Newsletter Spring 2005 Inside •
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Build a momentum wheel—feel the force Inside Primavera City & Guilds Ceramics calendar Gilda Westermann 1
COMMITTEE 2004/2005 PRESIDENT Lady Sainsbury CHAIRMAN Victor Knibbs 8 Nightingale Way, St Neots,Huntingdon, Cambs. PE19 1UQ. 01480 214741 VICE CHAIRMAN Frank Logan Burbage, Thetford Road Coney Weston, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP31 1DN. 01359 221323 SECRETARY Susan Cupitt 62 Humberstone Road, Cambridge CB4 1JF 01223 311937. email@example.com TREASURER Rosemarie Cooke 13 Biggin Lane, Ramsey, Huntingdon, Cambs PE26 1NB. 01487 813835 firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR Mark Boyd 24 School Close, Gamlingay, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 3JY. 01767 650904 email@example.com MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY Tony Pugh Vine Leigh Cottage, Main St, Wardy Hill, Ely, Cambs CB6 2DF. 01353 778462 firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLICITY SECRETARY Penny Hayes The Four, Chapel End Way, Stambourne, Essex CO9 4NT. 01440 785688 PHayes2074@aol.com EXHIBITIONS ORGANISER Carolyn Postgate 5 Whitwell Way, Coton, Cambridge CB3 7PW 01954 211033. email@example.com SELECTED MEMBERS SECRETARIES Liz Smith and Graham Smith 14 Oakfield Road, Long Stratton, Norwich Norfolk. 01508 536526 Landmarkplanning@hotmail.com Margaret Gardiner Glebe House, Great Hallingbury, Bishops Stortford, Herts CM22 7TY 01279 654025. firstname.lastname@example.org GENERAL COMMITTEE MEMBER Brenda Green Hardys, School Lane, Gr Horkesley, Colchester Essex CO6 4BL. 01206 271019 WEBSITE Harvey Bradley 29 Meadow Rise, Billericay, Essex CM11 2DT 01277 659281. email@example.com EVENTS ORGANISERS Jerry Finlayson Mill Farm Barn, Wades Lane, Shotley, Ipswich IP9 1EG 01473 788423 Frank Logan (address above)
Front cover: Copper-fumed raku by Pat Armstrong, from our Christmas show. Photo Mark Boyd 2
—Thrown by the Editor— In my early days of potting at evening classes I hit a metaphorical wall. I had no control over glazes or firing, and even having ware at the right state of dryness to work from one week to the next was touch and go. The only option seemed to be to set up at home. So I read a lot of books, cleared some space in the shed, built my first kiln from a recipe in Ceramic Review, bought a table-top wheel and got stuck in. Hardly anything survived my first firing, except my enthusiasm to improve. I now understood dunting and the explosive force of steam, but shudder to think how much quicker I could have progressed with more guidance. Then I joined the EAPA and through demonstration days, talking to people at potters camps and not being afraid to experiment, I started to progress. I mention these early fumblings with clay simply to remind us how educational EAPA can be. In this issue of the Newsletter, we look at how to make a cheap momentum wheel, City&Guilds as another way of learning about working with clay, the state of UK ceramics as seen through the eyes of one of the country’s leading galleries, and the various hints and tips gleaned from Gilda Westermann, a fine exponent of that most enigmatic of materials, porcelain. If you stop learning, you stop living, there doesn’t seem much danger of that for the EAPA.
—–Chairman’s report—– Christmas exhibition The All Saints exhibition, despite its familiar look, was well received by the visitors, and although numbers at the Private View seemed fewer than usual, those attending were enthusiastic and sales good. Rosemarie and Arnold Cooke accepted the Essex Kilns Prize on behalf of their son David. The mulled wine and minced pies served by Dorothy and Tony Pugh went down well! The new store arrangements worked well, but the working party was small and ageing! I thank all who helped with the setting up, especially the regular stalwarts. Sales were lower than last year’s, but the loss was modest and well within our means. Special thanks to Janet Tebbit, Rosemarie Cooke and of course Carolyn Postgate who made it all possible. Hatfield 5-7 August Margaret Gardiner is working hard for us and has arranged for a stand again this year. We have decided to open this to all membership, and I would encourage members to consider submitting applications. I really found the experience of being part of this show most exciting.
