Friday, 19 October 2012

Diploma of Ceramic Arts at Auckland Studio Potters

If any of you have a facebook account Auckland Studio Potters has added a facebook page for the promotion of the Diploma course as it has been taught at Auckland Studio Potters.  It is a fantastic course which most students enjoy spreading over four years (taking it at half speed).  It can be done in two years as a full time course.

On Sunday 4 November there will be a short presentation at ASP before the Guy Fawkes celebrations to let anyone interested know more about the course. 

Basically the course has four parts, one of which is the Studio module taught around the country where there are students.  The course is administered by Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin.  Auckland has had the largest number of distance students and has been able to offer a wonderful selection of tutors.

Art History is taught by distance using correspondence and the internet by a tutor in Dunedin, the first year covers general art history and the second year focuses on ceramic art history.  This gives the student a rich base to call upon for inspirations and encourages research as well as helping teaching critical writing.

Glaze Technology is taught using an Internet programme and with research projects and a lot of practical exercises.  It is a very full on and hugely informative course.  There is an exam at the end of the first year and a substantial research project at the end of the second year.  

Drawing is taught by correspondence and when possible ASP will bring in a tutor for a block course.

You can read about the course and see images on this blog but also visit the facebook page:  here's the link:

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Great Expectations - Diploma Students and Graduates 2012

The 2012 Great Expectations show opened on 6 October at the Estuary Arts Centre in Orewa.  It will run until 27 October.
There's a great range of work on display not just from the Diploma of Ceramic Arts (Otago) students and graduates but also from guest exhibitor, Peter Lange and a display of mugs made by students from the local high school, Orewa College.  Several of the Diploma students and Peter Lange spent time with the teenagers showing them various making and decorating techniques and the results are impressive.

Here is a selection of work from the show.

Fiona Lander

Helen Perrett
Margaret Bray
Marilyn Wheeler

Roy Burgoyne
Annie McIver
Kim Rochester
Petra Molloy
Mark Griffin
Elena Renker
Carol Stewart
Debbie Neill
Michelle McKinstry
Ann O'Sullivan
Peter Baas
Suzy Dunser
Ria Erasmus
Rebekah Hall

Mariska de Jaeger

Jacgui Brown

Monday, 13 August 2012

Chester Nealie at ASP

                                              CHESTER NEALIE’S A.S.P.DEMONSTRATION

Auckland Studio Potters was the place to be on Sunday 22nd July 2012. The weather was fairly rugged so a Chester Nealie demonstration (indoors)) was very welcome to the group who’d braved the elements.

The majority of people present were well positioned around Chester’s kick wheel, so it made for quite an intimate gathering. What was evident was Chester’s ease in a group situation, which made his explanation of technique and potting practice very easy to take in. 

His arsenal of tools was impressive and a few of the items laid out for use were...
A huge stainless steel knife, procured from the ASP kitchen drawers, a man-size gas powered flame thrower, 50mm in diameter, chopsticks and a shapely Westpac bank card.

There’s something about watching a potter throw a pot on a kick wheel, whether it’s the rhythm
of the pedal turning the wheel or the fact that the clay is rotating  slowly which in turn  makes it easier for a viewer to take in  the transformation from raw material into something tangible.
I can’t put my finger on it, but I think it makes learning a little easier and the business of potting more inviting than when the practice is shown on an electric wheel.

Chester talked of his day to day practice, admitting to finding throwing in the morning uncomfortable due to the temperature in the studio, so preferring to work on other tasks such as applying handles etc.  And getting his hands stuck into the clay later on in the day.

When the first pot was ready to be altered Chester cranked up the gas and ignited the vapour with one of those huge BBQ lighters.  Next came the whoosh of the blue flame and he was ready to cook.  After a few intense doses of heat, the flame was extinguished, leaving a steaming, shapely pot ready to be finished off with some tweaking, slicing and lugging.... 

