />

pale moon rising over the far horizon would illuminate the world with its s<strong>of</strong>t amber light. <strong>The</strong>re is<br />

no judgement in nature, only acceptance. My loneliness would drain away and, more than any other<br />

waking moment, I felt like I belonged.<br />

Since then I have striven to understand my place in this world, constantly seeking reasons for the life<br />

we live, not just excuses. So many preconceptions are forced upon us, and it is difficult to differentiate<br />

between those things which are real and those which are prejudices taught to us which we then accept<br />

as real. I have come to realise that there are many things which we are taught to accept as absolute<br />

truths which are, in fact, nothing more than arbitrary customs. It is these customs which separate us one<br />

from another, when in fact we share more in common than we realise.<br />

By its very nature the universe is beautiful, its matter consta ntly rearranging itself into forms that find<br />

balance and harmony within the forces at work upon them through the course <strong>of</strong> time. It is a beauty<br />

born <strong>of</strong> constant striving for an ideal form, infinitely variable solutions to the changing conditions <strong>of</strong><br />

the environment. For this brief time, the matter <strong>of</strong> the universe has found form in us, and within us<br />

a consciousness that is capable <strong>of</strong> abstract thought and, through experience and observation, can be<br />

aware <strong>of</strong> the beauty <strong>of</strong> nature. We are the universe made self conscious.<br />

It is not surprising, therefore, to find that we humans share a common understanding <strong>of</strong> beauty.<br />

All people, regardless <strong>of</strong> race, creed or custom, can gaze at a sunset, for example, and be moved<br />

by it. <strong>The</strong>re is a basic awareness <strong>of</strong> our selves in nature which forms our foundation as humans and<br />

transcends language and culture. It is an intuitive response to the environment <strong>of</strong> which we form an<br />

integral part. It is our nature.<br />

We are, however, each blessed with a unique perspective <strong>of</strong> the universe. Our personal journey, every<br />

moment <strong>of</strong> every day <strong>of</strong> our lives, our perception <strong>of</strong> the world <strong>of</strong> sight, sound, taste, touch and smell,<br />

provides us with an understanding <strong>of</strong> life and beauty which is ours alone. <strong>No</strong> other consciousness has<br />

ever seen th is moment as we have, nor felt these sensations, nor thought these same thoughts.<br />

Opposite page:<br />

Euan Craig, Breakfast: dropscones with<br />

homemade yoghurt and blueberry jam<br />

2014; photo: artist<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

---<br />

Giving a new form to that understanding, communicating our unique view <strong>of</strong> the world, enriches not<br />

only our own lives but the lives <strong>of</strong> others. It helps us to find meaning in our existence and to add to the<br />

cultural heritage <strong>of</strong> humanity, helping others in their journey for generations after our own journey has<br />

finished .<br />

In common clay I have found an amorphous medium <strong>of</strong> expression which helps me give form to those<br />

thoughts. Clay, like all matter, tries to align itself with the forces that surround it: gravity, friction, torque,<br />

so many different influences. To that we add the force <strong>of</strong> consciousness, and wait for the clay to find<br />

form in the space between our fingers. <strong>The</strong>re is an immediacy <strong>of</strong> expression which springs spontaneously<br />

from the vessel and can be understood by the user without the clumsily constructed intermediacy <strong>of</strong><br />

language. When fired, these expressions <strong>of</strong> our thoughts are given permanent form - a form that<br />

touches the lives <strong>of</strong> our contemporaries but will also last at least ten thousand years. Just as the works <strong>of</strong><br />

potters from ages past speak to us <strong>of</strong> life and the human condition, so too will our works touch the lives<br />


- ~-. ------------,-,=,.......,...,.<br />

<strong>of</strong> future generations. It is not an endeavour to<br />

be undertaken lightly.<br />

As our experience <strong>of</strong> the world encompasses<br />

every waking moment, and quite <strong>of</strong>ten our<br />

dreams as well, surely the ideal culmination <strong>of</strong><br />

our act <strong>of</strong> creation would be for those works<br />

to become an integral part <strong>of</strong> the everyday lives<br />

<strong>of</strong> others. <strong>The</strong> beauty <strong>of</strong> nature rediscovered<br />

through the guidance <strong>of</strong> our thoughts and the<br />

skill <strong>of</strong> our hands, touched by the hands <strong>of</strong><br />

others in their most intimate moments. Seen<br />

in a multitude <strong>of</strong> different lights and contexts<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Euan Craig<br />

1 Hors-d'oeuvre by Chef<br />

Masahiro Morishige <strong>of</strong> La<br />

Butte Boisee, French restaurant<br />

Setagaya, Tokyo<br />

2 Grilled yellowtail with ginger<br />

by Chef Touru Hashimoto <strong>of</strong><br />

Kappa Toyeda, Nihombashi<br />

Tokyo<br />

3 Simmered chicken and<br />

vegetables, by Chef Touru<br />

Hashimoto <strong>of</strong> Kappa Toyoda<br />

Nihombashi, Tokyo<br />

4 Dessert by Chef Masahiro<br />

Morishige <strong>of</strong> La Butte Boisee<br />

French restaurant, Setagaya<br />

Tokyo<br />

5 Translucent sashimi, detail<br />

6 full course Kaiseki by Chef<br />

Touru Hashimoto <strong>of</strong> Kappo<br />

Toyoda, Nihombashi, Tokyo<br />

Photos: Euan Craig<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

throughout the day - lifted gently to their lips, giving them warmth and sustenance, enriching their<br />

lives.<br />

I have been blessed with the opportunity to use pots from antiquity, to touch them, feel them, and,<br />

on occasion, enjoy nourishment from them. Each vessel I have used has shared a different perspective<br />

on life, be it a thousand years old or fresh from the kiln. <strong>The</strong>y all <strong>of</strong>fer a new perspective on this<br />

wondrous life, a parallax which helps me to understand myself in this world. To this I add my own<br />

understanding, through the medium <strong>of</strong> clay, becoming part <strong>of</strong> a great conversation - a conversation<br />

that has been going on for hundreds <strong>of</strong> generations <strong>of</strong> human experience, which may continue for<br />

hundreds <strong>of</strong> generations to come, and <strong>of</strong> which we form the fulcrum.<br />

By the work <strong>of</strong> our hands in the clay, co-operating with the forces <strong>of</strong> nature, surrendering to them<br />

when necessary, we create vessels which reach the souls <strong>of</strong> others through the touch <strong>of</strong> their hands, just<br />

as we would share our feelings with the ones we love. Above all, it is them for whom we make these<br />

works, yet the making <strong>of</strong> these vessels, this process <strong>of</strong> creation, is also for the sake <strong>of</strong> our own growth.<br />

I make my pots for the people I love, the making <strong>of</strong> them is for me.<br />

When we create, it is not for strangers. It is for our beloved, our children, our friends. We strive to<br />

share with them this sublime beauty that makes our own lives so rich and fulfilling. We <strong>of</strong>fer humbly to<br />

them a vessel which will feed their body and their soul. We also know that there are others, friends and<br />

1 Behind the scenes, preparing for a formal tea ceremony at<br />

Megurian tea house with tea bowls by Tatsuzo Shimaoka,<br />

National living Treasure. and Euan Craig, 2014<br />

Photo: Yoshiaki Namba<br />

2 <strong>Ceramics</strong> and food by Euan Craig. Lunch: nourishment<br />

for body and soul, 2014; photo: artist<br />

3 Euan having breakfast during his 21st anniversary exhibition<br />

at Ebiya Gallery, Tokyo, 2014; photo: courtesy artist<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

loved ones we have yet to meet, who we may never meet, but whose hands and hearts will be touched<br />

by our work. We share our love <strong>of</strong> life with all <strong>of</strong> them through our vessels, whether it is today or a<br />

hundred years from today, whether they know us or not.<br />

In an ever increasingly artificial world, handcrafted functional pottery provides a dose <strong>of</strong> real, natural<br />

beauty that can help restore the soul. It is a relationship between vessel, food and lifestyle and there is a<br />

role that functional ceramics plays as the most intimate <strong>of</strong> installation art, embellishing the lives <strong>of</strong> both<br />

the maker and the user. It communicates ideas in a form that will be relevant to all people in all cultures.<br />

This wholesome beauty <strong>of</strong>fers nourishment for the spirit and a way forward for humanity and a healthy<br />

society.<br />

Many years have past since I was alone in the dark, whispering to the wind, longing for someone to<br />

share my journey. I have come to understand that we walk this road together, hand in hand. We share<br />

this path with a myriad <strong>of</strong> peers over thousands <strong>of</strong> years. Our work is an exploration <strong>of</strong> ourselves in this<br />

universe, a conduit <strong>of</strong> our emotions into the lives <strong>of</strong> others. I stand on a foundation built in ages past<br />

and add to that my own understanding, living in the hope that there will be others who will carry this<br />

passion into the future.<br />

It is not a soliloquy, it is a conversation. It serves to help us understand ourselves in this universe and,<br />

more importantly, to live rich and fruitful lives, every single day.<br />

That is the function <strong>of</strong> art. That is the art <strong>of</strong> function.<br />

http://euancraig.blogspot.com.au<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

<strong>The</strong> Vibrancy <strong>of</strong> the Slightly<br />

Incomplete<br />

Ben Richard son putting t he vessel in context<br />

While in Melbourne about eight years ago I passed a bookshop on Gertrude Street that went by the<br />

name Books for Cooks. On entering and perusing a number <strong>of</strong> the cookbooks I was disappointed,<br />

though un surprised, to see very little non-industrial tableware on their glossy and seductive pages. Many<br />

<strong>of</strong> them celebrated slow food and seasonal produce but presented the results <strong>of</strong> their foraging on the<br />

fastest plate-ware you could possibly find. Leaving the bookshop, I questioned how we could have a<br />

whole shop that celebrated the preparation and presentation <strong>of</strong> food in diverse ways and languages but<br />

leave the makers <strong>of</strong> handmade contemporary tableware missing from the action.<br />

Just few years later and the situation is very different. Handmade tableware is making a real impact,<br />

not only in cookbooks, but also in food and lifestyle magazines. <strong>The</strong>re seems to be a desire for more<br />

local, authentic and artisanal expressions <strong>of</strong> place and purpose in the rituals and special occasions <strong>of</strong> daily<br />

life. <strong>The</strong> work I make hasn't changed significantly but the climate I am making in has - it's gratifying that<br />

th is is the best time in 20 years for making and selling pots that find their full expression in creative use.<br />

But what has changed?<br />

For me the catalyst for change has been the chance for work to be seen in context. I abandoned<br />

exhibiting work regu larly in galleries years ago, choosing to concentrate on direct sales from the<br />

workshop showroom, but, being a little isolated, this had some difficulties. However, almost five years<br />

ago, the partners in Garagistes restaurant in Hobart approached me to make tableware for their new<br />

restaurant. Initially I was to make just the smaller dishes and the larger plates were to be industrial<br />

porcelain . I expressed the view that the approach <strong>of</strong> mixing handmade local and industrial global was a<br />

difficult one to make work, so the question came back, "Okay then, can you make them all?"<br />

It was a chance too good to pass up, but there were problems - the main one being that I didn't<br />

have glazes with the colour and surface that chef Luke Burgess wanted. He had just completed a stage<br />

at <strong>No</strong>ma in Copenhagen where all the tableware was handmade and before that had apprenticed with<br />

Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney, so his understanding <strong>of</strong>, and commitment to, using handmade tableware<br />

was strong. I had significant teaching responsibilities at the time with only electric kiln firings available<br />

to test and develop new glazes in a very short time frame. For a potter passionate about woodfiring<br />

this was a bit like dining with the devil - but there is nothing like necessity for chal lenging prejudices.<br />

I converted a vitreous slip recipe that I had used in teaching to work as a glaze on bisque work and<br />

revived a matt glaze I had used as a student and suddenly I had the palette. In close consultation with<br />

the chef I produced test pieces in several shapes using the new glazes. After a few refinements there<br />

OPPOsite page: Ben Richardson. 20 12. tableware for Garagistes restaurant in Hobart, Tasmania<br />

Photo: Jonathan Wherrett<br />


<strong>The</strong> Fu nction <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

were just three months to produce all the tableware for a 45-seat restaurant specialising in using local<br />

produce, foraged ingredients and natural wines on shared tables with a no-booking policy - at the time<br />

a revolution for Hobart.<br />

<strong>The</strong> restaurant opened just before another revolution struck Tasmania - the opening <strong>of</strong> MONA, the<br />

Museum <strong>of</strong> Old and New Art, the irreverent and subversive brainchild <strong>of</strong> David Walsh. This brought the<br />

interest and focus <strong>of</strong> the world to Tasmania and this restaurant with a strong design focus that included<br />

handmade contemporary tableware made an immediate impact. That impact started when you came<br />

through the door and saw the communal hardwood tables set with charcoal glazed place plates. <strong>The</strong>n<br />

came the shared plates - a series <strong>of</strong> walled servers, versatile shallow bowls used for hot and cold dishes,<br />

finishing with deeper bowls for dessert. <strong>The</strong> food, that was innovative with clean fresh flavours, looked<br />

great on charcoal and grey with the occasional bone-white intruder.<br />

During the last five years the restaurant has functioned almost as a de facto private gallery, allowing<br />

my work to be seen and enjoyed in context. It has confirmed my feeling that 'working pots' seen and<br />

enjoyed in creative use almost sell themselves. <strong>The</strong> opportunity to experience the pots in a setting where<br />

they are an integral part <strong>of</strong> the overall dining experience has created strong demand for that work, with<br />

orders from all over the country and enquiries from as far away as London, Dubai and Taipei. It has been<br />

a way to make contact with people who I always felt were out there and would be interested in what<br />

I was making, but I really didn't have a way to find and connect with them. It has led to commissions<br />

not only for the restaurant tableware but also for a variety <strong>of</strong> woodfired work - in contrast each has a<br />

chance to show its individual face.<br />

Recently we made a series <strong>of</strong> Garagistes walled servers for a major Tourism Australia function at<br />

MONA - guest chef Ben Shewry from Attica restaurant in Melbourne had insisted on using handmade<br />

tableware for his signature dish and with a few days to spare we managed to deliver 280 bowls for<br />

a dinner with international exposure. It's been a wild ride and demand for the tableware far exceeds<br />

our ability to supply and I am constantly trying to persuade potential clients to develop a relationship<br />

with potters close to them - to build contacts with local makers in the same way they do with specialty<br />

produce suppliers. However the reply <strong>of</strong>ten comes back that they have tried that and either can't find<br />

anyone interested or able to make the work, or <strong>of</strong>ten they aren't able to get the glaze colour and finish<br />

that they want. Interestingly, the chefs we work with accept variation in colour and minor imperfections<br />

as expressions <strong>of</strong> the process - how things have changed from the blank canvas <strong>of</strong> clinical industrial<br />

porcelain.<br />

Our tableware for Garagistes restaurant was recently described as having" ... a vibrancy <strong>of</strong> the slightly<br />

incomplete." 1 I found this an apt and perceptive comment, as this is work that finds its complete<br />

expression in the fullness <strong>of</strong> use.<br />

http://ridgelinepottery.com.au<br />

1 Breytenbach Yvette, 'Understatement', Ceramic Review, Issue 262 July/August 201 3<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Fun ction<br />

1 Ben Richardson, 2012, tableware, Garagistes restaurant in Hobart<br />

Photo: Jonathan Wherrett<br />

2 Ben Richardson in his studio, 2014; photo: Jonathan Wherren<br />

3 Savour Tasmania, 201" Marco Canora@ Garagistes: photo: Chris Crerar<br />

4 Ben Richardson, 2012. tableware, Garagistes restaurant, Hobart<br />

Photo: Jonathan Wherrett<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

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

Simple Virtues<br />

Damon Moon shares his journey from the road to the table<br />

In the early 2000s I was coming to the end <strong>of</strong> a curatorial project which involved chaperoning AWAS!<br />

Contemporary Art from Indonesia, an international touring exhibition, around Australia. I had spent<br />

the last few years going to and from Indonesia, initially on an Asialink residency, researching, raising<br />

funds, and generally just doing whatever it took to get the exh ibition seen by an audience in Australia,<br />

and subsequently in Japan, Germany and the Netherlands. AWAS! was a great show and well worth<br />

the effort but by the time it arrived at its final <strong>Australian</strong> destination at the Cairns Regional Gallery, I'd<br />

had enough. On the first day in Cairns I injured my back trying to move a crate in the loading bay and<br />

for the next week I supervised the installation, attended the opening and conducted the floor talks in<br />

considerable discomfort. Arriving back home in Adelaide I knew that I needed to relax, stop travelling as<br />

much and get back to basics, which for me has always been ceramics. It was a period <strong>of</strong> self-reflection,<br />

as the years I'd spent working with contemporary art had shown me that it was not a world I wanted to<br />

be immersed in as a permanent career.<br />

I didn't feel ready to jump straight back into full-time making, so I decided to do a PhD in art history,<br />

looking at aspects <strong>of</strong> the development <strong>of</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> ceramics in the post war period. This was a way<br />

<strong>of</strong> trying to make sense <strong>of</strong> my family history, to examine and order the experiences, people and images<br />

that had made up my childhood and see how they could be situated within the wider history <strong>of</strong> the<br />

crafts.<br />

I thought it would be easy: lots <strong>of</strong> reading, a bit <strong>of</strong> writing, three years <strong>of</strong> a university stipend -<br />

my God, I'd be so relaxed I could barely keep my eyes open . A couple <strong>of</strong> hundred thousand words <strong>of</strong><br />

writing ending up as an eighty thousand word thesis with a thousand footnotes!<br />

Despite the fact that I wanted to do the PhD purely by thesis, I began, in a very low-key manner, to<br />

make some pots. <strong>The</strong>re were a few reasons, one being that my forays into the world <strong>of</strong> contemporary<br />

art had left me missing the simple act <strong>of</strong> making. Secondly, I began to explore the use <strong>of</strong> local materials<br />

in making functional work, as this philosophy was a part <strong>of</strong> the l eachiCardew and subsequently<br />

McMeekin et al approach, which was something that informed my PhD research . It proved to be quite<br />

fascinating. It was a revelation to find that one could go for a drive in the hills with a pick, shovel and<br />

some empty buckets and sacks and collect useful materials with which you could make pots. Friendships<br />

were made with people who owned quarries, maps were marked with the locations <strong>of</strong> mineral deposits,<br />

and wood ashes were sourced from different plants. It was like having a lovely hobby and the results -<br />

after several false starts - began to be worth the considerable effort this way <strong>of</strong> working entails.<br />

Around this time I was contacted by the chef and author Gay Bilson. She had just moved to South<br />

Australia after a high pr<strong>of</strong>ile career in New South Wales, where she had variously run the restaurant<br />

at the Sydney Opera House and the famous Berowra Waters on the Hawkesbury River, a restaurant so<br />

exclusive that one had to access it either by boat or make a rather spectacular entrance by seaplane -<br />

as one does!<br />

Opposite page: Damon Moon. Magill Estate ware bowls. 20 14. hand-galhered and processed porcelain with<br />

clay body shown to right <strong>of</strong> bowls; photo: Andre Castellucci<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

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

Gay was in Adelaide to work with the avant-garde American theatre director Peter Sellars, who had<br />

been appointed director <strong>of</strong> the 2002 Adelaide Festival <strong>of</strong> the Arts. Sellars had promised a festival that<br />

would truly live up to the rhetoric <strong>of</strong> being cutting edge, innovative and challenging. Much to the<br />

concern <strong>of</strong> all involved it rapidly became apparent that he wasn't just saying this would be a festival<br />

like no other, but that he actually MEANT it. Sellars resigned a few months before the festival opened<br />

leaving a large hole in the budget and a sort <strong>of</strong> anarchic cultural echo which has rendered every<br />

subsequent festival more predictable than the last, not that anybody notices in the midst <strong>of</strong> pop-up<br />

hipster venues and thousands <strong>of</strong> dreadful Fringe comedians.<br />

Food played an important part in Sellars' proposed program, with a mix <strong>of</strong> events from gastronomic<br />

symposiums (rather like writer's week but with balsamic drizzle) to conceptual projects exploring the<br />

intersections <strong>of</strong> food and society. Gay - another person who definitely doesn't conform to expectations<br />

- came up with a project whereby she would supervise some meals for patients at local hospitals. She<br />

was looking for a potter to make work for several <strong>of</strong> these events and she ended up with me.<br />

Two sets <strong>of</strong> work were finally made: some plates for a symposium dinner and a couple <strong>of</strong> hundred<br />

small bowls for the hospital project. In the process <strong>of</strong> making these I found a renewed passion for the<br />

functional, the simple, and the real. <strong>No</strong>t art, not <strong>Ceramics</strong> with a capital C. just bowls and plates for<br />

food . Simple enough, or maybe not?<br />

Thirteen years later I'm working as Creative Director <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Ceramics</strong> Studio at the JamFactory in<br />

Adelaide, where 2014 ended with us having made at least three thousand items for local restaurants<br />

and the domestic table. <strong>The</strong>se were based on our Thrown product range (featured in <strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> <strong>Vol</strong>. 53 NO. 3 <strong>No</strong>vember 2014, pages 78,79) designed in house and made by<br />

local craftspeople in the JamFactory studios from local clays made by a local company and not, I repeat,<br />

not Made in China .<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Opposite page:<br />

1 Oamon Moon, Magill Estate ware, 2014, local<br />

clay with clay, rock and ash glazes, stoneware<br />

2 Damon Moon<br />

Lett: Magill Estate ware, 2014; Damon Moon,<br />

small pressed dish, woodgrain pattern and ash/clay<br />

glaze; white bowl: Damon Moon (designer) and<br />

Charmain Hearder (wheel thrower), large shallow<br />

bowl with spiral motif, 2014<br />

Photos: Andre Castellucci<br />

<strong>The</strong>re has been one commission, however, that I have enjoyed working on myself out <strong>of</strong> the Jam<br />

studios, for Scott Huggins and Emma McCaskill, the executive chefs at the Penfold's Magill Estate<br />

Restaurant. <strong>The</strong>y have spent time working in Japan where they were exposed to the myriad aspects<br />

<strong>of</strong> Japanese ceramics, a far cry from the ubiquitous white-ware which plates up so much <strong>Australian</strong><br />

food, and there is an element <strong>of</strong> fashion, where adventurous restaurants and cafes are more and more<br />

wanting to have individual, bespoke ceramics to match their food. <strong>The</strong>re is also the fact that Scott and<br />

Emma, like many other chefs, are interested in the local, the seasonal and the variable. <strong>The</strong>y want their<br />

ceramics to reflect this, and by working with a potter they have the chance to explore textures, shapes<br />

and colours designed to really complement the food.<br />

Over the year, fitting in with my other responsibilities and having more than a few failures along the<br />

way, I have been slowly making and supplying Magill Estate with nine sets each <strong>of</strong> thirty items for their<br />

degustation menu. <strong>The</strong>y are quite unlike any normal white wares, and some <strong>of</strong> them might even push<br />

the boundaries <strong>of</strong> what is expected <strong>of</strong> hand-made ceramics for the kitchen or table. From using the ash<br />

from the kitchen braziers where they burn the prunings from Penfold's vineyards, to utilising hand dug<br />

kaolins which, when unsieved, still contain feldspar and quartz inclusions, to plastic black, sodic clays<br />

gathered from the vineyards and olive groves that surround the little town where I live, I have tried to<br />

make work for them that is absolutely suited to their needs whilst truly reflecting the landscape, because<br />

it is from the landscape. I think we have similar aspirations, Scott, Emma and I, albeit in different fields.<br />

