2012 Study Group
The focus this year has been for hands-on activities, beginning with Greg Crowe's inspiring demonstration of faceted thrown bowls, and the various ways in which he develops and extends the basic technique.
He started by pre-empting questions about what clay he uses, explaining that he finds commercial bodies too fine and dense for his way of working, so he prefers to use clay he has mixed himself, including locally-dug clays.
His bowls start life as fairly chunky cylinders before having slender slices cut down from their sides with a slim wire held so that only a short length of wire is in action. He cuts eight facets, explaining that this is the easiest number to get evenly spaced. Six is particularly difficult to get right. The slim slices are kept in reserve for further treatment: they might be patted on to the faceted areas and then textured with a decorative stamp, before the final shaping of the bowl. This is done with one hand, drawing out from inside and stretching the pot wall. The extent to which this is possible is dictated by the thickness of the pot rim, which can only stretch so far without splitting. If the inside hand is dry it will drag, and give a dramatic diagonal pull to the facets and patterned additions.
Greg's salt glaze firing emphasises every detail of the texturing, and at its best imparts a wonderful golden glow.
Members who would like to know more about Greg's making and firing techniques are invited to get in touch with him. He runs small classes tailored to the needs of individual potters, both beginners and those with more experience, at his Hovea studio, where he is building a (fairly) small anagama kiln to add to his stable of wood-fired kilns. It is about an hour's drive from Perth. If you are lucky you may meet the resident bandicoots.
The address is: 55 Bentley Place, Hovea, 6071
Telephone: 9278 8047, email: