Have you got bits that have fallen to pieces? Or pieces that have fallen to bits? Have you ever wanted to learn how to piece it back together again in the form of a mosaic? Continue reading “Mosaic Mischief – A Workshop with Donna Ritchie”
Quite a few late dropouts from the enrollment list made for a class of only seven at this weekend workshop – which was a great number for those who did attend!
Ginny alternates her time between studios in Seattle and Mexico and her photos of each looked quite idyllic. Her opening slide show demonstrated her mastery of a range of forms, all of which are conceived with an idea of how they will interact with the crystalline glazes.
Ginny first demonstrated her preparation of slabs for subsequent manipulation into trays, platters and vase forms, often laying them over shape-formers of rolled-up plastic, cloth or towelling. She emphasised the need to wait for the right degree of soft leather-hardness before attempting to handwork the clay to minimise the risk of collapse. She also demonstrated the forming of a cylinder from a slab, to be altered later into a gracefully sinuous standing vessel. While the slabs dried she took to the wheel and threw a variety of forms for subsequent modification, sometimes using a canvas mat between the pot and the batt to facilitate separating the work from the batt without recourse to a cut-off wire (worked beautifully).
At later stages we witnessed the transformation of these basic forms by simple but very skillful manipulation with fingers, ribs and pottery knife, producing delicately curved edges to bowls, sinuous curving bulges to vessels and flowing, asymmetric openings. She paid great attention to the rhythm and cadence of these curves and stressed the importance she places on having a mirror behind the piece, when hand-building as well as when throwing, in order to see the whole form as it is being modified. A highlight for me was to see the confident way in which she joined two pre-cut and roughly-shaped slabs to make one of her characteristic elliptical vase forms, which she stretched out from inside and modified the opening with a few deft slices of the knife.
There was much discussion of crystalline glazes (and Ginny was generous with provision of her favourite recipes) and the weekend concluded with a demonstration of glazing with spray gun and airbrush, followed by a short practice session. Ginny had so much to show and discuss that there was little time for hands-on activity but no-one seemed to mind!
Living and working in the U.S.A., Ginny Conrow is a highly acclaimed practitioner with a particular expertise in crystalline glazes. You can visit her website conrowporcelain.com to see some of the lovely pieces she makes.
On the Saturday morning, after a Powerpoint review of her work, Ginny will demonstrate techniques of throwing and altering and working with slabs, including a variety of flatware slabs. In the afternoon you’ll be hands-on in the clay, trying out some new altering, throwing and slab techniques. On Sunday morning Ginny will finish her pieces and you will finish yours. In the afternoon she will discuss and demonstrate her air-brush glazing technique and there will be opportunities for you to practise on your own bisque work (which means of course that you’ll need to bring a couple of your own bisque-fired pieces to the workshop).
Please express your interest
Because our studio facilities are limited, this workshop can cater only to a small group so we are seeking expressions of interest to fine-tune our offering. If you are interested, please email John Watson, email@example.com , and advise whether you are most interested in the throwing or hand-building aspects, general airbrush-glazing or specifically in crystalline glaze processes.
Clay Gulgong 2016 is bringing together leaders in the fields of ceramics, art writing and education for a week-long program of learning, ideas and festivity. Over 500 delegates will be arriving from around Australia and the world for this unique art festival.
The festival will be held in a region of rural north-western New South Wales, that is globally recognized for its strong links with the field of ceramics.
From April 17th – 23rd, the old gold rush town of Gulgong will be transformed into a lively hub of demonstrations, talks and activities. With renowned artists and thinkers flying in from across the globe, the week-long program aims to explore processes and ideas within the ceramic field.
Keith Brymer-Jones, from the BBC2 program The Great Pottery Throw Down; and curator Marta Donaghey of London’s Centre for Contemporary Ceramics will be in attendance, alongside prolific ceramists from Italy, Norway and the Netherlands.
Some highlights of this year’s program include Beth Cavener (USA), who is making her first-ever visit to Australia to share her practice alongside Alessandro Gallo (USA/Italy). Both artists are renowned for their evocative animal sculptures which they craft meticulously, commentating on the human condition.
We will also be welcoming writer and curator, Moyra Elliot, who is bringing with her seven of New Zealand’s best ceramists to work on a collaborative project for the duration of the festival.
Accompanying the daily demonstrations will be a series of lectures, presentations and panel discussions on topics ranging from education and critical arts writing to the future of ceramics as an art form.
After all these years, traditions of family and community remain at the festival’s core and at the end of the week, guests are invited to visit Morning View – the Mansfield family farm for a day of experimentation, entertainment, fire and fun.
