Saturday, 10 September 2011

Owen Carpenter,
SO I’ve been back in oz about 3 months now and I’m starting to get a handle on what I can and can’t do in my home studio which is still growing. For the most part I’ve been working with my electric kiln that can only fire up to the mid-1100s.
Slip cast forms
Dealing with the constraints of a workspace and materials available to me is why I am involved with ceramics. Particularly I’ve found that the cycle of problem solving and developing new projects over time is really inspiring to me. I try not to look at the limitations I have as a hindrance but rather as a way of pushing me to do things differently.
I’ve written earlier about my inspirations and which artists I look up to and the Manly Art Gallery contains a few of these people. I live relatively nearby the Gallery and enjoy heading in to check on the collection as it does change around from time to time. I’m especially fond of how the collection spans over several decades and I find it interesting to compare works of artists like Les Blakebrough through their older and new works on display.
Decals on found plates
So as I have pointed out before my work is driven by my interest in clay and how I can develop and broaden my skills over time. Hopefully over time I can master one or two techniques but I’m in no rush to be a one trick potter. I figure I’ve got a few decades ahead of me to work on my skills considering I’ve only just finished my first degree. Personally I feel the biggest mistake we can make as potters is finding the one thing we’re good at and stick with it forever. Hearing the great talks down as the ANU’s Materiel Matters symposium recently confirmed this for me. Seeing examples of how artist are still growing at all stages of their career was inspiring.
Over the past few years I’ve been working on my slip casting techniques and developing several forms. Throwing pots as much as possible to develop my skills. As well as having a play with using decals. So the work I’m showing in this post is an example of each. What I think my work shows is how many possibilities there are to discover for a new potter trying to build a repertoire. I’ve previously completed an instillation which deals with the issue of choice which a ceramicist faces. We can do so many things with our chosen medium and my work as a new potter is involved with discovering these possibilities.
Thanks for reading, Owen Carpenter

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