I hope that the relationship will be ongoing, because nothing delights me so much as when they<br />

unexpectedly send through an image <strong>of</strong> food they have arranged on one <strong>of</strong> my - their - our - plates or<br />

dishes or bowls, so making it complete.<br />

Damon Moon. Willunga 2014<br />

www.damonmoon.com<br />



My Journey to the West Cape<br />

by Warrick Palmateer<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is nowhere else I'd rather be, nothing else I would prefer 10 be doing. 1 am al the beach looking wesl wilh the<br />

conlinent behind me as the sun tracks down to the sea. I have my bearings.<br />

lim Winton, Land's Edge: A Coastal Memoir<br />

Tim Winton's words describe my intimate relationship with the beach perfectly. <strong>The</strong>y capture the essence<br />

<strong>of</strong> a love affair that started when I was a youngster growing up on the west coast <strong>of</strong> Australia. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

"was nowhere else I'd rather be" than at the beach and I spent all my spare time surfing, swimming<br />

and beachcombing. When I was 15 years <strong>of</strong> age my art teacher introduced me to clay and a polter's<br />

wheel, and the beach suddenly had a rival for my attention. I became so successful at dividing my time<br />

between the two pursuits that I'm never sure if I am a potter who surfs or a surfer who throws pots.<br />

I left high school soon after discovering my love <strong>of</strong> clay and enrolled at Perth Technical College,<br />

graduating with a Diploma <strong>of</strong> Studio <strong>Ceramics</strong> three years later. I was somewhere between 18 and 19<br />

when Lady Luck smiled on me and Joan Campbell employed me as a thrower. Her studio was on the<br />

shore <strong>of</strong> Bathers Beach in Fremantle and many <strong>of</strong> the pieces we created together were inspired by the<br />

ocean and the coastal landscape. Joan was an amazing woman who pushed boundaries to the extreme<br />

in her quest to create the 'special' piece. She was a great mentor and a wonderful friend and her<br />

influence resonates through the West Cape Passage series I created for the HERE&NOWJ4 exhibition<br />

held at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery last year.<br />

Throwing pots for other people became a way <strong>of</strong> life for me and for the last 22 years I have<br />

enjoyed a successful collaboration with internationally renowned ceramicist Pippin Drysdale. I throw<br />

fine porcelain, open vessels that taper to balance perfectly on small bases for Pippin and she uses the<br />

colours and textures <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Australian</strong> landscape to create beautiful works <strong>of</strong> art. In fact, it was Pippin's<br />

encouragement and belief in my ability that gave me the confidence to accept the gallery's invitation to<br />

exhibit my work.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Fu nction<br />

OpposIte page: West Cape, Western Australia, 2014<br />

Photo: Aaron Cross<br />

Right: Warrick Palmateer collecting images and<br />

inspiration, West Cape. 2014; photo: Helen Connor<br />

Below right: Warrick Palmateer making work, 2014<br />

Central Institute <strong>of</strong> Technology, Perth<br />

Photos: Lynn Vroombout<br />

Once the invitation had been accepted there<br />

was no turning back and I came face to face with<br />

the 'bla nk page' syndrome usually attributed to<br />

writers, but relevant to anyone search ing for the<br />

starting point <strong>of</strong> a creative journey. Suddenly I was<br />

hurtling head first out <strong>of</strong> my comfort zone as a<br />

thrower into the uncharted territory <strong>of</strong> creating<br />

'ceramic art'. I needed to get my bearings, and to<br />

get my bearings I needed to go to the beach ,<br />

Instinctively I travelled to the most southern<br />

point <strong>of</strong> Western Australia where the Southern<br />

and Indian oceans meet and the raw, dramatically<br />

sculptured coastline bears witness to the ferocity<br />

<strong>of</strong> the merger. <strong>The</strong> contrasting colours and<br />

textures <strong>of</strong> granite and sedimentary cliffs bordering<br />

pristine beaches, barnacled buoys at rest on the<br />

sand, and the old timber water wheel that time<br />

and the elements have turned to stone never<br />

cease to amaze me. I had returned to a special<br />

place in my memory and imagination and found<br />

my inspiration for the body <strong>of</strong> work that I named<br />

West Cape Passage.<br />

Knowing what I wanted to create and working<br />

out how to go about it could be described as<br />

'the stuff migraines are made <strong>of</strong>'. It took months<br />

<strong>of</strong> testing clays and glazes before I thought<br />

about sitting down at the wheel. I finally settled<br />

on a mixture <strong>of</strong> clay from the Perth hills and a<br />

commercial paperclay and wedged the brew by<br />

hand, <strong>The</strong> iron oxide in the clay from the Perth<br />

hills rewarded me with warm, rich ochre colours<br />

under a heavy gas-fired reduction atmosphere<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function --- --------

<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Warrick Palmateer, West Cape<br />

Passage, installation view, 2014<br />

h.170cm, w .800cm. d.1SOcm<br />

Background: Pippin Drysdale, Solstice<br />

2014; photo: Robert Frilh, Acorn Photo<br />

Here&<strong>No</strong>wI4, July- September 2014<br />

lawrence W ilson Art Gallery, WA<br />

as well as providing the refractory properties necessary to withstand the kiln firing. <strong>The</strong> commercial<br />

paperclay enabled the textural surfaces to bond to the clay body. I created each piece by hand using a<br />

coil and throw technique and then applied a heavy, thick slip with sweeping hand gestures to create<br />

texture and a fluid movement on the surface <strong>of</strong> the form. After a biscuit firing the vessels were glazed<br />

with a mixture <strong>of</strong> barium, lithium, copper and iron to create a vivid turquoise colour that contrasted<br />

with the granite colour produced by the silicon carbide and the ochre tones provided courtesy <strong>of</strong> the<br />

local clay. <strong>The</strong> silicon carbide also created bubbling and unusual textures in the glaze surface giving the<br />

finished form the appearance <strong>of</strong> having been weathered by the elements. <strong>The</strong> vessels were all gas fired<br />

in a heavy reduction atmosphere to around 1250° C.<br />

My creative journey was a roller coaster ride <strong>of</strong> highs and lows. It was heartbreaking when vessels<br />

collapsed in the kiln or glazes failed to create the effect I wanted, but that was soon forgotten in the<br />

exhilaration I experienced when a vessel emerged from the kiln intact and resplendent in the colours and<br />

textures <strong>of</strong> the West Cape region . <strong>The</strong> sheer size <strong>of</strong> each vessel tested my physical strength and without<br />

the use <strong>of</strong> the equipment at the Central Institute <strong>of</strong> Technology in Perth, where I was the Artist in<br />

Residence, it would have been almost impossible for me to manoeuvre the vessels in and out <strong>of</strong> the kiln.<br />

I was also physically and emotionally taxed by a quest for perfection that drove me to create 'just one<br />

more vessel' in the belief that it would turn out to be superior to its counterparts. My last, and possibly<br />

best, piece came out <strong>of</strong> the kiln the day before the exhibition opened, and the vessel was st ill warm to<br />

the touch when I transported it to the gallery.<br />

I chose five pieces for the West Cape Passage series and they were set out on a long, gracefully<br />

curved plinth that swept through the centre <strong>of</strong> a large room in the gallery. I had achieved my goal <strong>of</strong><br />

creating forms and textures inspired by the West Cape coastline and the opening <strong>of</strong> the HERE&NOWI4<br />

exhibition completed an incredible creative journey best summed up by Bernard Leach.<br />

It seems reasonable to expect thai beauty will emerge from a fusion <strong>of</strong> the individual characler and cullure <strong>of</strong> Jhe<br />

pOller with (he nalltre a/his materials. Bernard Leach, A Poller's Book<br />

Opposite page:<br />

1,4& 5: Warrick Palmateer, West Cape Passage, detail, 2014; Here&<strong>No</strong>wI4, July-September 2014<br />

Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, WA; photos; courtesy <strong>The</strong> West <strong>Australian</strong><br />

2 Warrick Palmateer throwing, 2014, Central Institute <strong>of</strong> Technology, Perth<br />

3 Heavy reduction firing, 1250·C, 2014, Central Institute <strong>of</strong> Technology, Perth<br />

Photos 2 & 3: lynn Vroombout<br />


<strong>The</strong> Fun ction <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

A Cup <strong>of</strong> Kindness<br />

Shannon Garson explores the art <strong>of</strong> living<br />

What is the function <strong>of</strong> art in an ordinary, washing the dishes, going to work, eating lunch, gardening,<br />

reading books, talking, making dinner, looking at the stars, putting the dishes away, sweeping the<br />

floor, turning the lights out and going to bed kind <strong>of</strong> life? How does the milk jug I use to make the<br />

tea matter? Although the glaze and form <strong>of</strong> my milk jug are ones that the potter has made hundreds<br />

<strong>of</strong> times, I feel them anew as I take the jug out <strong>of</strong> the dishwasher and pour the milk in. It interrupts<br />

my life and takes me, for a moment, into the maker's life. I wonder why the glaze is so crystalline and<br />

white and think that maybe it snows up where she lives and in winter it must be nice to sit by the kiln,<br />

listening to the crackle <strong>of</strong> the wood fire, wearing a fuzzy hand knitted jumper. All these thoughts take<br />

only a second to flit through my sleep addled brain as I move around the kitchen in a familiar rhythm,<br />

boiling the water, and making the tea. A soothing familiar task with its alternating smells and textures,<br />

tea leaves crunching as the spoon dives into them, the teapot's riSing chime as it fills with hot water, the<br />

ring-a-d ing <strong>of</strong> the spoon against the rim <strong>of</strong> the teacup, a recogn izable rhythm similar to that <strong>of</strong> making<br />

pots.<br />

I started making pots in the 1990s as a refuge from the swamping waves <strong>of</strong> post-modernism<br />

battering away my identity in abstract sweeps at Art College. It was such a relief to draw on something<br />

that would be useful no matter what the content, something that I knew had a practical function and<br />

would have the possibility <strong>of</strong> being part <strong>of</strong> everyday life. As I continued my career at college I became<br />

more and more sure that I wanted to make art that could fit in a dwelling, domestic-sized art that could<br />

be handled. I was given an amazing opportunity through artist and potter Clairy Laurence who started a<br />

gallery called Amfora. She made and fired the pots and let three <strong>of</strong> four <strong>of</strong> us from the college come in<br />

every week and decorate those beautifully thrown forms with whatever we liked. <strong>The</strong> patterns (inspired<br />

by medieval majolica, Uberty fabric, angels, insects and flowers) that I drew on pots were a stark<br />

contrast to the abstract renderings I was torturing out <strong>of</strong> the pencil and paintbrush at college.<br />

I learnt a lot during this period about the sorts <strong>of</strong> things that have become inspiration and sustenance<br />

in my life as an artist. I learnt how to look at patterns and paintings, old china and fabric, and process<br />

them through my head and hands to become deSigns on pots. Through watching Clairy live and work<br />

as an artist, I learnt what a life making practical, beautiful, mundane things looked like. It was an<br />

unconventional apprenticeship.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> my favourite smells in the whole world is that <strong>of</strong> earthy, damp and wet clay. That fragrance,<br />

combined with the first cool, sticky touch <strong>of</strong> a new ball <strong>of</strong> clay, sets a rhythm: a thump <strong>of</strong> wedging,<br />

the buzz and hum <strong>of</strong> the wheel, the first powerful compression <strong>of</strong> centreing. <strong>The</strong> rhythm <strong>of</strong> making<br />

in the studio has hummed and thumped through my life for years now. Accompanying me through<br />

early mornings and hot afternoons were tiny babies now children, growing up, ready to try the wheel<br />

themselves. My studio is under the house and the day ebbs and flows between using pots in the kitchen<br />

Opposite page:<br />

Shannon Garson, 20 15, porcelain, glaze, underglaze, terra sigillata<br />

Photos: artist<br />



<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Opposite page:<br />

Shannon Garson, <strong>2015</strong>, porcelain, glaze<br />

underglaze, terra sigillata<br />

Selow: Shannon in her studio. Maleny. OLD<br />

Right: Shannon Garson, <strong>2015</strong>, rope detail. porcelain<br />

glaze, undergJaze. terra sigillata<br />

Photos: artist<br />

upstairs and making pots in the studio downstairs.<br />

<strong>The</strong> function <strong>of</strong> art performs this gentle swing<br />

within my life as a maker. <strong>The</strong> upstairs pots that<br />

I touch and use and pass from hand to hand<br />

enrich the food I put into them, endowing<br />

physical nurturing with psychological and cultural<br />

resonance. <strong>The</strong> downstairs pots, formed into vessels from a slippery lump <strong>of</strong> clay and then sent out<br />

into the world, are a way <strong>of</strong> contributing to society, punctuating everyday life and saying "look closer",<br />

emphasising connection.<br />

Domestic rituals around food vessels comfort and nurture us in small but powerful ways every day.<br />

Handmade pots in the home become talismanic objects, gathering meaning as they move between<br />

shelves and hands throughout the years. I use functional forms as a ground f or drawing about the<br />

environment - ropes, birds, the ocean, and geology - because the familiarity <strong>of</strong> a teapot or a soup bowl<br />

acts as a keyhole to the abstract concepts that I am engaging with in the drawings. I know that when a<br />

piece <strong>of</strong> successful art is encountered it has a resonance that chimes like a bell and the vibrations are felt<br />

through your whole body. Like falling in love, encountering art that pulls at you powerfully is a matter<br />

<strong>of</strong> timing. This is where bowls, cups, vessels, vases and the flotsam <strong>of</strong> the domestic sphere are perfectly<br />

placed. A chance encounter with a pure white porcelain teacup, a drip coming <strong>of</strong>f the rim <strong>of</strong> a bowl, or<br />

a speckled brown glaze when making dinner or laying a table can transport, whisking you away from<br />

the domestic sphere into a world <strong>of</strong> abstract ideas.<br />

Using handmade ware is an act <strong>of</strong> communication; from the first touch <strong>of</strong> the hand to the pot a<br />

narrative begins. Through texture, weight and form, handmade domestic ware draws the user into its<br />

history as an object, and through this objective history there is a connection to the subjective history <strong>of</strong><br />

the maker.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Platonic ideal <strong>of</strong> an unchanging idea behind the gritty reality is evoked by handmade tableware:<br />

ideas about art and creation, a life lived in pursuit <strong>of</strong> functional beauty, a web <strong>of</strong> connection<br />

radiating out from a handmade plate or cup. As artists we see this when we meet someone who has<br />

incorporated our pots into their lives, Last year someone came up to me at a market and told me they<br />

used one <strong>of</strong> my cups every Saturday morning for their c<strong>of</strong>fee. A cup serving its purpose out in the world<br />

gives a stranger joy through a ritual they have constructed around its function, as months before that in<br />

the studio, it gave me joy as a blob <strong>of</strong> clay smelling <strong>of</strong> soil, unformed. full <strong>of</strong> potential.<br />

http://shannongarsonporcelain.com.au<br />


Mel Robson. Suzi lyon and members <strong>of</strong> the Alice Springs Community. Touch. detail. 2014<br />

Installation <strong>of</strong> 12.000 clay pinch pots; photo: Suzi Lyon<br />

Touch<br />

Mel Robson and Suzi Lyon explore the function <strong>of</strong> art in the community<br />

II Slaried wilh an aes<strong>The</strong>lic idea - a vision <strong>of</strong> Ihe loveliness <strong>of</strong> pinchpols. 'he simplest <strong>of</strong> ceramic forms. en masse.<br />

II became an idea about communiTy. I<br />

Touch , an installation <strong>of</strong> 12,000 pinch pots held at Watch This Space Gallery in Alice Springs in late<br />

2014, began as a conversation when a small group <strong>of</strong> pinch pots were discovered on a shelf while<br />

cleaning up the ceramics studio at Charles Darwin University: the beauty <strong>of</strong> such a basic utilitarian form,<br />

the appeal <strong>of</strong> an uncomplicated process, and the visual possibilities <strong>of</strong>fered by multiples and repetition.<br />

<strong>The</strong> vision <strong>of</strong> a gallery filled with thousands <strong>of</strong> these vessels emerged. and ideas around how to achieve<br />

that evolved. To get the many thousands <strong>of</strong> pots needed to fill the gallery space we realised we would<br />

need to involve other people.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

It started small, at dinner parties, afternoon teas, and gatherings with friends and work colleagues.<br />

We would supply the clay and people would begin enthusiastically pinching pots. Encouraged by the<br />

positive response and obvious enjoyment people were getting from making these little pinch pots, we<br />

began to extend the involvement beyond our known circle. This experience <strong>of</strong> involving other people<br />

ultimately became the focus <strong>of</strong> the project - getting out <strong>of</strong> the studio, going into public and community<br />

spaces with bags <strong>of</strong> clay, inviting people to join in, seeing their responses to this simple act <strong>of</strong> making,<br />

and experiencing the way in which it allowed interaction and conversation. It gave us an opening with<br />

which to make contact with others.<br />

It gave us access 10 people who we might not normally have conversations with in the normal course <strong>of</strong> our daily<br />

lives ... in our busy lives we don ~ necessarily just sit down and talk 10 people, especially people we don I know. Bur<br />

when people do something with their hands, il relaxes the space between them and conversations flow. ]<br />

Often, making art can be an exclusionary and solitary practice, with the artist working alone and at<br />

the centre <strong>of</strong> the process. By involving the community in making this work, the focus became less about<br />

us the artists, and more about community and connection. It broadened the emphasis beyond simply<br />

the production <strong>of</strong> objects, and onto the creation <strong>of</strong> links between people and community.<br />

We began to work with local arts festivals, took bags <strong>of</strong> clay to schools and community arts<br />

organisations, sat in parks and malls, on the lawns <strong>of</strong> public buildings, by water holes and in the dry<br />

river beds <strong>of</strong> the desert. We held workshops where participants were blindfolded while pinching pots,<br />

encouraging further contemplation <strong>of</strong> the material and the nature <strong>of</strong> making. At Charles Darwin<br />

University, where both <strong>of</strong> us teach, we invited other university employees from all departments to join<br />

us at lunchtime once a week to pinch pots. People who had never met each other sat side by side in the<br />

sunshine, chatting whilst pinching pots.<br />

Something about the immediately tactile nature <strong>of</strong> clay and its ability to be easily formed and<br />

manipulated struck a chord with everyone. It was accessible, sensory and democratic and seemed to<br />

appeal to that most basic impulse <strong>of</strong> human beings to make things. Making reference to such items<br />

that perform basic but necessary tasks, in this case to carry and contain, somehow pays homage to the<br />

object and its function. This was part <strong>of</strong> the allure <strong>of</strong> these small things, these miniaturised versions <strong>of</strong><br />

functional objects that we have and use in our daily lives.<br />

When it came time to install the 12,000 pots, we took as our starting point the Central <strong>Australian</strong><br />

landscape as seen from above, mapping our community and drawing a link between people and<br />

place. We didn't work from a plan, but rather let the pots people had made direct the layout. As the<br />

installation unfolded organically, it felt like we were painting or drawing with the pots, shading and<br />

blending colours and sizes and forms, mining both the similarity and variation within them.<br />

AI/hough most a/the tiny pOlS ;)' !Jare a similar shallow ctlpped/orm,from being shaped in the palm <strong>of</strong> the hand. this<br />

'memory <strong>of</strong> community' is seen in their difference, ay slight as it may be. J<br />

Highlighting the number and diversi ty <strong>of</strong> people involved in the project were black and white<br />

photographs around the walls <strong>of</strong> the gallery <strong>of</strong> the many pairs <strong>of</strong> hands involved in making the pinch<br />

pots. An area <strong>of</strong> the gallery was also set aside with a table and clay so that for the duration <strong>of</strong> the<br />

exhibition visitors to the gallery were able to make their own pots to add to the installation . Over a<br />


period <strong>of</strong> a month it grew and evolved, snaking out from the edges and taking on new form. All but<br />

a few <strong>of</strong> the 12,000 pots remain unfired. Ultimately they will all be recycled. In a world with such a<br />

frightening abundance <strong>of</strong> things, this ephemeral nature was an important element in our approach.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are many parallels one could draw between the process and evolution <strong>of</strong> this work, and<br />

the way a community works. Like a community it was made up <strong>of</strong> individual elements that, brought<br />

together, created a whole. But it is the diversity and difference, the light and shade, the subtleties and<br />

nuances that give charader and meaning. It reflected the community from which it came and the many<br />

hands that brought it into existence.<br />

What was created was a map <strong>of</strong> sorts: a visual and visceral record, a physical dialogue <strong>of</strong> a<br />

community, recording movement and moments. Inherent within the final work was a plethora <strong>of</strong><br />

stories and experiences. And when looking at the pots, it is this we see more than anything, the<br />

stories exchanged and the personal interadions experienced over the course <strong>of</strong> the project. For us, and<br />

hopefully for those involved, this was the real outcome and the real meaning <strong>of</strong> Touch.<br />

Suzi lyon is Head <strong>of</strong> Art and Mel Robson is <strong>Ceramics</strong> lecturer at Charles Darwin University,<br />

Alice Springs, <strong>No</strong>rthern Territory; E: suzi.lyon@cdu.edu.au; E: mel@melrobson.com.<br />

1 Kieran Finnane, <strong>The</strong> Light Work <strong>of</strong> Many Hands, ExhiMion Review. Alice Sprmgs News Online, 20 October 2014<br />

www.alkespnngsneYllS(om.au<br />

2 Mel Robson, Artist Talk, quoted in Kteran finnane, Ibid.<br />

OJ).CIt.<br />

Above: Mel Robson. Suzi lyon and members <strong>of</strong> the Alice Springs Community, Touch, detail, 2014<br />

Installation <strong>of</strong> 12,000 clay pinch pols; photo: Suzi lyon<br />

Opposite page:<br />

1 Some <strong>of</strong> the many hands that contributed to Touch; photo: Mel Robson<br />

2, 3 & 4 Mel Robson, Suzi Lyon and members <strong>of</strong> the Alice Springs Community, Touch. details, 2014<br />

Installation <strong>of</strong> 12.000 clay pinch pols; photo: Suzi lyon<br />

36 THE JOURNAL Of AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2015</strong>


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Opposite page: Mitsuo Shoji, M any Wishes Triangular Form, 2008. stoneware, colour inlay. coilbuilt<br />

double wall gold/silver leaf, h.35cm, w.44cm, d.44cm; photo: Greg Piper<br />

Very few in <strong>Australian</strong> ceramics would be unfamiliar with the work <strong>of</strong> Mitsuo Shoji. Even if you are<br />

among them, you may have - without knowing it - laid your hands upon a piece <strong>of</strong> his work.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are some individuals whose influence weaves through life's fabric to touch on many worlds.<br />

Shoji san is one <strong>of</strong> them.<br />

One strand in Shoji san's thread <strong>of</strong> influence is a long standing collaboration with the institutions <strong>of</strong><br />

contemporary <strong>Australian</strong> food culture - among them Tetsuya Wakuda, Kimitaka Azuma and Ryuichi<br />

