The 2013 winners of The Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships have been announced to great cheer.

Antonia Throsby, "Midden", 2011-2012, various dimensions; ©
Antonia Throsby, “Midden”, 2011-2012, various dimensions; ©
Kate Jones, 2012, handbuilt terracotta, grouping, h.60cm, w.60cm, d.40cm
Kate Jones, 2012, handbuilt terracotta, grouping, h.60cm, w.60cm, d.40cm
Alice Couttoupes, "Colonial Gaze, Banksia Coccinea", 2011, H.45cm, w.45cm, d.20cm
Alice Couttoupes, “Colonial Gaze, Banksia Coccinea”, 2011, H.45cm, w.45cm, d.20cm
Anne-Marie Jackson, "Negative space 2", 2012, left, h.13.5cm, w.17cm
Anne-Marie Jackson, “Negative space 2”, 2012, left, h.13.5cm, w.17cm
Mary-anne Bridge, "Balance – Big Red & Friend", 2012, h.14cm, w.25cm, d.17cm
Mary-anne Bridge, “Balance – Big Red & Friend”, 2012, h.14cm, w.25cm, d.17cm

Trudie Alfred (1922 – 2010) was a well-known Sydney potter and teacher with a great passion for ceramics. She struggled financially to sustain a ceramic practice in her early years as a potter and so, to assist others in a similar position, left a generous bequest to The Australian Ceramics Association (TACA).

TACA will award up to 5 scholarships per year (2012-2016), each valued at $4000 (ie. total $20,000 per year for 5 years).

Thank you to Judges of the 2nd round (2012/2013): Stephen Benwell (VIC), Ben Richardson (TAS), Patsy Hely (ACT) and Vicki Grima (NSW) for their deliberations and to all 34 applicants who made the judges’ job a hard one.

Applications for 2013/2014 will be announced in The Journal of Australian Ceramics, issue 52/1.
Deadline: mid September 2013.

December 2012

by Patsy Hely, President

It has been a busy few months for TACA. Firstly there was the migration to Adelaide for the Australian Ceramic Triennale, then we were busy writing letters about the woeful cuts to TAFE ceramics and visual arts areas and last week a panel met to consider the entries for The Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships.

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October 2012 AGM

TACA has been greatly dismayed to hear of the savage cuts to TAFE art courses – including ceramics – announced in the last few days by the NSW government. These cuts have the potential to make a huge impact on ceramic practice at all levels in this country – from the school system to higher education institutions, where TAFE-trained students make up a significant group. I urge members to sign the online petition being run by Fund Art Education in NSW TAFE at

This year has been a particularly busy and productive one for TACA and it is with much pleasure that I set out below some very tangible outcomes achieved by the Association over the last twelve months.

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August 2012

by Patsy Hely, President

TACA has a very broad constituency, one that encompasses practitioners with different interests, motivations and ambitions, and lovers of ceramics from all walks of life. We currently have a number of projects on the go that aim to meet the needs of a variety of members and these include, importantly, two providing financial and other opportunities for students of ceramics:

The current issue of the Journal invites applications for The Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships 2013. In administering this second round of scholarships we pay tribute to the late Trudie Alfred who bequeathed TACA a significant fund to support ceramic education.

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Handmade in the digital era

Hello from one of the Trudie Alfred Bequest recipients, Serena Rosevear.

The first six weeks of semester have slipped away, immersed mainly in researching, thinking and writing. I’m exploring the use of digital technologies as a tool in my practice through my Honours project, contrasting this to my ‘traditional’ practice, hoping to draw a deeper understanding of what it means to be a maker at this point in history. My project has made a slight shift, as they always do, and I now have a clear idea of the central question I am trying to answer: What are the qualities which define objects as ‘handmade’ in the digital era?

I’ve also been finishing off some work in my studio which, though not strictly part of my Honours, has been feeding into that jumble of ideas I have been processing.  The work (pictured) is a recently completed commission for a local coffee shop, wheel-thrown from Cool Ice, unglazed but polished on the exterior, glazed interior.  The exacting task of making 50 consistent forms lead me to question, with my perfectionist tendency and the refined design, whether I was retaining recognisable evidence of my hand in their production.  What is it that says “handmade”?

April 2012

by Patsy Hely, President

What a good night! JAC’s 50th celebrations at Manly AG&M at the end of January went off really well. Fifty years of publication represents a fantastic achievement and to everyone who has had a hand in the journal over the years, well deserved the plaudits and goodwill flowing on the night. It was great to see so many there including some who have been involved with JAC since its very early days, Margaret Tuckson, Peter Rushforth and more – along with past (and present) editors, contributors and readers.  And, it was just great to catch up with lots of old pals, and see everyone else doing the same.

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Trudie Alfred Bequest 2012, recipient Tracey Mitchell

To introduce myself – I am Tracey Mitchell, emerging ceramicist, Trudie Alfred Bequest recipient and fledgling blogger.

As a Scholarship receiver for 2012, the year has started off with an enthusiastic flurry –balancing work and family with my studies and ambitions – it is all very exciting.   My intention is to immerse myself in learning and to endeavour to get the most out of all opportunities that come my way.

I have eagerly embraced the start of an Advanced Diploma in Gymea TAFE, keen to begin a new path exploring sculptural form in more detail. I have set myself the task to take my hands off clay for a short time and to process in a deeper way, what I would like to express and how best to do it.

I have also been given an opportunity to attend NCECA (National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts) Conference in Seattle this year and with every updated conference/exhibition schedule, I get more and more excited, so it’s just as well I leave in 2 weeks!  I hope to meet some other Australians whilst away and having never been to USA or NCECA would be eager for any advice or feedback. I look forward to the challenges and hopefully growth, which 2012 will bring.