Potters Camp 11-14 August Plans are well in hand for this popular and enjoyable event. Jerry has booked Rob Bibby, who will lead decorating workshops, together with all the regular activities, including the Summer Social Communal Meal on Saturday evening. This is open to members not attending the camp. Name and logo The Committee has not yet formally made the change as we need to make all necessary arrangements that will lead to a smooth changeover. Watch this space! Committee discussions There were lengthy debates at the last Committee meeting concerning both Exhibitions and Selected Membership. It is difficult to summarise the wide ranging and diverse opinions expressed. It seems we need to be all things to all men. Members join our society with different expectations and motivations, we all want different outcomes, and I feel that we do quite well really. Victor
Christmas show Images from our Christmas Show at All Saints Church, Cambridge. Top, Susan Tutton; middle, Penny Hayes; bottom, Janet Tebbit (detail). Pictures MB
Ceramics calendar EAPA Demonstration Day, Steve Harrison, Mundford Village Hall, March 27 Potfest South-West Washinpool Agricultural Centre, Easter Compton, West Bristol, April29-May1, www.Potfest.co.uk EAPA AGM and demonstration day, Helen Martino, Mundford, May 22 Clayart The Old Coachhouse, Llanrhaeadr Hall, Denbigh, May 21-22 firstname.lastname@example.org
Art in Action Waterperry Gardens, Nr Wheatley, Oxfordshire, July 14-17 www.artinaction.org.uk Potfest Scotland The Agricultural Centre, Crieff Road, Perth, May27-29 www.Potfest.co.uk EAPA Summer Potters All Saints, Cambridge, 9-31 July Potfest in the Park Hutton –in-the-Forest, Penrith, Cumbria, July29-31, www.Potfest.co.uk
Appledore Visual Arts Festival Appledore, Bideford, Devon, June 2-5 www.apledorearts.org
Art in Clay Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, August 5-7, www.artinclay.co.uk—includes EAPA stand
International Ceramics Festival Aberystwyth Arts Centre, July 1-3 www.internationalceramicsfestival.co.uk
Potfest in the Pens Skirsgill Agricultural Mart, Penrith, Cumbria, August 5-7, www.Potfest.co.uk
EAPA Selected Member selection meeting 17 April, Cambridge. Contact the Selected Members Secretaries for more detail
EAPA Potters Camp, Shotley, August 11-14, contact Jerry Finlayson for details
Potfest Peak, Bakewell Agricultural Centre, Bakewell, Derbyshire, June3-5, www.Potfest.co.uk
Ceramica Cymru The Old Provisions Market, Carmarthen Road, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, September 23-25, www.ceramica.org.uk
Earth and Fire Rufford Country Park, near Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, July 1-3 www.ruffordcraftcentre.org.uk
Ceramics in the City Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, London, September 24-25 www.geffrye-museum.org.uk
Tredegar House Contemporary Ceramics Fair, Tredegar House, Newport, Monmouthshire, July 9-10 email@example.com
EAPA demonstration day, Paul Scott, Mundford, October 9 (provisional) Oxford Studio Ceramics 2004, October 2930, www.oxfordsc.co.uk EAPA Christmas Show All Saints Church, Cambridge, 19 November-11 December The 9th Southern Pottery and Ceramics Show, The Maltings, Farnham, Surrey, November 19-20
For a full updated list, see www.studiopottery.co.uk/ html/events.html Below—Naked raku vessels, exhibited in Metropolis, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 2004. Expect similar work from Elizabeth Bond at Hatfield Elizabeth Bond 3
—Primavera, a different tradition— from local buyers, but we also still attract many Europeans, especially the Dutch, Belgians and Scandinavians. We also have quite a lot of customers from London who make the trip especially. So are you saying that it’s a tough business to be in? If this was my only source of income, it would have folded after 9/11. No question. But it’s more than that to me. It’s a passion, but it’s also something to do with my life. I have seen some terrible things in the world, and Primavera makes many people very happy— that’s the buzz for me.