Yoshii. For decades now his functional pieces have served as the stage on which their work is presented<br />

to the world. If you have ever savoured one <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>ferings <strong>of</strong> these places, you will have also admired,<br />

if not touched, a piece <strong>of</strong> Shoji san's work - a sashimi platter, a small torizara plate, a dish for soy, a<br />

green tea cup.<br />

As hand crafted functional ceramics become increasingly common in <strong>Australian</strong> restaurants, in Japan<br />

the collaborative relationship between prominent chefs and ceramicists is age old. Trained in Japan, Shoji<br />

san understands this relationship well.<br />

Born and raised in Kansai, region <strong>of</strong> ancient capitals, he found his entry into ceramics through the<br />

prestigious Kyoto City University <strong>of</strong> Arts. <strong>The</strong>re in the late 1960s, he began to practise under the<br />

tutelage <strong>of</strong> Rokubei Kiyomizu VII <strong>of</strong> the great kyoyaki dynasty, as across the Pacific ceramic culture was<br />

only starting to mature in the country that would one day become his home.<br />

It was a period <strong>of</strong> intense learning and inspiration. Unlike the others in his cohort who had either<br />

been raised in old ceramics families amid famed pottery collections or othervvise versed in clay, Shoji<br />

san did not have a ceramics background. It was there in the university workshop that he first learnt the<br />

fundaments <strong>of</strong> wedging and throwing and began to develop his practice.<br />

It was probably a gruelling rite <strong>of</strong> passage, but Shoji san talks <strong>of</strong> the time with warmth. <strong>The</strong>re was<br />

much opportunity for experimentation and the prestige <strong>of</strong> his teachers and the institution opened doors<br />

on encounters to which many an influential person may not have had access at the time. Shoji san<br />

tells <strong>of</strong> a study tour <strong>of</strong> the six significant pottery centres <strong>of</strong> t he ceramics world, known in Japan as the<br />

Rokkoyo, and Mashiko, the place where Shoji Hamada had settled his home, workshop and kiln as the<br />

spiritual home <strong>of</strong> the mingei movement.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re in Mashiko one evening the master Hamada, in his eighties and already more than a decade<br />

revered as a living national treasure, welcomed the travelling students into his home. <strong>The</strong>y passed under<br />

the vast thatched nagaya gate and entered the main residence, an old building that would have been<br />

vast and cool - a harmony between the human warmth <strong>of</strong> mingei, the emotive austerity <strong>of</strong> sabi, the<br />

subtle machismo <strong>of</strong> midcentury European design, and the restrained heat <strong>of</strong> a hibachi.<br />

Shoji san remembers the othervvorldly intensity <strong>of</strong> the elderly sensei's presence - diminutive, and<br />

with the scientist's air lent by the characteristic heavy tortoiseshell spectacles. Most <strong>of</strong> all, Shoji san<br />

remembers the fineness <strong>of</strong> his mind. As the group sat talking, t he discussion was punctuated w ith<br />

the persistent ringing <strong>of</strong> the telephone, which Hamada would unfailingly rise to answer. "Returning<br />

THE 10URNAL OF AUST RA LIAN CERAMICS APRIL <strong>2015</strong> 39

<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

each time to the conversation, he would continue his<br />

previous thought as if there had been absolutely no<br />

interruption. He was very sharp," says Shoji san.<br />

<strong>No</strong>t long after this time, Shoji san's teacher,<br />

Kiyomizu, radically renounced ceramics, destroying<br />

almost all <strong>of</strong> his award-winning ceramic work and<br />

turning his focus to the minimalist sculpture for which<br />

he became renowned. Perhaps it was the influence <strong>of</strong><br />

the sensei's sudden change in direction or the freedom<br />

<strong>of</strong> being unbound by generations <strong>of</strong> inherited ideas,<br />

or maybe something fundamental within Shoji san<br />

himself, but his practice has always been characterised<br />

by a similar unorthodoxy and adventure.<br />

In the more than forty years he has lived and taught<br />

in Australia - first at East Sydney Technical College and<br />

then Sydney College <strong>of</strong> the Arts (he retired in 2007<br />

but remains an honorary senior lecturer) - Shoji san<br />

found an affinity with the majority <strong>of</strong> students who came to ceramics as he had, without preconceived<br />

notions <strong>of</strong> aesthetics and with an enthusiasm for experimentation. "It was wonderful, you know," he<br />

says, "seeing all these things that were original and new coming out <strong>of</strong> the kiln." In Japan too in recent<br />

years, Shoji san says he sees some melting <strong>of</strong> the old rules with the emergence <strong>of</strong> more interest in<br />

sculptural work among a younger generation <strong>of</strong> potters and collectors.<br />

Shoji san's own work ranges fluidly across the functional and non-functional. In fact, Shoji san says<br />

he doesn't really think <strong>of</strong> his work in this dualistic way - functional or decorative, two-dimensional or<br />

three - although he does have a preference for sculptural objects. He continues to gently resist the<br />

idea <strong>of</strong> working perennially in one style. If this makes categorising his aesthetic elusive, Shoji san is<br />

unconcerned. " I just want to have fun," he says. "I don't care if a piece sells or not. To be creatively<br />

fulfilled I need to keep moving."<br />

In recen t years his focus has been on large handbuilt high-fired sculptural pieces bearing inlaid slip<br />

sutra tattoos and two-dimensional works. In these forms Shoji san explores the theory (distilled by the<br />

early twentieth century painter Grasset) that the sphere, cone and cube, and their two-dimensional<br />

equivalents the circle, triangle and square, form the basis <strong>of</strong> all compositional arrangements. Shoji san<br />

also continues to make pieces for his restaurateur friends as well as commissioned work.<br />

It is an <strong>of</strong>ten-recited tenet in Japanese ceramics philosophy that a pot is aesthetically incomplete until<br />

married with food. Shoji san's view on this thesis <strong>of</strong> art versus function takes a characteristically more<br />

subtle note. Shoji san's intention, he says, is instead for the work to stand on its own. For him, even if a<br />

work's ultimate purpose is to display another thing, it must have beauty enough that it does not require<br />

the addition <strong>of</strong> anything else in order to be complete.<br />

M itsuo Shoji is represented by Lesley Kehoe Gallery in Victoria and Lost Bear Gallery<br />

in New South Wales; www.mitsuoshoji.com.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Opposite page: Mitsuo Shoji, Giant Circle, 2010<br />

stoneware, colour inlay. (oilbuilt, gold/silver leaf<br />

diam.85cm; photo: Greg Piper<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Mitsuo Shoji<br />

1 Many Wishes Ovoid Form, 2010<br />

h.33cm, w .4Sem, d.57cm<br />

2 Mitsuo Shoji portrait, 2009, photo: Christine Shoji<br />

3 Many Wishes Square Form, 2008<br />

h.35cm, w.42em, d.42cm<br />

4 Many Wishes Ovoid Form , 2010<br />

h.45cm, w.66cm, d.40cm<br />

1,3 & 4 stoneware, colour inlay, coilbuilt<br />

double wall, gold/silver leaf<br />

1. 3 & 4 Photos: Greg Piper<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Constant Movement in<br />

Space and Time<br />

Kelly Austin explores the contri bution pots make<br />

I'm sitting up at the bar inside Monster Kitchen and Bar in Canberra on a warm Friday afternoon. <strong>The</strong><br />

last two hours have been spent photographing my pots in situ, trying to capture these objects in their<br />

home. As I move around the space my mind wanders, struggling to find a place <strong>of</strong> grounding. I'm<br />

dreading writing about them, worried that I don't have sufficient answers as to why they are important.<br />

Yet my entire afternoon - indeed most <strong>of</strong> my everyday life - is dedicated to them.<br />

I've captured the images I'm after and sit down to enjoy a bite. I force myself to change pace and<br />

ease into the moment, as if I am experiencing this for the very first time. <strong>The</strong> clarity allows me to both<br />

listen to the present moment and reflect on my experience as a maker. Pots are complicated objects<br />

for something that is so seemingly simple. Answers slowly begin to flow like water returning to a<br />

dry stream. Still murky and undefined, I begin to jot down ideas as to what pots <strong>of</strong>fer: tremendous<br />

challenge, aesthetic experience and connections. <strong>The</strong>y have given me the opportunity to collaborate and<br />

provide a physical making practice.<br />

Challenge<br />

<strong>The</strong> number <strong>of</strong> requirements that functional pots have to fulfill presents significant challenges for a<br />

maker. At the forefront, they have to function: a server has to be able to handle them quickly and<br />

efficiently, and they have to be robust, the right size, and stack in a way that maximises space in the<br />

kitchen. <strong>The</strong>n the object has to be in harmony with the food that is placed in or upon it. We have to<br />

consider colour, texture, form and weight and how these qualities will align with the sensibilities <strong>of</strong> the<br />

space they will exist in.<br />

Just like a singer in a chorus, the pot has to annunciate and sing in key. Its delivery has to be clear<br />

and in perfect time for the audience to experience the sou nd <strong>of</strong> many voices as one. <strong>The</strong>n there is<br />

the solo, where the pot has to be capable <strong>of</strong> singing unaccompanied, sitting clean and ready on the<br />

kitchen bench or on top <strong>of</strong> the espresso maker. <strong>The</strong> very best pots seemingly accomplish all <strong>of</strong> these<br />

tasks effortlessly. W ith all this in mind, we then tackle the complexities <strong>of</strong> making these objects in clay,<br />

for a set price point, and to a delivery date. <strong>The</strong> objects in themselves may be simple, but the fact that<br />

they cannot exist without a relationship to other objects and environments brings forward a group <strong>of</strong><br />

complexities which I find engaging.<br />


Kelly Austin, Monster Small Dishes, 2014, wheelthrown stoneware, h.6cm, w .6cm, d.15cm; photo: artist<br />

Aesthetic experience<br />

When photographing my work, I notice how the pots reveal their essential aesthetic nature through<br />

colour, texture and form. <strong>The</strong>se are the elements which artists like me use to set a visceral tone in a<br />

medium like clay, and it's refreshing to be reminded <strong>of</strong> this and to recognise the challenge in simply<br />

curating these qualities. I watch a plate carefully travel from the kitchen to a table and upon placing<br />

it down a moment <strong>of</strong> opportunity is revealed . Customers engage visually and sensually, absorbing the<br />

combination <strong>of</strong> grilled duck with pickled cherries - a moist pink sits next to a glossy deep red on a<br />

surface <strong>of</strong> matt and speckled light blue/grey. It is a beautifully composed experience that starts with my<br />

hands and ends with the chef's. <strong>The</strong> visual, tactile and sensual experience is what draws me to making<br />

pots, but the aesthetic experience is what comes after - the merging moments <strong>of</strong> communication and<br />

connection between object, user, content and sustenance.<br />

Connection<br />

Objects have the incredible ability to embody story and facilitate the making <strong>of</strong> connections. After one<br />

<strong>of</strong> the customers serves herself. she picks up the dish and passes it to a neighbour. Looking back up to<br />

the waiter, she comments about the beauty <strong>of</strong> it, appreciating the combination <strong>of</strong> colour and aroma. He<br />

explains to her that I've made the plates by hand and am in the restaurant taking images for this very<br />

article. My tableware is subtle, but it was distinct enough to spark interest and curiosity that created<br />

dialogue. It was an opportunity to engage and connect. She's curious about the object itself, about its<br />

maker and the story it is a part <strong>of</strong>. Her experience and mine become richer as connections are made.<br />

Collaboration<br />

Through the process <strong>of</strong> making tableware for restaurants, I have been fortunate to collaborate with<br />

many creative people. One <strong>of</strong> the plates I made for Monster Kitchen and Bar developed out <strong>of</strong> a<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Above:<br />

I Kelly Austin, <strong>2015</strong>; photo: Hardy Lohse<br />

2 Kelly Austin, Mocan Plate, 2014, wheelthrown stoneware<br />

diam.29cm, d.2cm; photo: artist<br />

3 Kelly Austin, Monster Plate, 2014, wheelthrown stoneware<br />

diam.31cm, d.3em; photo: artist<br />

4 Kelly Austin, Mocan Prawn Plate, 2014, wheel thrown stoneware<br />

diam.12em, d.2cm; photo: artist<br />

Opposite page:<br />

Kelly Austin, Monster Plate, 2014, wheelthrown stoneware<br />

diam.31 em, d.3em; photo: artist<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

question chef Sean McConnell asked me while looking at samples <strong>of</strong> my work. We were discussing the<br />

creation <strong>of</strong> a new plate form for the restaurant and he found elements in two different objects I brought<br />

in, so I combined them to make a form I had never made before. We discussed glaze qualities and for<br />

the first time I noticed how finger prints are strongly reflected on dark, glossy glazes.<br />

Collaboration has been an essential part <strong>of</strong> my development as a deSigner and maker. Pots have two<br />

sides, maker and user, and my considerations as a maker are deeply enhanced by the shared experiences<br />

<strong>of</strong> the user. This is part <strong>of</strong> what draws me to making functional art.<br />

Physical experience<br />

Throwing on the potter's wheel is physically manipulating material in space and time. From an early age,<br />

I have been drawn to things that <strong>of</strong>fer tangible physical experiences. While out walking, I'll <strong>of</strong>ten bend<br />

down to pick up a rock, feeling its cool smoothness. Throwing a series <strong>of</strong> cups provides an opportunity<br />

for my entire physical body to engage. My right leg and foot control the speed <strong>of</strong> the wheel while<br />

my hips bend and my back falls forward. All <strong>of</strong> my upper body is focused on the clay in front <strong>of</strong> me,<br />

shoulders directing biceps which engage forearms, wrist and hands. I am focused right down to my<br />

fingertips and the slurry that glides between myself and the plastic clay. As my hands apply pressure, the<br />

clay responds and changes form. <strong>The</strong> slightest pinch <strong>of</strong> my fingers thins a rim and I become attentive<br />

to the wealth <strong>of</strong> nuance that is available. I give in to the embodiment <strong>of</strong> this moment and the cognitive<br />

noise begins to s<strong>of</strong>ten.<br />

What began as trepidation has resulted in a rewarding journey, revealing to me the incredible depth<br />

<strong>of</strong> pots. <strong>The</strong>y are not something that can be rushed or concisely articulated through one idea. Pots are<br />

like rivers, a culmination <strong>of</strong> numerous tributaries flowing in constant movement in space and time.<br />

http://kellyaustindesign.com; https:/lvimeo.com/62981 019<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Sandy lockwood throwing in her Balmoral<br />

Village studiO, NSW; photo; courtesy artist<br />

Opposite page: Sandy lockwood, Three, 2014<br />

woodfired. saltglazed porcelain and stoneware<br />

h.9cm, w.SScm, d.7.Scm; photo: courtesy artist<br />

Conversation, Jazz and Pots<br />

Sandy Lockwood discusses art as process and object<br />

Art and function are not mutually exclusive. This is particularly the case when considering tableware. My<br />

ideas about this theme include art as a finished piece as well as the art <strong>of</strong> making and firing tableware,<br />

choosing pieces to use, and finally all the creativity involved in preparing and presenting food.<br />

Art in this context is not only what has been created. Art also includes a way <strong>of</strong> doing things, usually<br />

implying skill and judgment such as in the art <strong>of</strong> flower arrangement. In relation to making and using<br />

tableware, both these senses <strong>of</strong> the word art are applicable. <strong>The</strong> finished prodUd can be art, and art<br />

can be exercised in its creation and subsequent use.<br />

Pots made by hand in a studio embody all the craft skills, knowledge, creativity and visual sensitivity<br />

<strong>of</strong> the maker in the finished piece. Through the language <strong>of</strong> clay there is a potential for the maker to<br />

express something unique, to have something particular to say through the ad <strong>of</strong> making. In making<br />

functional pots there is a haptic appreciation <strong>of</strong> an imag ined future use. This draws on the accumulated<br />

experience <strong>of</strong> handling and using them that feeds back into the making process: the weight and feel<br />

in the hand, the s<strong>of</strong>tness <strong>of</strong> the lip to drink from or to invite one to pour from, the way a pot will sit<br />

nestled in the hand, the way the handle fits the hand.<br />


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

<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

In the best examples, clay is encouraged to have something to say as well. Clay has unique<br />

characteristics that allow the maker to engage with it in a kind <strong>of</strong> conversation: a push here, a fold<br />

there, rhythms from the action <strong>of</strong> wheel and hand, a decision to leave this part clear and to allow the<br />

energy to show there - a conversation between imagination, hand, clay, water and wheel - a constant<br />

stream <strong>of</strong> mini choices that continue through into packing and firing the kiln. In my case this is a<br />

wood fired salt glazing kiln. <strong>The</strong>re are quiet areas in the kiln where s<strong>of</strong>tness can prevail and other more<br />

dramatic areas where the movement <strong>of</strong> ash and salt are clearly visible. <strong>The</strong>y both <strong>of</strong>fer a very living<br />

surface.<br />

In firing, the kiln also joins the conversation. My kiln has quite a lot to say and sometimes in quite an<br />

assertive manner that demands judicious management.<br />

So, the first conversation in the art <strong>of</strong> making is between the maker, the material, imagined use, and<br />

the kiln . <strong>The</strong> second conversation is between the user and the pots in the choice <strong>of</strong> pieces for preparing<br />

and presenting food and drink. <strong>The</strong>se creative acts reveal a lot about the art <strong>of</strong> function . One could say<br />

the final enjoyment <strong>of</strong> food and the art <strong>of</strong> conversation at the table begin as a conversation between<br />

the maker and the clay. This is a melding <strong>of</strong> the various meanings <strong>of</strong> art.<br />

<strong>The</strong> best <strong>of</strong> tableware pieces play the same role as art in provoking responses through engaging our<br />

senses. <strong>The</strong>y can provoke thought, emotional enjoyment, satisfaction, or some blend <strong>of</strong> these responses.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y can continue to engage us over long periods <strong>of</strong> time as we discover new things about them and<br />

ourselves. <strong>The</strong>y can enhance our everyday lives and surprise us on a chance encounter.<br />

<strong>The</strong> process <strong>of</strong> collecting tableware pieces is something special and <strong>of</strong>ten random. Piece by piece<br />

there is an accumulation <strong>of</strong> experience, meaning and memory that tell the story <strong>of</strong> how they came to be<br />

owned and why. <strong>The</strong>se thoughts and emotions become part <strong>of</strong> the pot itself.<br />

Storage places for pots can be seen as a library for enjoyment, perhaps a kind <strong>of</strong> personal and<br />

idiosyncratic art gallery. <strong>The</strong> collection may be a large and comprehensive library or it may consist<br />

<strong>of</strong> a few special pieces. What matters is the enjoyment derived from handling and using the unique<br />

collection that is your own. Each time you take pieces from the library there is a potential to st art

<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

another conversation. It may be as simple as choosing a favourite mug, or it may start with the visual<br />

orchestration <strong>of</strong> form, texture and colour that complements the warmth and laughter <strong>of</strong> a gathering <strong>of</strong><br />

friends for an informal banquet.<br />

In contrast there is also the art <strong>of</strong> choosing and using pots within a very formal setting such as a<br />

Japanese tea ceremony. <strong>The</strong> function and surroundings <strong>of</strong> the pieces are quite particular; however there<br />

is still the telling <strong>of</strong> a new story, <strong>of</strong> enjoyment each time they are carefully selected from the library and<br />

used. Discussion <strong>of</strong> the maker and making <strong>of</strong> pieces used is an integral part <strong>of</strong> the tea ceremony.<br />

Using tableware can be seen as analogous to a jazz performance. <strong>The</strong> event may be spontaneous and<br />

ephemeral in nature but leave a lasting impression - it can provoke an emotional response that lingers<br />

in the memory. As with jazz, making pots and preparing and serving food can have a variety <strong>of</strong> styles,<br />

genres, tempos, rhythms, tones, colours and improvisations. <strong>The</strong> venue and audience can vary from time<br />

to time and each event is unique, an opportunity to create a new piece <strong>of</strong> performance art. It may be<br />

the soothing lyric <strong>of</strong> a quiet breakfast amid the bustle <strong>of</strong> a busy life that is enhanced by a favourite mug<br />

for tea and a special plate for toast, or it may be the choice <strong>of</strong> bowls for a rambunctious and up-tempo<br />

meal <strong>of</strong> pasta and red wine with friends.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w more than ever it seems vitally important to emphasise human values that include caring for<br />

each other and our environment, creativity, compassion, conviviality, humour, art, contemplation, and<br />

making <strong>of</strong> ceremonies. In this context the experience <strong>of</strong> using pots every day is life enhancing . From<br />

breakfast to dinner there is a chance to engage with the hand, the eye, the skin, the heart, memories,<br />

others, and the self, without which we would be diminished.<br />

What I hope people get from using my pots is some connection with the story <strong>of</strong> the making - a<br />

connection with the energy and movement <strong>of</strong> the making process, a tactile experience that draws one<br />

closer to the real world <strong>of</strong> textures and undulations, to feel the hand <strong>of</strong> the maker when using the<br />

pieces, and to spend time being drawn into the colour, texture and variation <strong>of</strong> woodfiring and salt<br />

glazing.<br />

Like jazz, one can talk about it, but it is the direct experience that really makes the impact.<br />

www.sandylockwood.(om.au<br />

OPPOSIte page:<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Sandy lockwood<br />

1 Tray, 2014, handbuilt, woodfired and saltglazed stoneware to 1300·C<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Shino - Form and Beauty<br />

Angela Walfo rd shares her passion for the unpredictable<br />

I never imagined that studying film would lead me back to<br />

ceramics. While researching some documentary footage <strong>of</strong> a<br />

tribal village, scenes revealed the huts had brilliantly golden<br />

woven thatch and the film visually compared them to the hair<br />

weaves on the women's heads, rapidly cutting from different<br />

angles <strong>of</strong> view. <strong>The</strong> mise-en-scene was a stunningly beautiful<br />

way <strong>of</strong> seeing the simplicity and ritual in that way <strong>of</strong> life. I<br />

knew then that I needed to somehow explore the attraction<br />

that I felt to the art <strong>of</strong> texture in that native village and its<br />

natural beauty.<br />

I went back to study ceramics in 1999, learning about ki lns and glazes from John Coulter until I was<br />

replete! Since then I have grown to love the infinitely variable surface <strong>of</strong> shino glaze, experimenting with<br />

myriad additions to what was originally an American recipe. It is a hard taskmaster but I have learned<br />

to work together with it and enjoy the constant discovery. My glaze forms micro crystals <strong>of</strong> soda ash on<br />

the surface pre firing and red clay additions give the warmest surface. I've observed the difference that<br />

thickness <strong>of</strong> application <strong>of</strong> glaze makes, and the surface lustre created by gas and wood under heavy<br />

reduction can be stunning, <strong>of</strong>ten mistaken for wood fired . With additions <strong>of</strong> red gum chips during the<br />

firing, it's now a truly Aussie glaze!<br />

Shared workspaces can inspire me, but I usually work and fire alone in my back garden studio.<br />

Surrounded by quarries and brickworks in the Adelaide foothills, clay sits right on the surface <strong>of</strong> the<br />

roadside. Tests have provided great results and blends with commercial clay bodies have been promising.<br />

My functional forms, large and small bowls and mega serving bowls, are inspired by Asian ceramics,<br />

and subtle curves are influenced from my college days and my UK heritage.<br />

I take several weeks glazing and loading to prepare for firing. From lighting the gas pilots onwards,<br />

focus is needed to listen to the kiln and feed the fire as the temperature and atmosphere grow in<br />

intensity. In the early hours, when it's cold outside and the gas tanks are frozen, comes my time for<br />

painting with fire. I enjoy this intense time, contributing to but never completely controlling what<br />

happens inside the kiln; serendipity and providence are the masters <strong>of</strong> this fiery beast. What precedes<br />

the firing allows the atmosphere inside to do its work. Results can be disappointing sometimes, but I<br />

never cared for predictability!<br />

<strong>The</strong> slow food movement has affected the handmade market place and local potters are feeling the<br />

benefit <strong>of</strong> people growing their own food again . We make artful implements that complement the<br />

notion <strong>of</strong> making everything from scratch. Dishes <strong>of</strong> beauty, plates and cups that fit your hand and suit<br />

the handmade meal, and all made here in Adelaide.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

