Waiclay National Ceramic Award
Waikato Museum, Hamilton
7 December 2019 – 8 March 2020
The 2019 Waiclay National Ceramics Award exhibition presents exciting ceramic pieces from all over New Zealand.
Waiclay was established in 2001 with the first National Ceramic Conference, now held annually, in the Waikato. Alongside this convention an exhibition of selected works, held at Waikato Museum, showcases the current work of ceramic artists throughout New Zealand.
Over the years this exhibition has developed national renown, with ceramic artists participating each year for a Premier Award of $3,000, Merit Awards, and a Peters Valley School of Craft Residency Award together with a $1,000 travel grant.
This year’s guest selector is Kasumi Ueba.
Our fast paced and hectic world leaves little time for us to catch our breath. I made these pieces as a bridge to help connect us to a quiet place, a space where we do have time: to meditate, to reflect, to dream. A little ritual that gives pause to the day, lighting a candle, drinking a cup of tea, making a sound that stills the air. Using ritual and objects we can carve out time for ourselves.
Each piece is carefully worked and treated with oxides, slips and glazes. Fired in the wood fired soda kiln creates a unique surface quality that encourages you to handle the work.
The jug is a reminder, telling us a story about serving, functioning as a continuous link to our past.
A jug’s shape has threads that link it to historical examples, threads that suggest what it could hold, threads that anthropomorphise the lips, neck, belly and foot.
I get great pleasure from throwing jugs, using the slow turning treadle wheel allows time for a soft rib to gently shape the form. The marks from my fingers applying a handle or pulling a spout are picked out in the firing process.
I’m using a variety of clays, often including a percentage of clay from my land; this inclusion adds a personality, both during the making and also the firing process, showing up as an unpredictable addition. Most of the work was fired in my wood kiln, a 13 hour process that culminates in soda ash being squirted into the kiln at 1280 degrees to produce the rich and variegated surfaces.