March 2016

I’m writing this report somewhere over the Pacific Ocean on my way to the NCECA conference in Kansas City. As always, members of TACA committee have been working away at their individual projects over the least few months and coming up with exciting ways to promote Australian ceramics and spread the love of clay throughout the known universe!  I sent a letter to Artisan (formerly Craft Queensland) detailing some ways that TACA could develop a fruitful partnership with this organisation. TACA’s support for yearly or biennial exhibitions was discussed, as was the possibility of TACA using the workshop space at Artisan gallery to hold workshops. TACA could lend the support of our organisation to these projects by:
•    Drawing from our membership for artists and possibly curators
•    Expert advice and guidance on trends with contemporary tableware practice and access to contemporary makers from our database
•    Advertising of the exhibition in The Journal of Australian Ceramics
•    An online advertising campaign for the exhibition utilising our extensive social media networks weekly newsletters and online database

I am curator for an exhibition of contemporary Queensland ceramics to be held at Artisan later this year, called “Objects of Desire – Contemporary Queensland Ceramics”. Botanical artist and florist Tijn Meluendiks will be engaged as part of the exhibition design to highlight the ceramics through the use of a site-specific eco-sculpture winding its way throughout the exhibition. It is envisaged that the exhibition be a sensory experience, isolating the art works with light and texture, drawing attention to the unique surface qualities and forms within the gallery. Many of the artists involved are TACA members and I hope that this exhibition will bring their work to new audiences.

A few weeks ago I spoke to Matthew Hart from the Australia Council about the Council of Peers. The Council of Peers is a large group of Australian artists from all mediums (including theatre, music and visual art) that the Australia Council draws from to assess grant applications. In 2013 the Australia Council called for artists to nominate themselves as peers to be part of this process. Over 1000 artists applied and were accepted into the pool. Most of the peers are only asked once and the process of choosing peers is monitored so that all the states are equally represented each grant round. Soon it will be time to review the peers. I would love ceramicists and sculptors who work with clay to consider applying for this. If you get called to be on an assessment panel you are paid and provided with flights and accommodation if you have to travel. The more clay people we have on Boards and Councils the greater chance for national and international representation of our field. The link for the application is here:

Periscope has been taking the clay world by storm. Indefatigable Melbourne ceramicist Adriana Christianson is leading the charge, but more and more artists are getting involved. Periscope is a way of connecting with potters from around the world as they let you into their studio by filming a live feed of whatever they are doing. This is a great way to connect with other artists if there is a process you are interested in learning about or an artist you would like to see check out Periscope and see if they are on. The feeds only last for 24 hours, so the action really is live. Adriana’s link is here:
Join Periscope here:


I have a suitcase full of pots and issues of The Journal of Australian Ceramics to give away at NCECA. I’ll be demonstrating in the Process Room and a film I made is part of the “Across the Table, Across the Land” exhibition. In conjunction with the exhibition will be the American launch of “Tea at the Bus Stop”. This is a geography, community, clay project involving traveling, pots and tea. It begins with the simple act of having a cup of tea at the bus stop. This cup starts a project that can travel as far as the ceramic artists of the world want to take it.
1. Begin by taking a couple of cups and a pot of tea down to your local bus stop.
2. Share tea with whoever happens to be waiting for a bus.
3. Give a handmade cup to your guest.
4. Post a photo to the #‎teaatthebusstop Instagram and Facebook page.
5. Send your cup back into the world at your bus stop with this tag so it can travel boldly where no handmade cup has gone before!
It’s the ceramic version of putting a message in a bottle and casting it into the trackless, heaving ocean.
The project will be documented through pages on Instagram and Facebook and we will not only get to spread enjoyment of the connection that handmade ceramics can bring but also travel vicariously with the handmade cups involved in the project!
Join the project or follow the traveling cups here:

Signing off from 10,668 metres above Hawaii …

tea at the bus stop

We welcomed these new TACA members in February and March 2016:
Pia Sweeting, Caitlin Purcell, Aleisa Byfield, Montessa Maack, Peter Stephens, Andrew Burns, Robert Alexander, Caroline Walker-Grime, Andra Krumins, Robyn Norris, Jayanto Tan Damanik, Rachel Hannan, Felicity Hall, Sarah Keirle, Alli Duckworth, Cathy Field, Yumi Sakai-Harmelin, Emma Jimson, Shireen Brown and Cassandra McArthur.