The full list of Masters is as follows:
Akira Satake – Japan/USA
Alessandro Gallo – Italy/USA
Alexandra Engelfriet – Netherlands
Beth Cavener – USA
Garth Clark – USA
Ian Jones – Australia
Jack Troy – USA
John Neely – USA
Keith Brymer-Jones – UK
Mark Del Vecchio – USA
Marta Donaghey – UK
Merran Esson – Australia
Paul Davis – Australia
Peter Callas – USA
Rafa Perez – Spain
Simon Reece – Australia
Torbjørn Kvasbø – Norway
We will also welcome the following guest artists from New Zealand:
Brendan Adams – NZ
Chuck Joseph – NZ
Jim Cooper – NZ
Lauren Winstone – NZ
Matt McLean – NZ
Moyra Elliot – NZ
Steve Fullmer – NZ
Mark Teseschi QC AM – the festival official photographer
Christopher Allen – gives his views on ceramics in a stand-alone talk as well as joining the highly anticipated writers panel.
$480 for a weekly pass, or $325 if you are a full-time student. Day passes are also available.
Registrations can be made at www.claygulgong.com/shop
Please make all enquiries about Clay Gulgong 2016 to the Festival Manager, Siobhan Mansfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0447 241 826.
Hello Tasmanian Ceramists, Helen Leckie has emailed me saying,
I’m hoping to meet some fellow ceramicists and maybe some of us may know each other as I went to Tas. Art School here in the sixties! Now living in Queensland but am a frequent visitor.
Gallery open each day and I will be there on the 14th and then again 18th 20th and 21st.
I exhibit regularly in Brisbane but this is the first time in Tasmania.
“SHADOWS FROM THE ISLAND”
Growing up in Hobart during the fifties and sixties the Past was a place we did not go.
But returning to Tasmania after many years I find, emerging from the shadows, stories that have inspired me to imagine in clay those feisty ancestors for too long unknown to us. My research has focussed mainly on our founding mothers, the bawdy and the brave. The transportees and the impoverished free immigrants. Thus each figure has a name and a story. The struggles and the achievements of the Van Diemonians make for fascinating reading. I hope to share their stories through my work. My work is stylized naturalism leaning towards finding the quintessential character of the subject.
Born Hobart 1944. Matriculated from Hobart High School and studied at the Tasmanian School of Art then situated in the old University buildings on the Domain. Taught art in high schools on the N.W. Coast for 4 years before leaving Tasmania. After living and travelling overseas for 10 years settled in Brisbane where I taught high school art for 20 years. I have exhibited regularly in Brisbane and am now delighted to be returning to my home state to exhibit.
“First Sighting of Van Diemen’s Land”
Hi everyone, as some of you will already know, on the 28th of November I reluctantly resigned from the Cerameco executive organising committee. This decision was not taken lightly and was due to a perfect storm of health issues within my family, none of them immediately life threatening, but all of them serious.
On the 5th of December a decision was made by the remaining Cerameco committee members to disband Cerameco, and to not continue with preparations for hosting the Australian Ceramics Triennale in Hobart in 2018.
I am sorry for disappointing those of you who were looking forward to coming to Hobart.
I would also like to thank those of you who offered your advice and support to me, personally and professionally in the last three years it meant a lot and I am grateful.
Tasmanian Ceramics Association.
The judges – Christl Berg & Bill Taylor – were very appreciative of all the hard work and effort behind each and every exhibit. They enjoyed the insights into the theme of Asylum that each work provided and wished to congratulate all the artists involved.
Robin Roberts (No: 19 Long Faces) – winner of the Award for Overall Excellence
This powerful work conveys containment and the inescapability & cruelty of confinement. The judges commended the attention to detail – the individuality of the faces, and the strength of the raku fired surfaces against the wires of the birdcage – a clever means of bringing the issue into the domestic realm.
($300 voucher for materials from Derwent Ceramics )
Joanna Larke (No: 11 Do You Like My Pants?) – Highly Commended Award 1
A very poignant work that seems to delve into the nightmare of what it might feel like to not fit anywhere or into anything.
($200 Voucher From Tasmanian Ceramic & Pottery Supplies.)
Carolyn Canty (No: 4 My Island Ho-o-ome) – Highly Commended Award 2
This piece portrays the safety of an island but also the vulnerability of its isolation. It effectively expresses the duality of sanctuary and desolation via the figure atop the tree and the fallen palm frond.
$200 voucher from Derwent Ceramics
Belinda Thomas (No: 2 Talking in Tongues with Joan of Arc, Joan Rivers & My Achey Breaky Heart) – Award for the Most Imaginative Response – (to the exhibition theme).
A courageous and complex approach to the theme. Visually engaging, this collection of anatomical forms alludes to potential entrapment.
(This award is a one-year membership to the Australian Ceramics Association.)