Pottery In Australia Vol 38 No 3 September 1999

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classic form<br />

& surface

WALKER<br />

~<br />


Melbourne (03) 9725 7255 Sydney (02) 9451 5855 Canberra (02) 6280 5700

DATE DUE<br />



BELOW.<br />

Suvan Mudcha. Works by Vipoo Srivilasa<br />

Rites of Tea<br />

Kim Peng Pang and the ceremonies of tea.<br />

Article by Michael Connor<br />


Vert de Bien Hoa. A classic glaze from<br />

Vietnam. Article by Boi Tran Huynh<br />

Junko Kiritani v1s1ts the Cairns Potters<br />

Group of <strong>No</strong>rth Queensland<br />

~UC ART<br />

River Reflections<br />

A community arts project for lnnisfail,<br />

Queensland. Article by Bonnie English<br />

The Punjab. Peter Wilson visits Pakistan<br />

:AT GLAZES<br />

Em<br />

m<br />

m<br />

m<br />

m<br />

ce1aaon ana Jun reapms ana oow1s<br />

Clayx4<br />

Jeff Oestreich reflects on an exhibition of<br />

woodfinng by Sandy Lockwood, Neil<br />

Hoffmann, Dennis & Malina Monks.<br />

Article by Sue Buckle<br />

Ellipsis<br />

A group exhibition at Craftwest Gallery.<br />

Article by Edward Arrowsmith<br />

Qdos Woofire Conference, Lorne.<br />

Article by Robert Knighton<br />

Broaching the Subject<br />

An exhibition of brooches at Back to Back<br />

Gallery, Newcastle. Jan Downes<br />

Potters Showcase<br />

An exhibition by members of the Victorian<br />

Ceramic Group. Glenn England<br />

lmJ<br />

rmJ<br />

Guan but not Forgotten.<br />

Steve Harrison researches a classic glaze<br />

A dry glaze journey by Winnie Webber<br />

Glaze ingredients explained by Mike Kusnik<br />

TRA\IEI I IPD;H I­<br />

m South Africa<br />

tlJ Conference Report<br />


m Teapots by Glenn England<br />

ml<br />

HANDS ON Product Update<br />

m Q & A: Glaze questions<br />

m Letters<br />

m WELL READ Book Reviews<br />


Reports by State representatives<br />

fm<br />

Summer workshop with Jane Crick<br />

m News<br />

ISSUE <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 1

Ta a a<br />

Bernadine Alting<br />

(03) 6395 1270<br />

Leanne Vanderslink<br />

(03) 6327 1513<br />

f .ALJstral a<br />

So NJ a<br />

Maggie Smith Pia &:m 9854<br />

II East meets West<br />

Christopher Sanders researches questions ·<br />

posed by melding traditional oriental glazes<br />

with a modernist aesthetic<br />

II Helen Stephens<br />

'Domestic pieces of utility can have a value<br />

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Im<br />

fE<br />

E!J<br />

Em<br />

fE<br />

beyond their original purpose'. Article by Peta<br />

Landman<br />

'It's not on any map, but true places never<br />

are'<br />

RE Jir..'"'S<br />

&!J<br />

Em<br />

Louise Boscacci<br />

Slumped at the Wheel<br />

Working collaboratively, Andrew Stewart and<br />

Deb Cocks<br />

Alistair Whyte<br />

Aesthetics and techniques learnt in Japan,<br />

influenced by an <strong>Australia</strong>n lifetyle<br />

Kissed by Fire<br />

Crystal Glazes by Peter Wilson<br />

"From a Point of Singularity to a Position<br />

of Sharing"<br />

Ian Cume writes of Steve Harrison's guan,<br />

celadon and jun teapots and bowls<br />

Clayx4<br />

Jeff Oestreich reflects on an exhibition of<br />

woodfiring by Sandy Lockwood, Nell<br />

Hoffmann, Dennis & Malina Monks.<br />

Article by Sue Buckle<br />

Ellipsis<br />

A group exhibition at Craftwest Gallery.<br />

Article by Edward Arrowsmith<br />

Qdos Woofire Conference, Lorne.<br />

Article by Robert Knighton<br />

m Broaching the Subject<br />

An exhibition of brooches at Back to Back<br />

E!J<br />

Gallery, Newcastle. Jan Downes<br />

Potters Showcase<br />

An exhibition by members of the Victorian<br />

Ceramic Group. Glenn England<br />

11,0R.VSBY CU!Pl'S LIBRARY<br />



HORNSBY NSW 2077<br />


DJ<br />

Suvan Mudcha. Works by Vipoo Srivilasa<br />

Im Rites of Tea<br />

Kim Peng Pang and the ceremonies of tea.<br />

Article by Michael Connor<br />


Em Vert de Bien Hoa. A classic glaze from<br />

1ml<br />

Vietnam. Article by Boi Tran Huynh<br />

Junko Kiritani visits the Cairns Potters<br />

Group of <strong>No</strong>rth Queensland<br />


River Reflections<br />

mD<br />

pr)C:~t:ll'.l'<br />

f?I<br />

A community arts project for lnnisfail,<br />

Queensland. Article by Bonnie English<br />

The Punjab. Peter Wilson visits Pakistan<br />


IJ Guan but not Forgotten .<br />

lmJ<br />

lmJ<br />

Steve Harrison researches a classic glaze<br />

A dry glaze Journey by Winnie Webber<br />

Glaze ingredients explained by Mike Kusnik<br />

TRf.\!EL I PDA fE<br />

mJ<br />

mJ<br />

South Africa<br />

Conference Report<br />


tfJ Teapots by Glenn England<br />

IE HANDS ON Product Update<br />

fa Q & A: Glaze questions<br />

fm Letters<br />

fZI WELL READ Book Reviews<br />


DJ<br />

fm<br />

Reports by State representatives<br />

Summer workshop with Jane Crick<br />

News<br />

ISSUE <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 1

The 9th National Ceramic Conference in Perth was a<br />

huge success with attendances well exceeding<br />

organisers expectations. It was obvious all who<br />

helped with both the planning and the day to day<br />

running had done their jobs thoroughly and with the<br />

exception of the usual spate of technical hiccups,<br />

everything went according to plan. Excitement built over<br />

the week as keynote speakers, demonstrators, presenters<br />

and delegates all added their own energy to the mix. The<br />

Keynote speakers, Janet Mansfield (Aus), Paul Mathieu<br />

(Canada), Edmund du Waal (UK) and Stephen Goldate<br />

(Aus) started each day's proceedings with a plethora of<br />

ideas. Sharing their wealth of experience and knowledge,<br />

they challenged, they provoked, they tantalised - a perfect<br />

start to the day's proceedings. After presentations and<br />

debates on all aspect of ceramic practice each day ended<br />

with a seemingly endless round of openings and social<br />

events that kept the pace, and the talk, up till the small<br />

hours. And finally there was the Clay Olympics - a great<br />

way to let off steam after all the talk and an hilarious<br />

spectacle for both contestants and spectators.<br />

It was a very friendly Conference and a great chance to<br />

meet the ceramists of WA and see their work. It is<br />

obvious that there is a strong tradition of ceramic practice<br />

in WA with all the diversity and vitality we have come to<br />

expect from <strong>Australia</strong>n ceramic art. It was exciting to<br />

speak to artists about their work and influences, to see<br />

them demonstrating and to visit individual studios. The 42<br />

exhibitions covered work from all States of <strong>Australia</strong> as<br />

well as work by international presenters and<br />

demonstrators. Such a feast for all tastes. And all this at a<br />

time when we seem to need to reaffirm our committment<br />

to ceramic practice in the face of economic and cultural<br />

change. More than ever we need to actively create our<br />

place. Awareness of being part of a community can give<br />

us the kind of reassurance and energy we need for that.<br />

The 'Clay<br />

Olympics'­<br />

just before we<br />

got hit by a wall<br />

of clay slip from<br />

the previous<br />

runners in the<br />

relay!<br />

Congratulations to the Perth organising Committee and<br />

all their helpers who can now relax and think about<br />

enjoying the next Conference which will be in Melbourne<br />

in 2002.<br />

I spent much of my time during the days at the<br />

Conference on our trade stand. It was wonderful to talk<br />

to so many people who have supported the magazine for<br />

many years. I love the feedback and ideas I get and it's<br />

always great to put a face to a name. We are thrilled with<br />

the number of new subscribers who signed up at the<br />

Conference and thank you for your support. We value all<br />

our readers but ultimately it is the buyers who provide<br />

the funds for us to develop the quality and content of the<br />

magazine.<br />

This issue we showcase works that have a quietness<br />

and stillness in form and surface. These are pieces that<br />

truly engage the viewer, that take you to a quiet place<br />

and hold your attention. Each artist profiled expresses a<br />

deep committment to this style of creative expression,<br />

each has a strength that comes from a considered and<br />

very individual approach. The works show confidence<br />

and integrity whilst often retaining a playfullness that<br />

goes beyond any particualr tradition of form or surface.<br />

Hopefully you can find a quiet<br />

moment and enjoy this issue.<br />

<strong>Pottery</strong> in <strong>Australia</strong> is<br />

·. published quarterly by the<br />

,:Potters; Society of<br />

·- <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

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·Autralian ceramics are welcome.<br />

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2 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Top left: Mathew Blakely,<br />

Bowl. Faceted porcelain<br />

oxidised. 10 x 15cm.<br />

Above left: Phil Elson,<br />

Blue chun, pink shino<br />

bowls.<br />

Photo Terence Bogue<br />

Approx. h 16 x 35cm.<br />

Above: Ray Rogers, silver<br />

lustre jar. Earthenware in<br />

glaze lustre. 56cm.<br />

Left: R. Mackenzie,<br />

stoneware and raku table<br />

setting. Joint winner of<br />

the Potters' Society of<br />

<strong>Australia</strong> Award of<br />

Excellence.<br />

'Ripped' Student<br />

Exhibition, Perth '99.<br />

Photo Ray Delamare.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEP~EMBE'R <strong>1999</strong> + Po Ttt{f II\J A USTRAL A 3

Left: Greg Crowe. Long<br />

wood fired vessel. h60cm<br />

Photo V. France<br />

Below: Bob Connery,<br />

bowl. Trailed gold lustre,<br />

earthenware reduced<br />

lustre.<br />

Bottom: Tony Nankervis,<br />

Vase <strong>1999</strong>. Long wood<br />

fired, multiple fired, ash<br />

glazes. h24cm<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 4

East Meets West<br />

CHRISTOPHER SANDERS researches questions posed by melding traditional oriental glazes<br />

with a modernist aesthetic.

Lidded jars,<br />

green and red<br />

with gunmetal<br />

black lid.<br />

Green: titanium<br />

and copper.<br />

Red: copper red<br />

h22 X d14 X W18.<br />

Previous: Detail<br />

of lidded jar.<br />

M<br />

y most recent body of work was produced for my<br />

Masters by Research degree at RMIT. The project<br />

posed the question whether or not the<br />

orientalising traditions of nine selected classic glazes<br />

could be melded to shapes derived from a twentieth<br />

century modernist aesthetic. While the 'classic' chun and<br />

copper glazes are redolent of their Chinese sources, a key<br />

assumption in the project was the recognition of my own<br />

inherent Westerness, and the wish to explore this in<br />

tandem with my appreciation of the material aesthetics of<br />

high temperature reduction glazes. This body of work<br />

was subsequently exhibited at Distelfink Gallery. I have<br />

adapted the documentation for this article, and some of<br />

the works are illustrated.<br />

After acceptance onto the Masters by Research<br />

programme and during the first six months, the higher<br />

degree committee drove myself and most other<br />

candidates to complete numerous amended drafts of our<br />

project aims, honing in on the core theme, before<br />

establishing a final project framework. While I began the<br />

project with the advantage of a broad technical<br />

knowledge, this sometimes led me into new and<br />

interesting areas which were not so relevant. Yet it was<br />

here that I realised the value of the 'blueprint' project<br />

programme, which kept me from straying too far from<br />

the core themes. Once I had realised that the body of<br />

work which I produced would be judged according to<br />

this document, it became much easier to focus on day to<br />

day work.<br />

My initial research explored the unornamented<br />

aesthetic of so called 'machine age' architecture and mass<br />

produced goods, stimulated originally from early Bauhaus<br />

design, and expanded by the new breed American<br />

designers during the thirties. Research sources for<br />

ceramics in particular are fairly slim in this field, and<br />

monographs on specific designers, or designer-makers<br />

are few and far between. Reference books and exhibition<br />

catalogues in this field also tend to reflect a broad focus.<br />

Karen McCready's 'Art Deco and Modernist Ceramics',<br />

and Anne Lajoix' 'La Ceramique en France' were useful<br />

early references.<br />

I also looked at works from other media concerned<br />

with structure and mass, including the paintings of Leger<br />

and the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth, in an attempt to<br />

better understand formal spatial relationships. The<br />

development of new ideas and their translation into new<br />

forms was therefore drawn from a multiplicity of sources.<br />

These ranged from French studio designs and American<br />

consumer ceramics and goods, through to Swedish<br />

studio-factory designs.<br />

Where in my pre Masters work I had concentrated on<br />

larger vessels, vases, and lidded jars of an orientalising<br />

aesthetic, I chose to work on domestically scaled<br />

functional ceramics for the project. It is a challenge to<br />

give presence to smaller scaled wares compared with that<br />

which is in part already won by larger scale pieces. I<br />

became interested in developing the inherent sculptural<br />

qualities of functional wares by paying closer attention to<br />

mass, line and proportion, and to the relationship<br />

between repeated and similar shapes in a group or pair.<br />

6 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Pair of gourd<br />

shaped jars,<br />

textured surfaces,<br />

gunmetal black<br />

lids, copper red<br />

glaze.<br />

h21 cm, h25cm.<br />

Detailing of ancillaries, glaze election and surface<br />

texture were chosen in terms of creating unity.<br />

My fir t designs had a fairly close affinity to early<br />

Bauhaus ceramici ts such as those unornamented<br />

geometrically shaped wares based on peasant archetypes<br />

wares made by Otto Lindig in the early twenties. While I<br />

wa intere ted in Lindig' use of structure, I also preferred<br />

a more sophisticated and sleeker finish than the prosaic<br />

earthenwares used at this time, and hence the attempt to<br />

meld the hardness and beauty of orientalising reduction<br />

glazes with these We tern ourced forms.<br />

The making process became cyclical, involving the<br />

development of an idea, then constructing, firing and<br />

a e ing the finished object. As the project progressed<br />

and new directions became e tablished, I largely<br />

abandoned new research, concentrating on specific<br />

problem solving around core theme .<br />

The cycle would then move back to research (personal<br />

journals, selected books and journals), to attempt to<br />

refine previous work.<br />

ome of my early research had concentrated on postwar<br />

modernist consumer objects, influenced by Jean<br />

Arp's sculpture, with their purely formal concerns of mass<br />

in pace, line , proportion and positive and negative<br />

space. Looking for a more fluid form, I developed a<br />

gourd shape which became a second major thematic<br />

hape (see picture above). This shape took well to sleek<br />

glazing and surface finishing , and formed a stable<br />

platform for functional jars, teapots and other items,<br />

depending on its proportions. As I worked on this shape,<br />

I again began to feel that the symmetricality of throwing<br />

was skewering the fluidity of the gourd form. Somehow,<br />

the finished objects seemed to lack sufficient joy or levity.<br />

At the same time I developed a series of jar forms<br />

based on a reverse curve, which when assembled<br />

suggested a bamboo-like form. I developed a technique<br />

of sectioning a trimmed dish to the top of the cylindrical<br />

form, cutting a lid-opening and gallery to take a lid. This<br />

harmonised with the theme of the reverse curve, while<br />

enabling construction of a form otherwise impossible to<br />

throw on the wheel.<br />

Yet both forms , what I referred to as the 'gourd' form,<br />

and the 'reverse curve' form, again seemed overly stiff.<br />

Two developments alleviated this problem. The first was<br />

to flare the reverse curve, so that the jar was wider at the<br />

top, rather than assuming a rather rigid bamboo-like<br />

form . This led to a period of experimentation with<br />

proportions of height and width, while sorting out the<br />

relative depth of the dished top section of the jar form.<br />

The second, while a mere detail, was more difficult,<br />

and evolved over time. I had found that the centralised<br />

shape of a thrown knob acted as a 'pin' which killed any<br />

sense of dynamism within the shape. As a counter, I<br />

began to roll and taper knobs, and to subtly bend them.<br />

At first they were too large, too clumsy, too thick, or too<br />

exaggeratedly thick/thin. Over a number of firing cycles I<br />

learnt to make them more subtly, and found that the<br />

lean, the taper, and curve were critical to the finished<br />

look. The end result was a knob which seemed light,<br />

elegant, and offering itself for use. Importantly, and<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 7

particularly in relation to colour combinations, it also<br />

added the levity, the little bit of theatricality which I had<br />

been looking for (see picture below).<br />

At the time I also began to investigate the works of the<br />

contemporary designers from the Alessi group and<br />

Phillipe Starck. I was impressed by their indifferent<br />

attitudes to questions of 'high' or 'low 'art' and their<br />

concerns rather with communicating with an audience<br />

within familiar idioms. I was particularly impressed with<br />

Starck's designs, his ability to make a building or a<br />

toothbrush equally interesting objects, and I could see<br />

that same concern for elemental spatial relationships that<br />

Brancusi and Arp understood. I returned frequently to his<br />

Asahi building, with its tilted 'flame ' sculpture poised<br />

weightlessly on its black roof, and attempted to<br />

infuse some of this dramatic element into<br />

my later jars (see pictures on pages 5<br />

and 6).<br />

<strong>In</strong> settling on two core shapes,<br />

I attempted to fulfil my core aim<br />

of producing an interrelated<br />

body of work, regardless of the<br />

function ·of individual elements.<br />

This concept, from British Keith<br />

Murray at Wedgwood in the thirties, to<br />

American Russell Wright in the forties<br />

and fifties , used the notion of<br />

'matching' to entice consumers to buy<br />

further items. I have adopted Murray's<br />

simple device of lines and proportions,<br />

and Wright's use of internal and external<br />

colour to 'mix and match' items. Colour and<br />

glaze development have been a critical<br />

element of exploration in the project.<br />

The Masters of Fine Art by research project was a<br />

challenging and rewarding focus leading to a new body<br />

of work. It proved interesting seeing my traditional<br />

chuns, copper reds on new forms.<br />

The project led me to invent new ways of construction,<br />

often cutting and reassembling, or using multiple pieces.<br />

I wanted to avoid an overly forced or contrived look and<br />

for the functional forms to have an unassuming<br />

simplicity, yet hopefully a sense of engagement. The<br />

success or failure of my aim to assimilate traditional<br />

reduction glazes with a more overt Western based form<br />

rests with the final pieces. oo<br />

Copper green<br />

glaze with black<br />

and yellow lid.<br />

W16 X 25h.<br />

8 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

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<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 9

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A<br />

s Helen Stephens handles her latest work, pared<br />

down, utilitarian shapes, predominantly white<br />

with the merest touches of orange where the<br />

glaze breaks, she talks of their simplicity, "This is what<br />

I find myself striving for most of the time - this<br />

simplicity and purity. I love throwing and I like to<br />

throw loosely. You can only do that with simple<br />

uncomplicated shapes ... I am in anguish when I find<br />

myself fussing over a pot." But this talk of simplicity is<br />

deceptive. Behind Helen's work is an intellectual<br />

enquiry which finds satisfaction in the constant<br />

interaction of her many activities, from writing,<br />

lecturing, curating, to a position on the Board of the<br />

Centre for Contemporary Craft and always the thread<br />

of her own work providing a practical avenue for<br />

intellectual experimentation.<br />

Born in Sydney's southern suburbs and coming of<br />

age there, it was no straight<br />

Top right: Helen with forward progression to<br />

'Freddie'.<br />

ceramics. <strong>In</strong>spired by her<br />

mother's skills in dressmaking,<br />

Below: 'Basics' . Helen's first inclination was to<br />

Oxidation Shino dish study fashion design at East<br />

(centre) 5.5 x 24cm. Sydney Tech, but family<br />

pressure forced her to take up<br />

Previous: Large oval a job in a bank. It took 30<br />

serving dish '99. years for her to finally enter<br />

Oxidation Shino. the Tech's sandstone<br />

h12 x L32cm.<br />

enclosure. After banking, she<br />

took a journalist position at<br />

Opposite: Two 'Pillow' <strong>Australia</strong>n Associated Press<br />

dishes '99. Stamped (AAP) and for the next ten<br />

stoneware. Largest dish years writing engaged her,<br />

d20cm<br />

with stints at the finance desk<br />

of AAP, at ABC Radio news and with her partner, Eric<br />

at his magazine, Retail World. <strong>In</strong> the mid-1970s after<br />

returning to school to finish her HSC she studied<br />

political science at the University of SW.<br />

Through all these career changes, an underlying<br />

interest in the arts had never completely left her, and<br />

in the mid-1980s Helen began preliminary studies for a<br />

BA in Fine Arts at Sydney University which included<br />

practical experience in ceramics at the Tin Sheds. This<br />

was a very political, feminist, funky period in ceramics<br />

and an honours thesis on <strong>Australia</strong>n ceramics exposed<br />

her to artists such as Lorraine Jenyns and Margaret<br />

Dodd. This exposure only served to clarify that<br />

sculptural work was not her interest. When looking<br />

around in 1990 for a school to further her ceramics<br />

study she rejected the Sydney College of the Arts for<br />

the more artisan-oriented East Sydney Technical<br />

College.<br />

By her third year Helen, curiously, had come back<br />

to her first interest, making tall, hand-built vessels<br />

from rolled out clay: pieces of clay were torn off and<br />

wrapped back together with uneven edges. These<br />

containers were construcred not unlike some of<br />

today's fashions.<br />

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"Wanting to push the idea<br />

that domestic pieces of utility<br />

can have a value beyond their<br />

original purpose" and wanting<br />

to take control of the<br />

presentation of ceramics, it<br />

was a logical progression to<br />

move into exhibition curating.<br />

'Being with Objects' was her<br />

first curatorial experience. This<br />

exhibition, which toured<br />

regional galleries in SW,<br />

Victoria and Queensland,<br />

featured the work of Toni<br />

Warburton, Patsy Hely and<br />

Susan Ostling .<br />

Helen has always been<br />

drawn to objects which are to<br />

be handled and enjoyed, not<br />

unlike the pleasure obtained<br />

from preparing and sharing a<br />

meal with friends. She, in fact,<br />

teaches vegetarian cooking and enjoys serving each part<br />

of the meal in individual serving dishes, choosing colours<br />

and shapes to match the food. "I also like to buy in bulk.<br />

I can't resist buying a tray of vine-ripened tomatoes, or<br />

pears, or lemons and lining a large white flat bottom dish<br />

with straight sides with the fruit and placing them on<br />

display on the sideboard."<br />

The intimacy of her work is matched by the pocketsized<br />

studio she has created in one of the storerooms<br />

below her Bondi flat. It has a cool and isolated quality,<br />

but her wheel is situated with glimpses into the garden<br />

with its pots of culinary herbs. Shelves of dishes, bowls,<br />

casseroles and mugs in mid-tone, olive greens and yellow<br />

stripes contrast with her current monochromatic work.<br />

Little sketches and inspirations such as the 19th century<br />

drawings of serving bowls which she came across at<br />

Elizabeth Bay House decorate the walls. There is room<br />

for only a test kiln, with shelves 330 mm square. " I like<br />

having a small kiln, I am too impatient to make a whole<br />

lot of work, I pref er to experiment as I go along and see<br />

how each batch goes before continuing," says Helen.<br />

The invitation to be in a recent group exhibition,<br />

'White', at the Ceramic Art Gallery, Paddington, allowed a<br />

reconsideration of her use of colour. "I had been making<br />

simple, smaller serving dishes and decorating them with<br />

vertical lines of different widths using either oxides or<br />

on-glaze enamels, but I decided for the White exhibition<br />

to revive a stoneware glaze that I had made up years<br />

ago a Janet DeBoos glaze which she called 'oxidation<br />

shino'." The recipe has soda feldspar and to get the shino<br />

effect the clay body needs to have at least 3 percent iron.<br />

The incidental colour and<br />

loose throwing are the only<br />

overt decoration on the pots.<br />

Helen continues with her<br />

exploration of 'oxidation shino'<br />

in deep dishes for wet food,<br />

somewhere between a pasta<br />

bowl and a dinner plate. A<br />

shape that suits her style of<br />

cuisine, as she explains, "we<br />

eat a lot of braised dishes<br />

where moisture plays a role".<br />

Another area of exploration is<br />

in what Helen calls her 'pillow<br />

dishes', which as the name<br />

suggests are clay pillow forms<br />

with just enough indentation in<br />

the surface to rest a few olives<br />

or nuts. There is no opening,<br />

the top is placed after the piece<br />

is thrown on the wheel and<br />

distorted. A small pinprick in<br />

the side allows the release of air so the top sinks down to<br />

form a shallow dish. This means the stamped decorative<br />

surface is more exposed. They are then glazed with the<br />

'oxidation shino' and the surface pattern becomes picked<br />

out in orange.<br />

<strong>In</strong> a recent paper she gave at the Shepparton<br />

<strong>In</strong>ternational Ceramic Conference, Helen spoke on what<br />

she perceives as a developing <strong>Australia</strong>n aesthetic towards<br />

simplicity, colour and traces of narrative evident in<br />

ceramists such as Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Prue Venables<br />

and eville French among others. She could in fact be<br />

describing her own work, "they are functional , or<br />

essentially functional forms ; the form itself is simple,<br />

pared back, to an essential shape, there are few additional<br />

elements; they have the clear cut lines of industriallyproduced<br />

ceramics, yet they have a softness from being<br />

made by hand, generally wheel-thrown and altered, and<br />

their colours are distinctively, recognisably modern."<br />

When asked if she saw herself as fitting into this<br />

group, she replied that "for a start, these artists are much<br />

more dedicated, it is their whole life , but I like that<br />

simplicity". She recognises that for herself, "I've always<br />

been full of contradictions, I enjoy that purity, but I also<br />

have to have a little bit that tacks onto it, even if the<br />

decoration is only a texture or a mark. " Perhaps, in<br />

concocting the complex recipe of her life , it is in<br />

balancing the ingredients of simplicity with contrast and<br />

change that Helen finds her inspiration. oo<br />

Peta Landman, Arts consultant, writer (ariel@netspace.net.au)<br />

Helen Stephens Tel 02 9365 2<strong>38</strong>2<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 11

It's not on any map, true places<br />

never are<br />

Lived in landscape becomes local place. The 'view' comes from the inside,<br />

as much visceral as visual. The work of LOUISE BOSCACCI.<br />

I used to make field journals filled with pressed plants, snatches of local comment, species lists and dirt-track logs,<br />

naming stories and traces of what was before or thought to have been. Hard data, soft data to some.<br />

Search and research that a science worker does daily. Often in the remote and arid, the 'mudmap' was the only<br />

travelling guide. Mudmaps are those jottings of tracks taken, directions headed,<br />

land features of personal meaning. Hand-sketched markers that trace passage in body and mind. <strong>In</strong> notebooks later,<br />

they appear as simplified drawings of line and text, still true to their origins but carrying new association of<br />

autobiography and abstracted depiction of place.<br />


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, Growing-up' in a landscape is perhaps more a<br />

growing of land into the body. Land is then<br />

known viscerally as lived rhythm, as much as<br />

mental image and story. Once embedded in body,<br />

landplaces may be felt in recall as much as seen by<br />

minds-eye. What does one make of a place newly<br />

encountered yet uncannily familiar? What does one make<br />

with the cascade of sensory memory of formative<br />

homeplaces?<br />

"You can't go home again, it is said.<br />

Neither can you ever leave. The<br />

landscape of your childhood is<br />

ineradicable. For better or worse, it is<br />

apt to be the landscape against which<br />

all subsequent ones are measured. And<br />

in some remote place you turn a comer<br />

and are confronted with an<br />

approximation of that original<br />

landscape, the reflexive gasp is as<br />

physical as that caused by a blow to the<br />

chest. It is your 'double' that you have<br />

run into ... "1<br />

The desire to map and mark, in a<br />

non-literal personal route-taking, is<br />

coded deep by cultural memory and<br />

immigrant forebears. Mine were<br />

northern mountain people who traded<br />

the alpine cool of Lombardy for the wet and dry warmth<br />

of northern Queensland. ow, the north-eastern coast<br />

and its ribbon of coastal range pervades imaginatively<br />

wherever I go. Much fu1ther south, Birdwood (as it was<br />

named by early tree-fellers) marks a tiny rural community<br />

on the Forbes River, eastern New South Wales. With first<br />

encounter, this country compelled sensuous recall of<br />

those familiar homeplaces of the tropical north-east:<br />

insistent, unsettling in intensity, yet immensely intriguing.<br />

With time, I have gone back to<br />

aesthetically explore this encounter<br />

with a "double", and to learn local<br />

histories of person, plant, animal from<br />

within. 'Poems for Land and Body: the<br />

Birdwood Series' 2 , an assemblage of<br />

vessels, small ceramic wall panels and<br />

paintings on board, was elicited by this<br />

sustained association over recent years.<br />

The objects made of this meeting stand<br />

as holders of encounter in absence,<br />

personal place-settings of mountain,<br />

river, season, question and suggestion.<br />

They embody response rather than<br />

depict or emulate landscape, and<br />

attempt to distil in volume and surface<br />

those spatial and temporal layers of<br />

connection and recall triggered during<br />

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12 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Opposite: '35 Days, Summer'.<br />