See Primavera gallery at Kings Parade, Cambridge, or on the web at www.primaverauk.com
There are few places in Britain that combine highquality applied crafts and accessible fine art as well or as famously as Cambridge’s Primavera gallery. Where else could you sell alongside Bernard Leach, Lucy Rie and the best of current ceramics? Mark Boyd spoke to the proprietor, Jeremy Waller, and Gallery Administrator Janine Pocklington about the gallery’s work, philosophy and the state of the ceramics industry.
How do you decide on the mix of works to show? How long have you been running the gallery and how has it changed commercially in that time? I (JW) am in my sixth year here. The 9/11 bombings in 2001 stopped Americans coming and that has seen a detrimental impact of probably around £150,000 a year on sales. Does that mean most of your sales are now local? Many are from East Anglia, and from repeat visitors. When we show new work, there is a flurry of activity
We don’t see a problem with putting slightly whimsical pieces alongside more serious artworks. We don’t need to be pure in that sense. After all, that’s how they will end up in people’s homes. We don’t live in white cubes. We also like to have works of very different prices together—one piece may cost £6 next to another for £2,000. We like the light touch that comes with this arrangement—it’s not random. We all spend hours arranging pieces. Does this mean you reject the art/craft divide?
What are you looking for from artists? Something a bit different. We stock work by Walter Keeler, Steve Harrison, Lisa Hammond and Jane Hamlyn, for example, so customers can compare the best salt and soda ware, so we are unlikely to take more vapour ware. Do you think reinvention by existing artists is important? Yes, but we are always seeking new artists. Sometimes, though, we prefer a steady seller to someone who keeps changing direction. 4
Part of Jenny Hale’s display of raku creatures
It’s funny how a little thing can make the difference. Our domestic pottery wasn’t selling at all until we introduced a buy-two-get-one-free offer. Then they started flying out of the door. If I wanted my work to appear in Primavera, what is the process?
Absolutely, but people need the functional things and the aesthetic things, and there is no reason why one gallery can’t sell both—we have 19th Century paintings, 18th Century clocks and even a collection of Bronze Age, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon jewellery. And we sell mugs. Why not? Is that a problem for any of your artists? If they didn’t agree with our philosophy they wouldn’t be represented here, and it can be a struggle with some of the top names. Grayson Perry, for example, doesn't like the craft element of our stock. Edmund de Waal was initially reluctant to have his work here, and I struggled to get Rupert Spira’s work as well, but now his best work is on show here. Grayson Perry claims to be very proud to be a potter. Yes. I have had him sat here trying to persuade him to sell his work through Primavera but he won’t budge yet. I haven’t given up, but partly the decision for the artist is commercial—especially when they are famous enough to attract big private buyers. We charge the public the same as the artist would in a private sale, but obviously take our commission. But people should be ok with our approach—their work will all end up alongside the trappings of someone’s home.
There isn’t really a process. We encourage people to talk to us and then take it from there—we don’t require artists’ statements and that sort of thing, but many more formal galleries do. We usually buy the work outright, rather than have it on a sale or return basis. If you came to us as a new maker and we liked your work, we may buy, say, 20 mugs to start with. If they sold well, we’d come back for 100. Because our trade has peaks and troughs, we know a long way in advance when we will need stock. So our regular suppliers get to know when they have to be busy.
more from the same artist themselves. Nick Mackman’s raku animals are a case in point. One lucky family seems to be collecting an entire ecosystem! What do you think is the state of ceramics in East Anglia? I (JW) travel across the country looking for work to sell, but I think local associations such as yours are extremely important. We sell some of your members’ work and are keen to work with you in the future.
