A Touch of Clay
by Barbara Nicholls, Kathryn Gates & LJH Pottery
Tuesday 27 November to Monday 24 December
Thank you for inviting me to exhibit at the community art space at the Lysaght Watt Gallery, Hawera. I am pleased to bring you a selection of my work for the Touch of Clay Exhibition. My work is wheel thrown in either porcelain or stoneware clay, high fired to cone 10, (that’s 1300 degrees) in a gas kiln.
I have been involved in pottery for the past 35 years. I have developed my skills by attending polytechnic night classes, weekend workshops and summer schools. I have found that learning to throw on a pottery wheel takes persistence, and practice. I’m always learning something new; it has been a great hobby. I am a member of the New Plymouth Potters club and the NZ Society of Potters.
I am interested in anything to do with clay but it’s the energy and thought processes involved in wheel throwing that I enjoy the most. I am interested in the form of a pot and have recently been inspired to look at a more contemporary approach using the bowl form as a sculptural expression. I am interested in glazes and reduction firing in a gas kiln. I am currently experimenting with porcelain and traditional style oriental reduction glazes like copper red and celadon.
Over the years I have exhibited with the New Plymouth Potters at Real Tart Gallery and JD Gallery, Percy Thomson Gallery and Eltham Village Gallery, The Waikato Society of Potters and New Zealand Society of Potters and also accepted for WaiClay at the Museum of Art and History, Hamilton 2016.
I was awarded a Merit in 2009 and 2015 and the Supreme in 2012 at the NP Potter’s annual exhibition for my copper red porcelain bowls.
I have been potting for over 30 years, and connected with clay for the first time when attending the community Arts Centre, Invercargill. In 1983 I moved to New Plymouth and continued with my fascination for clay by attending classes at the Taranaki Polytechnic.
My creative energy is channelled by developing forms on the wheel, especially platters and bowls, using high-fired stoneware and porcelain clay bodies. I find the medium of clay a very tactile and responsive material to express my creative energy and I particularly like working with porcelain because of its translucent qualities. I also enjoy making large slab forms to which I can add texture and colour.
I decorate my work using Chinese style glazes, and also enjoy experimenting with ash, copper and barium. Reduction firing the work in a gas kiln to a temperature between 1280C and 1300C degrees creates a variety of effects and colours.
I am Taranaki proud, born and bred and have been a potter now for over 30 years. After many years as a hobby potter, I have decided to take the plunge and make this my full-time business as creating is my passion!
I prefer hand-building work over the wheel and I work in a variety of clays ranging from terracotta earthenware through to white stoneware clays. These were being sourced for many years from the South Island, but I have recently moved to clay from the Waikato Region.
I am established with my own tried and tested glaze recipes. I have an electric kiln, and fire to different temperatures ranging from 950 to 1220 degrees.
I am a longstanding member of the New Plymouth Potters Club Inc and am also a member of Ceramics NZ. I love working with businesses to create unique niche products.
My other passions in life include, friends, gardening, craft and lifestyle!