Pottery In Australia Vol 35 No 1 Autumn 1996

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POTTERYin<br />

AUSTRA~<br />

<strong>Vol</strong><br />

5 Number 1 • <strong>Autumn</strong> <strong>1996</strong> -

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

•<br />

ition Calendar<br />

MAY<br />

Fibre Sculpture - Virginia Kaiser<br />

Headmasters Gallery<br />

St Ives, Sydney<br />

MAY-JULY<br />

CBramics - Bernadine AJting,<br />

Ft-Dtography - John Diegan,<br />

B3sket weaving - Salty King<br />

Cradle Mountain Gallery<br />

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania<br />

1-26MAY<br />

Water Colour Clay'<br />

<strong>In</strong>grid von Reich<br />

& Kathleen McMahon<br />

<strong>In</strong>ner City Clayworkers Gallery<br />

Glebe, Sydney<br />

3-16MAY<br />

'Mothers Day'<br />

Group exhibition<br />

Claythings Potters Gallery<br />

Balgowlah, Sydney<br />

3-16MAY<br />

Ivan Gluch<br />

Functional porcelain<br />

Mura Clay Gallery<br />

Newtown, Sydney<br />

4-22MAY<br />

Womens Wm<<br />

Women artists, all media<br />

Distelfink Gallery<br />

Armadale, Melbourne<br />

6-24MAY<br />

'Mother & Child'<br />

Exhibition by Guildford<br />

Village Potters<br />

Guildford, WA<br />

6MAY-2JUNE<br />

'Five X F1Ve'<br />

Ceramics, wood, leather, glass & metal,<br />

5 artists working in different media<br />

Fusions Gallery<br />

Fortitude Valley, Brisbane<br />

9MAY - 8JUNE<br />

1neBox'<br />

Next Wave Festival Exhibition<br />

Craft Victoria Gallery<br />

Fitzroy, Melbourne<br />

9-29MAY<br />

Aboriginal Ms<br />

Claremont School of Arts<br />

Claremont, Perth<br />

9MAY-5JUNE<br />

'B3reBody'<br />

Mary Anderson<br />

The <strong>Pottery</strong> Place<br />

Wollongong NSW<br />

9 MAY - 1 SEPTEMBER<br />

William Morris<br />

V&AMuseum<br />

South Kensington, London<br />

10 MAY - 9 JUNE<br />

Blundstone<br />

Contemporary M Rize<br />

Waverley City Gallery<br />

Melbourne<br />

12 MAY -4 JUNE<br />

Thornton Walker - painnngs<br />

Rue Venables - ceramics<br />

Beaver Galleries<br />

Deakin,ACT<br />

17 MAY - 6 JUNE<br />

'Feast Funcnonal & Rrtual'<br />

Group exhibition<br />

Claythings Potters Gallery<br />

Balgowlah, Sydney<br />

17-30MAY<br />

Ljubov Seidl<br />

Richly decorated e/w<br />

Mura Clay Gallery<br />

Newtown, Sydney<br />

21 MAY-11 JUNE<br />

Peter Stephens, ceramics<br />

Zone Gallery (Above Imprints<br />

Booksellers) Adelaide<br />

23 MAY -16 JUNE<br />

'Ensemble': An Exhibrtion by Union<br />

Street Ceramic Studio<br />

Domestic objects by Liz Stops, Robyn<br />

Whyte, 'iuzi Lyon, Patsy Hely & Abi<br />

Parker<br />

Craftspace Gallery<br />

The Rocks, Sydney<br />

25 MAY-12JUNE<br />

Patrick Collins, Maiolica<br />

Distelfink Gallery<br />

Armadale, Melbourne<br />

29 MAY· 30 JUNE<br />

'Musical <strong>In</strong>terlude',<br />

clay with rhythm<br />

<strong>In</strong>ner City Clayworkers Gallery<br />

Glebe, Sydney<br />

30 MAY - 12JUNE<br />

'Changing Movements'<br />

<strong>No</strong>el Warden<br />

Exhibition of ceramic sculpture<br />

and paintings<br />

Snake Pit Gallery<br />

Launceston, Tasmania<br />

30 MAY · 19 JUNE<br />

Tony Hayes Selecnon<br />

Claremont School of Art<br />

Claremont, Perth<br />

30 MAY- 17 JUNE<br />

To Look Mlead'<br />

Ceramics and Water by Jan Pryor<br />

Watt Space<br />

Newcastle NSW<br />

31 MAY - 13 JUNE<br />

Claire Locker<br />

Mura Clay Gallery<br />

Newtown, Sydney<br />

- - ... -<br />

JUNE<br />

1 -24JUNE<br />

'AfterncxJ!l Tea'<br />

Teapots by Cher Shackleton<br />

& Janice Anderson<br />

Guildford Village Potters,<br />

Guildford, Perth<br />

5-30JUNE<br />

Bruce Anderson<br />

- sculptural works<br />

Artist in Residence, QPA<br />

Fusions Gallery,<br />

Fortitude Valley, Brisbane<br />

6 JUNE · 10 JULY<br />

'Frarre Up'<br />

Rod Moyes & Janette Loughrey<br />

The <strong>Pottery</strong> Place, Wollongong NSW<br />

7-27JUNE<br />

'Animal & Plant Fantasy'<br />

Group exhibition<br />

Claythings Potters Gallery<br />

Balgowlah, Sydney<br />

9JUNE-2JULY<br />

'Spirit Wrthin',<br />

vessel forms in wood basketry and<br />

ceramics. Marcus Tatton,<br />

Virginia Kaiser and Sarit Cohen<br />

Beaver Galleries<br />

Deakin ACT<br />

12-30JUNE<br />

'Bovvfing AJong'<br />

13 <strong>Australia</strong>n artists incl.<br />

Marc Sauvage,Barbara Swarbrick, Bob<br />

Connery<br />

Savode Gallery<br />

Newstead, Brisbane<br />

12JUNE-6JULY<br />

Vince McGrath,<br />

touring ceramics exhibition<br />

Craft Victoria Gallery<br />

Fitzroy, Melbourne<br />

14-21 JUNE<br />

Karen Smrth - sculpture<br />

Award winning graduate from ESTC<br />

Mura Clay Gallery<br />

Newtown, Sydney<br />

15 JU,'4E - 27 JULY<br />

'Earthry Images'<br />

Group exhibition by<br />

'Clay Concepts' - 7 local potters<br />

Lake Macquarie City Gallery<br />

Lake Macquarie, NSW

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·-<br />

______ ..<br />

ition Calendar<br />

MARCH<br />

MARCH - 30 MARCH<br />

Ceramics by Ian Smith<br />

Seasons Gallery<br />

<strong>No</strong>rth Sydney<br />

MARCH - 8 APRIL<br />

Stanthorpe Ms Festival<br />

Stanthorpe, Qld<br />

MARCH - 30 MARCH<br />

Womens Showcase'<br />

Womens' Images of Women<br />

- ceramics, painting, sculpture<br />

Studio Showcase<br />

Dmmmoyne, Sydney<br />

MARCH-2MAY<br />

Contemr::uary Ceramics<br />

from the Collection<br />

Queensland Art Gallery Brisbane<br />

MARCH - 24 MARCH<br />

Nicola R.Jrcell & Cath Webb<br />

New Members Show<br />

<strong>In</strong>ner City Clayworkcrs Gallery<br />

Glebe, Sydney<br />

MARCH - 24 MARCH<br />

Ceramics - Bernadine Atting<br />

Paintings - Susanne Urbank<br />

Oasthouse Gallery<br />

ew <strong>No</strong>rfolk, Tasmainia<br />

MARCH - 7 APRIL<br />

Blundstone<br />

Contemporary M Rize<br />

Lewers Bequest and Penrith R. A.G.<br />

Emu Plains, Sydney<br />

APRIL<br />

Works on Pap3r -<br />

Yvonne Cleaver<br />

Headmasters Gallery<br />

St Ives, Sydney<br />

3-Z7 APRIL<br />

Saltglaze by Sandy Lockwood<br />

Ceramic Art Gallery<br />

Paddington, Sydney<br />

3 APRIL- 5 MAY<br />

Steve Davies<br />

Highly decorative, semi functional &<br />

sculptural works. Mini Exhibition:<br />

Margrete Lohne's ceramics<br />

Fusions Gallery<br />

Fortitude Valley, Brisbane<br />

4-28APRIL<br />

Group exhibrlion of ceramics by<br />

'Mudlarks'<br />

The Seahorse Gallery<br />

58 Darley Street<br />

Manly, Sydney<br />

MARCH<br />

'From Passion to Fantasy'<br />

Wearable Art by Trudy Billingsley<br />

Headmasters Gallery<br />

St Ives, Sydney<br />

1 MARCH - 12 APRIL<br />

Douglas Chick, Katherine Ilbery<br />

- sculpture, Michelle Leys - textiles,<br />

Anne McCallum - ceramics,<br />

Alice Scott - painting<br />

Moree Regional gallery<br />

Moree,NSW<br />

3-26 MARCH<br />

Geoff Dyer - paintings<br />

Clare Belfrage, Deb Cocks,<br />

Ben Edols, Kathy Elliot - glass<br />

Beaver Galleries<br />

Deakin ACT<br />

4-27MARCH<br />

'Impressions and Emotions'<br />

Sandra Brown<br />

The <strong>Pottery</strong> Place<br />

Wollongong NSW<br />

10-31 MARCH<br />

GomtxJc Sculpture Survey<br />

Gomboc Gallery<br />

Middle Swan, WA<br />

13 MARCH - 6 APRIL<br />

Zenpar, Ceramics<br />

and mixed media installation<br />

Craft Victoria Gallery<br />

Fitzroy, Melbourne<br />

4 APRIL - 23 JUNE<br />

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott:<br />

AT wenty Year Survey<br />

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane<br />

6-18APRIL<br />

Graeme Wilkie, Sculpture<br />

Qdos Gallery,<br />

Lorne, Vic<br />

11-20APRIL<br />

Visions of Mino<br />

Exhibition & Seminar<br />

by Janet Barriskill<br />

Japan Cultural Centre<br />

Miller St. <strong>No</strong>rth Sydney<br />

11 APRIL-4MAY<br />

Kar1 Millard, jewelery & metalvvork<br />

Craft Victoria Gallery<br />

Fitzroy, Melbourne<br />

11 APRIL-30 MAY<br />

Tradrlional & Contemporary<br />

Pacific <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

Dymocks Building, 8th Floor<br />

Sydney<br />

14 MARCH - 3 APRIL<br />

Visual Ms Foundation/Multiplex<br />

Graduate Drawing Prize<br />

Claremont School of Art<br />

Claremont, Perth<br />

15-28MARCH<br />

Rob Slingsby - recent ceramics<br />

Mura Clay Gallery<br />

Newtown, Sydney<br />

16 MARCH - APRIL 10<br />

'Directors Choice'<br />

Celebrating 180 exhibitions ; 24<br />

ceramic artists also Steven Goldate,<br />

porcelain. Distelfink Gallery<br />

Armadale, Melbourne<br />

18 MARCH - 14 APRIL<br />

'Precious Eggs'<br />

group exhibition for Easter<br />

Meat Market Craft Centre<br />

<strong>No</strong>rth Melbourne<br />

21 MARCH - 14 APRIL<br />

'Sowenir: Greetings<br />

from Sydney'<br />

Craftspace Gallery<br />

The Rocks, Sydney<br />

22 MARCH - 11 APRIL<br />

'Round & Round'<br />

Ceramics by Jan Burtenshaw<br />

& Barbara Webster<br />

Claythings Potters Gallery<br />

Balgowlah, Sydney<br />

-<br />

12APRIL - 2MAY<br />

'Mud & Magic'<br />

Ceramics by Joan Sparke & Val Mola<br />

Claythings Potters Gallery<br />

Balgowlah, Sydney<br />

13APRIL-1 MAY<br />

'Directors Choice'<br />

Celebrating 70 Glass<br />

Artist Exhibitions<br />

14 Glass Artists,<br />

Distelfink Gallery<br />

Armadale, Melbourne<br />

14 APRIL - 7 MAY<br />

Chris Denton - paintings & prints<br />

David Oswald - ceramics<br />

Beaver Galleries, Deakin ACT<br />

16-31 APRIL<br />

Toe Banquet'<br />

Virginia Hollister, Kate Leach, Kerrie<br />

Lowe, Kristyn Taylor, Cameron<br />

Williams A satellite event in<br />

association with the <strong>In</strong>ternational<br />

Conference on Food<br />

Mura Clay Gallery Newtown, Sydney<br />

27 MARCH · 28 APRIL<br />

'Bows' - functionalty challenged<br />

<strong>In</strong>ner City Clayworkers Gallery<br />

Glebe, Sydney<br />

29 MARCH · 15 APRIL<br />

Kristen-Lee Baillie<br />

figurative sculptures, coloured<br />

matt surfaces<br />

Mura Clay Gallery<br />

Newtown, Sydney<br />

29 MARCH - 19 APRIL<br />

Diogenes Farri, Ceramics<br />

Raglan Gallery<br />

Manly, Sydney<br />

29 MARCH - 21 APRIL<br />

'Locus' Sculptural ceramics by<br />

T amasin Pepper<br />

Crafts Council of NT<br />

Fannie Bay, Darwin<br />

31 MARCH· 14 APRIL<br />

'Out of Hand'<br />

Works in different media by 11<br />

Deloraine artists<br />

Gallery 9<br />

Deloraine, Tasmania<br />

- -<br />

18APRIL-12MAY<br />

Contemporary Wearaloles<br />

Exhibition curated by Toowoomba<br />

Regional Gallery<br />

Craftspace Gallery<br />

The Rocks, Sydney<br />

19-21 APRIL<br />

Uthgow <strong>Pottery</strong> Fair<br />

Lithgow Primary School<br />

Lithgow, NSW<br />

25 APRIL - 8 MAY<br />

WA School of M & Design:<br />

Staff Exhibn:ion<br />

Claremont School of Art<br />

Claremont, Perth

Showcase<br />

a Recent exhibition work<br />

Focus: The Art of Function<br />

a The Art of Function<br />

The work of Steve Davies & Catherine<br />

Lane - a strong affinity with process<br />

and material.<br />

II<br />

m<br />

Fergus Stewart<br />

From Clay to Kiln. Article by Kathy Kituai.<br />

Bill Samuels<br />

An article about pots by Bill Samuels.<br />

The Passion of Earthenware<br />

A reply to Ian Jones by Megan Patey.<br />

Out of the Ordinary<br />

Jenny Orchard's unique exploration of<br />

everyday rituals.<br />

Cameron Williams<br />

Exploring the limitless range of<br />

possibilities with clay.<br />

'Being with Objects', an exhibition<br />

by Patsy Hely, Susan Ostling and<br />

Toni Warburton<br />

Papers from the forum held in<br />

conjunction with the exhibition. By<br />

curator Helen Stephens, Diana Wood­<br />

Conroy and Virginia Hollister.<br />

The Meaning of Function<br />

Janet deBoos investigates the truths of<br />

function.<br />

Dining Out in Style<br />

Designers and chefs combine talents in<br />

a project for the Crafts Council of SA<br />

Article by Bridgette Minuzzo.<br />

Art of Sucessful Collaboration<br />

Tableware designed and made by Ivan<br />

Gluch and Janna Ferris. Article by<br />

Patricia R. McDonald.<br />

Chequered Clay<br />

Stephanie Outridge-Field and Jane<br />

Hawthoorn work collaboratively.<br />

IFJ Function by Design, Design by Fire<br />

'Pyro Designs' has been established as<br />

an alternative marketing vehicle. Article<br />

by Rick Wood.<br />

Reviews & Profiles<br />

m 'Works from the West'<br />

Exhibition of work by Jenny Dawson in<br />

collaboration with Ian MacRae & Jan<br />

Jensen. Review by Stephanie Outridge­<br />

Field.<br />

Beyond the Surface<br />

A profile of vessel maker Merran Esson's<br />

latest work.<br />

Neville French<br />

First solo exhibition at Distelfink Gallery.<br />

Review by Kim Homby.<br />

Tamasin Pepper<br />

Graduate in residence at the Crafts<br />

Council, <strong>No</strong>rthern Territory. Article by<br />

Andrea Raddatz.<br />

Musical Abstractions<br />

Vivian Cohen combines a passion for<br />

musical instruments and clay. Review by<br />

Cherry Jacobsen.<br />

Albie Herbert<br />

Thi~ artist plays a part in highlighting<br />

environmental issues .<br />

'Why do <strong>Australia</strong>n Barbeques<br />

Need Teriyaki Sauce.'<br />

<strong>In</strong>stallation by Won Seok Kim. Article by<br />

Sue Buckle.<br />

Burning Journeys<br />

An exhibition of work by students from<br />

Outer Eastern College of TAFE. Review<br />

by Kim Martin-Harrell.<br />

Studio Practice<br />

ma A practical look at Glebe <strong>Pottery</strong> Studio-­<br />

Ruth Carter, Barry Blight, Bernadette<br />

Magee. Article by Sue Buckle.<br />

Marketing<br />

1ml John Eagle addresses more aspects of<br />

marketing.<br />

Technical Update<br />

m The Essential Aspects of T erasigillata by<br />

Vivian Cohan.<br />

ma The Glaze Page<br />

Starting Points for glaze research by<br />

Greg Daly.<br />

Deflocculated Slip -<br />

Article by Ivor Lewis.<br />

Clay Adhesive<br />

Karen Wei3s researches electric kilns.<br />

Postcard<br />

ti Gondar<br />

Part 2 of Geoff Crispin's work with potters<br />

in Ethiopia.<br />

Book Reviews<br />

Travel Update<br />

fS Vietnam<br />

Christine Pearson reports.<br />

Turkey<br />

Ken Osetroff reports.<br />

<strong>Australia</strong> Wide<br />

Reports from State Representatives<br />

Letters<br />

Reponses to the article 'Is This the End'<br />

discussing the future of ceramics at ESTC.<br />

News<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ 1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALJA 1

Editorial<br />

=he longer I work with<br />

functional form, the more<br />

I realise its potential as a<br />

vehicle for artistic expression.<br />

Every jug carries with it the whole<br />

history of jugs and their usage,<br />

every teapot relates to the facts of<br />

human relationships and daily life.<br />

As we move away from these<br />

functional realities, there is an<br />

increase in status for the work in<br />

that it is more readily perceived as being artistic in intent.<br />

What we have to ask is what is the corresponding loss' -<br />

Janet DeBoos, (Catalogue from the exhibition 'Process<br />

and Obsession', 1995).<br />

The artists approached to write for this issue all have<br />

extensive experience working with functional forms and<br />

have written with great feeling on the subject. You will<br />

find their articles very challenging.<br />

I am sure many of you have at some time felt the great<br />

satisfaction of making objects for your own or others use -<br />

I know I have. <strong>No</strong>w in my job as editor, as you can<br />

imagine, I see alot of ceramic work and meet many<br />

artists/ potters. One of the great joys for me has been<br />

buying pieces that become part of our family life. The<br />

beauty of hand made objects is that each time you reach<br />

for them they are imbued with memories of a person , a<br />

time, a place and they continue to collect these memories<br />

and associations with use. You respond to them<br />

according to your needs or feelings at a point in time and<br />

they add something extra to everyday experience.<br />

I grew up in a home where domestic vessels were well<br />

considered, but generally industrially made. Even here I<br />

remember the effect when the 'good' dinner service was<br />

brought out of the china cabinet to celebrate a special<br />

occassion or the special cake plate came out for a<br />

particular visitor.( <strong>No</strong>t least of all when my sister's<br />

boyfriend came to dinner to ask Dad for permission to<br />

many her (everyone else already knew!), chickened out<br />

somewhere between main course and dessert, and we<br />

had to do it all over again the next weekend!) And, of<br />

course, the old heavily stained, battered teapot was<br />

central to sharing many wonderful<br />

(and sometimes confronting)<br />

conversations and experiences.<br />

These are the objects of ritual that<br />

lie at the heart of our existence.<br />

They are particularly valuable<br />

because they are accessible to<br />

everyone. However, each of us<br />

has a very personal response<br />

which exists because of our own<br />

experience and may or may not<br />

relate to the original intention of the artist maker. This<br />

makes the functional object a very dynamic work of art -<br />

and a very powerful and enduring one.<br />

This is going to be an exciting year for the Potters'<br />

Society of <strong>Australia</strong>. We are looking forward to being at<br />

the National Ceramics Conference, Canberra, in July. I<br />

particularly enjoy catching up with all the friends of the<br />

magazine - how nice to see a face instead of just using a<br />

telephone! As part of the Conference the Society will also<br />

be curating an exhibition at Solander Gallery, Deakin,<br />

showcasing the work of seven contemporary ceramists<br />

and we hope to see many of you there. Launching the<br />

<strong>1996</strong> Potters Directory - the first full colour Directory<br />

produced for many years in <strong>Australia</strong> will be another<br />

exciting event. This is going to be a spectacular<br />

publication with a limited production so make sure you<br />

don't miss out on your copy, available first at the<br />

Conference.<br />

You may be aware of the world crisis regarding the<br />

shortage of paper. This unfortunately has led to a<br />

considerable price rise for paper which has forced us to<br />

increase the cover price of the magazine. We regret this,<br />

but we will continue to bring<br />

s<br />

you the best quality<br />

magazine we can possibly produce which will give you<br />

plenty of inspiration and practical help.<br />

So, choose a special mug or cup for your tea or coffee<br />

and relax for a minute with us. D ~<br />

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Vic Greenaway. Celadon 1995, translucent porcelain, 12h (cm).<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 3

Above: Yvonne Bouwman, coloured bottles<br />

from "Out of the Earth" series.<br />

Right: Jill Symes, "High Stepping Woman 5".<br />

Handbuilt ceramic.<br />

Below: Lyn Robinson, "Sunrise <strong>No</strong>rth West".<br />

S/W. 30d (cm).<br />

4 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong><br />

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Above: Cheryl Sobott-Tom.<br />

Left: Sally Cleary, "Key I". 330 x 185mm.<br />

Below: Catherine Batten, "Valley of Flowers".<br />

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ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 5

The Art of Function<br />

Being involved in the making of clay objects over the past fifteen years, has enabled Steve Davies<br />

and Catherine Lane to develop a strong affinity with process and material.<br />

N<br />

ow that process and material have become a more<br />

familiar part of our practice we feel our work is<br />

beginning to mature. To not have to worry as much<br />

about technique and process and to give your mind over to<br />

the essence of what the clay may become is, and has<br />

always been, an intriguing and exciting prospect.<br />

Our explorations have led in many directions. We have<br />

worked traditionally in Japan with stoneware, designed<br />

domestic ware in England using mid-range and stoneware,<br />

and worked in <strong>Australia</strong> with stoneware, mid-range and<br />

earthenware. The delineations which are made between<br />

specific firing temperatures are irrelevant to the way we<br />

use clay. We endeavour to understand and develop the<br />

essence of the maker - sometimes through form and<br />

decoration, but always in aesthetic.<br />

Our practice could roughly be divided into two areas -<br />

objects that can be used and those which cannot. The<br />

boundaries between the two cross often, but somehow<br />

there seems to be a relative balance. The borderlines<br />

remain non-definitive.<br />

"Once you begin to consider objects which are part of<br />

the practical living of everyday life as objects in their own<br />

right, not as symbols of status, subordinated as property, a<br />

new connection with object becomes possible. Being with<br />

objects, those things which we come to know and<br />

appreciate at first hand through practise and experience,<br />

become part of daily life" 1<br />

We make objects for domestic use - bowls, platters,<br />

candelabra and so on, always remembering that these<br />

things will live within another person's personal space. We<br />

only hope that these objects will enhance that individual's<br />

daily rituals.<br />

Function plays an important role in gaining access to<br />

these works, a person wants to know their vessel will hold<br />

liquid and their teapot will pour. These are important<br />

factors in the consideration of the object's function in their<br />

6 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 7

lives. However, functionality is not the only important<br />

element in design. There is also the private meaning.<br />

Memory and personal identity are crucial, and objects carry<br />

various peripheral associations. The viewer accepts the<br />

image that the maker presents, but often without the<br />

knowledge of the maker's story. Once in possession of the<br />

piece the viewer will imbue the object with new<br />

associations relevant to their own personal history.<br />

By considering surface through decoration we are<br />

inviting the viewer to participate in the language of our<br />

visual imagery, but also to enjoy the pieces for what they<br />

are - objects of function.<br />

The ongoing development of this language of visual<br />

imagery has often come via<br />

external stimulus; for example,<br />

block buster exhibitions,<br />

where particular imagery is<br />

sought for specific concepts,<br />

and commission work where a<br />

client's taste often enters into<br />

the design process. The imput<br />

these projects offer can never<br />

be underestimated in the wider<br />

scheme of the development of<br />

a repertoire that trades as the<br />

language of the image maker.<br />

Our vocabulary is simple. We<br />

use colour to develop image<br />

and clay to create form; it is the<br />

right combination of these two<br />

elements that leads to a<br />

balanced work.<br />

Working on forms of a<br />

more sculptural nature does<br />

not necessarily mean that they<br />

are less functional than those<br />

of a more domestic nature.<br />

Their function is primarily one of aesthetic. This seems to<br />

be the point at which the art of function and the function<br />

of art seem to cross over. Take a large teapot, for example.<br />

It is obviously too large to perform any true function as the<br />

object of a tea making facility, yet retains the associations<br />

of the process through form alone. The viewer desires this<br />

object for what purpose? If the object is obviously a teapot<br />

with no function, of what possible benefit to this person<br />

could this object of non-function be to their life? This<br />

example perhaps best describes the art of function within<br />

the context of the cultural function of the art object.<br />

On the other hand, if we take a large bowl which has<br />

been made primarily to setve the artist as a canvas, with the<br />

artist's intention for the object being none other than a<br />

facilitator for image making, it seems to carry a different<br />

cultural association because it can still perform its function of<br />

being a bowl unimpeded. The viewer's association with this<br />

object changes with the ability to use the object; the bowl<br />

S. Davies, "Dog Gone Dry", cannister set. 30h (cm).<br />

performing more than one function - that of the domestic<br />

object, as well as an art object with private meaning.<br />

"The crafts, like art, are carriers of images, symbols and<br />

meaning but, unlike art, cannot jettison concern for form<br />

and function and the skilled experimentation necessary for<br />

innovative design and production." 2<br />

"For Zimmer the distinguishing and defining character of<br />

the crafts is located in their concern with form, function,<br />

decoration, style, media, technique and skill" 3<br />

Making a living from our work has meant that time to<br />

pursue more experimental forms of self expression are<br />

pursued when opportunities present themselves. Last year<br />

one such opportunity arose for Steve with an invitation to<br />

work as artist in residence at<br />

the Banff Centre for the Arts<br />

in Banff, Alberta, Canada.<br />

Time away from the<br />

demands of regular studio<br />

activities to explore a new<br />

body of work resulted in a<br />

development of the<br />

"Glimpses Series". The work<br />

is based around the concept<br />

of the decay of memory<br />

through glimpses in time ,<br />

using mixed media ceramics,<br />

cast glass and pixilated<br />

computer imager. Post<br />

graduate studies at Monash<br />

University (by 'Distance<br />

Education') has led to further<br />

developments in this work.<br />

<strong>In</strong> <strong>1996</strong> Catherine will<br />

travel to Malta, England and<br />

Ireland to present workshops<br />

and lectures, and also to<br />

undertake an artist residency<br />

at the Bath College of Higher Education. She is also<br />

undertaking post graduate studies through Monash<br />

University. Catherine's recent work explores notions of<br />

cultural identity and <strong>Australia</strong>n cultural iconography through<br />

small scale sculptures and vessel forms. oo<br />

Steve Davies, Catherine Lane<br />

31 Braeside Drive, Uki 2484<br />

Tel/Fax 066 795 292<br />


'Being with Objects' curatorial essay by Helen Stephens "Ceramics<br />

Art & Perception" <strong>No</strong> 19 1995 p.37<br />

2 ]. Zimmer "Throwing The Baby Out with the Bath Water" The<br />

Sydney Review October 1990 p.10<br />

3 N. Ioannou "Craft in Society - An Anthology of Perspectives" p.169<br />

vin<br />

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8 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ 1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

tic<br />

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Fergus Stewart<br />

From clay to kiln.<br />

Article by KA THY KITUAI.<br />

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Jug. Wood fired salt, 1995. 23h (cm).<br />

We are a long way from Scotland the day Fergus<br />

Stewart shows me photographs of his birthplace,<br />

Stonehaven, Aberdeen. We are sitting underneath<br />

vines growing over his studio at Strathnairn on the<br />

outskirts of Canberra, a blue wren at our feet like a<br />

sapphire on a velvet lawn, magpies warbling, geese<br />

grazing. An equally ideal landscape to the one in which<br />

Stewart experienced childhood, but I can't help wondering<br />

how growing up in Scotland by the sea has influenced the<br />

work of this potter.<br />

"I think tl1e work ethic is the most important thing", he<br />

replies, "It's an attitude to learning, to developing ... "<br />

Pragmatic, the answer doesn't immediately satisfy. He's<br />

just described the joy of clambering up a cliff to play in a<br />

12th Century castle. One thing is for certain. Stewart is<br />

restless, constantly shifts in his seat, doesn't seem<br />

comfortable while not involved in the process of making<br />

pots. Understandable. He began making pots as early as<br />

high school.<br />

''When I started off, I didn't see myself as an artist; I saw myself<br />

as a potter .. .! like the grand scale of art, you know, sculpture that<br />

you can climb on or sit on .. .it comes back to function."<br />

<strong>In</strong> essence, the rugged Scottish landscape has had effect<br />

after all. However, it's my tum to shift uncomfortably in my<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 9

Jacaranda bowl. Wood fired. 18d (cm).<br />

seat. As a poet, I'm struggling with new concepts arising<br />

from this foray into ceramics. Why this superfluous<br />

juxtaposition of artist and potter in the first place?<br />

Every ceramic magazine I've read compared functional<br />

with non-functional art. Surely aesthetic appreciation and<br />

concepts that occur in response to non-functional work are<br />

its function? Doesn't function differ only according to<br />

artistic endeavour, the purpose of the work?<br />

"What's the difference between sculpture and functional<br />

work? "$2000!" he quips facetiously, adding a much<br />

needed lighter touch to this debate.<br />

It must be frustrating to earn a living within a product<br />

orientated market when you're an artist who values the<br />

process of clay to kiln, sees it as a responsibility, as part of<br />

the whole. Recently when asked about making indigenous<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>n pots he remarked:<br />

"Working with materials fundamentally influences what<br />

you do. The clay dictates technically. If you're working like<br />

I do with the elements of the kiln, most of the time, then<br />

you're dealing with really indigenous materials. Clay<br />

behaves in lots of different ways. They're specific to the<br />

geographical location."<br />

Holistic, Stewart also rejects the term 'production work'<br />

as it implies a division of labour. Potters not involved in the<br />

whole process miss the point of hand made pots and<br />

originality. He acquired high standards early in his career,<br />

the first from Archie McColl, who had completed a studio<br />

based apprenticeship. McColl introduced him to what he<br />

thought were characteristics of a good pot; function,<br />

honesty, strong form and quality of glaze surface.<br />

This was the 70's, a time when studio pottery was<br />

blossoming in the United Kingdom, apprenticeship hard to<br />

find. He found a trainee position that taught the basics but<br />

not one that kept McCall's standards. Later he worked for<br />

Ian and Jennifer Macrae, and made pots more to his liking -<br />

functional stoneware with character and form, hand pulled<br />

handles, bowls with robust feet, the glazes that were in the<br />

traditional oriental style and reduction fired at 1300'C.<br />

Stewart's no-nonsense attitude to learning paid off. He<br />

set up Kailzie <strong>Pottery</strong> in the Scottish borders with Bruce<br />

Walford, built an oil fuel kiln, experimented using wood<br />

for reduction. <strong>In</strong> 1981 he accepted an offer to work again<br />

for the Macraes (Beaufort <strong>Pottery</strong>) who had moved to WA.<br />

Here he consolidated his skills. Even when he established<br />

his first independent studio in 1983, he was still learning,<br />

this time woodfiring.He became an apprentice yet again to<br />

the kiln. The attraction was not so much the romance of<br />

woodfiring as interest in warm and subtle surfaces that he<br />

api:<br />

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10 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE 3S/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

Tea pot. Salt glaze. 15h (cm).<br />

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appreciated in John Leach , Ian Jones and Gwyn Hanssen<br />