Opposite page: Angela Walford; photo: Derek McClure<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Angela Walford<br />

1 Water Vessel. 2014, stoneware, cone 10, h.l6cm, w.26cm<br />

2 Tapas, 2014, stoneware, cone 10, h.4em, w.22cm<br />

3 Cup, 2014, stoneware, cone 10, h.7cm, w.9cm<br />

Photos: artist<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

A Place in Time<br />

Maggie Zerafa reflects on her place in the ceramics continuum<br />

Maggie lerafa<br />

Photo: Margaret Soraya<br />

Like many craftspeople, I find my personal expression through the<br />

making <strong>of</strong> objects. It is a way to reach others through the simple act<br />

<strong>of</strong> sharing an object that I have made and it is this simplicity that<br />

appeals and makes sense to me. I am happy to dedicate my life to<br />

understanding the material and process <strong>of</strong> working with clay. <strong>The</strong><br />

art <strong>of</strong> function is more than simply producing an object that works<br />

as intended, a teapot that pours well or a cup that is good to hold<br />

and bring to the lips. <strong>The</strong> human dimension is the intimate sharing<br />

<strong>of</strong> personal experience. Just as the advent <strong>of</strong> photography has<br />

not rendered the portrait painter obsolete, so the machine cannot<br />

replicate the infinite and subtle variations <strong>of</strong> the human hand. This<br />

is a concept I find so hard to articulate, but it makes complete sense<br />

when holding an object made by another hand.<br />

Wandering this summer amongst the ru ins <strong>of</strong> ancient Xanthos in Turkey I turned up a shard from<br />

a pot made by some anonymous hand more than 2000 years ago. Just holding it gave me a sense<br />

<strong>of</strong> connection to the long line <strong>of</strong> potters past, <strong>of</strong> being part <strong>of</strong> a continuum stretching back into prehistory.<br />

In many respects, the maker'S experience cannot have changed very much over the centuries;<br />

authenticity, tradition and skill are enduring and still inform the lives <strong>of</strong> makers today. It is humbling to<br />

realise that the handcrafted object has traditions in every culture <strong>of</strong> the world with techniques, forms<br />

and designs that transcend centuries, language and culture.<br />

Soon after graduation from university in Melbourne I travelled to Japan and embarked on a traditional<br />

apprenticeship that changed me pr<strong>of</strong>oundly. My time in Mashiko gave me a clear sense <strong>of</strong> the trajectory<br />

<strong>of</strong> history, the context that helped me understand my place in ceramics. Being a student to a master<br />

gave me the framework to begin my journey, but I learned much more than the technical aspects <strong>of</strong> my<br />

craft. I took away another lesson from my time in Japan - to understand that each piece I make is but<br />

a point along a lifetime's journey, its shortcomings and failures only stepping stones towards a greater<br />

goal, and mastery and understanding <strong>of</strong> my material comes everyday with every pot I make.<br />

Because <strong>of</strong> its connection w ith use, craft has always fostered an intimacy with us as physical beings.<br />

Techn iques may evolve and new materials appear, but our fundamental need to communicate with each<br />

other will remain because we place a high value on individuality. It is a key aspect <strong>of</strong> being human.<br />

Giving, sharing, using - that is craft's strength, something it does quietly every day. In an industrialised<br />

world, the handcrafted object still has a lot to tell us about ourselves, and despite the advent <strong>of</strong> new<br />

technologies and modern day innovations, such as 3D printing, there will always be a place for the<br />

handcrafted in human culture. It may take a form we don't recognise but its capacity to enrich our lives<br />

will continue to be valued, and I feel honoured to be a part <strong>of</strong> this long and enduring tale.<br />

www.maggiezerafa.com<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Maggie Zerafa<br />

1 Landscape Teabowl, 201 4, stoneware. 128O"C, h. 1 Oem, w.13cm<br />

2 Crystalline Plates, detail, 201 4. 1260"(<br />

3 Birch Vessel, 201 4, stoneware. wheelthrown, Inlaid decoration, 12800(, h.27cm, w.24cm, d.24cm<br />

Photos: Margaret So,aya

<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

<strong>The</strong> Integrity <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

John Dermer defines his stance as a craftsman<br />

<strong>The</strong> issue <strong>of</strong> integrity towards an objective can be viewed from several different aspects. <strong>The</strong>re are three<br />

that are significant with respect to potters and pots.<br />

Firstly, the code <strong>of</strong> artistic principles embodied within tradition . <strong>The</strong>re were four major potters who<br />

influenced me as a student <strong>of</strong> ceramics, and they remain as positive role models and a constant source<br />

<strong>of</strong> inspiration to this day. <strong>The</strong> first <strong>of</strong> these, Bernard Leach, wrote A Potters Book (1940) which became<br />

my most valuable resource. I would read it and reread it in order to develop the skills necessary to<br />

produce a functional pot that had integrity. Bernard Leach was very influential in the movement to<br />

legitimise good quality handmade pots during a period in history when industrially produced ceramics<br />

were taking hold <strong>of</strong> the market. In 1971 I was privileged to spend an afternoon with this wonderful<br />

elderly gentleman. At the time I was working as a production potter for his son, Michael. Bernard<br />

Leach's flat had a large window that overlooked St Ives beach and I sat there quietly observing both him<br />

and his surroundings as he busily organised some tea and cake. He asked me to move a manuscript<br />

<strong>of</strong>f a small table to accommodate the tray. Tea was poured from a simple, cut-sided teapot into St<br />

Ives cups and saucers. He gestured towards the manuscript and explained that it was a final task he<br />

had to complete. He had spent ten years interpreting and translating Soetsu Yanagi's work, only to<br />

be informed, just prior to printing, that he was seeing Yanagi's writings through western eyes. <strong>The</strong><br />

translation was to start again the following week, this time with the help <strong>of</strong> a Japanese girl who had<br />

been raised in the west. <strong>The</strong> resultant book <strong>The</strong> Unknown Craftsman was published within the year.<br />

Bernard Leach had spent many years studying the Japanese philosophy and traditions associated<br />

with their pottery. He understood their reverence for both the pots they used, each for a specific<br />

purpose, and the potters who made them. Through his pots he was able to bring his interpretation<br />

<strong>of</strong> this, to a western audience who, at the time, were becoming increasingly dependent upon massproduced<br />

items. My afternoon with this man I so revered was full <strong>of</strong> questions, answers, admiration and<br />

apprehension. Bernard Leach sensed my earnestness and my youthful need to understand. He stood<br />

up, walked over to his desk and, from a shelf above it, selected a simple jug. It was tall and waisted,<br />

with a generous pulled handle sprung from near the neck and joined near the foot with Simple but deft<br />

finger movements. <strong>The</strong> foot was a series <strong>of</strong> thumb depressions which formed a splayed skirt - even the<br />

thumbprints were still visible on the rich terracotta. A small yet functional pouring lip completed the<br />

pot. His words <strong>of</strong> advice, as he held this pot for my inspection, still resonate with me to this day. "This<br />

is 14th century. You see, it's all been done before. Just be honest to the process and be honest to the<br />

materials." Simple words from a wise and inspirational man - a treasured and pivotal experience in my<br />

early life as a potter.<br />

Opposite page: <strong>Ceramics</strong> by John Dermer<br />

Above: Bowl, 2014, h.19cm, w.12cm, porcelain, wheelthrown, saltglazed<br />

Below: Beakers, 2014, h.10cm. w.Scm, porcelain, wheel thrown. saltglazed<br />

Photos: artist<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

<strong>The</strong> other three people who have influenced my work and my aspirations as a potter were also<br />

gentle, generous men whose work refleded t heir dedication, integrity and resped for traditions whilst<br />

pursuing their own directions: Harold Hughan and Reg Preston, who were treasured friends and<br />

mentors to me, and Peter Rushforth, who still is. <strong>The</strong>ir contribution to <strong>Australian</strong> ceramics has been<br />

immensely significant. Peter Rushforth, especially, set the standards for education at East Sydney Tech,<br />

where skill-based training was paramount. This enabled the students to develop a st rong understanding<br />


<strong>of</strong> the making process whilst affording them the essential practice necessary to hone skills and learn<br />

from mistakes - all vitally important in order to embark upon a productive life as a potter. An equally<br />

important component <strong>of</strong> the course dealt with the history, traditions and philosophies <strong>of</strong> those who<br />

paved the way. An appreciation <strong>of</strong> the past helps to develop a respect for the present as well as a<br />

preparation for the journey ahead. It grieves me to note that very few educational institutions these days<br />

are providing students with this valuable training, <strong>of</strong>ten for financial reasons and counter to the wishes<br />

<strong>of</strong> the course designers. Because handmade pots are generally more expensive than their mass-produced<br />

counterparts they must attract a market through their integrity, durability, suitability and uniqueness.<br />

A coveted pot needs to have integrity <strong>of</strong> function as well as soul. A potter needs to understand the<br />

process, the discipline and the pitfalls in order to confidently produce a vessel that has such soul.<br />

<strong>The</strong> second aspect <strong>of</strong> integrity deals with the basic soundness <strong>of</strong> the item. This involves all facets <strong>of</strong><br />

production from the suitability <strong>of</strong> materials used to the construction techniques employed, the design <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by John Dermer<br />

Above: Plates. 2014, each diam.22cm<br />

porcelain thrown, altered, cone 12 glaze<br />

left: Ginger Jar, 2014, detail, porcelain<br />

wheelthrown. faceted, saltglazed<br />

Opposite page:<br />

1 Teapot cross section, 2014, h. 17.5cm<br />

w.14.Scm, porcelain wheelthrown, faceted<br />

saltglazed, terra sigillata, cut after firing<br />

2 Teapot, 2014, h.17crn, w.14.5cm, porcelain<br />

whee/thrown, faceted, saltglazed, terra sigillata<br />

English cane handle<br />

3 Lidded Jar, 2014, h.32cm. w.19cm<br />

porcelain, wheelthrown, saltglazed<br />

4 Bowl, 2014, h.19cm, w. 12cm<br />

porcelain, wheelthrown, saltglazed<br />

Photos: artist<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art. <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Fu nction<br />

the item and the appropriateness <strong>of</strong> the firing process. Each link in the chain is <strong>of</strong> equal importance if<br />

the pot is to be both durable and functional. I choose to use porcelain for my oven/tableware because<br />

<strong>of</strong> its strength and glaze fit. I am able to salt glaze this porcelain as well, so workshop production is not<br />

complicated with various clays. Many years ago I developed a tableware glaze with a wonderful satin<br />

surface which has proved to be craze free, doesn't scratch with cutlery and doesn't chip. It is reassuring<br />

to hear from people who have been using my pots on a daily basis, sometimes up to 40 years, that they<br />

are still performing perfectly and bringing enjoyment at the same time. It is also particularly delightful to<br />

receive similar comments from subsequent generations as the pots are passed down through families.<br />

<strong>The</strong> third aspect regarding integrity <strong>of</strong> function involves the design aspect itself. <strong>The</strong>re needs to be<br />

a perfect fit between the vessel and its designated use. If a teapot is to be made, it should perform its<br />

function <strong>of</strong> brewing and serving tea seamlessly. <strong>The</strong> lid should not fall <strong>of</strong>f when pouring, and when<br />

emptying, leaves should not get caught under the lid gallery. Jugs should have a balanced and generous<br />


<strong>The</strong> Function <strong>of</strong> Art, <strong>The</strong> Art <strong>of</strong> Function<br />

John Dermer in his studio at<br />

Kirby's flat Pottery<br />

Yackandandah, Victoria<br />

form, a well balanced handle should facilitate an easy pour, and foot rims should be round, not square<br />

cut. Rounded feet provide less friction in the kiln from shrinkage, a smaller unglazed area is possible<br />

and they are easier to smooth <strong>of</strong>f prior to use. (See article on p 11 8-119 <strong>No</strong>v 2013 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong>) Consideration must be 9iven to the deSign's stacking suitability. Will it take up too<br />

much space in cupboards or dishwashers? Many customers may see that this is important, others may<br />

not.<br />

Recently I made some large, slightly curved plates for a local restaurant. <strong>The</strong>re were several things that<br />

had to be considered when making this order. Foremost for me was how the plates would perform in<br />

a busy commercial kitchen balanced with the aesthetics <strong>of</strong> presentation. Handmade pots are relatively<br />

heavy when compared with factory produced commercial ware so this also needed to be addressed.<br />

Delivery day arrived and no sooner had I placed the last <strong>of</strong> the plates onto the rest aurant workbench<br />

when they were unceremoniously whisked, one by one, into the commercial dishwasher. Within seconds<br />

the plates were blasted with high pressure boiling water and detergent. After the five minute cycle<br />

was complete, the rack was removed and the plates dried within a minute from the residual heat in<br />

the porcelain. My order was to replace items which had been supplied by another potter. His pots had<br />

succumbed to scuffing, chipping, crazing and stai ning within a relatively short period <strong>of</strong> usage. This is<br />

unacceptable for an upmarket establishment.<br />

Over the years I have seen vessels by many potters that present food beautifully and do, indeed,<br />

add to the enjoyment <strong>of</strong> a special meal. However, if they have to be treated with kid gloves in order to<br />

preserve them for a time, their usefulness is limited. If we want our product to be a serious contender<br />

in the current throwaway society, it must have integrity <strong>of</strong> function. But it also needs to go that one<br />

step further and become an object <strong>of</strong> desire. In order to fulfill that purpose each piece must reflect the<br />

passion, the diSCipline and the skilled experience <strong>of</strong> a maker's integrity. <strong>The</strong>rein lies the soul <strong>of</strong> both the<br />

maker and the made - a perfect fusion from the head, the heart and the hands.<br />

www.johndermer.com.au<br />

Opposite page:<br />

John Dermer. Jug, 2013, h.23cm, w.l l em, porcelain. wheel thrown<br />

faceted, saltglazed, terra Sigillata; photo: artist<br />


View I<br />

<strong>The</strong> Domestic Artist<br />

<strong>The</strong> art <strong>of</strong> Melanie Jayne by Mark Henderson<br />

"Slip is a liquid clay that takes around two days to make if making it from scratch . It requires raw clay,<br />

water and a few chemicals (including a deflocculant) to help the fluidity <strong>of</strong> the slip," explains emerging<br />

ceramic artist Melanie Jayne.<br />

Introduced to the technique <strong>of</strong> slipcasting while studying in the Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Fine Art program at<br />

Sydney's National Art School, Melanie was drawn to the unique and complex art form. Slipcasting is<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten used to generate mass-produced domestic products including teapots and cups, but during her<br />

studies Melanie found a love for this style <strong>of</strong> ceramic art, seeing opportunities to explore originality and<br />

artistry <strong>of</strong> unique domestic items.<br />

"We were introduced to slipcasting by the extremely well established artist and teacher Stephen Bird.<br />

It was a challenging form <strong>of</strong> ceramics, especially the making <strong>of</strong> slip."<br />

Since graduating with Honours in 2013, Melanie has continued working to hone her skills as a slipcast<br />

artist. "My art portrays the look <strong>of</strong> a cup or teapot, but wouldn't be used as a domestic product."<br />

Looking for inspiration that would allow her to immerse herself in a deeper exploration <strong>of</strong> the<br />

slipcasting technique, Melanie came across several artists who work outside <strong>of</strong> the regular slipcast<br />

moulding techniques. "Before I was just making any forms that I could create with slip, using a new<br />

technique I found with sponges - discovered from a Dutch artist called Bas Kools." Following on from<br />

this, Melanie began to work with similar materials, including fabrics, thread and wool, to hand-make her<br />

unique casting moulds.<br />

"Usually it takes around a day to make one <strong>of</strong> the casting moulds. When the cast is ready, I pour the<br />

liquid clay slip in. I then let it sit for a while. With a small object, like a cup, the slip sits in the sponge<br />

mould for around four-to-five hours. Compared to a plaster cast this is a long time; in a plaster cast, it<br />

only takes around five minutes as plaster absorbs water quickly generating a thick enough mould from<br />

the cast."<br />

Melanie's work is <strong>of</strong>ten personal, drawing inspiration from past memories and times spent with her<br />

family as a child. "For my Honours pieces at National Art School, I built a series based on my memories<br />

<strong>of</strong> childhood. I remember when I was a child viSiting my grandmother; she always had floral patterns,<br />

doylies, fabrics, and buttons throughout her house and I really wanted to incorporate that into my work.<br />

Opposite page:<br />

1 Melanie Jayne extrading slip from a mould with an electric pump<br />

2 A mould and a cast in a supporting cage<br />

3 Unstiching a sponge mould<br />

4 A pile <strong>of</strong> sponge moulds<br />

S Melanie Jayne, Sweet Teacup , <strong>2015</strong>, lumina porcelain. clear glaze<br />

with stain, slipcast, h.4cm, w. 1 Oem, d.5cm; photo; artist<br />

6 Melanie Jayne in her studio<br />


View 1<br />


Melanie Jayne, Peppermint<br />

<strong>2015</strong>, lumina porcelain, clear<br />

glaze with stain, slipcast, various<br />

dimension s; photo: artist<br />

That's another reason why I use sponge casts, which I sew together - I am able to use techniques I<br />

picked up as a child [which] add further personality to my work.<br />

"I make a lot <strong>of</strong> my work based on memories - images <strong>of</strong> conversation over a cup <strong>of</strong> tea, with<br />

teapots throughout the house, and lots <strong>of</strong> pretty colours."<br />

Despite her passion for sl ipcasting, Melanie's path could have been very different. "In school I wasn't<br />

really very good at a lot <strong>of</strong> the subjects, but I always felt comfortable with art and won lots <strong>of</strong> accolades<br />

and support from my teachers. I always picked art as a subject in school. I'm dyslexic so writing and<br />

English-based subjects were things I always struggled with. In art I found a way to express myself and<br />

explain things. It helped me come out <strong>of</strong> my shell. "<br />

"Originally I wanted to do photography, so I enrolled at the National Art School. As part <strong>of</strong> the<br />

course <strong>of</strong>fered at the school, in your first year you had to do five short courses for six weeks, and<br />

ceramics was one <strong>of</strong> them. Doing it, I fell in love with the art form. I was also really inspired by the<br />

teacher, Don Court, who worked with pinch pots using clay. He was very earthy, even bringing in clay<br />

he had collected from his own garden for us to work with. I recall thinking this is real art, it's not<br />

commercialised or anything.<br />

"<strong>The</strong> art you can create through ceramics and the three-dimensional effects are amazing. You get to<br />

get your hands dirty and really get into using the clay. So, I totally dropped the idea <strong>of</strong> photography and<br />

majored in ceramics."<br />

Melanie Jayne is based in Lake Munmorah on the lower central coast <strong>of</strong> New South Wales.<br />

Her next 5010 exhibition will be held at Sabbia Gallery from 1 S <strong>April</strong> to 9 May <strong>2015</strong>.<br />

Mark Henderson is a pr<strong>of</strong>essional practising journalist and media pr<strong>of</strong>essional.<br />

Twitter: @mark_onthemoon.<br />


View 2<br />

Capturing the Ephemeral<br />

A reflection on Stephen Bird's 2014 exhibition at Gould Galleries by Robyn Phelan<br />

Once Upon A Time In New England was an exhibition <strong>of</strong> Stephen Bird's most recent works. Gould<br />

Galleries' darkened space shone brightly, filled to capacity with 113 works all boasting Bird's vivid colour<br />

palette. <strong>The</strong> work was roughly divided into three bodies <strong>of</strong> practice: ceramic sculpture, decorated plates<br />

and watercolours.<br />

I had been lured to this exhibition hoping to see more <strong>of</strong> Bird's skillful sculpture and diorama.<br />

Presented were impressive, large-scale works, collaging lowbrow, everyday items with the pathos <strong>of</strong> the<br />

human figure, the emotion <strong>of</strong> portraiture, a strong dash <strong>of</strong> symbolic whimsy and subversive wit.<br />

A wall <strong>of</strong> sixty plates extended the ideas and motifs <strong>of</strong> the sculptural work, with the addition <strong>of</strong> being<br />

laden with textural truisms, slang and diaristic recordings. Plates announcing "When Dad wasn't making<br />

us cry, he really made us laugh!" or "I wish this could go on forever!" are affecting examples.<br />

<strong>The</strong> inclusion <strong>of</strong> so many works on paper was fascinating and exemplifies Bird's initial training as a<br />

painter. It was enjoyable to ponder the relationship between initial painted narrative and the transition<br />

<strong>of</strong> two-dimensional image to sculptural object. Bird 's recurring themes are based on his research into his<br />

family history and are clearly present in the visual language utilised in these paintings. <strong>The</strong> homestead<br />

<strong>of</strong> his Scottish ancestor Ralph Reid in New Eng land, Queensland and the male figure in pr<strong>of</strong>ile, appear<br />

regularly and direct the pictorial composition.<br />

Stephen Bird, <strong>The</strong> House at Acacia Creek, 2014, clay, pigment. glaze. h.31cm, w.30cm, d.20cm; photo; courtesy artist

View 2<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Stephen Bird<br />

1 Big Ralph walking, detail, 2014, clay, pigment and glaze<br />

2 Stay, detail, 2014, clay, pigment and glaze<br />

3 Study for Last Breath, detail, 2014, clay, pigment and glaze<br />

4 <strong>The</strong> House at Acacia Creek , detail, 2014, clay. pigment, glaze<br />

5 Big Ralph walking, 2014, clay. pigment and glaze, h.52cm, w.20cm, d.26cm<br />

6 Study for Last Breath, 2014, clay, pigment and glaze, h.7cm, w.21cm. d.9cm; photos: courtesy artist<br />

One particular motif captured and enchanted my imagination.<br />

Appearing in both watercolour and sculptural work, Bird<br />

depicted the passage <strong>of</strong> smoke from the chimney <strong>of</strong> Reid's<br />

house and the exhalation from his mouth. <strong>The</strong> quiet poetry <strong>of</strong><br />

making a person's breath tangible, reminds one <strong>of</strong> the spiritual<br />

energy believed to be contained in ectoplasm. So too, Bird's<br />

great, great, grandfather's life-spirit assuredly existed and was<br />

the beginning <strong>of</strong> the Reid/Bird <strong>Australian</strong> family line. Bird's<br />

depiction <strong>of</strong> this intangible fact, by combining swirls <strong>of</strong> smoke<br />

with cast faces, is a perfect artistic symbol <strong>of</strong> the ancestral line<br />

and fleeting act <strong>of</strong> sharing oral histories.<br />

This exhibition forecasts Bird's survey show <strong>of</strong> ceramics and<br />

works on paper from 1992-2014 entitled From Painter to<br />

Bastard Son <strong>of</strong> Royal Doulton, at Wollongong Art Gallery<br />

from 20 June to 25 October <strong>2015</strong>. <strong>The</strong> show then tours several<br />

venues in NSW.<br />

Robyn Phelan is a Melbourne-based ceramicist and writer<br />

http://robynphelan.com.au<br />

www.stephenbird.net.<br />


Spaces and Places<br />

paper<br />

boat<br />

press<br />

an atelier in Brisbane<br />

paper boat press gallery, in Ashgrove Brisbane, is only two and a half years old. For most <strong>of</strong> the year it<br />

houses the ceramic work <strong>of</strong> Kylie Johnson - vessels, ornaments and jewellery. During its short history as<br />

a gallery it has hosted one group show and five solo shows. Highlights from 2014 were Victorian potter<br />

Bridget Bodenham's first solo exhibition matter and spirit, along with exhibitions by international<br />

visitors Momoko and Tetsuya Otani from Shigaraki in Japan. <strong>The</strong> overwhelming response to these<br />

exhibitions led to sell-out shows, with the Otanis also giving a successful demonstration at the Brisbane<br />