Who is selling well at the moment? All sorts. We had a very good Christmas period. Robert Goldsmith’s domestic ware is selling well, and we have several families of makers who all sell through us. Lawson Rudge, and his children Dillon, Lawson Jr and Keza, for example. Mary Rich, Philip Wood, Tony Gant and Richard Batterham all sell well. Quite often we find people are bought a piece, like it, and then buy
The EAPA and Primavera Gallery are actively exploring an EAPA exhibition. Expect more details later in the year. Words and pictures, MB
How are ceramics faring against other crafts here? Well, jewellery sales drive everything – the ceramics, the glassware, the lot. I suspect paintings are becoming more popular again. Ceramics are steady sellers throughout the year, but we couldn’t survive on them alone.
Peter Hayes’ raku disk
—Free wheeling low roller— Position the frame
Arrange suitable tubing, such as 50 mm square section steel, into a shape for a stable base, and weld it together. Remember that this base will need to support up to 200kg concrete, so it needs to be strong.
Momentum wheels have a long and living history, and are still the wheel of choice for some top potters, including Svend Bayer and Walter Keeler. They rely on using the momentum of a slowing wheel, the spin from which has come from kicking or a stick. All momentum wheels have one great advantage—their silence. This one, made by Jerry Finlayson from an idea of Rob Bibby’s, has another plus—its cost and simplicity. With a bit of scavenging this wheel cost three bags of readymix concrete, and took four hours to make.
Remove the wheel itself, by any means possible. Unbolt it if you can, but cut if needs be. You need to end up with enough of the hub to weld a base to. Remove the hub and check that it runs smoothly
Weld a frame to support the hub
Weld the hub of the wheel to the base frame. This forms the working heart of your new wheel.
Remove the brake assembly and check that the wheel rotates freely and quietly. If it doesn’t, choose another wheel. It isn’t worth replacing the wheel bearing. First find your wheel
First find a suitable donor car, in this case a dead Citroen BX. The larger the tyre, the heavier the filled wheel and the more momentum it will have, and hence the more throwing you will be able to achieve with each spin. Make it too big, though, and you will find your knees get in the way. Remove the road wheels (the bit with the tyre attached). Note that except in some inner city areas it is customary to ask the car owner for permission first. 6
Cut two holes in the tyre for concrete, either with a fancy hole saw drill attachment or with a sharp knife (lubricate the blade with oil, washing up liquid or even water for an easier cut. That’s why you get more punctures when it’s raining.).
Cut holes in the tyre for concrete
The hub and stand welded together
Weld locating bars on to the wheel rim so that your second road wheel will remain in place.
Supporting pegs welded in place
Bolt the road wheel to the hub
bucket with more readymix, and spin the wheel to make sure it is centred. Raise the concrete above the walls of the bucket slightly and level the top while spinning it slowly. Getting this right is key to a stable potting platform.
Frank Logan preparing to spin
Bolt the road wheel on to the base, with the holes in the tyre facing upwards. Mix approximately 100 kg readymix concrete to fill the tyre. You will need to funnel the mix into one of the holes, watching the other one to make sure you can see when the tyre is full. A suitable funnel can be created from a discarded traffic cone. This could be a three-person task: one to cajole concrete through the funnel (poking with a stick may be required), one to keep the funnel located in the hole, and one to bash the tyre all the while to encourage the concrete to flow.
Bucket to form wheelhead
While this mix is still wet, place a bat on top and centre it. Push 8 mm metal rods into the concrete so that they protrude slightly lower than the thickness of the bat. These will locate your throwing bat but not stick into the base of your pot. Bat-holding pegs
Add a second road wheel, located on the small bars, and fill this in the same way.
Fill the wheels with concrete
You may choose to add a third wheel at this point for extra momentum, but be careful of the height—you still have the wheelhead to add. For the top wheel, fill yoghurt pots and push them into the holes in the tyre to make circular locating points for your spinning stick. You will have either to fill the pots with concrete or tape them down to stop them floating out while the concrete sets. Line the top road wheel with a plastic bag, pushed into the central hole, cut the bottom off an old bucket and pop it on top. This will shape your wheelhead. Fill the
When it is all dry, remove the bat and the yoghurt pots, and find a suitable, smooth stick (a broom handle or heavier) to drive your wheel and enjoy the silent pleasures of throwing by momentum. MB
Victor Knibbs, mid pot
This wheel is very heavy, even when dismantled, so make it where you intend to use it—and note the lack of drip tray. It should be weatherproof. Set the wheel hub directly into a concrete base to avoid welding. Instead of using welded locating pins, you could Evostick joining tyres together. A larger, single wheel from a truck could have similar momentum (this being a function of the mass of theconcrete and the speed of movement), but would be best propelled by kicking.
