Last Friday Supper Club
is a regular space for informal and social discussion and
information sharing related to all things ceramic. There are
regular Artist Talks from our visiting artists as well as
topical film nights so join us for a light supper and drink
after work on the last Friday (usually!) of each month (except
December) from 6 pm (or as otherwise stated below).
Gold coin donation
newsletter for the next
Supper Club event
FRIDAY 22 JULY at 6pm
presenter Steve Williams and the winter school
participants talked about the process and
outcomes of the course and presented food on some of the work
they had designed and made.
on the 1st November was a wonderful success - the rain held
off, there were great demonstrations, people queued to buy
pots for Raku firing, children and adults had fun 'having a
go' with clay, the pizzas and soup were delicious -
As always, a big thank you to
everyone who helped!
The first event in our Last Friday Supper Club on Friday 31 July was a showing of a film about Peter Rushforth - Playing with Clay: the Life and Art of Peter Rushforth.
There was a great turn-out
for the presentation by our current
artist-in-residence HIDEMI TOKUTAKE on Friday 20th
Demi took us through a
slide-show of works by Japanese master potters and the
tradition in which she originally trained. She talked about
how she was drawn to more free-form sculptural works with
surfaces showing the marks made during the making process.
She finished with images from Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney
in 2014, in which she was accepted to exhibit.
Image right: Hidemi Tokutake,
Canadian ceramicist, master of salt-fired stoneware and current artist-in-residence
presented an artist talk and slide show on FRIDAY 14th
NOVEMBER to an enthusiastic audience.
been creating salt fired stoneware for more than thirty
years. She has a studio and gallery on southern Vancouver
Island in the Cowichan Valley near Duncan.
creation of functional dishes is grounded in her belief that
it’s important to have handmade items in our lives to help
us remain connected to the natural world and to each other.
Most of her work is wheel-thrown and altered into square or
triangular shapes. Cathy uses
salt-fired technique to
finish her stoneware.
sculptural pieces are inspired by the massive trees and
other forest elements that surround her studio.
people joined artist-in-residence Michael
Keighery on the 31st August 2014 to learn about the man and
his work. Michael’s mixed
media, ceramic-based and performance art is collected,
respected and exhibited worldwide. From the Second Beijing
International in China to the Huntington Gallery in Boston
USA, his work has been featured in major contemporary art
events. In Australia Michael has presented regular solo
exhibitions in Sydney as well as at the Brisbane City
Gallery, New England Regional Art Museum and Maitland
Regional Art Gallery. He is also an acclaimed pyrotechnic
and performance artist. His work incorporates cutting edge
digital technology to merge text and imagery with ceramics
and other media. An acerbic social commentator, his work is
frequently controversial, constantly treading the border
between the acceptable and the unacceptable.
work is widely collected and represented in prestigious
public collections including the National Gallery of
Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of WA,
Powerhouse Museum, Artbank, Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the
Fuping International Ceramics Galleries, China as well as
many regional galleries across Australia.
He has had a
distinguished career as an arts educator and policy maker,
most recently as Head of Fine Arts Program UWS from 2003 to
2007, National President (Australia) International
Association of Art (IAA), Chair of National Association of
the Visual Arts (NAVA) as well as Chair of Viscopy and a
member of the NSW Arts Advisory Council, NSW Ministry for
Keighery also has a long history of exploring how new
technologies such as CNC Milling and 3D Printing can be
incorporated into traditional ceramic studio production
group of people turned up on Sunday 3rd August to hear
Verney talk about her inspirations and innovative creative
process. The many variables in her making process give
Verney plenty of scope for future development, and in
talking about the residency, it was obvious that the space
and time to work has been important in supplying future
of clay straight from Verney's freezer, attendees were able
to see for themselves the amazing surfaces produced when
frozen clay breaks apart when thrown at the ground. And it's
not as easy as it might sound to get the frozen clay to
Burness was artist-in-residence in studio 3 during June and
July 2014. Verney, who graduated from the ANU School of Art at the end
of 2013, was awarded the two-month residency by CPS through
the ANU’s Emerging Artist Support Scheme (EASS).