Ceramic panel, paperclay.<br />

30x20.5cm.<br />

Left: 'Winter Collection Pots'.<br />

Group of four earthenware vessels<br />

with 'Treefern Gully' wall, gouache,<br />

acrylic, ochre.<br />

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making itself. Embedded in<br />

their making from thought to<br />

touch is remembered rhythm<br />

and feel of - dimensions,<br />

I'd contend of the particular<br />

and the ineffable.<br />

My main ceramic response was minimal vessel: thinwalled<br />

reservoir with deep interior well and encircling<br />

outer surface open to personal mark and inscription. With<br />

this series, I came to a re-energised appreciation of possible<br />

language of vessel. Previous 'Reticulae' and 'Breath' series<br />

0996-7) explored ideas of flux between inner and outer,<br />

nature and culture via perforated sculptural objects and<br />

vessel forms.3 <strong>In</strong> recent years, several contemporary craft<br />

theorists have explored t:he conflation of 'vessel', human<br />

body (usually female) and fixed containment, and the<br />

limitations of this continued association for possibilities of<br />

both body and craft.4 I hold a different understanding of<br />

t:he vessel than t:hat derived from Euro-Christian body-asvessel<br />

and vessel-as-body analogies. A more relevant and<br />

feasible metaphor to my intents is a biological one, where<br />

the word vessel describes an active conduit - of<br />

respiratory oxygen, blood, water, plant sugars - in a<br />

network of life, of life support. A continuous corporeal<br />

thread between inner and outer that both contains and<br />

carries flow. Perhaps then, the empty ceramic vessel is<br />

already filled to brim with the dynamic e tity of air,<br />

encloses space shaped for contemplation and is active in<br />

evoking memory and association. If small, its physical<br />

portability makes it truly of t:he body - available to t:he<br />

hold of hand as well as eye.<br />

The eleven vessels of this series were thrown and<br />

altered towards subtle asymmetry and lean. Most were<br />

tall base-tapering forms that assumed the stances of<br />

vertical boles of blue gum and rainforest species on t:he<br />

mountain crest. There, a sense of stilled movement often<br />

exists as satin-skinned January gums<br />

line up at rainforest edge, cradling<br />

pencil cedar and sorrel. 'Summer<br />

Gums Pot', for example, came as a<br />

circling script of gum silhouettes on<br />

white hot days, a scroll map of the<br />

spatial rhythm of pale trunks at a mountain's distance,<br />

and a minds-eye image, distant in time and geography, of<br />

the thin band of rose gums edging rainforest in the<br />

tropical north. 'Black Treefern Pot', precarious and purple<br />

black, carried a double ring of inlaid drawings abstracted<br />

from studies of Cyathea australis , elegant, haunting and<br />

ancient, encountered suddenly in dark closed forest or<br />

standing resilient in open hot clearings.<br />

Others chart walking transit and thought. 'Cutting<br />

across dead tree hill', a burnt orange cylinder, recast<br />

regular mid-summer crossings of a hill paddock spiked<br />

with stumps of original forest: a succinct microhistory<br />

of local nature and one cultural response, laid out and<br />

visually compelling as a rolling pattern of forms cut by<br />

hand.<br />

Exhibited in relationship wit:h the vessels was a group<br />

of paintings and drawings in gouache, acrylics, mountain<br />

ochre and shellac. Most were completed as studies in the<br />

Birdwood region and directly influenced vessel surfaces<br />

in the studio later (eg. 'House of Rose Robin, House of<br />

White Cedar'). Others were resolved after taking a vessel<br />

from the kiln - a two-way conversation between pot<br />

and painting where one informed the resolution of t:he<br />

other. Ceramic wall panels - page-sized paperclay slabs<br />

- carried quickly drafted inlays of line and impressings<br />

of local plant species. As clay drawings using both the<br />

plasticity of wet clay and the inscribable surface of the<br />

hardened slab, they connected vessels to paintings. As<br />

increasingly distilled and abstracted pages, they carry<br />

mostly unanswered questions left to hang.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 13

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14 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

LEAF, SHADOW, ASH, WATER (1998)<br />

A<br />

the meeting of land and body is the intake and<br />

elease of breath: the essential and the sublime.<br />

eyond associative memory and feel, being north<br />

again in body prompted the vessel installation 'leaf,<br />

shadow, ash, water'.5 Winter in Townsville is dry, crisp,<br />

light-filled, family-dense. As familiar, are granite orange<br />

hills ('O range Hinterland Group', 'Ridgelines'), cool<br />

coastal creeks ('Creek Leaf Series'), dry season leaf fall<br />

('Leaf eries').<br />

Leaves, I'd suggest, are eloquent markers of the<br />

particular and flux of place. Displaced from source on<br />

page or pot, they ask not just what, but where from,<br />

when and whom? As powerful to layered recall as<br />

photographs dropping from collected albums. each day<br />

in rainfore t, a path is laid out ahead and behind in new<br />

leaf fall. One walks on soft beds of 2O-like forms turning<br />

to sweet rot, a mesmerising contrast with my other home<br />

footpath of inner Sydney. <strong>In</strong> this series, local leaf<br />

impre ions came to rest encircling vessel interiors,<br />

shallow embossing highlighted to stark black and white<br />

portraits.<br />

Vessel forms ranged from minimal bowl (creek<br />

forms) to vertical reservoir (coastal range forms). Most<br />

were hand-cuppable for skimming creek water,<br />

scooping river, collecting leaf fall. Or the thought of<br />

doing so. White, like black, assumed some prominence.<br />

The white of northern light and reflection of all visible<br />

colours, not bleached absence. The black of deep<br />

shadow, the unlit of photograph, of histories hidden.<br />

<strong>In</strong>laid line, elaborated into dense hatching or vertical<br />

bands, continued to develop as a satisfying dialect for<br />

places and personal past reconnected with by my<br />

walking body ('Hill Hatch'). Linear glaze inlay<br />

(resonant, in after-sight, of quartz seams on orangepink<br />

granites) began as a new experimental direction,<br />

adding the texture of vitreous melt to the personal<br />

cartography of the line ('Orange Hinterland Group',<br />

'Creeklines').<br />

"Landscape's most crucial condition is considered to be<br />

space, but its deepest theme is time .. '.6 To shape, mark<br />

and inscribe is to map places of personal meaning and<br />

value with physical and psychological dimensions.<br />

Making with clay renders materially-solid (if still<br />

ephemeral) the space of the intangible and nuance in the<br />

encounter of body and land. Such places, and the<br />

experiences carried from them, are never static in time<br />

nor memory, and continue to be fluid wells of self and<br />

spirit wherever I reside in a multicentred existence. They<br />

also oblige one, with the approach of century turn, to<br />

critically reflect on the making of cultural and natural<br />

histories of land on this continent. oo<br />

Louise Boscacci, Ph 02 9251 1'±41<br />

BSc(Hons), James Cook Univer ity, Townsville; Dip Art (Ceramics),<br />

Ce1t Art Phot., East Sydney.<br />


1. Lash, Kenneth. 1996. ores on Living with Landscape.<br />

2. TAP Galle1y, ydney, 1997; Manly Art Galle1y and Museum, 1998.<br />

3. 'Touch', Cell Block Theatre, East Sydney, 1996; Word of Mouth 7,<br />

1997; <strong>Pottery</strong> in <strong>Australia</strong> 1997, 36, 3, p5.<br />

4. Rowley, Sue. 1997. 'The Body and the vessel: good and bad<br />

objects' in : The Somatic Object. University of_ ew South Wales.<br />

5. Mura Clay Gallery, Sydney, 1998.<br />

6. Rebecca Solnit in Lippard, Lucy. 1997. Lure of the Local. ; "It's not<br />

on any map ... " is from Herman Melville, ibid.<br />

Left: 'Creek Leaf Series' w18 x d35cm.<br />

Opposite: 'Coastal Range Group' h33 x w40 x d20cm<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 15

Slumped at the Wheel<br />

After a decade of collaborating with glass artist Deb Cocks, ANDREW STEWART reflects on the way<br />

they combine clay and glass in their workshop in northern NSW.<br />

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Brays Creek is a farming locality, cows and pigs<br />

around us, forests nearby. Over a few hills is the<br />

local metropolis, Tyalgum village. There Deb and I<br />

are a mum and a dad - Gracie is in her first year at the<br />

school. We do pottery. Or is it glass? <strong>In</strong> our workshop,<br />

for visitors, we are a team, each talking up the other. <strong>In</strong><br />

fact, a lot of the time we work fairly independently. Most<br />

of our collaboration is sequential, doing the next step; or<br />

parallel, sharing tasks. Sounds like looking after a kid.<br />

Glass and pottery making proceed sequentially in a<br />

syncopated rhythm.<br />

When we made our first forays into combining our<br />

skills, nearly ten years ago, Deb had a workshop at<br />

Turkeyworks, an old artist-run factory building in<br />

Leichhardt, and I was at Stokers Siding <strong>Pottery</strong>. After<br />

many trips in both directions Deb moved up at the<br />

beginning of my last year at Stokers, 1991. We did some<br />

work together there on pots and got the glass slumping<br />

kiln going. The following year we moved here to Brays<br />

Creek where bit by bit we have established our<br />

workshop and kilns.<br />

We produce wood-fired and gas-fired pots, mostly<br />

stoneware, and cast and slumped and enamelled glass.<br />

Deb makes the glass, I make the pots, but we are closely<br />

involved with each other's work. Quite a few of the pots<br />

are decorated by Deb and she does some hand-building<br />

and a lot of modelling in clay as the precursor to casting<br />

in glass. My contribution to the glass is mainly kiln<br />

building and maintenance and other technical assistance,<br />

although I have an influence on the forms through the<br />

moulds I have made. Naturally, we discuss, design,<br />

comment, criticise (and stay silent). Then there is all the<br />

photography, bits of writing, paperwork, packaging and<br />

freighting. Deb fires the glass and I fire the pots but we<br />

can each step in, and firing the wood kiln is a combined<br />

effort one way or another.<br />

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Above: The wood kiln showing<br />

extended throat. The thick white slabs<br />

which form its lid are made of<br />

castable. Gas kiln just visible in<br />

background.<br />

Right: Andrew Stewart. Spouted<br />

bowls. Shino glazes. approx 15cm.<br />

Opposite left: Andrew Stewart. Pod<br />

shaped jars. Shino and ash glazes.<br />

h57cm and 42cm.<br />

Opposite right: Andrew Stewart.<br />

Flower brick. Slab-built, fluted, shino<br />

glaze. approx w20cm.<br />

16 POTTERY IN A USTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

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The wood kiln has a Bourry firebox with an extended<br />

throat leading to a conventional main chamber. The throat<br />

is more another chamber than a tunnel. It is built on a<br />

slope, has a stepped floor and is taller at the front. <strong>In</strong> the<br />

hot zone immediately behind the fire box and around the<br />

ide-stoking holes quite rugged fire and ash effects can be<br />

achieved while the influence of the fuel in the main<br />

chamber is more subtle. Firings take about twenty hours<br />

with a steady fire being maintained in the Bourry box<br />

during side stoking. The fuel is mixed hardwoods and<br />

perhaps some camphor laurel, particularly for side<br />

stoking. Rather than seeing the wood-fired and gas-fired<br />

ware as conflicting or opposed styles I enjoy both ways of<br />

observing clay and glaze behaviour. I exchange pots<br />

between kilns and aim to make a proportion of work<br />

which can be fired either way.<br />

My pots tend to be reserved, vaguely in the anglooriental<br />

tradition, a lot of shino, celadon, even tenmoku,<br />

which some say is enjoying a small revival. I hope so<br />

because I have never been able to give it up. Recently I<br />

have been preoccupied again with the inexhaustible<br />

variety of shino, thick and thin over different clays an1<br />

slip and in different parts of the kiln and different types<br />

of firing - mysterious, elusive colours and lustrousness.<br />

A little of this variety in the shino glaze can be seen in<br />

the photograph of the spouted bowls. Bowls with these<br />

beak-like spouts let into the wall below the rim have<br />

been common in Karatsu ware from at least the 1600s.<br />

Whenever I looked through Sister Johanna Becker's<br />

wonderful book on Karatsul I was struck by the number<br />

of times they appeared. Clearly they were enduringly<br />

useful, so eventually I made a few and found that they<br />

felt very nice in the hand and were not only good in the<br />

kitchen but excellent at the table for . sauces and gravies.<br />

Larger ones can be used as serving bowls; the liquid left<br />

in the bottom is easily poured over everyone's helping.<br />

They pour better than the spout pulled in the rim of a<br />

normal mixing bowl.<br />

Because of their bird-like appearance I have taken to<br />

grouping the spouted bowls into haphazard "flotillas"<br />

whereupon they remind me of ducks on a lake. I have<br />

no wish, nor the talent, to make an elephant teapot or a<br />

swan shaped vase but I enjoy discovering accidental<br />

transmorphisms, some quality suggestive of a person,<br />

animal, landform or something built. The flower brick<br />

illustrated evokes a tree seen over a rusty, corrugated<br />

iron back fence although when I made it I was thinking<br />

about 18th century Delft flower bricks. They provide<br />

enormous flexibility for arranging flowers and cuttings<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 17

ecause of the variety of hole sizes possible, allowing<br />

clumps, single stem and all sorts of asymmetrical<br />

arrangements.<br />

My primary inclination seems always to have been<br />

towards form, leaving its embellishment to another agency<br />

- the glaze; the making process; expressive firing methods<br />

like wood and salt; and now the decorator. Sometimes I<br />

make particular shapes we have discussed or else Deb<br />

will take anything from the shelves she is drawn to. We<br />

try to make the production ware work equally well<br />

decorated or undecorated so that it can be mixed and<br />

matched. Sometimes Deb apologises for ruining a<br />

perfectly good pot; other times I have to apologise for<br />

ruining a perfectly good decoration in the kiln.<br />

For some time Deb has been experimenting with<br />

engraving on fired pots, particularly celadons, and<br />

recently we have made some engraved mirror-black<br />

tenmokus. The technique differs from engraving on glass<br />

because on the pot all light is reflected whereas the glass<br />

allows light to pass through as well. The relatively thin<br />

glaze layer needs a delicate touch. From some angles the<br />

engraving on tenmoku looks like a fine, silver tracery<br />

floating on deep black glass, as if the whole vessel were<br />

glass, not just its skin.<br />

Having a good decorator to work with is stimulating,<br />

even luxurious. Decoration has never been my forte but<br />

Deb can decorate like I can throw - that is, fill empty<br />

space from nothing over and over. We made<br />

innumerable prototypes and a couple of ranges of<br />

decorated earthenware in the early period· here. The<br />

quickness and repetition of pot decoration was a<br />

refreshment after the exacting work on the enamelled<br />

glass bowls. It was like page after page of the sketch<br />

book: "Nudes mostly now - the voluptuous type. This has<br />

taught me how to deal with repetition (no two are the<br />

same - just alike), to work in series, to keep up a<br />

continuous production and to look at form, " Deb said at<br />

the time2. For my part, I have learned to look more<br />

appreciatively at decoration, to rework and refire more,<br />

to put more work into larger, individual pieces.<br />

The technologies of ceramics and glass are closely<br />

related but their forming processes are reversed: glass<br />

must be heated before shaping whereas clay is formed<br />

first and heated later. Nevertheless, a potter's workshop<br />

fits in well with kiln-forming glass - the reshaping or<br />

joining of solid glass by heating in a kiln until the<br />

18 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

thin<br />

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required degree of softening occurs to achieve slumping,<br />

fusing or casting. Kilns similar to potters' kilns may be<br />

used and the potter comes in handy for making moulds<br />

on the wheel.<br />

A large proportion of Deb's work is slumped bowls.<br />

They begin as discs of plate glass with polished edges,<br />

placed on fired clay rings propped to the desired height<br />

in a shallow, top-element electric kiln. Somewhere<br />

around 700°C the glass slumps through the centre of the<br />

ring , producing the bowl shape. The bowls are<br />

decorated with glass enamels, fired again and usually<br />

engraved as well. I have made a variety of rings for<br />

making bowls up to about 700mm diameter. The cast<br />

vessels, like the one illustrated, begin as thickly thrown<br />

clay pots from which moulds are made. The result is<br />

intriguing. My pot is still there, but utterly transformed,<br />

glowing, and very heavy.<br />

We thought the day to day interaction of pottery and<br />

glass in our workshop would lead to making things<br />

which used both clay and glass components but that is<br />

not what has happened thus far. Probably the best<br />

combination of clay and glass is a glaze on a pot. <strong>In</strong>deed,<br />

I could argue that even though Deb uses a traditional<br />

glass technique when painting a glass bowl with glass<br />

enamels she is, in one sense, working in a more glasslike<br />

manner when she paints a pot. We use stains and<br />

oxides mixed with flux or a glaze, painted or trailed onto<br />

the raw glaze. othing unusual about that. But seeing<br />

how Deb was using little applications of flux to make<br />

areas of a matte base glaze go clear and create sparkling<br />

highlights made me think of decorating as drawing with<br />

coloured glass, laying down a line of glass paste to fuse<br />

into the molten, glassy surface of the glaze during the<br />

firing, rather like wrapping canes around a glass form.<br />

When this fusion is balanced the decoration and glaze<br />

surface are a unity in a way that low temperature<br />

enamels can never be. This is my high temperature bias,<br />

of course. There are other unities. Q9<br />

Andrew Stewart and Deb Cocks<br />

835 Brays Creek Rd, Tyalgum SW 2484 Ph 02 6679 3520<br />


Becker, ]., Karatsu Ware, a Tradition of Diversity, Kodansha,<br />

1986.<br />

2 Cocks, D., "Day to Day", Heart of Glass, <strong>Australia</strong>n Association of<br />

Glass Artists, 1995.<br />

Left: Andrew Stewart and Deb Cocks. Engraved mirrorblack<br />

tenmoku bottle. h32cm. -<br />

Opposite left: Andrew Stewart and Deb Cocks. Left<br />

'Hand Puppet', right 'Clowning Around '. Dolomite glaze,<br />

modified commercial colours. h48.5cm and 37cm.<br />

Opposite right: Deb Cocks. 'Clear 1 '. Cast glass vessel ,<br />

enamelled and engraved , original form thrown by<br />

Andrew Stewart. h1 0cm.<br />

Photographs by the author.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 19

J<br />

Alistair Whyte<br />

Aspiring to make pots of a high standard using techniques and aesthetics learnt overseas<br />

and influenced by the <strong>Australia</strong>n lifestyle.<br />

20 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

n this article I wish to revisit where<br />

I have come from, influences on<br />

me, my development as an<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>n artist potter and the<br />

aesthetic that I use in my work.<br />

As a boy in Victoria I had little<br />

interest in ceramics and was first<br />

introduced to it by a fellow student at<br />

secondary college. This work was all<br />

heavily potted in earthenware with bright colours, but it<br />

aroused my interest. I even designed a mug that I wanted<br />

and asked my friend to make it for me. I still have it<br />

somewhere.<br />

On finishing school I chose to study ceramics at<br />

Bendigo <strong>In</strong>stitute of Technology, it seemed to offer a<br />

varied program of history, photography, life drawing,<br />

ceramic science and geology, professional practise, and<br />

practical side of ceramics. I enjoyed my studies but was<br />

not particularly outstanding. My best marks were always<br />

in photography, and I got a lot from the art history where<br />

our lecturer loved to show us slides of ceramic works<br />

from all over the world. The influence of Bernard Leach<br />

wa still strong and we were taught that the Sung pots<br />

were special. <strong>In</strong> my last year a visiting lecturer came from<br />

Japan (Shunichi <strong>In</strong>oue).<br />

During my last year I began to explore the use of<br />

porcelain, making up bodies from recipes in books.<br />

Porcelain was just about impossible to get hold of in<br />

<strong>Australia</strong> at that time and my efforts to make some, while<br />

not very successful, made me more determined. <strong>In</strong>oue<br />

encouraged me to consider studying in Japan. I was<br />

most impressed with his dedication to work and the<br />

stories he told of Japan. I began the long process of<br />

applying to the University of Art in Kyoto. It took two<br />

years and many letters that were not initially answered<br />

before I managed to gain acceptance. <strong>In</strong> the mean time I<br />

worked for a local potter who had spent some time<br />

working in England. This reinforced those English<br />

traditions of studio pottery - weighing up the clay and<br />

throwing off the wheel head on bats.<br />

At Bendigo I had learnt about the folk craft traditions<br />

in Japan and the work of Hamada and Kawai Kanjiro,<br />

however, my interest in Japan was not in the Mingei folk<br />

craft potters as much as the refined work in porcelain. <strong>In</strong><br />

Japan I spent three years at the University of Art in Kyoto<br />

and a further year with a porcelain master as a disciple<br />

(deshi). I found that I had to unlearn most of the 'bad'<br />

habits I had been taught in <strong>Australia</strong>. The Japanese had<br />

little or no regard for what was being made in <strong>Australia</strong>,<br />

seeing us as raw beginners with little or no tradition in<br />

Above: Curved celadon bowl. Opposite: Porcelain beaker.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 21

inner shape of the pot. Work is usually thrown off the<br />

hump on fixed speed wheels that are slow for throwing<br />

and fast for turning and centering. Once you start to<br />

throw you usually don't stop the wheel till the clay is<br />

gone. Pieces are turned inverted on thrown and dried<br />

turning chucks. Great accuracy is required as pieces are<br />

turned very thin. For small pieces the final wet brush that<br />

eliminates the turning marks also renders them<br />

translucent while still in their raw state, i.e ., you can see<br />

light through them after the water has been applied until<br />

they dry again, that's how thinly they are turned.<br />

Over this period of working in Japan and especially as<br />

a result of the experience in the Masters workshop, I<br />

ceramics by comparison. I learnt to make tools to use in<br />

the involved porcelain techniques of Kyoto. I also<br />

travelled as widely as I could and discovered the many<br />

different ways of working in Japan, even among<br />

porcelain potters. I spent long months making setting<br />

pads for the glaze kilns for my master (a task usually<br />

given to apprentices).<br />

A typical day for me in the masters' workshop would<br />

be to ride my bicycle across Kyoto in the early morning<br />

rush (this was tough in winter), arriving about 8.30 to<br />

prepare for the days work. Good morning greetings were<br />

said upon arrival and often little more was said for the<br />

rest of the day. The master thrower (the shokunin san)<br />

had control over the radio so it was mainly classical<br />

music. On the odd occasion he was away the other deshi<br />

turned the channel to rock.<br />

Depending on my tasks for the day I either began<br />

wedging clay for throwing or uncovered work for<br />

turning. There was the kiln cycle to work for, throwing,<br />

turning, biscuit firing, decorating, glazing and glaze firing.<br />

The workshop tasks were split between makers and<br />

decorators, though as makers we also glazed and stacked<br />

the kilns. As a foreign student I was given time after<br />

hours to work on my own work which I also decorated.<br />

<strong>In</strong> this I was privileged.<br />

As new shapes were given to me to make I was<br />

provided with a ' set of tools. The Japanese wheel<br />

direction being clockwise and opposite to my normal<br />

direction of throwing meant that each time I had to sit<br />

down and copy those tools back the front. This was a<br />

great exercise for me as I learnt much about tool making.<br />

I also had the guidance of the shokunin san if needed.<br />

The Kyoto way of throwing porcelain entails making<br />

accurate wooden tools to assist in the throwing of the<br />

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same clay to support work in the glaze kiln and help<br />

prevent warpage. They are sometimes known as wasters<br />

as they are only used once. Porcelain shrinks up to 17%<br />

and there is also a little slumping- to account for, thus the<br />

need to use firing pads, especially when work is turned<br />

close to eggshell.<br />

I finally had to make the decision to either stay longer<br />

in Japan or return home and I chose <strong>Australia</strong>. I returned<br />

to where my mother lived (having a kiln and studio<br />

there) with my Japanese wife who at that time still had<br />

little English. My mother was a doctor in a small rural<br />

central Victorian town. It was at the tail end of a drought<br />

with no grass and frequent sand storms. I suffered<br />

terrible reverse culture shock and it can have been little<br />

better for my wife. <strong>No</strong>ne of the locals seemed to<br />

understand what I had experienced in Japan and<br />

showed little or no interest in what I began to make. The<br />

process of re-establishment was a hard, painful process.<br />

I had taken on a Japanese aesthetic and way of working<br />

that was not much understood or appreciated by other<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>ns.<br />

<strong>In</strong> fact, an understanding and appreciation of porcelain<br />

made the way I do is still a matter of constant education.<br />

Having been used to beautiful Japanese porcelain clay,<br />

nothing in <strong>Australia</strong> compared so I imported<br />

some clay and glaze material from Kyoto. I did<br />

not want to abandon all that I had learnt and<br />

valued by returning to stoneware. I had this<br />

dream of introducing fine hand made porcelain<br />

to <strong>Australia</strong>, but had no idea how difficult a task<br />

this would prove to be. Recently porcelain had<br />

come of age and many more potters are<br />

working in it. A range of materials are now<br />

available in <strong>Australia</strong> though I still like the<br />

results I obtain from ilie Japanese body .<br />

From time to time I wonder about the path I<br />

have followed (making porcelain wares in an<br />

oriental tradition). My designs and patterns are<br />

more and more my own, however, I have<br />

found <strong>Australia</strong> a difficult place from the<br />

viewpoint of people understanding the time,<br />

effort, materials, making process and the<br />

apparent limited market for iliis type of ware.<br />

I love simple shapes and quiet glazes. I also<br />

enjoy underglaze blue brushwork. My glaze<br />

range is wide and includes celadon, chun,<br />

tenmoku, copper red and clear. I have done my<br />

best to maintain a standard that I learnt in Japan<br />

and what I see as a good way of working. I<br />

have not been one to work to the fashion of<br />

the day but try to make pots that stand the test<br />

of time.<br />

I have considered teaching at tertiary level<br />

(though jobs are scarce) as I would love the opportunity<br />

to pass on what I have learnt of Japanese ceramics. I do<br />

workshops as often as I am able, however in these times<br />

of cut backs the opportunities are rare. Certainly the<br />

eastern way is not the only standard to hold dear and<br />

make precious, but it is a valid one and worthy of study,<br />

as the many <strong>Australia</strong>n potters who have spent time there<br />

can attest to. There is much of value to learn.<br />

The ceramics boom period of the 6os, 70s and 80s<br />

seems to have passed, the 90s are difficult and the future<br />

uncertain. Many galleries have gone to the wall and<br />

potters are frequently doing other work to make ends<br />

meet.<br />

I aspire to keep making pots to a high standard using<br />

techniques and aesthetics I have learnt overseas, however,<br />

I will continue to explore new shapes and decorative<br />

treatments in my paili of ceramic discovery. oo<br />

Alistair Whyte<br />

80 Scotchmans Creek Road, Warburton 3799. Tel 059 665 292<br />

Opposite top: Porcelain plate made whilst in Japan. Blue<br />

underglaze. Opposite centre: Porcelain plate (post Japan)<br />

latex resist. Below: Vase, gold background.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 23

• 1<br />

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Kissed by Fire<br />

Crystalline glazes have been around for a long time with the first ones appearing in China as oil-spot<br />

glazes in the Sung Dynasty (AD 960-1279). The earliest specific studies in zinc crystals were<br />

conducted in France during the 1850s. Article by PETER WILSON<br />

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Crystalline glazes have been around for a long time<br />

with the first ones appearing in China as oil-spot<br />

glazes in the Sung Dynasty (AD 960-1279). Later<br />

they appeared in Chinese porcelains in the late Ming<br />

Dynasty around 1650. They then re-appeared in<br />

connection with the Art <strong>No</strong>uveau movement in the late<br />

nineteenth century as an attempt to reproduce antique<br />

Chinese porcelains.<br />

The earliest specific studies in zinc crystals were<br />

conducted in France during the 1850s. The ceramic<br />

chemists working in the factories of the National<br />

Porcelain Factory in Sevres well understood that glazes<br />

with an excess of zinc silicate and titanium would<br />

produce crystals. They wrote papers and disseminated<br />

their findings, warning others of these glaze defects. It is<br />

ironic that what was considered then to be a defect, has<br />

been now been developed into a highly technical artf orm<br />

in itself.<br />

Despite the warnings, experimentation continued and<br />

the development of crystalline glazes happened<br />

throughout Europe. <strong>In</strong> the National Porcelain Facto1y at<br />

Sevres, whole ranges of wares were designed and made<br />

specifically for crystalline glazes. Similar developments<br />

occurred in Denmark, Germany and the US.<br />

It is in the United States that Adelaide Alsop Robineau<br />

made her significant contribution to the study of<br />

crystalline glazes and is largely responsible for bringing<br />

Crystal glazed bowls.<br />

Left: w40 x 36cm; Above w48 x h<strong>38</strong>cm<br />

them into the independent potter's studio. She began her<br />

work with crystals in 1904, documenting her extensive<br />

research until her death in 1929. From then until the<br />

1970s, there was little or no additional work in the area.<br />

Since then there has been a growing interest in crystalline<br />

glazes, especially in the US and Britain, where there are<br />

many devotees and collectors of crystal glazed pots.<br />

There are however, just as many detractors.<br />

I dislike large, flowery crystal-glazed pots. They are<br />

garish and ostentatious. My own interest in this topic<br />

began quite by accident whilst exploring the effects of<br />

zinc in glazes and I was surprised with the diversity of<br />

results attainable just by extending the soaking period<br />

during the firings. I am more concerned about the<br />

development of a softer surface which comprises<br />

elements of prima1y and secondary crystals, haloes and<br />

interesting colour formation. To this end, the addition of<br />

between five and ten parts of magnesium silicate creates<br />

interesting effects. There is a sense of unpredictability<br />

and uniqueness about these glazes which is very exciting<br />

- a pot kissed by the fire!<br />

A unique glaze however, does not in itself ensure<br />

aesthetic significance, and mastering crystalline glazes is<br />

only one aspect of the equation, the difficulty lies in<br />

finding some sort of aesthetic balance. Daniel Rhodes<br />

says in his book, Clay and Glazes for the Potter, ' ... the<br />

presence of spectacular crystals on the sides of pots,<br />

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24 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

