My first foray into blogging….I am one of the Trudie Alfred Bequest recipients and Vicki , the editor of JAC, thought it would be good for the five of us to share what is going on with our ceramics as the year develops. So I am quite shocked to realise the first semester of my honours year has nearly slipped by. Like the other recipients, I have been buried deep in trying to forge new directions with all the uncertainty that goes with developing new ideas. My work is centred around the experience of travelling, particularly the experience of driving, often at night, along Melbourne’s vast freeway networks. Although I live in Melbourne I study in Ballarat and the drive has become familiar and at the same time mesmerising. I have taken a lot of photos trying to capture just what is it that attracts me. This particular photo has been one of the key images for my work this year. I have wrestled with developing a unity between the form and the imagery and after a number of maquettes I feel I finally could be making some headway. I will be glazing some larger pieces next week which hopefully will give me some feedback for the next step forward.
My first foray into blogging….hi, I’m Janetta Kerr-Grant, one of the Trudie Alfred Bequest recipients and Vicki , the editor of JAC, thought it would be good for the five of us to share what is going on with our ceramics as the year develops. So I am quite shocked to realise the first semester of my honours year has nearly slipped by. Like the other recipients, I have been buried deep in trying to forge new directions with all the uncertainty that goes with developing new ideas.
My work is centred around the experience of travelling, particularly the experience of driving, often at night, along Melbourne’s vast freeway networks. Although I live in Melbourne I study in Ballarat and the drive has become familiar and at the same time mesmerising. I have taken a lot of photos trying to capture just what is it that attracts me. This particular photo has been one of the key images for my work this year. I have wrestled with developing a unity between the form and the imagery and after a number of maquettes I feel I finally could be making some headway.
I will be glazing some larger pieces next week which hopefully will give me some feedback for the next step forward.
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Having not long returned from an extraordinary NCECA Conference in Seattle, I think I am finally coming back to earth. I have seen so very much and listened to equally as much that I am only really now feeling like I can digest it all.
There was a long and extensive range of lecture subjects but my personal favorites were talks given by Jae Won Lee and Patti Warashina and demonstrations by Tip Tolland and Walter Keeler, all for their endearing honesty and outstanding work. In truth though, the manufacturer’s hall had me astounded and that was just the start.
Apparently there was over 190 exhibitions to see and around 5000 conference participants to see them! It was great to see some Australian work; Gail Nichols, Vipoo Srivilasa, Barbi Loch Lee and to have the opportunity to meet Janet De Boos who was there to lecture and represent ANU.
The most outstanding exhibition for me was PushPlay: 2012 NCECA Invitational. A collection of technically and conceptually brilliant works by 34 artists asked to respond to the relevance of play in contemporary life and its connections to art, creativity, technology, individuality and community. A personal standout was Anne Drew Potters’ circle of ostracizing girls in terracotta.
So now, back to earth, back to work, I am ready to get started, drawings are done, maquettes’ are made and now to the good stuff…
Tracey Mitchell, Trudie Alfred Bequest Recipient 2012
Anyone with “young blood” out there?
It would be great to see some ceramics at the Young Blood Markets in July!
The Markets are returning and have been confirmed as taking place in July 2012 and applications are now open, so any young designers who are interested should visit: http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/youngblood/
Applications are via the website above and close on 14 May 2012 and applicants will be notified if they have been successful on 1 June 2012.
They can also sign up to the newsletter from the Young Blood website link & select ‘design’ as their interests so they can receive any news regarding design orientated events at the Powerhouse.
500 Harris Street Ultimo NSW 2007
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”?
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.
Four ceramic figures each titled, Souvenir (of) Tahrir Square recently acquired by the museum are rare tangible items able to document the momentous but intangible impact of social media. The Souvenir (of) Tahrir Square figures are named after the public square in Cairo that was central to the Egyptian democracy protests throughout 2011. The figures are vintage porcelain ornaments, dramatically altered by Byrne, to become politicised statements celebrating free speech.
