Thursday, 7 July 2011

Karen Farrell-a bit about Sturt Pottery





Well hello everybody. It has taken a while for me to make contact, not through lack of trying. I have never blogged before and am as far from a computer genius as i am a glaze technician. However, i do have vague ambitions of changing both. This year i am enjoying a year residency down in the southern highlands in Mittagong. Sturt Contemporary Craft Centre is home to a pottery steeped in tradition. It has played host to many of the greats such as Ivan Mc Meekin, Les Blakeborough, Cole Levy, and Shiga Shigeo. I teach there 14 hours each week, and do my thing the rest of the time. I feel pretty lucky to be able to devote time to my own work in this way, and escape the pace of being a tea drinking lady in Turramurra! So this year i am trying to be dedicated to discovering what all this glaze technology is about. I am the test tile queen, and actually quite enjoying it. It does make a difference when you can work late in the evenings, adding bits of anything to glaze bodies and crossing your fingers. I actually think i am beginning to see a direction i wish to head in. Discovering amongst results which pieces of the puzzle you like or dislike starts to build a bit of an aesthetic surface library. In the past i have mainly got into enhancing the natural beauty of the clay itself, perhaps in hindsight an excuse to avoid all these shenanigans, but still an essential piece of the “ceramic pyramid”. However it is still early days yet! Much more cake to be eaten!

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