Thursday, 17 April 2014

The world makes sense when I am potting and making

                                             I had a wonderful week at ANU last week.
                                             This was the second residential I have attended this year
                                             as part of my Graduate Certificate in Visual Arts/Ceramics.
                                             The title of this one was 'The Thrown Form' and
                                             I am now all fired up to develop and expand
                                             my creative relationship with my wheel.

                                             It is not only the classes and demonstrations
                                             that I find inspiring.

                                             It is hearing about how someone, who has looked
                                             at ceramics all their life, looks at the composition
                                             of pots or a piece of sculpture and then how they
                                             read the work. Fascinating!

                                             The little tips that I pick up along the way
                                             are as important as anything.

                                              Now, this may seem of little significance
                                              to most of my readers but I am often inspired
                                              by the little things in life.
                                              Like…..sharpening tools on a concrete floor.


                                              And…. Putting all the turnings,
                                              slops and throwing leftovers
                                              into a cotton cloth or a pillow case
                                              which can then be transported to a
                                              plaster batt as nice juicy lump to drain
                                              and be wedged up.
                                              I had never thought of using cloth before
                                              but in brings everything together beautifully.

                                                 So simple and SO practically BRILLIANT!

                                               There was also the unexpected and happy discovery
                                               that ANU's current artist in residence, JOHN PARKER
                                               who usually resides outside Aukland NZ, was working in
                                               the ceramic dept. while our course was on.
                                               John was making pots and having black firings.
                                               His exhibition was delightful and I was lucky
                                               enough to watch him demonstrate how he creates
                                               his textures.
                                               He is an interesting potter check out these links to
                                               see how he works.

                                               COMBED AND CUT WARE

                                               One of his beautiful textural pots came
                                               home with me.
                                               Thanks John it is a treasure!

                                              I did make lots of pots too and I had some major
                                              breakthroughs YAY!


                                         It is interesting to you learn from someone
                                         who is a master at his craft and who has a strong voice
                                         and style in his work. 
                                         So much to learn!

                                         I find the trick is then to keep a check on 
                                         myself, making sure that I am not forgetting 
                                         who I am, that I am being true to my own practice 
                                         and making work that is an expression of myself 
                                         rather than clones of my teachers.

                                          So it was great to go and have a look at the 
                                          'Gold of the Inca's' exhibition at the 
                                          National Gallery at the end of the week.
                                          I then spent an evening carving some of the pots 
                                          I had made just to give them a bit of a Sadhana flavour.

I am lucky in my life to have had a few
wonderful teachers who have been major 
influences in my craft. 
All with very different approaches to their work.
I hope that I will have many more teachers in my life 
as I can feel all of their influences when I am working, 
ranging from Papa New Guinea, Korea,
America and Europe.

 So, I will keep trying to express myself 
           with my own voice and delight in continuing  
to learn from all the amazing people 
          that I am lucky enough to come into contact with.