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