Announcing the winners of The Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships 2012

Congratulations to the inaugural winners of The Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships 2012 – Amy Hick (ACT), Janetta Kerr-Grant (VIC), Tracey Mitchell (NSW), Serena Rosevear (TAS) and Sharon Thompson (NSW). It was wonderful to be able to present the awards to four of the five winners at the celebrations for our 50th Anniversary on 22 January 2012 at Manly Art Gallery & Museum. Each of the five winners received $4000, which will assist them with their ceramics studies at a tertiary institution in 2012.

Patsy Hely, Keith Westgarth, Sharon Thompson (winner), Tracey Mitchell (winner), Sylvia Gore, Selma Kahane, Ron Kahane, Amy Hick (winner), Serena Rosevear (winner), Marie Westgarth and Vicki Grima

February 2012

by Patsy Hely, President

The end of 2011 saw the very successful opening at Manly Art Gallery and Museum (MAGM) of the members’ exhibition, The Narrative Knot and the exhibition to mark The Journal of Australian Ceramics 50th anniversary, PROmotion. Thanks very much to curators, Gerry Wedd and Dee Taylor-Graham, for their work and to the staff at Manly for their, as usual, very generous and professional support.

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December 2011

by Patsy Hely, President

H.G. Nelson will be the guest speaker at the opening of the Association’s biennial member’s exhibition The Narrative Knot on Friday 2 December, and that will be a nicely humorous note with which to see out the end of the year. The opening will be at 6pm at Manly Art Gallery and Museum and it will be great to see the work of members and to catch up with and thank the curator, Adelaide’s Gerry Wedd, for the really good job he has done.

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October 2011 AGM

by Patsy Hely, President

Finalisation of the 50th anniversary celebration is a TACA priority at the moment. We have negotiated for the celebration to be held at Manly Art Gallery and Museum, 5.30-7.30pm on Sunday 22 January 2012. This will be the final day of the Association’s exhibitions, The Narrative Knot and PROmotion, and so the awarding of the first Trudie Alfred Ceramic Bequest Scholarships, originally planned for the closing of PROmotion, will be incorporated into the 50th event.

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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.

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June 2011

by Patsy Hely, President

We’ve been lucky, here in Canberra, to have had the opportunity to see recently a fantastic exhibition: Itarra murrakipinni-ingingaminni purrarpulirri Ngura kutjara – wangka mantanguru ‘Two communities – the language of clay. Ceramics by Tiwi artist Robert Puruntatameri and Ernabella Artists, Alison (Milyika) Carroll, Carol (Anilyuru) Williams and Malpiya (Irpintiri) Davey were featured. The work was made during residencies in Canberra, by Robert at Straithnairn Arts Association (where the exhibition was held), and the other artists at the ANU School of Art. The exhibition came about as part of a project organised by Head of the Ceramics Workshop, Janet DeBoos and the work included thrown and hand-built pieces, all with beautifully rendered patterning and imagery.

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April 2011

by Patsy Hely, President

The last few weeks have been sad ones with the passing away of two senior members of the ceramic community, Shigeo Shiga (1928 – 2011) and Bernard Sahm (1926 – 2011). Shiga and Bernard made significant contributions to Australian ceramics, providing inspiration and generously sharing their skills and knowledge with legions of students and practitioners. The Association has sent its condolences to Shiga’s family and to Bernard’s family and expressed appreciation for the roles the two played in enlivening and helping develop ceramics in this country. They will be remembered with much fondness.

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February 2011

by Patsy Hely, President

I’d like to wish members all the very best for the coming year. The Journal of Australian Ceramics’ 50th year (a semicentennial I believe!) is shaping up as an interesting one. For a ceramics magazine to have remained productive and relevant for fifty years is no small feat and a tribute to contributions by successive generations of members and subscribers.

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December 2010

by Patsy Hely, President

This is my first report as President since taking over from Julie Bartholomew. Julie has been a fantastic advocate for the Association and she, Executive Officer Vicki Grima and all of the Board have expertly steered TACA through a very successful year. Membership has grown, the Journal has even wider distribution, and a number of successful events have been held including the 340 grams members show at Gulgong and the Ilona Romule workshop in Sydney and the Photographing Ceramics workshop in Melbourne.

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October 2010 AGM

by Julie Bartholomew

After being in China and Taiwan for six months of 2009 I returned to the TACA presidency in February 2010. The first major event for this year was Clay Energy in Gulgong. TACA staged a member’s exhibition titled 340 grams and 120 members registered for the show. Vicki and Ashley managed the event and organised a well-attended breakfast opening. Apart from many excellent talks and demonstrations, particularly from Ken Yonetani, Louise Boscacci and Torbjørn Kvasbø, Janet’s Gulgong event was a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with ceramic practitioners and enthusiasts.

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August 2010

by Julie Bartholomew

The workshop given by Latvian ceramicist, Ilona Romule at the beginning of June encompassed exceptional skill and commitment to porcelain practice. Ilona had many stories to tell about her international lifestyle exploring residencies and workshop around the globe. Thanks to Maddy for organizing the workshop at Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park. Upcoming TACA workshops will focus on Photographing Ceramics with Caterina Pacialeo in Sydney and Christopher Sanders in Melbourne, and a Grant Application Workshop with Sam Wild from NAVA.

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April 2010

by Julie Bartholomew, President

I have returned from my Asialink Residency in Taiwan ready for many exhilarating future events including TACA member’s exhibition at Clay Energy in Gulgong, 2010. The exhibition is titled 340 grams and 130 members have registered so it promises to be an extensive and exciting representation of small-scale work. Vicki and Ashley will be managing the show as well as promoting membership, subscriptions and back issues from 28 April until 2 May.


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