Verney used the residency to continue her investigations into
using clay to create natural forms that evoke mountains,
crevasses and ice shards. She works in a very unconventional
way by freezing and then breaking clay. Whilst one would hesitate to say
that this is unique to Verney – some ceramic artist
somewhere in the world is bound to stick up their hand and
say ‘me too’ – it’s certainly not a technique that you come
across every day. The shards and fragments that result
from breaking the frozen clay are then further worked, fired
and exhibited in arrangements and groupings reminiscent of
mountains and geological specimens. The installations invoke
a space for contemplation of the human relationship to
nature, including both destructive and creative forces.
National Gallery of Australia - Gold
of the Incas: Lost worlds of Peru
April 2014 members’ event, new co-ordinator Rick Beviss
kicked off with a free
guided tour for CPS members of the National Gallery of
Australia’s blockbuster exhibition Gold of the Incas:
Lost worlds of Peru.
JERMYN - artist-in-residence
people gathered on Friday 21st February 2014 for
Jane’s talk and slide show. Most were CPS members but it was
lovely to also welcome some non-potting friends that Jane
has made since arriving in Canberra in January. (By all
accounts, Dickson swimming pool is a very friendly place!)
Jane didn’t begin working with clay until
she was in her forties but once she started, she threw
herself into it wholeheartedly. If the photo she showed of
some of her very first pieces is anything to go by, she had
an immediate affinity for clay. Training as a production
potter on the Crafts Council of Ireland Pottery Skills
Course was followed by obtaining first a diploma, then an
Honours Degree and finally a Masters degree. Invitations to
exhibit and demonstrate her techniques, along with various
residencies, have given Jane the opportunity to travel to
many countries around the world.
Janes’s two-day masterclass is scheduled
for the 16th and 23rd March.
There are still a few places
22nd September 10am to 2pm
Society opend its doors at Watson Arts Centre on Sunday 22nd
September for its 2013 Open Day. It was a
great opportunity to see potters in action and to join in a
range of fun activities.
Highlights of the day
included demonstrations of hand-building and throwing on the
potter’s wheel, the 2013 Members' Exhibition in the gallery
and the ever-popular ‘buy a soup bowl, get the soup for
free’! As always, visitors were encouraged to have a go at handbuilding
and wheelthrowing. Children’s clay activities kept the younger
ones occupied and Raku firing demonstrations took place throughout the
For local and visiting
potters, Clayworks, Walker Ceramics, Keane
Ceramics and Black Wattle Pottery Supplies had trade stands.
Alex de Vos will co-ordinate a
salt-firing at Strathnairn Arts Association in November
2013. Check back here for details.
Anne Masters 21st April 2013
CPS member Anne completed a 6-week
residency at the International Ceramic Research Centre (ICRC),
which is located in a beautiful rural setting near the
fishing village of Skælskør in Denmark early in 2013.
Anne spoke knowledgeably about the
residency experience, lessons learned, presentations she
gave, how to prepare for an international residency (eg what
materials to take, asking what costs are involved), kilns,
clays, shipping cost shocks, and other unexpected issues
that arose during the residency. Anyone planning an international (or Australian) residency
would have gained really useful information, and those
people not planning a residency found it a really interesting talk anyway!
2nd November 2012
Visiting artist and
inspirational tutor from the UK, Sandy Brown, gave a
presentation about her work and extensive career in ceramics.
Sandy began her career in the 70s in Japan. On her return to England
she quickly gained recognition for her bold, colourful, exuberant
work with its fresh clay handling and spontaneous glaze painting.
Colour, dynamism and free expression are the words which immediately
spring to mind when thinking of Sandy's work. She exhibits
worldwide and runs courses in intuitive creativity.
and MEMBERS’ EVENT
Miki Oka’s studio sale on the
27th & 28th October was a great success with plenty of
visitors and sales, especially on the Saturday. It took a
while for Miki to get away from the customers in the studio
to chat to members who came for the members’ event! Now that
Miki’s residency has come to an end we wish her all the best
for her return to Japan.
A BIG thank you to
members who made donations to help Miki Oka replace her
(photo by Garry Palecek)
MOULD MAKING MANIA
SATURDAY 25 AUGUST
Reports are that a great time
was had by all! Everyone got to take home some moulds, and
the Society now has some new ones for students and members
to use. Thanks to Jane and Maryke for organising this making
20th July 2012
Report by Sara Hogwood
Eleven people gathered in July
to meet Adam Knoche, current artist-in-residence at
Strathnairn Arts Association in Holt, and his wife Angie.
