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

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Winter Drawing

This winter I'm taking a break from the studio to think about the surfaces of my vessels.
To push me along I've enrolled in Freeing the Eye drawing intensive with Shane Kent at SOCA.
See following a selected example of the drawing exercise and developed results.

Some of my important learnings:

The 'mote' to build tonal quality, pictorial space & illumination of the object, tone (shape) cf..tonalism (form)

Working on mark making, surface facture- freedom of the mark from descriptive function

De-iconising the paper

De-iconising the object. surface, gesture inflators. Wes Mills, lived visuality - Richard Serra

'touching' the object - blind drawing, gesture

'touching' the visable landscape from a distance

thinking about the above

Touching the subject, following a path through the subject


neckar square to find placement

Picasso reference
still life set up
shapes within space
tonal exercises 
tonal exercises

Ref. Mondrian's tree work

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Finalist - 2017 Victorian Craft Award

Craft Victoria is thrilled to announce the 100 finalists in the Victorian Craft Awards exhibition. and I am delighted to be part of this tally.

Opening this Saturday 3 June this is the second biennial event facilitated by Craft Victoria in the pursuit of presenting and celebrating excellence in craft and design.

The awards exhibition will take place across three venues — Craft Victoria, Collins Place Gallery and Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.

From 3 June–8 July.

Try to find my sculptural grouping about caravan camping.

It Never Rains...2017, ceramic

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

en Plein Air

School holiday escape to Merrijig on the Delatite River. Set up a balcony studio in view of my favourite tree, a pre-settlement Eucalyptus dalrympleana, or mountain white gum, and Autumn tinged European trees.

Post-NPS residency, I continue to pose this question,

'what vessel might I make that continues my love of coiling and pinching and refers to trees & landcape?'

Leaf, tree & cloud silhouette rims

The Delatite & ever-present clouds
The mighty Eucalyptus dalrympleana, also ever-present.