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interesting though such crystals are in themselves,<br />

has in most cases, contributed as little to the<br />

aesthetic significance of the piece as it has to the<br />

function.' Subtlety and crystalline glazed pots could<br />

be seen as contradictory. Herein lies the challenge.<br />

Technically the development of crystalline glazes<br />

depends on many variables, some of which<br />

include:<br />

colour and type of clay body: White firing,<br />

dense porcelaineous type bodies are more<br />

suited to crystalline glazes as darker bodies<br />

adversely effect the glaze colour.<br />

• The type of surface: Crystals develop differently<br />

on vertical and flat surfaces. Forms may need to<br />

be modified to suit to the glaze.<br />

• Fluid glazes: For crystal growth, the glazes need<br />

to be fluid with a viscosity which must<br />

encourage the growth of crystals. There is<br />

minimal alumina in these glazes and fluxes<br />

which promote crystal growth include zinc,<br />

odium, potassium, barium, magnesium and<br />

lithium. A fluid glaze is formed in which the<br />

oxides move freely. When cooling tarts, motion<br />

within the glaze slows down, and period bonds<br />

form as crystallites. These act as nuclei around<br />

which larger crystals may form. The slower the<br />

cooling rate the larger the crystals may be. Some<br />

oxide work better than others. Appropriate<br />

setting procedures are required for pots before<br />

all of your shelves are ruined with glazes that<br />

have run off the ware. A base-width collar and a<br />

saucer to catch glaze runoff can be useful.<br />

• Glaze application and thickness: Glazes can be<br />

brushed, dipped or sprayed, but spraying offers a more<br />

sub~:e way of varying the glaze thickness, especially<br />

towards the base of the pot.<br />

• Temperature and the length of the firing - I fire slowly<br />

up to full cone 10 in a neutral atmosphere, (60°C /hour<br />

from 1100°C to cone 10), and soak for around 10<br />

minutes to even out temperature differences within the<br />

kiln, then turn off the gas burners which are relit at<br />

1090°C. This temperature is then maintained for 3-4<br />

hours before it is shut off and closed up. The total<br />

firing time is around 15-16 hours.<br />

The temperature at which the kiln is held determines<br />

the shape of the crystals such that at 1140°C. needle<br />


CONE9-10:<br />

1. Frit4110 46 Addition:<br />

Silica 21 Cobalt carbonate 0.5<br />

Zinc Oxide(Dense) 27 Copper carbonate 2<br />

Kaolin 1<br />

Titanium 4.5<br />

2. Pot Felspar 28 Addition:<br />

Barium Carb. 5 Cobalt carbonate 0.5 to 1%<br />

Dolomite 4 Iron Oxide 2-4%<br />

Zinc Oxide 20<br />

Titanium 3-7%<br />

Lithium Carb.<br />

7<br />

Kaolin 3<br />

Silica 33<br />

3. Frit 4110 47 Addition:<br />

Zinc oxide 25 Cobalt carbonate 0.25<br />

Silica 20 Manganese dioxide 1<br />

Titanium 6.5<br />

Kaolin<br />

Alumina hydrate 0.5<br />

Other possible colourants:<br />

Cu C03 1-3% light green<br />

FeO 2-8% red. 1 orange<br />

MnO 0.5-4% beige, irn1y<br />

like crystals form; at 1100°C, the c1ystals are battle-axe<br />

shaped and at 1050°C the crystals are round. I find the<br />

glazes benefit from a longer slower firing.<br />

• Colourant: The main colouring agents are red iron<br />

oxide, copper oxide and carbonate, cobalt carbonate,<br />

nickel oxide, manganese oxide, rutile, illmenite and<br />

vanadium. Often two or more can be used in<br />

combination. oo<br />

Peter Wilson who is a potter and lecturer at Charles Sturt University<br />

in Bathurst, SW.<br />

READI:'\G<br />

Rhodes, D. Clay and Glazes for the Potter<br />

Hopper, R. Ceramic Spectrum<br />

Creber, D. Crystalline Glazes<br />

Thanks to Peter Deck and Ted Secombe<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 25

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26 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

One of the ironies for true<br />

potters is that their<br />

philosophical arch-enemy<br />

is someone whose holy grail is a<br />

potty containing a good job. Toilet<br />

training, I'm told has a lot to<br />

answer for. It's an unfortunate fact<br />

that power freaks gravitate<br />

towards positions of power, and<br />

then attempt to redefine human<br />

nature in their own insecure<br />

image. We find ourselves<br />

struggling to uphold principles of<br />

truth, beauty, creativity in an<br />

environment where all values<br />

have been reduced to the dollar.<br />

o thought for those that can't be<br />

converted into cash. It does not<br />

compute!<br />

As artists we are custodians of<br />

one of these important areas of<br />

human value. <strong>In</strong> his entire life<br />

Vincent Van Gough sold just one<br />

painting - to his loving brother. If<br />

he could see the great money<br />

marketeers snap up his paintings<br />

today for millions, he might<br />

conclude that economic rationalism<br />

is as much help to talent as a potty<br />

full of politician's poo. Good art,<br />

like fundamental scientific research,<br />

often needs help to thrive - the<br />

market is too busy elsewhere<br />

making profit. These are hard times<br />

for artists, once again, and it's<br />

important to maintain the faith<br />

however we are able.<br />

Steve Harrison is such an artist<br />

who has maintained his faith. He has been charting the<br />

ceramic landscape for over 30 years. <strong>In</strong> this show he<br />

maps the territory of feldspathic glazes. These have a<br />

pedigree going back for many centuries in China, Korea<br />

and later Japan. Jun, guan, shino, and some celadons<br />

belong to this tradition, and are here developed in a<br />

series of simple, beautiful, timeless yet modern pots.<br />

These are undoubtedly what we would think of as<br />

"high fire" ceramics, but they are fired only to 1200°C. <strong>In</strong><br />

recent years it has become evident that we have been<br />

seeking some of the traditional oriental glazes in the<br />

wrong places, firing too high and too fast. And of course<br />

the nature of the materials available from your local<br />

ceramic supplier is often not appropriate for some of<br />

Above: Teapot, 'Guan but not Forgotten' w25cm<br />

Opposite: Bowl, 'Light in the Distance' d12cm<br />

these effects. This artist has a long tradition of<br />

experimenting with hand won local materials, sometimes<br />

trying to achieve traditional results, and sometimes simply<br />

coaxing out the characteristics of those rocks, clays and<br />

ashes.<br />

Originally firing to 1300°C., over a period he has<br />

brought the maturing temperature down by a hundred<br />

degrees, still using the same glazes, by firing much more<br />

slowly. There are practical and aesthetic reasons for<br />

doing this. Most of these glazes need to be applied very<br />

thickly to get the visual depth, and to achieve qualities<br />

like ivory or marble or gemstones. <strong>In</strong> a normally matured<br />

high firing the glaze simply slumps off the pots.<br />

The long low firing fuses the glaze while allowing it to<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 27

NE<br />

Pt<br />

stay in place on vertical surfaces. It is important that this<br />

fusion process be aided by some ball milling to achieve<br />

the intimate mixing of particles that results in the soft<br />

melted surface.<br />

Another recent development is the move towards the<br />

use of lithium materials in shino-type glazes. Lithium is a<br />

difficult material with strong and sometimes surprising<br />

effects. Some of the most beautiful pots in this show have<br />

a spodumene based shino-type glaze showing a<br />

variegated crazing with patches of sparkling shattered<br />

glass. I'm told these are on the borderline between hohum<br />

and disaster. Too little spodumene and it is just<br />

another feldspathic glaze; too much and the glaze peels<br />

off the pot.<br />

Typical of potters using this approach is a large shard<br />

heap. For the market-oriented potter this is an indication<br />

of failure - dollars lost.<br />

For those potters whose prime focus is the quality of<br />

their work, a large heap of broken rejects is no more a<br />

symbol of failure than is a discarded booster stage to a<br />

satellite. It's the means by which you get there. It's the<br />

price you pay. It's a byproduct of a difficult process<br />

involving hundreds or even thousands of decisions that<br />

discovers the one that works, the one that has the spark<br />

of life, that defies gravity.<br />

Another unfortunate irony is that for those consumed<br />

by creative passion, the success that comes at last does<br />

not satisfy for long. It soon becomes just another part of<br />

the launching pad for the next gravity defying effort.<br />

Having recreated some exquisite ancient oriental ware, it<br />

would be clever to settle down to take some profit. But<br />

there are new problems to be solved, the journey not the<br />

destination is all, and so the shard heap grows ever<br />

larger.<br />

To Steve and my other friends with steadily growing<br />

shard heaps, I say keep the faith.<br />

Below: Teaset, 'Some Real Old Number'. Celadon. h27cm<br />

28 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

ed<br />

oes<br />

of<br />

ort.<br />

, it<br />

But<br />

the<br />

ver<br />

e a<br />

o a<br />

the<br />

ess<br />

that<br />

ark<br />

Clay x 4<br />

American ceramic artist, Jeff Oestreich, talks to SUE BUCKLE about one of the exciting exhibitions<br />

held in Perth during the National Ceramics Conference.<br />

ing<br />

Neil Hoffmann 'Waking Ground Series'. L62cm<br />

Photo Victor France.<br />

During the ational Ceramics Conference in<br />

Perth this year there were no less than forty<br />

two exhibitions of ceramic work. A feast for<br />

those who attended the Conference and for the<br />

general public of Perth.<br />

One of the outstanding exhibitions was 'Clay x 4'<br />

which showcased the recent work of Sandy<br />

Lockwood, eil Hoffmann, Dennis Monks and<br />

Malina Monks. Four experienced ceramic artists<br />

whose special passion is wood firing . All have<br />

extensive experience in the technical subtleties and<br />

vagaries of wood firing and each has developed a<br />

very personal aesthetic that goes way beyond<br />

technique and speaks loudly of their passion and<br />

committment.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 29

uni<br />

ad<<br />

no<br />

we<br />

1I I<br />

The opening speech at this exhibition was presented<br />

by ceramic artist Jeff Oestreich from America and his<br />

words were heartfelt and enthusiastic in reading the<br />

work of each artist. Hot off the plane and a little<br />

overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation of what<br />

the next four days would bring, I stumbled around for<br />

paper and pen to record this moment, balancing basket,<br />

drink, catalogue and coat, only to decide what was most<br />

important was to hear Jeff's moving introduction to this<br />

exhibition. Several days later we sat quietly in tl1e sun at<br />

the University of WA and he reflected on the work of<br />

these four exemplary <strong>Australia</strong>n wood firing ceramists. The<br />

following are thoughts expressed by Jeff about woodfiring<br />

and about the artists and tl1eir works in this exhibition.<br />

'There is such a heartbeat to the work in this exhibition,<br />

such a strong conviction; a sense that each artist is guided<br />

by their inner feelings, by soul. The work goes way<br />

beyond technique, way beyond traditional aesthetics. The<br />

sources for the work are obscure which sets up a sense of<br />

mystery in the work. The traditions that each artist is<br />

referencing have evolved into a<br />

very personal view that intrigues<br />

the viewer. We have to find our<br />

own answers by reflecting and<br />

returning to the pieces again<br />

and again to develop intimacy and understanding.<br />

'Because the work comes from the heart, the firing<br />

process forms only a part of their powerful creative<br />

expression. The work is not based on technical virtuosity<br />

although this very fact provides the final masterful stroke<br />

to each piece.The four artists approach the woodfiring<br />

aesthetic very differently but in all pieces the clay forms<br />

and surfaces marry to produce timeless pieces with<br />

subtlety and quiet resolution.'<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>n ceramists talk of isolation. Jeff sees our<br />

isolation as a state of mind. That it can work for us, giving<br />

us great freedom for personal expression. The exhibition<br />

is a great example of the success of this fact. It is exciting<br />

to feel that each ceramist has chosen tl1eir own patl1.<br />

' eil Hoffmann's forms are organic in feel and have a<br />

powerful sense of inner tension. It's as if they are born<br />

rather than made. They appear untouched by human<br />

hand, floating, barely touching the earth. The surfaces<br />

produced by the artist and the fire are subtle, demanding<br />

to be touched, to see just where the edges really are, to<br />

se1<br />

pre<br />

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30 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

a<br />

es<br />

Uf<br />

nd<br />

in<br />

ng<br />

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understand the internal space. Where textures have been<br />

added by Hoffmann they are gentle interjections, they do<br />

not impose the sense of the maker on the piece. The ·<br />

works intrigue the viewer with their subtlety and presence.<br />

Sandy Lockwood shows great maturity in her work, a<br />

sense of deep understanding of her materials, her<br />

processes and her artistry. They are assertive and direct.<br />

They sit powerfully in their own space, timeless in their<br />

presence. This is an artist who has always explored and<br />

pushed the technical and creative boundaries of both<br />

herself and her materials with absolute focus and<br />

determination.<br />

Malina Monks' woven forms are more gentle but at<br />

their most successful have an energy that put them in<br />

motion. The glow of the fired surfaces add to this<br />

liveliness.<br />

Dennis Monks presents the viewer with the<br />

unexpected. His pieces are small in scale and extremely<br />

carefully constructed. The precision of these forms is not<br />

usually associated with wood fired work, they are like<br />

jewels that need to be studied carefully, thoughtfully.<br />

They can be cradled in the hand, examined minutely and<br />

savoured for both their surfaces and form.<br />

This group of ceramic artists have redefined<br />

woodfiring. They have taken a technique, and, guided by<br />

strong and heartfelt conviction, have found a highly<br />

personal way of working. The resulting works, as seen at<br />

this exhibition, exude a confidence that comes from an<br />

independent spirit, determination and most importantly,<br />

passion.' oo<br />

Sue Buckle<br />

Above: Dennis Monks. w6cm<br />

Photo Peter Clark.<br />

Below: Malina Monks,<br />

Wall Piece. diam50 x d8cm.<br />

Opposite: Sandy Lockwood. h24cm<br />

Photo Victor France.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 31

Vert de Bien Hoa<br />

A classic Vietnamese glaze that can truly be seen as a meeting of Eastern aesthetic and<br />

Western technology. Article by B01 TRAN HUYNH<br />

<strong>In</strong> 1998 Bien Hoa, just outside Ho Chi Minh City,<br />

Vietnam, celebrated 300 years since its foundation in<br />

1698 when the king ordered General Nguyen Huu Canh<br />

to lead his troups south and locate a military force and<br />

custom office in Bien Hoa, the first port in South Vietnam.<br />

Ceramics in Bien Hoa has an even longer history.<br />

Archeologists in the region have found some relics dated<br />

to over 3000 years ago. These were found in the bed of<br />

the Dong Nai river and are now displayed in the Dong<br />

Nai Museum. Ceramics predates any kind of<br />

administrative bureaucracy.<br />

Vert de Bien Hoa is a traditional green glaze speckled<br />

with iron crystals giving the effect siinilar to the patina of<br />

bronze. The greens va1y from pale celadon to a dark green<br />

and are sought after by connoisseurs. It is fired to 1280°C<br />

and ash is the dominant ingredient and indispensible<br />

catalyst in the glaze recipe. The development and unique<br />

character of this glaze is du·e to the nature of local<br />

ingredients including a locally dug white clay.<br />

The French Director of the Dong Nai College of<br />

Decorative Arts, Monsieur Robert Balick and his wife<br />

provided important imput into the technical<br />

understanding of this glaze. <strong>In</strong> 1923 Monsieur Balick<br />

became Director of the College and his wife, Mariette,<br />

who graduated in Ceramics from the School of<br />

Decorative Arts in Limoge, France, were fascinated by the<br />

traditional ceramics produced in Bien Hoa and devoted<br />

their tune to understanding local ceramic technology.<br />

At first some chemicals were imported from China and<br />

France but then Madam Balick learned that local<br />

craftsmen had used local ingredients for generations. Rice<br />

husk, straw, ash, ground laterite and silica can be found<br />

locally and are incorporated in glaze formulas.<br />

Madam Balick, on the one hand introduced western<br />

ways to manufacturing glazes through scientific formula,<br />

and on the other hand learned how to make potte1y in<br />

the way local Vietnamese people have done, handing<br />

down experience from one generation to the next.<br />

Firings are managed by experienced experts who<br />

judge the temperature of the dragon kilns by the naked<br />

eye<br />

Ma,<br />

gra<br />

intc<br />

the<br />

fro1<br />

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stui<br />

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32 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Left: 70 Years-old bowl will<br />

vietnamese motif.<br />

Below: 50 years-old vase, tribal<br />

girls dancing.<br />

Opposite:<br />

ife<br />

al<br />

ck<br />

te,<br />

of<br />

he<br />

ed<br />

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ce 1<br />

d<br />

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la,<br />

in<br />

g<br />

o<br />

d<br />

eye through spyholes in these multi-chambered kilns.<br />

Madam Balick's first intention of 'civilising the locals'<br />

gradually turned into a respect for local skills. Her<br />

interest in Bien Hoa ceramics and glazes may have been<br />

the reason for her husband's two other terms as Director<br />

from 1935-1944 and from 1948-1950.<br />

The continued production of the Vert de Bien Hoa<br />

glazed work was achieved in a time of great social<br />

upheaval. Under French domination, craftsmen and<br />

students at the College would have been dominated by<br />

the will of the French colonists who exploited Asian<br />

culture, particularly Chinese ceramics which were<br />

fashionable and exotic in Europe. Vietnamese potters<br />

were encouraged to adopt and mimic the Chinese<br />

aesthetic. This resulted in a superficial acceptance of<br />

Chinese forms and styles of decoration but closer<br />

inspection shows the decorative motifs are very much<br />

Vietnamese. With the French also came exposure to<br />

European styles of form and decoration and these also<br />

came to influence Vietnamese ceramic production.<br />

Some international Diplomas were awarded to the<br />

College and its Craft Co-operative, established in 1923 to<br />

support the activities -of the College. An agency of the<br />

College was established in Paris and ran successfully until<br />

1945, when World War 11 ceased all trading in the area.<br />

The College attended many <strong>In</strong>ternational Trade Fairs in<br />

Paris, agoya, Hong Kong, the Phillipines in 1927, 1933,<br />

19<strong>38</strong> and so on. Due to more recent political events and<br />

poor conservation, records of these are lost.<br />

Vert de Bien Hoa came into existence as a result of the<br />

work of staff members of the Dong Nai Decorative Arts<br />

College and the exposure to, and adoption of, western<br />

methods and technology. It can therefore be considered a<br />

true meeting point of East and West, a collaboration that<br />

I would like to see continue in all aspects of art and craft<br />

practice in Vienam by increased contact with<br />

international art Schools and craftspeople. oo<br />

Boi Tran Huynh, lecturer, writer and critic<br />

Graduate Diploma in Art History, Monash University, Melbourne<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 33

RE<br />

32<br />

Pr<br />

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REVIEW<br />

I I<br />

. I<br />

About Ellipsis<br />


Rap, rap, rap.<br />

A knocking at my door.<br />

Hello?<br />

There stands an editor.<br />

Will you write an article about the exhibition Ellipsis<br />

that was at Craftwest during the 9th National<br />

Ceramics Conference in Perth?<br />

I'm in it, how can I write about it?<br />

<strong>In</strong>terview yourself!<br />

Okay!<br />

Q What is Ellipsis?<br />

A: Ellipsis is a bastard!<br />

Q What does Ellipsis mean?<br />

A: It means there is more to come. But it's not about the<br />

future ·and it doesn't belong to history - its relative to<br />

now.<br />

Q lVho is in Ellipsis?<br />

A: Ellipsis is a sextet of 40-something-year-old artists from<br />

Perth who exhibit contemporary ceramics. Our names are<br />

Edward Arrowsmith, Beverly Gallop, Bernard Kerr, Robyn<br />

Lees, Helen Manson and Gillian Treichel.<br />

Q<br />

A:<br />

tht<br />

60<br />

th1<br />

art<br />

(a<br />

mt<br />

Q<br />

A:<br />

th<<br />

34 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Abo e Bev Gallop,<br />

Reflection Series.<br />

32 x 60 x 20cm<br />

Photo Hans Versluis<br />

R,ght. R. Lees, paperclay.<br />

Approx. h1 .5m<br />

Opposite Edward<br />

Arrowsmith, 'Domestic<br />

Violence' and detail.<br />

e<br />

o<br />

e<br />

n<br />

Q What is the background to the artists?<br />

A: We are riders of the 20th century storm, spawned in<br />

the 1950's, and flung on to the precarious rocks of the<br />

60's and 70's. As contemporary youth we flourished<br />

through mu ic, politic , literature and modern art. We are<br />

artists, thinkers, writers, husbands, wives, lovers, parents,<br />

(and in my case, a grandparent) who developed a<br />

method of expressing our compulsion to make art.<br />

Q Who is Ellipsis not aimed at?<br />

A: Ellipsis has no connection with young people and<br />

their ideas and limited association with traditional pottery<br />

making. We don't expect the generation ahead of us or<br />

behind us to fully engage with our ideas and methods<br />

because if they did it would dilute our grammar and<br />

weaken our syntax. Our theatre is the 20th century<br />

gallery though we do occasionally attempt forays into<br />

virtual alternatives and street credible adventure stories.<br />

Q What are your objectives?<br />

A: We want to make statements that claim and enrich our<br />

culture. And, using a visual language we invented for<br />

ourselves, to self reflect and ask questions about<br />

established canons.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 35

Al<br />

H<br />

'L<br />

in<br />

p,<br />

e,<br />

cl<br />

Above: Gill Treichel. Fired<br />

and unfired clay installation<br />

detail. h1 .5m<br />

Right: Bernard Kerr<br />

'Requiem' <strong>1999</strong>. Stoneware,<br />

perspex.<br />

Q What are your influences?<br />

A: We are influenced by abstraction in visual art, music<br />

and poetry, all of which are reflected in our work. 'The<br />

Shock of the New' was our manual and 'Ways of Seeing'<br />

our guidebook. Bob Dylan sang our anthems and<br />

Foucault wrote our postscript. We are ideologically<br />

encapsulated within the brackets of the a~ything-goesvanguard<br />

and the reformation of the postmodern<br />

meddling peddlers.<br />

Q What do you see as your wider cultural responsibility<br />

as mature artists?<br />

A: To pass on our knowledge. We became educators to<br />

teach students to make statements about themselves and<br />

how they view the world, to develop their social<br />

experience and consciousness. We get a similar kick out<br />

of that as we do from making challenging works.<br />

Q What are some of the great themes of our times that<br />

attract and repel simultaneously?<br />

A: <strong>In</strong>dividuality - we reject anonymity because it<br />

collapses the social space around art objects. Ironically,<br />

the cult of personality is a constant terror because the<br />

king is not dead although he has no clothes on. The rise<br />

ar<br />

th<br />

th<br />

d(<br />

w<br />

°'<br />

w<br />

Q<br />

w<br />

A:<br />

re<br />

36 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Above and right:<br />

Helen Manson<br />

'Landing' <strong>1999</strong>,<br />

installation detail.<br />

Porcelain ,<br />

earthenware, paper<br />

clay. 2 x 1 .5m<br />

to<br />

d<br />

ial<br />

ut<br />

at<br />

it<br />

y,<br />

e<br />

se<br />

and rise of the intellect drives us further and further from<br />

the source and aligns us with the worship of fonn and<br />

the spectacle. The search for an equilibrium between the<br />

demands of emotion and the work of the logical mind<br />

wanting to structure imagination. The power of theory<br />

over practice is an ogre as is the propaganda associated<br />

with the cult of technology.<br />

Q Could you draw some direct analogies between the<br />

works in the show and your influences and ideas?<br />

A: Bev's work is like a Stravinsky composition, earthy,<br />

resonant and angular - edge as a counterpoint to surface.<br />

Bernard's work reminds me of a De Chirico painting,<br />

architectural, revisionary, as still as a glacier. Gill's pieces<br />

are concrete but airy like Brian Eno's wispy music -<br />

equally concerned with atmosphere and form. Robyn's<br />

figures pose like the coquettish Rose Selavy of Duchamp,<br />

Helen improvises form like the Miles Davis version of<br />

jazz and my installation is the emphatic grid of<br />

modernism, thoroughly entrenched within itself, like<br />

Barnett Newman on coco pops.<br />

Q Will you continue to exhibit as a group?<br />

A: Yes oo<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 37

Lorne Woodfire<br />

I am sitting in that well known state of inspiration, enthusiasm, camaraderie and exhaustion which<br />

follows wood fire events. On pondering the last five days of the Qdos Woodfire Conference in Lorne,<br />

it becomes plain that it was just not possible, even without sleeping, to take in all that was<br />

happening. Report by ROBERT KNIGHTON<br />

The seed for the event was sown when Graeme<br />

Wilkie attended the last Gulgong happening. It<br />

seems that since Graeme moved into other media<br />

including steel, concrete and fibreglass he had considered<br />

giving up clay as a medium. However, at Gulgong Janet<br />

Mansfield apparently convinced him to not only<br />

persevere with clay but to build an Anagama and to hold<br />

this spectacular event. Graeme also gives credit to Connie<br />

Dridan for facilitating the presence of Gesson Hananaka<br />

and Tomita Reishi at the event. So it was<br />

that the builders, Ian, Kris, Staumn and<br />

Graeme in the course of January to April<br />

this year constructed an Anagama kiln. A<br />

graceful construction measuring some 10<br />

metres long and about 2m high and 2m<br />

wide at its girth, it has much flexibility in<br />

terms of stoking, active and passive<br />

damping, lots of side stoking ports, and<br />

provision to feed air under floor to various<br />

parts of the kiln. The rise of the kiln is in<br />

six steps of two bricks each terminating in<br />

an absolutely satisfactory flue. Construction<br />

was bricks over formwork with an outer<br />

layer of cow manure, sand and clay which<br />

was still very wet as we arrived.<br />

After loading, bricking up and mudding<br />

in, the throng gathered in a state of great<br />

excitement and expectation to witness the<br />

guest of honour, Sensei Gesson Hamanaka carry out the<br />

kiln lighting ceremony. With hand clapping to attract the<br />

attention of the Kiln God, sprinkling of salt at the four<br />

corners and whistling, the first kindling was lit. So many<br />

people then stepped in, putting symbolic first logs on the<br />

fire that it looked like being a very fast firing. The first<br />

stoking team took control, settled the fire down to a<br />

more appropriate level and something of a rhythm was<br />

established. Stoking shifts were six hours at a time.<br />

9.00pm to 3.00am, 3.00 am to 9.00 am and so on over the<br />

next three days. Being a truly democratic and egalitarian<br />

event, there was no master plan. Each team adopted its<br />

own plan for the particular shift, sometimes recording<br />

results on the graph and if things didn't go to plan -'I<br />

The 'wild beast' kiln.<br />

guess the next shift can fix that'.<br />

Meanwhile back at the main gallery Len Castle from<br />

New Zealand, one of a contingent of four from across the<br />

Tasman, was explaining to us his passions for clay,<br />

geothermal activity, glaze interactions, photography and<br />

the guitar preludes of Villa Lobos. He put all of these<br />

things together in a truly stunning two projector slide<br />

show. Both projectors were aimed at the same screen so<br />

that by moving his hands in front of the lenses, Len could<br />

fade from one image to another. This enabled him to<br />

show us the visual connections that he sees between the<br />

mineral colours of boiling mud and glaze surfaces,<br />

between textures in nature and some of the things that<br />

are possible with clay, all to beautifully atmospheric<br />

guitar. When the light gently faded from a gold rimmed<br />

glaze on glaze platter to the last bar of Villa Lobos there<br />

was hushed silence followed by deafening applause.<br />

During the quiet first shift there was time for the<br />

construction of a 'rustique' chess set with funny little<br />

pawns, wild eyed bishops, an anorexic white queen and<br />

all the others. The board was a kiln bat marked out in<br />

squares with oxide. Some played chess, some stoked,<br />

some were excited, some slept. At Bill Samuels' initiative<br />

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<strong>38</strong> POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