Adam hails from Alton, Illinois, on the Mississippi River,
supposedly the most haunted city in the USA. It’s famous as
the hometown of Robert Wadlow, the tallest verified human
being (2.72m at the time of his death at 22), and for the
Piasa bird (a Native American dragon) painted on a cliff
Fascinated by different firing
methods, both technically and for the glaze results,
Adam not only fires in reduction but also cools in
reduction. This involves closing all dampers on the kiln as
the temperature cools to 800-900OC and then introducing
pieces of bark into the kiln, where they burn and reduce the
atmosphere. The process involves an 8-hour cooling period.
The result is black iron oxide glaze effects: metallic black
with subtle colour changes.
Adam also achieves
reduction-fired effects in electric kilns by packing pots
into saggars filled with graphite chunks sourced from a
machine shop. Intriguingly, the graphite chunks don’t burn
up but can be re-used again and again.
From his interest in landscape
architecture Adam has brought metal and concrete to his clay
work, embedding the feet of tripod clay structures in
concrete and using metal handles on pots. As an artist he
doesn’t limit himself to clay but also paints and draws and
is creating artworks with colour and texture by burning tar
paper painted with oxides and clay.
Adam’s talk and slide show
finished with a viewing of some works from his first firing
at Strathnairn, a wonderful foretaste of his upcoming
residency exhibition on the 28th and 29th July. If you
missed the exhibition you can view some of Adam’s work by
www.etsy.com/shop/MudHolePottery and clicking on the
Adam in conversation with
OUR INAUGURAL EASS ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE
Report by Jane Crick
On a very cool and VERY wet
evening a surprisingly large number of enthusiastic members
gathered in the Residency Studio for a presentation by Anne
Masters, the first recipient of a CPS residency as part of
the Emerging Artist Support Scheme (EASS).
Anne explained how her six weeks
in residence had flown by and that she had been on a very
steep learning curve to achieve the goal she had set herself
for the time. Making new moulds, experimenting with
press-moulding and slip-casting to achieve the look and
weight she was seeking for her bowls had been a challenge.
In her search for suitable decoration, to be applied by the
shellac resist and wash-back techniques with which she was
familiar, she had settled on the Royal Bluebell, the floral
emblem of the ACT, for her inspiration.
Researching widely in both
botanical and ceramic sources she had abstracted a design
with which she was happy. The CPS library had held a wealth
of information which she had found invaluable and she
recommended all members to take advantage of the wonderful
resource which is the library.
Passing around completed
prototypes (which looked exquisite and felt beautiful) and
transitional examples of her new work, Anne said she
realised how advantageous it had been to have a residency to
enable her to fast-track the early development of new work.
Anne thanked CPS for this wonderful opportunity. She will
continue the development of this work when she returns from
her attendance at the annual conference of the National
Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) in April.
Thank you, Anne, for such a
listener-friendly and frank presentation.
NCECA is a USA organisation informing and peer-supporting
teachers of ceramics. Its annual conference is a major
event, and attended by thousands of international delegates
and hosts a program of hundreds of presentations and
exhibitions. The NCECA conference for 2012 is in Seattle in
March; in 2013 it will be in Houston, Texas.
A DAY at LOOPLINE POTTERY
with STEVE HARRISON
Report by Dalma Demeter
On 19 November 2011 a group of
enthusiastic potters (from the very beginners to experienced
artists) headed down for a daytrip to Balmoral Village to
visit Steve Harrison’s and Janine King’s Loopline Pottery. A
few of us got somewhat lost when crossing the historical
Picton-Mittagong Loop Line railway (giving the name of the
studio), but we honestly enjoyed the unintended additional
visit to some fairy-tale-like corners of the village before
reaching the small estate hidden in beautiful bushland.
We received a tour of the house,
gardens, workshops, and listened to stories that reflect a
lifestyle many of us probably dream about, but few can
achieve. Steve and Janine built their home and workplace and
live their life with a minimal impact on the environment.
Their house – originally a country school, expanded with
materials obtained from an old train station – could serve
as a model of sustainable living. The organic garden offers
almost everything a healthy family could need and the
workshops are entirely carbon neutral. Solar power, energy
efficient appliances, rainwater tanks, furniture made by
Steve from wood that nature offers of its own accord, and
pots made in a wood-fired kiln; all setting a respectable
example, especially considering the only consumption-based
city life most people know.
We admired Janine’s
floral-painted pots, each looking like a piece of Spring in
lively, fresh colours; and listened to Steve, who seems to
understand the language of rocks. Apparently all stones from
the shire - and even the roadside debris, can talk to Steve.