Pigott's work. I get the impression that Stewart is serving a<br />

lifetime apprenticeship. During 1983-88 he established<br />

glaze recipes that he still continues to use and develop.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w established at Strathnairn as a studio potter and<br />

teacher at the Canberra School of Arts, I'm no more<br />

surprised by his advice to students "Go and<br />

specialise ... explore your desire to create, but do that first!"<br />

than I am by the fact that he emphasises wheel skills,<br />

encourages with positive feedback, trial and error. "We<br />

must allow ourselves to fail".<br />

<strong>In</strong>itially Stewart left WA to join Ian Jones at Gundaroo,<br />

NSW. Eventually he set up another studio in Canberra, built<br />

a gas kiln, explored and developed various coper reduction<br />

glazes combined with wood ash. Strathnairn offers him the<br />

opportunity to explore woodfiring even further.<br />

A community arts property, Strathnairn provides studio<br />

space for emerging ceramic practitioners, much needed<br />

access to equipment and kilns as well as informal learning<br />

through cross fertilisation of ideas. All this in return for<br />

labour to develop the place further. However, none of<br />

these facilities would be possible if it weren't for the vision,<br />

cooperation and hard work applied by the Members of<br />

Strathnairn Ceramic Association <strong>In</strong>c. who have built both<br />

studios and kilns to suit diverse practise over the past few<br />

years. Stewart shows me 'before' photos of the property<br />

where building materials lean against the studio like junk<br />

at the local tip. I'm surrounded by well-kept lawns, newly<br />

planted trees, a vineyard in the distance, another kiln in<br />

progress and don't ask if this exchange is working.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w? He's restless again, says he has arrived at a<br />

jumping off point, doesn't fully explain. There is a kiln full<br />

of bonsai pots to unload.<br />

We have just completed lunch, the geese are grazing<br />

closer to the studio and I remark that what I like about<br />

geese is that they are just geese. One of his jugs holds my<br />

attention. What he likes about this jug is - it is what it is .. a<br />

jug. When are artists just artists? To surrender clay to kiln,<br />

experiment yet stay with functional art withiri an industry<br />

divided on an issue as artificial as non-functional verses<br />

functional art, is to specialise in more than work ethics.<br />

Made of soft clay, glaze and form synchronise; this jug<br />

surrenders to the direction of the clay. oo<br />

Kathy Kituai is a freelance writer and poet who has reviewed since<br />

1989. She is published locally and overseas and her first collection of<br />

poetry "green-shut-green" (Polonius) came out in 1994. She also<br />

facilitates creative writing courses in the ACT (six years) for ANU<br />

Continuing Education, Women's Referral Centre, Southern Adult<br />

Education and other ACT Community Centres.<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 11

Bill Samuels<br />

This is an article about pots. About the human values which for me<br />

are inherent in the process and the strength they impart to the finished work.<br />

I<br />

think of myself simply as a maker of pots and describe<br />

my occupation as artist potter.<br />

As a student at ESTC in the late 60s, I learnt something<br />

about ceramic technology, to throw, handbuild, glaze,<br />

pack and fire. There were also unwritten lessons that<br />

provoked thoughts about the pursuit of quality, the<br />

excitement of exploration and experimentation, and a<br />

realisation that mysteries would be unravelled slowly<br />

because of the inherent nature of working with clay. At the<br />

'end of it all' there were no guarantees of success, money<br />

or life style. To pursue a life in the arts was my own choice<br />

and its own reward, if any exists at all.<br />

The unwritten lessons have proved the most valuable<br />

tools for the endless journey. An exciting one, and<br />

impossible to achieve without the support and<br />

involvement of family and friends.<br />

Learning to throw and handbuild served as an<br />

introduction to clay in all its glory, plastic, non-plastic,<br />

refractory, white, yellow, red, pink, brown, all good stuff<br />

each with their own stories to tell. I like them all, getting<br />

to know them intimately takes time and patience and<br />

imparts a strength to the finished work that is the result of<br />

Wood fired Bottle<br />

a partnership between myself and the materials.<br />

I've worked with the one glaze for a long time and it has<br />

proved a useful means of measuring the differences in<br />

materials, packing and firing. Limiting the glaze options<br />

meant I could concentrate on exploring the close<br />

relationships between the fuel, kiln design and<br />

atmosphere, and my choice of materials. The outcome has<br />

been to expose a lot of the unique qualities of unprocessed<br />

materials, increasing the creative potential.<br />

I enjoy working in this back-to-front way because it<br />

'opens doors' to ways of solving problems in the studio<br />

that otherwise wouldn't be apparent. It has proven to<br />

me just how insignificant the glaze recipe is in the final<br />

solution, and how important it is to use the right<br />

materials and to get the firing process right. What I am<br />

trying to convey is the importance of attitude towards<br />

the whole process. This is as valuable to the making of<br />

good work as is a knowledge of the chemistry and<br />

technology.<br />

'Attitude' has the capacity to extend technology and<br />

even technique into other realms otherwise unimagined,<br />

and becomes the means whereby development continues.<br />

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12 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

Wood Fired Shino Dish. d45cm<br />

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Buying clay and glaze materials that have been prepared<br />

by industry to meet industrial requirements and firing in<br />

industrially designed kilns, is, as far as I can see, a<br />

complete contradiction to the reason for wanting to make<br />

studio work.<br />

I spent Christmas '95 in Japan, my first trip, visiting<br />

potters and friends and looking at how things have<br />

developed in a country with an incredibly long and<br />

unbroken tradition. It surprised me to see that artist potters<br />

there had much the same difficulties and concerns as we<br />

do in <strong>Australia</strong>. I guess I expected history would have<br />

resolved many of the issues facing artist potters today, but<br />

that didn't appear to be the case.<br />

<strong>In</strong> some ways their traditional knowledge has lost some<br />

of its relevance. The radical expansion of their ceramics<br />

industry this century has exhausted their supply of many<br />

materials. Japanese industry now imports clay from<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>, Africa, New Zealand and elsewhere. Traditional<br />

values and qualities originally derived from wood firing<br />

are having to be adapted to gas and electricity with<br />

obvious differences. Today local government has almost<br />

legislated the wood kiln out of use, and with the<br />

incredibly high cost of wood, (compared to here) many<br />

potters use gas and electricity out of necessity. Gas is<br />

imported. <strong>In</strong> towns like Tajimi and Toki the felspar for<br />

shino glaze has run out.<br />

I feel fortunate to have a training that included a strong<br />

element of self sufficiency, and for me that self sufficient<br />

element is the strength of the studio. My requirements,<br />

unlike those of industry, are so much smaller making even<br />

thin seams of materials viable. Sadly, in <strong>Australia</strong>n art<br />

institutions today these are the very aspects of studio<br />

independence that have been removed completely or<br />

watered down so far as to be almost useless, in favour of<br />

industrial attitudes and techniques.<br />

I've enjoyed my journey and learnt as much about<br />

myself as about ceramics. Going to Japan marked the end<br />

of something although I'm not sure exactly what, but for<br />

the first time in my potting career I feel as though I have<br />

finished my 'technical' training. I'll keep working in shino<br />

because it has all the familiarity of an old coat, and the<br />

thought of what comes next is exciting. oo<br />

Bill Samuels (047) 82 4303<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 13

JEI<br />

po<br />

Rig<br />

The Passion of Earthware<br />

Megan Patey responds to Ian Jones'<br />

article, 'The Passion of Stoneware" in the last issue.<br />

C<br />

C<br />

Megan Patey, oblong dish. Earthenware 1050°C. 30 x 25 (cm)<br />

an writes about "the passion and lure of wood firing and<br />

stoneware" which I can understand. However, in doing<br />

so he makes assessments about earthenware which I<br />

cannot accept.<br />

"Firing in an electric kiln is easy". Oh, if only it were so!<br />

Any technique is only "as easy" as the demands you place<br />

on it. I think the challenge is to discover the secrets and<br />

marvels contained within whichever technique you<br />

choose. Are Takeshi's pots "easy" because they were fired<br />

in an electric kiln? <strong>No</strong>, I think it showed the great insight of<br />

Takeshi to see and discover the possibilities of electric<br />

firing for his pots at that time. But the firing is only one<br />

piece in the jigsaw which makes wonderful pots and<br />

creative potters.<br />

I think we make great pots by intimately understanding<br />

whichever technique we choose to use. Whether we make<br />

earthenware or stoneware is irrelevant when the pots are<br />

good enough; great pots transcend boundaries. Bad pots<br />

can be made in any medium.<br />

Ian remarks that a customer has been using his<br />

stoneware bowls for 10-15 years and doubts whether<br />

earthenware would last that distance. I have plenty of<br />

customers who bought bowls from me 12 years ago who<br />

are still happily using them. To find a clay and glaze<br />

combination which produces the character and quality<br />

which you are searching for takes time and testing in<br />

whatever ceramic medium you choose.<br />

The character of earthenware and stoneware pots is<br />

quite different. My inspiration comes from all pots, in any<br />

medium, but my chosen technique to work in, will always<br />

be earthenware. I love the greater openness of the softer<br />

body, the satisfaction of the well formulated glaze, the<br />

directness of decoration and the link it can provide with<br />

our European past.<br />

I also make my tea every morning in a lovely woodfired<br />

stoneware teapot made by Ian Jones. oo<br />

Megan Patey's studio is located at 67 Colo Road, Colo Vale, NSW.<br />

14 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE 3S/I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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Out of the<br />

Ordinary<br />

JENNY ORCHARD's vessels explore the<br />

power of rituals in everyday life.<br />

Right: "Bunyip <strong>No</strong>1" 1995. h30cm<br />

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ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 15

M<br />

y functional work in<br />

clay arises from a<br />

struggle between my<br />

inner need to make personal<br />

objects which convey<br />

meaningful visual and<br />

emotional messages, my<br />

financial reality and the<br />

demands of the marketplace.<br />

Responding to the needs of<br />

the marketplace means staying<br />

alive financially whilst still<br />

working at an occupation I enjoy. An exploration of the<br />

medium directed at functional ends often leads to discoveries<br />

which can be useful when indulging in making work of a more<br />

esoteric, personal or metaphoric nature.<br />

There is also more to 'responding to the marketplace'<br />

than a knee jerk reaction to current fashion trends,<br />

responding to the here and now can be very challenging.<br />

'Tapping into the Zeitgeist' might be a more interesting<br />

way of looking at it.<br />

<strong>In</strong> the 60s and 70s making functional pottery by hand<br />

using real clay and simple methods seemed to signify a<br />

return to more basic fundamental and spiritual values. The<br />

European tradition of functional ceramics at that time was<br />

seen as cold and spiritless. Its function was perceived as<br />

displaying the wealth and social aspirations of the owner.<br />

Bernard Leach and his followers brought, via Japan, a<br />

new order where the more ordinary aspects of life, eating<br />

and drinking, could be elevated to a meaningful ritualistic<br />

experience. This idea, albeit in a much diluted form still<br />

resonates today. Both the maker and the user of hand<br />

made objects have incorporated it into their lives.<br />

<strong>In</strong> the early eighties Japanese aesthetics and Buddhist<br />

ideals were swept away for a while with the excitement of<br />

the Italian and Spanish New Wave design groups (Britain<br />

also had a New Wave at this time, but the English are<br />

always more idiosyncratic). The Italian design group<br />

'Memphis' headed by Ettore Sostas with the ceramic<br />

designer Matteu Thun had a large influence on my work at<br />

the time. I responded to the aesthetic as my tastes at the<br />

time were with the German Bauhaus movement and the<br />

Vienna Succession, and both these groups also directly<br />

influenced the Italian Memphis designers.<br />

<strong>Australia</strong> in the eighties was ready for them, anything<br />

bright, colourful and angular was in vogue, it might not<br />

express deep spiritual values but it was in Zeitgeist.<br />

This era might have had more in common with older<br />

traditional European values where beautiful decorative<br />

objects displayed the wealth of the owner. The early eighties<br />

was certainly a materialist era, but its influence on design is<br />

still felt. From each era with its rush of creative energy,<br />

when new forms are found a few classics will always<br />

emerge. <strong>In</strong> my own repetoire I still make a few shapes from<br />

,<br />

the same moulds made in<br />

1980.<br />

My functional work in the<br />

eighties tended to be hard<br />

edged and angular. I wanted<br />

the pieces to work as pure<br />

'form', to have a satisfying<br />

resolved aspect, but also be<br />

a little disquieting, to have<br />

something unexpected or<br />

bizarre about them. This I<br />

tried to achieve through the<br />

disparity between form and decoration, and the<br />

incompatability of the slip-cast form to its hand made<br />

additions and finishing.<br />

<strong>In</strong> the nineties diversity and multi-culturalism are the<br />

fashionable concepts. The hybrid is the most popular<br />

creature. These ideas allow for a freedom of expression<br />

which is liberating and challenging.<br />

I have always drawn on my past and inner life in my<br />

work as most people do, now this aspect is more<br />

celebrated, work can be more fun. This does not mean<br />

increased sales, however, everyone knows the<br />

'marketplace' for handmade objects is following the<br />

inflation rate and remaining boringly steady.<br />

The Bunyip series of teapots which began in 1993 and<br />

updates often (the range of creatures can stretch as far as<br />

the imagination) incorporates a nod to an English past via<br />

the Toby jug tradition, and illustrates the aboriginal myth of<br />

the swamp creature.<br />

I can also return often to the country where I grew up,<br />

Zimbabwe, this place and its people have undoubtedly<br />

had the biggest influence on my work, the interplay<br />

between content and form in African Art has always held a<br />

fascination. The Shona people from Zimbabwe are<br />

especially interesting, because they have no tradition of<br />

sculpture, but have created a uniquely recognisable art<br />

fonn from their own vision and their contact with western<br />

art of this century.<br />

I'm interested in the way culture always informs both<br />

content and form in art practice. <strong>Pottery</strong> being<br />

predominantly about form can rest on that alone, but it<br />

makes life interesting to extend beyond that sometimes.<br />

The 'Sap Chalice' series are about a fantasy dream world<br />

in which the substance contained in the chalice would be,<br />

when imbibed with the appropriate rituals, able to render<br />

the recipient with the power to communicate with plant<br />

life. Each chalice has a particular character and is able to<br />

transmit a special plant language.<br />

I find the language of clay both a challenge and a joy to<br />

work with.<br />

Jenny Orchard,<br />

329 Catherine Street, Leichardt, (02) 560 5706<br />

16 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

the<br />

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Above: Teapot and vase 1981. Below: "Love and Sap" vase <strong>1996</strong>, h30cms. Opposite: Sap chalices 1995.<br />

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ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 17

Cameron Williams<br />

The scope of the ceramic field offers a limitless range of possibilities,<br />

both in the development of skills and the expression of an artiist's observations.<br />

Excellence and scale are the considerations foremost in<br />

my work. There exists in my work a solid grounding<br />

in practical skills centred on the development of large<br />

wheel-thrown vessels. The discipline required to develop<br />

understanding and techniques necessary to the making of<br />

pieces with a high degree of difficulty is the first step on<br />

"Oranges" platter. E/W, underglazes. 45d (cm).<br />

the road to mastery. The production of a masterpiece is the<br />

ambition of any serious artist regardless of the medium he<br />

employs; my aspirations lie in this direction.<br />

The fulfilment of large-scale corporate commissions has<br />

provided the opportunity to accept new challenges in the field<br />

of site specific works and the development of skills in<br />

con<br />

}<br />

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18 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

! large<br />

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CJ<br />

5<br />

5:<br />

construction and design unavailable through formal education.<br />

Accredited Ceramics courses offer a valuable starting<br />

point for those interested in developing a career in the<br />

production or manufacture of marketable ceramic objects,<br />

be they decorative or functional, or both. The experience<br />

gained through post-formal professional application<br />

cannot be replaced by institution-hopping since the act of<br />

addressing the marketplace requires an independence and<br />

self-determination denied to those dependent on<br />

government support. Teaching is a shared benefit. The<br />

sharing of knowledge is rewarded by the personal<br />

development of the student, and effective teaching<br />

requires a solid body of work from both. Teaching has<br />

given me the opportunity to consolidate and communicate<br />

a broad sense of knowledge and practical skill necessary to<br />

approach the practise of potting on a commercial basis.<br />

<strong>In</strong> the fifteen years since my graduation from East<br />

Sydney Technical College and the subsequent completion<br />

of a traineeship at Lyrebird Ridge <strong>Pottery</strong> in Springbrook,<br />

Queensland, I have handled in excess of three hundred<br />

tonnes of clay in the making of a diverse range of<br />

objects,including giant urns, vases, platters, domestic wares<br />

and sculpture. <strong>In</strong> the sphere of wheel-thrown work I<br />

identify three types of wares - flat, open and enclosed. <strong>In</strong><br />

each of these categories I have completed work varying in<br />

scale from an egg-cup to a small car. <strong>In</strong> so doing I have<br />

developed a repository of skills which I am able to draw<br />

upon when designing or making an object - be it for a<br />

specific set of criteria defined by a client, or a speculative<br />

venture aimed at the free market.<br />

With the refinement of the techniques required to produce<br />

works came the need to reacquaint myself with the<br />

decorative and design options in the field of small scale<br />

wares. During my exploration of prototype forms, maquettes<br />

and models, the resolution of large scale forms unfolds in<br />

miniature at an accelerated rate. I can then translate the form,<br />

decoration and surface treatment to the larger format. The<br />

skills thus developed have helped me extend the range of<br />

my activity with current work into highly decorated<br />

earthenware, functional stoneware and terracotta vessels.<br />

Collaborative work with Bill Samuels , wood-firing<br />

stoneware has given me a greater insight into a more<br />

refined aesthetic, an appreciation of simplicity and beauty<br />

and an empathy for materials and their effects. The woodfiring<br />

process raises new questions about the degree of<br />

control the potter enjoys over the final result.<br />

<strong>In</strong> contrast to the predictable nature of my decorated<br />

earthenware, the criteria for success in wood firing<br />

depends largely on the natural forces at work in the kiln,<br />

over which the potter has varying degrees of control. By<br />

this token the exceptional pieces that emerge from a<br />

woodfiring take on greater significance because of the<br />

uniqueness. By embracing and attempting to understand<br />

this principle, I hope to integrate the value of a traditional<br />

aesthetic in my future work.<br />

Vase. E/W, underglazes. 30h (cm) .<br />

The opportunity to move into the historic buildings<br />

remaining at the site of the old Lithgow <strong>Pottery</strong> provided<br />

access not only to a creative space and gallery, but also<br />

to the tradition of pottery in <strong>Australia</strong> and a sense of<br />

place within that tradition. I feel a strong connection to<br />

the pioneers of <strong>Australia</strong>n ceramics both past and<br />

present. Lithgow <strong>Pottery</strong> is an appropriate platform for<br />

the furtherance of the tradition of excellence in<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>n ceramics.<br />

<strong>In</strong> the pursuit of various disciplines,plus the development<br />

and applications of diverse techniques, I hope to achieve a<br />

standard of excellence that satisfies my personal<br />

expectations of a world standard <strong>Australia</strong>n potter. oo<br />

Cameron Williams<br />

Old Lithgow <strong>Pottery</strong>, Silcock Street, Lithgow 2790, Ph: 063 514 483<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 19

'Being With Objects'<br />

An exhibition of contemporary ceramics by Patsy Hely, Susan Ostling and Toni Warburton.<br />

Curated by Helen Stephens, the exhibition is being toured by Orange Regional Gallery.<br />

BEING W IT<br />

0 B J E C T<br />

This exhibition was seen in<br />

Sydney at the Craftspace<br />

Gallery and has toured to<br />

Orange, Lismore, Shepparton and<br />

Wollongong. It will soon be seen in<br />

Wagga Wagga and Townsville. The<br />

project was assisted by funding<br />

through the <strong>Australia</strong> Council.<br />

Patsy Hely described this<br />

exhibition as a meditation on<br />

domestic objects and the issues<br />

surrounding them. The exhibition<br />

makes reference to the traditions of<br />

use for objects as well as the ceramic<br />

traditions that each of the artists<br />

choose to work with and against.<br />

Ultimately it is seen that the user, or<br />

viewer, of these, or any, objects will create their own<br />

relationship with, and values for, the objects.<br />

As a further investigation of these ideas, a forum was<br />

held at the opening of the exhibition in Wollongong<br />

consisting of curator Helen Stephens, the three artists and<br />

invited guests Jim Logan, Diana Wood-Conroy Virginia<br />

Hollister. The Chair was Ivana Jirasek. This article contains<br />

some of the issues raised at this forum by two of the<br />

speakers and by the curator. The speakers are reflecting on<br />

the work, its conceptual base and their reaction to it.<br />

Helen Stephens, curator: The rationale for this<br />

exhibition was to attempt to reveal some of the discourses<br />

that lay behind simple, ordinary domestic objects of utility<br />

as a refutation of the more general assumption that<br />

functional objects are unworthy of critical attention.<br />

I think all of us know that such a discourse, denying any<br />

meaning and value in relation to simple domestic objects,<br />

is no longer valid and that any object carries with it a<br />

considerable number of loadings - in its consideration<br />

within a social history, in theories of<br />

the aesthetic and other cultural<br />

implications.<br />

But within the context of<br />

exhibitions of craft objects,<br />

particularly functional ware usually<br />

produced in some form of<br />

production - either unlimited<br />

production or series - little criticism<br />

was being afforded. 'Being With<br />

Objects' has attempted to present a<br />

framework within which a series of<br />

dialogues might occur.<br />

For me this meant seeking out<br />

what I call the more democratic<br />

objects, a series of objects which<br />

were both themselves - domestic<br />

objects of utility but also representative of - to use Susan<br />

Ostling's term 'acts and experiences' in relation to those<br />

objects and to everyday life.<br />

My initial inquiries focused on the sort of objects that I<br />

perceived to be most common and basic - objects that<br />

might be used in the most unselfconscious way.<br />

I considered at first that this unselfconsciousness of use<br />

was because such objects came to us initially uncoded but<br />

eventually became loaded with cultural meaning; our<br />

society seems to ensure this and the more I think about it,<br />

the more I realise that it is impossible to strip these, or any<br />

other simple, ordinary domestic objects of their cultural<br />

loadings.<br />

However, I do think it is possible to offload much of this<br />

cultural baggage and that in fact, most of us do this much<br />

of the time within the domestic sphere. That is to say that,<br />

even a product that begins its life witl1 a dominant overlay<br />

of style or fashion or design might eventually become<br />

exhausted within the domestic sphere where other desires<br />

come into play.<br />

Susan Ostling, Craftspace 1995<br />

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20 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

of<br />

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<strong>In</strong> the catalogue essay I have quoted from Michel de<br />

Certeau's book, 'The Practices of Everyday Life' in which<br />

he describes this action as "the artisan-like inventiveness of<br />

the user, sometimes called consumer", in the way that<br />

products, time, space and so on are used by ordinary<br />

people in their everyday lives.<br />

I see this independent functioning of the individual within<br />

a totalising system of mass produced forms and technologies,<br />

being akin to a ghetto street cunning<br />

undermining the power of high tech<br />

or, in some ways, applying high tech<br />

against the system - keeping the<br />

system pure.<br />

The other imperative that wraps<br />

itself around this exhibition is a<br />

concern for the environment and<br />

environmental sustainability - we<br />

can't keep producing and<br />

reproducing at the same rate with the<br />

same waste - we are all aware of this.<br />

So from this develops the idea of<br />

taking care.<br />

To summarise the exhibition's<br />

rationale: it is an attempt to reveal the<br />

considerable human value,<br />

intelligence, activity and<br />

inventiveness that is evident in the<br />

relationship that we have with<br />

domestic objects of utility.<br />

Also , the project's aim, which<br />

finally relies on the evidence of the<br />

work presented by each of the artists,<br />

was to encourage a critical appraisal of the functional<br />

object within a theoretical framework which we might call<br />

the autonomy of activity within the domestic space, but<br />

which I think spills out into a whole lot of other issues and<br />

ideas.<br />

As I wrote in the introduction for the catalogue - we are,<br />

each in our own way, attempting to examine ideas that are<br />

not fully worked over in contemporary craft practice, ideas<br />

that involve theatre, performance, ritual, ordinariness,<br />

being and taking care.<br />

Diana Wood-Conroy: I am interested in looking at the<br />

resonances objects have with their viewers over time,<br />

particularly functional objects. These platters and bowls of<br />

Susan Ostling's are like sheets of white paper waiting to be<br />

inscribed with image and narrative. From my training as an<br />

archaeologist looking at great numbers of potsherds,<br />

objects only make sense if they are discovered in a<br />

particular context. Without a provenance, without knowing<br />

which place, their meaning can only be diffuse and<br />

uncertain. It is the links with other facets of a culture that<br />

give meaning.<br />

These sets of objects remind me of a small chipped<br />

white basin I own, with fluted sides, part of a set that<br />

nested together once, but as Patsy Hely reminds us - the<br />

others in this particular nest are gone. It's a rather ordinary,<br />

1950's functional item. But it came from my grandmother's<br />

rambling old house, a place of overflowing family, cousins,<br />

dogs, cats and a chaotic kitchen with<br />

a large white marble slab for<br />

chopping meat. It came into my<br />

possession with a Christmas<br />

pudding tied up in an old bit of<br />

white linen, made by my mother.<br />

Looked at alone, my basin is<br />

unremarkable and anonymous, but<br />

in its context can evoke a whole<br />

history of domestic ware, and of<br />

family custom. To me these works<br />

have a sophistication, a pared-back<br />

quality which demonstrates the<br />

energy and momentum of <strong>Australia</strong>n<br />

ceramics since the craft revival of the<br />

late 60's. Since the making-do<br />

depression years <strong>Australia</strong>n potters<br />

have engaged in a profound<br />

dialogue with Japanese traditions,<br />

with English medieval traditions,<br />

with Italian earthenware, with pop<br />

and funk, to name only a few<br />

influences. <strong>In</strong> Japan the 'tea<br />

Patsy Hely, coffee pot<br />

ceremony' of Buddhism included tea<br />

bowls that had to have exactly the right aura of 'no-mind',<br />

a certain roughness and artlessness had to be exquisitely<br />

inscribed as the desired spiritual state of the tea drinkers -<br />

not unlike Patsy Hely's gently awkward set of cups.<br />

The great decorated earthenware traditions of the<br />

Mediterranean celebrated the eating and preparation of<br />

food. Susan Ostling's platters and bowls seem to wait for<br />

some great feast, a marriage or a funeral. Then for a while<br />

their nuanced quietness will become part of pivotal human<br />

emotions, which will fix them in individual and public<br />

memory.<br />

Domestic objects used for food preparation have an<br />

anonymity (pointed out by <strong>No</strong>rman Bryson in his 'Looking<br />

at the Overlooked') because, set apart from style and<br />

fashion, if their shapes are satisfactory, they hardly change<br />

over hundreds of years. Patsy Hely can mix and match past<br />

and present over generations because of this continuity. <strong>In</strong><br />

a sequence of pottery in an archaeological excavation, the<br />

storage jars and cooking vessels hardly change. Sappho and<br />

Sophocles - separated by hundreds of years - could have<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 21

ecognised the same shape<br />

of an oil jar, a waterpot or<br />

wine container.<br />

The powerful silence of<br />

such 'ordinary' objects as<br />

philosophical metaphor,<br />

has been depicted by still<br />

life painters in the<br />

European tradition from<br />

Pompeii to Morandi who<br />

recognise the significance<br />

of the chipped white basin<br />

in the melee of our lives.<br />

Another category of<br />

objects shown here, would<br />

also have been instantly<br />

recognised by the ancients<br />

- Tony Warburton's pieces<br />

call to mind the ritual that<br />

was part of the everyday in<br />

the classical times I am<br />

familiar with. The votive<br />

vessel is one of the most frequent finds since the beginning<br />

of settled life - dedicated to the deity as a sign, and hope,<br />

of abundance. I recently visited the sanctuary of Demeter<br />

and Persephone at Eleusis near Athens, where the vessels<br />

that were central to the famous 'mysteries' were at the<br />

heart of the imagery of the cult. Tiny votive vases were<br />

once filled with many different kinds of seeds, oil and<br />

honey, and presented on an earthenware platter. The<br />

multiple convolutions of Tony Warburton's pieces<br />

particularly recall these complex votive vases.<br />

'Being with Objects' makes reference to me to many<br />

histories. These three artists refer, with poetic and highly<br />

sensitive associations, to the grass roots, the great strength<br />

of craft - the traditions of functional ware that have always<br />

enhanced and enriched the lives of the servers as well as<br />

the served, and particularly the lives of women.<br />

'Enclosure and Distance,' VIRGINIA HOLLISTER: A<br />

central issue to ceramics which can be used functionally is<br />

containment. Robert Nelson's first definition of a functional<br />

object is "to be an envelope, to enclose volume, to be a<br />

negative space". (1) Certainly all the work in 'Being With<br />

Objects' has the potential for use. One might bath a baby<br />

or make a Christmas pudding in Susan Ostling's vessels;<br />

Patsy Hely's tea pots, cups and jugs invite exploratory use;<br />

and Toni Warburton's bowls and vases await their<br />

complements of food and flowers. But what do these<br />

objects, in this context, contain?<br />

I sense that the primary function of these objects is<br />

contemplation. Their emptiness, vacancy and potentiality is<br />

for the mind to fill. <strong>In</strong> this context they are completed by<br />

the viewer's imagination rather than the viewer's use. The<br />

distance between the<br />

'real' use and the<br />

metaphysical,<br />

imaginative use is<br />

underlined by the<br />

necessary physical<br />

restrictions placed on<br />

works and viewers in an<br />

art gallery space.<br />

There is a distance<br />

between the here and<br />

now of being with these<br />

objects, and the<br />

memories these objects<br />

evoke - memories of<br />

washing and cooking, of<br />

tin tea pots and bakelite<br />

and old toast racks,<br />

memories and hints of<br />

landscape remembered,<br />

of the ocean and far hills<br />

- memories of things<br />

seen, done, touched and felt.<br />

There is also the very real distance established in the<br />

presentation of all the objects, none of which utilises the<br />

neutral gallery white plinth. Susan Ostling's work floats<br />

within panes of glass and beyond a heavy steel frame.<br />

They are definitely not 'accessible' and do not invite<br />

touching or embrace. On the floor below the objects, a<br />

white powder shadow of a vessel-shape further<br />

underscores their distance from an easy functionality.<br />

Patsy Hely's work floats on delicate high structures just<br />

below eye level in intimate view. Some of the surfaces on<br />

which they sit suggest clinical examination whilst others<br />

the familiarity of a kitchen dish drainer. The objects thus<br />

oscillate between dearly intimate and cool detachment.<br />

Toni Warburton's low open vessels are offered on<br />

humble stools on what appear to be upturned trays. Their<br />

distance below the viewer ensures contact with the<br />

suggestions of distant cultures and landscapes conveyed in<br />

the surface language. On the other hand, the wall vases are<br />

too high to interact with their interior volumes, instead<br />

their placement evokes the placement of curtains tied back<br />

in a real room, at another place.<br />

<strong>In</strong> all cases the viewer has both the objects in the<br />

exhibition before them, and images of objects remembered<br />

and desired evoked in their imagination. This is a fruitful<br />

duality and tension as the whole show vibrated between<br />

those modes of distance, memory, image, presence and<br />

potentiality. oo<br />

Toni Warburton, table vase.<br />

Exhibition Dates:<br />

March 1 -April 7, Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery<br />

May 17 -June 30 Pere Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville<br />

22 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN I 996

the<br />

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The Meaning of Function<br />

'Divorcing craft from use is dangerous. Use factors control key aspects of form and meaning'<br />

(John Perrault). Janet deBoos investigates the truths of function and its relation to her work.<br />

on<br />

1eir<br />

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l in<br />

are<br />

:ad<br />

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Above: "Memories of the Domestic Life I" Teacups 1991.<br />

On the occasion of Louis Malle's recent death he<br />

was quoted in an obituary as saying:<br />

"When I started I showed off a lot, that's what you<br />

do, to show you're good. Everything is fuss, and then at<br />

some point you realise there's only one way to do<br />

something, and it's very simple. Some people never<br />

achieve simplicity. Most people. But the best artists ... little<br />

by little they clean up the anecdote."<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 23