Clay School.<br />

<strong>The</strong> beautiful old building, built in 1926, also has a studio out the back and a residence further back -<br />

a true atelier. <strong>The</strong> gallery space is small, intimate and simple, and furnished with an eclectic collection <strong>of</strong><br />

wooden furniture and shop fittings - some very old pieces and some purpose made.<br />

Each exhibition and shop fit-out is a joy to create in this goldilocks 'not too big not too small' gallery.<br />

On the back wall is a changing installation (made with ceramic letters) <strong>of</strong> the poetry <strong>of</strong> Kylie Johnson;<br />

however the featured wall quote by Sir Herbert Read chosen for Bridget Bodenham's May 2014<br />

exhibition was a favourite and remained in place for the rest <strong>of</strong> the year .<br />

the art <strong>of</strong> pottery<br />

is <strong>of</strong> all arts<br />

the one that fuses together<br />

in indestructible unity<br />

earth and heaven<br />

matter and spirit<br />

http://paperboatpress.com<br />


Education<br />

Pathways to Practice<br />

Lou McCallum examines the pathways that three<br />

<strong>Australian</strong> ceramic artists have taken<br />

Lou McCallum talks with three <strong>Australian</strong> ceramic<br />

artists about ceramics education and the choices they<br />

have made.<br />

Changes in the style and availability <strong>of</strong> ceramics<br />

education over the last two decades in Australia have<br />

had an impact on the pathways that ceramic artists<br />

now take into practice. <strong>The</strong> ceramics market has also<br />

changed, and this affects the range <strong>of</strong> skills-building<br />

opportunities on <strong>of</strong>fer.<br />

This is the first in a series <strong>of</strong> three articles looking<br />

at how people choose their particular pathway and<br />

how ceramics education in Australia can adjust to<br />

changing needs and available resources.<br />

This first article explores the issue <strong>of</strong> time - how<br />

ceramic artists decide on the pace <strong>of</strong> their learning,<br />

and how the availability <strong>of</strong> flexible learning options<br />

affects these decisions. Melanie Douglas is fairly new to ceramics having recently finished her Certificate<br />

III at a TAFE College in Sydney, a two-day-a-week course that is <strong>of</strong>ten a stepping-stone towards a<br />

Diploma. Dramatic funding cuts to the TAFE sector in NSW have removed what Melanie saw as her<br />

logical next learning step. She now attends a local pottery group that <strong>of</strong>fers regular unaccredited classes.<br />

Sarah Ormonde completed a Masters in Visual Art (with Honours) at the <strong>Australian</strong> National University<br />

(ANU) in 2013 and is now settling into a pr<strong>of</strong>essional practice in Bendigo. Sarah has had an art practice<br />

since studying painting at an Institute <strong>of</strong> Technology art school straight after high school.<br />

Megan Puis has been a ceramic artist since the early 1990s. She has "no letters or pieces <strong>of</strong> paper"<br />

and says that she stumbled into ceramics as a young mother looking for a creative outlet. She is largely<br />

self-taught and has" learned by doing really" . Megan lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland and has a<br />

varied practice that involves exhibiting, entering competitions and teaching.<br />

Melanie says, "Certificate III was great for me. <strong>The</strong> two-days-a-week were really manageable, but now<br />

I want to understand glaze technology much better so that I can produce the colours that I see in my<br />

head." Before the TAFE funding cuts, Melanie would have progressed to Certificate 4 and covered glaze<br />

Above: Melanie Douglas, Primitive Series. detail, 2012<br />

earthenware, handbuilt, terra sigillata, woodfired; photo: artist<br />


--- --- -_._--------------<br />

Megan Puis, Ebb Tide, 2012, mixed clays including Southern Ice, wheelthrown, grouping: h.20cm, w.50cm, d.l8cm<br />

Photo: Peter Hamilton; acquired by Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville. OLD<br />

technology there. She is not sure that she is technica lly ready to move straight into the diploma course,<br />

or go to university. "That would involve a big commitment <strong>of</strong> time and money and I am not sure I am<br />

ready for that," she says.<br />

In order to keep up the momentum, Melanie attends a local pottery group. " It's good there in term <strong>of</strong><br />

skills," Melanie says. " I am finally getting my skills to where I want them, but it's much harder to pursue<br />

my idea - the essence <strong>of</strong> what I want to communicate through my work."<br />

Being in control <strong>of</strong> the pace <strong>of</strong> her learning has also been a key issue for Sarah . She has deliberately<br />

varied the pace over time as her needs have changed. "Learning ceramics is like learning a musical<br />

instrument. You have to practise," Sarah says. "It took me ten years from the time I started the Distance<br />

Diploma at ANU to graduation with my Masters. That was partly because I had family commitments, but<br />

also because I wanted to learn at that pace - to have time to stop, practise, explore, absorb ideas. I had<br />

to move slowly and that was ultimately very useful." But Sarah also wanted to be able to step up the<br />

pace <strong>of</strong> learning from time to time. "<strong>The</strong> Masters at ANU gave me a great opportunity to really explore<br />

my ideas, materials and process. I spent the last semester as a full-time student and carved out a month<br />

<strong>of</strong> time on campus. This allowed me to disrupt my practice and reconsider everything. I stopped making<br />

for other people and just focused on push ing my work as far as possible." Sarah now works full-time in<br />

her home studio and part-time as a production potter and demonstrator at Bendigo Pottery, "because I<br />

throw, and I want to keep improving my skills, so that my work is the best it can be ."<br />

For Megan, time to explore is also a central part <strong>of</strong> her practice. "I started out by doing a few TAFE<br />

courses, but I was a bit impatient. I hate being told I can't do something. <strong>The</strong>y wanted me to make<br />


Sarah Ormonde, Sutton Grange: Fox Co untry, <strong>2015</strong>, high*fired terracotta and porcelain body<br />

iron oxide inlay, layered slips and dry glaze, max. h.32cm; photo: Ian Hill<br />

pinch pots, but I wanted to just jump onto the wheel. I knew I could do it! People told me I couldn't mix<br />

the clays the way I wanted to, but I just found some positive people like Janet Mansfield who helped me<br />

to realise my idea. I did a stint in production and that made me competent on the wheel. That meant<br />

that I had a proper canvas and could go on to create," Megan says. "<strong>No</strong>w I communicate with other<br />

artists through Facebook, sharing ideas, getting inspiration, and I teach at a local pottery group. I am<br />

still pretty self-directed. My making is <strong>of</strong>ten driven by a word or a metaphor, and that sets me <strong>of</strong>f on a<br />

path to make a series <strong>of</strong> work. "<br />

<strong>The</strong> key message for ceram ics education here is about flexibility - about constructing pathways that<br />

support artists to alter the pace <strong>of</strong> their learning. This allows people to pause at particular points to<br />

consolidate, re-think, build their craft skills and move on. <strong>The</strong>re is also a message here about continuity<br />

- making sure that there is a smooth transition from one level <strong>of</strong> learn ing to another. This gives people<br />

the opportunity and the confidence to continue. This transition doesn't have to occur in the same<br />

institution, particularly in this resource-constrained environment, but achieving the transition requires<br />

more communication between institutions and between the formal and informal learn ing sectors. That<br />

would help to provide clear road signs for people who want to keep progressing. One challenge here<br />

is the competition that exists between learning institutions. Shrinking resources mean that getting<br />

'bums on seats' becomes a high priority, so collaboration between institutions <strong>of</strong>ten suffers. Rather than<br />

fighting over what appears to be a smaller pool <strong>of</strong> available students, the solution lies in promoting set<br />

entry points, learning pathways and options for a sustainable career as a ceramic artist. This will bring<br />

more people into ceramic art and make ceramic practice more financially and emotionally appealing .<br />

Lou McCallum has just completed his Masters in Visual Art at ANU. He has a studio in<br />

Marrickville in Sydney and is a member <strong>of</strong> TACA's Education Sub-committee.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Whispering Gallery<br />

by Glenn Barkley<br />

<strong>The</strong> last couple <strong>of</strong> years in <strong>Australian</strong> art has seen a dynamic interest in ceramics from<br />

younger artists, which has led to a spike in its display in contemporary museums and a markedly<br />

increased pr<strong>of</strong>ile in magazines, newspapers and online.<br />

This interest is also international. <strong>The</strong> last Whitney Biennial, a barometer <strong>of</strong> what's hot in American<br />

contemporary art, saw a number <strong>of</strong> artists working with clay, and art fairs are now full <strong>of</strong> ceramics, no<br />

gallery being complete without a couple <strong>of</strong> scatological masterpieces.<br />

Many <strong>of</strong> the young artists now working with clay have extensive networks that stretch in a different<br />

direction to the old clay networks - these affiliations lead in part to their ability to show their ceramics<br />

work in a broader museum context.<br />

It has lead to a bit <strong>of</strong> a conundrum, though, and although ceramics fortunes in the hands <strong>of</strong><br />

contemporary artists seems to be driving it forward, where does it leave artists whose work with<br />

ceramics stretches back decades, are more process driven and engaged with ceramics' technological<br />

past? <strong>The</strong> whispering gallery is alive and I have seen some makers repulsed by work that seems so<br />

tenuously put together it appears to be on the point <strong>of</strong> collapse. But <strong>of</strong> course, therein lie its charms.<br />

In discussion with Angela Brennan, a painter with a well established career now invigorated by an<br />

intense engagement with ceramics, she spoke <strong>of</strong> the 'libido <strong>of</strong> clay' and many <strong>of</strong> the new clay artists<br />

directly and unashamedly celebrating its visceral and scatological power.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir practices' unformlessness, or seeming lack <strong>of</strong> skill with clay, is wrapped in the context <strong>of</strong> their<br />

broader work. Many have an interest in the artist outsider, the marginal and the untrained. It is this<br />

aspect <strong>of</strong> their practice that I find particularly compelling.<br />

This also connects it to the social activity <strong>of</strong> making. Many artists are interested in clay because it<br />

can take you out <strong>of</strong> your head into a broader community <strong>of</strong> like-minded people busy making - from<br />

backyard masterpieces, to mums seeking a bit <strong>of</strong> release, <strong>of</strong>fice workers wanting to break free from<br />

the daily grind, and interior decorators wanting to go a little more hands-on, to jaded curators just<br />

looking for a place to go .. after all, people are social animals.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se things - a punk rock three chords attitude to making, clay's libidinous currency and its social<br />

aspects - can work two ways: pushing in to the ceramics community conservatism whilst simultaneously<br />

pushing against the contemporary art world's own form <strong>of</strong> repulsive media-based snobbery, and one<br />

hopes contemporary curators can now start to excavate back into the ceramics world which we all know<br />

is full <strong>of</strong> amazing work made by incredible artists.<br />

<strong>The</strong> ceramics community sees itself as a broad, accepting church but, like all forms <strong>of</strong> organised<br />

religion, it has a few hang ups. Hopefully this new injection <strong>of</strong> interest might just blow <strong>of</strong>f the church<br />

doors.<br />


Pocket PhD<br />

Brett Smout Explores<br />

Low-fire Vitrification to<br />

Reduce Emissions<br />

Indulging my curiosity while taking up former Prime Minister Rudd's 'great moral challenge <strong>of</strong> our<br />

generation', I embarked on a project to reduce the energy required to fire ceramics, with the intention<br />

<strong>of</strong> incorporating industrial and agricultural waste. That quest became the scientific body <strong>of</strong> a crossdisciplinary<br />

thesis in the school <strong>of</strong> contemporary art.<br />

Early on I had a lucky encounter. A glass <strong>of</strong> red wine at a friend's wedding led me to Denis Whitfield,<br />

who lent me his masters and doctoral theses investigating quarry tailings and industrial waste. Blessed<br />

with this generosity, I sought out a sand quarry and a road-base quarry where the waste wash-<strong>of</strong>f<br />

was fine, iron-bearing clay. Further expeditions and kindnesses yielded an exciting collection <strong>of</strong> waste<br />

ingredients including glass cullet, sugarcane ash, rock dust, perlite fines, corn cobs and rice husk. <strong>The</strong><br />

corn cobs and rice husk produced energy when burned in an Indonesian stove with a 12-volt fan,<br />

leaving me with corn cob ash and rice husk ash for further experiments.<br />

After I undertook systematic blending to see what impact these ingredients had on each other, my<br />

associate supervisor, Chris Ling, helped me conduct and interpret X-ray diffraction and provided me with<br />

an entree to the <strong>Australian</strong> Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility, where I was taught how to<br />

use the electron microscopes to photograph the morphology <strong>of</strong> my samples.<br />

Several clay bodies were formulated and fired at a range <strong>of</strong> temperatures. <strong>The</strong>se bodies were<br />

tested for absorption, porosity and fired strength using standardised methods. Engobes and glazes<br />

incorporating agricultural and industrial waste were formulated and tested on selected bodies at a range<br />

<strong>of</strong> temperatures.<br />

Eventually I was able to develop a vitrified ceramic at 950°C that could be bisque-fired at 700°(, and<br />

the density <strong>of</strong> the bodies permitted raw glazing .<br />

While this satisfied the goal <strong>of</strong> the research, the bodies developed were far from perfect. <strong>The</strong><br />

most significant problem was thixotropy, evident by flabbiness when throwing and a tendency to set<br />

hard when packaged in sealed bags or left in the pug-mill. Thank you Dee Taylor-Graham for your<br />

patience and help with that one! Ge<strong>of</strong>f Crispin kindly tested one such batch <strong>of</strong> bagged plastic clay and<br />

documented a range <strong>of</strong> problematic qualities including abrasiveness and lack <strong>of</strong> consistency. I have since<br />

been able to work around these limitations to make blends that fire higher but are more workable.<br />


Pocket PhD<br />

Brett Smout, Coo ling Tower, 2013, vitrified clay, 1040°(. CO 2<br />

, h.12ern, w.l1 cm; photo: artist<br />

Throughout this research, my principle supervisor, Jan Guy, encouraged me to think and see things<br />

differently. Her knowledge <strong>of</strong> contemporary art and passion for ceramics as a medium, together with<br />

the exhibitions and expositions <strong>of</strong> academics and my fellow students, stimulated me to use ceramics<br />

and other media to reflect concerns with energy use and the environment. <strong>The</strong> accompanying image<br />

<strong>of</strong> a ceramic cooling tower form with billowing CO, reminds me <strong>of</strong> my 4 am trip to photograph the<br />

tower at Wallerawang on a misty winter morning - just one <strong>of</strong> many unique experiences associated with<br />

undertaking a PhD.<br />

<strong>The</strong> whole thesis is online at http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/9429.<br />


Studio<br />

Inside the Studio <strong>of</strong><br />

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran<br />

Vicki Grima: When did you first use clay and what did you make?<br />

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran: I remember doing a weekend course at a community college in when I<br />

was about nine years old. I'm pretty sure it was called Clay for Kids. My memory <strong>of</strong> that is hazy, though<br />

I remember making three things: a pretty weird small bust <strong>of</strong> a male, a bowl with chicken feet attached<br />

to the sides, and a really ugly blue vessel with an <strong>of</strong>fensive yellow glaze adorning the interior. I loved<br />

clay at the time because I got to work with and get my hands in something wet.<br />

VG: Where is your current studio?<br />

RMN: I'm currently an artist in residence at the William Street Creative LiveIWork Spaces in Darlinghurst.<br />

This is a City <strong>of</strong> Sydney initiative managed by Gaffa. It means I get to live and create work in the inner<br />

city. While there are no kiln facilities in this studio, UNSW Art and Design is incredibly supportive <strong>of</strong> my<br />

practice. I get great support from their ceramics department and have my work fired there.<br />

VG: What are the essential featu res your studio needs to have?<br />

RMN: Space and natural light are essential for me. I make sizable, physical work, <strong>of</strong>ten in large<br />

quantities. This means my studio gets populated very quickly with all the creatures and deities I produce.<br />

Additionally, I <strong>of</strong>ten work with the colours and pigments present within the raw clay, so natural light is<br />

best to consider the tonal qualities <strong>of</strong> the work. It's also pretty great to see a super glossy and colourful<br />

glazed object in stark daylight.<br />

VG: Describe your work pattern.<br />

RMN: I typically spend three days a week in my studio. Studio tasks range from making work and<br />

writing grant applications to formatting images for publications and promotional material. My creative<br />

processes are both intuitive and structured. I spend time drawing and scribbling, and then I start coiling.<br />

I am usually working on two or three large works at a time. I get bored pretty quickly so working on<br />

multiples allows me to take risks in the hand building process. I also invite peers to provide me with<br />

critical feedback. I don't like working in isolation .<br />

VG: What do you listen to while working?<br />

RMN: William Street is pretty noisy and my studio windows are street facing, so by default I listen to<br />

ambulances, police sirens, drunk people and general traffic. It's always entertaining. Though, I've got<br />

some pretty good speakers and usually just put my iPod on shuffle. I'm naughty and <strong>of</strong>ten don't wash<br />

my hands when choosing the music. I usually have to spend some time w ith a needle picking the dried<br />

clay out <strong>of</strong> the nooks in my iPod at the end <strong>of</strong> a studio session.<br />

VG: What is your favourite tool?<br />

RMN: I don't really use conventional tools associated with ceramics. While my hands are the most<br />

important tools for me, anything that can make a mark in the clay is fair game. I love sharp objects. But<br />

if I had to decide, I can't live without the wire clay-cutting tool. It's such a simple, yet useful invention.<br />


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

Studio<br />

1 Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran in his studio; photo: Joanna Frank<br />

2 & 3 Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran's studio; photo: courtesy <strong>of</strong> the artist and Gallery 9, Sydney<br />


Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran<br />

Idol, 2014, red terracotta<br />

handbuilt, electric kiln, 1000·(<br />

h.89cm, w .60cm, d.46cm<br />

Photo: Simon Hewson; image<br />

courtesy <strong>of</strong> the artist and<br />

Gallery 9, Sydney

Stud io<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran<br />

1 Pewter Dickhead, 2014, earthenware and glaze, handbuilt, multiple firings, hA9cm, w.16cm, d.1Scm<br />

2 Blowhole 2, detail, 2014, red terracotta, glaze, ceramic undergJaze pencil. gold and platinum lust re, hand built<br />

multiple firings, h.64cm, w.48cm, d.45m<br />

3 Leaning Dickhead, detail, 2014, earthenware, glaze and gold lustre, handbuilt, multiple firings, h.44cm, w.31cm, d.27cm<br />

Photos: Simon Hewson; image courtesy <strong>of</strong> the artist and Gallery 9, Sydney<br />

VG: What is your favourite part <strong>of</strong> the ceramic process?<br />

RMN : Opening the kiln door and seeing that my one metre tall beasts have been bisqued successfully<br />

without structural flaws, large cracks or moisture-related explosions always produces a slight euphoria.<br />

Though I never get too attached to the works, I try to be fluid and work practically with whatever the<br />

process throws at me. It seems that Post-Modernism, as well as my (anti) aesthetic really allows me to<br />

work with cracks and surprises.<br />

3<br />

VG: Which single piece <strong>of</strong> ceramics would you most like to own?<br />

RMN: Anything by Vipoo Srivilasa. His work has everything for me - heart, beauty, humour, joy and<br />

immense technical skill, as well as a deep and complex engagement with cultural heritage and Eastern<br />

ceramic and design traditions. His visibility and engagement with community also adds to my desire to<br />

acquire one <strong>of</strong> his works.<br />

VG: How do you identify your work?<br />

RMN: I don't have an identifying mark. Gallery 9, who I'm represented by in Sydney, are great as they<br />

document and archive my work as it is made. This means there will always be a digital record <strong>of</strong> my<br />

studio outputs.<br />

VG: Clay can so beautifully record the mark <strong>of</strong> the hand. Is this the reason you've moved into using<br />

clay?<br />

RMN: <strong>The</strong> shift towards new media in contemporary art and flippant declarations like 'painting is<br />

dead' creates a hierarchy between mediums, This means 'contemporary art' forms like ceramics, glass,<br />

printmaking and textiles are <strong>of</strong>ten placed at the bottom <strong>of</strong> the food chain. However, I'm a strong<br />

advocate for hand-based practices. Maybe I'm daggy and old fashioned, but I'm not a fan <strong>of</strong> dry art<br />

made with computers. I think clay is powerful as it really traces the humanity <strong>of</strong> the artist.<br />

THE JOU RNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2015</strong> 75

Studio<br />

VG : Your work is described by others as vulgar, erotic, brave, deeply personal, pornographic, political<br />

do you agree with these descriptions? What words do you use?<br />

RMN : I think those descriptions are pretty spot on! I feel quite privileged that I have a platform and<br />

freedom to communicate my views about the world in a relatively uncensored manner and that the<br />

content is coming through the way I intend.<br />

VG: Can you elaborate on the influences on your work?<br />

RMN : <strong>The</strong>re are numerous influences that impact the creation <strong>of</strong> my work. While my work proceeds<br />

from a secular, atheist perspective, religion (particularly Christianity and Hinduism) are major points<br />

<strong>of</strong> reference. I'm interested in the ways Western imperialism impacted India and other once sexually<br />

liberal societies. I'm also interested (and critical <strong>of</strong>) the ways religious creation discourses marginalise<br />

individuals. Pre-colonial, devotional Hindu sculpture is a formal influence. I also look to porn, the<br />

Internet, the animal kingdom, art history and Australia's colonial history to create my work.<br />

VG: Congratulations on your recent success winning various fellowships and prizes. What is your advice<br />

to others?<br />

RMN : As an artist, personal and business administration skills are very important. I always make sure my<br />

works are pr<strong>of</strong>essionally documented. This means I have both studio and installation views to strengthen<br />

applications and have high quality promotional material. I also factor in rigorous studio time, and I<br />

actively seek critical feedback and make sure I'm engaged with the arts community. I think it's really<br />

important to go to events and exhibition openings, ask questions as well as be informed and interested.<br />

VG: What are your plans for the next 12 months?<br />

RMN: I was fortunate enough to recently be awarded the NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (Emerging).<br />

This fellowship <strong>of</strong> $30,000, administrated by Arts NSW, is going towards a self-directed program <strong>of</strong><br />

pr<strong>of</strong>essional development over the next 18 months. This will involve residencies in Europe and Asia as<br />

well as the creation <strong>of</strong> a body <strong>of</strong> new work. I also have some exhibitions coming up in <strong>2015</strong>. I will be<br />

showing some works in Canberra alongside the <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Triennale; I have an exhibition at<br />

Gallery 9, and will also show some works in Sydney Contemporary. I'm pretty excited to research and<br />

produce a new body <strong>of</strong> ceramic work that really takes me out <strong>of</strong> my comfort zone!<br />

http://ramesh-nithiyendran.com<br />

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Elephant Island, installation. 2014, earthenware, red terracotta, glaze, gold and platinum<br />

lustre. perspex. marble, chains. cardboard, styr<strong>of</strong>oam, raw earth. concrete. ceramic tiles and enamel<br />

