August 2011

by Patsy Hely, President

I’ll start my report this month by welcoming Elisa Bartels who has been working a day a week with Vicki in the TACA office. Volume 50/2 of the Journal is hot off the press with a focus on ceramics + utility, tableware and Woodfire TAS 2011. As well, it’s the annual Education Survey issue and it’s heartening to see such a great spread of energetic student work. Elisa and Vicki have just sent out copies to over 30 TAFEs and University departments and included brochures detailing The Trudie Alfred Bequest open now to student applications and closing on 21 September.

Our two upcoming exhibitions, The Narrative Knot and PROmotion are ticking over with details about the opening and closing events currently being negotiated with Manly Art Gallery; we’ll have more details about those once they are settled. The PROmotion blog has had a couple of technical hitches but hopefully these have now been ironed out, and our thanks go to Shannon Garson.

The auction and exhibition in support of ‘fire relief’ for Ian Jones and Moraig McKenna was held at the Canberra Potters last month and a good sum was raised. Well done to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen.

August is shaping up to be a lively month with the Red Objects Design Symposium being held at COFA on Friday 5, Saturday 6 August: ( and in Canberra the Material Matters Symposium taking place over the whole month: ( Both of these promise to be invigorating with Yoshigazu Hasegawa talking about his ceramic recycling project at COFA and Anton Reijnders, Netty van den Heuvel and 
Ray Chen in Canberra.

Planning for the Journal’s 50th anniversary celebration is continuing with decisions still to be made about dates and venues. With JAC one of the longest running art journals in Australia, we are committed to making this a fitting celebration.

It was very sad to hear of the passing away of Molly Douglas, one of Australia’s most valued potters and educators. In 1956, Molly was a founding member of the Potters Society of Australia – now TACA – along with Peter Rushforth, Ivan McMeekin and Ivan Englund. Many members will remember her as gentle and approachable, characteristics apparent also in her work. We are lucky that an oral history interview by Barbara Blackman is available online from the National Library:, and that a number of wheels donated by Molly, along with glaze books etc., are in the care of Hornsby TAFE.

TACA committee has been out and about for its meetings over the last few months. In March we were hosted by Sydney College of the Arts and in May by the National Art School. Jan Guy (SCA) and Stephen Bird (NAS) very generously spoke to members showing images of student work and their own. Traveling around like this has given Vicki the opportunity to speak with students about the Journal, to explain its role and to get feedback on ways in which it might serve their interests.

The next meeting, the AGM, will be held on Wed 28 September, 6.30pm at a venue to be advised.


We welcome these new members:
Helen Davey, Catherine Anselmi, Alison Arnold, Melanie Anderson, Carole Leigh, Emma Walke, Pauline Meade, Cathy Smith, Emma and Erron Wadley, Kwan Sin Wong, Edward Hobbs, Leanne Barbaro, Jill Eastley, Glen Wardle, Demelza Clayton, Caroline Reeve, Peter Austin, Ginevra Cirillo, Caroline Ezzy, Anne Watling, Tammy Morton, Sharyn O’Grady, Zara Collins, Jel Jansen and Jacqueline Sleeman.



Vale: Mary Emily (Mollie) Douglas, 1920 – 2011
Life Member of The Australian Ceramics Association
Mollie Douglas discovered pottery during her time at East Sydney College between 1939 and 1945. Producing work during the war years was difficult due to material shortages. In the post war era she went on to form the Potters’ Society of NSW, which later became the Potters Society of Australia (now The Australian Ceramics Association) with Peter Rushforth, Ivan Englund and Ivan McMeekin. In 1964 she represented Australia at the first World Congress of Craftsmen in New York. She taught for over 35 years introducing ceramics to St George Technical College in 1949 and progressed to take full responsibility of all TAFE institutions in NSW as Head of the School of Art and Design. Mollie always remained loyal to the production of domestic ware, “I’m a very practical person, not a sculptor. I always make things that can be used”. In 1991 she was given an Emeritus Award. She will be missed by all who knew her and the broader ceramics community.

Vale: Joy Warren passed away on Tuesday 19 July 2011.
Many of you may know her as the wife of the well-known Sydney painter Guy Warren. Joy was a wonderful ceramicist in her own right. She made pots with great sensitivity, often in porcelain. She was also one of the first in Australia to earn a PhD. After receiving her PhD in the late 1980’s she lectured on the history of ceramics at various art colleges including Sydney College of the Arts. I remember her as an extremely knowledgeable and warm person, one whom many will miss. Gudrun Klix

The CAAWA website is back online with a members’ gallery featuring over 300 images of member’s work;

ArtsCareer is the new professional development hub for artists and educators to access up-to-date career development information from around Australia. With so many grant deadlines looming around this time they have focused on this issue!

Congratulations to Keiko Matsui on becoming a finalist in the John Fries Memorial Prize 2011 for emerging visual artists;

Ceramics Feature: Craft Australia monthly online newsletter ca enews Issue 65 – June 2011, ‘Ceramics- Mud and the Divine’;; to subscribe

Gregor Kregar and the World Cup: Installation of the 12 nations, as porcelain, jersey-wearing woolies, will be exhibited to coincide with the World Cup. A particularly good video on Gregor’s practice and his previous sheep installations is at

New pages on our website:
Ceramic Competitions Around the Globe: Ceramics Competitions
The Australian Ceramics Association committee: Committee

Author: Australian Ceramics

In 1956, The Potters Society of Australia was formed to encourage and foster the development, appreciation and recognition of potters and pottery. It was the first ceramics organisation in Australia. In 2006, our name was changed to The Australian Ceramics Association to more fully reflect the scope of practice of the members. We are a national, not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of practising potters and ceramicists, students of ceramics and all those interested in Australian ceramics. We actively support and promote quality, specialist ceramics education nationally. T: 1300 720 124

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