Perhaps that's what my work is about - little by little,<br />

cleaning up the anecdote.<br />

<strong>In</strong> 1985 I experienced a kind of epiphany. Until then I<br />

had been making domestic ware and thinking of each<br />

piece (in the prevailing way) as individual, self sufficient.<br />

But they weren't. <strong>In</strong> the same way that icebergs and lichens<br />

conceal more than they show, the individual pots on the<br />

production line were covering up a big secret when they<br />

paraded independently in galleries and craft shops. Their<br />

relationship to all the other pots in their production run<br />

was the secret and the only one who knew about it was<br />

me. Since then my work has focussed almost entirely on<br />

functional pottery, the nature of its production and the<br />

meaning of function.<br />

The meaning changes over time as one constantly<br />

renegotiates the importance of use/non use. At present<br />

usefulness seems paramount - to quote John Perrault 1<br />

'Divorcing crafts from use is dangerous. Use factors<br />

control key aspects of form and meaning.'<br />

But despite this emphasis on function, I pref er the term<br />

domestic ware as it describes the site of use. It is that place<br />

of everydayness, the last frontier of the true hero/ines.<br />

Where there is still time to occasionally idle over life. To<br />

reflect, to indulge in ' ... the slightly bored melancholy<br />

which nurtures (our) imagination' 2<br />

The very ordinariness of the site of so many of our social<br />

rituals. They may not be the major dinner parties and large<br />

family dinners of the past, but the shared cup of coffee<br />

standing at the sink (or the lone cup for that matter), the<br />

bowl of cereal filled and eaten while standing in the sun,<br />

even the stacking of the dishwasher.<br />

Amanda Lohrey suggests 3<br />

'The politics of the kitchen may be the only remaining<br />

place where the individual is able to assume some control<br />

over his/her environment.'<br />

Why just last night a Dutch friend dropped by and we<br />

had the leftover chicken livers on black bread toast "just<br />

like my Dutch grandmother used to do" and ate them off<br />

the square tenmoku plates and drank a good red wine.<br />

And when I washed up this morning I handled the plates<br />

and remembered the conversation and thought of the<br />

fragment of additional history that those plates had<br />

acquired.<br />

This capacity that pottery has to insinuate itself into<br />

peoples' lives is a great strength (and perhaps a great<br />

weakness as it removes it from the eye of the critic who is<br />

necessary for its survival as a considered art practice). The<br />

discourse between maker and user changes emphasis in<br />

the trajectory from concept to incorporation in the<br />

domestic milieu. The initial stage is maker dominant, the<br />

final stage is user dominant. If the work is sold through<br />

outlets, the gallery or shop owner intercepts that trajectory<br />

and reinvents the work by the way in which they talk<br />

about it and display it. If the work is sold through<br />

exhibition then I can exercise greater control over the<br />

interpretations placed on it. There, however it is still<br />

subject to the response of critics or reviewers. <strong>In</strong> a lot of<br />

respects they are accomplices in the "making" of the work<br />

and "remake" it when they write about it.<br />

There is also the consideration of what actually happens<br />

when use is lost in pottery making. This can happen by the<br />

user's act of putting a pot "up with the good china" or by<br />

the artist consciously denying use in the making. There has<br />

been a great deal of this latter sort of ceramic work around<br />

over the last ten or fifteeen years - 'vessels' I think they<br />

were usually called. I found myself drawn to those that<br />

made very strong reference to the usable.<br />

A series called "Memories of the Domestic Life " '<br />

occupied me for several years where the resonance<br />

between use/non-use, intimacy/ distance and present/past<br />

was examined using both functional and non functional<br />

pots. The non functional pieces (which were a kind of<br />

fictional artifact) were made with soft crumbling surfaces<br />

and were dry glazed, the functional pots (actual artifacts)<br />

were plain white porcelain.<br />

But through all this period the production continued.<br />

Like the beat of one's heart, it was necessary for the life of<br />

the imagination.<br />

The idea of the work dispersing, yet still existing<br />

conceptually was an increasing obsession.<br />

An exhibition in 1995 at the Performance Space curated<br />

by Gillian McCracken was an opportunity to work further<br />

with that idea. <strong>In</strong> a collaboration with a filmmaker and a<br />

musician 4 I produced a piece that spoke not only about its<br />

wholeness and subsequent fragmentation, but also about<br />

these bowls being the only remnant of my performance for<br />

one. A kind of souvenir, a concrete record of that act of<br />

making. All the bowls at first glance seemed identical but<br />

were actually different in several ways. They were sold<br />

separately, and so each (or each set) was destined to be<br />

"completed" differently by its new owner. Thus the<br />

variation inherent in them 5 would be amplified by the way<br />

in which they would be used.<br />

There was also another kind of difference and that was<br />

of a temporal nature.<br />

As one works on making large numbers of the "same"<br />

form and doesn't work to a ruler (as I didn't) the forms<br />

change day by day in subtle and unanticipated ways. It<br />

was possible to tell the pots made on one day from<br />

another. They were marked by time and conversly marked<br />

time. I had always been aware that the forms of my<br />

production had changed over the years but this was a new<br />

experience to see it over such a short time.<br />

This has led to another exploration - the production of<br />

the one kind of form made in one continuous sequence<br />

and exhibited as a whole -but with no attempt to make<br />

them seem the same. Just the same action. They are<br />

explorations of the relationship between form and time.<br />

Thi<br />

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24 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ 1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

the<br />

;till<br />

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s)<br />

They mark out time in a regular/ irregular way and so are<br />

like days, moments that sometimes fly and at other times<br />

crawl.<br />

Although I am making these in large grids at the<br />

moment, I think I would like to have them of a size that<br />

would be at home in the domestic space. That way, the<br />

owner/user would be able to 'enter' the work, rearrange it,<br />

complete it by making choices in how they used it.<br />

Ceramics has been subject to aesthetic analysis for a<br />

long time and was greatly in need of a new language. Craft<br />

has at last found one (as is evidenced by the increasing<br />

amounts of intelligent writing on the subject) and<br />

hopefully this will extend to ceramics. The idea that the<br />

things one makes become part of the material culture of<br />

our times is exciting - the journey from studio to historic<br />

artifact is a potential for every piece.<br />

Ceramics by its very nature, its processes, has never<br />

been part of the avant garde. But as Ronald Kuchta 6<br />

suggests, it is perhaps a better repository of cultural history<br />

than many other media.<br />

We humans want histories, and if we don't have them<br />

we will invent them to give meaning to our lives. As the<br />

nature of history has changed,the crafts generally, and<br />

ceramics particularly, have benefitted and have become<br />

ideal vehicles for the creation of these stories. But there is<br />

no one answer, no absolute truth. As Anne Stevenson 7<br />

says:<br />

'I disagree with ... (the contention) ... that the pursuit of<br />

the absolute has anything to do with the pursuit of truth.<br />

Truth is, in its nature, multiple and contradictory, part of<br />

the flux of history, untrappable in language.'<br />

And in clay too I would guess.<br />

So maybe all the above is not really the reason why I<br />

make domestic ware. Perhaps it's because it sure beats<br />

running a carpet cleaning business. <strong>In</strong> the hierarchies of<br />

work we all gravitate to that which is least unpleasant for<br />

the return it gives us in job satisfaction and cash. And there<br />

are those few of us who are lucky enough to work at<br />

something we really like, which despite our enjoyment of<br />

it has its slow days. And so perhaps it's all a construct,<br />

designed consciously or unconsciously to entertain and<br />

exercise one's intellect on those slow days. Then again it<br />

might be what making domestic ware is all about. oo<br />

Janet DeBoos<br />

Bennagui Road, Tanja, NSW 2550. Telephone (06) 249 5822.<br />

Crafts is Art: <strong>No</strong>tes on Crafts, on Art, on Criticism The Eloquent<br />

Object, Philbrook Museum of Art. University of Washington Press.<br />

Washington USA.1987<br />

2 Sylvia Plath quoted in The Silent Woman, Janet Malcolm. Picador<br />

London. 1994 p82<br />

3 <strong>Australia</strong>n Book Review Dec95/Jan96 p34<br />

4 Christine Olsen and Tony King. The video used as part of the<br />

installation featured a soundtrack made by electronically<br />

manipulating my voice as I talked about the process of making.<br />

5 For they were all unique in fonn.<br />

6 Aquired Identities in Contemporary Ceramics. Ceramic Art &<br />

Perception 15 1994 p<strong>35</strong><br />

7 Biographer of Sylvia Plath quoted in The Silent Woman op cit p.80<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 25

Dining Out in Style<br />

Designers and chefs combine talents in an exciting South <strong>Australia</strong>n contemporary craft project.<br />

Article by BRIDGETTE MINUZZO.<br />

I<br />

f you are dining out in style later this year in South<br />

<strong>Australia</strong> you could be eating off some rather special<br />

tableware. Well designed, functional tableware is a result<br />

of a collaboration between teams of winemakers,<br />

restaurateurs and craftspeople, an exciting initiative of the<br />

Crafts Council of South <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

Coined the Crafts Council's Food and Wine Project, this<br />

collaborative process will result in original, high quality<br />

tableware designed by the participating teams and<br />

manufactured by the individual craftspeople. The project<br />

will culminate in a glossy, full colour, full flavour, dropdead<br />

gorgeous, calendar for 1997 which will be published<br />

by Wakefield Press.<br />

The calendar will be launched to coincide with the Year of<br />

Good Living Down Under, a nation-wide tourism campaign<br />

in 1997 to promote international tourism to <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

The Crafts Council received a marketing project grant<br />

from the <strong>Australia</strong> Council with the aim of raising the profile<br />

and promoting the image of well designed contemporary<br />

craft made in South <strong>Australia</strong>. The key ideas were to<br />

explore and develop links between South <strong>Australia</strong>'s<br />

designer-makers, restaurateurs and wine producers and to<br />

develop potential niche markets for limited production<br />

items and inventive one-offs. The project also gives<br />

craftspeople an opportunity to enhance their product<br />

development, marketing and promotion skills.<br />

The project did not initially aim to secure sales, but<br />

commissions have resulted. Most people want tableware<br />

designed for a specific style of food and unique to the<br />

commissioning establishment.<br />

During this project the participating craftspeople faced<br />

many challenges - the process of collaboration itself, a<br />

potential digression from their standard craft practices, the<br />

exacting quality standards required for the hospitality<br />

industry and the design challenge to make something<br />

appropriate for the venue, yet inherently functional.<br />

I spoke to the ceramists participating in the project and<br />

found that it had been an invaluable experience for them.<br />

Ceramist Jill Foster teamed up with Don's Table, a chic<br />

little establishment run by former South <strong>Australia</strong>n Premier<br />

and arts patron, Don Dunstan, on <strong>No</strong>rwood Parade. At<br />

their first meeting Jill presented her portfolio to Don and<br />

chef Stephen Cheng and discussed examples of her high<br />

fired stoneware. Jill's use of brushwork and her love of the<br />

Japanese aesthetic is shared by both Don and Stephen.<br />

Stephen had definite ideas and wanted an oven-to-table<br />

oval shaped platter to sit in the centre of the table for<br />

serving shared entrees. The brief was for a platter with a<br />

very subtle finish using the restaurant's logo in Sumie<br />

brushwork. Jill, who usually works on the wheel, had to<br />

experiment with another clay body and use a drape mould<br />

to produce the platter as time didn't permit the<br />

development of a slip cast form. Jill said she found it<br />

frustrating not being able to develop a prototype fully.<br />

Her advice to other practitioners undertaking<br />

collaborations is not to shift technique too much, as this<br />

could be frustrating for both parties, especially under the<br />

constraints of a tight deadline.<br />

The bright metallic green decorative finish preferred by<br />

the chef had to be modified, as Jill fires to stoneware<br />

temperatures and cannot achieve bright colours. However<br />

the durability of stoneware is practical for use under<br />

restaurant conditions. Jill agreed that the experience was a<br />

challenge and said she enjoyed the opportunity to extend<br />

her ideas and skill.<br />

Margo Kellett teamed up with Chef Jo McCreanor from<br />

the Salopian <strong>In</strong>n, McLaren Vale. She found the easiest way<br />

to discuss design and finish was to make up small<br />

decorated samples. Margo used these samples to test her<br />

mid fire EW clay bodies and glazes under the harsh<br />

treatment of an industrial microwave oven and dishwasher.<br />

The Salopian <strong>In</strong>n is surrounded by vineyards which led to<br />

Margo's choice of a bold grape motif (pictured). Discussions<br />

with the chef and his preference for serving food on platters<br />

and open bowls led to a change in the form of the salad bowl.<br />

Margo believes one needs to be flexible about form and<br />

decoration in order to design something to please both parties.<br />

Aware of the tight budget on which a restaurant<br />

operates, Margo saw a niche market for unique feature<br />

pieces or accessories which would fit in with the decor and<br />

compliment the food rather than a complete dinner setting.<br />

I asked Margo what she gained from this project. She<br />

said that she enjoyed the design process, the collaboration<br />

opportunity with the chef and the challenge of conforming<br />

to the requirements.<br />

Georgia Rydon, ceramist, and Russell Jeavons, chef at<br />

Coriole Wines Willunga, have a long standing professional<br />

relationship. When she and Russell shared adjacent work<br />

spaces, Georgia used to make special serving vessels<br />

which he used in his cooking classes.<br />

Georgia felt that the secret to a successful collaboration was<br />

open communication and a mutual investment in the outcome.<br />

Georgia felt that the environment most strongly<br />

influenced the design of the product for this project. Russell<br />

ha:<br />

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43,<br />

26 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

a<br />

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has a wonderfully unique restaurant that includes an<br />

outdoor wood-fired oven, around which he has rebuilt a<br />

kitchen. The building, in limestone and galvanised iron, has<br />

an old world atmosphere and Georgia felt it was important<br />

to keep the ceramics low key. Russell's overriding<br />

requirement was that the tableware be suitable for oven-totable<br />

use, as the wood-fired oven is used extensively in his<br />

cooking. Georgia found it useful to design and manufacture<br />

samples, determining their aesthetic appeal within the<br />

restaurant environment and testing them out in the kitchen.<br />

Peta van Rood outlined the phases of her collaboration<br />

with chef Rob Kolencik of the Botanic Gardens restaurant.<br />

The initial contact was made easier as Rob has worked at<br />

functions organised at Ashton Hills Winery, owned by<br />

Peta's partner, Stephen George.<br />

The next stages were the discussion of specific objects,<br />

the design process, the manufacture of prototypes and<br />

the testing and evaluation of these samples.<br />

The final stage was a commission. Rob wanted a<br />

tall salad bowl for his high and rather sculptural<br />

salads. He was attracted to the organic shapes and<br />

strong colours of Peta's work but requested a white<br />

dish with limited colour, her characteristic bright<br />

blue which complements the salads so well. This<br />

meant Peta had to experiment with clear glazes to<br />

find one which wouldn't craze over the body.<br />

Peta says that when seeking a restaurant to<br />

approach "I would look for a place where I would<br />

love to see my work and a chef whose approach<br />

to food appeals to me".<br />

Besides ceramics, the project involved craftspeople<br />

working in glass and metal. All of those involved have<br />

gained much from the experience and this process is<br />

really only the beginning of a relationship that will<br />

bear fruit for those committed to good design in<br />

contemporary tableware to enhance the excellent food<br />

and wine culture and lifestyle enjoyed in South <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

Participating venues for those people fortunate<br />

enough to be able to visit the establishments.<br />

• Rockford Wines, Barossa Valley<br />

• Coriole Wines, Willunga<br />

• The Aristologist, Uraidla<br />

• Salopian <strong>In</strong>n, McLaren Vale<br />

• Maggie Beer chef, Barossa Valley<br />

• Magill Estate Restaurant, Adelaide<br />

• Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Adelaide<br />

• Don's Table, <strong>No</strong>rwood<br />

• Blakes Restaurant, Hyatt Regency Hotel Adelaide<br />

• Eagle on the Hill Hotel, Adelaide Hills<br />

• Ann Oliver, chef<br />

• Universal Wine Bar, Adelaide<br />

Project Co-ordinated by Jane Williams, Crafts Council of<br />

South <strong>Australia</strong>. Calendar published by Wakefield Press,<br />

43 Wakefield St, Kent Town, SA 5067.<br />

Margot Kellet, design for<br />

Salopian <strong>In</strong>n, Mclaren Vale<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 27

erris has been making pots for fifteen years, and over<br />

the past decade has developed a solid commitment to<br />

underglaze decoration. Her work has been sold through<br />

leading galleries in <strong>Australia</strong> and overseas, including the Art<br />

Gallery of New South Wales and the Los Angeles Museum of<br />

Contemporary Art. Gluch, a second-generation potter, has<br />

been working in the profession for twenty-three years and is<br />

highly regarded as a specialist mould-maker. He has taught at<br />

the National Art School, East Sydney, since 1980 and his<br />

work has also been sold throughout <strong>Australia</strong> and overseas.<br />

Examples are currently represented in Sydney's Powerhouse<br />

Museum as well as several major Japanese galleries.<br />

The Art of<br />

Successful<br />

Collaboration<br />

Two Sydney-based potters, Janna Ferris and<br />

Ivan Gluch, have developed a rare<br />

working relationship in the field of contemporary<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>n craft.<br />

Article by PATRICIA R McDONALD.<br />

Ferris and Gluch shared a workshop in Glebe for almost<br />

ten years, and during that time, often discussed the<br />

possibilities of working together on joint projects. Both<br />

share a strong interest in functional tableware and like to<br />

make objects suitable for regular use that will enhance the<br />

pleasure of eating and drinking and also engender a sense<br />

of occasion.<br />

Their first collaborative venture was the production of a<br />

series of ceramics for Sydney's Century Radisson Hotel in<br />

1991. This was so successful, both from a creative and<br />

professional viewpoint that they decided to investigate the<br />

possibility of further joint commissions. <strong>In</strong> 1993 Craft<br />

Aus<br />

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<strong>Australia</strong> provided the partners with the opportunity to<br />

produce decorated tableware for the franchise boutique at<br />

David Jones department store in Sydney. During the<br />

preliminary stage, Ferris and Gluch developed a series of<br />

designs for a teaset which they considered would meet the<br />

standards of such an exclusive venue. The fact that the<br />

boutique provided a previously untapped market for<br />

quality <strong>Australia</strong>n crafts, as well as an opportunity to receive<br />

high profile exposure, further influenced their involvement.<br />

The division of expertise, design input and labour is<br />

crucial in any such partnership. This has been extremely<br />

equitable as far as Ferris and Gluch are concerned and<br />

underlies the success of their joint ventures to date.<br />

Moreover, any discussion on this subject is punctuated by a<br />

respect and sensitivity for the contribution of each partner.<br />

For example, while Gluch resolved that slip casting was<br />

the only option for the production of the David Jones' Tea<br />

Set, in order to ensure consistency, his forms were<br />

designed specifically to enhance Ferris' strong and<br />

distinctive decorative patterns. The resulting prototypes are<br />

inspired by the Art Deco movement of the 1920's but also<br />

have their own integrity. Subsequently, the range has been<br />

extended and now includes a series of one-off, thrown<br />

pieces to compliment the original moulded work.<br />

Ferris and Gluch have continued since that time to<br />

receive new opportunities for collaboration. <strong>In</strong> 1994, they<br />

Were invited to contribute work to the '<strong>In</strong>teriors Exhibition'<br />

held at the ational Museum of <strong>In</strong>donesia, Djakarta, as part<br />

of the '<strong>Australia</strong> Today' <strong>In</strong>donesia promotion. They were<br />

also commissioned by the Art Gallery of NSW to produce<br />

an Art Deco inspired tea set which reflected the work of<br />

the influential and much-loved Sydney artist Margaret<br />

Preston. This tea set is currently on sale through the<br />

Gallery's highly successful commercial outlet. Moreover, in<br />

1994, their joint designs were shortlisted in the Josiah<br />

Wedgewood Bicentenary Competition.<br />

Both Ferris and Gluch are excited to be involved with<br />

such prestigious collaborative ventures and look forward<br />

to new challenges on the horizon. It is also pertinent to<br />

examine the changes wrought by these experiences on<br />

their own respective work practice. Gluch continues to<br />

pursue his search for precision, technical excellence,<br />

attention to detail, and an over-riding respect for function.<br />

At the same time, he has become more concerned with<br />

simplicity of form as well as developing an increased<br />

interest in carving and hard-edge work.<br />

Ferris has been particularly influenced by the work of<br />

Margaret Preston which she studied in depth for the Art<br />

Gallery of NSW commission. She acknowledges that her<br />

own decoration has now become tighter and more angular<br />

and is definitely more labour-intensive. Again, her current<br />

use of a black outline and scraffito decoration reveal a<br />

similar debt to the artist.<br />

While immensely stimulated by their various<br />

collaborative ventures, and supportive of one another<br />

professionally, they also continue to pursue their own<br />

specialist interests and career paths each suplying<br />

individual work to galleries. oo<br />

"Preston Series", commissioned by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 29

Chequered Clay<br />

Stephanie Outridge Field works collaboratively with Jane Hawthoorn on 'limited edition' tableware.<br />

0<br />

II<br />

The words art, function<br />

and collaboration<br />

create a powerful triad<br />

and when you douse that in<br />

the technical maelstrom that<br />

is clay, then you indeed are<br />

on the edge of 'where few<br />

have successfully gone<br />

before'. But then there are<br />

the foolish and the brave who feel the possible, or rather<br />

potential, rewards, far outweigh the investment of time and<br />

energy in the logistics of the exercise.<br />

Let's look at the facts: I have been working in<br />

collaboration with Jane Hawthoorn for over three years<br />

now, to produce 'limited edition designer tableware' under<br />

the name "Chequered Clay" - we have participated in a<br />

Craft Expo in Brisbane, several shows and have three<br />

outlets that stock our work. Jane and I work together on a<br />

part time basis, very much responsive to the time and<br />

motion that exists in our individual professional and<br />

private lives but we do work with 'fulltime' commitment to<br />

"Chequered Clay". The reason we do that is, I guess,<br />

different for each of us.<br />

I enjoy working with other people for the company and<br />

the camaraderie. Working alone in your own workshop<br />

space can be a pleasure - it can also mean working in<br />

isolation. It is more than nice to be able to share the<br />

successes as well as discuss the failures and do a bit of<br />

combined problem solving. There is also the challenge of<br />

working with someone you respect, which keeps you on<br />

your toes and perhaps challenged to go that step further to<br />

reach for that bit more.<br />

The artistic considerations<br />

are an interesting challenge.<br />

<strong>In</strong>stead of being totally<br />

responsible for the object<br />

produced, you need to<br />

negotiate the clay, the<br />

method of production, the<br />

form, the surface, the<br />

purpose, the audience and everything else that could be<br />

addressed with that most powerful single word "why?".<br />

This is where you are put on your mettle. This is the stuff<br />

collaborating is made of.<br />

<strong>In</strong> our collaboration the decision making process has<br />

evolved and the segregation of tasks now falls easily<br />

between the two of us. The process usually follows a set<br />

pattern: Jane and I get together to discuss a batch of work -<br />

we discuss in fine detail our intentions for the new work<br />

and possible guidelines on the form and decoration. Jane<br />

then returns to her own workshop to throw a range of<br />

forms responding to the parameters we have set and<br />

returns the work to my workshop when leatherhard. Again<br />

we talk about the manner of the decoration and our<br />

intentions for the object. I decorate and bisque fire the<br />

work and arrange with Jane a possible glazing day. This<br />

day involves a fairly early start preparing glazes and work -<br />

an opportunity to comment on how the pieces are all<br />

working or not working, as the case may be. This is a<br />

pleasurable part and now after three years it is a very 1<br />

smooth operation with cleaning, waxing, glazing and<br />

stacking happening concurrently. <strong>In</strong> general terms I do the<br />

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30 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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Above: Mixed up Mandarin coffee cups. Left: "Shark Fin Soup" h30cm<br />

glazing and Jane organises me and is our quality controller.<br />

I guess this routine is typical of any collaboration that<br />

stands some test of time. There has to be some easy<br />

rapport between the members.<br />

I am very lucky to work with Jane. I am, I guess,<br />

basically a hand builder who is in love with surface<br />

decoration. I am also a lover of beautiful form and the<br />

issue of function to me merely adds another dimension to<br />

the pleasing nature of a vessel. To see, to feel and to use is<br />

a tantalising experience. Jane is a superlative thrower - her<br />

strong design sense and her artisan approach to her craft<br />

never cease to impress me. This collaboration allows me to<br />

decorate using underglazes, sgraffito and carving on forms<br />

I couldn't even dream about making myself.<br />

Our personalities as well as our individual work<br />

contrasts the other. I am more splashy and Jane is more<br />

considered but the work that happens when we work<br />

together is unlike either of our individual production.<br />

Sometimes there is a reminiscent form, colour or symbol<br />

but the work is never a compromise between the two of<br />

us; rather it has a totally new entity all of its own.<br />

Jane and I have often talked of what we like in clay - we<br />

discuss others' work, our own work, the state of the<br />

marketplace and a whole range of other issues. Working<br />

together may not always be convenient and it may not be<br />

all it could financially, but what we have both realised is<br />

that the benefits of the collaboration are for us as<br />

individual practitioners. I am encouraged and enthused by<br />

Jane's professional integrity and her commitment to always<br />

strive for the highest standard and this influences my more<br />

spontaneous and intuitive approach and joy in clay.<br />

Jane and I want our work to fulfil the task for which it<br />

was intended and do it well, and also to create a<br />

beautifully designed object that form, decoration and feel<br />

are realised when in use. These aims constantly challenge<br />

and we are always alert to better ways of achieving them.<br />

Jane and I are not a production team; we make limited<br />

edition work that we both admire and enjoy. We also<br />

continue to exhibit and produce as individuals and this is<br />

the more important activity. The collaboration is a<br />

productive professional support system that compliments<br />

our individual professional practice. It also feeds the soul<br />

and spirit and gives me the chance to discuss out loud<br />

queries I have in the execution of my profession and that, I<br />

guess, is my best reason for working collaboratively. oo<br />

Stephanie Outridge Field (07) 857 2679<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 31

oth<br />

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H<br />

ave you heard the old adage<br />

'two heads are better than<br />

one'? Well, I guess it goes for<br />

other body parts too, or would it be better to<br />

say that collaborative efforts can realise that which<br />

may be difficult or impossible for a single person.<br />

A recent show at Fusions Gallery Brisbane by Jenny<br />

Dawson and friends entitled "Works from the<br />

West ... There's Something Fishy Going On Here" was an<br />

exhibition of maiolica painted terra cotta with pots thrown<br />

by Ian MacRae and iron work by Jan Jensen.<br />

This was truly a collaborative effort with Jenny in the<br />

role of the team leader and designer. Jenny Dawson said<br />

'It's collaborative. There are three people involved in it.<br />

Jan Jensen works with metal and contributed to the<br />

'Endeavour' replica. His workshop is on the<br />

beach near mine and he's a traditional<br />

craftsman in the metal area. We<br />

worked together: I created the tops<br />

of the tables and I asked him to<br />

design something that was<br />

simple but had a feel of the<br />

waves and the twists in the sea.'<br />

Ian MacRae has been working with<br />

Jenny for several years and the forms are<br />

thrown with Jenny's design concepts in mind. Her<br />

desire to reflect the fluidity of the sea and natural forms as<br />

well as having an expanse of clay surface to use as a<br />

canvas, has influenced the scale and the simplicity of the<br />

forms Ian produces.<br />

'Everything here is based on my experience in Italy'.<br />

Jenny uses the ancient Italian technique of maiolica, a<br />

legacy of a study tour to Italy in 1991, where she studied<br />

under the master-painter at the Deruta Grazia Workshops.<br />

Maiolica is an age old form of pottery where traditionally a<br />

colourful design using a number of colours - such as<br />

yellow, blue, orange and green - are painted on<br />

a white tin glaze background.<br />

Contemporary use of this technique<br />

has allowed for greater spontaneity<br />

with the brushwork and<br />

application of the image. <strong>In</strong><br />

Top: "Fish Fish Platter" 1995, Jenny Dawson and Ian MacRae. Above: "Madonna Plate" 1995, Jenny Dawson<br />

and Ian MacRae. Opposite: "Fish Table" 1995, Jenny Dawson and Jan Jenson.<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 33

"Madonna Vase" 1995, Jenny Dawson and Ian MacRae.<br />

some instances Maiolica workshops in Italy are still<br />

producing traditional designs hundreds of years old, with<br />

more being added to the repertoire constantly.<br />

The exhibition included mirror frames that were made of<br />

sectioned tiles joined with terra cotta coloured grout with<br />

swishing tailed mermaids surrounding the mirror; large jars<br />

with open form necks; bowls and platters some with<br />

extended feet to form stands and tile topped tables with<br />

metal frames.<br />

The theme included mermaids, luscious golden yellow<br />

pears and nude females - all on deep blue or green<br />

backgrounds.<br />

"Because I used to teach life-drawing, the figure features<br />

quite heavily in what I do. My last show in Fremantle<br />

included coil built forms, where the actual shape was a<br />

reflection of the female form." This exhibition features the<br />

female nude in the 'Madonna Series', wrapping around<br />

large, almost classical urns and boldly across the curve of a<br />

platter or the very individual qualities of the women<br />

revealed in an extensive series of small wallplates.<br />

The work in this show featured fluid brushwork,<br />

swathing the more traditional thrown forms; broad,<br />

confident strokes and the strong use of colour<br />

highlighted by black linework and resist areas on the<br />

maiolica glaze, which gave a very lyrical relaxed feel to<br />

the imagery. The surfaces were smooth with a luscious<br />

almost silky sheen with the colours melding perfectly<br />

with the glaze surface.<br />

Jenny is a consummate exponent of maiolica technique,<br />

which I feel intrinsically suits the sub-tropical climate we<br />

have, and our habit of living outdoors for at least part of<br />

the year. I would like to see Jenny have the opportunity to<br />

do larger scale tile works on this side of the continent, as<br />

she has in Perth. Maiolica has traditionally been used in<br />

southern Europe as an architectural component with walls,<br />

fountains, cornices and even house numbers being<br />

produced to provide an extremely permanent colourful<br />

design addition to the urban landscape.<br />

This show was a sentimental journey for Jenny to her<br />

family's home after eighteen years, and she showed an<br />

array of forms and her now recognisable style to advantage<br />

in "Fusions" Gallery space. oo<br />

Jenny Dawson<br />

The] Shed<br />

Fremantle WA<br />

34 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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Beyond the surface<br />

'I am a vessel maker. My interest has been dictated by the traditions of ceramics,<br />

something that is perhaps inherent in the training of a potter', Merran Esson.<br />

Deco pot, earthenware.<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA <strong>35</strong>