Frank forming in a hurry
Momentum wheel tips: use water generously to get the most from each spin; use several slower spins rather than try to do everything on one—it’s less tiring; start the spin with a kick to reduce back strain. 7
—Potting with a limited alphabet— first competence and then expertise. The danger is that without innovation and continual thought it can become stale. Westermann doesn’t fall into this trap. She recognises both the value of developing that expertise and the risk of over-refining her forms. This seems to have driven her current change, but having already seen how her work has developed at shows over the past four years or so, it will be interesting to see where she ends up.
I presume that New Guineans with their 11-letter alphabet feel as expressive as the Armenians with their 39 letters. After all, it is not so much the components as their combination that matters. And so it is with pottery. Gilda Westermann, who demonstrated her skills in February, probably works with the most limited range of materials of any potter I know: two clays, one glaze, two lustres, one firing regime. But it works. Gilda Westermann has made some of the most elegant white porcelain vessels of recent years. Her tall white bottles, in particular, have a refined grace that is rarely matched. They are not, however, refined to death. A slight undercut to their base, a free-looking spiral in their neck and a clear glaze helps lift these above the norm.
Gilda Westermann is German and comes from a tradition of apprenticeship and production throwing in Germany and Ireland. This background, where arts and crafts are more firmly split than in England, both helps and haunts her work. As she said herself, “I needed time to get rid of other people’s pots from my finger tips.” During her talk before demonstrating, she showed that pure white porcelain had not always been her material of choice, terracotta and reduced stoneware made an appearance, including the use of overlapping tenmoku and celadon glazes. Several times she talked about an idea fading away, and I had the distinct impression that her current work was itself transitory. The high elegance of her tableware and teapots of a couple of years ago has given way to a freer approach, but one still firmly rooted in the functional. I may be doing her a disservice, but some of her current work feels caught between two strands – the high quality domestic ware and more sculptural pieces that could sit comfortably in a minimalist loft apartment. The repetitive nature of production throwing allows potters to develop
Gilda Westermann now works exclusively with porcelain, the Audrey Blackman formula for thrown items and smaller pieces, and Royal (a mix of Audrey Blackman and Special) for larger slab platters, other flatware and anything that needs handles. She wouldn’t use the Special porcelain on its own because of its soapy feel and shortness – in the pastry sense. She likes the feel of porcelain at all stages but doesn’t always use it to display its famous translucency – some of her dramatic slabware is nearly 1 cm thick, but still with the purity of porcelain. Porcelain is notoriously difficult to work, especially to a potter used to stoneware. It shrinks by 20% from wet to fired, it has an exceptionally strong plastic memory, has little tolerance between translucent maturity and shelf-ruining stickiness, can produce astonishingly sharp edges, and drinks water on the wheel like it’s going out of style. But porcelain is beguiling, and clearly Gilda feels it is worth its shortcomings. More to the point, she seems prepared to
comes to putting handles on mugs and jugs, the line is again important. She pulls them and then attaches them firmly to the leatherhard pot – getting the right moisture level is key. Then she smoothes the joint to make the handle appear to continue the same curve as the main form. It is in such attention to detail that elegance lies. As well as the tips she voiced, more could be gleaned from watching the way Gilda worked. For example, compressing thrown bases with either fingers or a sponge, and avoiding sharp angles in bases all help the drying clay to move and reduce its stresses.