He can often tell from a simple crack or angle of an edge,
what clay or glaze that rock can turn into. While he bases
his prediction on rock-solid chemistry knowledge and yet
claims to often be surprised by the result, his skills
appear to the ordinary (but artistic-veined) layperson as
the capability to see the colourful butterfly in an ordinary
caterpillar. Steve collects rocks, mills them into fine
powder, then mixes it with other materials, most of which
he’s also collected and prepared. He produces unique little
pots whose colours could never be compared to or copied by
machines; reflecting the triumph of art over industrial mass
After immersing ourselves in
Steve’s stories filled with contagious enthusiasm for
sustainable life and pottery, we had the chance to pretend
that we too could create glaze from the rocks offered by the
shire. Steve made our task almost embarrassingly easy by
providing all the raw materials, tools and the recipes. At
this date it’s unknown if we managed to produce the same
glaze as the samples also provided. Irrespective of the
outcome, the process was real fun, and we curiously wait for
our ‘masterpieces’ upon a test grid tile fired at CPS,
reminding us of a wonderful day spent in Balmoral.
Thank you, Steve and Janine, for
the insight into an admirable sustainable lifestyle and the
glimpse into the magical world of Loopline Pottery!
You can find out more about Steve
hard at work learning Steve's glaze testing method
INDIGENOUS CERAMICS and other 3-D
art at the National Gallery of Australia - July 2011
On a cold afternoon, eleven CPS
members and friends (one celebrating a birthday!) joined guide
Elizabeth Bennett to view some of the very special ceramics in
the national collection by indigenous artists.
Elizabeth had been asked to focus on
the work of a well-known recently deceased artist and had
arranged for quite a number of her works to be retrieved from
storage and made available for us to view in the Study Room.
Out of respect for this artist's
culture we are not allowed to use her name and she is referred
to as "Thapich" which means "the person who we know" and would
have been what she was called before she was born.
Rose, the curator for the Study
Room, had assisted Elizabeth in researching these works and we
were told the relevant dreamtime stories in the artist's own
It was a privilege to see the works
in such detail. Elizabeth had also arranged for a selection of
pots from Hermannsberg, Ernabella, and the Tiwi Islands to be
available in the Study Room.
The very different styles from the
various regions were fascinating. Moving from the Study Room to
the galleries, Elizabeth showed us a more extensive range of
work from Hermannsberg now very appropriately displayed
alongside the paintings of Albert Namatjira, who was also from
We finished by viewing work by CPS
board member Janet Fieldhouse, who is of the Torres Strait
Altogether a very interesting and
inspiring tour - and there is a lot more to see. We may have to
arrange another visit.
Hillary Kane - May 2011
A members' event with visiting
artist Hillary Kane was organised at short notice in May, while
Hillary was at Watson conducting a
2-day workshop. Despite the short notice and only being able
to notify members by email and word of mouth, we had a great
turn out. Hillary was an enthusiastic speaker and inspiration to
PIT FIRING with Maryke
Henderson - Saturday 9 April
On Saturday the 9th April students
from Jane Crick's Monday and Maryke Henderson's Wednesday
classes along with a number of members met to pack their pots
for a pit firing. it was a beautiful still morning ideal for the
Pots of all shapes and sizes and of
a variety of clays were prepared for the pit. Copper wire and
string soaked in a solution of salt, borax and copper carbonate
was wrapped around some while others had seaweed placed on them.
A wadding mix which contained salt, copper, crushed heat beads,
sawdust, cow manure and fire clay was placed amongst the pots.
Salt and copper carbonate was placed on the bed of sawdust on
which the pots were placed. The pots were then covered with
timber and lit from the top. The fire was allowed to burn
slowly with the help of some corrugated iron and the pit was
re-stoked twice during the afternoon before being closed down.
Overall, the results were good and
most pots had good colour. In this firing even the white raku
clay responded well. Maryke's students were very happy with the
results and plan to do it all again next term.
Christmas Party - December 2010
(thank you, Maryke Henderson and all your helpers), good weather
and great company –what more could you ask? It was a terrific
way to round off 2010.
Crick; photos by various participants
Twenty-one CPS members participated
in the salt-firing at Strathnairn on Saturday 13th November.