The principle that my vessels should be for use is<br />

important, but this does not imply any intention of<br />

actual use. I am still intrigued by working formally<br />

with the elements of the container; i.e. handles, spouts,<br />

rims and legs. I am conscious of these not merely being<br />

elements of practicality, but intimate invitations to pick up,<br />

handle, pour or touch.<br />

It may appear that the inspiration behind my work is<br />

that of the sea, the coastline and the marine environment<br />

with a sense of time and decay. But there are many layers<br />

to the work. I have always had a fascination for the<br />

landscape and for the fact that nature has an ability to<br />

change things and to hide things. My early explorations<br />

into this caused me to look at my <strong>Australia</strong>n landscape in a<br />

literal way, but it really was as a result of many visits to<br />

Scotland tl1at I found the sort of wet landscape that is rich<br />

in colour, from moss and lichen etched into the surface of<br />

standing stones and graveyard headstones. The erosion<br />

and decay that time and nature have caused to marks made<br />

by people of a much earlier time intrigues me. Our<br />

contemporary culture constantly tries to change and<br />

control our environment, but the indigenous people who<br />

live at one with their surroundings are able to find a natural<br />

connection between ideology and artefact. The objects that<br />

have the most powerful effect on me have been ancient,<br />

foreign and primitive, as though dredged up from some<br />

subterranean cave, covered with a patina of tin1e.<br />

The work that has evolved over the last few years has seen<br />

the transformation from vessels with hard geometric<br />

designed surfaces to containers whose use is formal or<br />

ceremonial - caskets, urns, reliquaries; the finds of<br />

archaeologists or deep sea divers. The vessels deal with the<br />

idea of mutual support of one structure needing the other to<br />

survive, while at the same time presenting a precarious<br />

balance. These structures may imply the support and<br />

balance that the maker needs in order to find the time to<br />

create whilst also meeting the demands of modem living and<br />

family responsibilities. The objects that I am now making<br />

have developed into personal hybrids, whose intention is to<br />

reveal energy and playfulness, power and<br />

vulnerability. The idea behind the form may<br />

develop and reveal more than the original<br />

intention. They become private symbols that<br />

may trigger fragments of universal mythologies.<br />

My work has always been about 'surface'.<br />

The earlier work was the result of many firings<br />

and tests, exploring the use of commercial<br />

stains and oxides both in clay and in slips. I<br />

had always approached the work with a<br />

laborious determination. Often spending days<br />

wedging colour into clay before the really<br />

creative process could begin. Objects made at<br />

this time were nearly always constrained by the<br />

process. My present work has resulted from<br />

understanding the limitations and working<br />

through them. The constraints have become a<br />

positive rather than a negative part of the<br />

exploration. Much of my earlier work with<br />

coloured clays had similarly been a response to<br />

a limitation of glaze techniques and glazing<br />

confidence. The idea of surface investigation<br />

still continues as I explore not only that which<br />

appears on the surface but trying to reach<br />

beneath the obvious and the superficial.<br />

I feel that I have arrived at a fairly simple<br />

approach now, which, although it still means<br />

that the vessels are labour intensive, has the<br />

feeling of spontaneity. They have a lightness<br />

to them that comes from working the surface and scraping<br />

them back, often for hours. I choose the coiling method as<br />

the quality for me is quite different from that obtained<br />

using the wheel. The vessels grow slowly, a personal<br />

journey is worked into the process. The quiet time that I<br />

treat myself to when making the pieces, the time away<br />

from the demands of modern living, and the time to plan<br />

and to dream - all this is woven into the surface. I am<br />

almost sad when a piece is finished, wanting the process to<br />

continue. oo<br />

Merran Esson.<br />

50 Ridge Street, Suny Hills. N.S.W. 2010. Tel: 02.699 3753<br />

36 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 37

Neville French<br />

Neville French's first solo exhibition at Distelfink Gallery, in December 1995<br />

affirms the timeless strength and beauty of the purity of form.<br />

Review by KIM HORNBY.<br />

The exhibition at Distelfink Gallery in December 1995<br />

exudes the confidence of technical perfection, much<br />

of it with an inherent tension due to a pared down<br />

simplification of form.<br />

The thirty-three porcelain bowl forms exhibited vary<br />

in scale and technique but not in quality. Many are<br />

serene and contemplative and confirm French's<br />

continual striving for clarity of form through the<br />

repetition of a traditional shape. His work shows an<br />

influence of Gwyn Hanssen Pigott but also pays homage<br />

to the sculpture of Brancusi with its uncluttered and<br />

streamlined form and the constant play of light and<br />

shadow on surfaces. His bowls also make use of light to<br />

enhance their form which results in changing colour<br />

variations in many of the bowls which take on a<br />

restrained life force of their own. These wheelformed<br />

and technically difficult irregular shapes are redefined as<br />

quiet, perfect, seductive forms which exude confidence<br />

and lack nothing.<br />

The groupings of bowls in twos and threes have an<br />

affinity with the work of Hanssen Pigott, but in French's<br />

combinations, the work has a tension between the similar<br />

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38 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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forms not seen in Hanssen Pigott's groups with their more<br />

varied shapes and colours. Whereas her work has a solid<br />

elegance and simplicity, French's work has an amorphous,<br />

almost insubstantial quality, denying visually its strength<br />

and solidity.<br />

His use of a pale mauve and pale blue limestone matt<br />

glaze on the inside of the subtly distorted bowls gives<br />

them the illusion of having dusted surfaces, with the<br />

outside in a matt white glaze. The fluid asymmetry of<br />

these finely wheel thrown forms gives an impression of<br />

them being in a continual state of flux. The bowls, many<br />

of which have no foot, appear to have floated to rest on<br />

their stand where they gently pulsate. The purity and<br />

simplicity of these weightless forms belies their strength<br />

and technical virtuosity. French refers to one of his bowl<br />

forms as a 'helmet' shape, but its sheer fluidity of form<br />

contradicts an association with such a utilitarian and<br />

earthbound object.<br />

<strong>In</strong> French's large woodfired bowls, of which there are<br />

four, there is a distinct regularity of shape and form. These<br />

bowls are glazed inside and have an exquisite opalescent<br />

high gloss, dark egg shell blue glaze. Some have broken<br />

colour and some are slightly speckled. These bowls, whilst<br />

beautiful, lack the resonance and individuality of the<br />

asymmetrical bowls. This asymmetrical form, which may<br />

become a personal signature for French, is a shape he<br />

intends to develop and extend.<br />

Three other large, thicker-walled bowls coated in a high<br />

alumina white smooth glaze have a weighty, intense<br />

presence. As a counter to his elegant bowls which Hanssen<br />

Pigott calls 'a soft tautness'. These white bowls, although<br />

once again beautiful, do not possess the transcendent<br />

subtly of their companion pieces in the exhibition. They<br />

do, however, explain the technical quality and sculptural<br />

background from which French has emerged to develop<br />

an individual style.<br />

Reproduced with permission from Craft Victoria Magazine.<br />

Neville French is a potter and lectures at The School of Mines and<br />

<strong>In</strong>dustries Ltd, Ballarat, Victoria.<br />

Opposite page: Porcelain bowl. 1995. 30w (cm).<br />

Below: Porcelain bowls. 1995. 20w and 30w (cm).<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 39

Tamasin Pepper<br />

Being privy to the latest works of Tamasin Pepper, graduate in residence at<br />

the Crafts Council of the <strong>No</strong>rthern Territory, provided me with a greater insight into<br />

her work for the exhibition 'Locus, a place of locality'.<br />

Article by ANDREA RADDATZ<br />

"Turning <strong>In</strong>ward". Stoneware/engobes 1280°C, 1994. 60h, 40w, 122d (cm).<br />

Tamasin's works are inspired by her travels, the sea<br />

and it's life forms. This is reflected in pieces that have<br />

a distinctly Mediterranean feel. The sweeping arc of<br />

boats and marine creatures is frequently drawn upon.<br />

These pieces also refer to phases of the moon as a<br />

metaphor for constant change.<br />

Earlier work completed by Tamasin refers to molluscs<br />

and shells and the textures that are found within their<br />

environments. Tamasin's pieces of that time reflected her<br />

own growth with many pieces depicting a form emerging<br />

from another which embodied Tamasin's own change and<br />

transformation, as Tamasin reflected. 'rites of passage<br />

represented by the image of 'shedding skin'.<br />

Tamasin continues the process of transformation from the<br />

old to the new, with the new pieces being created for her<br />

upcoming exhibition. Using the slab technique, the pieces<br />

are large and some feature interesting shaped key holes that<br />

involve the viewer by arousing curiosity. The line and<br />

curve definition of the pieces are so fine that one cannot<br />

resist reaching out to touch. Tamasin explained to me that<br />

these pieces reflected a process of self discovery and<br />

awareness while residing in Darwin during the past year.<br />

'Aspects that are clearly visible and those that are hidden or<br />

slightly obscured, represented by a blind or louvres.<br />

The purely visual quality of a form within a space and its<br />

intriguing internal structures are also of importance. I like<br />

my pieces to have a natural elegance that shows a refined<br />

and a considered, use of line and form.'<br />

Tamasin's unique style has been nurtured through her<br />

studies at the Canberra <strong>In</strong>stitute of the Arts (ANU) and her<br />

travel, most recently to Spain as an exchange student.<br />

Tamasin was fortunate to spend a great deal of time studying<br />

with Enrique Mestre, whose work she was familiar with. "I<br />

produced a series of sculptural pieces looking at the crescent,<br />

arc and spiral forms, sourcing both shells and ancient knives.<br />

These pieces ref erred to a sense of perpetual change and<br />

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40 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

"Crescent Vessel", 1995. Stoneware/engobes and clear glaze, 1280°C. 28h, 42w, 11 d (cm)<br />

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transformation". One of the major influences of Spain is still<br />

present in Tamasin's work, a surface treatment (engobes),<br />

which enables her to describe the dry, dusty colours of Spain.<br />

This surface is also descriptive of the <strong>Australia</strong>n landscape.<br />

The opportunity to develop work over a year towards a<br />

solo show with full use of facilities, lured Tamasin to the<br />

Top End of <strong>Australia</strong> to take up a Graduate Residency at the<br />

Crafts Council of the NT in Darwin. "I enjoy working in new<br />

environments and being able to express the shock of<br />

strangeness and displacement into my work" Tamasin was<br />

enticed by the beauty and colour of the coastline and the<br />

idea of living in the tropics was too good to resist. "There is<br />

a process of osmosis in adjusting to a new place which<br />

pushes work in a new direction in order to accommodate it."<br />

The upcoming exhibition 'Locus' sees the influence of<br />

the coastline, the chalky, vibrant colours of the rocks,<br />

shells and earth as well as the fragmentary forms and<br />

surfaces which have an ancient, unearthly quality. "Also<br />

shutters, boat stays and keyholes are referenced in these<br />

pieces as a means of obscuring or concealing partially<br />

what is on the inside. Some also play on the traditional<br />

vase form with their 'feet' and 'hole' (which is not always<br />

very practical or even at the top of the vessel).<br />

With the new pieces being created for the upcoming<br />

exhibition, Tamasin has started clear glazing the inside of<br />

some of the pieces which contrasts with the textured<br />

engobes on their exterior. The colour range truly reflects a<br />

lifestyle along a tropical coastline; white/cream with crystals<br />

of yellow to blue-grey breaking to oranges and rusts.<br />

<strong>In</strong> essence Tamasin has started breaking new ground<br />

with her own works and is not afraid to experiment with<br />

new techniques, whilst at the same time perfecting those<br />

she has been working with for some time. oo<br />

'Locus' opens on March 29 until April 29 at the Crafts Council of the<br />

NT Exhibition Gallery, Conacher Street, Fannie Bay.<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 41

Function by Design, Design by Fire<br />

"Pyro Designs" has been established to create an alternative marketing vehicle for 20 and 30 artists.<br />

Article by founding member RICK PRICE<br />

Left: Jane Annois, raku vessel. 30h (cm). Centre: Rick Price, vase. 60h (cm). Right: Hedley Potts, large vessel<br />

with detail of engobe decoration. 50cmw x 45cmh (cm).<br />

I<br />

n most instances the individual artist, or crafts person, may<br />

follow a series of 'ergonomic' guidelines or references<br />

when making a functional vessel or form. 1brough simple<br />

design concepts, the object at hand can be broken down into<br />

a series of interactive elements or components which may<br />

then be manipulated or abstracted to produce a wide range<br />

of work reflecting a common theme, or variation there of.<br />

It is interesting, however, to apply this formula to the<br />

humble 'Tea bowl', a functional form steeped in tradition<br />

and ritual. When one examines it's far reaching influences,<br />

the cultural and philosophical ramifications of such a<br />

simple form extend from one side of the globe to the other.<br />

This, in turn, may manifest itself in a wide variety of<br />

concepts, designs, philosophies or forms. <strong>In</strong> short, a group<br />

of individuals, working in clay, may interpret the concept<br />

of 'function' in any number of ways ... and do.<br />

Pyro Designs is a 'design' based collective of artists that<br />

occupies a shop front in Brighton, Melbourne. Artists within<br />

the group work predominantly in clay but also explore<br />

areas such as 2D art, photography, mixed media, sculpture,<br />

furniture, murals and individual or collective commissions.<br />

This diverse group of artists pays homage to the wide<br />

variety of approaches to clay, it's function and the<br />

exploration of clay as a vehicle for expression. Pieces<br />

range from fine espresso cups and saucers, to lustres, raku<br />

bowls and large coiled and thrown vessels. The concept of<br />

'function' in this context, is quite subjective and although a<br />

piece may have an ergonomic 'function', its aesthetic<br />

considerations will still fulfil the historical references to the<br />

'function' of adornment, be it classical or conceptual.<br />

Pyro Designs was established in December 1995 by<br />

1<br />

founding member Rick Price and is run as a collective, (or<br />

co op in philosophy). Featured are the works of members:<br />

Jane Annois, Nina Bursian, Sara Curtain, Kathy Griffiths,<br />

Tony Huchison, Rosie Laught, Lynley <strong>No</strong>rthcott, Veronica<br />

Petelin, Hedley Potts and Rick Price.<br />

It is also important to consider the individuals 'function'<br />

within a group such as this. As a collective each individual's<br />

role is imperative to a philosophical and physical existence.<br />

All duties are shared throughout the group, with most<br />

members involved in working in the shop twice a month,<br />

or once a month with extra administrative responsibilities.<br />

The collective offers a large resource of experience and<br />

abilities to draw from whilst increasing it's networks and<br />

potential. To highlight this point one only need look at<br />

Rosie Laught's 'function' within "Pyro Designs".<br />

Rosie Laught is a photographer working in artistic and<br />

corporate fields, with a very strong sense of composition.<br />

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42 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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Above: Lynley <strong>No</strong>rthcott, close up of cups.<br />

Below: Sara Curtain, "Pueblo" series bowl. 20w (cm).<br />

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Rosie's work varies from the brilliant still-life to the<br />

theatrical publicity shots for amateur theatre productions.<br />

This comprehensive background extends the abilities of<br />

the group to offer 'in house' photographic work, (slides,<br />

etc). This service is also offered externally from $60 plus<br />

film. Rosie, in conjunction with Rick Price, also offers the<br />

recording of slide show presentations of individual's CV's<br />

on video ( with musical backing track and voice-over from<br />

$300) to all 2D, 3D, visual and performing artists.<br />

Other members are : Jane Annois a self employed<br />

ceramic artist creating raku forms, as well as vitrified<br />

stoneware vessels and forms in combinations of dry and<br />

gloss glazes. Nina Bursian, is a self employed ceramic artist<br />

producing well crafted brightly under glazed domestic<br />

wares exploring beach themes and palates very pertinent<br />

to the Brighton area.<br />

Sara Curtain is involved in publishing and ceramics. She<br />

uses the open bowl as a canvas for decoration, drawing the<br />

viewer into fresh, geometric, hand painted works whilst<br />

retaining a spontaneity and a looseness that speaks of the<br />

process and the physical act of painting.<br />

Kathy Griffiths is self employed and has experience in<br />

ceramics and management. She produces a variety of hand<br />

painted cards, hand decorated furniture and picture<br />

frames. Kathy's decorative and design skills are effortlessly<br />

applied to a variety of medias, forms and functions.<br />

Tony Hutchison has decades of experience making a<br />

living from clay, running galleries and exhibiting. Tony's<br />

work includes strong vessels juxtaposed with loose, hand<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 43

Above: Lynley <strong>No</strong>rthcott, set of 5 espresso cups.<br />

Below: Rick Price, large coiled and thrown form. 180cm.<br />

built vessels with sculptural overtones.<br />

Tony also chooses to work in wood<br />

and in mixed media.<br />

Lynley <strong>No</strong>rthcott works as a self<br />

employed ceramic artist with a functional<br />

'bent'. She produces very refined cups<br />

and saucers as her speciality.<br />

Veronica Petelin's many years of<br />

experience have led to a very able<br />

individual with realistic practical and<br />

marketing skills. Veronica produces a<br />

range of well designed terracotta oil<br />

burners as her bread and butter line,<br />

whilst continuing to explore a series of<br />

'one off' stoneware vessels that appease<br />

her creative aspirations.<br />

Hedley Potts has twenty years<br />

lecturing in ceramics at Monash<br />

University Gippsland campus, and a very<br />

extensive exhibiting record, strong drawing skills and refined<br />

aesthetic sensibilities. His works, ranging in size from small<br />

decorative 'origami bowls' and large wheel formed vessels to<br />

life size 'figurative wall sculpture' and mounted life drawings.<br />

Rick Price, eight years lecturing with Chisolm <strong>In</strong>stitute of<br />

Technology, Monash University, and<br />

currently Head of Ceramics at<br />

Melbourne Boys Grammar, is the<br />

founding member of "Pyro Designs".<br />

Rick 's work explores the functional<br />

and the sculptural for the domestic and<br />

corporate market.<br />

Whilst in it's early days "Pyro<br />

Designs" offers a wide variety of work .<br />

but looks forward to the embellishment<br />

of glass, sculpture, jewellery, coffee and<br />

jazz in the not too distant future. We<br />

also have a gallery area, in conjunction<br />

with the shop, that will be available for<br />

exhibitions, performances and displays.<br />

We would also like to offer a viable<br />

alternative for emerging artists, as we<br />

accept work on consignment or the<br />

opportunity to be involved as a<br />

'Member' of the group (maximum 15 members). oo<br />

Pyro Designs is located at 151 Martin Street, Brighton, Victoria 3185<br />

(Ph 03 - 9539 6899). For further infom1ation please call Rick Price at<br />

Pyro Designs or on 03 - 9555 5014 after hours.<br />

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44 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

Musical Abstractions<br />

Vivian Cohen has combined her passion for musical<br />

instruments, contemporary and ancient, with meticulous and polished techniques.<br />

Article by CHERRY JACOBSEN.<br />

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compulsively. The teacher must have instructed us to<br />

aint a vase of flowers, a family holiday on a<br />

beach ... but somehow there would always be a violin alongside<br />

the vase, a cello under the sunshade ... As an adult, at concerts, I<br />

am riveted, not only by the music but also by the fonn, the<br />

colour, the sheer magic of the orchestral instruments.'<br />

<strong>In</strong> her exhibition at the Holdsworth Gallery last year, the<br />

Japanese Lyre II. Black terrasigillata.<br />

musical forms were confidently made and the unique<br />

beauty of colour and form of the instruments were<br />

sensitively conveyed.<br />

Vivian Cohen's pieces demonstrate interesting usage of<br />

varied media. To achieve an effective synthesis of realism<br />

and symbolism, Cohen has incorporated wood, leather and<br />

string ... and related these to the bold, powerful earthenware<br />

representations of the cello, lyre, violin and didgeridoo.<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 45

Harp from Gabon. Terracotta, leather.<br />

Cohen has used terrasigillata as a surface covering<br />

for the pieces and they glow with a rich golden<br />

colour, that recalls the warm glass of the wood<br />

of stringed instruments. "I want the viewer to<br />

stretch out, to want to touch my<br />

pieces ... stroke them. If I create that response,<br />

I believe I have conveyed something of the<br />

joy I have known through my work. There<br />

is no comparable feeling to the one I<br />

experience every time I open the kiln and<br />

there, glowing and radiant are the<br />

pieces ... It is a special moment."<br />

Vivian Cohen arrived in <strong>Australia</strong> from<br />

South Africa in 1978. She later enrolled in<br />

Brookvale Technical College and was<br />

awarded an Associate Diploma in<br />

Ceramics in 1992. She pays tribute to the<br />

College, whose teachers cultivated and<br />

endorsed diversity and individuality in<br />

their students and who gave Cohen the<br />

confidence to pursue her passion.<br />

An interesting aspect of her work<br />

derives from the influence of her South<br />

African background - Cohen has subtly<br />

synthesised her early South African life<br />

with that of African women, full and<br />

rounded and of African calabashes circular<br />

and glossy. "It was wonderful to use brown<br />

and terracottas, bronzes and sepias. These are<br />

familiar <strong>Australia</strong>n colours and the ones I<br />

remember from rural Africa."<br />

Vivian Cohen has been offered a grant to exhibit her<br />

musical instruments at the Queensland Performing Arts<br />

Complex in Brisbane from January 10 to April 6, 19%. Her<br />

work describes and reflects upon the evolution of musical<br />

instruments, their essential character and their enduring appeal.<br />

I asked her how she obtained that beautiful glow on the<br />

surface of her pieces and her reply was that the ancient<br />

Greeks knew more about how to make a surface glow<br />

2000 years ago than many potters centuries later. She<br />

describes her technique as follows:<br />

When the pieces are completed, They are either<br />

burnished with a stone until they are absolutely smooth,<br />

then polished again with soft plastic, or they are textured<br />

with a sur form, so the surface is textured instead of smooth.<br />

The pots are now ready for the final surface treatment.<br />

'I wanted a surface that looked like the glowing smface of<br />

a wooden cello or violin with the light playing over it.<br />

And the obvious choice seemed to be a terrasigillata.<br />

This is a type of engobe rather than a glaze. It is<br />

the burnished surface seen on the surface of<br />

ancient Greek and Roman pots and also on<br />

the pottery of many primitive peoples. It is a<br />

colloidal slip of clay which seals the surface of<br />

the ware.' oo<br />

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46 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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The Selection of Clay for a Good Terrasigillata<br />

The best clay for the production of terrasigillata is an<br />

illitic clay. The illites have a variable crystal structure<br />

which gives rise to crystals that are extremely small,<br />

poorly defined flakes, often six sided. They have an<br />

average amount of 6% of potassium in the crystal lattice.<br />

The presence of this potassium and other fluxes such as<br />

iron and magnesium cause early vitrification.<br />

According to Grimm the vitrification may start as early<br />

as 900 degrees centigrade. This is due to the intimate<br />

distribution of fluxes throughout the material. Because<br />

the crystals are small, the green strength and drying<br />

shrinkage are high. The drying rate is slow and the clay<br />

very plastic. Because of the sheet lattice structure the clay<br />

minerals have their surfaces in contact. The smaller<br />

particles giving a greater surface contact area. Thus<br />

aiding strength, plasticity and adhesion.<br />

The Production of a Satisfactory Colloid<br />

Colloidal particles are those of a finely divided substance<br />

which is dispersed throughout another substance. The<br />

finely divided particles are called the dispersed phase<br />

and the substance through which they are dispersed is<br />

the dispersion medium. Both phases are called a colloid.<br />

All particles of a substance tend to have the same<br />

electrical charge resident on the surface thus they repel<br />

one another if dispersed in a liquid.<br />

The Use of a Detlocculent<br />

I add calgon which is a sodium hexametaphosphate to<br />

the dispersion medium. The amount used in 1 % - 3% to<br />

the weight of dry clay used. This creates the situation<br />

where the particles all have the same electrostatic charge,<br />

repel one another and are unable to aggregate.<br />

The Dispersion Medium<br />

Distilled water is used as a dispersion medium rather<br />

than tap water. This is to ensure that no minerals or salts<br />

which may be found in the tap water are included in the<br />

deflocculated slip.<br />

Methodology<br />

A suitable clay is selected, dried and crushed to a<br />

powdery state. Distilled water is measured out in the<br />

ration of 2:1 water : clay for coarse clay, or 4 : 1 for fine<br />

grained clay. The deflocculent is added to the water - the<br />

amount varies from 1 % to 3%. The clay is added to the<br />

water and allowed to slake down for 30 minutes. The<br />

clay is then passed through a sieve, stirred and left to<br />

settle in a clear container for a few days.<br />

The thin colourless water at the top is then siphoned<br />

off and discarded. The dark sediment at the bottom is<br />

discarded and only the middle 2/3 of the watery slip is<br />

maintained. This slip should have a specific gravity of 1.2<br />

or less, and it needs to be thickened before it is used.<br />

This can be done by allowing the water to evaporate off<br />

naturally; or simmering the slip on the stove, very slowly<br />

until it reaches the consistency of thin cream and has a<br />

slightly marbled appearance.<br />

Application<br />

The terrasigillata can be applied in a number of ways. It<br />

can be brushed or sprayed on to green or bisque ware; it<br />

can be applied to already fired ware and can, in fact, be<br />

fired numerous times . It should not be applied too<br />

thickly or it may peel off. Spraying has a better finish than<br />

brushing, as the brush marks may be visible.<br />

Firing Techniques<br />

There are an enormous range of temperatures through which<br />

terrasigillata can be successfully fired. Some authorities<br />

suggest 900°C - lCXX)'C others suggest 1050°C - 1150'C degrees.<br />

I personally have found that two firings are advantageous. The<br />

first firing is taken to cone 03. The pot is then re-sprayed and<br />

the firing taken to cone 04. This gives me a good sheen,<br />

particularly over the black areas. The pots must be fired in an<br />

oxidised atmosphere to obtain bright colours.<br />

Black Terrasigillata<br />

<strong>In</strong> order to obtain the black colouring of some of the<br />

pots, I use a base of Walkers throwing clay, made up into<br />

a terrasigillata. To 80% of the Walkers clay I add 2% of<br />

each of the following:<br />

Black Iron Oxide<br />

Red iron oxide<br />

Copper carbonate<br />

Cobalt<br />

Manganese oxide<br />

Coloured Terrasigillata<br />

<strong>In</strong> order to obtain coloured terrasigillata a white<br />

terrasigillata was made up using the following materials"<br />

Cresta BB<br />

Frit 3110<br />

Distilled water<br />

Calgon<br />

Underglaze colours can be added.<br />

20<br />

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80<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 47

I<br />

Albie Herbert<br />

The artist has a role to play highlighting the complex conflicting motives<br />

that pull and tug at the big environmental picture.<br />

Below: "Striding Men", from Endangered Species series. Ceramic, wood. Opposite: "Odyssey". Ceramic.<br />

n Rwanda the competition between human needs and<br />

nature threatens the mountain gorilla's sanctuary.<br />

Already prey to poachers, now millions of refugees<br />

fleeing war and poverty in neighbouring countries plunder<br />

the dwindling forest resources for firewood, which is<br />

essential for their survival. Who has the greater need? Of<br />

course these people have a right to live but the gorillas'<br />

plight must be recognised.<br />

<strong>In</strong> Western <strong>Australia</strong> old growth forests are disappearing<br />

at an alarming rate, but jobs and industry are at stake if we<br />

stop. The numbat, chudich, bilby and many other<br />

delightful creatures and plants are at risk if we continue<br />

with our present development. The dilemma is so<br />

profound; awareness is not enough. People with passion<br />

are needed to sway the argument and who better than<br />

artists? They have no vested interests and a powerful<br />

communication tool in their creative medium.<br />

To emphasise these issues a narrative approach has<br />

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48 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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been adopted for my work. Paradigms are formed using<br />

a laminate of ideas. These are associated notions that<br />

radiate from a main topic (Animal Extinction,<br />

<strong>In</strong>dustry, Military, etc). The notions supply abstract<br />

ingredients to be juxtaposed in unlikely<br />

combinations. Readings are usually open<br />

ended and multi layered, so that more than<br />

one reading is possible.<br />

The work deals with contemporary<br />

issues, but traditional aesthetics are<br />

maintained during construction ( complimentary<br />

ratios, true arcs, balance and harmony). A<br />

number of my works are totemic, this form<br />

allows abstract ingredients to be stacked, this is<br />

a very ancient way of condensing many ideas<br />

into a whole.<br />

Detailed drawings are produced prior to<br />

construction of pieces. When animal subjects<br />

are part of a sculpture they are drawn from as<br />

many different aspects as is possible, to obtain a<br />

truly representative finished form. These<br />

drawings are not necessarily adhered to<br />

during construction. A sculpture may turn<br />

out very different to the original<br />

conception, but the detailed drawings<br />

help to scale, proportion and shape;<br />

these act as a reference point along the<br />

creative path.<br />

From a background of pottery comes<br />

a concern with finish and the artisan<br />

approach to skills and material<br />

research. The important integration<br />

of form, texture and surface all<br />

enhance the final work. Though it is<br />

risky trying new surfaces and not<br />

relying on past successes, it keeps<br />

the work fresh in ideas and<br />

presentation. Traditional glaze<br />

(high/ low fired, On glaze, Raku)<br />

surfaces are still used, but if the work<br />

dictates; oil paint, gouache, acrylics,<br />

stains, polishes, etc, are a different<br />

and engaging approach.<br />

Flexibility needs to<br />

be maintained in all<br />

areas of technique<br />

to satisfy creative<br />

expression. oo<br />

Albie Herbert<br />

139 Wate1ford Drive<br />

Hillarys 6025<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ 1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 49

Why do <strong>Australia</strong>n Barbeques Need<br />

Teriyaki Sauce?<br />

I'<br />

'Neither destroy the heart by insisting on its singular nature, nor fix it rigidly as a duality'. An installation<br />

by Won Seok Kim. Article by SUE BUCKLE<br />

Won Seok Kim, a Korean<br />

born <strong>Australia</strong>n, sees<br />

himself as a citizen of<br />

the world very strongly<br />

influenced by the attitudes and<br />

traditions of his birthland,<br />

Korea and his adopted land,<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>. His years spent in<br />

Korea included the start of his ceramic training at the<br />

National Technical College and Han Nam University and a<br />

traditional apprenticeship with a Master potter.<br />

Korea's ceramic traditions go back two thousand years -<br />

it is impossible not to be affected by this and Kim<br />

acknowledges this strong influence in his art.<br />

He describes this installation as post modern in its intent<br />

and presentation whilst drawing on very many of the<br />

traditional skills learnt in Korea and developed here in<br />

<strong>Australia</strong> at the Sydney College of the Arts. This work<br />

represents a developing vision of the artist combining<br />

Eastern and Western aesthetics.<br />

This is the second installation presented by Kim. The<br />

first was shown to acclaim at the Cell Block Theatre and<br />

marked the end of his studies at Sydney College of the<br />

Arts in 1993. This first installation was concerned with a<br />

personal searching for identity. At this stage his<br />

philosophy and cosmology was very much dominated by<br />

his Eastern traditions but there was a personal need to<br />

move beyond this.<br />

The latest installation is more outward looking and deals<br />

with social and political issues. Kim explores the concept<br />

of true multiculturalism and his place as a participant and<br />

artist in this developing social order. The title itself is<br />

carefully phrased as a<br />

rhetorical question. It is the act<br />

of questioning, not the<br />

question that is important. As<br />

Kim says 'It is important to<br />

keep asking questions, to keep<br />

your mind open to changing<br />

possibilities, to search for<br />

better understanding'. The installation reflects the dynamic<br />

nature of <strong>Australia</strong>n society as it forges a multicultural<br />

society with new traditions based on finding ways to<br />

harmonise with the different cultures of its population.<br />

However,to do this, Kim sees these individual cultures<br />

must first be truly understood, a very slow process. The<br />

social, religious and cultural traditions and aesthetics must<br />

be understood before multiculturalism can have any real<br />

meaning.<br />

Kim's installation consists of three essential forms. The<br />

grinders are made in the Korean Punchong style, however,<br />

they have been fired in oxidation for stronger colour<br />

response. These are a metaphor for domestic culture which<br />

lies at the heart of cultural identity. They are a common<br />

utensil in every Korean home, used for grinding and<br />

blending spice.<br />

The ships are a symbol of the isoation of this country.<br />

We are an island smrnunded by sea and so the exporting<br />

and importing of objects and culture is a very deliberate<br />

act. Our history is, of necessity, one of increasing<br />

interaction with the world on both these levels.<br />

The many dozens of small clay figures were modelled<br />

over a year. There is a roughness and spontanaeity to each<br />

one that makes them individually and collectively very<br />

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50 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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powerful. Here the hands of the artist can still be felt on<br />

each figure as if the forming is unfinished, a symbol for the<br />

ongoing adaptation needed by individuals in a dynamic<br />

society. Collectively they are a symbol of a large<br />

population responding to many different cultural<br />

influences and having to find their own and their collective<br />

identity. Kim described the forming of these figures as 'art<br />

therapy' - the features of the figures became less confused<br />

and angry and more peaceful as he worked th.rough the<br />

concepts of this project. Each figure expresses the duality<br />

of 'I'. TI1e 'I' which is a part of each of us but is also a part<br />

of the world or the whole.<br />

Kim recently returned to Korea. He saw clearly the<br />

parallels in his Eastern/Western values and traditions. <strong>In</strong><br />

both countries ceramic artists share a need to express the<br />

human and earthy quality of their chosen material. This<br />

expression becomes more important as technology<br />

alienates all of us from nature.<br />

The choice of clay as his material of artistic expression is<br />

deliberate. Clay can so easily be imbued with human<br />

qualities and its appeal as a form of artistic expression<br />

transcends national boundaries. Working with the hands is<br />

also a primary motivation. The tactile quality of clay gives<br />

great focus to the maker and the viewer. <strong>In</strong> Korea throwing<br />

is a highly prized skill whilst in <strong>Australia</strong> this skill is not<br />

always fully developed or appreciated. Thrown forms can<br />

be powerfully sculptural and throwing can be much more<br />

<strong>In</strong>stallation 1995.<br />

than just a technique. Kim's other interest is keeping the<br />

quality of the clay alive after firing; making the sense of the<br />

material and the process a part of the finished work.<br />

<strong>In</strong> Korea nature was expressed strongly through the<br />

clearly defined seasons. <strong>In</strong> <strong>Australia</strong> the power of nature<br />

comes th.rough the landscape and the extremes of climatic<br />

areas. <strong>In</strong> Korea industrialization is ruling development and<br />

the earth becomes just another pawn in the chase to keep<br />

up with technology. Kim sees clearly that <strong>Australia</strong>ns need<br />

to understand the power of the land they inhabit, only then<br />

will they preserve it and not be seduced by technology and<br />

driven by economics. The spirit of the land dominates the<br />

individual. Destroying it only increases alienation and<br />

aggression and the artist, in all countries, has an important<br />

role in voicing these concerns.<br />

<strong>In</strong>stallation art is an important part of Kim's professional<br />

practice. Each is a an important expression of his<br />

development as a person, a member of the world<br />

community and an artist.<br />

Beyond this he also sees he has a comrnittment as an<br />

artist potter to pass on his skills. He hopes to establish a<br />

studio in the future where he can not only make his own<br />

work but teach traditional skills to students working as<br />

apprentices. For Kim teaching from the studio has the<br />

advantage of being able to impart your own particular<br />

skills in consultation with a student's specific needs in an<br />

appropriate environment.<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUM N I 996 + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 51

