My Ceramic Journey

Overview

I began my ceramic journey in the late 90’s sort of by accident! The way best things often happen.

I worked for the next 20 years on and off studying under various ceramic artists and masters in Spain, Australia and Italy. I took time in between to travel and explore the world.

Although a painter of female nudes first, over the last years I returned to my passion of ceramics. This saw me build my first ceramic atelier with private gallery, kiln, wheel and all that goes with it. I took part in workshops and local exhibitions to further my knowledge and experience. I was a successful part in the Noosa Open Studios (Australia) for 3 years in a row from 2016 to 2018.

I have used most of my time to experiment with different clay bodies, glaze making and blending, and most recently, the ‘crackle’ method through sodium silicate. In addition I’ve worked with a little with raku and wood firing, mixing clay bodies such as groggy clay and porcelain, effects of the same glaze over different clay bodies and currently, single fire. And always trying to improve my wheel throwing!

My passion for ceramics is infinite and there is always much to learn! In 2017 I spent 5 weeks in a bespoke ceramic residency in Tuscany with an acclaimed UK potter as my tutor, as well as renowned Italian sculptor. My journey blissfully continues delving into the world of ceramics, its generous potters and where they come from.

 

ARTISTS STATEMENT

“We are all cracked pots, perfectly imperfect.”

Dancing Skirt Installation at Noosa Regional Gallery

My Cracked Pots and Dancing Skirts 

In today’s world we are continually being compared to (perceived) perfection. I am constantly exploring ways and techniques with my ceramic forms to emulate how perfectly imperfect we humans all are, as are my cracked pots. A lot of feeling, reflection and experimentation goes into the hand creation of every vessel. Each one to some degree reflects my personal inner search.”

ARTISTS BIO

Born in Denmark and raised in Australia, I spent 15 years in southern Spain honing my painting talents of the female nude when I discovered a new passion, working with mud!

I have worked on and off with clay for over 20 years. I am mostly self-taught though I have taken part in many classes and worked one to one with various world class tutors on my extensive nomadic travels. I have studied with ceramic experts in Spain, Denmark, Australia and most recently, in Tuscany Italy during a 5 week ceramic residency with a leading UK potter.

Dancing Skirt Installation

I look at my recent body of ceramic ‘crackle’ vessels, Dancing Skirts, as an ongoing exploration; a combination of self, possibilities with raw materials and inspiration drawn from nature and the natural environment around me. I love nature, trees and critters! So from there comes an innate love of earthy, natural and organic forms as can be seen in my ‘cracked pots’ and ‘dancing skirts’.  The very character of clay is its complete unpredictability and I love (and sometimes loathe!) the spirit of clay to always engage and emerge in its own way.

Hand made brushes

A visual artist for 25 years, clay has taken preference due to its vast versatility and potential. It lets me extend myself in a way I feel is not quite there with painting. Over the past 4 years my work has evolved into perfectly imperfect organic forms reflecting us as humans, by using the ‘crackle’ method. Although mostly contemporary and sculptural I maintain usability with all my creations.

Exhibitions:

1997 – Parador Nerja Spain – Solo
1998 – Sala Bako Torre del Mar Spain – Solo
2000 – Balkon Galeriet Odder Denmark – Group
2001 – Precinct Gallery Berry Australia – Solo
2001 – Forest Gallery Batemans Bay Australia – Group
2001 – Bower House Milton Australia – Solo
2001 – Michael Cummerford Gallery Milton Australia – Group
2002 – Boyds Gallery Sydney Australia – Group
2004 – Galeria de Arte Margetson Nerja Spain – Solo
2007- Cultural Centre Frigiliana Spain – Solo
Feb 2016 – Galeria la Rubia Noosa (ceramics and paintings) Australia – Group
Mar 2016 – Ceramic Centre for Excellence Cooroy Butter Factory Australia – Group
Aug 2016 – Noosa Open Studios (ceramics and paintings) Australia – Solo
Sept 2016 – Royal Queensland Art Society Brisbane Australia – Group
Oct 2016 – Kenilworth Arts Council Australia – Group
Mar 2017 – Bespoke Ceramic Residency Tuscany, Italy
Aug 2017 – Noosa Open Studios (ceramics and paintings) Australia – Solo
Feb 2018 – Noosa Regional Gallery (ceramics) Australia – Group
July 2018 – Ignition Ceramic Exhibition Nambour Australia – Group
Aug 2018 – Noosa Open Studios (ceramics and paintings) Australia – Solo
Oct 2018 – Eclectia Ceramic Exhibition Noosa Australia – Group

Below are examples of my work, the most recent first, from the past 3 years:

The Road to Sticciano – My Tuscan Story

The stunning olive tree lined road to Sticciano which I walked on many many occasions.

About 20 odd years ago when I became fed up with the corporate jungle in Sydney, I took off for southern Spain to stay for a year…which turned into 15.  On a whim one day I heard about a woman who did pottery classes out in the campo (bush to us Aussies) and so I thought I’d give it a shot.  Little did I know that this would become a lifelong addiction!

Since then I’ve worked out of many studios and had many tutors but it’s only been in the last 18 months that I’ve finally been able to build a dedicated workshop complete with wheel, kiln and everything else that goes with it.  The learning curve went from a gentle one to an exceedingly steep one.  All good, keeps the grey cells going – along with sleepless nights thinking of glazes and blending them and ‘what if’ on this or

The breathtaking view I had daily during my residency at Sticciano.

that clay body, etc.  You get the idea.

So I thought, I need to fast forward this a tad at my st(age) in life.  Enter Italy.  I won’t go into detail about how I ended up at Sticciano, a stunning Agri Turismo deep in the stunning Tuscan countryside because that’s another story on its own.  But end up there I did and for a wonderful 5 weeks during March/April 2017.

The ‘Sticciano Tuscan Collection’ of Japanese Tea Bowls you see now were created there and most lovingly carried by hand through Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark and back here to Noosa.  Probably some of the most well-travelled Tea Bowls around!

Two of my favorite Tea Bowls with that gorgeous typical Tuscan backdrop.

These are totally unique, as indeed are most ceramic pieces anywhere, and I cannot replicate them due to may various reasons.  I can – and have begun – however, to recreate using some of the same principles since I returned home a month ago.

The ‘Sticciano Tuscan Collection’ were created from stoneware and fired in gas reduction and salt kilns.  They were painted first with coloured slip on the greenware (pre any firing) and then with glaze after the first bisque firing.  A second glaze firing resulted in what you see here.

You can use them for coffee, tea, nut bowls – whatever you like!  People collect these and in Europe and ceramic artists swap with each other.  My tutor, Terry Davis (a very accomplished UK potter living in Tuscany) has a cupboard full and when you go there for coffee, you get to choose which Teal Bowl you want.

Air drying pots in the cool Tuscan winter sunshine.

 

Enjoy!
Love and blessings
Glen (0459 343 828)

 

Does your career correlate with your values

Question: I found it very useful to really think about and identify the values I have in my life – and then to compare them against what I do and how I actually live. It has highlighted that I am not doing a job that correlates with my values. Could that be why I’ve never really enjoyed my work?

Answer: It’s great that you’ve been able to not only find the VALUE ELICITATION exercise useful but be able to view them in relation to your work and life. And yes, it’s very likely the reason why you’ve never really enjoyed or felt in ‘synch’ with your work is that your Career does not Correlate with your Values?. Career coaches – whose use and popularity has soared in our current economic climate – use VALUE ELICITATION as an essential part of evaluating the type of career their clients are most suited to.

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