work with them. On being asked about the dreaded S-crack, for example, her response was “welcome to the club.” Warping in the kiln was also something that she had to work with. Her throwing style was conventional. She started with small pieces – mugs, tea bowls, a small bottle – and gradually increased the size. Porcelain won’t stand as tall as a grogged clay, but she manages to throw 90cm tall bottles in one piece. She has made a few larger forms from two pieces in the past, but found that the join had to be very carefully formed to prevent failure. Coping with firing failures seems to be part of life for the innovative porcelain worker. To get the maximum lift from porcelain, Gilda compressed the base and the rim as she worked. This allowed her to control the form as it rose. She tended to finish a thrown piece in three sections – bottom, middle and top – rather than working on the whole form the whole time. Much of her shaping was done with a long metal kidney – an easier way of following a line than with her fingers alone. This sense of line is important in her work, and is something she emphasises by drawing and painting to help seeing. When it
Marianne Toogood (above) and Trudi Cullum (below), examples of work from Carolyn Genders’ well-received course, Sources of Inspiration, run at West Dean College, Sussex.
Turning is also a useful way of reducing the stresses on a base, but if the base is already rather thin, scraping it with a metal kidney in several directions will again reduce stress and hence the likelihood of S-cracks. When turning her tall bottles, Gilda uses a biscuited chuck and separates the pot from its chuck with a ring of foam rubber to prevent marks. All her work is biscuit fired to 10000C, and glaze fired to 12800C in an electric kiln, with some platters and other hump-moulded pieces getting a third gold lustre firing to 8000C. The glaze – a common transparent one – is applied by dipping, and when applied thinly didn’t move in the firing. One useful tip here: to reduce the likelihood of glaze pooling at the bottom of a pot she would dip it in water before dipping it in the glaze. The wet areas of the pot then take up less glaze. It all goes to show that much as we may love variations in colour and surface texture, sometimes, as we Editors say, less really is more. MB www.g.westermann.freeuk.com
QUALITY KILNS FROM YOUR LOCAL MANUFACTURER. Spares, Repairs, Service Contracts, Kiln Furniture Essex Kilns Ltd, Woodrolfe Road Tollesbury, Maldon, Essex CM9 8SE Tel No.01621 869342 Fax No. 01621 868522 www.essexkilns.co.uk ESSEX KILNS for second hand kilns, wheels, pugmills and miscellaneous equipment. Tel No. 01621 869342. 9
—It’s a social thing— The main ceramics room at Cambridge Regional College
beginners have access to degreelevel facilities and equipment.
The main studio contains nine wheels, a pug mill (taking three people to operate) a very stable concrete-block wedging bench and plenty of bench space. There is also a large damp room—essential for part-time courses—and an external covered area for kilns. The three large electric kilns can swallow a lot of work, but therein lies one of the main problems with courses—the lack of individual control over the firing cycle.
These days it is unusual to hear of an education establishment investing in any form of craft, let alone ceramics, but that is exactly what Cambridge Regional College (CRC) has done with a new teaching facility launched last autumn. Mark Boyd went to investigate CRC and its City & Guilds courses where he found several EAPA members. Whether you are new to the world of ceramics or an established professional, the hardest thing is knowing how to start. And if you are already a professional, what advice do you give to newcomers? The sheer versatility that clay offers can be intimidating to beginners. Unfortunately, many of the ways of learning about clay are themselves intimidating – cost, availability of lessons and space are just some of the issues that many people struggle with, and this is where a good ceramics course can help. City & Guilds offers an easy way in: it is structured, one evening a week and courses last for up to two years and are at a range of levels.
The assessment of this course requires students to make: one lidded container for pouring, with a handle; one large sculptural form; one wall or floor piece; a set of at least three functional domestic vessels; one mould-made set of small decorative objects; and a portfolio of samples. So the syllabus must cover throwing, hand-building and mould-making in a range of sizes, but that it isn’t as restricted to particular sizes of vessels as it used to be. In short, the syllabus ensure that students receive a good grounding in different techniques rather than find themselves entirely at the whim of an individual tutor.