Burning Journeys<br />

R<br />

Fl<br />

An Exhibition by students of Outer Eastern<br />

College of TAFE.<br />

Review by KIM MARTIN-HARELL.<br />

Right: "Glamour Puss" Cazz Ogden<br />

Articles on the success of TAPE courses regularly<br />

appear in the media. The written word bringing to<br />

light the quality of this supportive environment.<br />

T AFE programs offer individuals the opportunity to pursue<br />

and explore knowledge and personal development<br />

through a wide range of subjects.<br />

The courses are structured with the aim of equipping<br />

students for the work place, or to enter or re-enter<br />

University / Higher Education. The practicality of the<br />

courses coupled with the relatively short time frame for<br />

completion, makes them interesting and appealing.<br />

Students strive to gain proficiency and achieve a level of<br />

professionalism which will provide a solid basis for them<br />

to establish careers and make informed choices for their<br />

personal journeys.<br />

On <strong>No</strong>vember 20, 1995 a group of final year ceramics<br />

students from the Outer Eatern College of TAPE, presented<br />

an exhibition appropriately titled "Burning Journeys". This<br />

showing was the culmination of two years intensive study<br />

for the Associate Diploma of Arts-Ceramics, highlighting<br />

achievements of ten graduating students.<br />

<strong>In</strong>itially the students underwent diligent skill based<br />

training embracing design through drawing, creation<br />

through clay and finish through technlogy. As experience<br />

was gained individuals were gradually encouraged to<br />

express themselves more creatively in both thrown and<br />

hand-built methods, with the final presentation reflecting<br />

two styles of work.<br />

After only two years it is already evident where each<br />

person's strengths and weaknesses lie, and in most cases<br />

which direction will be taken in the next chapter of their<br />

journeys. Within the group was a diverse cross-section of<br />

genre which is always encouraging to see, particularly<br />

when individuals are working so closely together.<br />

Making a very colourful debut witl1 her hand-built forms<br />

Cazz Ogden shares with us her love of coil and slab<br />

forming. The vessel in a vase form is expressed through<br />

contained movement using symbols of life and growth.<br />

<strong>In</strong>fluenced to a degree by ceramist Fiona Murphy, Ogden<br />

works the clay surface with a rhythm that is sensitive to the<br />

form and enhances the strength and movement of the<br />

pieces. Use of colour is dynamic and produces both an<br />

internal and external energy. The quality of the glaze is like<br />

stone, its coolness contrasting with the apparent heat,<br />

visually generated.<br />

Arthur Siozio's tall cylindrical based forms show a strong<br />

interest in large thrown pieces which do not relate to any<br />

obvious function, except to imbue the message of the<br />

"Ceremonial Totem", Siozio needs to extend the idea<br />

continuing on from one piece in particular called "Desert<br />

Sand". Here the painterly use of glaze in blue-greens,<br />

orange, pinks and a considerable use of black, give the<br />

piece a distinct sense of purpose, while conveying the<br />

atmosphere of a desert environment, with sgraffito marks<br />

slinking like snakes across the sand.<br />

Through figurative sculpture, Fleur McArthur tackles a<br />

different area of expression with an air of flamboyance and<br />

freshness. Driven by a need to embody colour, texture,<br />

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52 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

Right: "Figure Dancer I"<br />

Fleur McArthur<br />

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movement and music into her work, McArthur has spent<br />

many hours at the <strong>Australia</strong>n Ballet observing and sketching<br />

the dancers for her sculptures. The time has been well<br />

spent as she has captured the energy of the dancers and the<br />

figures show an understanding of anatomy and correct<br />

placement of weight within the body. "Figure Dancer l" is a<br />

superb piece. The figure bends back in the rapture of the<br />

dance and the exotic use of colour on the costume adds to<br />

the mood. Copper wire has been used to construct a<br />

delicate skirt, which creates yet another dimension.<br />

By way of contrast Elizabeth Ellison-Jones also tackles<br />

the figure but in a more organic mode. She has chosen to<br />

blend figure and rock-form together and fuse both in the<br />

heat of the raku firing. The smaller rock figures work best<br />

forming homogenous unions with richly glazed and<br />

textured panels. However, the relationship between figure<br />

and rock-form can be pushed much further.<br />

Ola Almarker with his sophisticated and competent<br />

throwing abilities, will be one to watch for in the future.<br />

The forms are clear, the lines are clean and the confidence<br />

evident. Almarker's pieces have a professional finish and<br />

the glazing is rich and methodically applied. <strong>In</strong> particular<br />

the royal-blue glaze he has developed on "Mirror Blue<br />

Bowl 11" is very beautiful. As an award winner in the<br />

prestigious national Walker Ceramics Award his talents are<br />

already being recognised.<br />

Karen Desarmia's small sea forms show sensitive<br />

textures with subtle slip and oxide application. "Spiral Pot"<br />

is a delightful sea related form with pinched spines which<br />

spiral around in a wave-like rhythm. The delicate nature of<br />

her work supports the use of pastel colour to enhance ilie<br />

intimate subtleties.<br />

John Bomford's "Tree of Life Bowl" reflects an interest in<br />

nature. His large open bowl displays a grey-blue glaze on<br />

the rim over a carved relief and a deep blue pool of glaze<br />

in the centre. The contrast between the movement on the<br />

rim and the calm depilis of the centre - like trees around a<br />

pond - is the success of this piece.<br />

Jan Mccallum-Field with her elegant "Spider Orchid<br />

Celadon Tea Set" is also influenced by the nuances of<br />

nature. Gently caressing the surface with curved images of<br />

the Spider Orchid, the relief is superbly enhanced by the<br />

celadon glaze. The wispy movement of the plant leads ilie<br />

eye around the well executed teapot.<br />

Functional sets are always a formidable challenge.<br />

Sometimes, for the inexperienced potter, it would be<br />

advisable to gain much more experience before attempting<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ 1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 53

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this complex task. Until ideas and<br />

techniques are flowing the dinner and<br />

other sets can be a trap which stifles the<br />

novice's creativity, ability and<br />

sensitivity. <strong>In</strong>stead of opening up, one<br />

is confined to a major design task with<br />

very little margin for error. Ricardo<br />

Besaude and Cheryl Korban might have<br />

undertaken these complex tasks too<br />

early in their development. While their<br />

efforts were adequate the sets lacked<br />

the excitment and joy of other pieces.<br />

Korban's raku "Candle Sticks" were<br />

special, with smoked areas alternating<br />

with a glittering glaze on the edges, a<br />

touch of regal with the primitive.<br />

Besaude's brush work shows promise<br />

and his large sculptural vessel is a<br />

clear direction to hold to.<br />

Overall the effort and committment<br />

of the students and staff at Outer<br />

Eastern TAFE should be highly<br />

commended. It is obvious that the time<br />

and energy devoted over the two year<br />

course has been extensive. Equipped<br />

now to set up their own studios, the<br />

graduates are venturing into the public<br />

scene to participate in the <strong>Australia</strong>n<br />

ceramics arena. oo<br />

Kim Martin-Harell is a ceramist and<br />

freelance writer.<br />

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54 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

Glebe <strong>Pottery</strong> Studio<br />

Setting up a studio is about more than producing high quality ceramics.<br />

Article by SUE BUCKLE.<br />

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uth Carter, Barry Blight and<br />

Bernadette Magee currently<br />

share studio space called the<br />

Glebe <strong>Pottery</strong> Studio in the inner city<br />

suburb of Glebe, Sydney. Each is a<br />

well established potter with many<br />

years experience. Bernadette and<br />

Ruth ran Terrapotta in Newtown<br />

which included shared studio space,<br />

a gallery that sold their work and that of other potters, as<br />

well as selling ceramic supplies. Barry had previously<br />

worked from the studios 'Burnt Offerings', and 'Down the<br />

Lane <strong>Pottery</strong>'. Bernadette and Ruth currently work full time<br />

in the Glebe studio whilst Barry also teaches part time at St<br />

George TAFE.<br />

The move to a studio in Glebe still represented a<br />

challenge despite their previous experience of sharing<br />

studio space and despite having worked professionally<br />

together previously.<br />

The setting up of this, and any, studio requires careful<br />

consideration of a range of issues. The experiences of<br />

these three potters in setting up Glebe <strong>Pottery</strong> Studio<br />

highlight many of the issues and potential problem areas.<br />

<strong>In</strong>dividual or Shared Studio<br />

Space?<br />

There are many advantages<br />

to shared space beyond the<br />

obvious economic ones that<br />

include shared rent payments<br />

and shared use of, and<br />

responsibility for, equipment.<br />

Shared space means there is<br />

the opportunity for a critical<br />

exchange of ideas and<br />

emotional support when<br />

developing new ideas or<br />

markets. Tasks involved in the<br />

running of the business can be<br />

shared out reducing the time spent<br />

on these important aspects that take<br />

you away from producing work. All<br />

these aspects are seen by the Glebe<br />

Potters as most important. A shared<br />

studio also imposes a rhythm and<br />

discipline that may be hard to<br />

maintain when working alone.<br />

Leases:<br />

Decide how many are going to share the space and what<br />

your space requirements are. Finding suitable<br />

accomodation can be tricky. Once the space has been<br />

found (not easy in inner city Sydney) it is necessary to<br />

check that the zoning of the building is correct for your use.<br />

If not (generally that means that the building has had<br />

another use by the previous tenants) then DA approval<br />

must be obtained. This involves time and money. It's easy<br />

to get caught up in Council regulations but the approval is<br />

essential. The easiest option is to take over an existing<br />

studio which is what Barry, Ruth and Bernadette did in<br />

Glebe. Their landlord is the Department of Housing and<br />

they were able to negotiate a<br />

reasonable rent. Even though<br />

their building is to be sold,<br />

the lease will protect their<br />

tenancy. Negotiate the terms<br />

of your lease carefully and<br />

don't forget to allow for the<br />

costs of insuring the premises.<br />

The length of the lease is<br />

important. This will protect<br />

you in most cases even if the<br />

building is sold. <strong>No</strong> lease<br />

means no security of tenure.<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN I 996 + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 55

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The Glebe potters suggested that formalising the financial<br />

agreements between members may be an advantage. TI1ere<br />

should also be written agreement regarding details of what<br />

happens when one member wants to leave. 1his safeguards<br />

the others.<br />

Overheads:<br />

These need to be worked out so that each member of the<br />

new studio knows in advance what their financial<br />

responsibility is. Don't forget items like the relocation and<br />

installation of kilns and other heavy equipment. <strong>In</strong>stalling<br />

three phase electricity can be a very expensive business for<br />

electric kilns of any size. This is a cost that cannot be<br />

avoided as professional installation is essential. Gas kilns<br />

will also need certificates of compliance.<br />

The Glebe Potters each have their own kilns but share<br />

other equipment like slab rollers. They found it was more<br />

productive to each have their own kiln which they were<br />

used to firing. As each potter's work was different in both<br />

style and scale so their needs regarding firings was<br />

different. A kiln also dictates the rhythm of work and each<br />

potter again had different requirements.<br />

More mundane, but none the less, essential items for the<br />

studio will include shelving, paint and possible plumbing<br />

alterations. Even if you decide to do this yourself there is a<br />

cost in terms of time. Time away from producing your<br />

work. Don't underestimate this cost in terms of your current<br />

production of work to sell.<br />

Setting Up and Settling <strong>In</strong>:<br />

You may have allowed for the time it takes to move into<br />

the studio but what happens after you have moved?<br />

Bernadette Magee stressed the amount of time needed to<br />

settle into regular production. Even if you are using the<br />

same kiln you had before, chances are, now it is moved, it<br />

will fire differently. The Glebe potters set up their kilns<br />

near the workspace for maximum convenience of loading<br />

and found that the airflow patterns were such that they<br />

couldn't ventilate the kilns properly. This involved further<br />

disruption as the kilns were moved further away.<br />

You must also take into account that your work patterns<br />

will change and productivity may be affected at first. It is<br />

important to have money or stock to get you through this<br />

period.<br />

Producing Work:<br />

<strong>In</strong> the case of Bernadette and Ruth, their work changed<br />

in the new studio. Bernadette felt it took nearly a year to re<br />

establish her range. She chose to move from earthenware<br />

to low stoneware temperatures. Although she liked the<br />

colours available at earthenware she was not comfortable<br />

with its other properties. Developing a new colour range<br />

and working with new clays and glazes took considerable<br />

development time. Ruth Carter, on the other hand chose to<br />

work with terracotta instead of white clay. Majolica was her<br />

preferred technique but there were many difficulties along<br />

the way finding compatible clays and glazes. Where to start<br />

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56 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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- with the clay or the<br />

glaze? Then the firings<br />

needed to be altered to<br />

suit the body and the tin<br />

glaze. This is the time<br />

when being part of a<br />

group is so important.<br />

Shared knowledge is a<br />

powerful tool, not to mention<br />

the emotional support that can be<br />

offered.<br />

Marketing:<br />

Barry, Ruth and Bernadette each<br />

have their own distinctive range of<br />

work. Each came to the studio with<br />

their own markets for their work.<br />

Barry Blight particularly, has been<br />

exhibiting his work continuously<br />

and successfully for many years in<br />

Sydney. Bernadette and Ruth were<br />

reestablishing contacts and<br />

promoting a new range for<br />

galleries. They found that the<br />

system has changed alot in the last<br />

five years and more galleries expect<br />

to take work on consignment. This<br />

throws more responsibility on the<br />

makers as they have to keep track<br />

of stock. Some galleries are more<br />

organised than others and so more<br />

time needs to be spent by the<br />

maker keeping track of money<br />

owed. It is no longer enough to<br />

assume that retailers of your work<br />

will keep efficient records, you<br />

must check for yourself.<br />

Although each potter is primarily<br />

responsible for marketing their<br />

own work, they have also set up a<br />

small retail space at the front of the<br />

building which is open on<br />

Saturdays. This is a valuable link<br />

with the buying public but is also a<br />

drain on their time. Sales are erratic<br />

but they feel it is an important part<br />

of their business linking directly<br />

into their community and giving<br />

Top<br />

Bernadette Magee, cone 6 SW clear<br />

satin glaze. d30cm.<br />

Below<br />

Barry Blight, orange vase. h380cm.<br />

Opposite<br />

Ruth Carter, large platter<br />

earthenware majolica decoration.<br />

them direct feed back<br />

on work produced.<br />

Often the most valuable<br />

comments are those<br />

overheard being made<br />

between two customers!<br />

It is a place to sell seconds<br />

but also a place to try new<br />

or 'one off works.<br />

A Christmas sale is held each<br />

year with each potter contacting<br />

their own mailing list as well as<br />

letter box dropping in the local<br />

area. This has built up a loyal<br />

clientele. Marketing possibilites<br />

are always being assessed and it is<br />

a constant struggle to find the time<br />

for this activity. Each studio<br />

member found it frustrating that so<br />

much time was spent away from<br />

actually producing work just to<br />

keep their individual, and the<br />

studio's business running, but I am<br />

sure this could also be said of<br />

individual professional artists.<br />

The experience of establishing<br />

and running this studio has<br />

certainly taken both creative<br />

energy and considerable business<br />

skill by all three members. Those<br />

considering setting up a studio<br />

need to be well prepared for a<br />

considerable investment of both<br />

time and money, particularly in<br />

Sydney. So much so that<br />

Bernadette Magee said, 'it appears<br />

studio potters are an endangered<br />

species due to loss of habitat'.<br />

However there is no doubting<br />

there are many advantages to this<br />

type of studio practice and with<br />

careful planning many of the<br />

pitfalls can be dealt with or even<br />

avoided. oo<br />

Glebe <strong>Pottery</strong> Studio, 123A Mitchell<br />

Street, Glebe Ph: (02) 660 7265<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 57

More on Marketing<br />

John Eagle continues this regular series providing information on aspects<br />

of marketing for the ceramist.<br />

Moving away from packaging as an obvious<br />

marketing device, perhaps it is time to comment on<br />

other methods of complimenting a product by<br />

adding to its appeal in the market place. Any product<br />

needs to gain an edge over the competition to the point<br />

where a wavering customer will select it rather than<br />

another.<br />

This article is about functional ware and the relationship<br />

of design and a marketing idea that my partner, Rosema1y<br />

and I worked with in the early 1980's, and this rationale to<br />

some extent still influences my thinking when attempting<br />

to design and produce a new product.<br />

The business was a small retail/wholesale concern just<br />

out of Ballarat with the range being functional and<br />

relatively earthy. <strong>In</strong> spite of the obvious practical nature of<br />

my work I was still asked from time to time questions like<br />

'Can it go in the oven?' 'Can you use it?' 'What can you do<br />

with it?'. These questions were usually asked about the<br />

more complicated items like pie plates and pudding bowls.<br />

However, other items like casseroles and mugs were not<br />

exempt.<br />

The need to explain and to discuss the usefulness and<br />

versatility of our products provided the answer to our need for<br />

a marketing idea that would make the product's general use<br />

obvious and provide guidance for a specific use - a recipe!<br />

We felt this idea would also be a worthwhile item in<br />

shops and galleries where there was not time for the sales<br />

person to be completely involved.<br />

For each pot in my main range a recipe was developed<br />

that was tried and tested (two desserts in a single night!). On<br />

the inside of the swing tag that went with the pot there was<br />

a recipe that we knew was a success in that particular pot.<br />

With the development of the recipes came the<br />

realisation that my pots in many instances needed to be<br />

better designed and a process of refinement was<br />

undertaken. One example of a redesigned form was the<br />

pudding bowl. The original bowl was shaped with a<br />

slightly constricted top and then a slight flair to allow the<br />

cloth or foil to be tied without slipping off when the<br />

pudding was steaming. This was fine except that when the<br />

pudding was cooked it had to be dug out of the basin,<br />

often in the most unceremonious manner! By altering the<br />

design and providing the support for the cloth or foil, and<br />

by redesigning the rim, not only was the shape more<br />

comfortable as a pot but the pudding could be removed<br />

happily in one piece.<br />

Our cottage outlet also enabled us to extend our<br />

marketing ideas based around the recipes. One of these<br />

ideas took the form of a recipe tasting day. Although not an<br />

immediate financial coup, the good will and interest<br />

generated increased the sales made over the following few<br />

months and convinced us that the effo1t was worthwhile. On<br />

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58 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN I 996

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the day of the tasting the Brandy Berries recipe was the most<br />

popular and I know for a fact that a number of our customers<br />

had mysterious headaches the next morning! We continued<br />

with the recipe cards for a few years with up to twenty<br />

recipes being included and from time to time the thought<br />

crops up that maybe we could reintroduce our recipes.<br />

The ability to provide additional material with a product<br />

is becoming easier with the availability of laser printing<br />

and community centres that have quite sophisticated<br />

reproduction equipment. I have included two of the most<br />

popular recipes and their pots - the Brandy Berries can be<br />

a real blaster! oo<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 59

Starting Points<br />

From the Greg Daly workshop held by the<br />

Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong> in February. All the participants left with heads spinning,<br />

full of renewed enthusiasm for glazes and glaze testing.<br />

SUE BUCKLE reports.<br />

Greg's approach is extremely pragmatic, and more<br />

than a little cavalier (I'm sure there would have<br />

been some TAFE or University glaze teachers<br />

turning in their graves! ). However, this combination of<br />

being both extremely methodical in building up his<br />

understanding of materials and always inquisitive and<br />

adventurous is something we can all learn from.<br />

If you are reading this page then you are obviously still<br />

curious about glazes. Have you stopped to ask yourself<br />

"why do I want a particular glaze?" And what will you do<br />

with it when you get it? Without understanding the basic<br />

materials of a glaze then any recipe becomes just a lucky<br />

dip - maybe you win; maybe not! And where to then?<br />

As Greg puts it 'Any glaze is just a list of materials and a<br />

list of numbers.' Before launching off into any new recipe,<br />

make sure all your recipes are expressed as parts of 100.<br />

This way you can easily compare the quantities of<br />

ingredients which will improve your understanding about<br />

their differences and similarities.<br />

There are a number of factors that will affect your<br />

experience of glaze.<br />

1. Materials: Remember that many of our glaze materials<br />

are natural and so will vary from batch to batch. It is<br />

important to test new bags of any material. Place a small<br />

amount piled up on a tile (a commercial, unglazed tile<br />

from the tile shop is perfect) or a piece of kiln brick When<br />

you buy a ball clay or kaolin, make sure you know which<br />

type it is - (eg Eckaglass or Eckalite), they each have a<br />

slightly different chemical analysis.<br />

2. Body: The type of clay body you are using will affect<br />

glaze quality and colour. Even clay bodies of the same<br />

colour may affect the glaze surface and colour response<br />

because the clay body itself may have different ingredients<br />

and a different surface quality.<br />

3. Heat: <strong>No</strong>t only will the temperature you fire to affect<br />

your glaze but so will the length of the firing and tl1e time<br />

taken to cool the kiln. To measure heatwork in your kiln<br />

use Cones. Unlike a pyrometer which only measures<br />

temperature, the Cones measure the heat work done on<br />

your clay and glaze. This is related directly to the length of<br />

time taken to reach a temperature. Some glazes require<br />

specific heating/ cooling conditions to be successful, eg<br />

crystal glazes need slow cooling.<br />

4. The Kiln: Is it gas, electric, wood, oil etc? Each fuel<br />

imparts its own characteristics to a glaze, particularly the<br />

organic fuels.<br />

Reduction or oxidation is also a critical variable as is not<br />

only the time of reduction/ re-oxidation but at what<br />

temperature it is commenced. Reduction is particularly<br />

important when the glaze materials start to melt.<br />

As an experiment, try firing your current glazes at<br />

different temperatures. Take e/w glazes to s/w or to bisc<br />

temperatures. Take s/w to e/w; Cone 10 glazes to Cone 6<br />

etc. Some high temperature glazes may be very interesting<br />

and stable dry glazes at lower temperatures; colour<br />

responses may also vary considerably.<br />

5. Application: Be aware how you apply your glazes and<br />

experiment. Take your applications to the extremes of both<br />

thickness and thiness; pour, spray, dip and paint them.<br />

Overlap them. It is important to check your bisc<br />

temperature - the glaze application is directly affected by<br />

the porosity of the bisc body. A change in the bisc<br />

temperature (either intentional or unintentional) can<br />

dramatically affect glaze application and therefore the fired<br />

quality of that glaze.<br />

6. You!: This is the really tricky one. You need to be aware<br />

how thickly you apply a glaze, and how you mix it.<br />

So, how do you begin a successful glaze programme for<br />

yourself?<br />

- Decide exactly what you are looking for.<br />

- Learn about your materials by firing them in isolation<br />

and combination and by reading appropriate books.<br />

- Don't believe anything you are told - t1y it and test it<br />

yourself!<br />

To begin take a common glaze, or a glaze you use in your<br />

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60 POTTERY IN AUSTRAL.IA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ 1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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own work, and change the proportions of the materials, for<br />

example:<br />

Leach's Cone 8: (Fire to Cone 9 down, Cone 10 soft.)<br />

Potash Felspar 40 Change to 10 30 20<br />

Whiting 20 40 10 30<br />

Silica 30 20 40 10<br />

Kaolin 10 30 20 10<br />

This alone will give you a whole range of glazes from dry<br />

to glossy.<br />

To test colour responses make additions of different<br />

oxides. Greg suggests staning with 4g iron oxide, 10g iron<br />

oxide, lg cobalt carbonate, 4g copper carbonate, 4g nickel<br />

oxide and 10g rutile.<br />

Funher experiments can be done easily by replacing the<br />

flux in any recipe with different fluxes. This will have an<br />

affect not only on the melt and the surface of the fired<br />

glaze but also on the colour response. <strong>In</strong> the above<br />

example replace the Whiting with Barium (use extreme<br />

caution when handling barium - masks and gloves are<br />

essential), Talc, Dolomite, Zinc or a Frit. The flux material<br />

is in fact the most important factor in colour so<br />

understanding the properties of different materials in<br />

relation to colour will be extremely useful.<br />

So these are some accessible starting points for your<br />

own journey of discovery. It is very obvious that Greg<br />

really enjoys exploring glazes and can certainly<br />

communicate his excitement. I would suggest this is the<br />

most important factor in any journey! oo<br />

Glazes and Glazing Techniques by Greg Daly is available from the<br />

Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong> for $29 (RRP $<strong>35</strong>), plus postage. See<br />

Special Book Offers, Page 81.<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ 1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 61

Greetings from Gondar, Ethiopia<br />

---<br />

PART2<br />

Geoff Crispin spent most of 1995 working in Project Ploughshare's Wolleka Womens' <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

e first postcard from<br />

thiopia described my efforts<br />

searching for useful clay<br />

deposits - trying to pin down the<br />

local raw materials and testing<br />

them. The six month period<br />

allowed the development of<br />

bodies and preliminary glazes. The<br />

necessary machinery to make use<br />

of the local materials was<br />

identified, some built in Ethiopia<br />

and some imported. Additional<br />

equipment is still needed, but a<br />

start can now be made to get the<br />

production going.<br />

My first sojourn ended in June<br />

and I returned to Gondar during<br />

October to train the management<br />

team in production control and<br />

planning.<br />

The whole landscape had<br />

changed in the interim. The<br />

scenery before I left was dry and Alem Tegow burnishing pots before firing<br />

dusty with the dominant colours<br />

being brown and grey-green. This has altered dramatically<br />

with the coming of the rains. Crops have grown and<br />

matured and harvesting is in full swing. Barley and maize<br />

are already being cut, whilst teff, the mainstay of the<br />

Ethiopian diet is yet to reach full maturity. The dominant<br />

colours are now the green of the tree foliage and the<br />

various colours of the maturing crops; bright yellow for the<br />

oil seed flowers through to the straw yellow of the ripe<br />

barley and, in between, yellow and green of the almost<br />

ripe teff. This harvest is reflected in the local markets with<br />

a variety of vegetables available that are not seen during<br />

the dry season. Everywhere the products of the rains are<br />

for sale; pumpkins, carrots, peas, various types of beans<br />

and cobs of maize being roasted over charcoal fires.<br />

Returning to the progress in the pottery, part of the<br />

management has been the stockpiling of the materials<br />

needed for full scale production.<br />

Sunday was the day designated to collect reject bricks<br />

from Ancho. This is a small scale<br />

brick making project located only<br />

7-8 km from the pottery. The reject<br />

bricks are crushed and used in the<br />

stoneware body for both tiles and<br />

making thrown ware. It acts as a<br />

calcined clay addition to reduce<br />

drying /firing shrinkage and also to<br />

act as a flux when the clay is fired.<br />

The alkali content is about 7-8%.<br />

The trip to Ancho is only about<br />

7-8km from Wolleka, the site of<br />

the pottery, but after the rainy<br />

season the road is almost<br />

impassable for our vehicle even<br />

though it is a four wheel drive.<br />

<strong>In</strong>stead we have obtained the loan<br />

of a 10 ton truck from the Road<br />

Construction Authority for the day.<br />

We set off having picked up 8<br />

workers to help load the truck. The<br />

road to Ancho is little more than a<br />

track once you turn off the main<br />

road. First we cross a flat area rich<br />

with the ripening harvest and the going is easy but all too<br />

soon the track starts to follow the vagaries of a small stream<br />

as it winds it's way deeper into a narrow valley in between<br />

two huge hills, Ancho Michael and Gondar Georghis. The<br />

water from the torrential rains has washed away the road in<br />

places and the damaged sections have been filled with rocks<br />

so progress is slow over the very bumpy sections. It's<br />

obvious why the smaller vehicle would not pass some<br />

sections that climb steep inclines and fall just as rapidly all<br />

over a bed of basalt rocks. The truck suffers two flat tyres as<br />

a result of the sharp rocks but keeps on going until we reach<br />

the site of the brickworks where the flat tyres are replaced.<br />

After the rains there has been an enormous growth in<br />

weeds as well as the crops in the fields. The piles of reject<br />

bricks are covered with about 1.5m of undergrowth so it<br />

has to be removed first with one eye out for biting, stinging<br />

things. It is cleared away and we are under way. The truck<br />

backs up to the site and loading is commenced.<br />

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62 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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We form two chains of<br />

people passing broken<br />

bricks from hand to hand<br />

and then throwing them<br />

up into the back of the<br />

truck. After two hours of<br />

loading we climb up<br />

onto the back of the<br />

truck to check how the<br />

filling is progressing. It's<br />

depressing when we<br />

realise that less than half<br />

of the back is full, we<br />

are down to the smaller<br />

pieces and no one<br />

remembered to bring<br />

a shovel!<br />

Fortunately someone<br />

did remember to bring<br />

some bags so we start to<br />

scrabble around and<br />

scrape up all the small<br />

pieces with our hands.<br />

Filling the bags and<br />

passing them up to be<br />

emptied and refilled<br />

again and again. Very<br />

slow progress.<br />

I've forgotten to bring<br />

some water and, not<br />

really thinking about the<br />

enormity of the task of<br />

filling a 10 ton truck by<br />

hand, no lunch either.<br />

After about three hours of the loading I have to have a rest.<br />

The altitude (approximately 2,300m), and the heat in the<br />

middle of the day is all a bit much. It reminds me of the<br />

day when, a few weeks after arriving in Gondar, whilst<br />

chasing raw materials, I had to climb the very hill that<br />

towers over the brick making site. Ancho Michael is about<br />

another 4-SO0m above us and located very close to the top<br />

is a deposit of a volcanic rock called tuff. This material can<br />

be used in a number of ways in ceramics, but climbing that<br />

hill when you start at 2,300m was exhausting. I made it, but<br />

the knees were a little shaky on the way down.<br />

Back to the loading, and the others take a short break<br />

and we discuss stopping. It is not worth stopping now as<br />

we need to get as much as possible in one trip. Tesfaye,<br />

the manager of the pottery is older than me but keeps on<br />

going relentlessly without a break, determined to fill that<br />

truck. I don't know how he does it.. ..<br />

Eventually after 5 hours, 'Mulu', 'enough'. A halt is<br />

Loading the truck at the Ancho brickworks.<br />

Threshing and winnowing barley after harvest.<br />

called, and exhausted,<br />

dehydrated and hungry<br />

we climb back onto the<br />

truck, check out that<br />

the load has indeed<br />

reached acceptable<br />

levels and start off on<br />

the trip back to the<br />

pottery. Because of the<br />

weight in the truck it<br />

rides easily and moves<br />

more quickly back<br />

down the track and in<br />

no time we are back<br />

at the pottery. The<br />

bricks are deposited<br />

by the tip truck<br />

almost immediately.<br />

What seems like a very<br />

small pile is the result<br />

of all that labour. I<br />

must confess to feeling<br />

a little cheated! The<br />

pottery, however, has<br />

enough to last for<br />

about a year but will<br />

need to return to<br />

Ancho before the next<br />

wet season for another<br />

load. The next time we<br />

will try and locate a<br />

front end loader to do<br />

most of the work. This<br />

will allow more loads<br />

to be taken to the pottery more quickly, without<br />

exhausting the workers.<br />

It was a pleasure to return to Wolleka and find the place<br />

knee deep in pots. Skills have been honed by the practice<br />

during 'krempt' or wet season and the improvements are<br />

impressive. The pottery is starting to produce the<br />

stoneware tiles and domestic ware which will help to make<br />

the project economically viable. The traditional pots will<br />

continue to be made as well giving the pottery a broad<br />

economic and cultural base.<br />

It's an exciting time at Wolleka with the blossoming of<br />

new skills and pots, pots, pots. Thanks to all those who<br />

have and continue to help support the progress of Wolleka<br />

and it's women potters. oo<br />

A fundraising raffle will be held leading up to the National Ceramics<br />

Conference in July. Leading potters have donated work. For tickets or<br />

information contact Geoff Crispin 066 - 449 685<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 63

