Sunday, 12 May 2013

Clay Push at Gulgong 2013

For the uninitiated, like myself, I had no idea what to expect when I signed up to attend Clay Push in Gulgong. All I knew is that there were some fabulous international ceramic artists demonstrating their techniques for an entire week. I saw this as a good substitute for my TAFE course which was cancelled this year due to government withdrawal of funding and the dramatic increase in fees.

Two weeks before the event a colleague  mentioned that Gulgong was on the old $10 note and that it was full of historic old buildings and my interest was piqued.
Old mining shaft in Gulgong
looking towards the Ten Dollar Hotel
 A week before the event I just happened to be in an old second hand book store and I stumbled across an old Gold Mining in Pioneering Australia - it was a serendipitous moment as I looked through the black and white images of gold mining in Gulgong!

love the old cobblestone gutters
And when I arrived I couldnt believe how perfectly preserved the town was. Scarecly a new ugly building in sight. I was in heaven.

Main Street in Gulgong. Photograper: Trevor Netting
This building had many uses over the years:
Toys; Fancy Goods; Photography Studio
View down the main street at sunset

The small square building on the right featured on the $10 note
And the following week was just amazing. Each day Master Ceramic Artists demonstrated their techniques and on the first day I flitted from one room to another (there was about 10 demonstrations going on at any one time) trying to squeeze it all in.
Marianne Hallbergs, demonstrating (above) and blue on white work in the Master's exhibition

Along with the demonstrations there were daily presentations by each of the Masters at the Gulgong Opera House, and daily exhibition openings (breakfast openings with orange juice and champagne; and evening openings with local wines, yum)

Lee, Kang Hyo (South Korea)

decorating the pot to ceremonial music
I found out the reason why such a fabulous event is held in a tiny town is due to Janet Mansfield, a ceramicist and massive supporter of Australian ceramics on an international level through her Ceramics, Art and Perception magazine, who has a farm in the region. Sadly Janet passed away this year, but her legend lives on and it was great to hear so many people reminiscing on her generosity and passion for ceramics.

Jeff Mincham  AM (Australia) demonstrating hand building

Greg Daly (Australia) demonstrating on the wheel

Kirsten Coelho (Australia), demonstrating her delicate porcelain techniques

By the end of the week I had met lots of interesting people, seen informative and mind boggling demonstrations and heard fascinating tales (from Masters and participants alike) and I couldnt wait to get into the studio to try out all the new tricks and techniques I had learnt.

Ane-Katrine von Bulow (Denmark) demonstrating screenprinting techniques

Diana Fayt (USA) demonstrating scrimshaw techniques

For a comprehensive overview visit the official ClayPush site or  here for more images of the event .

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Kate for your post. I too love the buildings!



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