21 December 2011

Wedgwood Museum in trouble

The UK's Wedgwood Museum which has an extensive collection of Wedgwood dating back to its origins plus Wedgwood family historical items may have to be sold up to pay into a pension fund for employees of the Waterford Crystal company which went out of business in 2009. (Read more here: http://meetmedaily.com/wedgwood-museum-faces-selloff-to-pay-134m-pension-debt-after-court-ruling/)

I was lucky enough to visit the Museum when in the UK last year and it was such a pleasure to be able to follow the history of Wedgwood and see pieces in person which I had admired in books.  I hope the campaign to save the collection for the public will be successful. The UK Studio Potters have suggestions here: http://www.studiopottery.co.uk/blog/?p=737

The collection includes these family portraits by Stubbs

Pieces of the dinner service made for a Russian Empress

All in chronological order

a complete history of the company

I also hope that the Wedgwood Visitors Centre, on the same site will be allowed to continue although without the Museum it would be out of context.  I was able to throw this little pot using Jasperware clay, have it bisqued and mailed home.  It was such a thrill.

20 December 2011

An Online Writing Course Tuned to Ceramics

Ever thought you would like to write articles for ceramic magazines or just be more confident writing proposals for exhibitions etc?

Potter/Teacher/Writer, Owen Rye is proposing to run such a course, online:
(click on his name to view his website)

The Writing Workshop.  
The tutor for this workshop is Owen Rye, well known in Australian ceramics both for his woodfired ceramics and for his writing. He has published three books, the most recent on woodfiring in Australia, and many articles in ceramics magazines in Australia, USA, England, Germany, Ireland, China and New Zealand.
He originally learned the ‘academic style’ of writing to publish archaeology research, but gradually has moved through a less formal stage to a more personal style and now enjoys story telling. As a result of these changes he can advise about a variety of writing styles.
Why would you do this workshop?
The main aim of the workshop is to maintain your personal style, but develop your writing for maximum clarity and readability, rather than to try to move you towards an artificial style. Writing is personal and the workshop respects that. The most basic belief expressed in this workshop is that if your writing is not interesting and readable nobody will read it.
 A professional career in ceramics requires skill in making and firing ceramics, and in visualising new work. In addition it is essential that you are ‘out there’- that people know about your work and your practice. The most important key to this publicity is the ability to write, to be able to contribute to online media such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and discussion groups, as well as newspapers and magazines. Fully establishing your public profile also involves public speaking, at conferences and other events such as exhibition openings, and writing skills allow you to develop a talk that will present your ideas and your attitudes professionally.
Writing is important for developing your career in the arts, whether it involves writing about your work or the work of others. If you have an exhibition maybe 500 people will see it; if you write for a magazine the readership is likely to be in the tens of thousands. If you write regularly your name will become familiar and a broad audience will take an interest in you and your work.
Of course if you are wealthy you could employ a publicist – but who can? You could pay for advertising – but that is also expensive. You need to find ways to publicise your work that are practical, useful and affordable- and writing skills are an essential part of the communication necessary to achieve those goals.
Good writing is an artform that calls on technical skills as well as insight into what you see around you.  Improved writing skills enhance your contribution by making what you have to say more readable, more interesting and more understandable.  At the end of this workshop you will be expressing yourself more powerfully through the medium of words.
Your level of development in writing can be at any stage. Beginners will be welcomed as much as more experienced writers looking at finer details for improvement. So if you are inexperienced do not let that stop you from doing this workshop– everyone started somewhere.

You will need a computer, and need to be using email. In addition internet access and a word program are necessary.  A digital camera is optional; you may wish to add some images to your written work. A printer is also optional, and can be used to keep a paper record of the workshop.All communications will be online, so you will work from home with no need to travel anywhere.
To get maximum value from the workshop, you should be able to set aside a minimum of about five hours a week. Some of this time is for your writing, some for keeping up with what others in the workshop are doing and with comments on their work. You may also spend some time reading – you cannot write well if you do not read often.

If you are interested contact Owen directly via his email: ryeowen@gmail.com

15 December 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy Clay New Year

Preparations are underway for a family Christmas so this could be my last post until the New Year.
Best wishes to you all, may you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

 This is also my post for the Mud Colony for this Thursday.  See you later :^)

14 December 2011

The Manly Narrative Knot exhibition

Yesterday I travelled with friends to the other side of Sydney to the Manly Art Gallery to see the Australian Ceramics exhibitions.  There are two showing, The Narrative Knot is the members show in which selected members take part every two years and the second one, PROmotion is to celebrate the 50 years the association has been publishing their magazine.  Check the blog about the lead up to this one here.

It was wonderful to see at first hand the beautiful and inspiring works of clay artists such as Shannon Garson, Helen Earl, Amanda Hale and Marianne Huhn.  So hard not to be able to handle them!

As part of PROmotion the gallery was displaying part of its permanent collection - love those '60s pots :^)
I've always liked these by Peter Travis which I've seen before in the permanent collection.

crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge on a weekday morning

traffic was much heavier on the way home! This was after the morning peak hour.

I'm also posting this as my post for the Show and Tell Saturday for  Artists in Blogland
We travelled together, thanks for the ride Lisa :^), and this is what the 'Coat Hanger' looks like from the deck..

08 December 2011

Freshly fired

Here is my Thursday Mud Colony post.  This is a close up of a little slipcast piece I made using a buff stoneware casting slip.  I used paper resist with a red underglaze before bisque and then glazed with Shino and back into a high reduction firing.  It has warped a bit but still functional. Apologies for the bad photo.  It is diamond shaped and very useful for serving olives or stuffed vine leaves.

An unusual bird

A little ditty goes:
An unusual bird is the Pelican
His beak holds more
Than his belly can.

Apparently the Australian Pelican is the largest of the world's 7 species.  I love the way they soar the thermals way up high. It's amazing how they will turn up on our inland Salt Lakes (which are ususally dry) just after the lakes fill with flood water.

These pelicans were on a lake near where I was visiting family last weekend.  It was a wet evening but they didn't seem worried by the weather.

01 December 2011


This week I have prepared some stamps in preparation for future porcelain jewellery pieces and they may find themselves in other creations too...

this post is for the new clay community blog started by Adriana Christianson called Mud Colony which you might like to check out too.  Or look for me on Facebook, Anna's Ceramics is my Page or Anna's Aussie Ceramics is the Group I edit.  I hope you call on by :^)