This is going to be a busy week. None of that lazing around that we promise ourselves that we’ll get around to doing one day. I have pots in six different exhibitions this month. One opened two weeks ago, a couple have just opened, two are about to open and there will be one more in the coming weeks.
I was lucky to be included in the National Arts School, 60th anniversary show in Darlinghurst, but blown away to find that I was to be one of the chosen few to be featured and to give an artists talk. I don’t know how this happened, but I have had a very strong association with the place. Going to Art School was great. I went to The East Sydney Tech, Art School in 1971/72. Like so many bright-eyed and bushy-tailed innocents of the sixties and seventies. I went there as a child and left an adult. Painful, challenging, extending, stimulating exciting, but mostly a lot of fun, with so much to learn and so little time – even the ceramics classes were good! 🙂
I was particularly thrilled to find that Patsy Healy also had work in this show and had made two small porcelain installations that referenced her time at East Sydney Tech. One featured all her tutors and the other one is a 3D construction representation of my blog site, composed of 2D images taken from the blog and painted on intersecting porcelain tiles. What an amazing idea!
I showed 10 pieces at NAS. A range of my locally prospected, ground rock clay bodies and glazes, plus a couple of unglazed pots.
This is a rough unglazed stoneware bowl, that has picked up a lot of wood ash from the fire. it was packed towards the front of the kiln and the ash deposit has melted and run to form a pool of ash glaze just off centre of the bowl, because I packed it up on wads with a slight lean to encourage this off-centredness.
This is a guan glaze made from my local native porcelain stone. The bowl is made from a body that I make by washing basaltic gravel in water, and then throwing away the gravel and keeping the dirty water. If I repeat this exercise many, many, times, I eventually get enough thickened slip in the bottom of the barrel to stiffen up to make an intensely black rock dust/clay body. The intensity of the iron in the body breaks through on the rim.
This is the porcelain guan glaze mixed with wood ash and cow bone ash. The addition of the ashes starts to react in such a way that the glaze starts to become slightly opalescent.
This is an unglazed porcelain bowl, composed almost entirely of ground local native porcelain stone 97%. The stone powder is bound together with just 3% of bentonite. The surface of the stone body is flashed to a golden lustre with some flame bleaching on the fire front. It has picked up a small amount of carbon inclusion that defines and accentuates the rim.
All my pots are quite small and delicate. Partly that is my aesthetic choice, but mostly it is because of the nature of my home-made, locally prospected, ground stone bodies that lack any real plasticity. So that making large-scale works on the potters wheel is virtually impossible with this floppy paste. I have taken these limitations and challenges and worked with them, such that these pots respond well to the flame in the wood fired kiln to produce little, engaging, tactile, gorgeous gems.
The other shows that I currently have work in are;
Woodfire 2015, Kerrie Lowe Gallery in Newtown, Sydney. NSW. Janine also has work in this show.
Chance and Intelligence: the Captivating Art of Glazed Wood Fired Ceramics, Skepsi at Malvern Artists’ Society Gallery. Malvern, VIC
BeLonging: Embodied Commentaries Inspired by Place, at ANU Foyer Gallery, Canberra. ACT.
Australian Woodfire, Curators Choice. Strathnairn Gallery, Holt, ACT.
Two views of “A Pot and a Bit” in ‘Chance and Intelligence’, Skepsi at Malvern Artists’ Gallery
Five pieces from ‘Curators Choice’ at Strathnairn.