Hybrid Places by Janet DeBoos (accomplished head of the ANU ceramics department) newest body of work on exhibition at the Sabbia Gallery in Sydney Australia. Check it out!
She uses “iconic imagery from the high point of Chinese porcelain decoration, colour & line from the desert and bush of Australia (Ernabella terra sigillata, Australian flora) and that most ancient of techniques from the ceramics lexicon (sgraffito or ‘scratching’) to attempt to create a hybrid pottery that is both contemporary and timeless, culturally specific and yet borderless.”
Notice the use of live music for theatrical oumf.
Thank you Carole Epp, the all-knowing writer of Musing About Mud an upstanding resource for potters and those that love ceramics! She steered me to Pipin Drysadale’s website. Pipin makes the exquisite bowls (pictured below) that I so sketchily drew in the last post. I have now committed the name ‘Pipin Drysadale’ to memory. This post has been a pitiful display of a norm in my life: remembering pots not people. I also remember landscapes not names. Something about Pipin’s bowls touch me on a molecular level. The way they play with light could never be conveyed in photograph. Please seek these pots out. They will mesmerize you. Having wandered around Australia seeking out pottery it is any wonder the name was lost on me. The landscaped bowls belong there. They belong to that land just as the bark dot and line maps of the Aborigines do. If you were to dig one out of the ground the first thought you might think is that it is a thing of nature- delicate and desolate- perfect.
I had to pass by this gaggle, murder, bunch, gang of cockatoos on my bike ride to Uni everyday the crows of Australia they sure were intimidating. Just in case you were wondering what to call what, check this helpful table out (of course cockatoo isn’t on the list).
|Birds in general||A flock of birds, a dissimulation of birds, a volery of birds|
|Bitterns||A siege of bitterns, a sedge of bitterns|
|Chickens||A peep of chickens|
|Choughs||A chattering of choughs|
|Coots||A cover of coots, a raft of coots|
|Cormorants||A flight of cormorants|
|Cranes||A sedge of cranes|
|Crows||A congress of crows, a murder of crows|
|Curlews||A herd of curlews|
|Doves||A dule of doves, a flight of doves, a dole of doves, a cote of coves, a piteousness of doves|
|Ducks||A paddling of ducks, a raft of ducks, a team of ducks, a dopping of ducks|
|Dunlin||A fling of dunlin|
|Eagles||A convocation of eagles|
|Eggs||A clutch of eggs|
|Falcons||A cast of falcons|
|Finches||A charm of finches, a trembling of finches|
|Flamingos||A flamboyance of flamingos|
|Geese||A gaggle of geese, a skein of geese|
|Goldfinches||A charm of goldfinches|
|Goshawks||A flight of goshawks|
|Grouse||A brace of grouse, a covey of grouse|
|Guillemots||A bazaar of guillemots|
|Gulls||A colony of gulls|
|Hawks||A cast of hawks, a kettle of hawks, a cast of hawks|
|Hens (chickens)||A brood of hens|
|Herons||A siege of herons|
|Hummingbirds||A charm of hummingbirds, a troubling of hummingbirds, a hover of hummingbirds|
|Jays||A band of jays, party of jays|
|Kingfishers||A concentration of kingfishers|
|Lapwings||A deceit of lapwings|
|Larks||An exaltation of larks|
|Loons||A raft of loons|
|Magpies||A tiding of magpies|
|Mallards||A sord of mallards, a flush of mallards, a puddling of mallards|
|Nightingales||A watch of nightingales|
|Owls||A parliament of owls, a wisdom of owls|
|Parrots||A company of parrots|
|Partridges||A covey of partridges|
|Peacocks||An ostentation of peacocks, a muster of peacocks|
|Penguins||A colony of penguins, huddles of penguins, a pride of penguins|
|Pheasants||A bouquet of pheasants, a covey of pheasants, a nye of pheasants, a nide of pheasants, a nest of pheasants|
|Quail||A bevy of quail, a covey of quail|
|Pelicans||A squadron of pelicans|
|Plovers||A congregation of plovers, a wing of plovers, a leash of plovers|
|Ravens||A conspiracy of ravens, an unkindness of ravens, a constable of ravens|
|Rooks||A building of rooks, a parliament of rooks|
|Snipe||A walk of snipe, a wisp of snipe|
|Sparrows||A host of sparrows, a quarrel of sparrows|
|Starlings||A murmuration of starlings|
|Storks||A mustering of storks|
|Swallows||A flight of swallows|
|Swans||A ballet of swans, a bevy of swans, a herd of swans, a whiteness of swans|
|Teal||A spring of teal|
|Turtledoves||A pitying of turtledoves|
|Turkeys||A rafter of turkeys, a muster of turkeys|
|Waterfowl||A plump of waterfowl|
|Woodcock||A fall of Woodcock|
|Woodpeckers||A descent of woodpeckers|
It is always so nice to see people you have bumped into through life making it happen. I remember the last critique in regards to Cathy’s work at Australian National University so well. I remember holding her small intricate scraffito containers, like a seed in my hand. Cathy was so connected to Australian flora. I got glimpses of seeing her work things out, trying to figure out how she could say what she needed in its regards through the making of pottery.