The kiln was loaded on the Friday
morning with many willing helpers - some of whom stayed for the
whole time (9am to 2.30pm) even though flagging from the heat as
the day went on. Wadding was mixed; many small balls and
sausages were made and applied; slurry was slurped; and everyone
learned a lot from Alex's beautiful and thoughtful pack.
At 6am on the Saturday morning Alex
lit the kiln and the gas pressure was increased a little every
thirty minutes until the gauge read 14psi. When the temperature
in the kiln reached about 1000ºC, as indicated by an 06 cone,
the damper was closed to about one third to throw the kiln
atmosphere into reduction to ensure the clay bodies were
reduced. After about an hour the damper was opened again and the
temperature in the kiln began to rise steadily. As always there
was a difference in the rate of temperature rise in various
parts of the kiln and this was monitored by observation of the
fall of cones placed at strategic points. By 6.30pm the kiln
had reached 1240ºC and the salting could begin. The damper was
closed as before and the gas pressure was reduced to 10psi so
that the sodium fumes would be held in the kiln as long as
possible. As the kiln has been well-used and already had a
large build-up of salt inside Alex salted twice, using about
8kgs of salt each time, and allowing the fumes to clear and a
short period of oxidation between the two saltings. The final
temperature in the kiln was between 1260ºC and 1280ºC. A total
of four draw rings were pulled from the kiln to assess the
salt-glaze development. A constantly changing support crew
assisted with the firing - many thanks to all, and especially to
Alex has said that this was a very
successful firing and that the most variable, and possibly the
most result-influencing, element was the choice of clay.
Certainly reactions varied from ecstatic delight to dismal
disappointment. Such are the vagaries of salt-firing.
What can influence the results
The choice of clay - as stated
before, white clays and highly porcelaineous clays will seldom
give good peel or coloured results. We had a lot of white
clays in this firing. Dark clays will sometimes be too
chocolatey or black. We had very dark clays in this firing,
The position of the piece in the
kiln - is it shaded by another piece or a prop? or just too
far away from the vapours? We had many small pieces and many
bowls and flats in this firing.
There should be a reducing
atmosphere in the kiln at about 1000ºC to reduce the clay and
again during the salting to produce glaze colour.
The height of the salting ports
above the burners should be correct to allow the salt to
sublime quickly. This kiln has been used successfully many
times and its suitability should be beyond question.
The bag walls inside the kiln
should be of a height which allows sodium vapour to freely
enter the chamber of the kiln. The bag walls of this kiln are
tried and tested and always utilised in the pack.
A short period of reoxidation
after salting will brighten colours.
This kiln sometimes does not achieve
What clays did I use?
TMK - a white porcelaineous clay -
it gave, as expected, a cold grey, lightly peeled result, and
had been textured and decorated accordingly.
CPS recycled stoneware with 10%
BRT added - nice bright result with good slip response.
Keanes White Raku - disastrous.
This clay has previously given good results but the current
batch appears to resist fuming at any temperature. The applied
glazes had melted so correct temperature was reached but,
although showing signs of trying to sodium react, the clay
surface was rough and dull. Companies change their clay
sources all the time so one must expect that occasionally a
clay will not perform as anticipated.
Mansfield Wood-fire Porcelain -
glorious in every respect, wherever it was in the kiln.
Another opportunity to salt fire
will be offered next year so that we can practice all we have
Alex de Vos - kiln master
Some of the finished works
Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft
On Saturday 17th July over 40 people
came to the gallery to hear Greg Daly interview Jeff Mincham.
This fascinating insight into Jeff's life and work was followed
by a floor talk about some of the individual pieces in the
exhibition. Many thanks go to Greg and Jeff for this wonderful
Read more about
the exhibition, which is in the gallery from the 16th
July to 22nd August
Image: Jeff Mincham working in
studio, Cherryville, South Australia, 2009. Photo: Grant Hancock
- report & photos
An enthusiastic group of CPS members
enjoyed meeting and conversing with Rosline Vedrines at her
exhibition 'From Paris with Love'. Seated in the garden of
Strathnairn homestead on a glorious autumn afternoon, Roseline
told us of her childhood in Normandy and her delight in
observing the countryside. As a young adult she moved to Paris
to study a language-based course at a international institution
and, while there, she started wood carving as a serious hobby.