Chester was quite honest about his approach to potting, admitting that he” doesn’t like to overwork a pot”.... but sometimes felt the urge to play with it and ultimately “bugger it up”.  I think all of us could identify with that confession, as we were all of different skill levels but the one common thread was the ability to play with and ultimately overwork our pots.
Once Chester’s pots were ready to work on he began faceting with the kitchen knife. Slicing, shaving and smoothing the base with a credit card. Finishing one vase with lugs, which were then pierced
with the chopstick.  (Check out the images.)

He talked of the pot as a blank canvas in need of working without over doing it, and that every touch, incision, addition made to it should have some kind of purpose or reason for being there. Otherwise it could appear contrived or unnecessary with the original vitality being lost in the process.

These demonstrations are so important for N.Z. pottery today, for us to see the creativity and passion still alive and evident in master potters of the type that Chester Nealie is one of.

To invite the public to see that we have a vital art form that is not ‘stuck in the 1970’s,’ but
in need of recognition and support from the business sector, galleries etc. Instead of purchasing
that $10.99 special for x5 bland, sterile, white (for example, but not always  the rule.) coffee mugs...
Spending a bit more on home grown, thrown and fired, highly individual studio made pieces.

Any person attending one of these demonstrations cannot help but be affected (in a positive way.) by the infectious passion, potters like Chester Nealie and others bring to our studio......
                                                    May the ‘Demo’s’ continue!!

By Guest Blogger: Mark Goody

Cleaning up the bottom with a section of credit card.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Clay - a good obsession

I stumbled upon this blog post today and it really resonated for me and I don't think I am alone:

This week is the beginning of Term 3 and lots of happy clay obsessives returned to ASP to resume 'work', classes are fuller and the energy is great.  The Thursday morning class enjoyed a happy Renton just back from his travels in France re-energised and re-inspired.  Which is lovely because it's inspiring for us too.  Looking forward to seeing the slide show with a pottery-centric view of where he's been (I know there'll be plenty of cars in there too, something to tolerate! -speaking for myself).

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Some glaze test pages to peruse

I'm not into glazes myself, I like the making, but apparently these are inspirational.  Courtesy of various members of the University of Tennessee.Brought to my attention by Musing with Mud blog.

Cone 10, 6 and Cone 04 glazes.

And a great Glaze Sharing site:

and another:

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Pythagorean Cup

This has been lifted from Wikipedia after I arrived there from Stumble Upon, this is something for the bored potter searching for new ideas to think about! 

So relevant to current issues! Help prevent binge drinking.  (Or heavy handed pourers.)

Pythagorean cup

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Pythagoras cup)

Cross section

Cross section of a Pythagorean cup.
Pythagorean cup (also known as a Pythagoras cup, a Greedy Cup or a Tantalus cup) is a form ofdrinking cup which forces its user to imbibe only in moderation. Credited to Pythagoras of Samos, it allows the user to fill the cup with wine up to a certain level. If the user fills the cup only up to that level he may enjoy his drink in peace. If he exhibits gluttony, however, the cup spills its entire contents out the bottom (the intention being: onto the lap of the immodest drinker).



[edit]Form and function

A Pythagorean cup looks like a normal drinking cup, except that the bowl has a central column in it – giving it a shape like a Bundt pan in the center of the cup. The central column of the bowl is positioned directly over the stem of the cup and over the hole at the bottom of the stem. A small, open pipe runs from this hole almost to the top of the central column, where there is an open chamber. The chamber is connected by a second pipe to the bottom of the central column, where a hole in the column exposes the pipe to (the contents of) the bowl of the cup.
When the cup is filled, liquid rises through the second pipe up to the chamber at the top of the central column, following Pascal's principle of communicating vessels. As long as the level of the liquid does not rise beyond the level of the chamber, the cup functions as normal. If the level rises further however, the liquid spills through the chamber into the first pipe and out the bottom. Hydrostatic pressure then creates a siphonthrough the central column causing the entire contents of the cup to be emptied through the hole at the bottom of the stem. Modern toilets operate on the same principle: when the water level in the bowl rises high enough, a siphon is created, flushing the toilet.