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the chessboard was set up next to the main stoking door<br />

so that we could keep a level head and avoid stoking too<br />

frequently.<br />

<strong>In</strong> the morning, construction of the 'wild dog'<br />

disposable kiln commenced with slip soaked paper<br />

slopped over a teepee of fuel and pots. Graeme Wilkie<br />

demonstrated some sculptural techniques. <strong>In</strong> creating a<br />

woman growing out of a dress he explained that he likes<br />

to work with softish clay. This means that the clay has to<br />

be fairly thick to have any wet strength Even so, stirrups<br />

hanging from a bungee strap from the ceiling had to be<br />

used to keep the young lady more or less elegant. Thick<br />

clay is OK according to Graeme 'If bricks can be made in<br />

a kiln you can fire a thick pot with patience and<br />

accepting the occasional loss'. Another of Graeme's party<br />

tricks was a demonstration of the interesting texture that<br />

can be generated by inserting and wiggling a broom<br />

handle between the wheelhead and the base of a large<br />

bowl or platter.<br />

from his hands. When he stoked the kiln it was the same,<br />

no hurry, no fuss, no sweat, no stress, just grace.<br />

Roswitha Wulf gave an account in her slide show of<br />

her introduction to wood fired pottery in back-woods<br />

Germany as a very young child. The urge to capture and<br />

express the warmth and character of wood fired pottery<br />

has continued to be a very strong driving force in her life.<br />

How else could it be possible to contemplate a wood<br />

fired kiln in inner suburban Sydney? Her work in the<br />

exhibition pays due homage to the influence of Peter<br />

Rushforth and the East Sydney school, quietly revealing<br />

good design, good craft, and an excellent expression of<br />

the soul of wood fire.<br />

Just happened to see 'wild dog' kiln in full flight with<br />

flames and smoke roaring from between its gaping<br />

upturned fangs. What a photo! Where's the camera?!<br />

Another of the master blasters, Ian Jones, works soft<br />

clay very wet with lots of water leading to easy fluid<br />

forms. Continuing the easy working feel, he trims the<br />

Stocking the QDOS Anagama.<br />

Ian Jones demonstrating.<br />

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Steam is starting to rise from the warm cow manure ·<br />

surrounding the Anagama, a lazy thread of smoke stirs<br />

from the flue and the barbie is lit for lunch. There is time<br />

to look in the main gallery at the exhibition of works of<br />

the Master Blasters. Sensei Gesson exhibited a number of<br />

bowls but no finished examples of the arrows for which<br />

he is famous, the arrows that remind us of the need of a<br />

direction in life so that we can avoid repeating the same<br />

mistakes and learn Patience and Love. <strong>In</strong> a later<br />

demonstration session Gesson showed some of the steps<br />

that he goes through to produce an arrow which was<br />

shown, unfired as part of the main exhibition. It happens<br />

so quickly, with such simple tools - a rock, seemingly<br />

any rock, a flattish stick and with no obvious interference<br />

base with a long pointy trimming tool before cutting off<br />

with a spiral wire. After a little time for the pot to stiffen<br />

it is cuddled and smoothed with a finger rather than<br />

formally turned.<br />

Ian talked of the relation between functionality and<br />

pricing, pointing out that it is a bit odd that a very very<br />

very good teapot might sell for maybe $90 whereas a<br />

fairly good vase might sell for $250. This notion doesn't<br />

stop Ian (or anyone) from making say jugs, so it's nice<br />

that we have a choice. Jonesey's solo stoking strategy -<br />

When you get tired, seal it up tight, get six hours sleep,<br />

wake up and start stoking again.<br />

By following the smell of a steaming cow shed we<br />

return to the action. Two or three yellowy green shoots<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 39

I<br />

have sprouted from the outer layer of the Anagama and a<br />

pall of smelly smoke clings closely to everything. The<br />

pyros and other fire junkies who had been content to<br />

hover around in the background now become more<br />

active. There are those who don't seem to mind the smell<br />

of burning hair, the frenetic wood chuckers and splitters<br />

and those who like to warm their bottom in front of the<br />

open stoking door. There are also the so-called scientific<br />

ones who like to watch temperature readouts and cones.<br />

But as Bill Samuels says 'observation is the cornerstone of<br />

science - that doesn't always need meters' Bill had a<br />

couple of quietly strong little pots in the Master blasters<br />

show. Some of us were disappointed not to see a demo<br />

of how Bill trims those neat little cut feet on his bowls<br />

Return to find the embers of the wild dog and a<br />

display of pots contained therein - somewhat like a hot<br />

quick pit firing in effect. Work has commenced on Wild<br />

Dog II.<br />

Robert Barron explained how he began pottery at his<br />

The stack from the fire boy.<br />

mother's knee and went on to give a potted history of his<br />

life accompanied by slides showing the early days of the<br />

Gooseneck <strong>Pottery</strong> and the construction of his<br />

<strong>No</strong>borigama. He is not backward in pointing out that it is<br />

not absolutely necessary to have an Anagama to produce<br />

good pots. The 'pipe', the jar, and the 'ruined boat' of his<br />

in the exhibition probably supported that thesis a little<br />

bit, but this was the day of the Anagama!!<br />

3.00 am, lovely night/morning. The previous shift got a<br />

little bit eager with the side stoking, resulting in loss of<br />

temperature and dignity. To reduce or not to reduce that<br />

is the question .... .10.00 am: Tired, time for a little siesta,<br />

but Peter Pilven is in action, sleep can wait. You can tell<br />

that Peter has payed his dues as a production potter<br />

when you see the way he can carry on an interesting<br />

conversation without looking at the wheel and not only<br />

does the pot continue to be thrown, it's also a fairly good<br />

pot. Coming from a production background, it is not<br />

always easy to 'loosen up' but Peter has managed to<br />

deviate from rigid geometry while maintaining a nice<br />

balance between order and chaos. Craftsmanship and<br />

design are expressed with considerable heart and soul.<br />

Janet Mansfield takes control _of stoking. <strong>In</strong>structions<br />

and encouragement are given to the students engaged in<br />

side stoking. Flames jetting wildly from every<br />

recognisable orifice of the Beast. This is what it's all<br />

about! Any remaining cones have been reduced to a<br />

molten puddle and the rear pyro probe suffers meltdown.<br />

Even the barbecue fire is getting rather excited. Another<br />

truckload of Cyprus pine arrives.<br />

Len Castle shows how he produces interesting cracked<br />

earth textures by rolling dry powdered clay onto the<br />

surface of normal soft clay. To get the best effects he<br />

uses a mixture of sieved turnings from the<br />

wheel but including some coarser particles<br />

to add interest. Some pieces featuring these<br />

effects appeared in the exhibition as did<br />

the Hagi style bowls of Paul Davis. <strong>In</strong> a<br />

demonstration Paul generously shared<br />

some of his Hagi experiences, his<br />

techniques, skills and tools, and also<br />

offered information about his Hagi style<br />

clay bodies and glazes.<br />

With the wood pile dwindling, the<br />

· stoking becomes more measured and<br />

economical til Monday midday when the<br />

kiln is again mudded up. Cooling took<br />

almost five days and 10.00 am on the<br />

following Saturday was announced as the<br />

opening time. Most of the participants<br />

returned for the opening, obediently<br />

standing in line from the kiln door to the<br />

driveway where the pots were laid out in order. The<br />

results showed a very good first firing of the kiln. A<br />

working temperature of about cone 12 was achieved in<br />

most parts with fairly good flashing throughout. Ash<br />

deposit in the first stack behind the firebox was very<br />

heavy as expected. Very little of the work had been<br />

tumble stacked and the losses were quite minimal.<br />

<strong>In</strong> short, a thoroughly successful event for the hundred<br />

or so people attending, an opportunity for those without<br />

a 'woody' to enjoy the experience and an opportunity for<br />

those with a woody of their own to share, compare and<br />

get inspired. oo<br />

Robert Knighton, President, Victorian Ceramic Group.<br />

40 POTTERY lt:,J AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Brooching the Subject<br />

A recent exhibition held at Back to Back Galleries in inner city Newcastle.<br />

Review by JAN DOWNES.<br />

The instigator for this exhibition was<br />

Varelle Hardy a member of<br />

Newcastle Studio Potters which<br />

owns and runs the gallery. As a brooch<br />

maker Hardy wanted to get others to<br />

make brooches, in particular artists and<br />

craftspersons who had never made<br />

brooches previously.<br />

Back to Back Galleries is primarily a<br />

ceramics gallery stipulating that there is<br />

some clay content in every exhibition,<br />

however, it also exhibits a wide range of<br />

different media. 'Broaching the Subject'<br />

was no exception. <strong>In</strong> addition to<br />

ceramics the exhibition included<br />

photography, printmaking, metal and<br />

silversmithing, fibre, sculpture and<br />

woodwork. Materials ranged from satin<br />

and silk to metal springs and paper clips,<br />

from shards and fossils to shells and<br />

sticks, from beads and bells to thimbles<br />

and cotton reels.<br />

Many of the exhibits were purely<br />

decorative, others carried a message.<br />

Margaret McBride used simple strong<br />

black frames to house a padlock, a paper<br />

clip and a dice, metaphors for executive<br />

lives. Glenys Mann a fibre artist from<br />

Tamworth named her pieces 'Broaching<br />

the Environment' assembling a range of<br />

richly coloured hand dyed papers and<br />

fabrics concerned with protection of the<br />

environment. Sandra Burgess' clay<br />

brooches were also about the<br />

environment, in natural earthy colours<br />

with inlaid organic forms and highlighted<br />

with a smattering of gold. The brooches<br />

of Varelle Hardy are based on clay, to<br />

her brooch 'Stars and Meteors' she has<br />

added collage and wire. Elfrieda<br />

Armstrong's work 'Cobweb' is a white<br />

plaster armature wearing a network of<br />

wire of the radiating lines of a spider's<br />

web over the left breast, linking this to<br />

the traditional woman's activity of<br />

weaving. Virginia Chadwick's bold<br />

brightly coloured brooches were<br />

delightful, telling a simple story of daily<br />

life; a car, a house and a boat. Pippa<br />

Robinson's silver brooches were of<br />

animals and small silk screen prints to<br />

match, they spoke about the other<br />

inhabitants of her life on a farm near<br />

Gloucester, 1 ew South Wales.<br />

Two well known textile artists<br />

exhibited brooches. Perth artist, Judith<br />

Pinnell used silk paper and sequins in<br />

strong colours and gold creating a rich<br />

brigade of brocaded characters. Pat<br />

Davidson of Newcastle also used<br />

machine embroidery to decorate fabric,<br />

making a series of ageing eucalyptus<br />

leaves, natural earthy colours with<br />

delicate scribbly lines and the addition of<br />

small beads and wire giving each leaf its<br />

individuality.<br />

The anticipation of the exhibition in<br />

the last weeks was filled with trepidation,<br />

so many possible exhibitors but little idea<br />

of how many would deliver. By the last<br />

week the small packages had started to<br />

flow in and by hanging (pinning) day<br />

Varelle Hardy and her team were faced<br />

with the challenge of displaying 759<br />

works. Such an overwhelming response<br />

was also evident at a crowded opening<br />

and in visitor numbers over the duration<br />

of the exhibition.<br />

Professor Anne Graham, the newly<br />

appointed head of The School of Fine Art<br />

at The University of Newcastle, was<br />

given the difficult task of selecting<br />

Left from top: Sandra Burgess, Varelle Hardy, Caroline Hale, Stephen Garrett,<br />

Judith Pinnell, Sue Stewart, Virginia Chadwick, Margaret McBride.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 41

Above: Pat Davidson<br />

Left: Glenys Mann<br />

Below left: Jane Gilchrist<br />

winners. Her response was to make some personal<br />

selections. The first prize was given to Jane Gilchrist of<br />

Dungog, north of Newcastle, for a brooch of a variegated<br />

soft green paper ground on which were placed twigs<br />

encrusted in gold and lichen. Reminiscent for Jane of the<br />

hanging radishes that were a feature of women's<br />

domestic activity where she lived in Japan. Stephen<br />

Garrett was awarded the second place. His brooches<br />

were strong vertical assemblages of small clay and glass<br />

shards which he dug up in his garden. The third prize<br />

was awarded to Susan Morris, a series of three cedars and<br />

tarnishing copper moons.<br />

Many of the artists had not made brooches before,<br />

indeed many of the artists had not worked on such a<br />

small scale previously. Some talked of the difficulty of<br />

adapting their ideas to such an intimate scale, others<br />

reported the need to sharpen their fine motor skills and<br />

don borrowed spectacles or use<br />

magnifying glasses! Conversely<br />

working on such a small scale was<br />

liberating for many in terms of<br />

transportation. A dozen brooches in<br />

a postal jiffy bag or a chocolate box<br />

was quite a relief from the lugging<br />

of heavy boxes.<br />

Some ceramists did not adapt the<br />

work they normally do to a smaller<br />

scale but took the opportunity so try<br />

new techniques and materials. Sue<br />

Stewart's brooches were vibrant<br />

colours, a filigree made by trailed<br />

porcelain slip and fired with a rich<br />

cobalt glaze. She refired with a gold<br />

lustre and then added bright<br />

enamels in her home oven. Finally<br />

she added small items such as chain and beads. Caroline<br />

Hale took a break from her normal work and enjoyed<br />

playing with different materials. She used collected shells,<br />

driftwood and pate de verre, which she embellished with<br />

coiled wire like an unfolding fern.<br />

Newcastle Studio Potters has gained a reputation for its<br />

innovative approaches to fund raising to maintain their<br />

gallery. From this exhibition 5% of proceeds went to the<br />

gallery and 20% went to The New South Wales Cancer<br />

Council. With over half the brooches sold this was a<br />

good outcome. ot only was the gain financial, the<br />

exhibition was an impetus for new individual ideas. Since<br />

the closure of 'Broaching the Subject' the Newcastle a1t<br />

community have been wearing the brooches: the<br />

exhibition continues through this public display. oo<br />

Jan Downes, ceramist.<br />

42 POTTERY IN A USTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

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<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 43

There are not many places in the world that gay and<br />

lesbian culture could express itself in public freely with<br />

the whole country being so curious and accepting.<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>ns are not only able to express themselves freely,<br />

but many seemed to be unstoppable in their celebration.<br />

People from all over the world come to be one with the<br />

carnival. The intensity of the multicultural atmosphere<br />

showed me that in <strong>Australia</strong> people of different<br />

backgrounds and cultures can come together in peace<br />

and happiness. Coming from the land of smiles, it was<br />

great to experience this here, for every one smiled<br />

"Happy Mardi Gras".<br />

The various extravagantly flamboyant floats and props,<br />

with the dazzling and sparkling costumes of the<br />

participants, provided perfect inspirations to develop a<br />

series of work based on the Sydney Gay and Lesbian<br />

Mardi Gras, but with a Thai perspective.<br />

The forms of fish fins and the female figures are used<br />

on the pieces to symbolise the traditional image of the<br />

mermaids, this is the same for both Thai and <strong>Australia</strong>n<br />

cultures. These elements with the forms and images of the<br />

Mardi Gras' costume combine together in a equilibrium of<br />

design and concept. Dry glazes, which look like moss,<br />

were used to represent the surface of the creature, living<br />

deep in the water. Two parts of Thai traditional costume,<br />

which are the glittering headdress and the pointed epaulet,<br />

were incorporated into the pieces. Gold leaf and little<br />

pieces of mirror were used for finishing the works. At the<br />

Mardi Gras I observed how a number of participants<br />

enhanced their magnificence, by the use of 'high heels',<br />

thus, I created 'high heeled' stands for the pieces in this<br />

series. The stands also reference Thai classical dance ..<br />

I like to think that I use glaze in the same way as<br />

painters would use their colour because I use several glaze<br />

recipes for the pieces. Some of the pieces had more than<br />

five glazes applied and were fired more than four times.<br />

However, I do not want my "painting" to show only<br />

Since Childhood, I have been fascinated with the tales colour, but the detail and the texture as well. To achieve<br />

told to me by my grandmother. One of the this goal, a wide selection of brushes, in a variety of sizes<br />

characters from those tales has stayed with me ever were used. The variations of brush sizes allowed for thick<br />

since. Suvan Madcha (A Mermaid), from one of the and thin applications of glaze at the same time. Some<br />

Ramayana 1 stories, tells of a mermaid caught between the pieces were glazed twice before firing, and some were<br />

forces of good and evil.<br />

fired at high temperature, then glazed again and refired at<br />

Suvan Madcha continues the series of work, I did for my a lower temperature. Applying a second layer of glaze, I<br />

Postgraduate Diploma (Ceramics) Monash University as an intentionally left some surfaces uncovered or wiped the<br />

oversea student from Thailand.<br />

glaze out using a wet sponge so the first layer of glaze<br />

Today, it is my privilege to be able to study in <strong>Australia</strong> could show through; choosing totally different kinds of<br />

and whilst here I have experienced and seen many new glazes, to be used together, especially in terms of colour<br />

things. I have been very impressed by <strong>Australia</strong>ns' free t(J and texture. For example, I applied a thin layer of smooth<br />

expression, multiculturalism and friendliness.<br />

green glaze with an overlapping use of an orange glaze,<br />

One of those occasions that demonstrated these facets of firing once. This combination creates a bright orange<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>n culture was the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi surface with green mossy texture underneath. <strong>In</strong> addition,<br />

Gras. While at the Mardi Gras I could almost imagine I also used dry glaze over a glossy glaze to obtain unique<br />

myself in one of those Ramayana stories; I observed many colours and textures.<br />

incarnations of Suvan Madcha in the parade.<br />

I also produced a second generation of pieces based on<br />

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the same themes, further developing the ideas and forms<br />

of the work. The pieces are less abstract, focusing on the<br />

human aspects of my ideas with a greater emphasis on the<br />

'costumes' of the pieces.<br />

I am currently extending and refining the 'Suvan Macha<br />

Theme' at the Jam Factory, with a series of work based on<br />

the Mermaid ideas; exploring other forms such as my sea<br />

creature teapots.<br />

I hope I have been able to express a part of my<br />

experience of life, in a way that others may enjoy and<br />

appreciate. I intend very much to develop more work that<br />

continues to merge ideas from my Thai background, with<br />

my growing cultural understanding of <strong>Australia</strong>. oo<br />

1 - Ramayana is a collection of stories of the travails of Prince Rama<br />

and Princess Sita and their companions.<br />

Vipoo Srivilasa<br />

Jam Factory, 19 Morphen St. Adelaide SA 5000<br />

T: (08) 8410 0727 F: (08) 8231 0434<br />

Email: vsril@hotmail.com<br />

Web: http://members.tripod.com/srivilasa<br />

Previous and opposite: 'Mermaids Queen of The<br />

Sea'. Right and above right: 'Sea Creature' teapots.<br />

Works at the Jam Factory. Below: Sydney Mardi<br />

Gras 2000. Photography Kluvanek<br />

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<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 45

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eaturing the work of 44 potters,<br />

including students and recent<br />

graduates, the exhibition<br />

represented a great variety of styles,<br />

decorative and firing techniques.<br />

The winner of the Pat Emery<br />

Encouragement Award for an emerging<br />

potter was Judith Roberts . Her fine,<br />

well-proportioned raku vessels<br />

contrasted freshly textured black clay<br />

with a smooth unctuous crackle glaze<br />

in tan and also cream, a combination<br />

of quality finishes with spontaneity.<br />

Honorable Mentions went to<br />

Dayleen Evans and Kerrie Lightbody.<br />

Dayleen exhibited a collection of dry<br />

glazed boat forms, skeletal and abraded,<br />

but it was her group of three simple,<br />

crescent shaped sculptural forms which<br />

took the judges eye. The smoked, raku<br />

and pit fired finish enhanced and<br />

complimented their soft curves.<br />

<strong>In</strong> contrast were Kerrie's fine<br />

polished bone china vessels. Her group<br />

of three sandblasted-cupped forms<br />

suggested erosion and fragility , the<br />

action of waves and sand.<br />

This was an exhibition with<br />

'something for everyone'. Spread<br />

through the three areas of the gallery<br />

there was a treasure around every<br />

corner. Overall the work displayed<br />

quality and craftsmanship. Ola<br />

Almarker's large open bowls and<br />

square platters were simple and<br />

refined. The blue chun glaze had a<br />

depth and an almost ethereal quality.<br />

'Fruit Bowl with 2 Frogs' and 'Teaser<br />

for 2' by Ruth Petersen, in soft matt<br />

green with added frogs were well crafted, whimsical and<br />

appealing. Of particular appeal were 'Tendrils I and II' by<br />

Juliet Beovich; delicate stained porcelain cups with added<br />

handles of soft grey, weathered vine tendrils.<br />

The salt-glazed functional work by Frances Lockett had<br />

warmth and vitality with a lustrous finish, as did the<br />

anagama jars and vases by Ian Rowe from the recent<br />

Qdos kiln firing. Jan Barnes' urn form appeared in<br />

different sizes and finishes , including pit fired and oil,<br />

wood and anagama fired shinos.<br />

Peter Ries ' vessels and jewel boxes with quietly<br />

iridescent reduced lustre brushwork, the fine dry finished,<br />

squared off thrown forms of Susan Matyas and the clean,<br />

subtle matt glazed spiral vases of Lene Kuhl Jakobsen<br />

were well resolved and showed a mastery of their<br />

individual techniques.<br />

<strong>In</strong> the more sculptural area were 'Lorikeet House' and<br />

'Kookaburra House' by Margaret Holloway, a unity of<br />

form and colour, Jocelyn Mannings strong, well<br />

considered, architectural forms and the abstracted female<br />

forms of Maria Coyle. I thought that some of the larger<br />

sculptural pieces in the exhibition needed more space<br />

around them. The brief was for up to six items to be<br />

displayed together. Entering 2 larger forms , instead of 6,<br />

would have allowed the work to be displayed to better<br />

advantage.<br />

I think that the annual unselected exhibition is an<br />

important event. It encourages new graduates, students and<br />

new exhibitors to submit work without fear of rejection.<br />

This, in combination with the Pat Emery Encouragement<br />

Award, has helped to produce an interesting and varied<br />

show, a true 'Potters' Showcase'. oo<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 47

The Rites· of Tea<br />

Kim Pen Pang - a potter working in Tasmania with his focus very firmly on the<br />

ceremonies of tea drinking. By MICHAEL CONNOR.<br />

us<br />

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n Hobart there is a potter obsessed with tea sets. <strong>In</strong><br />

Kim Pen Pang's studio cups, teapots, milk jugs and<br />

sugar bowls fight for space on overcrowded shelves as<br />

a multitude of unique tea sets spring from his wheel.<br />

Originally from Singapore, Kim's Straits Chinese<br />

background, an eclectic mix of Malay, Chinese and<br />

English influences, surely plays some part in the rich<br />

fantasy his work displays.<br />

The influence of the tea ceremony is strong in his<br />

throwing. But it is neither the formal gentleness of the<br />

Japanese nor the robustness of those squat, steaming,<br />

and often chipped pots, endlessly refilled on the tables of<br />

Chinese restaurants. Kim's tea sets are made for the<br />

mysteriqus pageantry and rituals of English tea drinking.<br />

Something elegant, wild and elusive combining the<br />

smooth surface display of a Merchant Ivory film and the<br />

underground dottiness of a Monty Python tea party. His<br />

pots both laugh at and celebrate the rites of tea making<br />

and drinking.<br />

The elements of his sets unite to extol the heady<br />

delights of Prince of Wales or Irish Breakfast teas. His<br />

teapots are made to be pre-heated, to have measured<br />

amounts of black leaves added from tightly sealed<br />

Fortnum's tins, then infused with boiling water. Scented<br />

liquid to be poured into cups and coloured with light<br />

clouds of milk from the accompanying jug before the<br />

off er of sugar from obese little containers. And all from<br />

pots that seem virtually animate and ready, at any<br />

moment, to march themselves around the tea table.<br />

At first Kim, who trained as a contemporary dancer,<br />

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Oxidation, copper matt glaze, rutile/iron splattered.<br />

Milk: h12.5 x L 14 x w8cm; Teapot: h18 x L 17.5 x w9.5cm; Sugar h14.5 x LS x w6.5cm<br />

48 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

:l the<br />

. His<br />

tking<br />

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ured<br />

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ight<br />

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cer,<br />

used clay to create splay footed, thunder thighed, bulging<br />

breasted and heavy waisted dancing figures which<br />

mocked perfect body pretensions with the irony of one<br />

who had been there and suffered that. He was<br />

introduced to the wheel only when he began a course in<br />

ceramics at the Townsville TAPE in 1995.<br />

But elements from the life of his earthy ballet figures<br />

have remained to enliven his pots. There is always<br />

something, although one is never sure what and viewers<br />

all have their own interpretations, that resembles living<br />

forms within all his pots. A blue tea set appears as a<br />

group of iron carapaced mechanical bugs, another a<br />

group of children's picture book snails bound for a family<br />

picnic in the nearest letter box.<br />

@<br />

First come the thrown forms in which the earthy<br />

softness of the clay is bent and moulded seemingly to the<br />

very border between functional and the purely<br />

decorative. Pulled handles that grow like living tendrils<br />

are added, and thrown lids and spouts, and sometimes<br />

extruded attachments. Using Clayworks' JB3, for the<br />

flexibility it allows, he works within the stoneware firing<br />

range in either oxidation or reduction and uses glaze?<br />

that have been sprayed, splattered or painted onto the<br />

surfaces. Before moving from<br />

Townsville to Hobart Kim<br />

experimented with rich majolica<br />

pigments and produced functional<br />

pots flaunting raw tropical colours for<br />

sale at local markets. Since living in<br />

Hobart his palette has been<br />

transformed by ochreous tints which<br />

seem to reflect the subtle autumnal Tasmanian landscape.<br />

Kim's pots are best observed as complimentary threepiece<br />

sets. Families of almost living pieces that achieve a<br />

unity of design and function when seen and used together.<br />

Following his introductory, and satisfyingly practical,<br />

TAPE course, Kim studied at James Cook University in<br />

Townsville before transferring southwards and graduating<br />

with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University<br />

of Tasmania. Currently he is completing studies for<br />

honours in ceramics, at the Hobart School of Art, and<br />

undertaking a major study of - teapots. oo<br />

© COPYRIGHT MICHAEL CO OR <strong>1999</strong><br />

Tel.: (03) 6234 4427<br />

email: mconnor@postoffice.utas.edu.au<br />

Oxidation, clear with copper sprayed.<br />

Milk: h14 x d13cm; Teapot: h19 x d14.5cm; Sugar h14.5 x d15cm<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 49

River Reflections<br />

A river can hide its secrets, its sorrows and its joys.<br />

But a river can also reveal the richness of its heritage, filled with memories of its peoples and its past.<br />

A Community Arts project described by BONNIE ENGLISH.<br />

The people of <strong>In</strong>nisfail, in<br />

frame within a 90 degree<br />

northern Queensland<br />

regular grid. The 'Cesco white'<br />

worked together with<br />

earthenware standardised tiles<br />

ceramic artist and project<br />

allowed for the series<br />

designer, Sam Di Mauro, to<br />

create a visual record of their<br />

life and the history of their<br />

region in a ceramic mural that<br />

runs horizontally along a<br />

coping wall by the <strong>No</strong>rth<br />

Johnstone river. It enriches the<br />

production of these pieces. The<br />

river was dotted with fish<br />

shapes made from laser cut<br />

brass, in which an inserted blue<br />

venetian glass tube was placed<br />

in the eye hole, along with<br />

dazzling terrazzo and pieces of<br />

landscape and is flanked by the<br />

multi-faceted glass which<br />

proud statue of the 'Canecutter',<br />

commissioned in the 1950s by<br />

the Italian community to<br />

celebrate their contribution to<br />

the rural community.<br />

heightened the luminosity of<br />

the work. These materials<br />

create a surface flicker which<br />

plays as a reflection on the<br />

water.<br />

Di Mauro, a lecturer at the<br />

<strong>In</strong> this very precisely<br />

Queensland College of Art,<br />

Griffith University, was born<br />

and bred in <strong>In</strong>nisfail. Having a<br />

sense of 'belonging' to the<br />

region, made it 'a greater and<br />

richer experience' for him to be<br />

involved in the project. The<br />

Top: 'River reflections' lnnisfail Qld. One<br />

panel of 8 in foreground.<br />

Each panel 2 x 4m.<br />

Above: Sam Di Mauro in his studio loading<br />

rendered design plan, Di Mauro<br />

argues, it is the process and not<br />

the technique that is most<br />

important. The process draws<br />

upon a number of people in<br />

the community who have the<br />

necessary skills to bring the<br />

mural, he said, was created in<br />

tiles for bisque firing. · mural successfully to its<br />

the true spirit of community<br />

completion and this develops a<br />

collaboration, where local professional craftspeople,<br />

artists and members of the manufacturing industry<br />

worked together and the local people were 'asked to<br />

remember and speak about their past'.<br />

<strong>In</strong>nisfail is a town rich in the cultural diversity of its<br />

peoples. There are 47 languages spoken in this area and<br />

this agricultural community is surrounded by cane farms<br />

and sugar mills. The mural, 'River Reflections' references<br />

and records its original inhabitants, the early migrations<br />

to the region, local flora and fauna, natural and human<br />

disasters, personal histories, business and commerce in<br />

the area and entertainment, celebrations and food.<br />

The mural consists of eight panels of finely detailed<br />

ceramic tiles, terrazzo, glass and brass. The central motif<br />

of the mural is the free flowing shape of the river, with<br />

110mm carved square tiles fitting the rectangular outer<br />

sense of ownership of the art work. Vital assistance was<br />

provided by Mate Buljubasich (Tiler and builder), Rob<br />

Hart (boat builder), Lily Hart (Aboriginal/ South Sea<br />

Islander Community), Lorraine Viegel, who fired 750 tiles<br />

herself (Broken <strong>No</strong>se <strong>Pottery</strong>), Rebecca Sweeney (a1tist)<br />

and the Johnstone Shire Council Works Department.<br />

The citizens of <strong>In</strong>nisfail have expressed the happiness<br />

that their contributions to the project have given them.<br />

Their stories, often passed down from previous<br />

generations, have been visually actualised in the illustrative<br />

narratives painted on the individual tablets. One women,<br />

Connie Bataska, related a story during the war when so<br />

many Italians in the area were interred and, often, moved<br />

away. Times, she said, were hard for the women and<br />

children left to run the farms and yet she remembered with<br />

fondness the time that one young boy got into the pantry<br />

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50 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

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Above: 'Personal Histories' River Reflections, Panel<br />

