Dear CAAWA Members,
Christmas is looming and many of you have been involved in intense periods of making for open studio events, markets, bazaars and end of year exhibitions. I trust that it has been a creative and fruitful time for you and that you have made many sales and developed new ideas and consolidated your practice.
A lot has happened this year in terms of ceramic activity in Western Australia. Regional groups have been very active, and many groups have held workshops and activities designed to raise awareness and develop skills. The Ceramic Arts Association of Western Australia has been pleased to be associated with some of these events. I was invited to both Port Hedland and Esperance to work with local pottery groups and to get to know Regional ceramists. It was a fabulous experience for me and I was most impressed with the level of skill and enthusiasm I encountered. There is some amazing talent in regional Western Australia and I hope that we might showcase some of these fabulous artists’ work in a wider forum. Perhaps the 2025 Triennale may be an opportunity for these artists to be provided the opportunity to showcase their work to a broader public?
More recently, I had the privilege of representing the World Crafts Council (Australasia)(WOCCA) as an advocate for our region in Hangzhou and Dongyang in China. In this role, I accompanied Ms Jude Van der Merwe, the Vice president of WOCCA and one of the judges for the Craft Masters Evaluation. The China event involved delegates and judges from throughout Asia to nominate craftspeople you were masters in their field, had been practicing their craft for over 30 years and were passing their crafts knowledge on to the younger generation. Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific had ten craftspeople that fulfilled the criteria. My job was to present their work and achievements to the judges. Three Australian ceramic artists were awarded craft master status: Greg Daly and Prue Venables from Victoria and our own Sandra Black. The trip was an invaluable opportunity to strengthen international ties, share insights, and showcase the talent and diversity of our ceramic artists on a global stage.
I was also able to see a vast range of Chinese ceramics in the ancient capital of Xi’an and was able to view the famous terracotta warriors. Seeing the scope and ambition of ceramics fabrication on such a grand scale was awe inspiring and humbling at the same time. Similarly, a visit to the Shaanxi History Museum was also an incredibly stimulating experience. Their collection of Tang dynasty ceramic sculpture is one of the best in China in terms of its diversity and quality. It is wonderful to see how the ceramic medium has been used to express cultural concepts and human qualities over the centuries.
Workshops continue to be a valuable means to develop knowledge ands skills in our ceramic community. They help to develop important, meaningful relationships with other potters and people interested in ceramics. In September, our association organized a highly successful pit-firing workshop featuring the ceramic artist Narayni Palmer. Enthusiastic members eager to explore the exciting and fickle techniques of pit firing attended the event.
Narayni Palmer's expertise and guidance provided valuable insights into this ancient firing method, enriching the skills and knowledge of our members. Thank you also to Liz Berry for hosting the event at her studio in Glen Forrest
In the spirit of camaraderie and celebration, we gathered for a memorable Christmas party in Kings Park during November. The event provided a wonderful opportunity for members to connect, share their experiences, and celebrate the festive season. The picturesque surroundings of Kings Park provided a delightful backdrop for an afternoon filled with fun, laughter, and the warmth of our ceramic community. Thank you very much to all members of the committee and their spouses who helped make this such an enjoyable occasion.
During the Christmas party, we had the honour of presenting the Craft Master Award to Sandra Black, our distinguished member who has made outstanding contributions to the ceramic arts community. Sandra's dedication, creativity, and leadership have significantly enhanced ceramics and craft in Western Australia and our association, and this award is a testament to her exceptional achievements.
These past three months have been marked by enriching experiences, skill-building workshops, and moments of celebration. Our association continues to thrive, thanks to the dedication and passion of our members and the hard work of our committees. As we look forward to the coming year, I am confident that our community will continue to grow and flourish.
Calls for submissions for Wedge:the Australian Ceramics Triennale are now open and may be accessed here: https://www.australianceramicstriennale.com.au/. Feel free to pass this link on to anyone who you believe will enrich the event and help promote interest and knowledge about ceramics.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
President Ceramic Arts Association of Western Australia