Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bernard Leach article.

Gems of contemporary ceramics. 

"Leach did not stop at Japanese models. He also looked at Korean stoneware of the 18th and 19th centuries that could be admirable. It is Korea that inspired him to make a squat jar with six vertical facets (art historians say "chamfered"), but the maroon glaze is suggestive of Chinese persimmon-colored pieces of the Song age. One can see why the collector Peter Taylor, some of whose pieces make up the May 10 sale, would have wanted it. With its estimate of £400 to £600, about $760 to $1,140, the delightful piece is a reminder that contemporary ceramics is the only area today in which gems by famous masters are sometimes within the reach of buyers with modest means"

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lene Kuhl Jakobsen exhibition.

Pan Gallery 005

edaphic* north

by Lene Kuhl Jakobsen

13 to 26 March 2009

Opening Thursday 12 March 6-8pm 

Guest Speaker - Clinton Greenwood, assistant curator, Banyule Art Collection. 

Traversing Curious Paths

“The show is intended to lead down curious paths of colour and connection…”

Lene Kuhl Jakobsen recently spent seven weeks at the Erik Nyholm Ceramic Studio situated in the lake and forest area in Denmark, not far from where she grew up. Living and working during summer, in a nearly 200 year old farmhouse, surrounded by “intensely green” landscape, had a profound effect on her artistic expression.

“All around the buildings and inside were pieces of pottery, some broken, some hidden in the vegetation to be discovered. In the studio were drawers full of sketches and books on the shelves, the old kick wheel, a vast supply of glazes and glaze ingredients and, not the least, the presence of the big gas kiln which had not been fired for several years.”

In ‘edaphic north’ we are invited to take part in her experience, recognizing the effects of the natural environment and the posthumous presence of the studio’s namesake.

Erik Nyholm was part of the Danish art movement COBRA, an acronym for the movement’s towns of origin – Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. This group of abstract expressionists was defined by a consciousness of belonging to a Danish tradition and their difference from artists from centres further south in Europe.

“Nyholm showed an unconventional approach to materials, texture and colour; always using nature as a starting point for shapes such as platters and jars but also in sculptural pieces. His works remain fresh, powerful and different. He seems to have always been curious in his attitude.”

Nature, especially the coastal environment of Australia, has always acted as inspiration for Lene. Working at the Nyholm studio, in propinquity to Denmark’s seasonal environmental changes, brought back memories of her childhood and youth and found expression in her craft, utilizing the materials at hand and the language of the studio’s namesake.

“The Erik Nyholm Ceramic Studio is a place with a lot of history. I spent time exploring new ideas and looking at new ways of making. I was inspired to use textural effects on my work and found it interesting to test and use the glazes and other materials in the studio. I tried to take in the atmosphere of a place well used and once full of activity. Erik and Janet had a thriving fish farm and 5 children!”

Erik died 17 years ago leaving his studio in the capable hands of his wife, the American potter Janet Nyholms, who has played host to numerous ceramic artists, giving potters from far and wide the opportunity to work in this unique and ‘curious’ place. With the help of “an old potter friend” Lene successfully ‘fired up’ the old gas kiln several times during her last week at the studio, leaving some pieces in Denmark for a show in a local art gallery but bringing others back to include in this exhibition. 

Further pieces have been created in her home studio in Melbourne, bringing together a dramatic exhibition of works that respond to environment and place.

No exploration of environment is complete without focusing some attention on the concerns of climate change. Lene does this conceptually within her works but also practically by the purchase of carbon credits to offset the emissions created during the firing of pieces for this exhibition.

*(Bot.) of the soil; (Ecol.) produced or influenced by the soil

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Marianne Nielsen.

Marianne Nielsen is a ceramist from Copenhagen, Denmark.
I was/am intrigued by her take on such an everyday utilitarian object that is "the vase". I can just imagine how wonderful they would look set-up on a long side table or the like.

About my work:
I address the cultural use of Nature as the traditionally agreed-upon “topic of beauty” and model ornament. I am interested in the contrast between the world of motifs and the approach to production – Nature’s chaos subordinated to man’s interpretation and the order it imposes. A formal study of the way in which Nature’s seemingly random structures can be organised in a simplified system and thus reduced to
 pure symbolism.
2007, glazed stoneware, length: app. 35 cm.

The “tree vases” take their starting point from the model of a tree, as we know it from model railways and architectural models. 
The model is interesting because it so directly is an imitation, it is representing. In this way, p
aradoxically, it becomes “it self”.
There is a conventional kind of style for the design of models, just as fixed as the vases, like an ikon (my trees are also vases if they are turned upside down…).
I want the trees/ vases to challenge the identity of the objects.


The “hair” is objects to hang on the wall. It is 
different variations on hairdos or fur.
The design I used, is like the one known from classic statues and refers to the design and aesthetic tradition in my culture. Also a way of picturing how a size that really can not be reprod
uced, is described in a symbolic way.
The hair is also about the cultivation of the nature in our design tradition. The fur as a trophy. The hair which is “civilised” by the hairdo.

2008, glazed stoneware, length: app. 38 cm.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Plenty of bowls now!

I've been in the studio for days now, just throwing bowl after bowl. Think I might need to escape for a day or two; before I go completely nuts! I've also given up coffee this week, not a good idea.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ib Georg Jensen.

Vessel by the ceramist Ib Georg Jensen.

"Ib Georg Jensen expresses himself through a simplified style with a simple barcode decoration. In his ceramics he is inspired by old pottery tradition and influenced by the different localities in which his workshop has been located: Birkerød, Tullebølle and Østerbro in Copenhagen."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hans J Wegner.

Hans J Wegner


"I had three chairs in my house: one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society"

Henry David Thoreau.


In my house, I'd like as many Hans Wegner chairs as I can get my hands on!

Not quite the frugal thought Thoreau had in mind.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shoji Hamada.

A simple slab built vase. I'm guessing a tenmoku glaze under a tin glaze. My only criticism is that the rim is a little on the rough side. 
I love how the neck tapers in the base tapers out and the shoulders stand up proud.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hans Coper.

It would not be right to mention Lucie Rie without giving Hans Coper a gong too!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lucie Rie.

sold for £15,000

sold for £10,800

For me the horizontal sgraffito vessel is the better piece, and at £10,800 compared to £15,000, an absolute bargain! 
I must review my wholesale price this year!
I love Lucie Rie’s work. Where would contemporary porcelain be today without her? 

Below is a link to the best book on Lucie Rie and an updated version of the same book:

Lucie RieLucie Rie

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Victorian bushfires.

Photos by David Geraghty.

On Saturday, 7th of February 2009 much of Victoria was devastated by its worst ever bushfire/s. If you would like to contribute to the emergency and recovery efforts please click on an image below.

Other links:
Victorian Bushfire Information Hotline.
A breif history of Victorian bushfires from 1851 - 2003.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tim See.

Probably the most informative lesson for throwing clay on a potter’s wheel. Even someone that thinks they know it all would find inspiration and new understanding from this clip.

Tim See' YouTube site has a wonderfull collection of hands on clips to watch. And you can find his work for sale at his Etsy site.