THE CLAY CHRONICLES: an opportunity to hear two established ceramic artists present an era of ceramic history and its influence on their practice; followed by a conversation between the artists about their careers.
The inaugural session will feature Andrei Davidoff and Gerry Wedd.
ABOUT THE TOPICS
‘The Willow Pattern is the white bread of ceramics, perhaps the most popular, ubiquitous and silliest of ceramic decorations. It is so inauthentic that it is wide open to re-interpretation and usage without stepping on anyone’s cultural footprint. I will muse on the history of the pattern, it’s origins and global meanderings and perhaps on it’s usage by contemporary ‘creatives’.
My interest in North Carolina ceramics came together from a bunch of different directions. My initial introduction and training in ceramics was working alongside an Australian woodfirer, Sergei Shatrov – who works in a Japanese inspired, Leach-Cardew tradition. From 2010, while studying at RMIT, I started looking more and more for European ceramic traditions that predated Leach and his Potter’s Book, and the so-called clay resurgence which we’re still surfing today.
I was especially interested in non-Eastern woodfiring traditions and cultures, and there are a number of them. La Borne in France still has a woodfiring core, German salt glaze ware, which can still be found in pockets, English salt glaze, and finally North Carolina tradition, which is in fact rooted in German salt glaze. German farmer potters moved to Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky – farming in the summer, potting in the winter.
Recently I've started concentrating on surface decoration on my exhibition pieces – and again I came back to North Carolina pottery - writing jokes, short poems, and adding humorous images to the surface of the pots, and placing them into the kilns in particular ways for the firing effects to interact with the surface decoration.