Photo: Zan Wimberley; Artspace. Sydney

Potters Marks<br />

Euan Craig Shannon Garson Kelly Austin<br />

Damon Moon Tessy M King Ben Richardson<br />

Warrick Palmateer<br />

Mitsuo Shoji<br />

Angela Walford<br />

Maggie Zerafa<br />


Linda Seiffert, Cascade Artist Studios<br />

Lawson, Blue Mounta ins, NSW<br />

Photo: Jennifer Leahy, Sllversalt<br />

Here are a few tips to prepare for the open studio event:<br />

o Be sure to tell the locals - family, friends,<br />

neighbours, your local newspaper and radio<br />

o Contact your local councillor and your state and<br />

federal members <strong>of</strong> parliament. Invite them<br />

along, Make them a cuppa ,.. you never know<br />

where this might lead.<br />

• Put up fliers in the local c<strong>of</strong>fee shop, library or<br />

your corner store,<br />

o Mark your property with a flag or something<br />

bright that will mark the way for visitors<br />

• Be sure to make your studio safe - no slippery<br />

floor, trip hazards etc.<br />

o Make sure you have a cash float ready to go<br />

(a few big notes, a gaggle <strong>of</strong> smaller notes and<br />

a few coins). During your open studio, be sure<br />

to store it in a safe place (like on your body in a<br />

bum bag).<br />

• Research 'card readers' that can be attached to<br />

your SmartPhone, via Paypal. <strong>The</strong>y are<br />

becoming more commonplace at markets and<br />

<strong>of</strong>fer acceptable modes <strong>of</strong> payment without the<br />

bank fees. Don't jump in without reading the<br />

fine print as they don't work with all phones.<br />

o Make a plan - what w ill you be doing when<br />

people arrive?<br />

• Consider having work in progress that you can<br />

work on when visitors drop in, or maybe even<br />

something they can try.<br />

o Create a display <strong>of</strong> your work for sale, with<br />

prices clearly marked.<br />

o<br />

o<br />

Be ready with wrapping materials. Pop in your<br />

business card with any sales.<br />

Enjoy a cuppa with your studio visitors. Talk<br />

about your work and how you do what you do.<br />

o Take photos as a record <strong>of</strong> your open studio,<br />

then send the best one in to me for possi ble<br />

publication.<br />

o<br />

Most <strong>of</strong> all ." enjoy!<br />


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

<strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Open Studios<br />



AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS OPEN STUDIOS <strong>2015</strong><br />

Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 August<br />

Whether you have a newly established or well-known studio, if<br />

you are an inner city group, a regiona l potter or in the suburbs,<br />

everyone is welcome to apply.<br />

To participate, you (or your group) need to be a member<br />

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

All participating artists must have public liability insurance.<br />

An insurance Certificate <strong>of</strong> Currency is required.<br />

Participation fee: $35 (for a single person studio); add $10 for<br />

each extra person.<br />

Deadline for Expression <strong>of</strong> Interest: Friday 15 May <strong>2015</strong><br />



open studios<br />

15 & 16 AUGUST <strong>2015</strong><br />

For the Expression <strong>of</strong> Interest form and more information<br />

go to: http:/ /tinyurl.com/acos<strong>2015</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association T: 1300720 124 F: 02 9369 3142<br />

E: mail@australianceramics.com www.australianceramics.com<br />

Open Studio<br />

participants from 2014<br />

said they loved ...<br />

connecting with the community and inspiring visitors to create<br />

the surprising number <strong>of</strong> enthusiastic visitors<br />

the feeling <strong>of</strong> energy<br />

raising awareness in the general community about clay and classes<br />

spreading the word that our pottery is here<br />

taking a step towards pr<strong>of</strong>essionalism in my artistic journey<br />

cleaning my studio; it's now a lovely place to work<br />

the feeling <strong>of</strong> being part <strong>of</strong> a big clay family<br />

the excitement <strong>of</strong> local people' discovering' my studio<br />

one <strong>of</strong> the local government councilors calling in, very positive and excited<br />

getting lovely feedback on my new line <strong>of</strong> work<br />

team building amongst artists<br />

the connectedness with other ceramic studios<br />


Gatherings<br />

Baptism <strong>of</strong> Fire<br />

<strong>The</strong> rebirth <strong>of</strong> the Hamada kiln, witnessed by Euan Craig<br />

Flames roared fiercely into Mashiko's freezing night air, bursting from the spy holes <strong>of</strong> all seven<br />

chambers <strong>of</strong> the great climbing kiln. After four days <strong>of</strong> stoking, the noborigama <strong>of</strong> Shoji Hamada<br />

breathed fire for the first time in forty years. I stood in the wood shed beside the kiln, resting my hands<br />

on the haft <strong>of</strong> my axe, watching the crowd <strong>of</strong> spectators milling round the edges <strong>of</strong> the firelight while<br />

the stoking team brought the fire box and first chamber to their peak temperature <strong>of</strong> cone 10. It was a<br />

glorious sight.<br />

In 1923, after three years in the UK, Shoji Hamada returned to Japan in the aftermath <strong>of</strong> the Great<br />

Kanto Earthquake. Many Japanese were questioning the values <strong>of</strong> modern society and out <strong>of</strong> this grew<br />

the Mingei movement, led by Soetsu Yanagi . In 1931, Hamada established his home and studio in the<br />

rural pottery village <strong>of</strong> Mashiko, north <strong>of</strong> Tokyo, in order to make wholesome and humanistic functional<br />

art, and in 1943 he built a noborigama climbing kiln, 5 metres wide, 16 metres long and able to hold<br />

10,000 pieces in one firing. It was fired up to four times a year until his death in 1978. His studio and<br />

kilns then became a reference museum to teach the Mingei aesthetic.<br />

<strong>The</strong> earthquake <strong>of</strong> March 2011 severely damaged many <strong>of</strong> the kilns and the 400 potteries in Mashiko,<br />

including the noborigama at the Hamada Museum, and fallout from the nuclear disaster that followed<br />

contaminated much <strong>of</strong> the forest <strong>of</strong> northern Japan. Again, the people <strong>of</strong> Japan were questioning their<br />

values .<br />


Gatherings<br />

1 Tomoo Hamada with hIS grandfather Shoji Hamada 's<br />

ruined kiln, after the earthquake <strong>of</strong> 2011<br />

Photo: Euan C (aig<br />

2 <strong>The</strong> Hamada noborigama in ruins after the<br />

earthquake <strong>of</strong> 2011; photo: Euan Craig<br />

3 Tomoo Hamada and Euan Craig in 2014 with the<br />

restored noborigama; photo: courtesy Euan Craig<br />

4 Euan Craig stacking the third chamber<br />

Photo: Shikamaru Takeshita<br />

Four years have passed since those fateful events. <strong>The</strong> potters <strong>of</strong> Mashiko have worked together to<br />

rebuild their community and, with the help <strong>of</strong> many people locally and internationally, many <strong>of</strong> the kilns<br />

are firing once more. <strong>The</strong> most symboliC <strong>of</strong> these is the Hamada noborigama.<br />

Tomoo Hamada, Shoji's grandson, invited the potters <strong>of</strong> Mashiko to participate in a communal firing<br />

in the restored kiln. Thirty spaces <strong>of</strong> just under 1 cubic metre each were <strong>of</strong>fered, and a total <strong>of</strong> 90<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>essional and student potters were able to participate and share in the cost and labour <strong>of</strong> firing.<br />

Each chamber was set with four layers <strong>of</strong> shelves at 15 cm high intervals. In front <strong>of</strong> this was a row <strong>of</strong><br />

saggars which acted as a bag wall protecting the shelves from the direct flame <strong>of</strong> the side-stoked firing<br />

trench at the front <strong>of</strong> the kiln. Atop the stack was a space about 50 cm high rising into the dome <strong>of</strong> the<br />

chamber. <strong>The</strong> pots had to be made to fit the kiln .<br />


Gatherings<br />

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

Preparation <strong>of</strong> the kiln was a mammoth collaborative task: fitting the kiln furniture, staCking the<br />

hundreds <strong>of</strong> saggars, and preparing the 1500 bundles <strong>of</strong> red pine necessary to fire the kiln. <strong>The</strong><br />

firewood was brought from Nagano 50 that it was free <strong>of</strong> radioactive materials. A three-day empty<br />

bisque firing was necessary to dry the kiln after forty years <strong>of</strong> dormancy. Another three days <strong>of</strong> cooling,<br />

then the sag gars were removed and the stacking <strong>of</strong> the pots could begin. Over the next five days we<br />

stacked the kiln in a roster system so that each chamber was filled in stages from the far side. <strong>The</strong> pots<br />

were lined up on boards in the old studio where Shoji Hamada had worked, and glazed on site before<br />

stacking. All the pieces I made on my kick wheel for this firing had survived the 200 km trip from<br />

Minakami and I glazed them. set the tea-bowls on shells and wrapped the vessels in igusa straw before<br />

stacking them into my space in the third chamber. Plates filled the saggars and vases occupied the arch<br />

space. Work that was left over was used by Tomoo to fill spaces in other parts <strong>of</strong> the kiln to achieve a<br />

balanced stack. Everyone worked together, finishing on schedule on the fifth day w ith the space nearest<br />

each <strong>of</strong> the seven chamber doors.<br />

On 7 February, the firing began with just a small flame to warm and dry the kiln, gradually increasing<br />

so that by the fourth day it was a roaring dragon belching fire into the night. We finally finished splitting<br />

all the wood and the crowd thinned as the side stoking began . I put away the axe and prepared to start<br />

my stoking shift.<br />

<strong>The</strong> cones went down in the second chamber. We started to sidestoke the third chamber through<br />

the small port in the kiln wall. spreading two bundles <strong>of</strong> split logs across the fire pit to meet the wood<br />

being stoked from the other side. We called to the team on the other side <strong>of</strong> the kiln. synchronising<br />

stokes, taking turns to feed the fire when the reduction flame spewing out <strong>of</strong> the spy holes receded.<br />

We continued stoking for several hours, joking, teasing each other as we stepped away from the kiln<br />


Gatheri ngs<br />

between stokes, laughing, with the scorching heat from flames on one side and freezing darkness on<br />

the other. Cone 9 went down, cone 10 followed. Test tiles were pulled from the spy holes and Tomoo<br />

called that the chamber was done. We su rrendered our position to the team for the fourth chamber,<br />

and the firing went on. Midnight passed, it was the fifth day. It took another half day before the last<br />

chamber was done and the kiln was finally sealed.<br />

We waited. A symposium on 14 February discussed Mashiko, past and future, and the role <strong>of</strong> Mingei<br />

in modern society. <strong>The</strong>n we celebrated. We could only guess how the pots would emerge from the kiln<br />

the next day, but we celebrated before we opened the kiln, for the true success <strong>of</strong> this firing was not in<br />

the vessels that emerged but in the spirit <strong>of</strong> these people who have risen to the challenge, from disaster<br />

to triumph. I am honoured and humbled to have been part <strong>of</strong> it.<br />

I & 2 Euan Craig's raw pots in front <strong>of</strong> Shoji Hamada's wheel, ready to glaze<br />

Photo: Euan Craig<br />

3 Euan Craig's tea bowls on seashells and bottles wrapped in straw<br />

Photo: Euan Craig<br />

4 Euan Craig sidestok.ing the third chamber; photo: Shikamaru Takeshita<br />

5 Some <strong>of</strong> Euan Craig's tea bowls and sake cups, warm from the kiln<br />

Photo: Euan Craig<br />

6 Euan Craig. bottle. from the first chamber, sitting on the Hamada wheef<br />

ready to be exhibited at the Hamada Museum in Mashiko; photo: artist<br />


Community<br />

Touch This Earth Lightly:<br />

a participatory environmental<br />

art project<br />

Bridget Nicholson shares her experience <strong>of</strong> presenting work to a new audience<br />

Touch this earth lightly is a national environmental art project designed to collect people's stories<br />

about their relationship to place, land, and the environment. <strong>The</strong> project has been going for five years<br />

across the country, from remote places like Kalkarindji in the <strong>No</strong>rthern Territory to inner city Perth and,<br />

recently, suburban Melbourne. <strong>The</strong> process involves people through the use <strong>of</strong> clay to create a pair <strong>of</strong><br />

persona lised shoes. <strong>The</strong> clay is moulded to the foot, capturing the essence <strong>of</strong> the person. Simultaneously<br />

the person is engaged in conversation about the nature and sensibility <strong>of</strong> their relationship to land and<br />

the natural world . <strong>The</strong> conversation is recorded .<br />

In June 2014, Art in Public Spaces Officer for the Knox City Council Jo Herbig commissioned me<br />

to work with the Knox community to collect stories (and shoes) for an installation to be held at the<br />

Stringybark Festival in October 2014. <strong>The</strong> festival was approaching its thirtieth year and has been<br />

evolving from a more commercial enterprise into one which explores more fully the concept <strong>of</strong><br />

sustainability and its understanding within the community. <strong>The</strong> installation was designed to be presented<br />

in a black box, providing a place and space for Festival-goers to be immersed in local stories pertaining<br />

to their environment. Stories were collected from the community in the two months leading up to the<br />

event and used to create the installation. Over the course <strong>of</strong> the weekend, people were also invited to<br />

participate by having their story recorded (and their feet wrapped in clay).<br />

<strong>The</strong> result was a tribute to the resolve <strong>of</strong> the Council to present contemporary art in this new<br />

environment. <strong>The</strong> black box built into a corner <strong>of</strong> the indoor basketball court at Rowville Community<br />

Centre presented the stories and shoes <strong>of</strong> 94 people. Numbers were limited to five at a time to<br />

encourage immersion . Audience members donned wireless headphones and sat amongst the shoes<br />

while images collected from the Knox Historic Society, Museum Victoria, and other imagery, were<br />

projected onto the walls. Most surprising were the children, perhaps intrigued by the headphones, who<br />

sat, listened, and watched for the full 5Y2 minute loop. More than 1000 people visited the installation<br />

over the course <strong>of</strong> the two days and a further 20 had their stories recorded to be used in future<br />

presentations .. . far beyond expectations.<br />

Working with the public is always rewarding but also somewhat scary as you don't know what is<br />

going to happen and where you may be led. In this instance the diversity and sheer quantity <strong>of</strong> people<br />

who experienced the installation was uplifting. <strong>The</strong> concept that contemporary art is inaccessible and<br />

irrelevant to everyday life was clearly debunked. <strong>The</strong>re are obviously many more ways in which art can<br />

find a place to function in the public arena .<br />

www.touchthisearthlightly.com<br />


Community<br />





<strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association is pleased to announce the winners <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> Trudie Alfred Bequest<br />

Ceramic Scholarships <strong>2015</strong>:<br />

Magdalena Dmowska, Alison Frith, Leana Kim, Tess McAuslan-King and Maggie Paradysz.<br />

Each <strong>of</strong> the winners received $4000 to assist them with their ceramics studies at a tertiary institution<br />

in <strong>2015</strong>. Many thanks to the judging committee - Sophie Moran (VIC), Ian Dowling (WA), Shannon<br />

Garson (QLD) and Vicki Grima (NSW).<br />

A call for the 5th and final round applications (for study in 2016) will be announced in <strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong>, Issue <strong>54</strong>/2 . <strong>The</strong> deadline is mid-September <strong>2015</strong> .<br />

About the <strong>2015</strong> winners<br />

Magdalena Dmowska<br />

Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Arts (Fine Art - Object-based<br />

Practice) RMIT University, Victoria.<br />

Being chosen as a recipient <strong>of</strong> the scholarship<br />

is a great honour. It will greatly assist me<br />

in furthering my current studies as well as<br />

supporting associated projects. I am planning to<br />

experiment with ceramic surfaces and develop<br />

new forms suitable for larger scu lptural pieces.<br />

A highlight <strong>of</strong> <strong>2015</strong> is going to be attending the<br />

<strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Triennale in Canberra in July.<br />

www.magdalenadmowska.com<br />

Alison Frith<br />

Diploma <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong>, Holmesglen Institute,<br />

Victoria<br />

As I work towards our end <strong>of</strong> year exhibition,<br />

I am excited to extend my throwing ability and<br />

experiment further with surface treatments.<br />

When not at school, I am busy making a small<br />

range <strong>of</strong> functional ceramics out <strong>of</strong> my <strong>No</strong>rth<br />

Melbourne studio.<br />

www.alisonfrith.net<br />

86 THE JOURNAL Of AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2015</strong>

Leana Kim<br />

I have been studying ceramics on a full-time basis<br />

at RMIT University in Victoria and my course<br />

is Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Fine Arts. For this year, I have<br />

attempted to join many exhibitions internationally<br />

as a practising <strong>Australian</strong> ceramic artist.<br />

www.leanakim,(om<br />

Tess McAuslan-King<br />

Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Fine Arts (Object-based Practice -<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong>), RMIT University<br />

This year I hope to work on a la rger scale than I<br />

have previously. I have been working with slabbu<br />

ilt forms and I think these will translate well.<br />

I am also looking forward to experimenting with<br />

enamels on my work and more mother-<strong>of</strong>-pearl<br />

lustre.<br />

http://tessymking.tumblr.(om<br />

Maggie Paradysz<br />

Advanced Diploma <strong>of</strong> Visual Arts: <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

<strong>No</strong>rthern Beaches, <strong>No</strong>rthern Sydney Institute,<br />

TAFE NSW<br />

With the benefit <strong>of</strong> the scholarship, my aim is to<br />

extend the stability and functionality <strong>of</strong> the black<br />

clay body I have been working on over the last<br />

three years. I will also be working on the glazes<br />

that complement it, as well as pushing a few<br />

boundaries with the design <strong>of</strong> the forms. Further<br />

testing <strong>of</strong> the clay body, and learning its limits, is<br />

a particular goal. I hope to realise a refined body<br />

<strong>of</strong> work for exhibition in October <strong>2015</strong> as<br />

I complete my Advanced Diploma.<br />


A call for Round 5 applications (for study in 2016) 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>Vol</strong> <strong>54</strong> <strong>No</strong> 2, July <strong>2015</strong>, and on our<br />

website, www.australianceramics.com. <strong>The</strong> deadline is mid-September <strong>2015</strong>.<br />


Asso ci ation<br />

<strong>The</strong> Trudie Alfred<br />

Bequest Follow Up 2014<br />

Sharyn Dingeldei<br />

Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Fine Arts Arts (Object Based Practice) at RMIT. Melbourne<br />

<strong>The</strong> overlap <strong>of</strong> outer nature and inner desire speaks to our integral part in the scheme <strong>of</strong> things<br />

<strong>of</strong> life.<br />

Upon receiving the call from the President <strong>of</strong> TACA, I was sent into a state <strong>of</strong> euphoria, unlike<br />

anything I had ever experienced before. Through a series <strong>of</strong> deeply distressing events unexpectedly<br />

arising in early 2014, I found myself at the precipice <strong>of</strong> indecision and disabled by raw emotions. With<br />

the gentle guidance <strong>of</strong> my tutor Kris Coad. I was eventually able to explore the theme <strong>of</strong> balance or<br />

equilibrium.<br />

I was searching for the counterbalances to each force in life. whether that be between the dark and<br />

the light or the strong and the meek, and the precarious type <strong>of</strong> relationships we establish with each <strong>of</strong><br />

these.<br />

From external experiences. my own internal dialogue and interactions with the people I have<br />

surrounded myself with. this three-dimensional form is generated out <strong>of</strong> the organic codes and fluid<br />

dynamics that presented themselves.<br />

I was attempting to begin a<br />

conversation with the issue <strong>of</strong><br />

interpretation and ambiguity <strong>of</strong><br />

balance. and how quickly it can be<br />

brought undone by a single action or<br />

reaction.<br />

<strong>The</strong> generous support <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> Trudie<br />

Alfred Bequest has no doubt been<br />

invaluable to all, but especially to<br />

me. Part <strong>of</strong> the criteria mentioned<br />

things like hardship. I for one totally<br />

understand the depth in. around and<br />

inside the meaning <strong>of</strong> that one word.<br />

www.sharamics.com.au<br />

Sharyn Dingeldei. Equilibrium. 2014. h.20cm<br />

w.35cm, d.llcm; photo: courtesy artist<br />


Association<br />

Ebony Heidenreich<br />

Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Visual Arts (Honours) at University <strong>of</strong> South Australia<br />

In 2014 I was able to undertake honours at the University <strong>of</strong> South Australia due to the support <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarship. It was a rich and challenging year that transformed my<br />

outlook on art and making. Through the lens <strong>of</strong> feminism and phenomenology I set out to explore the<br />

complexities <strong>of</strong> women's domestic life and handicrafts, the importance <strong>of</strong> materiality and the making<br />

process. By questioning binary oppositions like s<strong>of</strong>t and hard, transient and permanent, present and<br />

absent, it was my intent to create a provocative visual dialogue and sensory experience around these<br />

themes.<br />

My year was defined by months <strong>of</strong> experimentation and techn ical battles, much frustration along with<br />

rewarding triumphs. I relied heavily on the financial support <strong>of</strong> the bequest money, using that freedom<br />

as a platform to push my ideas, expand my practice and achieve a higher level <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essionalism . My<br />

final body <strong>of</strong> work relied on a delica te subversion <strong>of</strong> clay's traditional use and was communicated via the<br />

avenue <strong>of</strong> immersive, site-specific installation .<br />

Exciting opportunities that have fuelled my passion for art making and the ceramics community have<br />

spilled over into <strong>2015</strong> . I don't believe I could have achieved these ends without the significant 'leg-up'<br />

that came through the awarded scholarship and so I want to extend a big thank you to <strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong><br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> Association and acknowledge the generous legacy <strong>of</strong> Trudie Alfred.<br />

E: ebonyheid@gmail.com<br />

Ebony Heidenreich, Absent Minded, 201 4, porcelain slip, various dimensions: photo: Danielle Monon

Asso cia tion<br />

Kylie Rose McLean<br />

Advanced Diploma <strong>of</strong> Visual Arts (<strong>Ceramics</strong>) at<strong>The</strong> <strong>No</strong>rthern Sydney Institute<br />

Hornsby Campus<br />

Above: Kylie Rose Mcl ean, Raw Midden, 2014, detail; Above right: What Lies Beneath, 2014, an installation piece using<br />

documentary components, sound, sea grass, found objects, wire, particle board, castors and hand-coiled, unglazed ceramic shell<br />

forms, stoneware clay bodies; photos: Stephen Cummings<br />

In 2014 I undertook the Advanced Diploma <strong>of</strong> Visual Arts (<strong>Ceramics</strong>) at <strong>The</strong> <strong>No</strong>rthern Sydney Institute<br />

Hornsby Campus. It brought discoveries, unexpected surprises, intense moments and deadlines I <strong>The</strong><br />

process <strong>of</strong> creating, experimenting and distilling ideas for my graduating work, What Lies Beneath,<br />

was intoxicating. Observations <strong>of</strong> Koo/ewong Foreshore Reserve became a participatory, multidisciplinary<br />

installation project reflecting the diverse usage <strong>of</strong> this public access space, human impact on<br />

the natural environment and the juxtaposition <strong>of</strong> urban development alongside a coastal waterway. It<br />

comprised more than 2000 handcoiled, unglazed shell forms.<br />

Being immersed in study, belonging to a community <strong>of</strong> diversely creative individuals and having access<br />

to generous, knowledgeable, highly skilled teaching staff was rich and inspiring, as well as instrumental<br />

in developing a future plan and perspective <strong>of</strong> my work.<br />

My Advanced Diploma is completed, several workshops and short courses opened doors to diverse<br />

ceramics techniques and practice, and my new camera provided a terrific image resource for reflection<br />

and promotional material. I entered competitions, was fortunate to win two awards and managed<br />

several exhibitions and two solo shows.<br />

Beyond the financial advantage, most significant were the personal connections I made - the lasting<br />

and precious aspects. Trudie Alfred's generous gift set the foundations <strong>of</strong> a dream and provided the<br />

framework to build a creative life in clay. Sincere thanks to Vicki Grima, Shannon Garson, Neville French<br />

and Kirsten Coelho for granting me one <strong>of</strong> the Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships.<br />

www.loopyrose.com<br />


Asso ciation<br />

Adriana Prasnicki<br />

Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Design (<strong>Ceramics</strong>) at College <strong>of</strong> Fine Arts, University <strong>of</strong> NSW<br />