[edit]Common occurrences

A Pythagorean cup sold inCrete

A Pythagorean cup sold in Samos
The Pythagorean cup is credited as an invention to Pythagoras. For this reason, it is sold often on the Greek island of Samos as a touristsouvenir, sometimes with accompanying information, such as: "Tradition says Pythagoras, during water supply works in Samos around 530 BC moderated the workers' wine drinking by inventing the 'fair cup'. When the wine surpasses the line, the cup totally empties, so the greedy one is punished." Whether there is any basis to this historical assertion is unknown. However, water supply was evidently a problem in Pythagoras' time in Samos, as demonstrated by the 1,036 m (3,399 ft) Tunnel of Eupalinos that the ruler Polycrates had dug through rock to serve as an aqueductbringing water to the city.
Hero of Alexandria (c. 10–70 AD) used Pythagorean cups as hydraulic components in his robotic systems.
It is also sold in some toy stores as a practical joke gift.

[edit]See also

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Reading across the internet

I have been neglectful of this blog and that is in part because I have been so distracted by the huge world of the Internet, I have been exploring Tumbler, Pinterest, Stumble upon,  blogs and facebook groups.  Are you aware of the wealth of information on Facebook pages such as Glaze and Recipe Sharing?  Anyone with a facebook account can join and read the endless conversation threads, find answers to all sorts of glazing questions and share their own knowledge.  Recently this group ran an online glaze course.  It was quite fascinating.

This is an enjoyable blog to wander through, the blogger is Canadian ceramicist Carole Epp.

And here are a couple of other good blogs to send you on your way:

For those wondering what Tumbler is, here is one with a cute name:

Don't forget to check in on Auckland Studio Potters facebook page as well.

Domesticware exhibition 2012

Friday 22nd June is the opening of ASP's first Domesticware exhibition to be held off the ASP premises.  We have hired the foyer of the Mt Eden Village Centre for a one week show.   We are curious to see how it will go, Mt Eden seems to be a great location for anything to do with the arts and hope to snare a new audience for contemporary ceramics -  in this case for high quality funcitional work.

The opening event is from 5-7pm and the show runs daily from around 9.30 until 5pm. The exhibition will be staffed by volunteers from the ASP.

Julie Collis is allocating the awards for the work.

Update:  the number of entries has far exceeded expectations and due to space constraints we are trialing having work in Reserve.  As some work will be taken by people on a Cash and Carry basis (unusual for an exhibition but needs must and all that) we will be able to replace some pieces as space becomes available.   We will see how this works.  Hopefully the award winning pieces will be able to remain on display for the duration of the show.

Signage designed for ASP by Mark Goody

Earthenware teapot by Suzy Dunser

Premier Winner: Earthquake proof teapots by Rick Rudd.

Robot jars by Jo Ann Raill

David Mason

Mike Donaldson

Merit winner  - Salt fired teapot by John Evans

Merit Winner - Porcelain beakers by Jill Duncalf

Nadine Spalter

Merit Winner: Vessels by Barbara Skelton

Todd Douglas

Sgraffito plates by Helen Perrett
Tea bowl and coffee mugs by Margaret Sumich
Teaset by Margaret Bray
Bowl by Peter Lange
Bowls by Simon Leong

Special Merit Award to Annie McIver for this Chicken  teapot

Chester Nealie

Andrew Van der Putten

Salt fired jug by Peter Lange

Woodfired shino bowls and platter by Elena Renker

Marilyn Wheeler

Brendan Adams

Salt fired teapots by Chris Southern

Porcelain by Kim Rochester

Porcelain by Rachel Carter

Porcelain by Charade Honey

Porcelain by Sophie Lankovsky

Soda fired pourers by Duncan Shearer

Earthenware bowl by Sarah Guppy

Carbon trapped shino plate by Petra Molloy

Platter by Bec Plowman

Merit Award winner:  John Evans

Todd Douglas

Salt fired vases and jug by Mark Goody

Salt fired set by Yuko Takahashi

Selector Julie Collis with Brendan Adams

ASP President Peter Lange with selector Julie Collis

Peter Collis with Jo Raill

Kim Rochester and Rachel Carter

Peter Stichbury and Chester Nealie

Kirsty Senior and Suzy Dunser

Clock by Marcellan

Teaset by Theresa Watson