Our work is on display and for sale at Burt Street Gallery, open every Saturday 10am-4pm.
Working in porcelain clay I find that the clay dictates the forms I make. I hand build my pieces to have a tactile response. Ideas come from nature and the landscape especially texture and colour. Each piece is a result of the previous one as there is a natural progression in my work. It may be a shape or a motif, but it leads me to follow through to the next way of expressing that particular idea.
I am a practicing interior designer with training in both interiors and industrial design. In recent years I have been exploring my great love and passion for pottery through study of the craft at Perth Studio Potters. I’ve created my own style in both hand building and wheel work, and have now set up my own brand Poppy Productions for all my ceramics to be branded under. I prefer to work with white porcelain with transfers and stains for bright colours, and also like to make small items including earrings, bangles and brooches.
My aim and focus was to create a contemporary piece of Chinese literature, bringing together form, colour and texture. The translation for these symbols is Love, Family and Longevity.
The nucleus that brings together life is what lay beneath the meaning of these symbols.
I initially studied ceramics at Claremont Teachers’ College and became fascinated with the feel of clay and the endless ways in which it is able to be manipulated and moulded into such a variety of forms and designs. Later I attended classes with Stewart Scambler at the Fremantle Art Centre. More recently I have been attending classes at the Perth Studio Potters and have been really happy that people have liked my pots enough to buy them!
I have been a member of the Perth Studio Potters for several years now and enjoy creating and exploring new ways of using clay as well as the friendship with members and the sharing of ideas.
I work mostly with stoneware and porcelain.
My recent work is inspired by my travels to Italy, Spain and turkey and a course I did in Majolica. I enjoy listening to music in my studio while forming shapes on the wheel and then creating intricate patterns on the objects I have made.
Creating works with a pleasing aesthetic is important and I always aim towards that end. Also, the presentation of a technically proficient artwork allows the viewer to appreciate the skill of the artist, even if the artwork is not always well received. Ceramics is an art-form with a long and varied history, but is not often appreciated in Australia as it sometimes comes under the label of 'craft'. I would like to help to shift people's focus regarding ceramics away from that notion and instead help them to see it as a truly beautiful kind of art, multi-varied, versatile and befitting of the label 'High Art'. I create ceramic works which I hope capture the viewer's attention for long enough that they may perhaps wonder at how such a thing was made, or hopefully, be fascinated by the art-form before their eyes. Working mostly with white stoneware and porcelain clays, I try to combine techniques of traditional ceramic forms with more contemporary methods. Often, I will begin the form by throwing on a potter's wheel, achieving pleasing shapes, and then carve into the clay, altering the smooth look of a wheel-thrown piece, adding to its complexity, but not taking away its aesthetic appeal.
I had always wanted to give pottery a go and joined PSP several years ago. I enjoy wood firing process that I am learning from one of our teachers Caroline McCrudden. I am looking forward to unloading this years’ firing as there are always unexpected results.
Sow Fong Khoo
I have been making pottery for more than 20 years and it is still my favourite thing in the world to do. For many years I have had a fascination with Stone Age, Iron Age and British-Romano pottery, mainly in terms of form, but also in terms of decoration and surface treatment. This has influenced the forms and shapes of my pottery to a large degree, particularly the Neolithic beaker pottery of Britain, Ireland and Northern Europe, but translated into larger and finer forms. I mostly work with stoneware clay making functional firms that people can use every day, but I love to make very large "coil-and-throw" urns, influenced by ancient forms but updated with interesting glazed surfaces and British and Irish Celtic style decoration (which was not traditionally executed on pottery, mostly metal and stone). I have recently ventured into using porcelain and have embarked on a series of work which I have called "Neo-Neolithic". The forms have drawn heavily on Neolithic beakers, but these are more refined and delicate, made from very fine wheel thrown and high-fired Southern Ice porcelain, with water-eroded decoration, as opposed to the Neolithic vessels which were made from gritty earthenware clay which was rudely fired and decorated with incised and impressed texture.
Sarah is a full time secondary art teacher and is one of the pottery teachers at PSP. She is largely self-taught in the field of ceramics after receiving her degree in textiles and print making. Her work is purely functional and largely concerns itself with the treatment of surface. The past three years have been primarily spent exploring the process of silk screen print on porcelain; however, Sarah has recently started experimenting with painting on the surface of earthenware. This process has more freedom and a sense of humour which is in strong contrast to the clean minimalism of her silk screen work.
As well as teaching the Thursday night class at PSP, Sarah has also run various other creative workshops in print making and felting at PSP. She sells her own work at markets twice a year or through her website and regularly exhibits in the member’s exhibitions in the Burt Street Gallery.
Link to Sarah's website.
The wave of green series has been inspired by and is an exploration of the shape of waves, with references to nature. I have been inspired by Japanese art and the idea that nature is full of beauty relationships that are asymmetrical yet balanced, much like a wave. Flowing lines and an aim to capture this balanced yet unbalanced motion, is what has influenced these pieces. The fading green tones mimic those representing and found in nature, having made a conscious decision to avoid the traditional and obvious color references of blue representing the water.
I aim to create pieces that can serve a purpose and are also engaging to the viewer on many levels. Using stone ware clay, I have used methods of hand building and slab work in making the pieces.
For 25 years my Ceramics work has been inspired by the Ocean. Living near the ocean environment, with its beauty, colour and symmetry, has creatively extended my work. The oceans many features have in various ways been incorporated into my designs.
I decorate my Porcelain and Stoneware ceramics by original hand painted designs, use of under-glaze colours, carving and piercing, or simply allowing the form to be the focus.
I hope to entice the viewers to touch and explore my wheel and hand-made pieces.
I love to work on the potters wheel to make functional pots. I derive equal enjoyment from the feel of the clay when throwing and the feel of a well made, finished pot with a perfect glaze.
During my training as domestic science teacher in Switzerland, I developed a special interest in presenting food in an optimal way. This, combined with my fascination with chemistry, encouraged me to experiment with and produce glazes which feel good and are safe with food. My pots are fired at stoneware temperature (app.1280 degrees) in a reduction atmosphere.
Currently my preferred firing method is using a wood-fired kiln, where salt and ash deposits interact with the glazes in the most interesting and unpredictable ways.
I am largely self-taught but I have also attended many workshops by visiting potters at Perth Studio Potters where I have been a member since 35 years.
Apart from making pottery I enjoy travelling. It gives me great pleasure to see my pottery used, when I visit friends all over the world.
Janet Kovesi Watt
It is over 50 years since I joined the Perth Potters' Club, now Perth Studio Potters. I have grown with it, first making pots with clay from the drainpipe factory on Great Eastern Highway (now no more), fired to earthenware temperatures in the club's electric kiln. I was later able to build high-temperature kilns of my own, fired with gas, and twelve years ago, with my husband, I built a wood-fired kiln in the country. I have now started to salt glaze my work, which involves inserting measured batches of salt into the firebox, at the height of the fire, where it spits and crackles as the soda vapours are released and react with the surface of the pots to form a glaze. The drama of this process, with its sometimes unpredictable results, is endlessly fascinating.
I have always had a preference for making pots that can be used: for eating, drinking, making tea and serving food – and find it a constant challenge to get the balance right, the handles comfortable to hold, the lids a snug fit and the lips finished so as to give pleasure to the drinker. I hope I have succeeded.