While on a study exchange in <strong>The</strong> Netherlands I received a surprise call from Shannon in Australia<br />

informing me that I had been awarded the Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarship. This was a<br />

wonderful start to 2014. Receiving the scholarship allowed me to continue my stay in <strong>The</strong> Netherlands<br />

in order to complete an internship with the notable design duo Niels Van Eijk and Miriam Van der<br />

Lubbe. During this time I worked on an installation <strong>of</strong> their ceramics collection for Imperfect Design<br />

and prototyped windmill souvenirs that were to be 3D printed from porcelain. This experience was only<br />

made possible by the generosity <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association and Trudie Alfred.<br />

When back home in Sydney I decided to make a series <strong>of</strong> ceramic vessels that reflected my time<br />

overseas. I introduced new mediums within my work and approached the project in a relaxed manner<br />

without a clear end goal. I spent time experimenting using an instinctual manner to best create feelings I<br />

wanted to represent. This way <strong>of</strong> working is completely different to my usual well planned and thought<br />

out method, but I knew it was the right time to shake things up.<br />

My time overseas helped me realise what I am most passionate about, helped me gain confidence as<br />

an artist, and gave me the motivation and drive to just keep going. Thanks again to TACA and Trudie!<br />

https:llwww.behance.netlaprasnicki;E:a.prasnicki@live.com<br />

Below left: Adriana Prasnicki, Renewed Iznik, 2014, earthenware, decals, hAOcm<br />

Below right: Adriana Prasnicki, Haphazard, 2014, stoneware. copper wire, various dimensions<br />

Photos: courtesy artist<br />


Asso ciation<br />

Left: Ingo Svendsen, It's Complex /I (black ring) and It's Complex I (grey ring)<br />

2014, porcelain, stain, pol ished; above: Propagation <strong>of</strong> Memory, 2014, Limoges porcelain<br />

stain, resin, plastic petri dishes; photos: courtesy artist<br />

Inga Svendsen<br />

Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Visual Arts, Sydney College <strong>of</strong> the Arts, University <strong>of</strong> Sydney<br />

2014 was an exciting year, devoted primarily to experimenting and testing the properties <strong>of</strong> a variety <strong>of</strong><br />

porcelain clay bodies and stains, making moulds <strong>of</strong> handmade and found objects, slip casting, and using<br />

clay with other materials.<br />

<strong>The</strong> prominent themes in my work at present are the significance <strong>of</strong> memory, relationships and the<br />

complexity <strong>of</strong> life. I have been exploring the facetted form, both geometric and free-formed, as a way<br />

to represent the many and varied elements <strong>of</strong> these everyday aspects <strong>of</strong> existence. I concentrated on<br />

making small objects and jewellery pieces, exploring the multiple, groupings and structure, as well as<br />

combining materials such as porcelain, resin and sterling silver.<br />

I have also been working on developing a porcelain clay body from ingredients readily available in<br />

Australia, that fires to cone 6, handles the saturation <strong>of</strong> stains well, possesses a reasonable plasticity and<br />

demonstrates a suitable translucency and finish. To date, the results have been promising and some <strong>of</strong><br />

the jewellery pieces posted on my blog are made from this clay body.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Trudie Alfred Bequest has been used predominantly to procure materials and tools, giving me<br />

the opportunity to purchase items without financial hesitation and affording me the ability and a new<br />

freedom to experiment in my chosen area. <strong>The</strong> scholarship has set me up for the next few years <strong>of</strong> study<br />

and I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity.<br />

www.ingasvendsen.blogspot.com.au<br />


Ceramic Shots<br />

WINNER: Photographer and potter: Raymond Rorke<br />

Philadelphia, USA, December 2014<br />

Knolling is the process <strong>of</strong> arranging like objects in parallel or 90° angles as a<br />

method <strong>of</strong> organisation. <strong>The</strong> challenge was to gather together your ceramic<br />

creations or collection, align or square all objects on a surface in your studio<br />

and take a photo,<br />

<strong>The</strong> competition was judged by Ben Carter, Carole Epp, Caterina Leone<br />

Greg Piper, Christopher Sanders, Vipoo Srivilasa and Jonathan Wherrett.<br />


Ceramic Shots<br />

Equal second: above, photographer: Bernie Morrow; potter: lucy Morrow, Douarnenez. France. May 20t4<br />

Below. photographer and potter: Alysse Bowd. Kecskemet. Hungary. <strong>April</strong> 201 4<br />


Ceram ic Shots<br />

.--­<br />

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

t Photographer and potter: Helen Earl. Sydney NSW, December 2014<br />

2 Photographer and potter: Inga Svendsen, Newtown, NSW. February 20t4<br />

3 Photographer and potter: Kylie Rose McLean, Koolewong, NSW. February 20t5<br />

4 Photographer and artist: Yvette De Lacy, Kinglake Central, VIC, February <strong>2015</strong><br />

5 Photographer and potter: Elaine K. Ng. Maine, USA, February <strong>2015</strong><br />

THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2015</strong><br />


Ceramic Shots<br />

1 Photographer: Dave Gardner<br />

Potter: Ellen Hansa-Stanyer Maldon VIC. february <strong>2015</strong><br />

2 Photographer and Potter: Orit Ben Arie<br />

Israel, february <strong>2015</strong><br />

3 Photographer and potter: Katherine Wheeler<br />

(a'tlemaine VIC, february <strong>2015</strong><br />

4 Photographer and potter: Jill Symes<br />

Sandringham VIC January <strong>2015</strong><br />

5 Photographer and potter: Jocelyn Hee<br />

Melbourne VIC february <strong>2015</strong><br />

6 Photographer and potter: Elise O'Neill<br />

Dunedin, New Zealand, february <strong>2015</strong><br />

7 Photography: Sen .... ndau; potter: la petite fabrique de<br />

Brunswick, Brunswick East, VIC, February <strong>2015</strong><br />

8 Photographer: Ella Rubeli; potter: Jan Downes<br />

Sydney NSW, February <strong>2015</strong><br />



K 1<br />

CERAMIcs<br />


9-11 JULY <strong>2015</strong> CANBERRA, AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY<br />

Registration is now open for Australia's premier ceramics event.<br />

Image: Cj Jilek, Cross<br />

Pollination, Slip cast<br />

Porcetain. Wool Fiber,<br />

Mon<strong>of</strong>ilament, Flocking.<br />

Image courtesy <strong>of</strong> the<br />

artist CJ Jilek Wilt both<br />

speak and demonstrate.<br />

Our conference program includes many, high calibre speakers and demonstrators and<br />

we are pleased to announce our three international keynote speakers Tanya Harrod,<br />

Jacques Kaufmann and Mike Goldmark.<br />

Stepping Up will be held between three locations at the <strong>Australian</strong> National University campus;<br />

Manning Clarke <strong>The</strong>atre 1, School <strong>of</strong> Art Ceramic Workshop and School <strong>of</strong> Art Lecture <strong>The</strong>atre.<br />

Conference dates: Thursday 9 to Satur day 11 July <strong>2015</strong><br />

Master classes: Monday 6 to 8 July <strong>2015</strong><br />

Visit our Stepping Up website and subscribe to our mailing<br />

list for up-to-date information and further details on<br />

conference themes, master classes and registration<br />

information. www.austr al ianceramicstriennale.com<br />

Contact:<br />

Craft ACT, Craft and Design Centre<br />

projectracraftact.org.au Ph 02 62629333<br />

Stepping Up partners: Craft ACT: Craft and Design Cen tre,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Aus tralian National University, Canberra Polters' Society.<br />

Strathnairn Arts, <strong>The</strong> Au stralian <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association<br />

?' . •<br />


,:- NOW OPEN' ...<br />


FOR DETAILS . •<br />


AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS TRIENNALE <strong>2015</strong><br />

Teri Frame<br />

... when Canberra will play host to THE major <strong>Australian</strong> ceramics event­<br />

Stepping Up: <strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Triennale <strong>2015</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Triennale will run from 9 to 12 July <strong>2015</strong> boasting a full program <strong>of</strong> demonstrations, talks and<br />

discussions by local and international ceramic artists, writers and curators as well as over thirty<br />

exh ibitions showcasing exciting, skilful and innovative work. For anyone itching to get their hands dirty,<br />

the conference will be preceded by a Fringe Festival <strong>of</strong> free public programs running from 6 July, where<br />

enthusiastic makers can try their hand at a diverse range <strong>of</strong> ceramics techniques and work on large<br />

communal artworks, all in close proximity to the conference hub at the <strong>Australian</strong> National University.<br />

This is an event for everyone where, as well as catering for established pr<strong>of</strong>essionals, educationists,<br />

committed amateurs, and collectors, you will find unique opportunities for emerging artists and students<br />

- the generation who are 'stepping up' - to find their feet in the ceramics community. It is a chance to<br />

see the breadth <strong>of</strong> the ceramics field on a global scale and learn from inspiring, accomplished ceramic<br />

artists and pr<strong>of</strong>essionals, each with different ideas and approaches to building a thriving ceramics<br />

practice. This Triennale has a focus on active participation in our local and international community,<br />

<strong>of</strong>fering important information and guidance for artists at the start <strong>of</strong> their ceramics careers about<br />

engaging with the wider world, making money, and building a responsible and viable practice.<br />

Day 1 will be devoted to a survey <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> Changing World, including new technologies, engagement<br />

with Asia and, in particular, the changes in ceramics education. Keynote speaker Tanya Harrod,<br />

highly respected UK writer on craft, will address the persistence <strong>of</strong> ceramics as a material for creative<br />

expression.<br />


<strong>Australian</strong> Ce ra mics Tri ennale <strong>2015</strong><br />

Shin Koyama<br />

Cameron W illiams<br />

Day 2 will present possibilities for a responsible role in the future, and be led by keynote speaker<br />

Jacques Kaufmann, artist and president <strong>of</strong> the International Academy <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong>, Geneva. Social<br />

responsibility, community responsibility and the environment will dominate the presentations, <strong>of</strong>fering a<br />

range <strong>of</strong> ways in which we can address our role in the world.<br />

Day 3 <strong>of</strong> the conference program is specifically devoted to practice bu ilding and financial survival,<br />

featuring panels and talks from several perspectives, including those <strong>of</strong> artists, gallery owners and art<br />

educators, discussing the pragmatic side <strong>of</strong> developing and maintaining a ceramics practice. Mike<br />

Goldmark, owner <strong>of</strong> the idiosyncratic Goldmark Gallery in the UK which not only shows and sells<br />

artwork but also publishes books and produces films (www.goldmarkart.com). will provide the keynote<br />

address.<br />

For an artist's perspective on promoting one's practice, the Marketing Panel will discuss the<br />

importance <strong>of</strong> the role <strong>of</strong> social media in making yourself 'known'. This panel <strong>of</strong> four accomplished<br />

ceramicists will make for a lively discussion. Between them, the panel members cover a smorgasbord <strong>of</strong><br />

ceramic styles . From Ben Carter's Tales <strong>of</strong> a Red Clay Rambler (carterpottery.blogspot.com) and Michael<br />

Kline's studio pottery (klinepottery.com) to Carole Epp's charismatic and disturbing figurative work<br />

(musingaboutmud.blogspot.com), the panel addresses the marketing <strong>of</strong> functional as well as sculptural<br />

ceramics . Fourth panel member Lia Tajcnar (https:llwww.pinterest.com/LiaTajcnarl) has a foot in both<br />

camps, making work that frequently references function but is always undeniably sculptural. All four<br />

Anna calluori Holcombe<br />

Lia Tajcnar<br />

Michael Doolan

<strong>Australian</strong> Ceram ics Triennale 2 015<br />

panellists have built strong and supportive online communities through different social media platforms.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y will discuss the potential <strong>of</strong> social media to shape one's practice and how to then share it with an<br />

infinitely accessible audience.<br />

<strong>The</strong> conference has an exciting line-up <strong>of</strong> demonstrators programmed every afternoon, many showing<br />

innovative techniques for making and firing. Cj Jilek, a ceramicist from Chicago, is one such artist,<br />

whose meticulous method and attention to detail make her work exquisitely beautiful and eerily fleshy.<br />

Her work is complex and involves layer upon layer <strong>of</strong> texture. Her component forms are slipcast, then<br />

expertly assembled, textured and coloured, only to finally undergo a series <strong>of</strong> post-firing treatments such<br />

as rubber-coating or flocking.<br />

Somchai (haroen is a Thai artist living in Sydney who started his career in indust rial ceramics. He<br />

now incorporates this expertise into his artistic process, making slipcast forms w ith extreme precision.<br />

Charoen pushes the technical boundaries <strong>of</strong> slipcasting, making highly complex and delicate forms that<br />

he then finishes with great attention to detail. He will present the moulds he uses and demonstrate<br />

his casting technique to create a series <strong>of</strong> forms that can be interactively assembled in flexible<br />

configurations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> free and inclusive public programs organised on the fringe <strong>of</strong> the conference will cater to a<br />

broad range <strong>of</strong> ages and ceramics expertise. Sli p Graffiti will be a community artwork event in which<br />

participants will build up a layered, textural surface by painting with different coloured slips. Another<br />

event will feature the construction <strong>of</strong> a large-scale ephemeral clay sculpture, built onto a central<br />

armature. <strong>The</strong>se programs represent a practical, hands-on side to the conference, and all are invited to<br />

take part.<br />

Isabelle Mackay-Sim, BVA (ANU)<br />

For the full program and presenter/demonstrator details see<br />

www.australianceramicstriennale.com.au/<strong>2015</strong>/program<br />

Somchai Charoen<br />

Fiona fell<br />

Carole Epp<br />


Liz Crowe: Winning Surfaces<br />

Liz Crowe is a Canberra-based ceramic artist and was the recipient <strong>of</strong> the inaugural Jane Crick Memorial<br />

Prize for Handbuilding presented at the 2014 Canberra Potters Society Members Exhibition. <strong>The</strong> award<br />

was given to her for a body <strong>of</strong> work titled Black Bean Pod - Forest Litter which referenced seedpods<br />

from the black bean tree. <strong>The</strong>se striking pieces are organic handbuilt forms fired using the Obvara Raku<br />

method, a firing process said to have originated in Belarus around the 12th century and which involves<br />

dipping the heated bisqued pot into a special yeast-based mixture and then fast cooled in water. Liz<br />

has created uniquely feathered surface markings in various shades <strong>of</strong> tan and brown. After polishing,<br />

the exterior is s<strong>of</strong>t and inviting juxtaposing the toughness <strong>of</strong> a real seedpod. Jane would have been<br />

particularly pleased about the firing technique as she was an avid user <strong>of</strong> low firing practices who loved<br />

to experiment.<br />

Surface decoration is important to Liz. Another body <strong>of</strong> work that she enjoys making uses hard<br />

carving as a way <strong>of</strong> drawing and referencing plants. Liz's carving method was further developed and<br />

enhanced following a workshop at <strong>The</strong> Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. Cylindrical wheelthrown<br />

porcelain vases create a perfect canvas for carved surfaces. Each form is glazed on the inside contrasting<br />

the carved exterior surface that is left unglazed but polished, quietly highlighting the incised imagery.<br />

Although the two bodies <strong>of</strong> work are different, the common thread is the minimal surface treatment<br />

<strong>of</strong> the clay that accentuates the essence <strong>of</strong> plants.<br />

A report by Sue Hewat<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Liz Crowe: below left Vine , 2014, each, h.13cm, w.6cm<br />

Below right: Black Bean Pod - Forest Litter, detail; photos: Andrew SIk.orSk.I, Art Atelier<br />


Claypool is a communal ceramics facility run by a core team <strong>of</strong> potters who felt the need for such a<br />

space in Sydney, where studio space is rare and expensive. <strong>The</strong>ir plan was realised in May 2013 when<br />

they found a venue at Square 1 Studios at Erskineville, an inner suburb <strong>of</strong> Sydney.<br />

Claypool has many advantages for its 45 members and 20 drop-ins. It is a fully equipped workspace<br />

in which clay and glazes are available for members to purchase, along w ith access to firing facilities.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the core team is always on duty to facilitate this. Classes are run on all levels for members and<br />

outsiders, and there is the opportunity for one-to-one tuition.<br />

Claypool <strong>of</strong>fers an opportunity for cooperative ven tures and the sharing <strong>of</strong> ideas and techniques with<br />

other members, along w ith collaborations with designers and artists <strong>of</strong> other media. Joint exhibitions<br />

are held at SQl studios and in public galleries. Claypool participated in the <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Open<br />

Studios in August 2014 receiving lots <strong>of</strong> visitors, some <strong>of</strong> whom have since become part <strong>of</strong> the Claypool<br />

community.<br />

Claypool members range from beginners to established ceramicists producing a variety <strong>of</strong> objects<br />

including tableware, jewellery, sculpture, lights and architectural fittings. To date they have had a<br />

number <strong>of</strong> international potters join for a limited time, facilitating an exchange <strong>of</strong> information.<br />

Over time Claypool has become much busier as evidenced by its buzzing productive environment.<br />

Currently there is a wait ing list for membership. Go to www.claypool.com.au for more information.<br />

A report by Jan Downes; https:lljandownesceramics.exposure.col<br />

Photo: Ella Rubeli

Mollie Bosworth, A Media tion on Light (series), 2013, cyanotype on porcelain; photo: courtesy artist<br />

Artisan engages with lots <strong>of</strong> different mediums and fields - from jewellery, ceramics and glass, to<br />

architecture, design and fashion, all within its craft and design scope. Given this diversity, we have<br />

developed an interest in the relationships between these fields, and how artists may draw influence and<br />

inspiration from mediums outside their own. Parallel to this, we've been curious about the artist-driven<br />

exhibitions that have been popping up in recent years. Museums, for example, have been inviting artists<br />

into their collections to interpret and curate new displays <strong>of</strong> them.<br />

Out <strong>of</strong> these interests arose the concept for our Chain Reaction exhibition series in which two<br />

initial artists are each required to nominate another two other artists who work in different mediums<br />

and whose work inspires their own. <strong>The</strong>se artists then nominate a further two artists each, resulting<br />

in the selection <strong>of</strong> fourteen Queensland creatives connected by intriguing threads <strong>of</strong> influence. This<br />

year's artists included Graham Bligh, Mollie Bosworth, Kylie Burke, India Collins, Shannon Garson,<br />

Roland Nancarrow, Adele Outteridge, Lucy-Belle Rayner, Sarah Rayner, Brian Robinson, Adrienne Shaw,<br />

Christopher Trotter, Wim de Vos and Daniel Wallwork.<br />

For the recent artist talks at the opening <strong>of</strong> Chain Reaction Two, we invited one chain <strong>of</strong> artists<br />

to speak about their nominations with the artist at the end <strong>of</strong> the chain, discussing their hypothetical<br />

nominations should the chain continue. This final artist was ceramicist Shannon Garson, who, to our<br />

surprise, said she would potentially nominate an artist from the first Chain Reaction and thereby create<br />

a 'short ci rcuit' in the chain! So while our chain model has been very successful in exploring influences<br />

across mediums, clearly this network <strong>of</strong> influence is a fascinating and more complex web.<br />

A report by Richard Stride, Exhibitions Manager at Gallery Artisan in Fortitude Valley<br />

THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2015</strong> 103

Ever heard <strong>of</strong> a frog cake? For<br />

those <strong>of</strong> you who are unfamiliar,<br />

it's a cake found in many a South<br />

<strong>Australian</strong> bakery that, you guessed<br />

it, looks like a frog. This much-loved<br />

cake was the focus <strong>of</strong> the Icon<br />

<strong>of</strong> South Australia Frog Cake<br />

Exhibition. Featured were ceramic<br />

artists Gerry Wedd, Bruce Nuske,<br />

Klaus Gutowski, Susan Frost, Maria<br />

Chatzinikolaki, Sophia Nuske, Helen<br />

Fuller and Wayne Mcara along with<br />

notable artists from a range <strong>of</strong><br />

disciplines and artists from the Tutti<br />

Visual Arts Studio for artists with<br />

disability. More than a handful <strong>of</strong><br />

celebrities-turned-artist - including<br />

journalist Annabel Crabb, former<br />

premier Lynn Arnold, celebrity chef<br />

Adam Liaw, actor Hugh Sheridan,<br />

MPs Kate Ellis, Christopher Pyne<br />

and Jack Snelling, and ABC radio<br />

personality Ian Henschke - also<br />

joined in with works <strong>of</strong> their own.<br />

Curated by artists Klaus Gutowski<br />

and David Ellis Moseley, the<br />

exhibition kicked <strong>of</strong>f on 4 March<br />

with a special launch in the SAHMRI<br />

(South <strong>Australian</strong> Health and<br />

Medical Research Institute) building,<br />

also known as the ' cheese grater',<br />

to raise funds for the SAHMRl's fight<br />

against mental illness. <strong>The</strong> exhibition<br />

was relocated to the Light Square<br />

Gallery for public viewing.<br />

A report by Sophia Phillips<br />

1 Bruce Nuske 2 Helen Fuller 3 Sophia Nuske 4 Susan Frost<br />


<strong>The</strong> annual Tasmanian <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association (TCA) Members' Exhibition in October 2014 was, as usual,<br />

well attended. Titled Relics it delivered a high standard <strong>of</strong> work reflecting the diversity and talent <strong>of</strong><br />

the TeA membership. <strong>The</strong> Sides pace Gallery in the heart <strong>of</strong> the Arts Precinct in Hobart was the venue.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re were five awards judged by studio potter Jan Clare and contemporary visual artist Steve Carson.<br />

Belinda Thomas won the Overall Excellence Award with her piece Thoughts Of You . In her artist<br />

statement Belinda said, "My work explores the multifarious polarities inherent within the human psyche<br />

such as the known and unknown, power and vulnerability, implosion and explosion etcetera." Henrietta<br />

<strong>No</strong>rris's piece Gaia won the Highly Commended Award for a non-functional ceramic piece. Her artist<br />

statement explained, "This vessel, in the shape <strong>of</strong> an imaginary boat and imprinted with man-made<br />

marks, symbolises a journey where the passage and activities <strong>of</strong> humans are momentarily reflected in<br />

the natural environment; changes that through the action <strong>of</strong> the Earth's powerful forces eventually<br />

fade." Both awards were sponsored by Derwent Ceramic Supplies.<br />

Jude Maisch's entry Ming won a Highly Commended Award in the functional ceramic category,<br />

sponsored by the Tasmanian Ceramic and Pottery Supplies, with a pair <strong>of</strong> platters which, when placed<br />

together, formed an image <strong>of</strong> an ancient vase. John Watson won <strong>The</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

Award for the most interest ing response to the exhibition theme, as well as the Peoples' Choice Award,<br />

sponsored by Artery, with his sculpture, Ruined Tin Mine - Isle <strong>of</strong> Man. He said, "I remember this<br />

place from my boyhood, a relic <strong>of</strong> the industrial revolution. Many coastal tin mines sprang up in the<br />

19th century and like this one the excavations <strong>of</strong>ten extended out under the sea-bed, sometimes with<br />

disastrous consequences."<br />

A report by Kim Foale<br />

Photo: Robin Roberts<br />


Farewell <strong>Ceramics</strong> Victoria 1969-2014<br />

In December 2014, after many unsuccessful years calling for support, <strong>Ceramics</strong> Victoria announced that<br />

it must cease operations. President Lyn Baines wrote in an email to members that .. (t)his action has<br />

been necessitated by a number <strong>of</strong> factors:<br />

• CVlne. requires at least 370 financial members to fulfil our Annual Financial obligations.<br />

