Friday, September 17, 2010

We were interviewed ...........

Thank you to Danielle ORLANDO for choosing Clay Feet's exhibition ;Connected' at Mundaring Art Centre for her Uni Assignment. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

ELAINE BRADLEY in Clay Feet's 'Connected' Exhibition at Mundaring Art Centre

I also have work at Mundaring Art Centre's exhibition 'Connected' - already bleated about on my own blog with the same images.  Some people seem to think blogging is a bit egotistical as was put to me of late, but I had to dispute it.  It is a way of sharing information in a non-pushy way.  Nobody 'makes' you click here, it is optional, and thank you for your interest, you are very welcome here.  An amused elderly gentleman in the post office eying my the mucky porcelain marks on my clothes lately asked me if I was a painter, so I explained that I am a potter.  'OH is that what a potter looks like' he twinkled at me - the old flirt, but was very interested in what I do.  I detest aggressive marketing but we must make ourselves known to the public, hence here we are.  
Most of my work is in porcelain, which I was always told was difficult and temperamental - basically to stay away from it, and yes all that is true but I love the fineness and whiteness of it and am hooked.  One of my most used forms is what I call a hanging box, a sealed in hollow box with a hole in the back to hang on a wall like a porcelain canvas.  This is slab build, with bevelled edges and must dry out very slowly before bisque firing. My decorations are more or less collage on clay, and my themes very often, birds, nests, nature. 

I grew up in a Dublin suburb with a bedroom window looking out onto trees and hedgerows, the garden always busy with birds taking their place in my world. I took comfort in their presence and find myself doing the same in my Fremantle life.  It has never surprised me that particularly in Ireland and the UK such motifs are a constant theme in home decorations and housewares. 

Pauline Mann at Mundaring Art Centre with Clay Feet

Pauline Mann in her first foray with Clay Feet has departed from her usual domestic ware to something a little more expressive.  This work makes you stop and think, and everybody has something to say about the connotations to church in this context.  It brought on some really profound conversations and confessions among the Clay Feet artists alone, and we wisely agreed to disagree.  More later....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"CONNECTED" Clay Feet at Mundaring Art Centre 3/9 - 3/10 2010


Clay Feet are having their Connected exhibition at Mundaring Art Centre starting Friday 3rd September at 7pm until October 3rd.  Those members with work on show are Jill Archibald, Narda McMahon, Pauline Mann, Gill Treichel, Andrea Vinkovic, and me, Elaine Bradley.   The range of work is surprising.  The delicious porcelain lamp above is by Andrea Vinkovic, the bulb is cleverly set into a two part clay base, and the lamp is made from three patterened 'petals'.  As you can see, it throws sublime shadows.  
Jillian Archibald teaches pottery at the Canning Arts Centre in Perth and you can see she is no slouch.  She throws components and assembles them into personalities, they somehow have attitude and an anthropomorphic feel to them.  They have been raku fired to develop a crackly smokey appearance, they smack of age, experience and to some extent, degradation.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Heading out again on Weds evening to catch Alana and Claire's exhibition at

EMERGE Art Space
676A, Beaufort Street,
Mount Lawley, Perth

21st April - 7th May

Alana used to be a member of Clay Feet and I caught up with her at SODA in Cottesloe at the weekend at Laura McKibbon's exhibition. It is always a feast or a famine with exhibitions, often several falling on the same night. Alana throws with Southern Ice and water etches delicate patterns on the surface, tricky technique but very rewarding. Claire's paintings are exciting and I see she won the Churchie Emerging Artists Award 2009 (painting category) so I am keen to see what she has been producing since then.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pass it on

Narda McMahon and Andrea Vinkovic share clay tips

Exciting things have been happening with Clay Feet group of late. Sheryl Chant and Alyson Hayes are off exploring new frontiers of their own and we wish them great success in all they take on. I will, I hope, be reporting here on their ventures. Their input to the group will be missed. Recently new members Pauline Mann and Narda McMahon have been welcomed on board. Pauline is a skillful thrower, comes from a long stint at Whiteman Park pottery group, has been involved quietly and actively with Ceramics Arts Association of WA (CAAWA) and the study group for years. Narda's solo show of handbuilt life forms beyond ordinary perception, 'whether they exist in the sea, in the soil or under our own skin' took place at Heathcote last year making a big impression on many Perth clay folk and collectors.

I had brought in some Riso screens and members who had not previously screened with underglaze got stuck into screening images on clay and then working into them. Gill Treichel offered her screening ink made stain and honey with some glycerine. Andrea took one screened soft clay tile and slung it across the table to stretch the clay distorting the printed image and actually imbuing the image with more interest and meaning.

Here Narda working on a silkscreened impressed tile... with Veronica McGrath opposite inventively handforming a screened, stretched form in which she placed one of her trademark human heads - like a human emerging from a chrysalis.
Narda McMahon and Veronica McGrath

WE share a love of working in ceramics though each of us has a distinct style of our own. Expressing and sharing that passion is what sets us on fire. Usually, we work in our own studios, communicating in flurries of emails, meeting monthly to arrange events. Several of us gathered this weekend for a collaborative exercise to work beside each other and share our knowledge. Rather than 'show and tell' it was 'Show and Share', planning to make one of our own basic pieces in clay then let it go and 'pass the parcel' for another member to put their mark and style on the work - if they fancied doing so. This created a generous and liberating dynamic where an artist who might not be a wheel worker, could access a thrown piece and alter or decorate it to their desire.

Andrea Vinkovic demonstrated her technique of thickening up some casting slip with a pinch of Epsom Salts and trailing it from a plastic piping bag across clay to form linear or scribbly textures. In multiple layers, where the previous trailing has firmed up, it is possible to build up a dense but open surface of trailed lines. She trailed slip over small vase Pauline had thrown, this is visible in foreground of first photo
There was a gleeful shout from Jillian Archibald (above) as she trailed scribbly patterns loosely over one of her thrown joined forms, while leatherhard. Who knows where this will lead if some glaze is applied, where it will pool and deepen in colour.

Below is one of my thrown enclosed double walled 'nest' forms which I covered with slip, I would never have thought to do that ... it is about 25cm in diameter. Now I want to apply laser decal text and imagery over it when fired to see what happens to the surface.

Veronica McGrath and Andrea Vinkovic

Andrea Vinkovic and Pauline Mann

I will add more pix later ... but Belinda and Sascha ... maybe next time you'll be there. I hope.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I have been waiting to hear from my pal Josie Pittman about her forthcoming exhibition, in fact I have been hassling her for the details.  You should come and see .....

Showcase Gallery, Corner Aberdeen and Beaufort Streets, Northbridge, Perth.  
Opening 6.30pm on 12th February and runs till the 26th.  

Josie and I are friends from the ceramists group Clay Feet.  I've been looking foward to this show a lot, I own one of her smaller works and want more.  Josie handbuilds in Southern Ice porcelain expressing her interest in, well how would you put it, life at a biological cellular level resulting in exquisite cool, smooth, satiny, polished, unglazed, porcelain sculptural  pieces .................... well ScrummY stuff.  More pix later .....     Check out her lovely website ....