I spoke to two EAPA members about CRC. Both had progressed through the level three course but continued to come back to pursue their own ideas. When asked why, almost uncannily they both said “It’s a social thing”. We all learn from one another in this game, and with the usual class size being 12-16 students, there is plenty of scope for peer-to-peer learning. Find out more about City & Guilds on the web and about the full range of ceramics courses at CRC from Lizzy McCaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01223 418549. The large new PotteryCrafts kiln
In this case, the course leader, Lizzy McCaughan, leads the art design elements—including sketchbooks—and handbuilding; Paul McAllister and Matthew Blakely cover thrown stoneware, sculpture and plaster moulds. One of the students told me that the course benefited from a variety of tutors, one very hands on with clay, another less so. Next year, CRC will run ceramics courses ranging from GCSE level to degree level. This means that
City & Guilds courses come in three levels. Level one, a taster, is one day a week for a mere five weeks in the summer. Level two is one evening a week for a year, and is roughly the academic equivalent of
a GCSE. It covers handbuilding, throwing and plaster mould-making. Level three, is the equivalent of Alevel, and carries UCAS points.
In theory, students should be able to set up their own workshop as a result of the level three course. In practice, most will still lack the space and may still want the comfort and company of a wellequipped facility.
Miscellany Hurry! IWCAT 2005—get your application into the Tokoname Summer Ceramic Workshop by the end of February. Forms are available at www.japan-net.ne.jp/~iwcat
EAPA clay stores Clay from Valentines, Staffordshire. An inexpensive source of clay for Association members. Phone to confirm availability. All now will be sold in 12.5 Kg bags with the exception of paper clay.
EAPA at Oxford Three out of the six potters selected for the CPA Associate Member stand at Oxford Studio Ceramics were EAPA members— Margaret Gardiner, Juliet Gorman and Kate Phillips. Find out more about the show at www.oxfordsc.co.uk Pottery and Ceramics Fair, Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, 2-3 April 2005. If you want to sell your wares at this new event in a National Trust property, check out www.waddesdon.org.uk and ring Kim Hallett on 01296 653240. Stands cost £100-170 for the weekend. Sculptural Ceramics Workshop The Burnside Gallery, Brodick, Isle of Arran, 29May-3 June 2005. Explore the creative use of hand-building techniques and the exciting potential of paperclay with tutors Cathy D’Arcy and Mary Pritchard. Contact: The Burnside, 01770 303 888 email@example.com Spiral Gallery Kate and Michael Carpenter have just opened a contemporary jewellery and crafts gallery in Debenham, Suffolk and are keen to make contact with potters who may wish to exhibit there. firstname.lastname@example.org Correction Roger Cockram has asked us to point out that, contrary to the impression given in last Summer’s Newsletter, he doesn’t regard today’s practice of biscuit firing as “decadent”, just largely unnecessary. Also that he was making a distinction between art and design rather than art and craft.
For sale Leach wheel, good working order, well maintained, £200 ono. Call 01473 824501 (Hadleigh, Suffolk) Fitzwilliam Potters Wheel in excellent condition £400, Very suitable for throwing large or small amounts of clay. Also various glaze ingredients at very reasonable prices. Tel Sue Bruce 01394 384865. Electric kiln, three or single phase, 4 cu ft, £350 ono. 01223 870277.
Special Fleck stoneware £5.00 Firing 1150oc -1300oc Red earthenware £3.10 Firing 1080oc - 1140oc White B17C stoneware £4.40 P2 Porcelain £6.65 Firing 1220oc - 1250oc Royal porcelain £8.50 ES5 Stoneware Original £6.50 ES130 White earthenware £5.80 Audrey Blackman porcelain £9.85 ES40 Handbuilding material £8.50 ES50 Crank £5.85 TS Flaxpaper clay ES200 £6.00 per 5 Kg bag ROGER PHILLIPPO The Old Bakehouse, Harston, Cambridge, CB2 5NP Tel: (01223) 870277 DEBORAH BAYNES Nether Hall, Shotley, Ipswich, Suffolk IP9 19W Tel. 0473 788300 LEN KNOWLES 4 Fairview Avenue, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex SS17 0DW Tel: 01375 404031 Please remember that the Clay Stores are run by volunteers. Kindly phone or collect during normal office hours. Telephone to arrange a convenient time to call. On collecting the clay, make out a cheque payable to EAPA with cheque card number and membership number. Roger Phillippo is hoping to relinquish his clay store now that he has retired. If any member in the Cambridge area would like to take it on, please contact Roger or Victor Knibbs.
