Sunday, 31 December 2017

New Work as 2017 Draws to a Close

Questions asked

How might I make a vessel using my visual concerns about place & environment?
How can I continue to make texture that relates to me? In additional to my pinching technique or instead of?

Continued themes

Sense of place in particular Delatite River & landscape.
My significant tree, Mountain Eucalyptus.

Starting point is the last work made at the Northcote Residency

This work is now part of the Northcote Pottery collection. Use of slabs and coiling. 

Process & Revelations 

Texture on slabs created by knuckle, river stones, fingertips and a little pinching rather than entirely formed from coil and pinch. 

Making QUICKLY. Responding to CURVES and CONTOURS from slab throwing. 


Works which directly expression the tree

Using foliage cotour for rim

Large quickly made slabs

Subtle texture (fingertips) combined with deeply impressed texture
No reference to 'literal' tree silhouette
Love the broader surface the the wrap connection

Monday, 11 December 2017

Material Memories Exhibition - Visiting the Collection

The Invitation

Delighted to have been invited to participate in this exhibition curated by Sarah Stubbs.

The project entitled Material Memories is about connecting six contemporary artists with small object collections bequeathed by Tasmanians to the Queen Victorian Museum and Art Gallery.

The parameters of the project are to open a discussion and explore methods of materiality, through the mapping of existing objects in order to reveal the story of place and visual memory.

Through material inventions, we seek to construct new memories, fictions and poetic narratives that speak of our conceptual construction of place. 

We seek to use the act of making as a legitimate means to ask: How can an object define or translate our sensory perception and physical experiences of space and place?

The Artists 
Janine Coombs, Penelope Davis, Eli Giannini, Sue Buchanan, Sarah Stubbs and Myself.

TMAG - Mining the Museum

In late November 2017, we were given access to TMAG's natural, cultural and artistic collections and guided through by amazingly generous staff. 

My initial plan was to look at the scrimshaw as TMAG has a world class collection. The qualities of the scratching into the white bone was compelling and complimentary to sgrafitto on porcelain clay. This might be a process in which to depict a narrative that evolves.
It was quite humbling to handle these objects of great longing was what is no longer or is far away. Much of the imagery inscribed was of women & courtship in a most intimate but well-mannered presentation. Designs by more naive hands were of simple beauty, the joy of creating something decorative such as vase of flowers. 

Aboriginal woven baskets and string bags have been on interest since my ceramics studies at RMIT. This bag is particularly fine. Melbourne Museum has an incredible collection of bags.

 This selection blew our craftswomen's minds. The intricacy of technique, the fineness of material and  clearly apparent love and respect in the making.

 The Proclamation Cup is a disturbing in it's banality the maker Violet Mace created this work in 1935, whose narrative decoration is based Governor Arthur's Proclamation board which was painted in 1829.  It is a complex history and oblique in its intent.


The remainder of these images are of weird wonderful and indicative things of Launceston, Tasmania and museums collecting in general.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Artist In Residency - Northcote Pottery

Relocated myself to this sunny spacious Artist in Residence studio at Northcote Pottery from September to December 2016.

My residency aims were to:
  1. Question what type of vessel I might make
  2. Use the frequent firing of kilns downstairs to explore different clay bodies and test a new green glaze
  3. Use the increased studio space to make bigger work.

12 months later, I'm finally presenting the outcomes of this fabulous time. 

For more details on the NPS Residency information go to:

Glorious light filled studio, plenty of space, access to materials, expertise and daily firings

This vessel is the culmination of my work at the AIR. It is now proudly part of the Northcote Pottery Ceramic Collection. 
This work answers how I could bring my love of sculptural fluidity found in my tree work into a vessel. The form is partially built from coil pinching and then extended an overlapped wit additional pinched and textured slabs.
Iron based clays and the use of slips highlights my new stoneware glaze which is a brighter, crisper green.

The engobe that I use for painted surfaces has been used to highlight texture from a plaster slab. The texture is of my finger impressions. 

This bridging piece links two technical concerns, my pinched sculptural hollow vessels with hand-pinched trees.

This next series asks, 'how can I create the fluidity of my tree forms within a vessels'.

Looking at baskets as a vessels, in particular handles. Baskets are based on woven cane baskets from my childhood home. 

Inevitable process issues, 's' cracks in poorly compressed base. Also rim cracking from the weight of handles.

Post-residency statement
I spread my creative work around research, writing, teaching and making. I had reached a stage in my studio practice where I needed to ‘bite the bullet’ and sort a glaze colourant that was no longer available.

My residency at Northcote Pottery enabled me to run one to two day tests on different oxide and stain colourants on a range of different bodies. In my studio, it would take months for me to make enough work to run the large kilns so often.

I also took the opportunity to break away from the purely sculptural forms that I had been creating since graduating from RMIT. My creative proposal to Northcote Pottery was to solve a question: What Vessel Might I Make? The comparatively generous space and brilliant natural light of the Northcote Studio allowed me to make larger scale vessels and to have all works on display at the same time to compare shape and form. I was also able to nut-out a way of greatly increasing the scale my sculptural trees.

I really appreciated the creative people around me, my fellow studio artist and the staff at Northcote Pottery who were a wealth of knowledge and interest. 

At the completion of my Artist in Residency, I had the major realisation that a residency doesn’t mean relocating to an entirely new culture or ‘oversees’. Undertaking a residency is a mindset, and at Northcote I set projects and came up with many new technical and creative directions that I am still working through today.
September 2017