<strong>No</strong>. 5. Clay tablets, terrazzo, glass and inlaid brass<br />

fish. The title is in one of the languages of the area.<br />

Right: 'Food' River Reflections, Panel <strong>No</strong>. 7. Top<br />

left: Italian mother making pasta. Bottom centre:<br />

dining under the old queenslander.<br />

and took off all the labels of the rationed tinned food<br />

that had been given to them by the government. For<br />

months, mealtime brought great surprises!<br />

Another little-known story, goes back to the early<br />

pre-colonial times. One tablet, which consists of an<br />

open fire, illustrates the time when Captain Cook<br />

travelled up the eastern coast of <strong>Australia</strong> and as he<br />

was sailing past the <strong>In</strong>nisfail region spotted small fi res<br />

dotting the hillsides. He later learned that these fires<br />

marked the locality of the Aboriginal camps.<br />

Exhaustive researching time was spent collecting these<br />

stories by visiting church groups, community gatherings,<br />

private homes, service groups and clubs and the <strong>In</strong>nisfail<br />

and District Cultural Society.<br />

By means of interviewing, demographic studies and<br />

seeking archival material gathered from the John Oxley<br />

Library, a comprehensive and conclusive body of material<br />

was gathered. <strong>In</strong> early 1998 a submission of the project<br />

was presented to the Johnstone Shire Cultural Association<br />

(the commissioning body) and local government, in May<br />

1998, a workshop to fabricate tiles and a works-inprogress<br />

exhibition was held. <strong>In</strong> October 1998 the<br />

finished artwork was installed in situ. An accompanying<br />

book is now b,ting compiled to complement the visual<br />

rendering of ilie histories revealed in 'River Reflections'.<br />

The official launch of this Arts Queenslan d* funded<br />

public art project** took place in early <strong>1999</strong>. oo<br />

*The Public Art Agency has been recently established within Arts<br />

Queensland as the Queensland Government's main agency for the<br />

advice and development of integrated art and design projects. The<br />

agency's inaugural grant recipient under the Collaborative design fund<br />

is the Johnstone Shire Cultural agency with its River Reflections project.<br />

**The Queensland Government's 1998 Art Policy ensures that 2% of<br />

the budget of all State Government capital works building projects<br />

will be spent on integrated art and design and will set a precedent<br />

in <strong>Australia</strong>, in its breadth and magnitude, while reinforcing the<br />

cultural foundations of the State of Queensland.<br />

Bonnie English, Senior Lecturer in Art Theory,<br />

Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 51

The Potters of the Punjab<br />

The region now known as<br />

Pakistan has a rich history<br />

and tradition in its pottery<br />

production dating back to the<br />

<strong>In</strong>dus Valley (Harappan)<br />

civilisation, (23-18 centuries B.C.).<br />

Moenjodaro and Harappa were<br />

the major cities of a centralised<br />

and literate society that existed<br />

there that had established<br />

commercial links by sea to other<br />

parts of the world. They made<br />

and exported glazed earthenware<br />

beads, terra cotta figurines and<br />

black painted red clay pottery.<br />

Modern day Pakistan is a very<br />

diverse country with four regions,<br />

Punjab, Sindh, <strong>No</strong>rthwest Frontier<br />

Province and Beluchistan, with<br />

each having its own tradition and<br />

distinct styles of pottery<br />

production. There are many<br />

regional variations in forms and<br />

styles of decoration. Generally,<br />

however, the majority of the work<br />

is either unglazed red<br />

earthenware or lead-glazed<br />

earthenware, mostly using clear<br />

glazes over decorated engobes.<br />

Some blackware is produced in several areas, for<br />

example in Swat in the north and Ahmedpur, south of<br />

Multan. A paperfine, intricate unglazed terra cotta ware is<br />

also produced there.<br />

As throughout the whole country, similar industries<br />

tend to cluster together. The potters' village Amar Sidhu,<br />

12kms south of Lahore, is no exception. <strong>In</strong> one of many<br />

such potteries, Hagi Sahib, the owner, respected elder<br />

and master potter, oversees the production of cooking<br />

pots, bowls and water storage vessels. All of the boys in<br />

his family work in the pottery from an early age and<br />

learn all aspects of the craft. Women do not work in the<br />

potteries, except on occasions to gather the wood for the<br />

kiln. The raw clay is dug and brought by donkey carts to<br />

the village from where the young boys collect it and<br />

Article by PETER WILSON.<br />

Above:<br />

Potters putting the bases into<br />

cooking pots.<br />

Below:<br />

Potter working inground kick wheel.<br />

pulverise it using hand tools. It is<br />

then put into troughs of water to<br />

slake. The slurry is then dried<br />

slowly in a series of ponds and<br />

stored until used.<br />

Mechanisation has encroached<br />

only slightly on traditional craft<br />

methods. The process of making<br />

and firing pottery remains largely<br />

as it has for centuries. A primitive<br />

one-speed electric wheel<br />

operated by Hagi's sons Abdullah<br />

and Billa , was the only<br />

innovation witnessed, as the<br />

majority of wheels in other<br />

potteries were of the in-ground<br />

kick wheel variety. The tools and<br />

other resources are the bare<br />

minimum. The pots are made<br />

and sun dried, turned or a new<br />

base added as for cooking pots<br />

to avoid cracking. The cooking<br />

pots are made and when leather<br />

hard, the bases are pinched off<br />

the pot. It is replaced with a thin<br />

heavily grogged slab of the same<br />

clay. This is done in a round<br />

bottomed dish using an anvil<br />

shaped tool which stamps the<br />

new base into position.The pots are then decorated using<br />

a white slip, over which patterns are stamped or brushed.<br />

The clear glaze is then poured onto the pots which are<br />

stacked on top of one another in the chamber of the kiln.<br />

Hagi Sahib's kiln takes about nineteen hundred pieces<br />

and is fired once a month. It is a wood fired updraught<br />

kiln about two metres in diameter with a dome-shaped<br />

firebox with holes which allows an even heat distribution<br />

up through the ware. The top of the open cylinder of the<br />

kiln is partially closed by placing large brick slabs on the<br />

top, cantilevered in towards the centre with holes big<br />

enough to allow a draught for the fire.<br />

Shahdarah, Gujrat and Gujranwalla are all traditional<br />

pottery villages which spread along the Grand Trunk<br />

Road, heading northwest from Lahore towards Islamabad.<br />

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52 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

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These centres are also important<br />

for the production of industrial<br />

pottery such as electrical<br />

insulators, tiles, sanitaryware,<br />

vitreous tableware and brick<br />

products. <strong>In</strong> these factories, a<br />

variety of production methods are<br />

used; the sanitaryware is slip-cast,<br />

individual hand operated presses<br />

stamp out the electrical insulators,<br />

tiles and bricks in respective<br />

factories. The tableware is<br />

produced by jigger and jolly<br />

machines. Without exception,<br />

these industrial potteries used airforced<br />

gas as the preferred source<br />

of fuel for firing, some of which<br />

had continuously opentting trolley<br />

kilns. The main exception here<br />

being in the traditional brickworks<br />

where wood is mostly still used.<br />

These are situated where the clay<br />

and silt deposits are located on<br />

the former floodplains of the<br />

major rivers of the Punjab region,<br />

the Ravi, Chenab and Sutlej.<br />

Apart from the traditional and<br />

industrial ceramics, there is a<br />

contemporary ceramic practice<br />

that exists in Pakistan and there<br />

are a handful of ceramists<br />

working in the Punjab area. The<br />

most notable of these are Dabir<br />

and Talat Ahmad, both lecturers<br />

in ceramics and sculpture<br />

respectively at the ational<br />

College of Arts , ( CA), Lahore.<br />

They are a husband and wife team who construct<br />

ceramic panels amongst other works, that look to the<br />

Islamic traditions of religion, the Koran, the Mughal<br />

architecture, the patterns and colours of Islam and the<br />

calligraphic script of Urdoo as inspiration for their works.<br />

Both have exhibited widely throughout the country as<br />

has Salahuddin Mian, a former Professor of Ceramics at<br />

the CA. His works reflect his Japanese training and<br />

interest in intuitive marks as a means of decoration and<br />

expres ion.<br />

The traditional potters continue to fill the age old need<br />

of their people for practical utilitarian pots for cooking,<br />

serving, eating, and for food and water storage. However,<br />

the introduction of cheap alternatives in the form of<br />

plastics and aluminium cooking wares has impacted on<br />

Above: Potters stacking pots ready for loading the kiln.<br />

Below: Pots drying in the sun - kiln in background.<br />

-:'<br />

the traditional craftspeople. As the western world<br />

encroaches, the traditions and customs of the people are<br />

changing and the demand for folk pottery is in decline,<br />

especially in the cities where alternatives abound. The<br />

difficulty is that when the markets for a traditional craft<br />

that has existed and been passed down through families<br />

for centuries dries up, the ability to change and develop<br />

new products and methods provides insurmountable<br />

barriers causing, in time, a loss of these industries and<br />

self sufficient communities. cw<br />


Traditional <strong>Pottery</strong> Techniques of Pakistan<br />

Rye, O.S; Evans, C.<br />

Smithsonian Press, Washington 1976<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 53

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Guan or possibly kuan is a very old glaze type<br />

which originated in ancient China at around about<br />

the time that Europe was enjoying the renaissance.<br />

It was made under royal or court patronage and can be<br />

loosely described as a highly f elspathic stoneware glaze<br />

which is pale in colour, sort of whitish/ grey with<br />

variations of pale grey/green, grey blue, creamy/grey, or<br />

grey/pinky mauve. This glaze can only be created at<br />

stoneware temperatures under reducing conditions, as it<br />

is only under reduction that the predominant greyish<br />

character is developed.<br />

It is not a clear glaze, although it would be if it were<br />

fired high enough. It is not an opaque glaze either, I<br />

think a good term would be perlucient, showing just<br />

enough passage of light to indicate the clay body colour<br />

underneath. It makes a remarkable difference to the glaze<br />

to see it over the two different bodies, one white and the<br />

other dark. Traditionally the clay body used is quite dark<br />

based on a high iron content.<br />

The dark clay/glaze interface layer reflects light in such<br />

a way as to give the surface a mysterious depth. The clay<br />

must not be too vitreous, as under reduction the iron<br />

colourant becomes a flux which can lead to slumping of<br />

the body, or worse, shattering of the pot due to the<br />

stresses of glaze fit.<br />

<strong>In</strong> fact it is best if the clay is quite porous and sandy,<br />

as this lets the glaze craze freely without shattering the<br />

body. There is no such clay on the market of which I am<br />

aware, so I make up my own.<br />

I started out firing to 1300°C but I now only fire to<br />

1200°C with the same recipes and I am starting to get<br />

some lovely results. I find that I'm firing longer and<br />

slower, especially towards the top end of the firing and<br />

I'm ball milling the glazes just a little - one hour. It's<br />

important not to mill high felspathic glazes for too long<br />

as the felspar breaks down very rapidly and the glaze<br />

soon becomes unworkable.<br />

It is essential that guan style glazes contain 10% to 20%<br />

of limestone or whiting in the mix to develop the<br />

grey/green colour. It also helps to create the mass of tiny<br />

microscopic bubbles which adds to the opacity of the<br />

glass and finally 10% to 20% of fine silica makes up the<br />

glaze. Small additions from one to five percent of such<br />

things as talc, dolomite, bone ash and wood ash give<br />

excellent variations on the base glaze.<br />

A good starting recipe is<br />

RECIPE<br />

Felspar<br />

Silica<br />

Whiting<br />

70<br />

20<br />

10<br />

Mix to a unctuous creamy consistency and apply<br />

thickly. Fire in reduction from 1000°C onwards, fire<br />

gently and slowly, don't be afraid to underfire and<br />

use test rings to check on proceedings.<br />

The choice of the actual raw materials is quite important,<br />

it is surprising how much difference a change in one of<br />

the ingredients can make. I have recently been<br />

prospecting a wide range of local<br />

materials and a white clay straight<br />

from the ground can be anything from<br />

highly aluminous to highly silicious,<br />

this will have a remarkable effect on<br />

the look of the glaze.<br />

Guan is one of a series of traditional<br />

glazes which are all interelated<br />

chemically. If the limestone is<br />

eliminated, it becomes a shino. When<br />

small percentages of talc are added to<br />

this glaze it tends towards luan-chuan,<br />

when larger amounts are added it<br />

shows signs of chun or jun effect,<br />

especially in the presence of one to<br />

two percent of bone ash and or some<br />

wood ash. Alternatively, if a little clay<br />

and iron are added to a guan it can<br />

become a celadon.<br />

Bon feu oo<br />

<strong>38</strong>/1 MARCH <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 55

-<br />

this life ... a glaze journey<br />

Research and article by WINNIE WEBBER graduate student from Hunter <strong>In</strong>stitute of Technology,<br />

I<br />

have no idea why I<br />

gained 6 kilos for the<br />

final year of my Diploma<br />

in Ceramics at the TAPE<br />

Hunter Street Campus in<br />

Newcastle. For the majority<br />

of 1998 I was engaged in a<br />

busy multi-layered life of<br />

Tech, clay, work and<br />

family and spent most days<br />

huffing and puffing, lifting,<br />

pulling and grunting .... and<br />

still more lifting! Plus<br />

walking .... never ending<br />

treks from the<br />

Handbuilding Room ... to the<br />

Glaze Room ... to the kilns ....<br />

and to the car. I know I<br />

did miles. (mentally, and<br />

on foot). <strong>No</strong>t to mention<br />

the challenge of cramming<br />

an assortment of hurriedly<br />

wrapped and partially dehydrated chunks of clay, boxes,<br />

bags, buckets, tools, bats, folders and books into an<br />

unsuspecting and groaning station wagon that eventually<br />

wore grooves into the trail I laid working between the<br />

Campus, Newcastle Studio Potters' workshop and the<br />

makeshift studio/ garage of my home. And then there<br />

was the back and forth of unpacking at the other end ... to<br />

do it all again the next day! Its not what I had planned,<br />

not really .....<br />

Having spent some years previously on an affair with<br />

Newcastle West.<br />

woodfiring (in the days<br />

when ferocious orange<br />

flames leaping out of<br />

chimneys was still a thing of<br />

beauty), I knew here, with<br />

my major work, was an<br />

opportunity to rekindle my<br />

dormant pyromania. Thus,<br />

having set my heart and my<br />

mind on Raku I eagerly<br />

commenced glaze research<br />

and kiln building only to<br />

find that Workcover<br />

regulations in regards to<br />

LPG cylinders on campus<br />

made my Raku plans a nonevent<br />

and reaching red-heat<br />

on Town Gas was OK<br />

providing my kiln remained<br />

the size of a tomato tin! So,<br />

off I went to the inner-city<br />

Workshop of ewcastle<br />

Studio Potters where the small courtyard became host to<br />

much enthusiastic Raku experimentation and activity that<br />

somehow (?) culminated with irate neighbours<br />

complaining 'where is my house - I can't see it for the<br />

smoke', the fire brigade arriving to hose us all down and<br />

the EPA said ...(a lot of stufD ... and yes, we would have to<br />

pay them lots of money if we didn't comply. I was<br />

crushed. My major work was now a major fizzier.<br />

I felt consoled by convincing myself that I had<br />

probably saved myself from many hours of radiant<br />

ph<br />

pri<br />

WC<br />

wi.<br />

frit<br />

vit<br />

we<br />

wil<br />

ma<br />

COi<br />

be,<br />

ere<br />

lim<br />

rec<br />

lov<br />

l<br />

exl<br />

lea<br />

OUl<br />

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Wa<br />

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C<br />

56 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + ISSUE <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

s<br />

e<br />

of<br />

of<br />

h<br />

n<br />

y<br />

S,<br />

physical exhaustion, and of course, I no longer had to<br />

pretend to myself that I fe lt even remotely at ease<br />

working alongside 2x45kg bottles of LPG! And as luck<br />

will have it- it was at this time that fellow potter and<br />

friend Sue Stewart sang the praises of Janet de Boos'<br />

vibrantly exciting dry glazes she had demonstrated in a<br />

weekend workshop at ewcastle University campus. So,<br />

with renewed vigor but some doubt (how could anything<br />

match the excitement of Raku?) a new body of work was<br />

conceived. I now knew that I wanted to go large! Large<br />

because with the proposed composite forms I could<br />

create many possibilities and also to overcome some<br />

limitations that I perceived myself to have in regards to<br />

recurring RSI (really shitty injury) and a less than perfect<br />

lower back.<br />

For the next 8 months, there followed a period of<br />

exhilarations and challenges as I progressed on a steep<br />

learning curve that was accelerated by the successful<br />

outcome of many vibrantly coloured dry glaze tests and<br />

only minimal frustrations and a very tough, obedient<br />

Walkers o SB s/w clay body that was excellent for the<br />

task of constructing joined forms. My enviable shopping<br />

list included such delicacies as Strontium, Lithium,<br />

Barium, Chrome, Vanadium (soon deleted) and many<br />

others that came to make up a chemical cocktail and<br />

brought home the potter's dilemma of toxicity and<br />

pollution in the workplace. Most of this period saw me<br />


(Developed from Janet de Boos recipes).<br />

Best fired 9'f5-955°C, Cone 08 oxidation.<br />

heavily disguised with fil ter masks or breathing<br />

apparatus, rubber gloves and copious cover-up garments<br />

working in close proximity and co-operation with Hazchem<br />

bins and state of-the art extraction fans greedily<br />

sucking up poisonous dust and fumes. Ever vigilant<br />

Graham Cecil, our Technical Assistant, had his work cut<br />

out for him when it came to OH+S enforcement! We tried<br />

to be good. At least we always wore our sensible shoes,<br />

if not our sensible heads!<br />

So, with little work, breathtaking glaze tests resulted by<br />

simply varying the amounts of Strontium Carbonate,<br />

Calcite & Nepheline Syenite in each of the recipies;<br />

varying the thickness of glaze· application (spray, sponge<br />

or brush) and determining final kiln temperature. Simply<br />

re-firing could result in changes to colour intensity with<br />

some results remaining firmly unpredictable thus giving<br />

me endless scope for further research. Q. what do you<br />

get when you overlap a blue glaze with a yellow one? A.<br />

vibrant green of course!<br />

<strong>No</strong>vember 1998 saw the culmination of many months<br />

of work with the Graduating Tafe Students exhibition<br />

entitled 'Surface Tension', an exhibition that needed to<br />

show all the requirements of the Diploma course along<br />

with copious quantities of documentation. It was then<br />

that I realized that it was not about making the perfect<br />

work of 'Art' but about the challenge and process of<br />

continually striving to do so. 00<br />

A Varying the Strontium Carbonate - 40-60-80-100<br />

Colour: Ume to yellow/orange/red<br />

Frit --±06-± 80<br />

Strontium carb 10<br />

Chrome Oxide 2<br />

B Varying Calcite - 20-30-40<br />

Colour: Olive to orange/rust<br />

Frit LJ:06-± 80<br />

Calcite 10<br />

Chrome Oxide 2<br />

C Varying Nepheline Syenite - 20-40-60-80<br />

Colour: Mauve to grey/blue/teal<br />

Barium carbonate 60<br />

1 Tepheline Syenite 20<br />

Copper carbonate 8<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 57

Glaze Q&A<br />

When it comes to ordering glaze ingredients, there are many questions to be answered.<br />

MIKE KUSNIK provides the answers to common questions.<br />

J<br />

• Black Copper Oxide: is half the price of red copper<br />

oxide. What is the difference?<br />

There are two copper oxides available - black copper<br />

oxide (cupric black CuO) and red copper oxide (cuprous<br />

re Cu2O). Use the black copper oxide. <strong>In</strong> oxidation it<br />

will give you green/ blue glazes and under strong<br />

reduction it will produce copper red glazes. The red<br />

copper oxide will work likewise although in certain<br />

glazes (very stiff, viscous glazes) the red copper oxide<br />

may give you red/ brown colours in oxidation.<br />

• Bentonite: should you buy American bentonite at $5<br />

per kilo or <strong>Australia</strong>n at $1.20 a kilo? What is the<br />

difference in performance? Is the price difference due to<br />

one being imported?<br />

Any Bentonite (American, <strong>Australia</strong>n, English) is good to<br />

use as long as it is the swelling type. Sprinkle the<br />

bentonite on top of water - if it sinks to the bottom<br />

instantly, it is no good; if it swells and floats on top of<br />

the water for a minute or longer it is good.<br />

• Bone ash: natural Boneash is $8 per kilo and synthetic<br />

$11 per kilo . Why? What is the difference in the<br />

performance?<br />

Use the natural boneash as it is produced for the ceramic<br />

industry in the first place. The synthetic one is produced<br />

for the chemical industry for all sorts of applications and<br />

it is very pure and therefore expensive.<br />

• Ball clay: BBR is slightly more expensive than FX.<br />

What are the advantages/disadvantages.<br />

The BBR is more suitable due to its constant quality (it is<br />

low on impurities). The FX does not have the same wet<br />

strength or dry strength as the BBR.<br />

• Dolomite: English is $3.30 per kilo while <strong>Australia</strong>n is<br />

$1. 10 per kilo. Which should I choose and why?<br />

Dolomite is a double carbonate of calcia and magnesia.<br />

The ratio of the calcia to magnesia is not the same all<br />

over the world; in some cases it is 50/ 50 (theoretical<br />

formula), in other cases it is 25/75 or 75/ 25 depending<br />

on where it comes from. We all assume that dolomite has<br />

the theoretical formula 50/ 50 and for this reason it pays<br />

to replace it by whiting and magnesite. For example: if a<br />

glaze formula needs lO0gms of dolomite use 50gms of<br />

magnesite (always use the heavy magnesite) and 50gms<br />

of whiting.<br />

• Eckalite - what is it?<br />

Eckalite is a very pure china clay and very short of<br />

plasticity. It is useful for casting slips and for special<br />

bodies where whiteness is of paramount interest ie bone<br />

china.<br />

• Rutile - what is the difference between rutile flour and<br />

rutile sand?<br />

Rutile sand is as mined and when it is ground, say to<br />

100-200 mesh, it is called flour. Always use flour. It will<br />

stay in suspension more easily in a glaze.<br />

• Sodiums - I believe that Sodium Carbonate is also<br />

called Soda Ash. Is it the same as Soda Bicarbonate?<br />

Soda ash is anhydrous sodium carbonate. It is called<br />

soda ash because in the old days it was extracted from<br />

wood ash; it is also used in washing powders.<br />

Soda bicarbonate, also named the acid carbonate is<br />

used in cooking as a rising agent, in medication as<br />

antacid and also some potters use it in 'salt' glazing<br />

instead of salt to reduce pollution.<br />

• Zinc Oxide - should I buy densified or just plain zinc<br />

oxide?. The latter is cheaper.<br />

Glazes containing up to 10% of zinc oxide can be made<br />

with plain zinc oxide; for higher concentrations use the<br />

densified zinc. oo<br />

re<br />

01<br />

Ja<br />

tr;<br />

of<br />

II<br />

th<br />

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b(<br />

th<br />

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tr:<br />

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of<br />

w<br />

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Cc<br />

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SI,<br />

01<br />

58 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ ISSUE <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Junko Kiritani in Cairns<br />

Junko Kiritani visited <strong>Australia</strong> and had an exhibition of her work titled 'Shukyoku, The Evolution of the<br />

Earth', in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year. During her stay she held a workshop with the<br />

Cairns Potters Club in the ceramics department of Cairns TAFE. Shikuko Otsubo.<br />

-a<br />

of<br />

s<br />

f<br />

al<br />

e<br />

o<br />

ll<br />

o<br />

s<br />

s<br />

Junko Kiritani is well<br />

respected in Japan,<br />

exhibiting new works<br />

regularly in private exhibitions<br />

over the last twenty years.<br />

Japane e ceramic art has<br />

traditionally been the domain<br />

of men but since World War<br />

II more women have entered<br />

the field of ceramics. Junko<br />

Kiritani is uch an artist. She<br />

began working with clay at<br />

the age of 18 and, without the<br />

restrictions imposed by the<br />

traditional apprenticeship<br />

system, has developed a<br />

unique style of ceramics.<br />

Her forms are slab built,<br />

often tarting from 10kg slabs<br />

Which she distorts and<br />

stretches and then hollows<br />

out for firing. This keeps the<br />

exterior of the piece almost<br />

untouched. The result is<br />

surfaces with textures and<br />

fissures seemingly created by<br />

the material alone. These<br />

reflect her observation and<br />

affection for the natural<br />

world. The fired works have<br />

an internal tension which<br />

imparts a unique energy to<br />

each one. She transcends<br />

technique; she has explored<br />

the qualities of her material,<br />

clay, and lets it have its voice<br />

in finished pieces which are<br />

for the most part unglazed.<br />

The vessel forms she makes<br />

have glaze, usually a<br />

tenmoku or celadon on the<br />

inside only.<br />

: · A marbled pattern is made using a block of buff<br />

ctoUred clay onto which is placed two coils of white<br />

SI ay ( these should not reach to the outside edges of the<br />

ab). 1he slab is rolled up and lightly wedged. Use your<br />

0<br />

Pen hand to flatten and compress the block to avoid<br />

air bubbles.<br />

The final block will be the size of the finished mug. Cut<br />

the block in two and join together using a little water<br />

along the cut edge.<br />

Compress the clay with your hands and then use slats<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 59

to cut even slabs (about 5mm thick) from the block. The<br />

wire should be thin and not too stretchy. Stabilise the<br />

slats by pressing the ends against your body as you cut.<br />

If there are any holes in the cut slabs then mend them<br />

by pressing in buff clay at this stage.<br />

2. Place wet gauze on the surface and smooth it onto<br />

the clay with a flat wooden tool to emphasise pattern.<br />

Join the slab with gauze still attached.<br />

3. Make the base out of another marbled slab of clay,<br />

cut to size of clay cylinder already formed (inside<br />

diameter). Join by pressing on the base of the cylinder<br />

wall. Add an extra coil to the inside to finish the join.<br />

Keep the gauze on the outside of the piece whilst<br />

securing all edges, remove and dry slowly.<br />

4. The base of the finished vessel is not left flat but is<br />

given a lifted edge to lighten its appearance. 00<br />

<strong>No</strong>tes compiled from articles written by Hiroshi Ogawa "The Art of<br />

creating Artless Surfaces, the Ceramic Art of Junko Kiritani" and<br />

"Clay Alone" by Kim Scheufftan supplied by the a1tist.<br />

60 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Images of South Africa<br />

The full picture of life in South Africa can only be seen by those who make the effort to<br />

seek all the integral components.<br />

For <strong>September</strong> 2000, The Potters' Society of<strong>Australia</strong> is<br />

offering the chance to meet South African ceramic<br />

artists in their studios and galleries. Here, behind the<br />

scenes, varying factors of culture, location and personal<br />

creativity set the stage for the next millenium.<br />

Imaginative work springs forth from workshops hidden<br />

away amongst tranquil settings of outstanding natural<br />

beauty, scattered throughout this vast country. More than<br />

twenty South African ceramists will be involved in this<br />

programme.<br />

High quality elegant creations reflecting international<br />

influences from Japan and Europe, sit side by side with<br />

works that are unmistakenly African in design.<br />

South Africa is a melting pot of many cultures working<br />

together. The historic image of a divided nation is<br />

changing and is nowhere more obvious than in the<br />

current artworks, including ceramics.<br />

Katherine Glenday creates handbuilt, wheel thrown<br />

and sculpted work. Using porcelain fired in oxidation to<br />

stoneware temperatures her pieces have a playful quality<br />

that engages the viewer. Since 1980, Katherine has taken<br />

part in two international exhibitions, nine national<br />

exhibitions and three solo exhibitions. She has won<br />

awards and has works on display in galleries in<br />

Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria as well as the South<br />

African Cultural History Museum, Cape Town.<br />

Cilia Williams work is pit fired porcelain. Form, clean<br />

lines and symmetry are foremost in her works.<br />

Completed work is sprayed with metallic sulphates prior<br />

to being subjected to pit firing. This gives a deep richness<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 61

to the surface colours achieved in the firing.<br />

Clementina van der Walt has established her ceramic<br />

studio and craft gallery in the midst of South Africa's<br />

vibrantly green and fertile wine region. A picturesque old<br />

wine cellar with its gleaming white Cape Dutch facade<br />

creates an inspirational atmosphere in which Clementina<br />

and her assistants work. The studio produces a brightly<br />

coloured range of dinnerware. Original designs are by<br />

Clementina and are inspired by West African textiles and<br />

South African rural landscape patterns.<br />

Participants in our <strong>September</strong> 2000 programme will<br />

also witness a flourish of springtime blooms, enjoy a<br />

wildlife safari to view lion, elephant, giraffe, zebra and a<br />

wealth of nature in Kruger National Park as well as the<br />

glorious garden route and spectacular scenery around<br />

Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope. oo<br />

T<br />

u<br />

S<br />

If you would like to have more information about this trip phone<br />

Destination Management toll free 1300 307 317 or 07 3359 6651 to<br />

receive a brochure with details of this special Potters' Society of<br />

<strong>Australia</strong> event.<br />

Above: Katherine Glenday.<br />

Right: Cilia Williams, pit firing.<br />

Previous: Clementina Van de Walt, Maiolica ware.<br />

Below left and right: Images of South Africa.<br />

62 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Nill<br />

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:a's<br />

old<br />

1de<br />

:ina<br />

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by<br />

rnd<br />

Edge<br />

The 9th National Ceramics Conference was held from the 5th to the 8th of July 1 999 in Perth at the<br />

University of Western <strong>Australia</strong>. 'Identity and Change' discussed issues concerning the identity and<br />

situation of the craft practitioner and ceramic artist into the new millennium. ALISTAIR WHITE reports.<br />

ne<br />

to<br />

of<br />

Fire sculpture by JORGEN HANSEN (Denmark) and workshop participants. Unveiled before 400 fire enthusiasts.<br />

The morning after.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 63

thr<br />

Stu<br />

tirr<br />

pa1<br />

s an invited delegate to<br />

demonstrate 'Porcelain<br />

Toolmaking and Throwing<br />

Techniques', and a presenter of<br />

a paper on the Development of<br />

Overglaze Colours in Japan,<br />

much preparation took place<br />

before I arrived in Perth.<br />

When I finally arrived the<br />

Conference was quite a<br />

revelation to me , not having<br />

been to one in ten years. There<br />

were quite a few overseas<br />

delegates who were taking part in various ways. <strong>In</strong> the<br />

week prior to the conference there were a series of<br />

workshops at the Western <strong>Australia</strong>n School of Art, Design<br />

and Media. The artists included Torbjorn Kvasbo<br />

(<strong>No</strong>rway), Christine Thacker (NZ), Martin Willis (<strong>Australia</strong>),<br />