Roseline and her family moved to a
small town about 4km west of central Paris. She found there was
no opportunity there for working with wood and so she discovered
clay. She enjoyed the immediate responsiveness when compared
with wood and has been working with clay ever since. She
exhibits annually at Potters Markets and also has private
exhibitions and supplies a shop in Corsica, where her family
enjoy their holidays. Recently she has become more serious in
her approach to her clay work as she has been given recognition
by an important auction house in Paris, which now stocks her
Roseline has been working with
raku-style firings for about three years and particularly likes
the naked raku techniques although "burnishing is very hard
work"! Several of the pieces in her exhibition demonstrated
naked raku and it was particularly striking on her figurative
Thank you, Roseline. I hope your
wish to visit Australia again comes true.
Roseline contemplates one of her
"Oops" - and in spite of his
accident, he found a new home!
- report by Jane
An interesting and entertaining evening was enjoyed by eleven
members who attended this presentation by Agnieszka. A short
video introduced us to some of the work she had made in Poland.
She was one of a small group of potters using a co-operatively
run studio in Warsaw which served as a focus for learning skills
associated with making clay objects, kiln-building and firing.
Much of the work featured decoration by photographic printing on
to the clay, a technique which was new to most of us and which
Agnieszka is hoping to use again now that she has "found a
friend with a dark room". Clay sculptures with moving parts and
mixed media inclusions also featured strongly, as did the female
figures we have come to recognise as Agnieszka's work. This work
sparked animated discussion and Agnieszka was very generous with
her explanations and information. Following the presentation of
her own work, Agnieszka introduced us to the work of four of her
favourite European ceramists: Leanid Tratseuski from Belarus
and Andrzej Bero, Barbara Trzybulska and Kasia Modrzejewska, all
from Poland. Photographs of work by all these artists can be
viewed on the internet.
Thank you, Agnieszka, for opening
our eyes to something new.
A morning of low temperature
Firing for Decoration
- report & photo by Joan Barrass
Who could resist the chance to use some resists in a smoke
firing with Jane Crick at the recent members' event? Certainly
not certain people from Cooma, the coast, further afield and
local - a small but extremely enthusiastic group who enjoyed the
morning enormously while experimenting with various methods of
mark making on the smooth, or preferably burnished, clay
There were two methods of smoking
the pots - slow and fast. The slow method used shredded
newspaper compressed in the base of the metal garbage bin, pots
were then placed on this layer and further shredded newspaper
over and above the pots to the top of the bin. The newspaper
was lit and left to smoulder for an hour and a half.
The fast method also used newspaper,
this time not shredded but loosely crumpled in the base of the
bin, pots placed and more crumpled newspaper to the top of the
The newspaper was lit and smoking
took place. Some pots were refired with this method, each time
gaining further smoking marks. These two methods gave varying
degrees of smoke absorption as a result of resist slips, foil,
strings and textured wrapping. We were all excited and very
happy with results and the experience we gained which will
certainly be used for some adventurous smoke firings in the
1000 POTS and much, much MORE -
August 09 members' event with Jane Crick
The programme for the 43rd
Conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic
Arts, held in Phoenix, Arizona, was very full with many
concurrent sessions. Each day I read the programme and
prioritised what I would attend. Many of the lectures were
written up in part or in full in the NCECA Journal and so it was
possible to make informed decisions about which sessions would
be most pertinent to my project. Many thoughts for teachers to
consider came from the discussion session ‘What Works?’ –
motivation, morale, competition, collaboration, positive
reaction and rewards, adventure and extension, communication,
critique (aesthetics, content, craft), passion and fun can all
be incorporated into classes and workshops.
Influences, symbolism, process,
scale, personal vocabulary, social issues, whether works are
sculptural or functional are all qualities which can be
discussed, related and evaluated and appreciation of which can
Teacher, tutor, mentor, trainer, modeller, instructor – I have
heard all these terms; they do not describe the same activity
but they are all educators. Of the educators I met during my
study tour some fulfilled only one of the listed roles and some
definitely fulfilled two or even more of those roles. The focus
and manner of presentation and dissemination of knowledge is as
varied as the titles. I have found that it is possible to take
something of value from every model. The most inspiring
educators with whom I spoke were Cynthia Bringle and Dan Finch
in North Carolina and Sandy Brown in Devon, UK. Other highlights
included the opportunity to view more than fifty exhibitions of
ceramics across all areas I visited.
I have learnt a new motto, “Showcase
what you do!” Without exception the studios I visited had a
gallery exhibiting examples of the work made in that studio. The
motto can also be applied to the promotion of workshops. I have
also learnt that it is quite possible to throw exhibition
quality pots while watching the rodeo on TV and listening to
Blue Grass music at full volume......