Currently our membership is indifferent and remains at the 220 mark.<br />

• Our traditional fundraising efforts like workshops have not had the desired support to make<br />

up the shortfall needed.<br />

• We require a full committee <strong>of</strong> management with additional volunteers to man sub-committees to<br />

move forward. Unfortunately we currently suffer from a lack <strong>of</strong> volunteer assistance; even our recent<br />

survey only received 17 responses, a very weak result.<br />

• Our market appears to prefer closer contact and has shifted over the past decade to small local<br />

groups.<br />

In a recent conversation, Lyn expressed her thanks to those who tirelessly worked to bolster the<br />

Association in its last two years. Alongside Lyn, Treasurer Nadita Nadkakni, Secretary Terri Wright,<br />

Minute Secretary and Copy Editor Judy Searle, Workshop Coordinator Sue McFarland, Herring Island<br />

Coordinator Peter Clark and General Members Irris Szoeke and Carmen Grostel helped extend the<br />

Association to 45 years <strong>of</strong> service and connection to the<br />

Victoria ceramics community.<br />

Lyn remains optimistic about ceramics in Victoria. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

are many regional associations that actively meet and social<br />

media has proven an excellent way to share the passion for<br />

the materi al <strong>of</strong> clay and its process. <strong>Ceramics</strong> Victoria collected<br />

270 significant ceramic works. Thankfully, negotiations are<br />

underway for the City <strong>of</strong> Whitehorse to be the permanent<br />

home for the collection. Those readers who will be attending<br />

the <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Triennial in Canberra can enjoy<br />

Victorians Stepping Up, a curated exhibition representing<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> Victoria'S talented membership.<br />

A report by Robyn Phelan<br />

http://robynphelan,com.au<br />


--:<br />

VAl.ECV1NC<br />

--:<br />


It's impossible to select a highlight <strong>of</strong> POTober, WA's premier<br />

ceramics event, there were so many. Central Institute <strong>of</strong><br />

Technology (CIT) was again the venue for the Ceramic Arts<br />

Association <strong>of</strong> WA's biennial clay festival. Supreme effort,<br />

planning and teamwork by the organisation produced a very<br />

satisfying experience to a rapt and appreciative audience.<br />

Local, national and international potters demonstrated and<br />

gave talks over three days. <strong>The</strong>re was something for everyone<br />

including a demonstrators' exhibition and a Potters Market,<br />

and the weekend concluded with dinner hosted by Fleur<br />

Schell at <strong>The</strong> Clay House.<br />

I never dreamed I'd be watching Jennifer McCurdy<br />

manipulate a pot into corrugated ribs, contorting as it dried,<br />

and then carved and meticulously finished into something<br />

otherworldly, with stories told throughout. Kenji Uranishi<br />

with a few simple tools, consummate skill and bashful<br />

humour transformed small slabs <strong>of</strong> porcelain into a superfine<br />

handbuilt jug or a trefoil bowl. <strong>The</strong>re was laughter when<br />

Warrick Palmateer arrived to demo his enormous pots and<br />

half the room decamped to his table.<br />

Above: Jennifer marks out her carving lines<br />

Below: carved porcelain by Jennifer McCurdy<br />

Photos: Elaine Bradley<br />

Graced with the presence and generosity <strong>of</strong> Ruthanne Tudball (UK), Jennifer McCurdy (USA), Cathi<br />

Jefferson (Canada), Kenji Uranishi (QLD), Ted Secombe (VIC), Chester Nealie (NSW) along with Bela<br />

Kotai, Mary Wallace and Warrick Palmateer from WA, we experienced many moments <strong>of</strong> exquisite skill<br />

and wisdom.<br />

<strong>The</strong> run down to Christmas brought open studios and<br />

markets like Fremantle Art Centre's Bazaar. Sandra Black's<br />

trip in January to Art Ichol studios and residency in Madhya<br />

Pradesh, India went well . Fleur Schell is hatching new<br />

residencies and a big move early in <strong>2015</strong>, and Mary Wallace<br />

revisited Korea. Robyn Varpins showed in Fremantle, and<br />

Amanda Shelsher exhibited New Works <strong>2015</strong> in February<br />

at Margaret River Galleries.<br />

A report by Elaine Bradley<br />

http://elainebradley.blogspot.com<br />

THE JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS APRil <strong>2015</strong> 107

Stockists<br />

ACT<br />

canberra potters society<br />

1 asp ina I st watson<br />

national gallery <strong>of</strong> australia<br />

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strathnairn arts<br />

90 stockdill dr holt<br />

walker ceramics<br />

289 canberra ave fyshwick<br />

NSW<br />

art gallery <strong>of</strong> nsw<br />

art gallery rd the domain<br />

sydney<br />

bathurst regional art gallery<br />

70-78 keppel st bathurst<br />

bellingen newsagency<br />

83 hyde st bellingen<br />

blackwattle pottery<br />

20 stennett rd ingleburn<br />

broken hill regional art gallery<br />

404-408 argent st broken hill<br />

brookvale ceramic studio<br />

11/9 powells rd brookvale<br />

chinaclay<br />

40 burnie 51 clovelly<br />

gaffa<br />

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NEW<br />

goulburn regional art gallery<br />

enr church and bourke sts goulburn<br />

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inner city clayworkers gallery<br />

cm stjohnsrd &darghan st glebe<br />

keane ceramics<br />

177 debenham rd south somersby<br />

kerrie lowe gallery<br />

49-51 king sl newtown<br />

lake macquarie art gallery<br />

1 a first st booragul<br />

mu ceramics studio gallery<br />

headland park precinct mosman<br />

museum <strong>of</strong> contemporary art<br />

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northern rivers pottery supplies<br />

<strong>54</strong>d teranla st north lismore<br />

nulladolla potters<br />

princes hwy milton<br />

planet<br />

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powerhouse museum<br />

500 harris street ultimo<br />

sabbia gallery<br />

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5turt craft centre<br />

range rd mittagong<br />

the art scene<br />

enr greens rd & oxford 51<br />

paddington<br />

the art scene<br />

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the wharf locavore<br />

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jacksons drawing supplies<br />

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arts pace mackay<br />

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cairns regional gallery<br />

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gallery + cafe frit<br />

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gold coast city gallery<br />

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art gallery <strong>of</strong> south australia<br />

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bamfurlong gallery<br />

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burnie regional art gallery<br />

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Membership w ith insurance, $10 million liability: $250' - available only to individuals·<br />

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Membership, Student: $80' - insurance not available; pro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> tertiary enrolment required<br />

Membership, Overseas: AU$150 - insurance not available<br />

• A Certificate <strong>of</strong> Currency is issued to those who take the 'with insurance' option.<br />

, Price includes GST.<br />

Please note: Prices are current at the date <strong>of</strong> publication and are subject to change.<br />

Name _____________ Address ______________ _<br />

Postcode ___ Country ____ Phone __ _<br />

Email _______________________________ _<br />

Method <strong>of</strong> payment:<br />

Cheque (AUS only) D MasterCard D Visa D<br />


Expiry Date DODD<br />

o Direct Deposit" (<strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association / Westpac / SSS 032298 / Account <strong>No</strong>. 760550)<br />


Signature / Date<br />

Fax or mail to <strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> Cerami cs Association, PO Box 274 Waverley NSW 2024 Australia<br />

T: 1300720124 F: +61 (2) 9369 3742 E: mail@australianceramics.com www.au5tralianceramics.com<br />


On the Shelf<br />

More books and DVDs are available on www.australianceramics.com<br />

Lustre<br />

1. Stephen Sowers<br />

Beyond Bravura<br />

by Damon Moon and<br />

John Neylon<br />

This book covers Bowers'<br />

life as an educator,<br />

studio manager and arts<br />

administrator as well as<br />

his au.standing artistic<br />

career.<br />

AU <strong>54</strong>9.95<br />

2. Lustre by Greg Daly<br />

This handbook aims 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 />

techniques for applying and<br />

firing. as well as showing<br />

you the results <strong>of</strong> the<br />

author's extensive testing .<br />

AU S39.95<br />

3. Developing Glazes<br />

by Greg Daly<br />

For any potter beginning to<br />

expenment with fired colour,<br />

texture and decoration in<br />

their work. this book is an<br />

essential reference with<br />

practical advice and step-bystep<br />

instructions for testing<br />

glazes.<br />

AU S35<br />

4. Grafisk (Graphic) Porcelain<br />

by Ane-Katrine von BUlow<br />

This short film is about Danish<br />

artist Ane-Katrine von BUlow.<br />

It shows her process <strong>of</strong> making<br />

porcelain forms and applying<br />

designs to them. She develops<br />

20 designs which she silkscreen<br />

prints onto tissue, then<br />

transfers onto her 3D vessels.<br />

Duration: 14:25 mlns<br />

AU 530; limited supply<br />

available<br />


ITEM: 10 20 3 0 4 0<br />

Name __________________________ __<br />

All prices include GST and postage<br />

within Australia.<br />

Address ________________________________ _<br />

_______________________________________ Postcode _______ Country ____________ _<br />

Phone ________________________ Email _______________________________________<br />

Cheque (AUS only) 0 MasterCard 0 Visa 0<br />

Card Number 0000 0000 0000 0000<br />

Expiry Date 0 0 0 0 Total S _________<br />

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

PO Box 274 Waverley NSW 2024; T: 1300 720 124<br />

E: mail@australianceramics.com; wwvv.australianceramics.com<br />

<strong>2015</strong> Focus<br />

& Deadline Dates<br />

<strong>Vol</strong> <strong>54</strong> <strong>No</strong> 2<br />

Publication:<br />

8 July <strong>2015</strong><br />

Focus: <strong>Australian</strong><br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> Triennale<br />

<strong>2015</strong><br />

Deadline for copy<br />

4 May <strong>2015</strong><br />

<strong>Vol</strong> <strong>54</strong> <strong>No</strong> 3<br />

Publication:<br />

20 <strong>No</strong>vember <strong>2015</strong><br />

focus: Colour<br />

Oeadhne for copy<br />

7 September <strong>2015</strong>

Classifieds<br />


~~~~<br />

BLACKWAlTLE POlTERY SUPPLIES Sydney-based pottery<br />

supply outlet selling over 70 clays from Blackwattle,<br />

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POlTERS EQUIPMENT PTY LTD Quality supplies and<br />

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VENCO PRODUCTS Manufacturers and exporters <strong>of</strong> high<br />

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NEWSFLASH: NEW webshop open soonl Our factory outlet<br />

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FOR SALE<br />

GAS KILN: AS NEW CESCO 21 CUBIC FT Twin pilot, 4<br />

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SWEET POTATO CERAMICS is an established pottery<br />

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GROUPS<br />

CERAMIC STUDY GROUP Inc. Est. 1963 We are<br />

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ceramic mass production and artwork s. Ceramic design<br />

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



supports and promotes outstanding design and craftsmanship<br />

through its widely acclaimed studios. galleries and<br />

shops. A unique not-far-pr<strong>of</strong>it organisation located in the<br />

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internationally as a centre for excellence. For over 40 years,<br />

JamFactory has been presenting outstanding exhibitions and<br />

public programs and nurturing the careers <strong>of</strong> talented<br />

artists, crahspeople and designers. Applications are invited<br />

for the <strong>2015</strong> Associate program in the JamFactory ceramics<br />

studio. Contact the Creative Director <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong>, damonmoon@jamfactory.com.au<br />

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GAYA CERAMIC ARTS CENTER " Where clay and culture<br />

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sharing <strong>of</strong> ideas; fully equipped with a wide range <strong>of</strong> firing<br />

options - gas fibre, raku, woodfiring anagama and bottle<br />

kilns. Specialised workshops throughout the year, contInuous<br />

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Program fill our calendar with exceptional international<br />

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+62 (0)361 976220; E: gayacac@gayaceramic.com<br />


We are a member-run cooperative gallery in Glebe NSW<br />

dedicated to contemporary ceramics. A part <strong>of</strong> the ceramic<br />

community for 32 years, we are looking for new members.<br />

Emerging artists are particularly encouraged to apply. Please<br />

send a resume with at least 4 images <strong>of</strong> recent ceramic work<br />

to info@dayworkers.com.au, or email for further information;<br />

enr St Johns Rd & Darghan SI. Glebe NSW 2037<br />

WINW.clayworkers.com.au<br />

MUDGEE ARTS EXHIBITION is to be held on 12 June <strong>2015</strong>.<br />

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Mudgee Arts at lNINW.mudgeearts.com.au.<br />


GREG PIPER IMAGE SOLUTIONS Providing ceramic artists<br />

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the photographidmultimedia unit (for eleven years) at the<br />

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E: greg@gregpiper.com,au; www.gregpiper.com.au.<br />


PLINTHS MADE TO ORDER Affordable. designed for<br />

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NORTHCOTE POTTERY SUPPLIES <strong>No</strong>rthcote Pottery<br />

Supplies invite emerging and established ceramic artists to<br />

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due late <strong>2015</strong>; WWVII,northcotepotterysupplies.com.au.<br />


NORTHCOTE POTTERY SUPPLIES <strong>No</strong>rthcote Pottery<br />

Supplies Educational Program <strong>of</strong>fers a broad range <strong>of</strong> short<br />

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SLOW CLAY CENTRE Slow Clay Centre is a unique<br />

ceramics education venue founded by Jane Sav"yer. Teachers<br />

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STRATHNAIRN ARTS Woodlire Kiln Building Workshop<br />

with Fred Olsen from 15- 19 June <strong>2015</strong>. Strathnairn Arts.<br />

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Olsen. Participants will be working alongside Fred for five<br />

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demonstrates working with these small kilns. Course fee:<br />

$500; more info: \NWW,strathnairn.com .aulfred-olsenmasterclassl<br />



Sutherland College. Gymea Campus 9 & 18-week short<br />

courses and Diploma <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> & Advanced Diploma <strong>of</strong><br />

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https:/Iwwvv.facebook.corrVceramicdesignstudio.<br />

NATIONAL ART SCHOOL Sydney; <strong>Ceramics</strong> Courses<br />

<strong>2015</strong>--2016; BFA: 3 years fuil-time; BFA Honours: 1 year fulltime;<br />

MFA: Part-time or fuil-time; Short Courses <strong>2015</strong>--2016:<br />

httpJlnas.edu.aulshortcoursesiterm-two-short-courses;<br />

Winter School: 29 June - 3 July <strong>2015</strong>; Semester 2:<br />

8 Saturdays in the Wheel Room; 3 Saturdays Glazing and<br />

Firing. starting 18 July. <strong>The</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Department also<br />

maintains an artist in residence program. international<br />

exchanges and visiting artists. Contact Merran Esson:<br />

02 9339 8718; www . nas . edu ~ au<br />



Upcoming exhibitions: 18 <strong>April</strong> - 9 May <strong>2015</strong>: A t the Table<br />

by Katherine Mahoney; 20 June - 18 July <strong>2015</strong>: Australia n<br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> by Shannon Garson, Izette Felthun, Clare Unger<br />

& Dana Lundmark (this exhibition coincides with <strong>Australian</strong><br />

<strong>Ceramics</strong> Trienna!e: Stepping Up) <strong>The</strong> Gardener's Cottage,<br />

Headland Park Artist Precind. 8Ill00a Middle Head Rd.<br />

Mosman NSW 2088; T: 02 9960 1777; Tues to Sat. 10am -<br />

4pm; E: mulan@studiomu.com.au; WNVV.studiomu.com.au.<br />


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OUTLET V .<br />

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\ \ '\\ T\\ T •(, 1; t \ '\\ T<br />

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5 June - 8 August <strong>2015</strong><br />

Curated by Glenn Barkley, this exhibition<br />

explores more than 50 years <strong>of</strong> the<br />

renowned ceramics course at the National<br />

Art School. Featuring work by graduates<br />

and staff including Stephen Bird, Louise<br />

Boscacci, Lynda Draper, Merran Esson,<br />

Patsy Hely, Juz Kil son, Peter Rushforth AM,<br />

Thancoupie Gloria Fletcher James AD,<br />

Toni Warburton and others .<br />

..ka Kitson Thft Diwte NabJIe 01 &w1Q (detail) 2014 Jingdezhen ~n.<br />

50Uthem Ice porcelain. terrac~ ~ panlffin wax, merino wool, a.­<br />

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GAGPROJECTSIGreeoaway Art GaIefy, AdelaIde and Berin<br />

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COLOURS Rockwood Pigments Cesco<br />

Walker Deco Clayworks Chrysanthos<br />

CLAYS Bendigo Bennetts Blackwattle Clayworks<br />

Feeneys Keanes <strong>No</strong>rthcote Walkers<br />

EQUIPMENT extruders wheels slab rollers pug mills<br />

ACCESSORIES brushes corks batts sieves kiln shelves<br />

MATERIALS 25gm to 25kg and more<br />

GlAZES powder and liquid<br />

TOOLS Claytools Kemper Giffin Grip Lidmaster<br />



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.<br />

Deadline for enbies 5.00 pm, Monday 25 May <strong>2015</strong><br />

•<br />

For information - ·-e award arttl how to enter visit the<br />

• Gallery website<br />


o<br />

CH I NO<br />

LOY<br />

A dedicated space for <strong>Australian</strong> ceramics<br />

now with a NEW galle I)' space<br />

40 Burn ie S, Clovell y NSW 2031<br />

Wed - Fri l oam - 6plll / Sat - Sun lOanl - 3pm<br />

www.china cla y. com . au<br />


Workshop Lecture One-day Workshop<br />



on intimate. the everything <strong>of</strong> teo CAROLE EPP<br />

practical introduction bowls International duo<br />

24 MAY. 2 - 5pm 12 JUNE. 6 8pm 19 JULY. 100m - 4pm<br />

$125 $35 $265<br />

Bookings available online<br />

www.slowclay.c o m<br />

WEEny CLASSES: Term 2 starts <strong>April</strong> 20<br />

~ LOW<br />

CL AY<br />

CENTRE<br />

Slow Cloy Centre<br />

13 Keele SI . Collingwood VIC<br />

info@slowcloy.com; (03) 9943 7844

[ERflmIH flUSTRflLlfl<br />


SHIMPO Precision Pottery Equipment<br />

To view our full range <strong>of</strong> equipment please visit our website<br />

www.shimpo.com.au<br />

R.oller<br />


ceramic design studio<br />

www.facebook.com/ceramicdesignstudio<br />

www.sydneytafe.edu.au/showcase/ceramics-sutherland-gymea<br />

We <strong>of</strong>fer a range <strong>of</strong> specialist ceramic studio courses<br />

VET Fee Help available for Diploma <strong>of</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong><br />

& Advanced Diploma <strong>of</strong> Visual Art (<strong>Ceramics</strong>)<br />

18 Week Wheel & Mould Making Classes<br />

9 Week Wheel & Handbuilding Classes<br />

Marian. HoweIl2@det.nsw.edu.au<br />

<strong>The</strong> Kingsway & Hotham Road<br />

Gymea NSW 2227<br />

Tel : (02) 9710 5001<br />

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iMaM<br />

Silversalt Photography<br />

Ceramic Image:<br />

Pamela Smith<br />

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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> <strong>Ceramics</strong> Association's<br />

Biennial Exhibition 2016<br />

Manly Art Gallery & Musemn<br />

20 May - 26June 2016<br />

« All the things they said were wrong,<br />

oh what I want to be<br />

Hey, over, under, sideways, down<br />

Hey, backwards, forwards, square and 'round"<br />

Curator: Glenn Barkley<br />

www.thecuratorsdepartment.com<br />

see p.69 <strong>of</strong> tlus issue<br />

Over Under Sideways Down by <strong>The</strong> Yardbirds<br />


overundersidewaysdown seeks to explore the currency <strong>of</strong> ceram ics w ithin the art world and the<br />

reasons why it is <strong>of</strong> such interest to young artists.<br />

Alternatively it seeks to excavate the foundations <strong>of</strong> this interest and bring together artists, some <strong>of</strong><br />

whom have long careers with ceramics stretching back decades, and others whose engagement w it h it<br />

has irrevocably changed the way they work, what they make and how they make it.<br />

It also occurs where there is a broader cultural interest in the artist outsider. <strong>The</strong> exhibition w ill be<br />

inclusive <strong>of</strong> different kinds <strong>of</strong> practice from the untrained through to the obsessive hobbyist and<br />

practitioners w ho may feel marginalised, for whatever reason, from the mainst ream .<br />

All doors are open ... please apply ...<br />

Send your proposal/rationale (100-150 words), along with<br />

3- 5 images <strong>of</strong> related work and a current 1-page Cv.<br />

Applications are accepted on a USB flash drive or via www.dropbox.com .<br />

Applications close: 3 August <strong>2015</strong>; Artists notified: September <strong>2015</strong><br />

Exh ibition dates: 20 May - 26 June 2016<br />

Post USB proposals to Glenn Barkley, TACA, PO Box 274 Waverley NSW 2024<br />

Share Dropbox proposals (identified by your surname) w ith mail@australianceramics.com .<br />

Exhibitors must be financial members <strong>of</strong> <strong>The</strong> <strong>Australian</strong> Cera mics Association.<br />


Bruce Walford (NZ) Ted Secombe (VIC)<br />

Nanna Bayer (TAS) (her Shackleton (WA)<br />

Coli Minogue (IRE) Robert Sanderson (IRE)<br />

Wendy Hodgson (QLD) and more<br />

Alex Park Conference Centre<br />

Alexandra Headlands, Queensland<br />

Full Range <strong>of</strong> Attendance Packages Available<br />

including Onsite Residental<br />

www.suncoastclayworkers.org.au or<br />

or ring 0438 450 349 for more details<br />


mu ceramics studio gallery I studiomu.com.au<br />

headland park artist precinct I 8/1100a middle head road mosman nsw 2088 I 0299601777<br />

B~Onging<br />

Saturday 27 June -<br />

Saturday 11 July <strong>2015</strong><br />

embodied commentaries inspired by place<br />

Over 150 works by members <strong>of</strong><br />

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

showcasing the creativity and diversity <strong>of</strong><br />

contemporary <strong>Australian</strong> ceramic practice.<br />

ANU SoA Foyer Gallery<br />

Building 105B, School <strong>of</strong> Art<br />

Ellery Cres, Acton ACT 2601<br />

T: +61 (0)2 6125 5841<br />

http://soa.anu.edu.au/ school-<strong>of</strong>-arlgallery<br />

Opening hours:<br />

Tuesday 10 Friday, 1 0 .30am - 5pm<br />

Saturday 12noon - 5pm<br />

Closed Sunday & Monday<br />




Convenient Central Sydney Location<br />

supplying Earthenware, Terracotta, Porcelain, Stoneware, Raku<br />

clays, Paperclay, casting slip, underglazes, glazes, stains, lustres,<br />

tools, cones, raw materials, frits, tissue transfers.<br />

Cesco<br />

Glazes & Colours<br />

Feeneys<br />

Clay<br />

£)~~£><br />


V<br />

keane<br />

CE RA M I C S<br />

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Kerrie Lowe Gallery<br />

Open 6 days: 10am - 5.30pm Monday - Saturday I Thursday until 7pm<br />

49 - 51 King Street, Newtown NSW 2042<br />

Phone: 02 9550 4433 I Fax: 02 9550 1996<br />

Email: lowekerrie@gmail.com I Web: www.kerrielowe.com<br />

Check out the work <strong>of</strong> over 100 <strong>Australian</strong> ceramicists when you visit the gallery.<br />

Sally Walk Bev Hogg Jo Wood John Dermer Petra Svoboda

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