Nino Caruso (Italy), Astrid Gerhartz (Germany), Jorgen<br />

Hansen (Denmark), and Jeff Oestreich (USA).<br />

Wrapped in ceramic fibre blanket for firing.<br />

Removing the fibre blanket.<br />

Photos Cher Shackleton.<br />

So as you can imagine, by the<br />

time I arrived on the Sunday<br />

night (4th July), there was already<br />

a spirit of action among the local<br />

potters. I stayed at St Georges<br />

College where the majority of the<br />

interstate and overseas potters<br />

were billeted. My first meal was<br />

to go out with some of the local<br />

potters, Nino Caruso ( who I had<br />

met many years ago in Japan),<br />

Jeff Oestreich and Sebastian<br />

Blackie (a ceramic educator from<br />

the UK). This type or after hours activity set the tone for<br />

what was to happen right through the conference. Potters of<br />

many persuasions would get together and eat discussing the<br />

events of the days activities, lectures, Keynote Speakers,<br />

while making contacts and networking. A very rich<br />

environment that kept one on a high of activity and meant<br />

sound sleep when the chance finally came.<br />

me<br />

Jar<br />

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me<br />

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64 POTTERY IN A USTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

the<br />

lay<br />

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),<br />

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The potters who attended could be broken up into<br />

three or four main groups. The teachers and lecturers,<br />

students, professional full time potters and interested part<br />

timers also not forgetting suppliers and other related<br />

parties.<br />

There were four main Keynote speakers, one each<br />

morning after the housekeeping session. They included:<br />

Janet Mansfield, Edmund de Waal, Paul Mathieu and<br />

Steven Goldate. These were all thought provoking,<br />

stimulating sessions, especially Edmund de Waal's talk on<br />

'The Language of Authentic <strong>Pottery</strong>', which I enjoyed the<br />

most and included some details of his recent book on<br />

Bernard Leach. This also seemed to be the general<br />

consensus after this talk. Paul Mathieu's talk on 'The<br />

Depreciated Legacy' was also most stimulating though the<br />

quality of many of his slides was disappointing. Steven<br />

Goldate's talk, '<strong>In</strong>side the ew White Cube' also<br />

provoked much discussion though the ideas expressed<br />

were less popular and very provokative. His use of<br />

technology was impressive. I feel that there is still quite a<br />

lot of resistance to the concept of virtual ceramics that<br />

only exist inside cyber space among potters who all<br />

follow the tactile actuality of the three dimensional world<br />

of ceramics as we know it. Yet this is no doubt a new art<br />

form that is here to stay, though I doubt that it will ever<br />

replace more traditional ceramic practices.<br />

After each keynote address delegates dispersed to<br />

follow their choice of the diverse program. I still find it<br />

frustrating that I cannot get to hear all the presentations.<br />

The choice can often be difficult and I am sure that there<br />

are others like myself that are hanging out for the<br />

transcripts of the Conference to catch up on many<br />

sections that . were missed, though this still precludes the<br />

slide presentations.<br />

Half of my time at the Conference was spent<br />

demonstrating along with a diverse group of potters<br />

showing great skills in many areas. A veritable feast of<br />

knowledge and techniques. I was impressed with just<br />

how diverse ceramics has become in <strong>Australia</strong> in the last<br />

twenty years. Great throwing skill can be found as well<br />

as sculptural and non functional. While there may not be<br />

much depth of tradition in <strong>Australia</strong>, we have certainly<br />

come of age in the area of ceramic arts. <strong>No</strong>w we only<br />

need the buying public to catch up and be educated.<br />

I must also mention the interesting diversity of trade<br />

booths that also graced the hall where demonstrations<br />

took place. Without the back up of the suppliers,<br />

magazines and organisations we would not be where we<br />

are today.<br />

The first night of the Conference culminated in the<br />

opening of a kiln fired sculpture that had been built on<br />

site at the university and wrapped in ceramic fibre to<br />

Above and over: Some creative approaches to 'Pulling<br />

the Longest Handle' in the Clay Olympics.<br />

Photos Lyn Robinson.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 65

enable firing. This was a magical moment when the fibre<br />

panels were taken away revealing the hot glowing<br />

structure that had all the appearance of a cathedral or<br />

shrine to ceramics, encircled by a large crowd of<br />

admiring potters.<br />

There was never any excuse for nothing to do at the<br />

conference after hours. Many a discussion went on long<br />

into the night and there were other wild activities that I<br />

heard of second hand. The range of exhibitions on in<br />

Perth during the Conference also presented another<br />

challenge. I actually waited until after the conference<br />

and spent a few days until my return, going around as<br />

many of the exhibitions as possible, making contacts.<br />

There were certainly some impressive things to see.<br />

Perth certainly has some galleries to be proud of<br />

though I am sure that this range of ceramics must have<br />

been a first.<br />

The Conference conveners must be congratulated for<br />

putting together an excellent Conference that attracted a<br />

great many potters and dealt with a great many issues.<br />

They demonstrated the strength of, and interest in,<br />

ceramics in Western <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

The Conference finished with the Clay Olympics which<br />

was a great romp for all those who took part, especially<br />

the event where you had to throw a pot with some part<br />

of the body apart from the hands. Those who observed<br />

this will not forget it in a hurry. The wind up Barn dance<br />

showed a wild freedom and abandon that these<br />

conferences are renowned for. People hung around at<br />

the end not wishing to leave, chatting with new found<br />

friends and old acquaintances.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w one must look forward to the next conference in<br />

Melbourne.<br />

One or two other points that came out of this<br />

conference that I felt were of importance:<br />

The use of the internet. As potters we need to know<br />

what is out there and make use of what is out there. Also<br />

due to this new medium we have to consider ways of<br />

reinventing our audience.<br />

Ceramics in <strong>Australia</strong> is struggling with galleries closing<br />

down (recent examples being the Metro Craft Centre in<br />

Melbourne and Distelfink Gallery), the constant struggle<br />

to get an audience and the ongoing difficulty with<br />

funding, be that for institutions or individuals through<br />

grants.<br />

There is a great need for funding to help potters get on<br />

the net. This funding is likely to do more that anything<br />

else to find a new audience and promote <strong>Australia</strong>n<br />

ceramics.<br />

Potters also need to get together and organise<br />

themselves as there is increasingly little or no outside<br />

help. It is all user pays. oo<br />

l<br />

ass<br />

incr<br />

an<br />

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• If<br />

Alistiar Whyte<br />

66 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

g<br />

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cts.<br />

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of<br />

The teapot, which originated in China in the 14th<br />

century, has long been considered a symbol of<br />

hospitality and friendliness. To some extent these<br />

associations remain, yet in recent years, with the<br />

increased use of teabags, the teapot has become less of<br />

an everyday utensil and more for use on special<br />

occassions. Yet the production of an aesthetically<br />

THE BODY<br />

The best form for the body of a teapot is low and squat.<br />

This helps infusion by allowing the water to be in greater<br />

contact with the tea, it keeps the tea hotter and it is a<br />

more stable form. A great variety of shapes and form is<br />

still possible within these constraints.<br />

THE LID<br />

A teapot lid should remain in place when the tea is<br />

poured. Theoretically it should be possible to turn the<br />

teapot almost upside down and have the lid remain in<br />

place. This can be achieved in several ways.<br />

• The gallery on the lid should be long enough to catch<br />

on the rim of the pot when pouring, although not so<br />

long that it occupies too much space in the pot.<br />

• If the gallery is on the pot and not on the lid, a piece<br />

Teapots<br />

Article by GLENN ENGLAND *<br />

pleasing, good functional teapot remains a challenge for<br />

many potters.<br />

Although the construction of each component part is<br />

relatively simple, there are a number of design and<br />

technical considerations which govern the succesful<br />

combination of these. Here are a few points to<br />

consider.<br />

of clay applied or left under the lid can act as a<br />

counter balance.<br />

• Often a double gallery is used, ie a gallery on the pot<br />

and also the lid.<br />

n<br />

g<br />

il<br />

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<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 67

Th<br />

sp,<br />

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to<br />

dif<br />

rel:<br />

lug<br />

CL<br />

Ar<br />

ins<br />

'Br,<br />

om<br />

• Sometimes a tag of clay is added to the gallery on the<br />

lid to keep it in place. This can be vulnerable. A better<br />

solution is to ease our a small area on the gallery. See<br />

diagram below.<br />

• The lid should be a good close fit.<br />

• The lid should have a hole in it to allow air to enter<br />

whilst pouring.<br />

• The knob should relate to the form and can be thrown<br />

or handbuilt. If thrown, allow adequate height<br />

between the lid and the knob for a comfortable grip<br />

(at least one finger). See diagram at bottom.<br />

als<br />

sh,<br />

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ad<br />

me<br />

thr<br />

po<br />

Finger high<br />

approx.<br />

Teased out lip<br />

on gallery<br />

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The spout can be 'thrown, pulled over a form or cast. It<br />

normally tapers from a full base. This acts as a reservoir<br />

for the tea whilst pouring.<br />

The type of spout used should suit the form and the<br />

lip of the spout should be positioned higher than or level<br />

with, the top of the teapot body.<br />

When adding the spout I position it at a slightly<br />

higher angle than required as it tends to drop abit<br />

during the process.<br />

Before applying thE spout, holes are cut in the body to<br />

act as a strainer for the tea. Line up the spout and mark<br />

the position on the pot by tracing around the base of the<br />

spout. Allow space for joining and drill a series of holes.<br />

These should be clean and clear, inside and out. I use a<br />

drill bit or a tapered hole maker.<br />

The area for the sieve can be thinned before making the<br />

holes. This stops the glaze build up in the holes. The area can<br />

fun<br />

cor<br />

aes<br />

Gle<br />

TAI<br />

*ReJ<br />

68 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

nter<br />

Wil<br />

ght<br />

rip<br />

also be tapped into a concave shape as the resultant convex<br />

shape inside the teapot keeps the sieve clear of tea leaves.<br />

Timing, when joining, is very important. Dont let the<br />

body of the tepot dry out too much. The spout should be<br />

added whilst fairly soft at its base. This allows it to be<br />

more easily moulded to the shape of the body. I usually<br />

throw my spouts on the same day I am assembling the<br />

pots and dry them out to the required state.<br />

After joining the spout the end may be cut diagonally.<br />

This helps the teApot to pour more smoothly. A thrown<br />

spout will often twist in the firing. It will twist in a<br />

clockwise direction if thrown anti clockwise. This needs<br />

to be allowed for when cutting the spout. <strong>In</strong>dividuals<br />

differ but a good starting point is to cut it on an angle<br />

relative to five to/ twenty five past on the clockface.<br />

To prevent dribbling, the angle of the lip is important.<br />

It should follow the flow of the spout.<br />

Cut about 45°C<br />


Handles may be pulled, extruded, rolled out, thrown or<br />

cast. The type of handle chosen should suit the form and<br />

balance the pot. A back positioned handle or an<br />

overhead handle may be used. A back handle should be<br />

comfortable, well balanced and large enough so that the<br />

hand does not touch the pot.<br />

Overhead handles made from clay can be vulnerable<br />

when cleaning the pot and cane handles are often used.<br />

Be sure the handle is high enough for easy removal of<br />

the lid. The lugs for cane handles should not be too large<br />

or thin. Smaller compact lugs are less vulnerbaable but<br />

make them big enough to accomodate the cane handle<br />

after shrinkage. They can be pinched so that the handle<br />

does not swing while pouring.<br />

Again, timing is important when joining the handle or<br />

lugs.<br />

Area for joining<br />

to<br />

rk<br />

e<br />

.S.<br />

a<br />

e<br />

il<br />


A red earthenware clay is traditionally said to be the best<br />

insulator and keeps the tea hotter, as used in the old<br />

'Brown Betty' teapots, but a well vitrified stoneware clay<br />

one is stronger, will not seep and is easier to keep clean.<br />

The glaze on the inside of the teapot should be<br />

functional and preferable non-craze.<br />

All the components of a teapot need to be carefully<br />

considered so that they combine to form a cohesive,<br />

aesthetically pleasing, functional form.<br />

Happy teapotting! oo<br />

Glenn England is a teacher in Ceramics at Chilsolm <strong>In</strong>stitute of<br />

TAPE, Victoria.<br />

*Reprinted with permission from the VCG ewsletter<br />

Angle of cut<br />

Area<br />

for<br />

joining<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 69

HANDS ON<br />


A<br />

selection of engobes in twelve strong colours is<br />

now available. These highly opaque engobes may<br />

be used as a covering colour to hide bisque<br />

imperfections (as is often done in the tile industry) or to<br />

change the background colour before decoration.<br />

For example, to completely block out a terracotta<br />

body, a white engobe could be applied first. An<br />

underglaze with clear glaze or colour glaze may then be<br />

applied to the unfired CGA engobe surface before a once<br />

only firing.<br />

Of course it is not necessary to use an underglaze or<br />

clear glaze - use of different engobe colours is in itself<br />

0<br />

zmosis Plaster Moulds became an entity to provide<br />

the <strong>Australia</strong>n craft community with <strong>Australia</strong>n<br />

made moulds - an alternative to the<br />

overwhelmingly imported product. Their designs cover<br />

most <strong>Australia</strong>n themes that are inspired by our most<br />

recognisable totems. The moulds can be cast to add<br />

'<strong>Australia</strong>na' to almost any ceramic situation.<br />

The range of add-on sprig moulds have been of great<br />

interest to practicing potters to add to the mugs or<br />

platters they make - or to sculptors who use cast objects<br />

as adjuncts to the objects they make for selling in tourist<br />

and craft outlets around the country.<br />

Ozmosis has its operations in a forest on the mid <strong>No</strong>rth<br />

Coast of NSW. The landscape of lush valleys, ocean,<br />

rivers and forests provide a creative working environment<br />

that is peaceful and private. Sally Hook and Peter Quirk<br />

started their business after a move from the city. Sally's<br />

ceramic sculptures of <strong>Australia</strong>n fauna and fanciful<br />

objects were so popular that the process of working with<br />

moulds became a necessary alternative to repeating the<br />

same hand built forms over and over again. But instead<br />

another form of decoration - especially suited to natural<br />

effects, and the colours are intermixeable to achieve the<br />

required tones. Colours available are red, purple, dark<br />

and light blue and green, orange, bright yellow, black,<br />

white, beige and pale apricot. Engobes may be ordered<br />

in 250ml, 500ml and larger quantities can can be supplied<br />

in spray, dip or brush on consistencies. oo<br />

For supplioers contact Ceramic Glazes of <strong>Australia</strong>,<br />

Ph: 03 9887 1702, Fax: 039801 4650<br />

email: cgaust@bigpond.com.au<br />


of getting into production of the finished product, the<br />

moulds became the interest for a special market. After 13<br />

years of development of their range of moulds, Ozmosis .<br />

is a growing production house in mould design and<br />

finished ware.<br />

Speciality production moulds for organisations other<br />

than Ozmosis' own can be made to specific requirements<br />

- either from existing work of a client's or modelled to a<br />

client's instructions. oo<br />

Enquiries to Ozmosis Ph/Fax: 0265 681 903,<br />

email: Ozmosis-moulds@hotmail.com<br />

Catalogues can be mailed on request but a small charge of $5 is<br />

requested for this.<br />

Ozmosis Plaster Moulds, Soldier Settlers Road, Newee Creek, via<br />

Macksville 2447<br />

t<br />

i.J<br />

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70 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

e<br />

13<br />

is<br />

d<br />

Hot to Pot<br />

A Summer School experience with Jane Crick at Pender Lea, Jindabyne.<br />

Article by SHELAGH GOWEN<br />

ral<br />

he<br />

irk<br />

ck,<br />

ed<br />

ed<br />

an inexperienced potter (or should I say an<br />

nexperienced person who pots occassionally), the<br />

itle of Jane's course intrigued, not only my<br />

husband but myself. We were both keen to extend our<br />

knowledge, and a practical workshop specialising in<br />

primitive firing, with lots of 'hands on' was just what we<br />

were looking for.<br />

Jan'e natural approach to her own work is to use<br />

traditional handbuilding techniques of pinching, coiling<br />

and slab work. (although her finished, slab built, non<br />

functional white forms cannot be called primitive, but<br />

refined and elegant).<br />

Jane had the unenviable task of delivering, to a very mixed<br />

bag (in age, background and experience), enough<br />

information and technical expertise, to enable each of us to<br />

create, dry, burnish, have bisqued, glaze and fire pots using<br />

both raku and sawdust methods. All in the space of five days!<br />

The venue was tremendous, a chalet at Pender Lea<br />

where we talked, shared ideas, and were provided with<br />

excellent sustenance for both mind and body. <strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

came from videos, journals and books but also from<br />

within ourselves and from our surroundings.<br />

The nine of us produced various shapes, using all<br />

methods shown to us, from pinch pots to slab and coil<br />

work. There were the adventurous and the cautious, the<br />

large and the small. Organic forms , naturalistic and<br />

identifiable or functional, like Susie's garden light.<br />

The weather turned against us on the second and third<br />

day and made drying difficult. But, I soon found out why<br />

'hairdryer' was on the list of things to bring! <strong>In</strong><br />

conjunction with a plastic bag, it made a very effective<br />

drying capsule.<br />

Jane introduced us to at least one new skill, and most<br />

of us to many more, so the only questions that beg being<br />

asked are when is the next 'Hot to Pot' workshop and<br />

what do I do with a haird1yer in Queensland. oo<br />

Next Workshop: February 2000. Contact Jane Crick: 02 6281 2594<br />

er<br />

ts<br />

a<br />

is<br />

ia<br />

Left<br />

Loading the kiln.<br />

Above<br />

Lifting pots from the kiln.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 71

Q &A<br />

]<br />


-<br />

I<br />

'd like to thank Leonard Smith for his recipe, (Issue<br />

37 /2, June 1998, page 59, <strong>Pottery</strong> in <strong>Australia</strong>). 'Leo's<br />

Transparent Glaze' - It's really great. Also thanks for the<br />

midrange satin matt of Tricia Dean, Issue 36/ 3, Spring<br />

1997 page 61. Many thanks.<br />

After an absence of over twenty years from potting - I<br />

had forgotten anything I may have learned but these two<br />

glazes worked despite overfiring by many degrees and<br />

applying them too thick/thin over really doubtful objects.<br />

It worked so well I am thrilled to the pink. <strong>No</strong>t a single<br />

run!<br />

I tried Leo's colour additions and got a most beautiful<br />

green glaze.<br />

Also thanks to Leo for his kiln plan which is a good<br />

guideline for building a gas kiln.<br />

I love the magazine and it is so helpful getting a glaze<br />

or two that you can trust. I feel like potting - Yippee!<br />

I hope you can help with the following questions.<br />

Lurline Farmer<br />

• Because my old kiln is past its use by date I am keen not<br />

to over tax it and hope to stay around 1220°C<br />

<strong>No</strong>w I am really keen to try out Leo's glaze in the mid<br />

firing range - and wonder if its possible to use Nepheline<br />

Syenite to reduce the temperature from cone 9 to cone 7.<br />

As you are aware my transparent glaze has a very wide<br />

firing range and I'm pleased that it is working for you.<br />

Whilst the substitution of part or all of the feldspar with<br />

nepheline syenite in a glaze will help to bring the firing<br />

temperature down, it is never that simple. Due to<br />

nepheline syenite's high soda content and proportionally<br />

higher silica, it will in fact be a very different glaze.<br />

My advice would be to add small amounts of frit to<br />

your base glaze to bring its firing range down with<br />

minimal effect on the glaze quality.<br />

Tty a line blend of the base glaze with 10 or 15 % of<br />

Frit 3124 and you should find a suitable glaze somewhere<br />

on the line.<br />

• Can I use Leo's transparent glaze with additives to get a<br />

white Glaze? I am into china painting and would like a<br />

really reliable white that fires around 1220 - 1250°C<br />

The addition of 10% of an opacifier such as Zirconium<br />

Silicate should give you a stable white although I have<br />

never tried it. I'm sure that you are aware that most china<br />

painting was done on the soft surface of bone china. The<br />

glaze was clear and the body was white. A lot of blanks<br />

sold to china painters today have a porcelain body with a<br />

thin clear glaze over it. You may wish to explore these<br />

avenues to produce your own pots to decorate with china<br />

paint (on glaze enamels)<br />

• When I was in the Brisbane TAFE college in 1973 we<br />

were given a great glaze which did not run and was lovely<br />

to look at - I think it was called Shiga Shigeo 's Red. It fired<br />

to 1280°C in medium reduction.<br />

The recipe was:<br />

Potash Feldspar 54<br />

Silica 24<br />

China Clay 5<br />

Bentonite 3<br />

Magnesium Carbonate 7<br />

Bone Ash 13<br />

Red Iron oxide 13<br />

The glaze you mention is in fact the original 'Shiga's Red'<br />

that ,thanks to its use by Shiga Shigeo during his long<br />

residence in <strong>Australia</strong> before returning to Japan to<br />

reestablish himself, spread through out potters' studios in<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

It is an excellent glaze that works nearly as well in<br />

oxidation as it does in reduction giving the well known<br />

tomato red effect. Of course it is very variable and relies<br />

heavily on long firing and slow cooling for its most<br />

lustrous effects.<br />

Leonard Smith<br />

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72 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>


-31.<br />

um<br />

1ve<br />

ina<br />

be<br />

ks<br />

a<br />

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any thanks to the Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong> for<br />

the Experimental Firing Day. I know how hard<br />

committees work to organise and run these<br />

occassions, and much credit is due to your team for the<br />

effort and enthusiasm put into the day. Steve and Janine<br />

were very generous with their help and information. Even<br />

the weather was perfect. My friend Karen Brown, is a<br />

new potter whose enthusiasm for the various primitive<br />

kinds of firing has only been increased by the obvious<br />

success of bonfire and woodblock kilns. All in all it was a<br />

most enjoyable and informative day. I hope I get the<br />

opportunity to join in some future Potters' Society events.<br />

• Jo Murray<br />

I<br />

am a student of Barrier Reef TAFE and was thrilled to<br />

have a photo of my work published in the Student<br />

addition. However, my pride turned to disappointment<br />

when another student's name was attached to my work.<br />

I can only hope that this was not my chance at 15<br />

minutes of fame.<br />

If nothing else, this<br />

incident has made me<br />

determined to produce<br />

work of a high standard,<br />

and be published again.<br />

So remember me ...<br />

• Elizabeth Millar<br />

Editor: Apologies for the<br />

mistake - but you've got<br />

the attitude right - I look<br />

forward to your progress.<br />

Elizabeth Millar<br />

I<br />

t has come to my attention that stringency in health and<br />

safety licencing regulations may be going too far.<br />

According to my local supplier of raw glazing<br />

materials, 'Health & Safety ' regulations have caused him<br />

to drop off reselling three items last year since he would<br />

have had to obtain a Poisons Licence and be both<br />

premises inspected and regulated in:<br />

1 Signage on the product<br />

2 Unable sell glaze materials by the plastic bag full (small<br />

quantities) - must be in screw top containers.<br />

3 Special products must be stored in a separate room to<br />

all other products.<br />

4 Obliged to increase Workers Compensation premiums<br />

substantially.<br />

It appears a planned changeover to the new regulations<br />

will affect more and more products. Strangely it is not the<br />

heavy metal products like Barium etc that is affectd. (this<br />

could be sold without a poinsons label!) but it is the<br />

lighter, dustier products. Silica 200# as you know is such<br />

a product, and, while I agree silicosis is a disease to be<br />

avoided at all costs with due care by the user, we potters<br />

will be unable to purchase this raw material ourselves<br />

without a Poisons Licence because that is· what the<br />

legislation will entail if it comes in.<br />

This small family business owner judges that it will<br />

increase his costs out of bounds and he will be 'forced'<br />

(by being unable to afford compliance) not to stock these<br />

affected materials.<br />

I agree that there should be suitable signage on all<br />

products with toxic/health handling problems and with<br />

potters being reminded every time they reach for that<br />

product to wear appropriate safety gear for the requirement.<br />

To have to become a Poisoned Licenced potter though?<br />

(Apparently the Licence isn't too cheap either.)<br />

With smaller resellers supplies drying up before too<br />

long, where will we be able to purchase smaller<br />

quantities? ot everyone wants to buy 25kg bags from<br />

major mineral suppliers ( or has the space to store this),<br />

but if legislation were to stop us from being able to<br />

purchase, then where are we?<br />

Somehow, we need more voices to speak up on taking<br />

Licencing too far, health and handling is one thing, but<br />

we have to be guided surely on what they did on aerosol<br />

packs - issue warnings on the us.e of products but all<br />

responsibility is the users - to see to it that it is used safely<br />

and that should be it - we dont have to have a special<br />

Licence to spray garden pesticides, so why not adopt this<br />

common sense approach in these matters also.<br />

I'm currently in my second year of the Bachelor of Fine<br />

Arts at the National Art School where Glaze Technology<br />

plays a major role, I certainly wouldn't like to be relegated<br />

to having to buy prepackaged liquid glazes at ilie end of<br />

my course, just when I'm beginning to see some of the<br />

exciting possibilities of making my own glazes!<br />

• Sharron Woolley<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 73

New Releases<br />

J_<br />

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Simply <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

A practical course in basic pottery ttc n q<br />

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A practical course in basic pottery techniques<br />

Sara Pearch with text by Geraldine Christy<br />

Published by Simon & Schuster<br />

Rrp: $24.95<br />

fac<br />

Pr,<br />

Of<br />

This is a very nicely produced how-to book for<br />

beginners. It is stylish and in full colour.<br />

It tackles the basic equipment and space needed<br />

and simple information about types of clays and clay<br />

preparation.<br />

After a very short introduction to handbuilding<br />

techniques (pinching, coiling and slabs), throwing and a<br />

couple of decorating techniques, it moves on to specific<br />

projects for each technique. There are over 25 projects<br />

in all. Each project is shown step by step with handy<br />

hints and good clear instructions from start to firing. The<br />

projects are very straight forward - candle lantern,<br />

buttons, vase, slab dishes, wind chimes and many more.<br />

Each finished piece is photographed in situ to make it<br />

appealing. Many of the projects would also suit<br />

children.<br />

The throwing section covers basic projects like bowls,<br />

plates, mug and additions such as lids and handles. It is<br />

brief but again the clear pictures are very helpful as a<br />

starting point.<br />

This is a good start for someone just beginning who<br />

wants basic information and a practical start. It would<br />

also suit children and teenagers looking for projects they<br />

could easily tackle.<br />

Sue Buckle<br />

74 POTTERY IN A USTRALIA + 37/2 W INTER 1998<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 74


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I have to say how much I enjoyed the ino Caruso<br />

workshop I attended at the recent ational Conference<br />

held in Perth. I am still responding to the content ideas<br />

and enthusiasm of Nino. Gatherings such as this give<br />

everyone an overview of what's going around the traps. It<br />

was a pleasure.<br />

Queensland is hosting its own State Conference in<br />

<strong>September</strong> and hopes for a similar success on a statewide<br />

basis. The Queensland Potters Association is the host<br />

organisation, and the venue this year is Toowoomba with<br />

a two day program with focus sessions on public art and<br />

training included.<br />

Over the last twelve months QPA has seen lots of new<br />

faces on both the Board and staff with Lee Labrie as<br />

President and Marcus Hughes as the new Executive<br />

Officer, replacing Bernice Gerrand who has headed to<br />

T<br />

his section is made possible by the PIA<br />

representatives in each state generously<br />

donating their time to provide a quarterley<br />

report. By volunteering their time they fulfill an<br />

important role in promoting ceramic art in <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

