Some of them throw luscious black clay, others sculpt human forms and faces, still others create thickly-textured pots, bowls, vases and more. And after ten years hard at work in the studio and at the kiln, the Western Suburbs Clayworkers(WSC) group is hosting its first exhibition at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens' Richard Randall Gallery from 4-5 July 2015.
Damien Hirst's Velveteen Rabbit by Judy Hamilton. Image courtesy WSC.
This 'celebration exhibition' says WSC member Judy Hamilton, will feature a display of some older work from the group's earlier days, while still shining a spotlight on more recent works.
Some of the items for sale will include production pottery such as bowls and mugs to one-off sculptural pieces, with many (but not all) of these goodies for sale.
There will be ample time for browsing and buying, and great opportunities to chat to the potters about their work. What better way to learn about the qualities of a piece that's caught your eye than to speak directly to its creator?
To really get visitors in a celebratory mood, past and present members, as well as members of the public, are invited to join the cutting of the WSC's 10th birthday cake.
The WSC was formed in 2005 to support ceramic artists transitioning from the ceramic studio at Southbank TAFE to the production of ceramics in the real world.
Bust of a Lady by Liz Newman. Image courtesy WSC.
The Sherwood Neighbourhood Centre agreed to provide a home for the new group, which has worked out of their studio space ever since. 'Our members range in experience from professional potters to those just finding their way in clay,' says Hamilton. While the group doesn't offer ongoing classes as such, they do hold occasional workshops and offers 'taster' classes for non-potters through Brisbane City Council's GOLD (Growing Old Living Dangerously) program.
Just a handful of the active and more high profile artists include David Bartholomew, who has won awards for his bowls and raku bottles; Anthony Durrington, a production and medieval re-enactment potter; Gai McDonald whose seaside teapots, naked raku and ceramic sculptures are always in demand; and Hamilton herself whose ceramic sculptures have won multiple awards.
The WSC plays an active role in Brisbane's arts community. As founding members of the Brisbane Visual Arts Community (BVAC), group members are active participants in the BVAC pop-up shops held at Mt Coot-tha just before Christmas and Mothers Day. Interested in learning more? The group's newsletters are available free and online and include stories and information on art competitions of interest to potters.