I<br />

'<br />

Bauer, Classic American <strong>Pottery</strong> written by Mitch<br />

Tuchman, photographs by Peter Brenner<br />

Chronicle Books, San Francisco<br />

A new release, distributed in <strong>Australia</strong> by Peribo<br />

The first impression is of luscious photographs that<br />

reflect superbly the colourful style of Bauer <strong>Pottery</strong>.<br />

the ].A. <strong>Pottery</strong> Company(1885-1962) was the first to<br />

break with the tradition of white porcelain for the dinner<br />

table in America. The briliantly<br />

coloured, mix and match, tableware<br />

have become highly sought after<br />

collectors items.<br />

Bauer made an asortment of slip<br />

cast, hand thrown and moulded<br />

ware first in a factory in Kentucky<br />

and then in Los Angeles. <strong>In</strong> 1896<br />

there were 60 men employed in<br />

production and 4 kilns. The wares<br />

were traditional brown, unadorned<br />

hand thrown forms - jugs, crocks,<br />

churns and shallow pans. <strong>In</strong> 1928<br />

Bauer launched their first coloured<br />

tableware, yellowware, with<br />

immediate market sucess. Ceramic<br />

engineer Victor Houser was largely<br />

responsible for developing the<br />

colour range. During the Second<br />

World War Bauer only made two<br />

items, a white cereal bowl and mug<br />

for the navy. Lead, copper and tin,<br />

which went into their coloured<br />

glazes we declared essential for the<br />

war effort and new glazes had to be<br />

developed. By the 1960s cheaper imports and out dated<br />

methods of production took their toll on the company and<br />

it closed in 1962.<br />

This book is a colourful and detailed tribute to an<br />

innovative design which the author calls 'The most<br />

colourful chapter in the history of American pottery. ' It<br />

details the designers and the designs; the tableware, the<br />

florist ware, the artwares and the decorated ware. And all<br />

accompanied by richly coloured photographs.<br />

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••<br />

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


GU IDE<br />


<strong>Australia</strong>n Domestic <strong>Pottery</strong>, A Collectors Guide<br />

by William and Dorothy Hall<br />

Kangaroo Press<br />

This small paperback focuses on commercial artware and includes a listing of<br />

studio potters upto the 1960s. It details the commercial pottelies including a brief<br />

history, a description of the products including photographs of the most common<br />

and information on identification marks.<br />

Of course this book is aimed at collectors and begins by giving basic<br />

information regarding aspects of collecting and ceramic techniques. There is a<br />

great diversity of forms shown and an interesting variety of <strong>Australia</strong>n motifs used<br />

on the work.<br />

Both books available through McGills Technical Books, Brisbane and Melbourne.<br />

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There was a certain machismo in operation when I<br />

was at college. The dirtier and more difficult it was to<br />

fire a kiln, the higher the status. By this thinking, the<br />

cleanness and ease of firing of an electric kiln, put it right<br />

down the bottom of the heap - for wimps only. Thanks to<br />

a widespread upsurge of interest in the extensive palette<br />

of colours that has been developed for earthenware,<br />

which benefit from an oxidising atmosphere, the electric<br />

kiln has become much more popular with the studio<br />

potters. There are at least 300 models of electric kiln<br />

currently available, half of which are designed and<br />

manufactured in <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

This also means that there is some pretty fierce<br />

competition going on out there and one of the biggest<br />

bones of contention is ceramic blanket / ceramic<br />

fibreboard vs insulating brick. It is being fought on the<br />

grounds of health and safety - manufacturers using brick<br />

assert that there are health risks associated with using fibre<br />

(Fibre kilns over 16" have been banned in California) and<br />

point to the inconvenience of using masks when working<br />

with fibre lined kilns. Manufacturers using fibre blanket /<br />

board quote extensive international medical studies<br />

pointing out that 'gross overexposure to any dust/fibre<br />

may overload the natural defence mechanism' and 'there is<br />

still no proof of long-term occupational hazard - other than<br />

temporary skin and eye irritation in bulk wool or blankets.'<br />

Woodrow Kilns use ceramic fibre board which is<br />

bonded in such a way as to make it dust-free and seal it<br />

with protective coatings of 99% alumina. Whatever the<br />

lining, using masks is a good general work practice.<br />

Of course, ceramic fibre I board is used because of its<br />

qualities as an insulator. With ceramic fibre/ board, all the<br />

energy goes into heating up the pots rather than the extra<br />

load of heating up the bricks. Therefore it can provide a<br />

quicker firing and cooling cycle at considerably lower cost.<br />

But some glazes benefit from the slower cooling that brick<br />

provides and the majority of manufacturers only offer brick<br />

lining. The debate continues. Whatever material the lining, it<br />

is worthwhile asking your supplier/manufacturer about<br />

replacing damaged sections.<br />

Electric kilns<br />

This issue Karen Wesiss researches electric kilns.<br />


Kanthal Al wire is now standard on all <strong>Australia</strong>n-made<br />

electric kilns. When fired in an empty kiln up to bisque, a<br />

protective layer of aluminium oxide forms on the outside<br />

of the wire, increasing its resistance to the chemical byproducts<br />

of firing. One manufacturer suggested that firing<br />

empty to l000'C after every 5-6 firings 1200'C or over,<br />

wo~d radically extend the life of your elements. The<br />

avera~ life of elements is 200-300 firings.<br />

Elements are generally mounted in one of two ways;<br />

either groove or rods and hooks. <strong>In</strong> the first, the element<br />

rests in a groove in the lining. The advantage is that this is<br />

cheaper and gives some protection to the elements during<br />

packing as they are flush with the lining.<br />

The disadvantage is that heat is not radiated as efficiently<br />

and therefore it is necessary to heat for longer. Also after<br />

extended use, elements start to squirm around. The<br />

continual expansion and contraction results in the, not<br />

unfamiliar, sight of elements bulging from their grooves<br />

and even gradually draping themselves down the walls.<br />

Rods and hooks or plugs are the second kind of<br />

mounting. Here the support comes from a ceramic rod<br />

inserted through the coil of wire and held out from the wall<br />

by ceramic supports. This permits the elements to heat<br />

more effectively and makes it easy to replace damaged<br />

elements. The downside is that it is more expensive to<br />

manufacture and it leaves the elements more exposed to<br />

debris and accidental damage when packing or firing.<br />

Whichever you choose, be certain to ensure that the kiln<br />

has elements that are rated at least 2-3 cones above your<br />

consistent top temperature. Firing to the maximum<br />

temperature tolerance of your elements will shorten their<br />

life by up to 25%. A note for those buying secondhand<br />

kilns: With extensive use, elements will calcify. This<br />

reduces their ability to heat and they will need to be<br />

replaced.<br />


The more sophisticated computer control systems give you<br />

the opportunity to set a number of firing schedules<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 65

according to your needs. You can set different heating<br />

rates (RAMP rate) for different parts of the firing, soak at a<br />

particular temperature and have the kiln switch off using<br />

either temperature or electronic cone or both. You might<br />

want different programs for different glazes or to alter your<br />

basic program if you have damp, very large or thick pots.<br />

Then you just press a button and walk away. Of course the<br />

more it can do, the more it's going to cost. Top of the range<br />

controllers were quoted at about $1650 (incl. sales tax) at<br />

the time of publication.<br />

The next option to consider is an indicating or digital<br />

temperature control working from a pyrometer which<br />

switches off when temperature is reached. Sometimes<br />

these come with a soak option. Prices will vary according<br />

to the type of thermocouple. The cheapest is suitable for<br />

firing to lO00'C, the most expensive to 1300'C. Top of the<br />

range: currently about $700 (incl. sales tax). This will<br />

require your supervision for the first part of the firing.<br />

Further down, there is the kiln sitter. Many kilns will<br />

come with a kiln sitter as part of the package. A kiln sitter<br />

is a simple device using Orton cones rather than<br />

temperature to determine the cut-off point. A small Orton<br />

cone is inserted to lie across two prongs. A third prong<br />

rests on top of the cone, and as the cone deforms as it gets<br />

to temperature, the prong descends and the switch cuts off.<br />

Several people working with kiln sitters have told me of a<br />

tendency the sitters have of switching off about lO'C<br />

before they reach the desired temperature. <strong>In</strong> this case,<br />

they work with a back-up cone in the kiln which they<br />

check at switch-off time. Also a manufacturer advised using<br />

a bit of kiln wash on the prongs before inserting the cone,<br />

to avoid the possibility of cones getting stuck on the<br />

prongs.<br />

The most basic form of control is the energy regulator.<br />

This is a manual control used for turning the kiln UP or<br />

DOWN. It does not turn the kiln off, nor does it tell you<br />

what temperature the kiln is. Although very common on<br />

old models of kilns, it is no longer so readily available.<br />

Probably the cheapest way to buy a kiln controller is as<br />

part of a kiln package, however they can be bought<br />

separately and there is always the option of a later<br />

upgrade. Something to consider: exposure to heat will<br />

eventually reduce the life of electronic components so the<br />

further removed they are from the kiln, the more extended<br />

their life.<br />


Having decided that electric is the way to go, the question<br />

is - Where to start? The answer is, as always, with yourself.<br />

Think about your needs. If you are a production potter<br />

working with earthenware in oxidation, a large or even<br />

trolley kiln with a single-stage controller may be your best<br />

choice. If you are working with small or individual pieces<br />

with multiple applications of lustre or overglazes, a small<br />

kiln which is easily filled and can fire quickly to<br />

temperature with a multi-program controller, may be just<br />

what you need. For those just starting out, a smaller kiln is<br />

an option that gives you plenty of practice in firing and<br />

glazes and limits the extent of disasters.<br />

Having decided what you would like for internal size,<br />

think about what space you have to put it in. For obvious<br />

safety reasons, electric kilns are put in an enclosed<br />

weatherproof space. It's a good idea to look for a kiln that<br />

will fit through that doorway! Consider the weight of the<br />

kiln and your flooring, especially if your workspace is<br />

upstairs. A large aluminium frame and fibre kiln is<br />

considerably lighter than a steel and brick one and will<br />

cost a lot less for delivery.<br />

What about height? Ease of packing should be a priority.<br />

Ideally, to place the least stress on your back, you should<br />

be packing between waist and shoulder height and not<br />

having to lean too far into the kiln with a heavy kiln shelf<br />

to do so. Some front loading kilns come with a stand, some<br />

can fit on a bench, otherwise you may consider having a<br />

stand made.<br />


Myth 1: You can't reduce in an electric kiln without<br />

destroying the elements. Things have changed since the<br />

old days of nickel-iron elements with the advent of Kanthal<br />

Al wire. This wire has the ability to form a protective<br />

coating of aluminium oxide which will resist the effects of<br />

reduction. The potter can now safely reduce by<br />

introducing solid fuel such as coal or charcoal during<br />

firing, without drastically shortening the life of the<br />

elements. Hilldav kilns even have a specially designed<br />

solid fuel aperture and for those interested in using<br />

reduction in an electric kiln. I recommend reading their<br />

newsletter <strong>Vol</strong>. 2, <strong>No</strong>. 11 for a well thought out guide to<br />

the technique.<br />

The results however, will probably be quite different to<br />

those achieved in a gas or woodfired kiln as there is no<br />

flame path, the heat being created by radiation rather than<br />

combustion.<br />

Myth 2: Electric kilns fire more evenly. It is difficult to<br />

make kilns fire evenly top to bottom. Manufacturers have<br />

approached this problem in different ways: (1) by making<br />

a toploading round kiln. The elements are laid all the way<br />

around the kiln with no break for a door. (2) By<br />

temperature profiling the elements: in the Cress toploaders<br />

the elements fire hottest at the bottom and slightly cooler at<br />

the top, being graduated in between. (3) By having<br />

elements connected in individual relays or sets of relays<br />

with a controller with multiple thermocouples. The<br />

elements will respond to the controller individually as<br />

needed, or in sets at the top or bottom.<br />

This is most effective with the smaller kilns, but the rule<br />

of thumb seems to be that in the range of front loading<br />

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66 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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kilns, the larger the kiln (especially from 17 cu. ft. up), the<br />

more likely it is that the centre of the kiln will be hotter<br />

than top or bottom. Comments I have received would<br />

seem to indicate that this difference may be more marked<br />

in brick-lined kilns. This would make sense as the brick<br />

would retain heat longer than fibre. These variations can<br />

be compensated for by using glazes with a wide firing<br />

range, or two glazes with a different melt. One potter<br />

reported that she compensated by packing the bottom<br />

shelf of her frontloader with large pieces. Some toploaders<br />

have a problem with a cool spot in the bottom. According<br />

to one report, that was sucessfully overcome by using a<br />

downdraft venting system (see safety issues).<br />

Myth 3: Electric kilns are very cheap to run. Small hobby<br />

kilns are very cheap to run, however the larger kilns are<br />

not so cheap, as you will be paying the higher commercial<br />

rather than domestic rates (Off-peak rates may be availab<br />

le.)<br />

Manufacturers of kilns using ceramic fibre or board<br />

claim energy savings of up to 50-60% compared to brick.<br />

But the real costs come with the installation. Electric kilns,<br />

even single phase, cannot just be plugged into the wall and<br />

switched on. First check with an electrician. Single phase<br />

kilns may require a separate circuit which will run from<br />

your board to a 15 amp. box in your workspace. 3 phase<br />

kilns require 3 separate circuits which run from the street<br />

supply to your board (which may need to be extended)<br />

and then to a box in your workspace. <strong>In</strong> Sydney, Sydney<br />

Electricity will supply the wire free but nothing else. If you<br />

are installing 3 phase you may have to pay for them to<br />

disconnect and reconnect during installation. You must<br />

also include in your costs ongoing maintenance, replacing<br />

elements etc. which will vary according to the amount of<br />

use the kiln gets.<br />


We have already looked at fibre vs brick. <strong>No</strong>w think about<br />

a kiln in an enclosed workspace. Electric kilns are not<br />

flued like gas or woodfire kilns. They have vents from<br />

which the unpleasant and often toxic fumes given off<br />

during firing, are released. These can be drawn off by an<br />

exhaust fan. This is not very effective, and still allows<br />

fumes to disperse within the work area. The next step is to<br />

enclose the top of the kiln in a metal hood and use either<br />

passive convection or ducts and a fan. This is fairly<br />

expensive and too strong a draw from the fan may create<br />

temperature variation within the kiln. <strong>In</strong> addition, it still<br />

allows some fumes into the room.<br />

Recently mechanical downdraft systems have become<br />

available. This attaches easily to the base of the kiln and<br />

draws hot air and fumes from the bottom creating<br />

downdraft ventilation, immediately mixing this with cool<br />

air and venting it outside. Woodrow Kilns have developed<br />

the system further, adding an activated carbon filter. The<br />

manufacturers of Envirovent, an American downdraft<br />

system, claim that this system actively improves heat<br />

distribution within the kiln, making it more even and<br />

providing a well-oxidised firing.<br />

Currently costs were quoted at between $500 -$700 (incl.<br />

sales tax).<br />

Kilns get very hot on the inside. How hot they get on the<br />

outside depends on the grade and thickness of the lining.<br />

Three inches of insulating brick is not alot between you<br />

and 126o·c. If you are sharing a small work area with the<br />

kiln and other people or children are around. It is safer to<br />

purchase a kiln with insulation that will bring the outer<br />

surface down to an acceptable temperature.<br />


Present prices in the 6-8 cuft range are from $3200 - $5000.<br />

But this is meaningless without looking at the type of<br />

controller, the lining, the elements, the structure, the cost<br />

of delivery and installation and extras like exhaust systems<br />

and kiln furniture.<br />

Most <strong>Australia</strong>n manufacturers will design and build<br />

kilns for specific needs, even building them in place if<br />

necessary. Whatever you choose - happy firing!<br />

My thanks to the following manufacturers and suppliers<br />

for their generous assistance:<br />

KilnWest: (09) 377 1222<br />

B & L Tetlow Pty Ltd: (03) 9877 4188<br />

Woodrow <strong>In</strong>dustries Pty Ltd: (02) 727 4755<br />

Prior <strong>In</strong>dustries Pty Ltd: (02) 649 6388 or (07) 394 3833<br />

Ceramic & Craft Centre: (02) 771 6166 or (07) 343 7377<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>n Furnace Company: (07) 3865 1209<br />

Ellen Massey: (02) 553 9400<br />

Hilldav <strong>In</strong>dustries Pty Ltd: (02) 688 1777<br />

Ceroamic Supply Company (Cesco): (02) 892 1566<br />

Melton Ceramic Supplies: (03) 743 9479<br />

BPQ Kilns: (074) 99 0733<br />

Walker Ceramics: (02) 451 5855 or (03) 9725 7255<br />

A.F.C. Hitech Kilns: (07) 3933409<br />

Aldax <strong>In</strong>dustries Pty Ltd: (02) 772 1066<br />

The Pug Mill Pty Ltd: (08) 43 4544<br />

Ceramicraft: (09) 249 9266<br />

<strong>No</strong>rthcote <strong>Pottery</strong>: (03) 484 4580<br />

N.S.W. <strong>Pottery</strong> Supplies: (02) 630 0133<br />

S.E.I. Kilns: (07) 349 <strong>35</strong>58<br />

and all the potters for their feedback.<br />

<strong>In</strong> our next issue we will be looking at Safety Gear; Face<br />

Masks, gloves etc. As always, your information and<br />

feedback is appreciated. Please contact Karen Weiss<br />

Tel: (02) 308 439.<br />

Karen Weiss c. <strong>1996</strong><br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 67

ELECTRIC KILNS - <strong>1996</strong> SURVEY<br />



OPnONS<br />

AVAIIJ<br />

Woodrow Aust. 0.28 cu.ft.- T&F ceramic board Kanthal Al groove all aluminium bd. 5-240 kg most 6 progr<br />

<strong>In</strong>dustries 15 cu. ft. and insul.brick br.140-470 kg<br />

6.4-3451.<br />

Cromartie U.K. 0.75-16 cuft T ceramic fibre High grade groove mild steel galv. 30-200kg most 9 basic<br />

17.2-3681. and insul. brick spiral or paint.stain- kilns<br />

less steel<br />

progr<br />

Duncan U.S.A. 1.2-7.3cu.ft. T insul.brick High quality groove stainless steel 72-332 lbs Yes kilns<br />

27.6-1681. spiral<br />

Ward Aust. .09-12.01 cuft F insul. brick Kanthal Al groove mild steel 15-360 kg most kilns<br />

2-2761. and fibre stainless steel basic<br />

Skutt U.S.A. .55-11.57cu.ft T insul.brick Kanthal Al groove mild steel galv. 55-362 lb. Yes. Sections kilns<br />

12.7-2661. stainless steel detachable for progr<br />

removal.<br />

Hilldav Aust. 5.5-50cu.ft. F insul.brick Kanthal Al groove mild steel or 450-1600kg Up to 3.25 cuft progr<br />

126.5-1150 I. stainless steel size model<br />

painted<br />

Cesco Aust. 2.5-30 cuft F fibre blanket Kanthal Al rods all aluminium 80-1000 kg depends on 3 <strong>In</strong>dic<br />

57.5-690 I. fibre board and hooks painted. design prog1<br />

insul. brick<br />

kilns<br />

prog1<br />

B.P.Q. Aust. 0.38-7.1 cuft T insul. brick Kanthal Al groove mild steel,lid 40-220kg Yes 4 basic<br />

8.7-163.31. fibre lid stainless steel indic<br />

Tetlow Aust. 0.4-32 cuft T&F insul. brick Kanthal Al groove mild steel 25-750 kg Up to 12 cuft indic<br />

9.2-7361. prog1<br />

prog1<br />

Cress U.S.A. 0.68-9.62 cuft T insul. brick Kanthal Al groove mild steel 80-400 kg Most basic<br />

15.6-221.31. stainless steel kilns<br />

KilnWest Aust. .42-12 cuft F insul.brick Kanthal Al groove mild galv. steel 30-330 kg depends on prog1<br />

11.8-3401. baked enamel design<br />

Walker Aust. 1.6 cuft T insul. brick Kanthal Al groove stainless steel 50 kg Yes kiln i<br />

36.81.<br />

A.F.C. Hitech. Aust. 2.5-25 cuft F fibre blanket Kanthal Al rod alumetal, 92-300 kg Up to 12 cuft progi<br />

70-7001. and plug stainless steel size model<br />

Paragon U.S.A. .125-29 cuft T&F insul.brick Kanthal Al groove galv. steel 4-220 kg Most 3 kiln 1<br />

2.9-6671. stainless steel prog<br />

Aust. Aust. 1.75-20 cuft F ceramic fibre Kanthal Al rod alumetal 78-3<strong>35</strong> kg Up to 10 cuft prog<br />

Furnace Co.<br />

and hook<br />

Gare U.S.A. .57-14.4 cuft. T insul. brick Kanthal Al groove mild steel galv. 29.3-204 kg Yes kiln<br />

13.1-331.21. stainless steel prog<br />

prog<br />

S.E.I.Kilns Aust. 1.3-15 cuft T&F insul. brick KanthalAF groove angle iron 100-450 kg 4.5 cuft basic<br />

29.9-3451. stainless steel indic<br />

All kilns can be installed single, 2 or 3 phase according to size.<br />

68 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>




6 programmable Yes Yes 2 yrs.labour & Ventilated air cavity behind casing,abrasion resistant coating for hotface<br />

parts.Travel board,fixed glass spyholes avail. with integral venting system.<br />

costs ex Sydney 'Rapid fire' model fires to 1300C from domestic powerpoint.<br />

9 basic regulator, <strong>No</strong> Yes 12mths. Labour Kilns come as septagon, round or oval, depending on size.<br />

kiln sitter, and parts All models(excepting oval)mounted on castors with brakes.<br />

programmable.<br />

kiln sitter <strong>No</strong> Yes. varies with Kiln sitter comes with safety timer and is standard-fitting on all models.<br />

All spares supplier Override switch for manual LOW or HIGH,extemal handles.Easy repair.2.5"-3" brick avail.<br />

Kiln extension rings available.<br />

kiln sitter Yes Yes 12mths,parts Additional fibre between inner brickwork and outer case<br />

basic regulator and labour for better thermal efficiency.Baked paint finish.<br />

kiln sitter, <strong>No</strong> Avail. 12 mths parts Safety timer for kiln sitter avail. Also can increase size by adding<br />

programmable 1-2 wks except element Wired Ring or Blank Ring.Most models have 3" thick brick.<br />

Small glass slumping kilns also avail. Sealed dustfree lid.<br />

programmable over 50 cuft Yes 12mths. parts, Designed with special aperture in door for introducing<br />

materials only solid fuel for reduction. 1400C hot face brick.Safety door switch.<br />

Element placement options are 2,3,4 walls and floor. Trolley kilns.<br />

<strong>In</strong>dicating temp Yes Yes 12 mths parts 5 layers fibre blanket, brick suitable 1300C firing.<br />

programmable and labour stand comes with kiln furniture shelf.<br />

basic regulator Yes Yes 12 mths parts Elements rated to rnax.1280C.Lid safety switch.lO0mm. legs, stands avail.<br />

indicating temp and labour frame powder-coated.<br />

kiln sitter<br />

programmable<br />

indicating temp. Yes Yes 12 mths parts Elements avail. to fire to 1400C. 4 door types avail. incl.<br />

programmable and labour central pivot.Door removable. Zone programming for elements.<br />

excl. elements<br />

basic regulator <strong>No</strong> Yes 2 yrs parts 3" brick on larger models.2 position lid venting prop. Locking<br />

kiln sitter<br />

lid brace.Shapes vary from hexagon to decagon. Most pop. model<br />

programmable<br />

"Little Wizard"14"w.18"depth. fires to Cone 10. <strong>In</strong>expensive.<br />

programmable Yes Yes 12 mths parts Top firing temp. 1280C Other controller options avail.<br />

& labour on request.3 layers insulation.<br />

excl.elements<br />

kiln sitter <strong>No</strong> Yes 3mths parts Cone 6 capacity. Will fire to 1280C but this limits<br />

& labour life of elements, bricks & kiln sitter. Backup limit timer.<br />

programmable Yes Yes 12mths parts Cerachem blanket fires to 1425C, low shrinkage,stays soft.Doors removable.<br />

5 yrs structure Cast ceramic spyholes,exhaust ports.Stainless steel adjustable door catches.<br />

Larger diam. element wire for longer life. Alumetal for longer frame life.<br />

kiln sitter Yes Yes 1 yr 3" brick Kiln stand std. most models.Kiln stand with casters avail.<br />

programmable 2 yrs. 2.5" Br. Quikfire 6 model, ceramic fibre shell 0-lOOOC in 5 min.<br />

labour,parts. Lid and top edge sealed with refractory coating. some models heat shield on switch box<br />

programmable Yes Yes 12 mths parts 5 layers of blanket, Cerachem hotface 1425C.Removable doorswith adjustable closing<br />

lockable. Spyholes, ports cast ceramics.Stand with adjustable feet, kiln storage shelf.<br />

kiln sitter, <strong>No</strong> Yes 12mths parts Ventilated control panel.2 position lid vent.1260C most models.Handles.<br />

programmable and labour Dust free coating on inner lid.Fyrematic models combine controller and kiln sitter.<br />

5 yrs structure<br />

basic regulator Yes Yes 3 mths parts 4.5" brick, fires to 1280C consistently, removable doors.<br />

indicating temp. and labour competitively priced.<br />

programmable<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 69

Deflocculated slip<br />

- Clay Adhesive<br />

'I learned of using deflocculated slip<br />

as an adhesive compound from John Dermer'.<br />

Article by IVOR LEWIS.<br />

Opposite: Oval dish. Ivor Lewis.<br />

J<br />

ohn recommends its use and insists that the parts<br />

being joined should NOT be scored. He contends that<br />

scoring may leave cavities which en-trap air when the<br />

slip is applied. Expansion of the air as it heats causes<br />

pressure to increase. This stress can initiate cracks and<br />

possible fracture of the joint.<br />

I have accepted his suggestions. I make a thick, dense<br />

deflocculated slip from the clay body I am using. Soak<br />

dried, crushed turnings, stand overnight, the excess fluid is<br />

decanted off, or mopped up with a damp sponge. When<br />

the mixture is blunged and sieved, allow the water to<br />

evaporate then reblunge, so the mixture is thickened. A<br />

consistency should be similar to thick (double) cream,<br />

does not readily run, and peaks when an object is pulled<br />

from it.<br />

Parts to be joined should be leather hard, firm, but<br />

pliable. I mark locations with a liner brush and red ink.<br />

Both pieces are liberally coated with the deflocculated slip<br />

on their mating faces. I try not to obscure my location<br />

marks. There is a need for speed without undue haste. At<br />

this stage it is important not to apply pressure which will<br />

cause the pieces to lock. <strong>In</strong>stead, the lubricant properties<br />

of the slip are exploited, allowing the parts to be precisely<br />

positioned. When the parts are accurately located, gently<br />

apply pressure to each side of the weld and vertical to the<br />

plane of the joint, causing the slip to exude, flushing out<br />

any trapped air.<br />

When this has been done gently along the joint, excess<br />

slip is sponged away. The damp sponge should be rinsed<br />

and squeezed regularly. The pressing process is repeated<br />

with increased force to ensure that the high and low points<br />

between the contact surfaces meet. Butted joints should be<br />

given a slightly convex profile. This provides a central<br />

point of contact and slip exudes easily out of the wedge<br />

shaped gap.<br />

Lawrence and West ("Ceramic Science for the Potter"<br />

1982, Page 68) give a comparison between flocculated<br />

(ordinary throwing slurry) and deflocculated slips and<br />

describes their qualities. Their information shows quite<br />

clearly that deflocculated slip has properties which make it<br />

ideal as an adhesive. My own experience leads me to<br />

believe that it behaves in a way analogous to a high<br />

temperature brazing alloy. Consider these qualities: High<br />

density because it is made from the minimum volume of<br />

water containing a high weight of solids, so providing a<br />

high bulk of clay to fill or bridge the voids; low viscosity,<br />

providing lubrication for movement during alignment of<br />

parts; high bulk to volume means reduced shrinkage,<br />

hence reduced susceptibility to hair line cracks; high green<br />

strength, reducing potential for damage prior to firing;<br />

fina<br />

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70 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

md<br />

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finally, a stable suspension which does not separate and<br />

settle during a production run. All these properties are<br />

ones which improve productive efficiency and lead to a<br />

product with enhanced quality.<br />

<strong>In</strong> contrast, the simple mixture of clay and water has<br />

properties which are opposite in character.I use the<br />

process described, with deflocculated clay, as a standard<br />

routine. Handles on mugs, spouts and lugs on teapots,<br />

knobs on lids (subsequently thrown) and feet onto<br />

planters. Using Jane Hamlyn's methods for composite pots,<br />

I achieve joints between wall and base up to 150cm long,<br />

with a weld area of 200 sq. cm.<br />

One note of caution. If the clay has lost its pliability and<br />

dried past the leather hard stage, there may be difficulties.<br />

The slip seems to loose its lubricity and liquidity on contact<br />

with the clay. This makes joining difficult and a hair line<br />

fracture may form but not reveal itself before bisque firing.<br />

Preferably all parts are made at the same time, from the<br />

same clay batch, and allowed to dry slowly. oo<br />

Copyright Ivor Lewis, 1995<br />

Ivor Lewis has a Certificate in Teaching and a B. Ed. <strong>In</strong> 1991 he<br />

resigned from teaching to pursue a life as an artist and potter. His<br />

current interests are ceramic rtsearch, product design and gallery<br />

management.<br />

Left: Traditional jointing requires scoring and slip. This can lead<br />

to air inclusions which expand during heating to cause stress<br />

fractures which may propagate to become cracks. Centre:<br />

Eliminating scoring leaves no voids when deflocculated slip is<br />

applied. The mating faces and the slip have similar densities and<br />

there is an effective weld between the two pieces. The cause of<br />

fracturing is eliminated. Below: Magnified view shows scored<br />

surface where bubbles of air have been trapped in the slip.<br />

When the clay dries out these become irregular voids. Angular<br />

contact points along their internal edges act as stress raisers.<br />

Cracks can propagate from these locations.<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ 1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 71

Cam Ha <strong>Pottery</strong> Village - Vietnam<br />

Christine Pearson explores traditional life in a village of potters.<br />

Transporting pots to market.<br />

South east of Danang is the ancient town of Hoi An, 5<br />

km inland from the coast. For several centuries Hoi<br />

An was one of the most important trading ports in<br />

South East Asia and an important centre of cultural<br />

exchange between East and West.<br />

By the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th<br />

Century Hoi An's social and physical environment had<br />

changed drastically. Local wars and the silting of the river<br />

forced a new port to be established and Danang succeeded<br />

HoiAn.<br />

Cam Ha <strong>Pottery</strong> Village is on the Thu Ben River upriver<br />

from Hoi An. Our boat chuggs past huge fishing nets, men<br />

dredging for sand, others in coracles - round woven boats -<br />

collecting greens for lunch and huge beautifully woven<br />

fish traps. Close to shore children are playing and<br />

swimming in the river whilst women are doing washing<br />

clothes. It is early and already you can feel the heat of the<br />

day approaching.<br />

The river splits and we head past small villages. I can see<br />

the kilns in the distance. Children are running along the<br />

bank waving and calling 'hello'. Bricks are layed out to dry<br />

around the kilns and mounds of clay are waiting to be<br />

carried to the production areas. The clay is brought by boat<br />

from Dien Phuoc. One boat load costs about $US12. A boat<br />

of clay makes approximately 2000 pots, I'm informed.<br />

We pull up at a small jetty and walk into the village past<br />

open doors. Everywhere pots are stacked waiting to dry,<br />

even under beds, pots balanced on top of each other wait<br />

for the next firing. I'm taken to meet Nguyen Thi Don who<br />

is 67 years old and one of only 7 persons - all of similar age<br />

- left in the village using the wheel. The younger people<br />

want to make easier money in the towns and cities and the<br />

craft is dying.<br />

Ms Thi started making pots when she was 20. She has<br />

made teapots and bowls, but her favourite work is the<br />

making of money boxes which she obviously could do<br />

with her eyes closed. These she makes for 20 days in order<br />

to fill a kiln. Her assistant who kicks her ironwood wheel,<br />

wedges the clay at the same time. She uses 1kg of clay for<br />

each money box and very little water.<br />

is 1<br />

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72 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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Left: Nguyen Thi Don, 67 years old, potting for 47 years, assistant kicking wheel and wedging clay.<br />

