Recently Fredi Rahn contacted me with an interesting request. With ‘International Women’s Day’ in mind she wondered if I’d like to bring some of our collection of pottery to Shadbolt Centre for a special display featuring women in our field. After discussion with the six of us it was decided that the little show would include a piece from each of the invitees and four or five works by women we’ve known or been inspired by, and from here or anywhere else in the world.
Last Sunday there was a little reception in the Shadbolt Centre foyer and most of the six of us met each other and chatted a little about who our chosen clay artists are and how or if their work has influenced our own. We were:
Celia Rice-Jones, Debra Sloan, Gailan Ngan, Sally Michener, Amelia Butcher and me. I took one or two photographs of each little display and you will see that some groups of clay objects are quite eclectic and that in some cases there’s a real connection between the selected works and the owner, whether in type of vessel, or colour. See if you think so too.
Afterwards we were invited to listen to a lecture on women painters and to see an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Shadbolt students and instructors. I took the opportunity to see what was happening up at the kiln shed. Ruthanne Tudball’s soda firing was underway and Simon Levin was leading the loading of the wood kiln. These kilns will be opened next Sunday, the day after the symposium.
And thank you Fredi for inviting me to select pieces by women whose work I admire or with whom I studied at ECU. They are all pouring pots.
I chose a Jane Hamlyn salt-glazed jug, purchased with encouragement from my sister, from a gallery in Hampshire, long before I had the opportunity to take a workshop and salt kiln-firing with her at Shadbolt Centre. There’s a tiny slip-decorated jug by Devon potter Maureen Minchin, purchased when Al and I led a tour of UK potteries in 2015. Fellow ECU ceramics student Georgina Brandon gave me a little spotted pink teapot more than twenty years ago. Eliza Wang is as excited about salt glazing as I am and she gave me the elegant hand-built teapot with the long handle and the tiny little brown teapot I purchased from Cathi Jefferson at a Circle Craft Christmas Market some years ago. My own jug is a slip-painted earthenware Green Woodpecker.
I don’t have the details of everybody else’s selections but you will see a Ruthanne Tudball jug in Celia Rice-Jones’ group, a blackberry platter made by Gailan Ngan’s grand-mother and several famous international clay artists.
I believe this little show will be taken down before the Symposium on Saturday because the space is needed for the trade show. Here’s a reminder to attend – a display about the presenters, and in particular a fine Ruthanne Tudball jug.