Castlemaine ceramicists inspired by the natural world

A trio of local ceramicists are sharing their beautiful handmade works with the public as part of a new gallery and working studio space at The Mill Castlemaine ‘Studio Su’.
Artists and friends Ann Ferguson, Kaori Fujimoto and Anna Read explain that ‘Su’ is a Japanese word meaning nest and ‘being one’s true, authentic self’.
While their work in many ways is aesthetically quite different, the artists say what inspires and moves them is not. They are all passionate about the environment and sustainability.
“We are all deeply impacted by the natural world,” Anna said.
“Kaori’s pieces are simple, refined and sophisticated. Drawing on her Japanese heritage and the natural world, her ceramic forms are bold and elegant. Ann Ferguson is a ceramicist of many years’ experience. Her powerful, abstracted pieces draw on coastal shapes. A balance of positive form and negative space.”
Anna Read comes from a painting, drawing background and her work is largely figurative, painting images on tiles, vase forms and sculpting.
“It seems ceramics are having a renaissance. In these times of mass production, of throw away items and a world drowning in plastic, there is perhaps a yearning by many for another way of living. The work of ceramic hand builders is not as recognised or prevalent as that of wheel work. The process is no less immersive and satisfying however,” Anna says.
For Kaori, Ann and Anna, the possibilities of clay seem endless, sculpting forms and working with clay slips and texture is deeply inspiring and rewarding.
“We wanted to work bravely and honestly. To be authentic and create work that spoke directly of who we each were as artists. We wanted the pieces to be housed in a space that was beautiful, still, contemplative. One, which on entering, you felt perhaps a shift in mood, a calming,” Kaori said.
Visitors to the studio are able to see the artists at work as well.
“This has proven to be an invaluable way to connect with people about our craft,” Ann says.
Ann and Kaori will also lead workshops at Studio Su in 2020 to enable others interested in exploring the medium to do so.
Keep an eye on the Studio Su Instagram page for details.

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