The men in the family fire the kiln. Wood from the jungle<br />

is used - 5 stacks, roughly one cubic metre, per firing is<br />

required. Each cubic metre costs $US20. The kiln takes 7<br />

days to fire and 7 days to cool. Four families work together<br />

and use one kiln. A firing had been completed and the kiln<br />

cooled so we joined in the excitement as pots were being<br />

unloaded from the kiln into wagons. <strong>No</strong> bubble wrap here!<br />

Everyone was busy working together and sharing<br />

resources. Even as the kiln was being unloaded, money<br />

boxes were being made at a rapid rate and women in<br />

another area were busy making bricks.<br />

Brickmaking is simple. Throw clay into a mould and pull<br />

a harp across to trim off the excess. Stack to dry then fire.<br />

The bricks are made so quickly I could have a new<br />

courtyard in no time with this technology!<br />

It was payback time for our visit and as I was the leader, a<br />

piece of clay was cut from the lump behind the wheel and<br />

wedged before being handed to me. It felt good. Ms Thi got<br />

up from her 5cm high stool with ease. I sat down, not very<br />

elegantly I must add, with legs spread everywhere. I looked<br />

Right: Pots for sale.<br />

so awkward and huge - the workers stopped to see the<br />

show. Luck was on my side. After we worked out how to<br />

kick the wheel my way, I was off and I managed to make a<br />

shape similar to the money box - only a few centimetres<br />

short of Mrs Thi's. The cheers went up. Hopefully they kept<br />

my moneybox so that on my next trip I can improve on the<br />

height.<br />

Our few days in the village amongst these lovely people<br />

watching and sharing in their lives was wonderful. Their<br />

generosity and hospitality made it very memorable for all<br />

of us. oo<br />

Christine Pearson is a Director of Active Travel in Canberra and will be<br />

escorting a tour program to Vietnam with Sue Buckle, Editor of<br />

<strong>Pottery</strong> in <strong>Australia</strong>, in late <strong>No</strong>vember this year. It is especially<br />

designed for potters and includes a workshop in Cam Ha.<br />

For more details contact Christine on 06-249 6122<br />

Active Travel, First Floor Garema Centre,<br />

Canberra City ACT 2601<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 73

Turkey<br />

Ken Osetroff uncovers some Turkish delights in Avanos<br />

I I<br />

Deep in the central Turkish<br />

plateau of Anatolia lies<br />

Cappadocia, an area noted for<br />

its natural beauty, intriguing ruins and<br />

a long history of pottery production.<br />

If you're planning on a quick trip<br />

here when your international airlines<br />

gives you a stopover in Istanbul, you<br />

should think again .. .it's a very long<br />

drive from Istanbul to Avanos.<br />

What will make you take even<br />

longer is that you can't just pass by<br />

such places as the town of Iznik,<br />

founded about 1000 BC and centre of<br />

the Ottoman Empire's tile production;<br />

the Anatolian Civilisations Museum<br />

with its outstanding collection of<br />

Hittite (1900 - 1600 BC) figurines and<br />

pottery vessels; or Kutahaya whose ceramic artisans,<br />

commencing in 1514, were also renowned for making<br />

decorative tiles.<br />

A vanos town would probably not exist if it wasn't for its<br />

potters.<br />

The pottery industry has brought much wealth and<br />

prosperity to this town along with a steady stream of<br />

tourists. As one potter aptly explained 'Most Turkish<br />

potters are not rich enough to produce work that might not<br />

sell, so we make what the market demands.'<br />

<strong>In</strong> fact much of the work produced here is very<br />

functional and for domestic use including roof tiles, pipes,<br />

building bricks and what seems to be an oversupply of<br />

unimaginatively decorated vessels.<br />

However, amongst what I call survival pottery produced<br />

for the passing tourist trade, you can find artisans with some<br />

personal flair that makes them stand out from the crowd.<br />

When you walk in to the studio of 'Chez Galip' you<br />

know instantly that you've discovered a real Turkish<br />

delight. Galip himself demonstrates the use of his kick<br />

wheel with all the showmanship of a born actor. The<br />

spindle of this kick wheel is built up of a series of<br />

interlocking hollow wooden forms, the top segment being<br />

determined by the form of the piece to be made. For a large<br />

vessel it would be a hollow bowl into which the base of the<br />

piece would fit, but for a plate, the top<br />

form would be similar to our bats.<br />

This whole column fits onto a<br />

cement wheel which, when the<br />

Assyrians first introduced the kick<br />

wheel to A vanos, was probably made<br />

of stone.<br />

Firing of his smaller pieces is done<br />

in a small kiln on the roof of his<br />

house but larger pieces are taken to a<br />

huge community kiln just out of<br />

town. This is a wood fired, updraught<br />

kiln built of stone with a brick lattice<br />

floor between the fire box and the<br />

firing chamber. <strong>No</strong> shelves are used<br />

and the pots are stacked to fill the<br />

space, which is almost the same size<br />

as a local farmer's house.<br />

Amongst his various decorative styles Galip is<br />

experimenting with traditional watercolour marbling in an<br />

attempt to create a unique finish. As you walk through the<br />

network of underground passageways that make up<br />

Galip's gallery, what at first looks like spider web is<br />

actually 10,000 locks of women's hair, hanging from the<br />

ceiling. These have been donated willingly by women who<br />

have visited the gallery and each year five names of the<br />

donors are chosen, just like a lottery, and invitations are<br />

sent to the fortunate five to attend his studio for pottery<br />

tuition by Galip himself.<br />

I'm not sure what Galip's Dutch wife thinks of this, but<br />

in fact, a few years ago she had been one of those chosen<br />

five. Women in Turkey have never been overlooked,<br />

particularly in the line-up of goddesses worshipped<br />

through the ages. The earliest pottery statuettes of such a<br />

goddess, of which a replica can be seen in 'Chez Galip',<br />

was unearthed in excavations of Cata! Hoyuk, the world's<br />

oldest 'city' (6500 BC). She is described in one guide<br />

book as being 'a big busted woman with large hips and<br />

symbolises the power and crowdedness of a tribe'.<br />

As you can well imagine, a variety of opinions were<br />

forthcoming from the ladies with whom I was travelling. oo<br />

"Goddess", replica.<br />

Ken Osetroff, Destination Management.<br />

AL<br />

74 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

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Above: Cappadocia homes and shops. Below left: Community Kiln, Avanos. Below right: Galip at the Kick Wheel.<br />

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ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 75

AC'f -<br />

8th National Ceramics Conference<br />

Canberra means ' a meeting place' and Canberra is<br />

1HE meeting place for potters in July this year.<br />

"Will technology change a potters' perception?"<br />

"Is it really beneficial to have trained overseas?"<br />

"Can copying hone the cutting edge?"<br />

"How small is a small world?"<br />

Whether you are a professional or an amateur, a<br />

thrower or a handbuilder, a traditionalist or a<br />

revolutionary, a teacher or a student - there will be<br />

something to stimulate, intrigue or enlighten you at the<br />

8th National Ceramics Conference. The four days of the<br />

Conference will be full of opportunities to have your say<br />

either during chaired panel discussion sessions, or in the<br />

extensive alternative programme of individual papers,<br />

slide lectures and demonstrations, not to mention the<br />

myriad of diverse exhibitions.<br />

Why not maximise the international connection by<br />

attending one (or more) of the Master Classes which will<br />

run before and after the Conference. The wheel, the slab,<br />

the cast, the kiln, the colour and much more will be<br />

addressed in ten fully inclusive participatory workshops<br />

led by outstanding ceramic artists from around the globe.<br />

For example, you could wrap coloured clay with Elina<br />

Brandt-Hansen from <strong>No</strong>rway; build kilns with Fred Olsen<br />

from USA; or cast and assemble with Hideo Matsumoto<br />

Qapan) and Anna Zamorska (Poland). More information<br />

on Master classes may be obtained from Alan Watt, coordinator,<br />

<strong>In</strong>ternational Workshops, ANU, Canberra<br />

School of Art, GPO Box 804 Canberra 2601<br />

• JANE CRICK<br />


The Ceramic Study Group of WA now has a new<br />

meeting venue which is situated at Alexander Park<br />

Craft House <strong>In</strong>c, Clyde Road, Menora (only a short<br />

distance from the previous meeting place at Edith Cowan<br />

University, Mt Lawley). The premises provide plenty of<br />

room for meetings, a full range of facilities, including an<br />

office and kitchen plus better parking which is just what<br />

the doctor ordered for this rapidly expanding,<br />

enthusiastic membership. Mike Kusnik, a founding<br />

member, appropriately presented the first talk for the<br />

year, living up to his nickname of 'Mr Bentonite' as he<br />

expounded the virtues of the use of bentonite. Don't<br />

forget the 25th Anniversary Exhibition coming up in July:<br />

all past and present members are invited to join in for this<br />

special occasion. Ring President Irene Poultan for details<br />

Ph 401 3938. New members are always most welcome to<br />

meetings which take place every second Thursday of the<br />

month.<br />

South of the River Potters Club is undergoing a difficult<br />

time at present as it battles to retain its Government<br />

owned premises. The Club which was founded 21 years<br />

ago by Fremantle Technical College Graduates has<br />

occupied the current venue for the past twelve years. All<br />

endeavours by the 50 member strong group have been<br />

unsuccessful and the deadline for vacating is only weeks<br />

away. The property which acts as both studio and retail<br />

outlet for members has now been described as 'surplus to<br />

government requirements' and is to be auctioned. The<br />

Group are determined not to dissolve and will continue<br />

to meet wherever possible until a new address can be<br />

found. Phone President Cher Shackleton on 384 6875 if<br />

you can assist in any way.<br />

<strong>In</strong>ternational Ceramic Artist Matthias Ostermann<br />

recently conducted three two-day workshops in Perth.<br />

Nearly a hundred potters attended these very worthwhile<br />

and interesting Majolica workshops.<br />

A visit to Busselton Potters in April/May is presently<br />

being planned together with city and regional workshops<br />

in August by Brian Gartside.<br />

Claremont School of Art is gearing up for a busy year<br />

and is soon to welcome sculptor Mona Ryder from<br />

Queensland as artist in residence from 24 February for 4<br />

weeks.<br />



0<br />

ne<br />

of the best things about the build up to<br />

Christmas are all the final year Student<br />

Exhibitions. It always amazes me the diversity of<br />

work and the consistently high standards that are<br />

ad<br />

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76 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN I 996



ng<br />

he<br />

he<br />

n't<br />

ly:<br />

is<br />

ils<br />

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achieved. We are also lucky here with the Walker Awards<br />

as we also get to see the best of intra and inter state<br />

students works. This year looks like it will be another<br />

busy one for potters. It will be great to catch up with all<br />

our interstate colleagues in Canberra - till then, cheers<br />



<strong>In</strong> late <strong>No</strong>vember 1995, the Ceramic and Glass School<br />

of Design University of SA opened its doors with an<br />

<strong>In</strong>troductory Weekend Workshop which included<br />

glass blowing and slumping, wood firing, raku,<br />

sandblasting, slip casting, etc.<br />

It was an action-packed weekend. The lecturers and<br />

students were fantastically helpful. Lots of paper handouts<br />

to read at our leisure. We all left with the<br />

determination to start glass slumping in our own kilns.<br />

There is the probability of future similar workshops. Go if<br />

you can.<br />

March is a good month to be in Adelaide. The Festival<br />

is an absolute cornucopia of things 'arty'. Lots of fun too,<br />

bumping into friends at the various venues, where we<br />

have come to view the old, the new, and the innovative.<br />



Hi, Lots of exciting things happened at "Claydown"<br />

held at Reedy Marsh, the property of potter Neil<br />

Hoffmann. Dennis and Helena Monks from NSW<br />

demonstrated wheel throwing, mug making - kiln<br />

building, salt firing, wood firing, etc! Heard some people<br />

manage to steal a few hours of sleep under the stars! This<br />

very successful workshop will be repeated next year,<br />

and hopefully every year thereafter. A MUST!!<br />

"The Suitcase Ceramics" travelling exhibition (small<br />

scale ceramics by students and staff of the Launceston<br />

University Ceramics Department) came to its final<br />

destination at the Attisan Gallery at Robigana<br />

Peter Pilven-held two successful workshops one in<br />

Hobart, the oilier in Devonport<br />

A multinatibnal. Art Award 'Tasmania 1995' has been<br />

established to promote excellence in artistic expression<br />

and to recognise cultural and religious diversity in<br />

Tasmanian society as expressed through art - An<br />

exhibition of the finalists was held at the Swing Bridge<br />

Art Gallery, Dunaly.<br />

Hope to have more news next time!<br />



The QLD Art Gallery has scheduled a major show of<br />

Gwyn Hanssen Piggot in April with work spanning<br />

over 20 years since her return to <strong>Australia</strong> in the<br />

early Seventies. It should be something to see the fine<br />

tuning of Gwyn's approach to her work in that time<br />

frame.<br />

Savode is once again continuing its tradition of a mid<br />

year ceramics show. This time with an Australasian<br />

influence. There are botn glass artists and ceramicists<br />

from <strong>Australia</strong>n and New Zealand. Jess Gibson is the<br />

guest curator and Bob Connery is one of the exhibitors.<br />

The QLD Potters Association is hosting a residency<br />

workshop programme with Bruce Anderson who will<br />

also have an exhibition on conclusion in Fusions Gallery<br />

The Sunshine Coast <strong>In</strong>stitute is away with a hiss and a<br />

roar, with Rowley Drysdale teaching glaze technology<br />

and sand Johnson on staff. Rowley is also having a solo<br />

show at Fusions opening the end of October this year.<br />

Marc Sauvage is busy and busier producing his deco<br />

colours to great demand. They are spectacular, almost<br />

eatable, especially with names lil

Is This the End? The End of What?<br />

Should the Ceramics Department be included in the<br />

Proposal for an independent National Art School or remain<br />

with TAFE? A reply by Bill Samuels to the article 'Is This the<br />

End' published in Issue 34/4, page 59.<br />

The survey article titled "Is this the End?" By Karen Weiss is<br />

unfortunately poorly researched, without basis in fact and<br />

contributes nothing to informed debate, only serving to<br />

engender fear and confusion among the students it<br />

purports to support.<br />

The article campaigns for the retention of the East<br />

Sydney Ceramics Department within the T AFE structure<br />

and IMPLIES that the course associated with Peter<br />

Rushforth, Bernard Sahm, Bill Samuels and Steve Harrison<br />

still exists. The course offered in those days is nothing like<br />

the courses offered today.<br />

The changes to the Art and Ceramics courses that have<br />

occurred under TAFE direction have increasingly focused<br />

on industrial elements to the detriment of studio<br />

techniques. Those changes began in the early 80s<br />

prompting concern among staff and students, and the<br />

continued drift away from meaningful and relevant art<br />

education has been the trigger that sparked the desire for<br />

independence.<br />

The article claims:<br />

1. Students "would no longer be able to follow a full-time<br />

course in ceramics exclusively"<br />

2. "It might well become one of many subjects in an Arts<br />

course"<br />

3. "With drastically reduced hours"<br />

All of the above are completely untrue. The NAS<br />

recommendations prefer the ceramic department to<br />

retain complete autonomy as an independent<br />

department just as it is at present, and to increase its<br />

focus on full-time ceramic study.<br />

She further claims that:<br />

4. "Students would no longer receive the practical skills in<br />

areas such as Glaze and Kiln Technology"<br />

This is also untrue. The NAS proposal specifically<br />

encourages the development of studio practice.<br />

Further:<br />

5. "The NAS's orientation is away from vocational course<br />

components"<br />

This is also erroneous. One particular concern of the<br />

NAS is the extensive use of CBI criteria within TAFE<br />

which they believe is inappropriate to art training.<br />

And the claims relating to funding:<br />

6. "The funding pool itself will be strictly limited as the<br />

NAS will not be part of TAFE"<br />

7. "This may result in students having to pay a much larger<br />

78 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong><br />

proportion of the costs in fees"<br />

are extremely misleading. All government funds are<br />

limited, but the NAS proposal maintains EXISTING funds<br />

to the school with provision for appropriate increases.<br />

Where has Karen Weiss obtained her information? Has<br />

she been misinformed? Her article implies support from<br />

Peter Rushforth, Bernard Sahm, and myself, but none of us<br />

were asked our opinion.<br />

The independent NAS proposals are a matter of record.<br />

Concern over disruption to students and staff is central to<br />

the recommendations, as is acceptance of the current size<br />

for the school on the EST campus.<br />

The campaign to remain within TAFE has no basis other<br />

than wrongly informed hearsay and supports the<br />

maintenance of a course that has reduced hours generally<br />

and the consequent lesser skills levels, together with<br />

substantially increased hours focusing on industrial<br />

processes and associated electives.<br />

So, "Is this the End?" I hope so. As a professional artist<br />

potter trained at ESTC in the late 60's, and a teacher there<br />

before, during and after the changes, I believe the best<br />

future for studio ceramics lies with an independent<br />

National Art School.<br />

Bill Samuels.<br />

Thanks for alerting potters about the proposed National Art<br />

School in Sydney, and the almost certain demise of the East<br />

Sydney Ceramics Dept. as a hands on learning<br />

environment. Dispersal of staff and equipment will almost<br />

certainly accompany that move whatever honeyed terms<br />

are used!<br />

Although I am a born and bred South <strong>Australia</strong>n, East<br />

Sydney Ceramics Dept. is held in high regard over here.<br />

The result of amalgamating disciplines so diverse as<br />

those currently proposed frequently ends up as watering<br />

down of course content and the general lowering of<br />

standards.<br />

There seems to be an attitude that to 'upgrade' means<br />

the elimination of any practical skills, and simulate<br />

everything on the computer. A few more decades and all<br />

the practical skills will be lost, as curricula will be set by<br />

people who are all airy fairy and do not have the faintest<br />

idea about the practical needs of ceramics.<br />

Cost cutting by so called upgrading, renaming places of<br />

learning, renaming courses and issuing qualification with<br />

fancy names, is often counter productive, ending up in the<br />

long run costing more, not just in hard cash, but the end<br />

product has very little individual value, and certainly will<br />

do nothing for <strong>Australia</strong>'s reputation.<br />

Regards Liz Mount, South <strong>Australia</strong><br />

-<br />

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19TH, 20TH, 21ST APRIL <strong>1996</strong><br />

The Lithgow <strong>Pottery</strong> operated from 1876 to 1896. <strong>In</strong><br />

order to revive interest in, and knowledge of, the<br />

important contributions Lithgow <strong>Pottery</strong> has made<br />

to the ceramics industry, Lithgow Public School initiated<br />

the Lithgow <strong>Pottery</strong> Fair. The inaugural fair was held in<br />

1995.<br />

Local sponsorship was sought and two major prizes<br />

were awarded in a prize exhibition. An open prize of<br />

$1,000 was offered and a local prize of $450 was awarded<br />

to a potter working in the Lithgow district.<br />

Entries in the prize section were outstanding. The<br />

quality and range of pieces submitted made judging a<br />

difficult task. The overall effect of the combined prize<br />

exhibition was stunning, with beautiful examples of work<br />

from many of <strong>Australia</strong>'s leading potters.<br />

The result was an exhibition to rival the best art gallery<br />

collection, with beautiful pieces submitted from Greg<br />

Daly, Bill Samuels, Sandra Lockwood, Amanda Warner,<br />

Peter Wilson and Cameron Williams, to name just a few.<br />

Peter Rushforth sent a beautiful chun vase for display and<br />

he and Bobbi graced us with their presence on the<br />

opening night. Peter was generous in his support and<br />

positive comments about the exhibition and we were<br />

delighted that he and Bobbi were able to attend.<br />

Chester Nealie judged the exhibition and was very<br />

flattering in his comments about the quality and quantity<br />

of work submitted, and the exhibiton space in general.<br />

After considerable deliberation Chester awarded the open<br />

prize of $1,000 to a piece which was "quiet and<br />

unassuming, a piece which demonstrates strength,<br />

energy and the sublety of natural earth. [A piece in which]<br />

the images from the decoration were evocative of the<br />

land's essence, where the accidental marks of fire and<br />

flame enhance the concept". Bill Samuels created this<br />

outstanding, and subtly beautiful piece of work.<br />

The local prize of $450 was awarded to a potter who<br />

created "a youthful, exuberant piece which demonstrated<br />

a great joy of making [which was] fluid and strongly<br />

thrown, well proportioned with whimsical handles, which<br />

combined well with the generous strength of the form".<br />

Local potter Cameron Williams was awarded $450 for<br />

the local prize, and was doubly rewarded when one of<br />

our local sponsors purchased the pot and ordered a<br />

matching piece.<br />

The generous support provided by the local sponsors<br />

extended beyond the donation of prize money, many<br />

prize entry pots were purchased by sponsors and<br />

collectors.<br />

The quality of work presented was not lost on the<br />

many thousands of visitors who attended the <strong>Pottery</strong> Fair<br />

over the weekend. Sales were brisk during the three days<br />

of the Lithgow <strong>Pottery</strong> Fair, making the event a financial<br />

success for all those potters who gave us their support,<br />

both in the prize section and the market section.<br />

The committee was delighted with the response, not<br />

only from the potters who supported us, but also from<br />

the crowds of people who came to look and spend over<br />

the three days.<br />

Spin-off from this first event has resulted in continuing<br />

enquiries from potters throughout the country. The<br />

establishment of pottery classes for adults, high school<br />

students and primary aged students, taught by local<br />

professionals Cameron Williams (Old Lithgow <strong>Pottery</strong>),<br />

Michael Conolan (Hampton <strong>Pottery</strong>)and Ludwinna<br />

Alstern has given rise to the need for a student pottery<br />

prize section.<br />

The committee is delighted to announce that we are<br />

including a student prize section in the <strong>1996</strong> <strong>Pottery</strong> Fair,<br />

sponsored by McDonalds (Lithgow) with sections for<br />

<strong>In</strong>fants, Primary, Secondary and Adult students. Cameron<br />

Williams will judge these student prize sections.<br />

The <strong>1996</strong> Lithgow <strong>Pottery</strong> Fair to be held on the 19th,<br />

20th and 21st April. Peter Rushforth has kindly agreed to<br />

judge the open and local prize sections.<br />

Potters interested in participating can contact Lithgow Primary<br />

School on (063) 512297 to request entry fom1S.<br />

Galleries and collectors can likewise contact the school to be<br />

included on the opening night invitation list.<br />

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 79

NeWS for <strong>Autumn</strong> <strong>1996</strong> • CONTINUED<br />

era.ft F Oftlffl A new magazine addressing the business needs of artists<br />

and craftspeople. It has been created, researched and funded by Bridget Young with a talented team<br />

of contributors. It is designed as a useful guide to such issues as marketing, copyright, accounting<br />

and other aspects of professional practice. Available by subscription Ph/Fax (03) 9419 6993.<br />

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••<br />

WANTED<br />

Artisan Craft Books is looking for the following books.<br />

<strong>In</strong>dustrial Ceramics by Singer & Singer<br />

Dictionary of Ceramics by A.E. Dodds<br />

Science for Potteers by Lawrence<br />

Salt Glaze by Jack Troy<br />


Penny Johns on (03) 9329 6042, Fax (03) 9326 7054<br />


YEAR SURVEY The Exhibition, at the Queensland Art Gallery<br />

April 4-June 23 will include 80 individual and group ceramic works<br />

produced since 1973. Exhibition curated by Glen Cooke.<br />


CERAMICS AWARD 1997 This is an <strong>In</strong>ternational<br />

exhibition and competition. The two judges are the Shepparton<br />

Art Gallery Director, Joseph Pascoe and Janet Mansfield. Entries<br />

must be received by August 1 <strong>1996</strong>. For more information contact<br />

the Director,<br />

Shepparton Art Gallery, Locked Bag 1000, Shepparton 3632.<br />

Ph/Fax 058 216 <strong>35</strong>2<br />

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••<br />

•<br />

l,!I<br />

The Potters' Society<br />

of <strong>Australia</strong><br />

Presents<br />

Potters 96<br />

an exhibition of work by members<br />

in conjunction with the 8th National<br />

Ceramic Conference, Canberra.<br />

Andrea Hylands, Chris James,<br />

Susan Jorgensen, Catherine Lane,<br />

Sandy Lockwood, Lindy Rose Smith,<br />

Bruce McWhinney,<br />

5th to 28thJuly <strong>1996</strong><br />

Solander Gallery<br />

Director: Joy Warren<br />

36 Grey Street Deakin ACT<br />

80 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong><br />

,!!I<br />

Manly<br />

Art Gallery & Museum<br />

and<br />

The Potters' Society of<br />

<strong>Australia</strong><br />

Presents<br />



Applications are invited from exhibiting members<br />

of the Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong> or those<br />

seeking membership to participate in this exhibition<br />

to be held at the Manly Art Gallery and<br />

Museum in early August <strong>1996</strong>.<br />

Please send slides and a description of actual<br />

work or representative of the work to be<br />

exhibited<br />

to<br />

Chris James & Simone Fraser<br />

70 Boundary Road Wahroonga NSW 2076.<br />

1<br />

A<br />

Fa<br />

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$2·<br />

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84 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/ I AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong>

NSW Raglan Gallery Potters EquWrment The Pug Mill<br />

Aldersons Arts & Crafts 5-7 Raglan St, MANLY 13/42 New t, RJNGWOOD 17 A Rose St, MILE END<br />

64-68 Violet St,REVESBY<br />

Southern Cross <strong>Pottery</strong> Red Hill South Newsarncy<br />

Aldersons Arts and Crafts Centre 14 Caba Cls, BOAMBEE Shoreham Rd, RED HI L WESTERN AUSTRALIA<br />

262 Railway Ave, KOGARAH<br />

Spotted Gum Studio The Arts Book Shofl Angus & Robertson Bookworld<br />

Art Gallery of NSW Leetes La, TIJMBI 1067 High St, ARM DALE 240 York St, ALBANY<br />

Domain Rd, SYDNEY<br />

Sturt Craft Centre Theatre Art Art Gallery of WA<br />

Atun Art MITTAGONG 20 Julia St, PORTLAND Bookshop, PERTH<br />

Shop 57, Buiwood Plaza Syretts Newsagency The Valley Galle&<br />

Railway Pde, BURWOOD<br />

Crafts Council of WA<br />

30-32 Otho St, INVERELL Cnr Steels Creek Valley Rds,<br />

Back to Back Galleries<br />


Perth City Railway Station<br />

Old Bakery Gallery<br />

76 Wommara Ave, BELMONT<br />

P.O. Box 193 LANE COVE Victorian Ceramics Group<br />

PERTH<br />

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery<br />

7 Blackwood St,<br />

Tallaganda <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

Extravaganza<br />



116 Wallace St, BRAIDWOOD<br />

Esplanade Complex,<br />

Beckers Newsagency<br />

Walker Ceramics<br />

The Art Shed Gallei<br />

Middleton Beach, ALBANY<br />

Shop 4 AMP Building<br />

55 Lusher Rd, CROYDON<br />

7 Naas Rd, 1HARW<br />

557 Dean St, ALBURY<br />

Warmambool Potters Wheel Hewitts Art Bookshop<br />

The <strong>Pottery</strong> Loft<br />

Bellin§en Newsagency<br />

74 Liebig St, WARRNAMBOOL<br />

360 The Entrance Rd,<br />

7 Mouat St, FREMANTLE<br />

83 Hy e St, BELLINGEN ERJNA HEIGHTS QUEENSLAND Fremantle Arts Centre<br />

Brookvale Hobb~ Ceramic Studio The <strong>Pottery</strong> Place The Artery<br />

1 Finnerty St, FREMANTLE<br />

11/Powells Rd, ROOKV ALE 52 Princes Hwy, P.O. Box 343 WARWICK<br />

Caienters Newsagency FAIRY MEADOW <strong>Australia</strong>n Craftworks Guildford Village Potters<br />

25 iloughby Rd, CROWS NEST Tumin<br />

8 Wheels Shop 20, Village Ln, CAIRNS 22 Meadow St, GUILDFORD<br />

Ceramic Study Group 2/313 rown St, Claycraft su plies<br />


29 O'Conne 11 1 Terrace<br />

Jacksons Ceramics<br />

Clay Things Potters Gallery<br />

383 Sydney Rd, BALGOWLAH Walker Ceramics BOWEN HILLS 94 Jersey St, JO LIM ONT<br />

98 Starkey St, Claymates Margaret River <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

The Craft Centre<br />


120 Parker St, MAROOCHYDORE<br />

88 Geole St,<br />

91 Bussell Hwy,<br />

The Roe s, SYDNEY<br />

ACT<br />

Hidden Talent Studio-Gallery MARGARET RJVER<br />

Design Plus Gallery Canberra Potters Society ~6,141<strong>In</strong>~Rd,<br />

P.O. Box 657 QUEENBEYAN Crafts Council ACT<br />

END, T WNSVIIlE Potters Market<br />

1 Aspinal St, WATSON McCabes Newsagen~ 18 Stockdale Rd, O'CONNOR<br />

The Fabled Bookshops<br />

54 Terania St, NORTH LISMORE Cuppacumbalong Craft Centre 7 Eight Ave, HOME LL<br />


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Gleebooks<br />

6 lies Aussie Potz<br />

131 Glebe Point Rd, GLEBE Garema Place Potters 143 James St, T O OMBA<br />

Shop 14<br />

18 Garema Pl, CANBERRA CITY Middle Ridge <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

Golden Canvas Gallery<br />

National Art Gallery of Aust. 128 Nelson St, TOOWOOMBA<br />

Rapid Creek Shopping Village<br />

218 Darling St, BALMAIN CASUARINA<br />

Bookshop, CANBERRA <strong>No</strong>rth Queensland Potters<br />

Headmasters Gallery<br />

The Art Shed Association, TOWNSVILLE TASMANIA<br />

175 Rosedale Rd, ST. IVES<br />

7 Naas Rd, 1HARWA <strong>Pottery</strong> Suf ?clies<br />

Ceramic 5 Studio<br />

Hilldav <strong>In</strong>dustries<br />

108 Oakes Rd,<br />

Walker Ceramics P.O. Box O PADDINGTON 13 Russell St, INVERMA Y<br />


289 Canberra Ave, FYSHWICK The Potte<br />

1 Place Entrepot Art Products<br />

Hum,f.hries Newsagency<br />


171 Newe St, CAIRNS<br />

60-6 The Corso, MANLY<br />

Artisan Craft Books<br />

Centre for the Arts<br />

Queensland Art Gallery<br />

Meat Market Craft Centre SOUTH BRJSBANE Hunter St, HOBART<br />

<strong>In</strong>ner Ci~layworkers<br />

42 Courtney St,<br />

Cnr St Jo Rd & Darghan St, NORTH MELBOURNE ~ueensland Potters Assoc, Handmark Gallery<br />

GLEBE<br />

82 Brunswick St,<br />

Bendigo <strong>Pottery</strong> Services<br />

77 Salamanca Pl,<br />


Janets Art Books<br />

Midland Hwy, EPSOM<br />


143 Victoria Ave, CHATSWOOD<br />

Quin~ <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

Clayworks Potters Su~ies 1710 m Harley Dr, UNITED KINGDOM<br />

Keane Ceramics 6 Johnson Crt, DAND ONG BURLEIGH HEADS<br />

371 Debenham Rd, SOMERSBY<br />

Contemporary Ceramics<br />

Dairing Gallery<br />


Craft Potters Assoc Shop<br />

Kiln and <strong>Pottery</strong> Sutilies 321 Lennox St, RJCHMOND Aldgate Crafts<br />

31-33 Hill St, URAL 7 Marshall St, LONDON<br />

Distelfink Gallery 4 Strathalbyn Rd, ALDGATE<br />

L.E.M. Arts Hobby Ceramics Studio 1005 High St, ARMADALE Barnfurlong Fine Crafts U.S.A.<br />

5/6 Wilmette Pl, MONA VALE<br />

Gippsland Pottel su<br />

6 ty 34 Main St, HAHNDORF Seattle <strong>Pottery</strong> Supplies<br />

Mudre Book Case<br />

20C Avondale R , M WELL<br />

PeEI?r Street Galle~<br />

<strong>35</strong> South Stanford, SEATTLE<br />

10 C urch St, MUDGEE Linden - St Kilda Art Centre 55 agill Rd, MAG LL<br />

Mura Clay Gall~ 26 Acland St, ST KILDA NEW ZEALAND<br />

Jam Factory Craft & Design<br />

49-51 King St, WTOWN National Gallei: of Victoria Lion Arts Centre<br />

Coastal Ceramics<br />

Newcastle Potter Su~lies Bookshop, ME BOURNE 19 Morphett St, ADELAIDE 124 Rimu Rd,<br />

3 Arnolds La, W ARA AH <strong>No</strong>rthcote <strong>Pottery</strong> Services New Works Desi~ PARAPARAUMU<br />

NSW Pottek Su~plies 85A Clyde St, THORNBURY 219 Sturt St, ADE DE<br />

Cobcraft Supplies<br />

90 Victoria d, ARRAMATTA Potters Cottage Galled Potter's Lot 24 Essex St, CHRISTCHURCH<br />

Potters Roundabout 32.i=g Creek R Main Rd, COROMANDLE VALLEY<br />

Rear 338-340 High St, PENRITH W YTE Studio 20<br />

South Street Gallery<br />

Coromandle Pde, BIACKWOOD 10 Nile St, NELSON<br />

ISSUE <strong>35</strong>/1 AUTUMN <strong>1996</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 85

