An exhibition of ceramics by 9 artists from The Claybodies ceramicists’ group.
3 September – 3 October, 2016
Rick Beviss • Melinda Brouwer • Liz Crowe • Linda Davy • Velda Hunter • Anne Langridge • Monika Leone • Jacqueline Lewis • Suzanne Oakman
The Claybodies Group, formed primarily from Canberra artists, now has 55 members. It’s aims are to: provide a forum for support and information; exchange and engage in critical dialogue and discussion on ceramic art practice through group critique sessions; monitor current events in the ceramics/art world; challenge preconceptions about ‘what is ceramics; showcase and celebrate the material of clay in all it’s diversity; encourage the pursuit of innovation in divergent practises and; utilise the technical knowledge of members through workshops.
Clay body /kleɪ bɒdi:/ (noun) refers to the actual clay mixture that is used in forming objects. It might only have one specific type of clay in it, but it is more likely to consist of a mixture of different types.
Saturday 3 September at 2pm
by Helen Musa
Arts Editor, City News, Canberra
Bungendore Wood Works Gallery
Exhibition continues until 3 October
Essentially a constructivist, clay gives me the opportunity to 'build' functional pottery. Bringing together innovative design and function is challenging, taking skills accumulated over many years on the wheel or hand building, understanding clay and glaze science, and comprehending kiln physics. I feel great satisfaction when assembling a teapot; body, spout, lid, handle, decoration and glazing - all must satisfy beauty and performance.
The mountains that form Canberra’s backdrop and the grasslands of the valley floors are the focus of my work. I explore the simple majesty of the piles of granite tors that cluster on the mountaintops, the wild landscapes of the Main Range of Kosciusko National Park and the apparently simple and featureless valleys on which Canberra was built. I am particularly interested on the interaction between people and the natural environment, especially in the rare and fragile grasslands of the Canberra region. Changes in colour and texture with time, weather and season; contrasts in line and form are all reflected in my work which is a metaphorical record of events that reveal the interconnectedness of all the elements of the natural world.
Liz Crowe and Susan Moore
Pairings - What is it about Pears...This humble fruit has been depicted by many disciplines throughout the ages. To me, they are familiar, friendly and extremely tactile. Combining the luscious surface treatments of ceramic with precious metal seems like an obvious pairing. Obvara Raku, a Belarusian firing technique using a mixture of sugar, yeast, flour and water. Porcelain-High Fired. The pear is polished with fine grade sandpaper resulting in a smooth tactile surface. Silver by Susan Moore, silver 925 hand-formed, soldered and folded. Other silver smithing techniques include reticulation, forging, dorning, fusing.
Through the desperate and harsh soundscape of the world, a bird song penetrates through, making my heart sing with memories of childhood holiday, a trip to the river or a walk in the forest. I choose to express my concerns in clay, through the form of birds, because they are a universally understood creature that encompass the ingredients of strength, beauty and sacredness, qualities that enable me to discuss the delicate balances between community and environment in our daily lives.
My passion for vibrant colours combined with abstract expressionism has driven this body of ceramic works. Surface images can be interpreted as specific, or simply colour, line and design. Construction methods include wheel throwing and hand building. Layered surfaces are decorated with brush and sgraffito on engobe and commercial under glazes. Some incorporate gold and coloured lustres to include a reflective dimension and create an aura of preciousness. Multiple firings were undertaken to complete the finishes. Items are functional as blossom jars, serving dishes or utensils, or simply for contemplation as objets d’art. Each piece is unique.
A clay garden pot is cooked earth housing un-cooked earth. Its aesthetic presence is completed by the plant growth it accommodates, but is also the product of my decisions about vessel form and surface treatment.
Across all cultures, boxes have long held secrets and treasures. My special boxes are not just a visual delight, but capture a sense of anticipation of a pleasure hidden within, a special gift, a treasure, or an item to be preserved for posterity. In this body of work, I have expanded my capacity in producing wheel-thrown and altered lidded vessels. In mastering raku techniques, the exercise provided me with elemental excitement - lifting a glowing piece from the kiln, and then plunging it into combustible materials, exposing it to further effects of fire to progress development of lustrous, magical, coloured surfaces.
I work intuitively, influenced by organic forms found in rock, bone and landscape. The peace and calm of the Japanese aesthetic is an inspiration. I am interested in surface treatment and multi layering using glaze, wax and slips in a painterly fashion. The thrown vessels are cut and altered to add another dimension.
Our natural environment is a wonderful place to be in and as an artist I enjoy making my sculptures that focus awareness on our fragile environment. I am interested in exploring nature such as animals and plants on land and marine life, some genetically modified as Surreal sculptures. The wonderful textures of nature - patterns and colours that stand out and others so finely detailed and tactile you have to feel and look more closely otherwise they could be mistaken for just another sun scorched shell. As I progress with my art practice, mainly working with clay, each new theme and body of work determines the many surface possibilities of a piece by exploring the way light affects colours and textures using the glazing processes. Can I inspire others to become aware of our precious life forms and resources through my art practice?