They are, without exception, enthusiastic members<br />

of their local ceramics community who play a<br />

crucial part in the publication of this magazine.<br />

They keep me in touch with exhibitions, new<br />

artists, events and much more in their state. I could<br />

not keep the magazine truly national in its content<br />

without them.<br />

Let them know what is happening, they need and<br />

value your imput as do our readers.<br />

Sydney for a position with the <strong>Australia</strong> Council.<br />

Many ceramists are hoping with the Queensland State<br />

Government's new Art Built in policy - which will be a<br />

2% public art levy on certain projects over $250,000 at the<br />

clay, that the clay fraternity will benefit through broader<br />

professional opportunities in this area. This policy should<br />

generally enliven the visual arts industry to everyone's<br />

benefit, which is great news.<br />

A new gallery space has arrived on the scene with<br />

quite an impact in Brisbane recently. Space 43 is<br />

codirected by Clare Llewelyn and icole Sylvestre. The<br />

Gallery at 43 Vulture Street St (west end), has hosted<br />

several solo and group shows in the few months it has<br />

been operating, featuring bodies of work by both Sandra<br />

Lancaster and Warren Palmer with Steven Roberts and<br />

myself as well. The two directors are enthusiastic,<br />

supportive and dedicated to providing an exciting<br />

contemporary arts venue for Brisbane.<br />

Recently Robert Burton from <strong>No</strong>rth Queensland had a<br />

very successful show at Fusions Gallery with his<br />

individual caricatures of the animal world.<br />

David Bange, a recent Masters Graduate from James<br />

Cook University participated in a group show focussing<br />

on fish at the Contemporary Art & Design Gallery at<br />

Woolloongabba with swirling schools of fish adorning the<br />

wall and a large standard floor vase towering above eye<br />

level. David has a fresh and brash way of handling clay<br />

and image, which is in part both irreverent, full of fun<br />

and abit of a diary of his own life's journey.<br />

Some sad news - many potters in and around<br />

Queensland will be saddened to hear of the recent loss of<br />

Dean Daddow who had been a part of the Ceramics<br />

Department at Southbank <strong>In</strong>stitute of TAFE for many<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 75


l<br />

years. Dean was a stalwart to staff and students alike for<br />

many generations of graduates and always managed to<br />

problem solve and lend both reason and good humour to<br />

all his endeavours. He will be greatly missed.<br />

• Stephanie Outridge-Field Ph: 07 <strong>38</strong>57 2679<br />

email: outridgejield@one.net.au<br />


With the season of ceramic competitions upon us in the<br />

north we started off at Mt Isa with Chris Harford awarding<br />

prizes to Leonie Wood, Helen Taylor and Shirleen<br />

Hudyma. Chris went on to run a raku workshop there<br />

and has more recently enthused potters here in<br />

Townsville and Charters Towers.<br />

Patsy Hely judged the Townsville Ceramic Competition<br />

splitting the major acquisitive Award of $2000 between<br />

Sandra Black and Robin King. Other winners in this<br />

competition were Gwynn Hanssen Piggott, Elizabeth Milgate,<br />

Andrew Cope, Rick Wood, Len Cook, Jane Skepper, Delilah<br />

van Wyk and Neil Hoffmann. This annual competition gives<br />

the local potting community the opportunity to view current<br />

trends in ceramics from all over <strong>Australia</strong> and we hope it will<br />

continue to be strongly suppo1ted.<br />

Pioneer Potters in MacKay hold their competition<br />

shortly with Jenuarrie as judge and this year the Cairns<br />

Potters Club is celebrating its 25th Jubilee with the<br />

'Melting Pot' competition in October<br />

and home to many disciplines of visual and performing arts.<br />

The VCG committee are extremely busy organising the move<br />

to Box Hill and preparing for the Paula Frost workshop.<br />

Plans are under way for the very popular event, Festival in<br />

Ceramics, for the middle of next year, more information will<br />

be available later. Work is under way organising the 2002<br />

Forum, called Pressure Point. This national event will deal<br />

with change and the new millinneum and promises to be<br />

more interactive than a conference.<br />

The VCG has approximately 500 members who enjoy the<br />

benefits of the bi-monthly newsletter, opportunity to exhibit<br />

and sell their work, exhibition experience and support is<br />

available to students, affordable and diverse workshops to<br />

attend, meetings and contacts with other potters and the<br />

opportunity to join the committee. The VCG have been<br />

promoting excellence in Ceramics for thirty years and a<br />

retrospective sample of their collection on display at the<br />

"Clay Fever" exhibition at the Chapel Gallery, Prahran.<br />

• Marg Hornbuckle Ph: 03 9584 4536<br />


A Sunday drive to visit some of the SALA (SA Living<br />

Artists Week) open studios and exhibitions was very<br />

exciting. The views of the tremendous work being<br />

achieved reconstructing the Freeway into the hills were<br />

awe inspiring - engineers as artists?<br />

Finding some of the studios was more difficult than<br />

negotiating the roadworks. Once there, the backtracking<br />

• Wendy Bainbridge Ph: 07 477 15044<br />

through unfamiliar terrain was forgotten as we admired<br />

. VICTORIA<br />

the ceramics, paintings and more.<br />

Due to the closure of the Metro!, the Victorian Ceramic Down on the plains, the Adelaide Potters Club 50th<br />

Group office has moved to the Box Hill Community Arts Anniversary Exhibition in <strong>September</strong> is one to look<br />

Centre until the future of the Metro! has been decided. TI1e forward to. The Elizabeth Potters, out in the northern<br />

Box Hill Community Arts Centre have made available office suburbs, continue to hold evening workshops, inviting<br />

space so business will continue as previously. At this centre · various local potters to come and share their skills. They<br />

space is also available for exhibitions and the clay studio may are a sociable lot enjoying clay, music and laughter. Their<br />

be used for workshops. This centre is a foendly environment clubrooms even boast a dancefloor!<br />

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First Prize (for wheelwork) at the Tea Tree Gully Art<br />

and <strong>Pottery</strong> exhibition won by Peter Ward for a beautiful<br />

gold lustred teapot and First Prize for Free Form Sculpture<br />

to Leo Neuhofer, for his intricately woven day basket. The<br />

entries, as is usual for this 'SA only' competition, were of a<br />

high standard and it was nice that the promotion for this<br />

event even carried a quote from <strong>Pottery</strong> in <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

I've been carrying out a soft survey of the age of<br />

people actively potting in SA and it seems, interestingly,<br />

the majority are over 40. It would be good to find out<br />

why more young people are not coming into ceramics - is<br />

this a national trend?<br />

South <strong>Australia</strong>n Studio Potters Club has moved from<br />

Sussex Street to newer and larger premises at 1 Fourth<br />

Avenue, Klemzig. A new Gallery at 54 Og Road, Klemzig<br />

should be open in time for the Fringe Festival at<br />

February/March 2000.<br />

• Maggie Smith Ph: 08 833 7 9854 Fax: 08 8239 1156<br />


• Lesa Farrant continues to be the centre of rumours<br />

about her new work. A bit risque , these double<br />

entendre - or is it single entendre? - works utilising<br />

decal imagery that makes Benny Hill look lewd (or so<br />

rumour has it).<br />

• ot content with winning the big cheque for sculpture<br />

(Tea Tree Gully Art Awards) Leo euhofer managed to<br />

win support from Arts SA for a project grant. Leo & Lisa<br />

will be taking up residencies at the University of SA.<br />

• Kylie Waters, working at the Jam Factory, has almost<br />

completed her mentorship with Marea Gazzard. Kylie's<br />

sculptural and 'cluster' pots have been seen as part of<br />

SALA at the Jam Factory.<br />

• The Jewish Museum in Melbourne commissioned Kylie<br />

Duncan - also at the Jam Factory - to create special<br />

ritual ewers and vessels for ceremonial use.<br />

• Long term day addict and notorious sponge decorator,<br />

Peter Andersson is taking time out to tackle the resorts<br />

and spas of Italy. We expect a post card Peter. Also<br />

Robin Best, in Europe courtesy of the <strong>Australia</strong> Council.<br />

• The inexhaustible juggernaut that is Gerry Wedd has<br />

just rolled another lumpy area of day practice flat and<br />

into shape. His recent Blue and White exhibition has<br />

caused quite a stir. Gerry's insouciant humour is well<br />

matched to his lyrical and louche interpretations of<br />

Willow ware. It's on at the Jam Factory.<br />

• Ben Booth and Suzie Chapman continue to get funky<br />

and hi-fi-sci-fi with their new Big Carrot Studio.<br />

• Two recent Public Art works of note that feature<br />

ceramics are the Maslins Beach Ammenities with tile<br />

works by Irene Dougan and Regent Gardens Reserve<br />

art works by Andrew Stock.<br />

• Jacinta Ivory has been accepted to Banff.<br />

• Stephen Bowers, Jam Factory, Lion Arts Centre<br />


With so much news from the July Conference in Perth<br />

already in the magazine (and much more to come), this<br />

seemed an appropriate time to give Lyn a break from<br />

reporting. She does a very thorough job for the magazine<br />

and is a crucial link for me with what's on in WA. It was<br />

great to catch up with her whilst in Perth. I look forward<br />

From left to right: Lyn Robinson, Jane Crick and<br />

Stephanie Outridge-field, Central TAFE Wasad Gallery.<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN A USTRALIA 77


to her next report and encourage the WA ceramics<br />

community to help keep her informed.<br />

• Lyn Robinson Ph/Fax 08 9244 3013<br />

email: lister@wantree.com.au<br />


"This Way Up" Exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary<br />

Craft, in Sydney throughout August is showcasing some<br />

exciting contemporary craft and three dimensional design<br />

from 19 specifically selected graduates. These included<br />

two graduates from Southern Cross University - Tara<br />

Cuthbert exhibiting a ceramic/mixed media piece called<br />

'Collect Two' and Silva Bond's 'Glass Laces 1 & 2'.<br />

On my visit to Sydney I couldn't help but notice Jenny<br />

Orchard's work in many galleries around Sydney. As a<br />

practicing artist, I felt inspired and encouraged by her<br />

ability to make, exhibit and sell. It is evidence that<br />

ceramic art is definately out there and thriving.<br />

Ceramic artists on the Far <strong>No</strong>rth Coast have an<br />

opportunity to exhibit their work in local businesses<br />

throughout Byron Bay for the month of August. This is a<br />

community initiative, and encourages local artists.<br />

The Annual Tea Tree Plantation Sculpture Show, which<br />

incorporates many sculptural mediums, is currently<br />

gearing up for its fourth year. This Award is gaining<br />

national and international recognition, and it is envisaged<br />

that there will be over 100 entries this year. Each year, the<br />

numbers of ceramic works increase. If you are in Ballina<br />

in <strong>September</strong>, keep an eye out.<br />

The Raw Womens' A1tist Diary is a national publication<br />

featuring approximately 30 works of emerging women<br />

artists from around <strong>Australia</strong> and the millenium issue is<br />

about to hit the stands.<br />

A little bit of enthusiasm goes a long way, so if you<br />

have any news please get in touch.<br />

• Yvonne de Vries Ph: 02 668 72120<br />

email: judiandyvonne@bigpond.com<br />

ACT<br />

How good it was in Perth for the Conference, to enjoy a<br />

great time and to meet up with so many old friends and<br />

make so many new ones. It was especially nice to meet<br />

Lyn Robinson and Stephanie Outridge-Field, fellow state<br />

reps for PIA. My special thanks to Lyn for her generosity<br />

in adopting several interstate delegates, chauffeuring us<br />

around Perth and environs and making us feel welcome.<br />

The busy season in Canberra is just beginning.<br />

Exhibitions coming up include the annual members<br />

exhibition of the Canberra Potters' Society, opening on<br />

<strong>September</strong> 8, and of the Strathnairn Arts Association,<br />

opening on <strong>No</strong>vember 27. This year Canberra Potters<br />

Society has invited Irene Mura Schroeder, of Mura Clay<br />

Gallery, to be the selector and judge for the Doug<br />

Alexander Memorial Award.<br />

Floriade, Canberra's Spring Festival, always inspires<br />

myriad exhibitions during <strong>September</strong> and October and<br />

this year is no exception. with one of the highlights being<br />

1<br />

an exhibition of garden water features including work by<br />

ceramic artist Geoffrey Potter at Pialligo Plant Farm, one<br />

of our nurseries.<br />

Canberra Potters Society has a full workshop<br />

programme this Spring. They have recently enjoyed a<br />

weekend of figurative sculpture with Susan Jorgensen and<br />

are looking forward to visits from Hildegard Anstice and<br />

Gail Nichols to enlighten them with 'Creative Extrusions'<br />

and 'Soda Firing' respectively.<br />

The Society will build a new kiln for the soda firing<br />

workshop.<br />

Work is also being undertaken to assist in the<br />

redevelopment and beautification of the Watson Centre,<br />

Watson being the suburb in which the Society has had its<br />

premises for almiost twenty five years.<br />

• Happy potting everyone,<br />

Jane Crick Fax: 02 6281 2594<br />

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• Contemporary Clay Competition & Exhibition<br />

Exhibition dates: 30 October-28 <strong>No</strong>vember<br />

Entries Close: 19 October<br />

Entry by slide/ photograph. Up to three works may be<br />

entered per ceramic artist.<br />

Delivery deadline: 27th October, <strong>1999</strong><br />

Awards: $500 potters materials from <strong>No</strong>rthcote <strong>Pottery</strong>;<br />

$500 professional photography by The Visual Resource.<br />

Judge: Sue Buckle. Entry forms & information:<br />

Cowwarr Art Space<br />

Cowwarr, Vic <strong>38</strong>57<br />

Ph: 03 5148 9321 Fax: 03 5148 9321<br />

email: cow-art@net-tech.com.au<br />

• Lithgow <strong>Pottery</strong> Fair<br />

31st March-2 April 2000<br />

Open Prize $2000; Local Prize $500.<br />

Judge: Peter Wilson<br />

Entries accepted 20-22 March 2000.<br />

Telephone Lithgow Public School for information & entry<br />

forms: 02 63 512297<br />

This is the fouth <strong>Pottery</strong> Fair. Local businesses and the<br />

community lend this event great support. Opening night<br />

is Friday 24th March, 7.30pm.<br />

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

This longstanding and popular cooperative gallery in<br />

Glebe is open for membership applications.<br />

Contact the Gallery for details 02 9692 9717<br />

Gallery hours: Wed-Sun 10.30am-6pm<br />

• Sidney Myer <strong>In</strong>ternational Ceramics Award<br />

Premier Award of $15000 and other merit awards totalling<br />

$10000.<br />

Winners become part of the Gallery Collection.<br />

Entry forms from July.<br />

Entry deadline: 30 <strong>September</strong>, <strong>1999</strong>.<br />

Contact Leanne Willis, Director<br />

Shepparton Art Gallery<br />

Locked Bag 1000, Shepparton 3632<br />

Ph: 03 5832 9861 Fax: 03 5831 8480<br />

• MAGNT Annual Craft Acquisition Award 2000<br />

The year 2000 Award features ceramics. ext Award will<br />

feature textiles and fibre.<br />

Managed by Museum & Art Gallery of orthern Territory,<br />

in partnership with Crafts Council of NT.<br />

Entry Deadline: 12 ovember <strong>1999</strong><br />

Exhibiting 11 March - 14 May 2000.<br />

Contact Emma Davies at MAG T 08 8999 8282<br />

GPO Box 4646, Darwin NT.<br />


NEWS ...<br />


This exciting exhibition from the Potters' Society of<br />

<strong>Australia</strong> will open on 4 December at Customs House,<br />

Circular Quay. It will run through to 9 January 2000.<br />

Showcasing the work of 12 ceramic artists whose work<br />

references the vessel.<br />


The Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong> and Manly Art Gallery &<br />

Museum, Sydney, invite ceramic artists to submit work(s)<br />

for a sculpturally based exhibition titled 'Cerebration",<br />

opening <strong>No</strong>vember, 2000.<br />

This exhibition aims to be a celebration of the diversity<br />

of change in cultural, social and political arenas at the<br />

edge of the millenium through the eyes, hands and<br />

thoughts of the ceramic artist. The exhibition will also aim<br />

to show where creative objects come from; what are the<br />

circumstances and catalysts for their birth; and how the<br />

maker lives and works in partnership with these objects<br />

by exhibiting at least one aspect of the developmental<br />

stages in the final work.<br />

<strong>In</strong>terested ceramists are asked to consider not only the<br />

exhibition of the 'finished object' but to reveal their.<br />

inspirations and processes through the presentation of<br />

either drawings, found objects, marquettes, journals or<br />

photodocumentation. It is hoped that through the<br />

'opening up' of the ceramist's creative process,<br />

'Cerebration' will provide the viewer with insights and<br />

deeper connections with the forms.<br />

Work will be chosen from 6 slides depicting recent<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 79

NEWS<br />

works; CV; 50 word proposal citing materials, firing,<br />

surfaces, scale and approximate weight of the work to be<br />

exhibited together with 2 working drawings or<br />

developmental photo documentation which could be<br />

used in the catalogue.<br />

The curators of the exhibition are Marian Howell and<br />

Helen Engle.<br />

Applications are to be sent to Marian Howell<br />

255 Prince Edward Park Road, Woronora NSW 2232<br />

Expressions of interest and application enquiries ring:<br />

Marian: 0408 432 732 or A/H 02 9545 0554<br />

Helen: 02 9818 3237<br />

Exhibition Diary:<br />

Expressions of <strong>In</strong>terest 30.1.2000<br />

Applications Close 30.4.2000<br />

Applicants notified 21.5.2000<br />

Catalogue completion 15.8.2000<br />

Works to gallery end <strong>September</strong> 2000<br />

Exhibition opens October 2000<br />


Exhibitors must be members of the Potters' Society of<br />

<strong>Australia</strong> - new Members welcome.<br />

For membership information contact the PIA office 02<br />

9901 3353, Fax 02 9436 1681<br />

email: potinaus@ozemail.com.au<br />

Participation fee: $25 per artist<br />

Works may be for sale. Works may be reproduced for the<br />

catalogue, web site or advertising<br />



The Centre for Contemporary Craft, NSW has announced<br />

the appointment of Steven Pozel as Director of Object. He<br />

is currently Director of Marketing & Development at<br />

Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art and will assume<br />

his new position in mid-October. He replaces <strong>No</strong>el<br />

Frankham who has left to head the South <strong>Australia</strong> School<br />

of Art, University of SA.<br />

Originally from Canada, Steven brings seventeen years of<br />

professional arts experience to the position. From 1992-1997<br />

he was Director of Power Plant, Toronto, Canada's leading<br />

contemporary public art gallery devoted exclusively to the<br />

exhibition and interpretation of the visual arts including<br />

design and architecture. <strong>In</strong> 1997 he began at MCA.<br />

He says of his appointemnt: 'Object has made<br />

enormous strides in the advancement and public<br />

understanding of craft & design by building a dynamic<br />

program of exhibitions. educational initiatives and<br />

publications. As Director I hope to make significant<br />

contribution to the ongoing development and<br />

advancement of this important organisation".<br />


During <strong>September</strong>, Sandy Lockwood will be exhibiting her<br />

salt glazed work with a selection of other crafts, all inspired<br />

by the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Sandy lives in the Southern<br />

Highlands and is one <strong>Australia</strong>'s preeminent potters. This<br />

year her work was seen at exhibitions in Holland, Japan<br />

and Perth. This exhibition opens on <strong>September</strong> 12.<br />

On October 10 Sturt holds its Annual Exhibition and<br />

Open Day. The Exhibition shows the work of all the<br />

teachers and craftspeople who work and teach at Sturt.<br />

This is a diverse display of contemporary <strong>Australia</strong>n<br />

design and craft by twelve professional and experienced<br />

practitioners. Ceramics, wood, jewellery and fibre are on .<br />

display. The exhibition will be opened at 11.30am,<br />

October 10 by Gillian McCracken.<br />

During the Afternoon of October 10, all workshops will<br />

be open to the public. There will be wine tasting and<br />

music on the lawns, irrestible food from the Sturt Cafe,<br />

displays in all the workshops and a chance for children to<br />

play with clay in the pottery.<br />

During <strong>No</strong>vember, Gillian Broinowski will show her<br />

whimsical interpretations of pot forms with a selection of<br />

fine prints. This exhibition runs 31 October-21 <strong>No</strong>vember.<br />

John Lewis, a well known photographer from<br />

Wombeyan Caves, will be exhibiting large black and<br />

white photographs during December.<br />

December will see the gallery filled with quality crafts<br />

making ideal gift opportunities for Christmas.<br />

Enquiries phone Sturt Shop 02 4860 2083 or view our<br />

website: www.sturt.nsw.edu.au<br />

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It is with great regret we pass on the news from Rita<br />

Kornhauser of the closure of Distelfink Gallery,<br />

Melbourne. This gallery has been an 'institution' for<br />

ceramic artists and collectors alike for the last fifteen<br />

years. It will be greatly missed by all who understand the<br />

value and excellence of <strong>Australia</strong>n ceramic art.<br />


The Victorian Ceramic Group has announced its plans for<br />

the 2002 Ceramic Forum, titled 'Pressure Point'. It will be<br />

held in Melbourne and Bendigo.<br />

It will pick up the theme of change commenced by the<br />

'Edge' Conference recently held in Perth. The name<br />

'Pressure Point' refers to clay making, but also to the need<br />

to deal with the pressure of change.<br />

The first four days of the Forum will take place in<br />

Melbourne and the remaining two in Bendigo, covering<br />

major Victorian urban and country centres for studio<br />

ceramic activity.<br />

The event has been named a 'Forum' as opposed to a<br />

conference, inviting participation and communication<br />

within the wider community, as well as amongst specialist<br />

sections of the ceramics community.<br />

Melbourne and Bendigo have well developed cultural,<br />

historical and entertainment facilities, as well as<br />

supportive government and provate arts organisations.<br />

The Forum hopes to create a flexible outgoing event with<br />

a programme of innovative events which raise public<br />

profile of studio ceramics.<br />

The Forum will aim to link otherwise deverse<br />

professional elements which might share a common<br />

interest in activities around studio ceramics. Events might<br />

for instance revolve around ceramics and food<br />

presentation, interior design or landscape and<br />

architecture.<br />

For more inforamtion contact Chris Sanders: 03 9481 3067<br />

email: csanders@ozemail.com.au<br />



Leaving March 2000, led by Connie Dridan.<br />

Approx. 28 days visiting ceramic and glass studios,<br />

collections, museums and galleries. Also NCECA<br />

Conference, Denver, Los Angeles, Aspen, Nevada, <strong>No</strong>rth<br />

Carolina, New Jersey, Minnesota, New York (Corning<br />

Glass Colllection), Boston, Seattle and San Francisco.<br />

Ceramic artists to be visited include Peter Voulkos, Paul<br />

Soldner, Peter Callas, Jeff Oestreich, Tom & Elaine<br />

Coleman and Jack Troy and more.<br />

Contact Cathy - Harvey World Travel 03 9877 2444 fax:<br />

03 9877 2606, email: hwtvicfu@wired.net.au<br />

• JAPAN<br />

Departs April, 2000<br />

Destination Management, in conjunction with the Potters'<br />

Society has announced another tour date for the Japan<br />

workshop tour. The <strong>September</strong> tour has been so popular<br />

that another date has been set for April 1, 2000. This will<br />

be a springtime tour coinciding with peak cherry blossom<br />

time. It will include time in the Tokoname workshops and<br />

a similar itinerary to the <strong>September</strong> tour. (See PIA Issue<br />

37 /4 for details.)<br />

Call toll free 1300 307 317 for details.<br />

• TURKEY<br />

Departs May 27, 2000<br />

A 21 day trip to Turkey escorted by ceramic artist Tamris<br />

Ustun. Experience the vibrant tradition of Turkish<br />

ceramics, visit workshops and studio and immerse<br />

yourself in the cultue of this exciting destination.<br />

$6,299 per person twin share<br />

For information contact Trans Turk Travel 02 9281 3500<br />

email: transtur@ozemail.com.au<br />

• VIETNAM<br />

Departs 25 June - 9 July, 2000<br />

Small group pottery and craft tour of Vietnam escorted by<br />

Sue Buckle. This third trip to Vietnam with Sue visits the<br />

Mekong Delta, Saigon, the ancient port town of Hoi An,<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 81

NEWS<br />

the ancient Imperial Capital, Hue, Hanoi and northern<br />

hilltribes. See both pottery and textiles, work in a studio,<br />

and enjoy the sights and tastes of this exciting destination.<br />

Excellent accomodation.<br />

$3,495 per person twin share<br />

For information ph Active Travel: 1800 634 157<br />

Fax: 02 6249 6788<br />

email: goactive@ozemail.com.au<br />

Sue Buckle: 02 9958 8622-<br />


At the Ceramic Millenium Congress, held in Amsterdam,<br />

the Netherlands, in July <strong>1999</strong>, the New York based<br />

Ceramic Arts Foundation presented Janet Mansfield with a<br />

prestigious A ward in recognition of her work in the<br />

ceramic arts field. After outlining a brief biography, Mark<br />

Del Vechio, representing the Foundation, spoke to the<br />

more than thousand strong participants, saying: 'Those of<br />

you who know Janet Mansfield, and I am sure that is<br />

most in the audience, have a sense of her generosity,<br />

spirit and energy level that is almost superhuman. She is<br />

receiving this award partly for publishing but mainly for<br />

her role as a peripatetic ambassador-at-large, travelling<br />

the world from event to event, conference to conference,<br />

linking writers, artists, collectors, museums and others by<br />

organising tours, events, workshops, jurying exhibitions<br />

and providing advice and encouragement. She is uniquely<br />

skilled in bringing people toegether from all over the<br />

world and, through her activism, getting pipe dreams<br />

turned into ceramic realities.'<br />

The award ceremony marked the start of the week long<br />

congress, which featured speakers and participants from<br />

all around the world. More than 60 exhibitions of<br />

ceramics presented in and around Amsterdam and<br />

associated events were held throughout the Netherlands<br />

as well as in the wider European ceramics community.<br />

Other awardees included Ettore Sottsas, Italian designer,<br />

Jan van der Vaart, artist and teacher, the Netherlands, the<br />

<strong>In</strong>ternational Academy of Ceramics, based in Switzerland,<br />

and the Museo <strong>In</strong>ternationale of Ceramics, Faenza, Italy' .<br />


• HOT TO POT with Jane Crick<br />

7-11 February 2000<br />

1 0am-5pm daily<br />

at Pnder Lea Chalets, Alpine Way between Jindabyne and<br />

Thredbo.<br />

This workshop is suitable for all levels of experience.<br />

Participants can expect to make several pots using various<br />

handbuilding techniques. Decoration will be primarily<br />

with the use of various slips and masks in conjunction<br />

with low temperature smoking techniques. A new gas kiln<br />

will help with firings on site.<br />

A roomy and well equipped chalet has been booked as<br />

a base for the workshop. <strong>In</strong>formation sessions (slides,<br />

videos etc) and refreshment breaks will be held in the<br />

chalet. The studio area is 'open air' with plenty of natural<br />

shade. The daily temperature for February in this area is<br />

about 10-25C.<br />

Accomodation ranging from mobile homes through<br />

cabins to 5 star chalets, all set amongst beautiful natural<br />

bush, is available at Pender Lea. Camping is possible in<br />

the National Park, 5mins away.<br />

The cost of the workshop is $290 which includes all<br />

materials and firing, tea, coffe and lunch each day.<br />


This pottery was established in 1984 and produces a wide<br />

range of brightly decorated ceramics and indoor<br />

fountains, all wheel thrown.<br />

The workshop is located in a secluded valley,<br />

completely surrounded by nature, 6kms north of Nimbin.<br />

It is on the edge of the Nightcap National Park.<br />

Day classes have been held for four years and every<br />

summer there is the opportunity to participate in a 4 day<br />

and 7 day live-in workshop, limited to 6 participants.<br />

Accomodation is in the rustic yet luxurious guesthouse<br />

with inground pool and suana. All meals are provided to<br />

ensure guests have enough time for creative expression<br />

and relaxation.<br />

Get away and explore your creativity.<br />

Ph/Fax: Mac 02 66 891095<br />

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1. The Encyclopedia of <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

Techniques by Peter Cosentino<br />

A comprehensive directory of<br />

pottery techniques and a step-bystep-guide<br />

to their use. Excellent<br />

teaching aid for all standards.<br />

Full colour<br />

$29.95 + $7pp•<br />

0 seas + S28 airmail<br />

17 surface<br />

2. Ceramics & Print by Paul Scott<br />

Practical guide to decorating<br />

techniques incl. screen printing.<br />

Very clear & useful text<br />

exploring a range of techniques.<br />

Special $22 incl postage*<br />

(Rrp $24.95)<br />

O/seas $34 incl pp airmail<br />

3. Glazes & Glazing Techniques<br />

by Greg Daly<br />

An essential text for all ceramists<br />

wishing to understand and<br />

explore surface finish. This is<br />

easy to read and inspiring.<br />

Special $39 incl. pp* (Rrp $35)<br />

O/seas $55 air incl pp<br />

4. The Potter's Palette by<br />

Christine Constant and<br />

Steve Ogden.<br />

Full colour practical guide to<br />

creating over 700 glaze colours.<br />

Special $24 incl. pp*<br />

(Rrp $24.95)<br />

gh<br />

al<br />

in<br />

all<br />

5. Practical Solutions for Potters<br />

By Gill Bliss<br />

100s of your top questions with<br />

1000s of practical solutions.<br />

SPECIAL OFFER : S35 plus S7<br />

postage anywhere in <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

(Rrp: $39:95)<br />

6. Traces the history of Raku.<br />

An exploration of international<br />

potters who use the mediwn today.<br />

Special $55 including pp*<br />

(Rrp $6o)<br />

7. Perryman discusses a wide<br />

range of smoke-firing methods<br />

and draws on examples of<br />

work by international artists.<br />

Special $75 including pp*<br />

(Rrp $80)<br />

8. The Potters Directory of Shape<br />

and Form by Neal French. Over<br />

600 at-a-glance designs. Excellent<br />

design tool for all potters<br />

describing both forms and<br />

additions (handles, spouts, lids).<br />

Full colour<br />

Special $24 including pp*<br />

(Rrp $24.95)<br />

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y,<br />

in.<br />

·ry<br />

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• postage within <strong>Australia</strong> Overseas prices in <strong>Australia</strong>n dollars. NB PAYMENT REQUIRED IN AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS<br />

ISSUE <strong>38</strong>/3 - BOOK ORDER FORM:<br />

sD sD o/s airmail D o/ s surface D<br />

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Total (incl. postage) in <strong>Australia</strong>n $: _______ _<br />

Signature<br />

From The Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong><br />

PO Box 937, Crows Nest NSW 1585 Phone 02 9901 3353 Fax 02 9436 1681 Email potinaus@ozemail.com.au<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 83