Traditional and Contemporary<br />

Pa · fie <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

Opening by<br />


6pm, April I I<br />

Until May 30 <strong>1996</strong><br />



New Guinea Arts<br />

Dymocks Building, 8th Floor<br />

428 George Street, SYDNEY<br />

Tel: 232 4737<br />

Fax: 223 843 I<br />

<strong>In</strong>dustries Pty. Ltd. ACN 002 849 318<br />


Gad and Electric KiLM<br />

•••<br />


Lifetime frame - non-rLMt<br />

5 layerJ ceramic fibre 6/anket<br />

Cerechem, Hot face - rating 1425°C, c1aving<br />

60% in firing co.1t.1<br />

•<br />


Harco 8 program, 8 .1tage contorl/er<br />



105 Basalt Street, Geebung Queensland 4034<br />

Telephone 07 3865 1209 Facsimile 07 3865 1972<br />

, .<br />


; '<br />


108 Oakes Road , Old Toongabbie,<br />

N.S.W. 2146<br />

<strong>Pottery</strong>, Ceramic & China<br />

Painting supplies,<br />

come in and see what we have,<br />

Mail and Phone orders are<br />

welcome.<br />

Warehouse open<br />

8am-Spm Mon-Fri<br />

9am-12.30pm Sat<br />

CLOSED<br />

Sundays &<br />

Public holidays.<br />

Fax: (02)636 3961 Ph: (02)688 1777

B&L<br />

PTY LTD<br />

ACN 005 056 066<br />


• Electric in air to 2000°C • Vacuum • Heat treatment • Controlled<br />

Atmosphere • Melting • Gas to 2300°C<br />

Left: Model K 4A - Fitted with Shimaden temperature controller<br />

Below: Model Kl IA - Fitted with Shimaden temperature controller<br />


• Environmentally friendly<br />

• Low density hot face insulating brick (fibre free)<br />

• Economical to operate<br />

• Made in <strong>Australia</strong><br />

• One of <strong>Australia</strong>'s most experienced kiln and furnace manufacturers<br />

• <strong>Australia</strong>'s largest range 32 standard sizes/custom made sizes on request<br />

• 30 years experience - est. 1963<br />

• 15,000 kilns and furnaces now in use<br />

• Kanthal Al elements<br />

• Fast firing to 1300°C<br />

• Safety switch/energy regulator/warning light/standard on all electric kilns<br />

• Your choice of kiln sitter/limit timer - or electronic temperature controller<br />

• Ventilation system

Could these be the best<br />

electric kilns in the world?<br />

Well some of our customers think so!<br />

<strong>In</strong>troducing the Cress<br />

Little Wizard<br />

• cone 10 temp • Single phase (19amp) • 2.0 cubic feet<br />

volume ( other sizes available up to 10 cubic feet)<br />


Just $1580.00<br />

<strong>In</strong>cludes - Furniture kit, sales tax and delivery to<br />

almost anywhere in <strong>Australia</strong><br />

Cerami craft<br />

33 Denninup Way, Malaga WA 6062<br />

Telephone 09 249 9266 Facsimile 09 249 9690<br />

D<br />

".,<br />

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f . . ', COMMUNITY<br />

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Claycraft<br />

for<br />

Materials and equipment for<br />

craft potters, schools and potteries<br />

Stockists of<br />

CESCO underglazes and glazes<br />

FERRO colours WARD kilns<br />

VENCO Wheels and Pug Mills<br />

Queensland agent for TALISMAN products<br />

CLAYS<br />

Feeneys, Bennetts, Clayworks, Cesco,<br />

Keanes, <strong>No</strong>rthcote, Walkers<br />

Raw Materials, Oxides, Stains,<br />

Corks, Clockmovements, Tools, Equipment,<br />

Books and magazines, Lotion pumps,<br />

Kero lamps, Oil burners<br />

Claycraft Supplies Pty Ltd<br />

29 O 'Connell Tee, Bowen Hills, Brisbane<br />

PO Box 1278, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006<br />

Telephone: (07) 3854 1515 Fax: (07) 3252 1941<br />

l 'i'.'l\'EIUT 't OI<br />

\ \'E.'"fTR;\ SYI :\'['t<br />

I I.rn h·,hur\<br />

0 / E X C E L L E N C E<br />

G<br />

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l c. b he! I ,n 16lh. 17th c?t 18th l 1ll$11BL <strong>1996</strong><br />

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(.al c 0

8th National Ceramics Conference, Canberra<br />

July 5 - 9, <strong>1996</strong><br />

I~~::JE:~ ~ -CIC>~...A....JL C:::C>~~::JE:C:::-CI~S<br />

The 8th National Ceramics Conference is hosted by the Ceramics Workshop of the <strong>Australia</strong>n National University,<br />

Canberra School of Art. It will explore the international exchange of ideas and provide a national focus for ceramics in <strong>1996</strong>.<br />


DAY 1 - Friday 5 July<br />

Registration 1 - 5.00 pm<br />

(also 8.30 - 9.30am daily)<br />

DAY 2 - Saturday 6 July<br />

Keynote Speaker: Alison Britton<br />

Panel: Been There Done That<br />

Chair: David Williams<br />

An examination of the various ways in which<br />

international experiences (such as exhibiting,<br />

attending symposia, teaching) are integrated into<br />

personal practice.<br />

Panel: Worked Here, Trained There<br />

Chair: Tim Moorhead<br />

Does the nature of training change from country to<br />

country? How do these differences (if any) manifest<br />

themselves in different ways of working? What are<br />

the advantages of working "here" having "trained<br />

there"?<br />

Conference dinner<br />

Guest Speaker: Janet Mansfield<br />

DAY 3: Sunday 7 July<br />

Keynote Speaker: Garth Clark<br />

Panel: Pinched Pots -Appropriation, Plagiarism,<br />

<strong>In</strong>fluence or Tradition?<br />

Chair: Jacqueline Clayton<br />

When does influence become plagiarism? Is cultural<br />

appropriation acceptable? Where does ownership of<br />

culture lie?<br />

Panel: Technology: Albatross or Eagle?<br />

Chair: Les Blakebrough<br />

Ceramics is a technically difficult medium, made<br />

easier today by commercially available resources. To<br />

what extent do we need the technical mastery? How<br />

has the quest for technical mastery affected ceramic<br />

practice?<br />

Convenor: Anita Mc<strong>In</strong>tyre.<br />

Phone: 06 2495821. Fax: 06 2495722.<br />

DAY 4: Monday 8 July<br />

Keynote speaker: John Teschendorff<br />

Panel: Any Future for Clay?<br />

Chair: Anne Brennan<br />

Where is current clay practice going? What causes<br />

different craft media to fall in and out of favour? To<br />

what extent are practitioners responsible for<br />

these changes?<br />

Panel: Region, Nation, World<br />

Chair: Geoffrey Edwards<br />

An examination of the extent to which regional and<br />

national modes of practice can still exist in the last<br />

decade of the 20th century. To what extent has the<br />

concept of place supplanted the physical place?<br />

DAY 5: All day<br />

Gallery tours, Demonstrations, Lectures, Slide<br />

presentations, <strong>Australia</strong>n National Gallery lecture,<br />

special ceramic presentation.<br />

• Conference dinner<br />

• Major exhibition openings<br />

• Demonstrations<br />

• Trade display<br />

• Studio and gallery visits<br />

• Pot market#<br />

•Wind-up hangi and woolshed Dance<br />

• Auction at conference dinner<br />

• Slide shows of individual work projects,<br />

schools, etc.*<br />

• Postpak - selling exhibition of conference<br />

participants' work<br />

• <strong>In</strong>dividual papers program*<br />

• Glaze and kiln doctor sessions<br />

• Mug sale##<br />

• Wood-fire seminar & Masterclasses<br />

(ad in this edition)<br />

* Expressions of interest invited<br />

# All delegates and participants may take part<br />

## All delegates and participants are invited to<br />

donate a mug for sale. Proceeds go to the<br />

establishment of a student conference scholarship.<br />

To register, complete the form below and return with payment to<br />

<strong>In</strong>ternational Connections, 8th National Ceramics Conference,<br />

ANU Canberra School of Art, GPO Box 804,Canberra ACT 2601. <strong>Australia</strong><br />

Registration fees: Full $320 ($300 if received by 1 March); Student $150; day only $100<br />

Cheques should be made payable to ANU CSA 8th National Ceramics Conference<br />

Name __________________ Organisation _________________ _<br />

Address __________________________________ _<br />

Postcode _____ Phone __________ Facsimile __________________ _<br />

Student ID Number and lnstitution ____________ -1-----------------<br />

Payment -please tick the appropriate box<br />

D My cheque is enclosed debit my- D Bankcard D Mastercard D Visa<br />

Card <strong>No</strong> ________________ Expiry Date:_-+-___ Amount:$ --------<br />

Card Holder ______________ Card Holder's Signature ____________ _<br />

D full registration D student registration D day registration/Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5<br />

If you have selected the daily registration please indjcate _which day y9u wish to attend<br />

Conference dinner (Sat 6 July) for other than full regIstratIon $30 (indicate number)<br />

D I wish to take part in Pot Market<br />

D I wish to present a paper<br />

D I wish to donate a mug<br />

D<br />

D<br />

D<br />

I wish to show slides<br />

Send info on accommodation<br />

Send info on Masterclassess<br />

D Send info on woodfire


8th National Ceramics Conference, Canberra <strong>1996</strong><br />



<strong>In</strong> conjunction with INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS, The 8th National Ceramic Conference, to be held in Canberra,<br />

July 5 -9 <strong>1996</strong>, a number of workshops conducted by leading <strong>In</strong>ternational ceramics artists will take place immediately before and<br />

after the conference period. <strong>In</strong> catering for a broad range of interests and differing approaches to the ceramic medium, the invited<br />

artists have been selected because of their established reputations, individuality of artistic expression and previous experience in<br />

conducting teaching programs. All workshops except for the Woodfire workshop will be participatory with a maximum of 12 places.<br />

Applicants must have previous experience in ceramics.<br />

Before the Conference:<br />


June 29 - July 5<br />

Seven day participatory hand building workshop,<br />

Canberra School of Art.<br />

Cost including materials: $450 (Discount $380)<br />


June 29 - July 5<br />

Seven day participatory wheel throwing workshop,<br />

Canberra School of Art.<br />

Cost including materials: $450 (Discount $380)<br />


June 29 - July 5<br />

Seven day participatory hand building workshop,<br />

Canberra School of Art.<br />

Cost including materials: $450 (Discount $380)<br />


June29 - July 5<br />

Seven day participatory wheel throwing, kiln making, firing workshop,<br />

Strathnairn Ceramics Association Studio.<br />

Cost including materials: $450 (Discount $380)<br />

After the Conference:<br />


July 10-16<br />

Seven day participatory wheel-throwing/decorating workshop,<br />

Canberra School of Art.<br />

Cost including materials: $450 (Discount $380)<br />


July 10-14<br />

Five day participatory hand building workshop with extras,<br />

Canberra School of Art.<br />

Cost including materials: $<strong>35</strong>0 (Discount $300)<br />



July 10 -16<br />

Dual-led 7 day participatory hand building and cast assemblage<br />

workshop, Canberra School of Art.<br />

Cost including materials: $450 (discount $380)<br />


July 10 -16<br />

Seven day participatory wheel throwing and wood firing, Strathnairn<br />

Ceramics Association Studio.<br />

Cost including materials $450 (Discount $380)<br />


JULY 4 - 5<br />

Demonstration, slides, wood kiln firing discussions and involvement<br />

with some specialists in the field including:<br />

Sandy Lockwood, Melina Monks, Ian Jones, Fred Olsen,<br />

Fergus Stewart, Tony Nankervis and Chester Nealie.<br />

Strathnairn Ceramics Association Studio.<br />

Cost $150 (discount $125) 50 places<br />

The Strathnairn Ceramics Association Studio boasts numerous kilns<br />

especially wood, salt and conventional kilns and is situated on a rural<br />

property on the outskirts of Canberra (15 mins to city) with views to the<br />

Brindabella Mountains and kangaroos as regular visitors.<br />


At least one place will be set aside for a full-time tertiary student<br />

studying ceramics in each of the participatory workshops and four<br />

places for the non-participatory woodfire workshop at a scholarship rate<br />

of 50% of the normal cost. There is a number of limited places for<br />

workshop assistants, who, while not participating, may be involved in<br />

the workshop activities by assisting workshop leaders in preparing<br />

materials, firing kilns, acting as couriers etc. There will be no cost<br />

involved but it will require the endorsement and support of the student's<br />

Head of Department in making application for these positions.<br />


If you are attending the 8th National Ceramics Conference and have<br />

paid the full registration fee you are entitled to the workshops' special<br />

discount rates indicated in brackets.<br />


Although daytime participation and involvement will be principally with<br />

the workshops of your choice there will be many opportunities to meet<br />

other participants and workshop artists at arranged dinners, slide<br />

sessions and informal get-togethers.<br />

For further information on the workshops and the visiting artists as well as methods of payment please contact by fax or post after<br />

February 1, <strong>1996</strong>: Alan Watt, Head of Ceramics, Coordinator; <strong>In</strong>ternational Workshops, ANU, Canberra School of Art,<br />

GPO Box 804, Canberra 2601 Fax: (06) 249 5722 tel: (06) 249 5824 (as a last resort only) State your name, postal address, and<br />

contact fax/telephone numbers for a colour brochure to be sent.

d<br />

es.<br />



te<br />

's<br />

• Sturdy baked enamel frame<br />

• <strong>No</strong>n corrosive panel or stainless steel outer cladding<br />

• Flat suspended roof for more usable volume<br />

• Conservative Kanthal Al wire elements<br />

• Super efficient lightweight brick insulation<br />

• Thermally graded backup insulation<br />

• Ceramic fibre door seals<br />

• Tee bar screw locks on door<br />

• Elements in door and walls for more even temperature<br />

• Pre wired for addition of any type of temperature<br />

~-~-- control or indication<br />

• Efficient natural kiln venting<br />

• Prompt delivery available on our wide range of<br />

kilns from .4 cubic to <strong>35</strong> cubic feet.<br />

Front & top loaders available.<br />

• Kilns below 1.3 cubic feet do not have elements in<br />

doors<br />

d<br />

For Sales and information contact our dealers, or<br />


5 Wanda Ave Findon SA 5023<br />

Ph 08 <strong>35</strong>69155 Fax 08 <strong>35</strong>31207



E13/A<br />

E13/B<br />

E13/C<br />

E13/D<br />

WIDE<br />

(mm}<br />

HIGH<br />

(mm}<br />

E13/A 180 50<br />

E13/B 200 150<br />

E13/C 220 50<br />

E13/D 220 175<br />

E13/E 225 80<br />

E13/F 300 60<br />

85A Clyde Street, Thornbury, 3071. Phone: (03) 484 4580 Fax: (03) 480 3075

Lotion Soap Dispensers<br />

with glue-down collar<br />

§ $1.40each<br />

plus postage<br />

and packaging<br />

for immediate shipment<br />

please send cheque and order to:<br />

Bermagui Mud Works<br />

PO Box 29a Bermagui NSW 2547<br />

Phone: 064 93 4661<br />


of<br />


* Paragon Kilns<br />

* Ward Kilns<br />

* Walker Clays/Slips<br />

* Keanes Clays<br />

* Cesco Glazes<br />

* Duncan Glazes<br />

* Kemper Tools<br />

* US Moulds<br />

* Plasters/ Latex<br />

Main Warehouse. Open 6 Days<br />

64 Violet St, Revesby. 2212<br />

Phone 02/772 1066<br />

also at<br />

264 Railway Pde,<br />

Kogarah.<br />

--/-.-.. Phone 02/587 2699 ~-<br />

0_pen 7 Days<br />


Proudly manufactured by Geoff & Nan Holdsworth of<br />

G.A.N. Trading<br />

***6 C.F. to 20 C.F. setting capacity as standard stock lines<br />

Kiln Building Materials: Bricks, Fibre, Mortars, Anchors, Burners, etc.<br />

Wholesale & Retail<br />

OLD'S largest stockist of cane handles, keg taps and tools<br />

Cane handles from $2.75 retail<br />

Discount available on bulk and club orders<br />

G.A.N. Trading, MS F177, 59 Nash Road, Gympie 4570<br />

Telephone (074) 82 7283 Fax (074) 82 8302 Mobile (018) 713 340



















FROM $ 795.00 TO $ 2700.00<br />



PHONE (03) 9791 6749 FAX (03) 9792 4476<br />

A.C.N. 007 005 923

B·P·QKILNS<br />

Manufauturers of<br />

• Digitemp Pyrometer (N, R or K)<br />

• Electric top loading kilns from 0.4 to 7.1 cu ft<br />

Other serviues inulude<br />

• Kiln repairs ( mobile service SE QLD)<br />

• Kiln controllers supplied and repaired<br />

• Pyrometers repaired and calibrated<br />

• Thermocouples supplied and repaired<br />

Beauhmere <strong>Pottery</strong> OLD<br />

PO Box 18 Beachmere QLD 4510<br />

Telephone 074 99 0733 •Facsimile 074 98 3345<br />

-- or contact your local retailer --<br />


* Oil lamp burner &<br />

crimped glass<br />

chimney @ $5. 00<br />

per set (no<br />

additional sales<br />

tax)<br />

* Minimum order -<br />

24sets<br />

* Ex factory (Gotts<br />

Harbour)<br />

Southern Cross <strong>Pottery</strong> Pty Ltd<br />

14 Caba Close<br />

Boambee NSW 2450<br />

Phone/Fax: (066) 58 111 o<br />

South Africa<br />

March 1997<br />

<strong>Pottery</strong> Tours<br />

Turkey & Greece<br />

September <strong>1996</strong><br />

Journey into a fascinating country of many and<br />

varied cultures, each making its own contribution<br />

to South Africa's enormous pool of creative<br />

artistry.<br />

Most potters you will meet on this exclusive<br />

journey produce contemporary decorative and<br />

functional ware that has won acclaim for its high<br />

technical and aesthetic qualities. Traditional<br />

native pottery and crafts will also be seen as well<br />

as galleries and markets.<br />

Wildlife, game reserves, national parks,<br />

wineries, historic sites and famous cities will also<br />

be part of this 21 day tour to a country whose<br />

talented potters are becoming more<br />

internationally recognised.<br />

Meet traditional and contemporary potters at<br />

work in their studios in Istanbul, Avanos,<br />

Ankara, Athens, <strong>Vol</strong>os and on the island of<br />

Samos.<br />

Visit Iznik, famous for producing coloured tiles<br />

and Karacasu known for its red clay pots and 30<br />

wood fired kilns.<br />

Stop at galleries, kilns, pottery study centres as<br />

well as famous sites of antiquity, Ephesus,<br />

Aphrodesias, Pamukkale and Cappadocia in<br />

Turkey, the Acropolis and Agora in Athens.<br />

Special visits will include the Turkish and<br />

Islamic Art Museum, Anatolian Civilizations<br />

Museum, the Bursa silk caravanserai and free<br />

time to explore the old bazaars.

( (/ Sydney College of the Arts<br />

} The University of Sydney<br />

Sydney College of the Arts seeks tenders for the<br />

design and construction on the site of a Bourrie Box<br />

Wood Burning kiln to the following specifications:<br />

* Chamber sized to accomodate four 330mm x<br />

305mm shelves and 12 courses of bricks to<br />

bottom arch (1200mm to top of arch).<br />

* To include gas after burner smoke elimination<br />

system and smoke arrester.<br />

* RI bricks to be used throughout.<br />

* High Alumina Refractories (greater than 45%<br />

AIp 3<br />

) to be used in throat arch.<br />

* Roof floated off framework.<br />

Also to include:<br />

Supply and installation of natural gas after<br />

burner system to AGL specifications.<br />

For technical or other information, phone Tom King,<br />

818 5149. Tenders close 4pm Friday, April 12th<br />

and are to be addressed:<br />

Kiln Quotation<br />

Attention: Tom King<br />

Sydney College of the Arts<br />

PO Box 1605<br />


2039 Austrc;1lia<br />

Ceramic<br />

Study<br />

Group<br />

<strong>In</strong>c.<br />

for everyone interested in pottery<br />

Members enjoy monthly meetings • monthly<br />

newsletters • weekend workshops • residential<br />

Spring School• annual Potters Fair• extensive<br />

library of books, videos and slides<br />

Meetings are held on the fourth °Friday of<br />

each month (except December-February<br />

inclusive) in the Mason Theatre, Building<br />

E7B, Macquarie University ,<br />

CSG <strong>In</strong>c. PO Box 1528, Macquarie Centre NSW 2113<br />

Telephone 02 • 953 5938 or 02 • 869 2195<br />

HOT & STICIIT[f~<br />

Steve Harrison - KILN & CLAY TECHNOLOGY<br />


KILNS • RI brick or fibre<br />

BURNERS • LPG or natural gas<br />

HOODS • custom built stainless steel<br />






KILN SHELVES • sillimanite or silicon carbide<br />



Old School Balmoral Village via Picton 25 71<br />

Telephone or facsimile • 048 898 479

s i n c e<br />

Talk to the friendly Jtalf at Woodrow and find the be.1t JoUttwn to your kiln problem.<br />

Select from a Juperbly fini.Jhe'il range of electric or ga.i Juign.i in traditional brick or ,Jttper<br />

efficient vacuum formed ceramic film board - or talk about a cu.,tom duign.<br />

Ali offer guaranteed pe,formance, economy and lightu•eight with unbelievably low CMe<br />

temperature.,.<br />

ChoOJe from a f anta.itic range of new environmentally friendly product optwn.i: <strong>In</strong>tegral air<br />

extraction - remove., f U111M and moiJture, improve., uniformity. Du.it free Jealed !iningJ -<br />

ultra hard re/lectiPity ceramic coatingJ of non poroUJ 99% alumina<br />

:::r~:~::lrJ:.'.:g:f~ RapiJ fire kiln,,, /cit kiln,,, kiln control,, thermocouple.,, .1tain/e.,J Jteel<br />

hoodJ and fluu, kiln builJing material, (bric/cJ,fiJJre, mortarJ, anchorJ, burner.1 1 element.,)<br />




WooJrow Jn3u.,triu Pty LimiteiJ<br />

17 Kurrara Stred Lan,wale NSW 2166<br />

Telephone 61 2 727 4755 F(lCJimi/e 61 2 727 4511


Form and Funaion<br />

Ceramic Aesthetics and Design<br />

(Five individual Programs)<br />

Robin Hopper expands on his<br />

clas&c text, Functional Pottecy,<br />

exploring the nature offonn and<br />

the tension that exists between<br />

pots that please the eye yet<br />

function well in the home.<br />

1. Elements of Form<br />

2. Lids & Terminations<br />

3. Spouts & Handles<br />

4. Pots for Eating &<br />

Drinking<br />

5. Pots for Cooking &<br />

Serving<br />

with llobin Hopper<br />

Making Mark,<br />

Ceramic Surface Decoration<br />

(Six Half-Hour Programs)<br />

A video series dedicated to the<br />

deooration and emiclnnent of ceramic<br />

surfaces. Full of closeups of surface<br />

details, working processes and tools that<br />

doo.nnent a master potter at work<br />

1. <strong>In</strong>tro & Surface Removal<br />

Processes<br />

2. Marks of Addition &<br />

Impression<br />

3. Liquid & Coloured Clays<br />

4. Pigments & Resists<br />

5. Glazes & Glazing<br />

6. Firing & Post-Firing Effects<br />

"These videos are the perfect way to give a<br />

'hands on' understanding of designing and<br />

making pots for all types of use - eating, drinking,<br />

storing, cooking and serving.<br />

These are high quality videos that are an ideal<br />

teaching tool for either an individual or in a class<br />

situation. They raise issues that challenge and<br />

teach even the experienced maker of functional<br />

ware because of the detail presented in each<br />

subject area. "<br />

Sue Buckle<br />

Editor <strong>Pottery</strong> in <strong>Australia</strong><br />

"Each video concentrates on several decorative<br />

techniques, giving the basis for further exploration<br />

by the potter in their own work. The processes of<br />

pottery making and design are pleasantly<br />

demonstrated within Robin Hopper's own studio.<br />

It is certainly true that a picture speaks a thousand<br />

words and this set of videos gives all of us access to<br />

the excellent instructive techniques of Robin<br />

Hopper, a world renowned educator and ceramic<br />

artist. "<br />

Christopher James<br />

President, Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong><br />

Va 1 ill ti On I On If a k II witl, (Jordon H """'"'<br />

Also Available:<br />

A 33 minute video with printed notes and recipes. Featuring applications of the following processes.<br />

terra sigillata, fuming, saggar ware, slip resists and post-firing reduction.<br />

FFunction each<br />

Ff unction Series<br />

Personal<br />

$44.95<br />

$199.95<br />

<strong>In</strong>stitution *<br />

$89.95<br />

$399.95<br />

MMarksEach<br />

MMarks Series<br />

Variations on Raku<br />

Personal<br />

$39.95<br />

$199.95<br />

$49.95<br />

<strong>In</strong>stitution *<br />

$79.95<br />

$399.95<br />

$99.95<br />

*<strong>In</strong>stitutional price includes Public Performance rights and the right to lend to the <strong>In</strong>stitutional community.<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>:-<br />

New Zealand:-<br />

Please add $5 .00 post and handling for one video, Or $7.50 for two to six videos.<br />

Please add $6.00 each video post and packing for air mail delivery.<br />

ORDER BY MAIL, PHONE OR FAX. 09 3451434<br />



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all stainless steel<br />

Features All stainless steel heavy duty barrel with antirotation<br />

wear ribs • High capacity gear box with 3 Kw (4HP) or 5.5<br />

Kw {?HP) three-phase motor• twin cylinder vacuum pump with 0.75<br />

Kw (1 HP) three-phase motor• Optional 212mm (8½") or 262mm<br />

(1 0½") barrel • Rectangular 150mm x 125mm (6" or 5") nozzle or<br />

1<strong>35</strong>mm (5½") diameter nozzle • High capacity nominal 1 ¼ tonne/h<br />

(212mm model) or 2 tonne/h (262mm model).<br />



125mm x 150mm NOZZLE 212mm BARREL<br />


$ 9800.00<br />

125mm x 150mm NOZZLE 262mm BARREL<br />



a) 5.5Kw (7 HP) MOTORS<br />


$15500.00<br />

+$ 600.00<br />

+$ 2500.00<br />

G.P. & G.F. HILL PTY LTD<br />

29 Owen Road, Kelmscott WA 6111 <strong>Australia</strong><br />

Telephone 61 9 399 5265 Facsimile 61 9 497 13<strong>35</strong><br />

ACN 008 969 104

<strong>In</strong>vitation to exhibit your work!<br />

Royal Hall of <strong>In</strong>dustries<br />

Sydney Showground<br />

Saturday-Sunday<br />

July I 3 - 14, I 9 9 6<br />


. . . back in Sydney for<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>'s biggest art event<br />

This is a unique opportunity to sell<br />

your works and meet the galleries.<br />

Whether your medium is pottery,<br />

sculpture, ceramics, glass, timber,<br />

painted finishes, or fine art, this is the<br />

perfect showcase for your talent. <strong>No</strong><br />

commissions payable and thousands<br />

of buyers in attendance.<br />

--· For exhibitor enquiries phone Dawn Sullivan on (02) 99S8 1811 __ ..<br />

-- '"'• • ERS oru<br />

nderglazes<br />

Brush-on glazes<br />

Powdered Glazes<br />

Casting slips<br />

Clay Bodies<br />

Electric or gas fired<br />

Fibre or brick lined<br />

Ceramic Supply Company Pty Ltd<br />

1/17-19 Pavesi Street<br />

Guildford NSW 2161<br />

Telephone 02 • 892 1566<br />

Facsimile 02 • 892 2478

HTH MAUH - l~TH ArRlt<br />

t9r~~ IU~f{J ''9tJ{ 0JL:vu:ftat 7 .OOpm,<br />

mmGmm<br />

5-7 RAGLAN mm, mu ms THHHONE/rH~IMltE 9977 090ij<br />

or n ra o. 61


at<br />


,\Jeat :\clarket Craft Centre<br />

42 Courtney Street . rorth :\lelhourne<br />

•Enquiries•<br />

telephone 03 9329 9966 weekdays or 018 594 345<br />

after houri- 0:3 9510 9870 fac·sintlle 0:3 9:329 9972<br />


Postal address: PO Box 2092, Prahran Vic 3181<br />

Great Potters Workshop Series<br />

+ NEWCASTLE +<br />



27th & 28th April <strong>1996</strong><br />

Functional/studio u•heel thrown fonns and Crystalline g/a;;es - $80<br />


9th, 10th and 11th June Long Weekend<br />

Kilns and large throim 1l'orks -$120<br />


Soft slab functional pieces and decorating - Single day class<br />

++<br />


57 Bull Street Newcastle 2300<br />

Telephone 049 61 <strong>35</strong>6'± Facsimile 0'±9 69 6'¼67<br />

PO Box 3'±5 The hmction 2291


There is a NEW Arts & Crafts Market<br />

opening on the Gold Coast where you can<br />

buy your own freehold brick shop ...<br />

I I I I I<br />

... in a Village for Arts & Crafts where<br />

there is something different for everyone.<br />

Opening late <strong>1996</strong>. Register your interest NOW!<br />

Ph: Wayne Price (07) 5530 1885<br />

for further information & colour brochure!<br />

Unique retail art/craft shop and studio, established<br />

four years, in landmark historic tourist complex.<br />

Low rent, new 3x3 lease, electric kiln, three phase<br />

power and fixtures included. Stock negotiable.<br />

Suit practicing artisan(s).<br />

Telephone<br />

Jacqueline Henwood or Christine Curry on<br />

(066) 55 2072 b.h. (066) 55 4143 a.h.<br />

Asmall private ~ftNl't'!nn open by q:)p()intment.<br />

Saggar fired, Wood fired, Majolica and<br />

Sto,t1111•ilJlk,ttery.<br />

Boundary Road, Wahroonga NSW. Ph:02-489-5256<br />



CERAMICS AND PRINT - P. Scott $24.95<br />

SODA GLAZING-R Tu26aLL $24.95<br />

POTIERY, PEOPLE AND TIME - A. Caiger-Snzith $68.00<br />

ART OF PETER VOULKOS $124.00<br />

HANDMADE TILES - F Giorgini $37.50<br />

VISITING THE MINO KILNS -J. Barri.JkiLL $69.00<br />

Podt $6.50 fiNt hook. + $2.50 each thereafter<br />


42 Courtney Street, <strong>No</strong>rth Melbourne Vic 3051<br />

Telephone (03) 9 329 6042 Facsimile (03) 9 326 7054<br />

Headmasters<br />

Gallerlj<br />

J ·,1<br />

with an emphasis on ceramics, wood, glass and both<br />

contemporary and antique Asian textiles<br />

MARCH <strong>1996</strong><br />

From Passion to Fantasy- Wearable Art<br />


APRIL <strong>1996</strong><br />

Works on Paper - YVONNE CLEA VER<br />

MAY <strong>1996</strong><br />

Fibre Sculpture - VIRGL,1A KAISER<br />

175 Rosedale Road, St Ives NSW 2075<br />

Telephone 02 44 6561 Facsimile (02) 449 3916

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D R N 6<br />

March 26-April 18 June 18-July 11<br />

Ceramics by<br />

Recent works by<br />

Salamanda Lolicato<br />

Anthony Figallo<br />

Paintings by <strong>In</strong>grid<br />

Wood Sculpture by<br />

Szoeke<br />

Kate Caish<br />

April 23-May16<br />

E July 16-August 8<br />

Robert Lee<br />

Woodtuming by Harold<br />

i Ceramics by Niky Hepi<br />

& Matthew IMng<br />

! Glass by Greg Gepp<br />

May 21-June13 ~ Recent Works by<br />

Ceramics by Robert Maryin McMahon<br />

~<br />

Knighton ~ 321 Lennox Street<br />

Recent Paintings,<br />

Richmond Vic 3121<br />

~<br />

Katsuya Nishimura<br />

Telephone 03 9429 3296<br />

~<br />

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~<br />




Ceramics and Glass<br />

12-30 June <strong>1996</strong><br />

Thirteen artists from around <strong>Australia</strong> including Marc<br />

Sauvage, Deb Cocks, Barbara Swarbrick, Bob Connery, Patsy<br />

Hely, Ben Edols & Kathy Elliot, Pippin Drysdale, Prue Venables<br />

11 Stratton Street, Newstead Qld 4006<br />

Telephone/Facsimile 07 3852 2870<br />



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