Jeff Mincham – Workshop
Sunday 13th September, 10am-4pm
A large group of SPSA members and visitors came along to Jeff Mincham’s inspirational presentation. He began by talking about what it takes to be a contemporary ceramics practitioner. He pointed out that, in the art world, there are no rules to the ultimate goal of creating an enduring work of art. The artist is constantly experimenting with new processes, which leads to many failures, before an eventual success generates new possibilities. Ceramic artists need two distinct sets of knowledge and artistic abilities. First, that of creating an art work from clay, which then becomes the canvas for the second stage of decoration (e.g.: sculpting, carving, painting etc), glazing and firing, each requiring a separate distinct set of skills and artistic creativity.
Jeff demonstrated in a number of ways that we should challenge routine processes that are familiar to ceramic artists. First, a large bowl was turned on the wheel and then a “hanging” coil process was added to produce a large bowl. Second, a pinch pot item was placed on a hump on the wheel, to create several tea bowls. The third item, an elliptical coil bowl, demonstrated how different clays could be combined to enhance a piece. With some of his finished work on display and a presentation of images of exhibited pieces he talked at length about decoration choices such as carving, painting and glaze layers etc.
The lunch break gave us all the opportunity to exchange ideas and stories over the usual wonderful variety of food provided by members.
Many thanks to Jeff for his time and a fabulous presentation that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. by Bernadine Hardin.
Book: Osborne, Margot (2009) Jeff Mincham: Ceramics. Living Treasures: masters of Australian craft . Craftsman House. isbn 0980354072, 9780980354072