Put tcry in A1L-;tmli.1<br />

SPECIAL $ 6. 0 0<br />


EACH<br />

OVERSEAS $10.00 EACH<br />


•<br />


30/2 33/2 33/3 33/4<br />

34/1 34/2 34/3 34/4<br />

35/1 35/2 35/3 35/4<br />

. 30/2<br />

Yoon , Kwang-Cho,<br />

Pat Cahill,<br />

ew Gas KilnPlan,<br />

Paper Kiln,<br />

Reviews and Profiles.<br />

33/2<br />

Graduate Student Focus,<br />

College/ Uni works<br />

and information,<br />

Ceramic crayons -Techniques.<br />

33/3<br />

Fantasy of Flame,<br />

Profiles and Reviews:<br />

wood, soda, wood/salt,<br />

Cross draught kiln plan,<br />

'Weed' firing, Spodumene<br />

in Raku glazes.<br />

33/4<br />

Queensland Ceramics,<br />

Reviews and Profiles,<br />

Raw glazing,<br />

Paper clay techniques.<br />

34/1<br />

Handbuilding, Paperclay,<br />

H/building with perlite,<br />

Patination of copper glazes,<br />

Kiln burners.<br />

34/2<br />

Graduate Students,<br />

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and information,<br />

Anagama Firing,<br />

Decals, Matt glazes.<br />

34/3<br />

Victorian Focus,<br />

Profiles and reviews,<br />

Terrasigillata in raku,<br />

Extruders compared.<br />

34/4<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>n Stoneware, Profiles<br />

and Reviews, Textured s/ w<br />

glazes, Wheels compared.<br />

35/1<br />

The Art of Function<br />

Fluxes, Clay adhesive<br />

Electric kilns<br />

35/2<br />

Graduate Students<br />

Anagama plan<br />

Resspiratory masks<br />

Glaze programmes<br />

35/3<br />

Corrunercial Lustre,<br />

Protective clothing,<br />

Fletcher Challenge Award<br />

35/4<br />

Ceramics from the A.C.T.<br />

Reduced Lustre<br />

Sandblasting<br />

Slabrollers<br />

1<br />

D<br />

D<br />

D<br />

D<br />

D<br />

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84 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA + <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Technical Booklets (Tick the box)<br />

D Layed Back Wood Firing King/Harrison $5.00<br />

D Simple Woodfired Kiln for Earthenware CSG $5.00<br />

D Firing an Electric Kiln Grieve $5.00<br />

D Energy Saving Max Murray $8.00<br />

D Firing a Kiln with LPG Gas Grieve $7.00<br />

D Reduced Lustre Warner $5.00<br />

D Sawdust and Primitive Firing CSG $7.00<br />

D Fibre Kiln Glazes Kemp $11.00<br />

D More Fibre Kiln Glazes Kemp $11.00<br />

D Salt Glazing Mansfield $7.00<br />

:s. D Potters Beware Rosemary Perry $10.00<br />

D Raku CSG $7.00<br />

Subtotal<br />

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Back Issues Current<br />

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D 36/1 Where There's Smoke ... $13.00<br />

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D 36/3 Makers and Marketing $13.00<br />

D 36/4 South <strong>Australia</strong>n Focus $13.00<br />

D 37/ 1 Purely Clay $13.00<br />

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D 37/3 Out There $13.00<br />

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Send to <strong>Pottery</strong> in <strong>Australia</strong> - P.O. Box 937 Crows Nest 1585 Phone: (02) 9901 3353 Fax: (02) 9436 1681<br />

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<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 85

• NSW Southern Cross <strong>Pottery</strong> Walker Ceramics Gunyulgup Galleries<br />

14 Caba Cls, BOAMBEE 55 Lusher Rd, CROYDON Gunyulgup Valley Drive<br />

Aldersons Arts & Crafts<br />


64-68 Violet St, REVESBY Sturt Craft Centre<br />

Warrnambool Potters Wheel<br />

MITIAGONG 74 Liebig St, WARRNAMBOOL Jacksons Ceramics<br />

Art Gallery of NSW<br />

94 Jersey St, JOLIMONT<br />

Domain Rd, SYDNEY<br />

Syretts Newsagency<br />


30-32 Otho St, INVERELL<br />

Margaret River <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

Artsup<br />

The Artery<br />

91 Bussell Hwy,<br />

Shop 7, Manning Street Tallaganda <strong>Pottery</strong> P.O. Box 343 WARWICK MARGARET RIVER<br />


116 Wallace St, BRAIDWOOD<br />

Claycraft Supplies<br />

Potters Market<br />

Back to Back Galleries The Clay Shop 29 O'Connell Terrace,<br />

}<br />

18 Stockdale Rd, O'CONNOR<br />

57 Bull St, COOKS HILL 9/ 10 William St ADAMSTOWN BOWEN HILLS<br />

Whiteman Park <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery The <strong>Pottery</strong> Place McCabes Newsagency Whiteman Park, Lord St, 2<br />


Bellingen Newsagency Walker Ceramics Monte Lupo <strong>Pottery</strong> & Fine Art<br />


83 Hyde St, BELLINGEN 98 Starkey St, Shop 2016<br />


Brookvale Hobby Ceramic Studio<br />

Garden City Shopping Centre Aussie Potz<br />

s<br />

UPPER MT. GRAVATT 2 Saunders St, JINGILI A<br />

11/Powells Rd, BROOKVALE • ACT<br />

}<br />

Carpenters Newsagency<br />

MP Ceramics<br />

Canberra Potters Society<br />

• TASMANIA<br />

25 Wiloughby Rd, CROWS NEST 143 James St, TOOWOOMBA<br />

Crafts Council ACT<br />

Entrepot Art Products<br />

I\<br />

Ceramic Study Group 1 Aspinal St, WATSON <strong>No</strong>rth Queensland Potters Centre for the Arts<br />

Association, TOWNSVILLE Hunter St, HOBART<br />

Clay Things Potters Gallery National Art Gallery of Aust.<br />

Bookshop, CANBERRA <strong>Pottery</strong> Supplies Handmark Gallery C<br />

21 Oaks Ave, DEEWHY<br />

51 Castlemaine St, MILTON 77 Salamanca Pl,<br />

Coffs Harbour <strong>Pottery</strong> Supplies Walker Ceramics<br />


E<br />

18 Allison St, COFFS HARBOUR 289 Canberra Ave, FYSHWICK Queensland <strong>Pottery</strong> Supplies<br />

Unit 2/ 11 Ramly Drive, • u.s.A.<br />

Designed and Made<br />

Yarralurnla Gallery<br />

s<br />


88 George St,<br />

Nursery Bay, Banks St,<br />

Pine Ridge <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

The Rocks, SYDNEY<br />

YARRALUMLA The <strong>Pottery</strong> Place 5704 G General Washington Dr<br />

171 Newell St, CAIRNS Alexandria, VIRGINIA 22312<br />

The Fabled Bookshops • VICTORIA<br />

54 Terania St, NORTH LISMORE The Clay Shed<br />

Artisan Craft Books Seattle <strong>Pottery</strong> Supplies<br />

2/ 24 Hi-tech Drive 35 South Stanford, SEATTLE<br />

Gleebooks Meat Market Craft Centre KUNDA PARK<br />

131 Glebe Point Rd, GLEBE 42 Courtney St,<br />

Trinity Ceramic Supply<br />

NORTH MELBOURNE Queensland Art Gallery 9016 Diplomacy Row<br />

Hilldav <strong>In</strong>dustries SOUTH BRISBANE TEXAS 75247<br />

108 Oakes Rd, Bendigo <strong>Pottery</strong> Services<br />


Midland Hwy, EPSOM Queensland Potters Assoc,<br />

• CANADA<br />

482 Brunswick St,<br />

Humphries Newsagency Clayworks Potters Supplies FORTITUDE VALLEY Scona <strong>Pottery</strong> Supply & Clay<br />

60-64 The Corso, MANLY 6 Johnson Crt,<br />

Art Studio, 8105-104 St,<br />



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

Edmonton, ALBERTA<br />

Cnr St Johns Rd & Darghan St, Distelfink Gallery<br />

Bamfurlong Fine Crafts<br />


F<br />

GLEBE 1005 High St, ARMADALE 34 Main St, HAHNDORF<br />

Coastal Ceramics<br />

t--<br />

Janets Art SuppliesP/L National Gallery of Victoria Jam Factory Craft & Design<br />

124 Rimu Rd, PARAPARAUMU<br />

143 Victoria Ave,<br />

Bookshop, MELBOURNE Lion Arts Centre<br />


19 Morphett St, ADELAIDE Cobcraft Supplies<br />

<strong>No</strong>rthcote <strong>Pottery</strong> Services<br />

p<br />

24 Essex St, CHRISTCHURCH<br />

Keane Ceramics 85A Clyde St, THORNBURY The Pug Mill<br />

3971 Debenham Rd, 17 A Rose St, MILE END South Street Gallery<br />

t--<br />

Potters Cottage Gallery<br />

SOMERSBY 10 Nile St, NELSON<br />

321 Jumping Creek Rd • WESTERN AUSTRALIA<br />

Mudgee Book Case<br />


Compendium<br />

Angus & Robertson Bookworld<br />

10 Church St, MUDGEE 5 Lorne St, AUCKLAND<br />

Potters Equipment 240 York St, ALBANY A<br />

Mura Clay Gallery<br />

13/42 New St, RINGWOOD<br />

Wellington Potters Supplies<br />

Art Gallery of WA<br />

49-51 King St, NEWTOWN 2 Cashmere Ave, Khandallah<br />

Red Hill South Newsagency Bookshop, PERTH WELLINGTON<br />

Iv<br />

NSW <strong>Pottery</strong> Supplies Shoreham Rd, RED HILL<br />

Hewitts Art Bookshop<br />

50 Holker St SILVERWATER Roundhouse Gallery • SINGAPORE<br />

7 Mouat St, FREMANTLE C<br />

Potters' Needs<br />

1/2 Queens Pde, TRARALGON<br />

Southern Light Trading<br />

Fremantle Arts Centre Bookshop<br />

18 Scott Place KELSO The Arts Book Shop 71 Seng Poh Rd, #01-35<br />

1 Finnerty St, FREMANTLE<br />

E<br />


The Powerhouse Museum Shop 1067 High St, ARMIDALE<br />

Guildford Village Potters<br />

500 Harris St ULTIMO s<br />

Victorian Ceramics Group 22 Meadow St, GUILDFORD<br />

Raglan Gallery<br />

7 Blackwood St,<br />

5-7 Raglan St, MANLY NORTH MELBOURNE<br />

86 POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA+ <strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong>

Subscription Order<br />

Issue <strong>38</strong>/3 <strong>September</strong> <strong>1999</strong><br />


Published quarterly by<br />

The Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong><br />

PO Box 937<br />

Crows Nest, Sydney<br />

NSW <strong>Australia</strong> 1585<br />

Tel (61 2) 9901 3353<br />

Fax (61 2) 9436 1681<br />

r<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>n rates -<br />

Name _____ ______________________<br />

1 year $52 (please print)<br />

Address _ ______________ ____________<br />

2 years $100 .,<br />

Overseas rates<br />

Surface mail AU$64 1 year<br />

Allow up to 3 months for delivery.<br />

Air mail<br />

AU$761 year<br />

____________ Postcode _ ____ Phone _____ _<br />

Please enter my Subscription D<br />

for one year D two years D<br />

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AMOUNT$ _____ _<br />

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Start: This issue - <strong>38</strong>/3 <strong>September</strong> <strong>1999</strong> D<br />

Next issue - <strong>38</strong>/4 December <strong>1999</strong> D<br />

Gift Subscription<br />

Published quarterly by<br />

The Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong><br />

PO Box 937<br />

Crows Nest, Sydney<br />

NSW <strong>Australia</strong> 1585<br />

Tel (02) 9901 3353 Fax (02) 9436 1681<br />

Signature ______________ _<br />

Please allow one month for delivery of first magazine<br />


<strong>Australia</strong>n Rates<br />

Overseas Rate<br />

1 year $52 Surface mail 1 year AU$64<br />

Allow up to 3 months for delivery<br />

2 years $100 Air mail 1 year AU$76<br />

Issue <strong>38</strong>/3 <strong>September</strong> <strong>1999</strong><br />

FROM<br />

Name ___________________ Address _________________<br />

(please print)<br />

---~-----------------Postcode_____ Phone _________<br />


ame. ___________________.Address_________________<br />

(please print)<br />

_____________________ Postcode _____ Phone _________<br />

AMOUNT _______________ _<br />

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Next issue - <strong>38</strong>/4 December <strong>1999</strong> D Please allow one month for delivery of first magazine<br />

<strong>38</strong>/3 SEPTEMBER <strong>1999</strong> + POTTERY IN AUSTRALIA 87

Featuring the work of more than 130<br />

<strong>Australia</strong>n Ceramists, over 50 Galleries,<br />

Suppliers and Potters' Groups<br />

The essential reference for Makers and Buyers,<br />

Collectors, Curators, Galleries, <strong>In</strong>terior Designers,<br />

Tourists, Teachers and Students.<br />

Produced by the Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong><br />



NAME<br />











*This offer available within <strong>Australia</strong> only<br />

Fax or email your order to The Potters' Directory<br />

PO Box 937, Crows Nest, Sydney NSW <strong>Australia</strong> 1585<br />

Tel (02) 9901 3353 Fax (02) 9436 1681 Email: potinaus@ozemail.com.au<br />

88<br />


I<br />

Join us for 2 weeks of<br />

creative inspiration<br />

l<br />

cGREGOR<br />

.<br />


4 -15 JANUARY, 2000<br />

Offers tuition in Performing, Visual and<br />

Creative Arts and many other subjects.<br />



Join Greg for a throwing program<br />

investigating forms (bowl design, vase,<br />

their shape and visual weight) will be<br />

explored. As well, surfaces ( texture &<br />

colour) and glaze finishes will be<br />

investigated. The workshop will work in<br />

stoneware, but techniques covered can be<br />

at any temperature. Basic throwing skill is<br />

needed.<br />

For further information contact:<br />

McGregor Schools USQ<br />

PO Box 220 Darling Heights Q 4350<br />

Ph: (07) 4631 2755 Fax: (07) 4631 1606<br />

Email: mcgregor@usq.edu.au<br />

<strong>In</strong>ternet: http//www.usq.edu.au./opecs/conted<br />

~<br />

~<br />


Making <strong>Australia</strong>na a feature of your pottery is an<br />

option open to you easily and successfully with the<br />

use of moulds.<br />

Ozmosis Moulds specialise in designing and<br />

manufacturing <strong>Australia</strong>n themes for slip-casting and<br />

press moulding - as finished forms or add-ons for<br />

your own ware.<br />

Our range includes:<br />

• Native wildlife • Figurines<br />

• Tropical fish and Dolphins • Tableware<br />

• Planters • Many others<br />

Our Services also include specialised mould design<br />

and manufacture for your own ideas.<br />

Production house enquiries preferred<br />

For a full brochure send $5 to:<br />




ENQUIRIES - PHONE/FAX (02) 6568 1903<br />


RAYI PRESSED bisque and greenware<br />

•<br />

Bmvls: plates. platters - square. rectangle\ oval and octagonal<br />

•<br />

~ew shapes - coffee mugs, sushi plates<br />

~ew dav - Walkers vitn-ous china f'arthenware<br />

•<br />

Pressing in white earthenware. terracotta and stoneware clays<br />


17A ROSE STREET, MILE END, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 5031 • TELEPHONE (08) 8443 4544 • FAX (08) 8354 0991<br />

email: pugmill@pugmill.com.au<br />

• SMALL OR LARGE ORDERS WELCOME • i------....<br />



PTYLTD<br />

- - )<br />

- . FOR SALE<br />

• I only as new 30 Tonne Hydraulic Ceramic Press,<br />

complete with 4 Steel Framed Plaster Dies Masters<br />

in rubber with compressor & die making accessories.<br />

• I only De-airing Pug Mill 300mm round extrusion<br />

with 305mm wide x 25mm thick tile extrusion fitting<br />

nearly new capacity I . I tonnes per hour.<br />

All this equipment must be sold at discount<br />

prices due to the owner retiring at the end of<br />

the year and no reasonable offer will be refused.<br />




visiting ceramic and glass studios, collections,<br />

museums,<br />

•<br />

galleries .<br />

NCECA Conference - Denver, Colorado<br />

• Los Angeles - Aspen, Paul Soldner<br />

• Minnesota - Warren McKenzie, Jeff Oestreich<br />

• Nevada - Tom & Elaine Coleman • New York (Corning)<br />

• <strong>No</strong>rth Carolina - Mark Hewitt<br />

• Boston (Cambridge) Mark Skudlarek • New Jersey - Peter Ca llas<br />

• Seattle • San Francisco - Peter Voulkos<br />


(<br />


Save energy<br />

<strong>In</strong>crease productivity<br />

Better temperature uniformity<br />

Easily applied by in-house maintenance<br />

For more details see our website www.powerup.eom.au/-pinches or read about<br />

the advantages in the book "The Art of Firing" by Nils Lou (Professor of Art, Linfield College, Oregon)<br />

Distributed exclusively in <strong>Australia</strong> and New Zealand by:<br />


SPECIAi, AU,O'\'S .. ~ HIGH 'l'ElUP !UATEIUAl,S<br />

Contact: Ron Kamp or Les Pope in the Brisbane office.<br />

Telephone 07 <strong>38</strong>46 SO I I Facsimile 07 <strong>38</strong>46 S070<br />

A.C.N. 004 663 076<br />


PO Box 205, South Brisbane QLD 410 I<br />

283a Grey Street, South Brisbane<br />

Queensland, <strong>Australia</strong> 410 I<br />

E-mail: pinches@powerup.com.au<br />




Ceramics Courses 2000<br />



HOT & STICKY l:f~<br />

Steve Harrison - KILN & CLAY TECHNOLOGY<br />


Electric and gas fired<br />

Refractory insulation brick or fibre<br />

Burners - LPG or natural gas<br />

Hoods - custom built stainless steel<br />

Stainless steel flue systems<br />

Fibre kilns available in kit form<br />

V enco potters wheels<br />

V enco vacuum pug mills<br />

Kiln shelves and props<br />

Digital pyrometers & thermocouples<br />


Old School Balmoral Village via Picton 2571<br />

Telephone or facsimile 02 4889 8479 • Email: hotnstky@hinet.net.au<br />

~<br />

]<br />

I<br />

POTTERY in<br />

AUSTRALIA presents<br />

POTTERY IN JAPAN <strong>1999</strong><br />

Participate in pottery workshops in T okoname. Enjoy t O days of traditional homestay<br />

accommodation. Visit six ancient kiln sites, galleries and studios with exclusive meetings<br />

and demonstrations by some of Japan's leading ceramic artists.<br />

DEPARTS AUSTRALIA 2 NOVEMBER, <strong>1999</strong>.<br />




For brochures and more information contact<br />


PO Box 1109, Stafford Qld. 4053<br />

Freecall: 1 300 307 3 17<br />

Email: travel@powerup.com.au<br />

<strong>In</strong>ternet: http://www.powerup.eom.au/-travel<br />


Ceramic<br />

Study<br />

Group<br />

<strong>In</strong>c.<br />

for everyone interested in pottery<br />

24th <strong>September</strong> - Meeting<br />

Kit Ferry - Decorating<br />

Ceramic Art Association<br />

8th - 10th October<br />

"Clay Olympics" - Res. w'sbop - Jan Buttembaw<br />

22nd October - Meeting<br />

Bunty Mitchell - Design & Decorating<br />

\ll'lli11:..:,.111· lr1ld1111 llr1· l111111lr I rrd.n ,,1<br />

1,lllr 111011tli•1\11pt lh11111h11 - f . 11111.,n 1111111,1111<br />

i11 I u 11111 1111 . 1111 ~ . B11rld111:_: I -1:<br />

\l.11q11.1111· I 11i111,1t1<br />

CSG <strong>In</strong>c. PO Box 1528 Macquarie Centre NSW 2113<br />

Telephone 02 9953 59<strong>38</strong> or 02 9869 2195<br />

the VCG<br />

has moved ...<br />

• From <strong>September</strong> <strong>1999</strong> you'll find us at<br />

Box Hill Community Arts Centre<br />

(470 Station Street, Box Hill, Victoria)<br />

• New telephone: (03) 9899 2777<br />

• New postal address:<br />

Victorian Ceramic Group <strong>In</strong>c.<br />

c/o Box Hill Community Arts Centre<br />

Locked Bag 2, Eastern Mai I Centre 311 0<br />

• VCG office attended 10 am - 5 pm<br />

Thursdays and Fridays<br />

• Monthly meetings held at the Centre<br />

-==* Victorian Ceramic Group <strong>In</strong>c.<br />

T<br />

-~ c/o Box Hill Community Arts Centre<br />

Locked Bag 2, Eastern Mail Centre 3110<br />

Telephone (03) 9899 2777<br />


SKUTT<br />

• Precision firing at high<br />

temperatures<br />

• Rated up to cone 10<br />

• <strong>In</strong>cludes ramping and<br />

hold modes<br />

• Up to 10 cubic feet<br />

• Kiln furniture included<br />

• Two-year warranty<br />

• Exceptional value<br />

Ceramic Hobbies<br />

12 Hanrahan Street Thomastown 307 4<br />

Tel: (03) 9466 2522 Fax: (03) 9464 0547<br />

Ellen Massey<br />

1 Marigold Place Milperra 2214<br />

Tel: (02) 9773 9900 Fax: (02) 9792 7373<br />


It's On Again!<br />

The<br />

Hot To Pot<br />

Summer Workshop<br />

<strong>In</strong> The Snowies<br />

Handbuilding,<br />

Smoke Decoration Techniques including<br />

Variations on Raku-Style Rapid Firing<br />

Personal Tuition with Jane Crick<br />

7th - 11th February 2000<br />

at beautiful Pender Lea,<br />

10 minutes from Thredbo.<br />

Range of Accommodation on Site.<br />

Workshop Cost:<br />

$290 including lunches and all materials.<br />

For further information write to:<br />

Jane Crick<br />

Summer Workshop<br />

26 Glynn Place, Hughes<br />

ACT 2605<br />

or Telephone Jane on: (02) 6281 2594<br />

C<br />

Q)<br />

-0<br />

::,<br />

Advanced Diploma, Diploma & Certificate Courses<br />

i f 1 ~ :fl<br />

Full and Part Time Options<br />

Enquire at your local TAFE College or Phone 02 9217 4299<br />


•<br />

•<br />

•<br />

•<br />







•<br />

•<br />

•<br />





A.C.N 007 005 932<br />


PHONE (03) 9791 6749 FAX (03) 9792 4476<br />

www.ozemail.eom.au/--claywork<br />

Email: claywork@ozemail.com.au<br />




Ceramics Courses 2000<br />

The Ceramics section of the School of Arts &<br />

Media invites applications for. the following<br />

Ceramics courses: .<br />

• Certificate in Studio Techniques #5370<br />

part time 4hrs/wk for 2 years.<br />

• . Certificate in Ceramics #5491<br />

Full time and parttime options.<br />

• Advanced Certificate #7400<br />

Full time 26hrs/wk.<br />

• Certificate:of Attainment courses 5hrs/wk<br />

#7414 Surface Treatment & Design<br />

#7415 Clay & GlazeTechnology<br />

·For more information about these courses<br />

refer to the TAFE HANDBOOK.<br />

~pplications fQ.r Yr.2000 courses should be<br />

!received at' the co_llege by 30.11.99.<br />

Address-to: Ulawarra <strong>In</strong>stitute of Technology<br />

-· Wollongong West Campus<br />

36 Gad stone Avenue,. Wollongong NSW 2500<br />

Contact: · Lawrence· Mearing<br />

Tel 024222 2846<br />

Fax 02 4222 2881<br />

T~FE~<br />

. rything<br />

F eatunng eve .<br />

· glazing<br />

from f orrrung, .<br />

and firing techniques<br />

. t hrofiles and<br />

to artis I:' d<br />

5 aroun<br />

pottery new<br />

the globe.<br />

- ate· $53<br />

. I one-year r . s bani

Be creative in a different way with<br />


by Ceramic Glazes of <strong>Australia</strong><br />

For your nearest distributor<br />

please call +61 3 9887 1702<br />

Ceramic Gia<br />

3/8 Eastgate Court Wantirn<br />

telephone +61 3 9887 lii1Mf!•-~<br />

email cgaust@bigpond. 1~rw,n<br />

ACN 007 043 28<br />


• Environmentally friendly.<br />

• Low density hot face insulating<br />

brick. (Fibre Free)<br />

• Economical to operate.<br />

• Made in <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

• One of <strong>Australia</strong>s most<br />

experienced kiln and furnace<br />

manufacturers.<br />

• <strong>Australia</strong>s largest range - 32<br />

standard sizes - custom sizes on<br />

request.<br />

• Over 30 years experience -<br />

Established 1963.<br />

• Over 15,000 kilns and furnaces<br />

now in use.<br />

• Fast firing to 1300°C.<br />

23 & ~ Cft!~c::Sf t!J. ~tJ.<br />

Your choice - Manual or<br />

electronic temperature controller.<br />

MODEL <strong>No</strong>. 1 0 fitted with<br />

Shimaderi Temperature<br />

Controller I Auto Ignition.<br />

1 2 George Street, Blackburn, 31 30, Victoria, <strong>Australia</strong><br />

Telephone: (03} 9877 4188 Facsimile: (03} 9894 1974<br />

<strong>In</strong>ternational Telephone: + 61 3 9877 4 1 88 Facsimile: + 6 1 3 9894 197 4<br />


Study from your studio<br />

Graduate Diploma of Arts (Visual Arts) by distance.<br />

This course has an excellent reputation in <strong>Australia</strong> among ceramics professionals.<br />

For informati on contact Owen Rye<br />

ph: + 61 3 512 26564 fax : +61 3 512 26678<br />

email: owen.rye@artdes.monash.edu.au<br />

Gippsland Centre for Art and Design<br />

Faculty of Art and Design<br />

For application kit contact Rosema ry Nevi ll<br />

ph:+61351226261<br />

email: rnevill@artdes.monash.edu.au<br />

•••••<br />

____ m_on_a_sh university faculty of art and design<br />

Work by Simone Fraser (NSW)<br />

The Faculty of Art and Design also offers a full range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the following studios<br />

APPLIED ARTS - Ceramics, Glass, Metals and Jewellery DESIGN - Graphic Design, <strong>In</strong>dustrial Design, Design, <strong>In</strong>terior Architecture, Mult1med1a<br />

FINE ARTS/ VISUAL ARTS - Drawing, Painting, Photomed1a, Printmaking, Tapestry, Sculpture

POTTERY in<br />

AUSTRALIA presents<br />


Table and kitchenware by <strong>Australia</strong>n Potters<br />












Departs <strong>Australia</strong> 27 May 2000<br />

DOMESTIC POTS 252 Bronte Rd<br />

Waverley NSW 2024<br />

Hours 11-3 Wed-Sat. Ph/fax 02 9<strong>38</strong>6 4099<br />

A tour where you will experience the unique art<br />

tradition of Turkish C_eramics and meet Turkey's<br />

most renowed contemporary and traditional<br />

artists.<br />

Visit studios, workshops and see demonstrations<br />

by studio potters replicating Iznik tiles.<br />

Wherever you travel in Turkey you are confronted<br />

with its great history, its archaeology, its<br />

timelessness and physical beauty.<br />

A unique 21 day tour of Turkey which will leave<br />

you in awe as you journey through ancient<br />

civilizations.<br />

For your free copy of the<br />


~·<br />

brochure call<br />

'-F'<br />

Trans Turk Travel<br />

Services Pty Ltd<br />

Tel 02 9281 3500 Fax 02 9281 2979<br />

www .transturk.com.au<br />

email: transtur@ozemail.com.au<br />


;nst M,uch. 1st April. 2n

membership applications<br />


GLEBE NSW 2037<br />

WED-SUN 10.30am-6pm<br />

TEL/FAX 02 9692 9717<br />

The exhibition will feature large thrown jars,<br />

urns, deep bowls, tall bottles and wide platters by<br />

12 members of the Potters' Society of <strong>Australia</strong>.<br />

Representing a specific genre of ceramics, the<br />

work represents a contemporary revisiting of a<br />

tradition thousands of years old. As cultural<br />

products, they echo a romantic past, but at the same<br />

time affirm the present joy of a generous plate,<br />

and the tangible product of vigorous imagination<br />

coupled with hard work and patient effort.<br />

. ··fxn ·····~1~ga111 ···show .• of ... big .• bc>ld·<br />


Contemporary Clay <strong>1999</strong><br />

Above: <strong>No</strong>rthcote<br />

Saturday 30<br />

October to<br />

Sunday28<br />

<strong>No</strong>vember <strong>1999</strong><br />

Judge Sue Buckle<br />

<strong>Pottery</strong> Award Winner<br />

1997 Bern Emmerichs Editor <strong>Pottery</strong> in <strong>Australia</strong><br />


~<br />


<strong>No</strong>rthcote <strong>Pottery</strong><br />

Award $500 of potters materials<br />

or equipment<br />

The Visual Resource<br />

Award $500 of professional<br />

studio photography<br />

Entries close 19 October<br />

Entries juried by submitted<br />

slides or photos.<br />

Apply now for entry fonns.<br />

Send a stamped seHaddressed<br />

envelope to:<br />

Cowwarr Art Space,<br />

Cowwarr, Vic. <strong>38</strong>57<br />

Tel: 03 5148 9321<br />

Fax: 03 5148 9498<br />

cow-art@net-tech.com.au<br />



Experience a creative holiday in our<br />

beautiful paradise<br />

Workshops: 12-15 <strong>No</strong>vember 99; 18-21 <strong>No</strong>vember 99<br />

21-28 January 2000 - groups of 6 only<br />

Learn to throw, handbuilt, paint, glaze and fire,<br />

and enjoy it.<br />

For beginners and the experienced.<br />

Luxury accommodation in our guesthouse, all meals<br />

and materials included.<br />

Website: www.blacksheepfarm.com.au<br />

or phone Mac on 02 6689 1095<br />

The Multiple Handicapped Association of Queensland trading as Monte Lupo<br />

<strong>Pottery</strong> and 'Jine .91.rt<br />


SHOP 2016<br />



PHONE (07) 3219 4422<br />

STUDIO (07) <strong>38</strong>41 6266<br />


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