Ceramic Helpline Having a bit of bother that your supplier can’t resolve? Why not contact one of these members who have agreed to share their expertise? You’ll find their contact details in the membership list. Allan Foxley - handbuilding & reduction firing Colin Saunders - plaster mould-making Victor Knibbs - oxidised stoneware, electric kilns, modifying clay bodies Jackie Plaister - slip decorating stoneware Deborah Baynes - Raku, stone/ earthenware (reduction & oxidised), salt glaze Mary Baulch - very basic throwing and glazing, electric kiln Beryl Hines - general, earthenware, Raku Usch Spettigue - raw glazing/single firing Tony Eeles – paperclay Erica Mattingly – some woodfired kilns Margaret Gardiner – salt glaze Sonia Lewis—high-fired ware including porcelain
If you are willing to give advice, and are willing to be added to this list, please contact the Editor: Mark Boyd 01767 650904.
Directory Fine art books Rodney Hunt Long Row Cottage, Sudbourne Suffolk IP12 2AT 01394 450238 10% reduction to EAPA Members
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—The good old clays—
In mid-December, Rebecca Harvey organised a back-stage visit to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge for EAPA members, and Curatorial Assistant Anne Taylor selected a table-full of Wonderful Things for people to look at, handle and discuss. [Thank you Rebecca and Anne.] At a time when contextual studies in ceramics tend to reference the Festival of Britain as History, and the '60s and '70s as the Next Big Thing, it was refreshing and exciting to return to more academic definitions and focus on a group of genuinely ancient vessel forms.
It's easy to be romantic about 'the potter's thumb' and it is enchanting to hold something which fits into your hand exactly as it fitted someone else's two thousand years ago. But a painter knows how it feels to judge a tone and apply a tiny patch of colour; a printmaker knows how a plate was inked up. The most touching thing I handled was a small samian-ware bowl and for this reason: it had the same angled footring on it that Steve Parry turned on the bowls we eat our cereal out of every morning and which, among other footring shapes, I will be teaching to my young students at college in a few weeks' time. So this is the special thing for me about what I saw, the magic if you like: not that we still do something, but that we still hand it on. Lizzy McCaughan
These simple distinctions were utterly absorbing. I wish I knew what special meanings they Membership of the EAPA is open to all Ordinary : £25 Joint (for two people at the same address) : £45 Institution – for a college or workshop: £45 (details on application to the Membership Secretary) Student – open to full time students studying ceramics (proof of status is required) : £5 Apply to the Membership Secretary.
makers seemed to me to speak most clearly in the surface treatments. There were lovely, satisfying, rhythmical patterns providing visual and tactile interest, made by simple stamped repeats surely a rich vein of experiment for Anne's research students? I drew one which I could easily reproduce with a bit of dowelling indented with a hacksaw blade; the Anglo Saxon woman [man?] who made it might have used a twig and a sharp knife in the same way. I saw some marks however which were clearly impressed with a fired ceramic stamp, you could tell by the 'softness' of the edge of the mark as opposed to the sharpness of the cut wood.
conveyed, or whether those most basic, timeless and universal design elements, dot and line, were a part of their visual language too.
In such circumstances I had to keep reminding myself that these were not art objects but functional wares, probably made by the
'production' processes of their time and by artisans not artists. Look! no glazes! just a strong feeling for shapes that did the job [then as now]. I drew a graceful widenecked bottle with a double shoulder, as beautiful as anything by a contemporary Japanese master, and an open slipware cup which would have been perfect for a latte [OK that one was glazed]. The characters of the individual
Virtual potting www.the-eapa.org
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Copy date for Summer 2005 Newsletter—April 15th All contributions are welcome, be they, typed, emailed, hand-drawn, phoned in or even slip-trailed. Prints, slides or fine-quality picture files (over 100kb) either to accompany articles or with a brief caption are also welcome. Come on—your Editor is desperate!