Monday, November 19, 2012

Spotlight on Australia: Four Inspiring Ceramicists

Here is a post by Guest Blogger David Ackley about Australian Ceramics.

The Australian ceramics scene is rich and diverse. Organizations such as the Australian Ceramics Association help to promote the craft and support ceramics education. Australia is home to a great number of talented ceramicists, including these four inspiring artists:

1.    Garry Bish - Garry Bish (b. 1950) is an Australian schoolteacher-turned-ceramicist responsible for establishing the Potters Arms Studio in Epsom, a small town about 100 miles north of Melbourne.

Bish is known for his recent ceramic work using decals and screen printing to place a textured surface on the vessel, impelling the viewer to take a closer look. Bish will often print text directly on the vessel to create further intrigue.

Bish’s varied collection of work references architecture, language, anthropology, and philosophy. The use of celestial blue and earth tones suggest a cosmic theme.

The piece below was one of many featured in early 2012 at the Melbourne museum Craft Victoria, in an exhibition titled “The Vessel: A Space Oddity.”

Photo by Lily Feng

2.    Greg Crowe - Greg Crowe initially studied architecture, however was seduced by ceramics while in school and hasn’t turned back since. He still completed his architecture degree, but in 1979 he received his BA of Design in Ceramics. In 1980 he established Hovea Pottery, near Perth, Australia, where he continues to work today.

Crowe focuses on wood-fired and salt-glazed ceramics. He has exhibited throughout Australia, and also in the US, Canada, Ireland, Denmark, France, and Singapore. He is represented by the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Queensland Art Gallery, among others.

The below piece was created during Crowe’s McKnight Residency in 2008, at the Northern Clay Centre, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was part of the McKnight exhibition from May to July 2009.

3.    Kirsten Coelho - Born in Denmark, Kirsten Coelho is one of three recipients of the 2012 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award. Her $25,000 prize (in the Australian category) recognizes her skill with reduction-fired porcelain.

Coelho studied in Adelaide before moving to London in the early 1990s. She was influenced by British ceramic traditions, evident in her work in which she captures some of the aging characteristics found in 18th and 19th century enamels. Coehlo returned to Australia in 1998, and now teaches ceramics at the University of South Australia and works from her home studio in Adelaide.

Coehlo’s work is currently on display at the Shepparton Art Museum through Nov. 18, 2012, and at the Lion Arts Centre in Adelaide through Dec. 8, 2012.

Photo by Grant Hancock and Daniel Noone

4.    Alexandra Standen - Alexandra Standen was awarded the 2012 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award for Emerging Australian Artist. The award has propelled this young ceramicist’s career, allowing her to exhibit with Kirsten Coelho (above) and Michael Fargo, from Israel, who won in the International category.

Watch Standen’s excitement below as she describes her exhibition of hand-built stoneware and porcelain at the Shepparton Art Museum:

About the Author: David Ackley is a blogger for the Australian design site DesignLocal. On a quest to promote the Australian creative scene to a global audience, DesignLocal serves daily design inspiration ranging from the internationally acclaimed Marc Newson to raw indigenous aboriginal talent. Explore more talented Australian ceramic artists at


Linda Starr said...

super post, thanks, the first one fooled my eye several times.

Anna said...

thanks for a great post - but then I'm a bit biased being an Aussie myself :^)

Marian Williams said...

Thanks for the lovely post on Aussie potters! I (an American) have found the talent here quite incredible - and often unknown or unnoticed!

Amy Waller said...

Awesome guest post! Thank you.