Anyone interested in reading my report to the Churchill Trust
can access it at
to top of page
July 09 members' event report by Jane Crick
An evening with Lindsay Oesterritter
On Tuesday 14th
July, at very short notice, a small number of CPS members were
fortunate enough to be present at a most interesting and
well-presented talk by Lindsay Oesterritter. Lindsay is
currently artist-in-residence at Strathnairn. She is a
wood-firer with particular interest in the reaction of unglazed
the flame. She
attended Utah State University where, under the tutelage of John
Neely and his team, she developed many clay bodies and
researched their response to wood-firing and particularly to
during reduction cooling. Lindsay explained very clearly what
she meant by "reduction cooling" as it was a term new to many
who were present. In most reduction firings with wood or gas the
kiln damper is closed, or partly closed, near the end of the
firing to reduce the oxygen in the atmosphere in the kiln and
then there is often a short period of reoxidation before the
kiln is clamped up and allowed to cool naturally. In "reduction
cooling" the kiln is fired to it's top temperature, with
reduction, and then after the kiln has been clamped the fire is
occasionally fed with small amounts of fuel to ensure that
in the kiln remains starved of oxygen while the temperature
drops. This ensures that the clay body remains reduced and
retains any of the colours developed during the firing. Lindsay
is not a fan of huge ash deposits on pots but she particularly
likes the contrast between the honey coloured natural ash glazed
areas and the "cranberry" reds of the clay body she prefers.
Lindsay illustrated her talk with images of her simple forms
with peaceful surfaces, with a lot of the "cranberry" she looks
Lindsay for a most informative and enjoyable presentation.
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May 09 members' event report by Jane Crick
Community Mural with Lisa Baier
On 29th May a
small group of CPS members gathered to be totally enthralled by
Lisa Baier's presentation on her "personal addiction" - the
Benalla Ceramic Mural. The history and recent working on the
mural are well detailed in the latest issue of the Journal of
Australian Ceramics (issue 48/1). Lisa expanded on her personal
involvement with the mural and gave a stimulating and
informative visual presentation referencing the development of
the community artwork - a 25-year project to date - to the work
of Antonio Gaudi, internationally acclaimed Spanish architect.
The curves, cupolas and mosaics of the mural are certainly
reminiscent of those seen in Barcelona, whilst the continuing
theme represents a very Australian ethos. The Benalla council
have now decreed that the mural must be finished by 2010;
volunteers are still needed to ensure that the work is finished.
For those who missed this exciting event - I feel sorry for you.
There are brochures about the Benalla Mural in the committee
room if you wish to find out more. It would be a fascinating
short detour on a trip to Melbourne and maybe you will become as
addicted as Lisa.
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March 09 members' event report by Jane Crick
What a pleasure it was to welcome
Anita McIntyre to the Canberra Potters' Society studio. Those
members who came on what was the first evening of the long
weekend holiday were not disappointed. Anita spoke with
enthusiasm and humour of her early-life love of painting and her
experience as a High School student in Queanbeyan having to
study "ART" by distance education as "ART" was not offered in
the general curriculum.
She told of her discovery that
painting did not have to be a literal illustration of what was
seen but could be an expression of ideas in an abstract way.
After leaving school Anita continued to pursue painting and
after a few years it was suggested to her that she should also
try "pottery". Like so many of us she fell in love with clay and
has used it to express her art for many years now.
Shortly after completing her
tertiary qualification at what is now the ANU Canberra School of
Art, Anita joined the staff of that establishment and she
continued there until her retirement from full time teaching in
2003, and is still involved as a Visiting Fellow.
Anita's early work was very much influenced by her travels
around Australia and she showed some stunning views of the
Kimberleys and other areas of northern and western Australia and
indicated how they had influenced her work. Aboriginal spirits
and central Australian desert landscapes also played their part
in the development of her decoration.
Most recently Anita has become intensely interested in her
family history. A fourth generation Australian from one side and
a fifth generation one from the other side means that she feels
a great bond with the land. Using old parish maps, following
traditional migration pathways of creatures endemic to the
Queanbeyan area, such as the Bogong moth, and ever influenced by
features in the landscape Anita tells, through her work, the
story of her predecessors’ interaction with the land.
An entertaining and inspirational evening.
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more members' event