I am glad to see that her body of work done and her goals met. As she says:
My proposal was as follows: research into a linocut style sgraffito technique and suitable form to express Australian flora and the impact of environmental degradation. My journey was to take each of these components and to explore them deeply; intellectually, technically and creatively.
I have stumbled across an article written by her that explains and concludes her time spent at ANU. It is eloquently written with sentences like:
Being in the bush can be a simpler state of being. It also reveals a distance from the human built context and environment. It shows that that the human world is fragile and impermanent and the natural world is complete, bigger and self sustaining, or something like that.
It pains me to think that we never talked about the wild extremes of our countries. Especially since her sentiments towards nature are so akin to my own. Being here at tower and simply watching the trees, birds, and bears all day in isolation draws me towards her work. At the time I was even experimenting with australian fauna imagery on my pots through transfers. I was trying to wrap my head around a dichotomy of cultural icons, Australia vs. Canada. I always came back to nature and landscape. Needless to say the article is worth a read. So do so here.
The honors show of my old studio mate Michelle Lim was from what I can see amazing!
Check out here website here: http://michellelimworks.com/
Where to start…. Dr.Gail Nichol’s reputation resounds in all ceramic communities in the world as the person who took the Soda Fire movement of the 70’s and 80’s to a whole new level. She is an American gal who re-rooted in Australia, with her husband to raise a family. That is where she stumbled across pottery, across salt firing and eventually soda firing.
Here is her biggest web presence is at Craft ACT, a great organization to check out if you’re ever in the capital of Oz. Here is her Artist Statement, it is always nice to hear what an artist has to say for themselves. Before going to Australia National University on exchange to learn about soda firing I found it was shrouded in a foggy mist of uncertainty. There isn’t much to find as way of information on it (that is certainly changing today and with the publication of some books you can order and on the net if you know where to look… you’ll find enough, but you certainly have to know where to look). Here it is:
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I make generously rounded, eccentric vessels, thrown and manipulated, with lush dimpled surfaces inviting tactile as well as visual responses. The surfaces on these vessels have evolved through years of technical research with soda glazing, development of materials and processes, and investigation of glaze microstructure. The research was done to satisfy a curiosity that was largely aesthetic: a desire to work directly with clay and fire, and to achieve close integration of form and surface. The subtle interplay of technique, materials and aesthetics is an essential part of my art practice.
I am intrigued by the sculptural contrast between closed and open forms, and firing effects on exposed and shadowed clay surfaces. I enjoy playing with impressions of volume and movement. Some forms are seemingly stretched from the inside out and blown up like a balloon; others appear to dance in slow graceful curves or lively waves. For the past several years I have lived and worked at the foot of Mt. Budawang near Braidwood, New South Wales. Moving from a Sydney urban environment to a 120 acre rural property highlighted my sense of space, and consequently, of form. The gently curved yet complex and rugged terrain of the Budawang range is reflected in my fascination with form and its interaction with surface.
My aim as an artist is simply to create beautiful objects: not just pretty things to look at, but a powerful beauty that quietly overwhelms, moves, and reveals some of what human beings are capable of, beyond the ordinariness of existence.
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I was able to carpool to Sydney and attended the opening of Shades of Mass and Form at the beautiful Sabbia Gallery. (See pictures to left) Here is the artist card from the show:
This week’s posts will all be about soda firing and therefore Gail’s name will pop up then and “What is Soda Firing” for a quick explanation. Tomorrow check out the kiln I made this summer, on Friday some beautiful pots full of warmth for this cold fall and on Sunday a look at some books on soda firing!