With the retail sector suffering in this hard economic climate this is important news for all ceramic artists/designers that sell their work on consignment. Australia’s new Personal Properties Securities Act requires that you register a security interest in your personal property [ie artworks and products] to protect yourself from loss in the case that any gallery/retailer holding your work were to fold. For more information go here.
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.
If you are looking four walls for inspiration or wanting to learn new skills to enhance your existing practice then the following two workshops may be just the creative tonic you need.
Culinary Clay: Food and Design at Gaya Ceramic and Design located in Ubud, Bali from 8 – 21 April 2012. Returning for it’s third incarnation, this is a remarkable workshop for any clay-lover with a specific interest in the intimate relationship between food and the vessel in which it is presented. Formal design considerations of shape, texture, color and scale will be explored in direct relation to specific unusual gastronomic selections. Participants will work closely with Hillary Kane, ceramic instructor and visiting culinary expert, Mary Jane Edleson, creating utilitarian pieces as well as sampling and preparing the exquisite recipes that will be served upon them. The two-week workshop will culminate, appropriately, in a feast of the senses.
Sturt Australian Contemporary Craft and Design, Mittagong (1¼ hours south of Sydney): Kwirak Choung is now offering ceramics classes on Thursdays, as well as a weekend workshop on 10 & 11 March; there will also be an “Easy Start” one day introductory ceramics workshop on 22 & 23 March. For the entire range of ceramics courses and the full program for Winter School 2012 go to www.sturt.nsw.edu.au
Peter Cooley’s polychrome ceramic sculptures bring you closer to the wild otherness of the avian species than any visit to a zoo ever could. Cooley’s unique forms of discontinuity in space refuse to capture, but manage to ‘get’ the fast twitter flutter peck of “birdness”, on the bough and in the air.
Cooley is a bush walker and he puts what he sees into cut out negative shapes, carved rhythms of folded forms painted in brilliant colours and shimmering glazes that conjure the feathers, flight and soaring wings of “birdness.”
Cooley’s encounters in Through the Archipelago seem more real than the deconstructed blurr of a fast shutter speed “wildlife” photograph taken with a telephoto lens.
Modernist to their evacuated cores, Cooley’s masterful painted majolica glazed ceramics continue sculptures redemptive synthesis of colour, texture and form that Picasso got going in the early 20th Century with oil paint on bronze in his six variations on A Glass of Absynthe, cast from hand modelled wax.
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.
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. www.australianceramics.com
In nearly thirty years as a discreet but resonant figure in Australian ceramics, Sony Manning has become justly renowned and widely admired for her distinctive and meticulous work with clay inlay. Manning’s elegant and immediately recognisable vessels have a beautiful continuity to them. Using a combination of layers, with both inlaid slips and plastic clays, she applies metallic oxides for pigment. Manning strives to expand the technical parameters of her practice while maintaining her abiding fascination for the colours and contours of the rural landscape.
Perhaps the question should be qualified by asking “Best at what?” We could ask “Which gives the best firing results, which has the best efficiency or which is the best and easiest to use?” The argument could also extend to include “Which offers the best service life, the best safety or the best (lowest) repair cost?”
It can be quite easy. Taking a stoneware base recipe, in this case Bernard Leach’s Cone 8 recipe, I will make alterations to develop two distinct glaze palettes. The seascape image (see below) will form the basis for both surfaces and colours.
Phil Elson offers some thoughts on tea and early memories
I am writing about teapots. I make many more bowls than I do teapots, however there is something about teapots; something that evokes early memories, the very earliest memories. Mothers and teapots, they seemed to go together. Mothers, and friends around for cups of tea; and that shape – that round teapot shape – always there, always about the place. I remember it; remember its roundness – white with blue drawings and a stain from the tip of the spout down to the base. It is in my sea of memories; permanently, it seems. And now I make teapots; not white with blue drawings, and, hopefully, devoid of brown stains. This is what pots can do for us; take us to places that otherwise may be inaccessible – places that remind us of the roundness of life.