2019 in nine images from Instagram

Looking back over another year, captured and documented on Instagram.

These nine images highlight works of importance to me….they depict the highs and lows of an all consuming ceramics practice.

1 Flower Vessel. -Stoneware torus vessel with porcelain relief decoration.

Made as part of a collection of works for the ‘Australian Ceramics Triennale’ in May this year, for the Endemic Earth Exhibition. It was the first time I had been invited to exhibit my work since my return to clay 6years ago. I had developed a decoration technique to emulate the British Jasperware surface, I really wanted to have these pieces represent me at the Triennale. This involved the banksia flower and leaves, applied in fine slabs to the stoneware surface and carved back…..sadly for this piece, the porcelain lifted in parts and fell off. It could of been amazing but that’s clay for you! All that time, effort, $$$ can easily come to naught. I lost many other pieces to cracking etc but I persisted and was eventually rewarded. (See pic 5)

2 Ceramic Tassel. -Stoneware form with tassel.

This was a private commission for a fellow maker. It was the third form I made, as each form cracked in the kiln. This one sadly cracked too but only a surface crack, not structural. So I added a gold mend to highlight and honour that not all ceramics is perfect. Just perfect intention. Luckily the fourth try was the winner, for the commission.

3 Ceramic Installation. -midfire/high fired stoneware with porcelain slip decoration.

A private commission and my second attempt at creating a ceramic wall installation. This work has both midfire and high fired stoneware with porcelain slip decoration. This installation has the first big donut I had ever thrown, using 4kg of clay. It also features a contained and plaited tassel. I launched the hashtag, #makeceramicstheartintheroom.

4 ‘Banksiere’ -stoneware vessel with cobalt blue line work.

Made to hold the Banksia tree branches like a tulipiere was designed to hold tulips. This vessel was created from 8 wheelthrown composite parts, with cobalt linework that dances and flows all over the form. The piece was submitted to a major Craft Award. It was unsuccessful. It now lives happily in my lounge room hosting any flower that needs sustenance. Waiting for a new opportunity to be seen. Learning to accept rejection is tough but it’s not always a reflection on the work. It’s often subjective……about timing, curation, policy and agenda. I Just keep moving forward, keep showing up. The key is to find advocates for your work.

5 Endemic Earth- stoneware vessel with porcelain relief decoration

This work was shown in the Endemic Earth exhibition at the Australian Ceramics Triennale. It was purchased and now remains in Tasmania, in a private collection. The porcelain relief decoration is of the ‘celery top pine leaf’ endemic to Tasmania. I hope to revisit this work in 2020. This work gave me the motivation to create from the heart.

6 ‘Native Sprig’ -stoneware vessel with porcelain relief decoration.

I created this work as an entry to another major ceramics award. It didn’t make it as a finalist. I was disappointed initially ….on reflection, I then worked on how I could represent my idea another way? (See below)

7 ‘I walk the line’- a pair of stoneware vessels with porcelain relief decoration and cobalt blue line work.

This vessel was created to accompany ‘Native Sprig’ and the pair became ‘I walk the line’. These vessels were accepted as finalist into the Clunes Ceramic Award. They were then acquired by the Art Gallery of Ballarat. A highlight for 2019 and my ceramics practice so far. I’m convinced quoting Johnny Cash in my application got me over the line! (Quite literally)

8 ‘Dolly’- stoneware sculptural form.

This vessel came out of the blue, I set out to throw a familiar form and out came a bottle. It made sense to throw a small porcelain head and a slim torus form for arms. I adore doll forms and collect wooden dolls, so maybe it was inevitable. I had submitted this work into a sculpture award……but no dice. I then proposed her like for an exhibition idea also for 2020, as a collection of dolls, like a dollhouse? No deal on that either! So I’ll keep trying, there’s value in this idea and in her. She’s beautiful.

9 Ceramic Wall Sculpture- black midfire with porcelain.

Nesting torus forms with porcelain line inlay. This is a direction I hope to work through in 2020. No tassel, just sculptural forms, monochrome, simple. My throwing game has to be on point to get this effortless look. I’m up for that!

So roll on 2020, I’m ready for the highs, lows and inbetweens…..but mostly the unexpected.

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