Clay Gulgong Teachers’ Day 2024 – About the presenters

Keith Brymer Jones

Keith Brymer Jones is well known as the passionate, crying judge of the UK program The Great Pottery Throwdown. However, Brymer Jones is a ceramicist and designer, working for over four decades in Britain. He began as a production potter at Harefield Pottery and now works as Director and Designer at MAKE International, producing highly recognised works such as the award winning Word Range. He has collaborated with major design brands such as Conran, Habitat, Laura Ashley and Monsoon and designers and artists such as Frances Collett, Jane Foster and Tatty Devine. 

Keith Brymer Jones has been part of the Clay Gulgong family for many years as a presenter and as one of the Masters in 2018. He is also a passionate educator, clearly evident in the ways he fosters and encourages the contestants on the Throwdown series. He is an advocate for Art Education as the patron of the National Society for Education in Art and Design in the UK, championing the work of Visual Art teachers and education in schools as a fundamental part of the curriculum

It is a personal mission of mine to see not just ceramics and pottery being introduced back into schools, but all the arts. Hands-on creativity within a school/structured environment is essential on so many different levels for both children and adults personal development. It emphasises both cognitive skills and also ones creativity and imagination. It is, as far as I’m concerned, why we are different to all the other species of animal on this planet.

https://www.educationartprize.com/keith-brymer-jones-interview-2018

https://www.keithbrymerjones.com/

 

Fleur Schell

Fleur Schell is a multi-disciplinary artist working primarily with ceramics and found objects in Western Australia. In 2022, Schell was one of the Clay Gulgong Masters. Fleur Schell creates whimsical sculptures, dioramas and installations combining refined porcelain figures and objects with found objects. Her engaging characters and environments create imaginative narratives that are inspired from her own family and life. She has also extended her practice to create illustrations for books such as Our Strangely Normal Home, films, musical instruments and functional pieces.

My art imitates my life and I am eternally grateful for the two muses in my work, my children Heidi and Harry. Without their insight, their belief in magic and the value they place on seemingly less important or insignificant things surrounding us, I would have far less interesting stories to tell.

About art teachers
I love being an artist, especially the hours I spend in my studio being mindful… busy with my hands but focused and relaxed in my head. That connection between my hands, heart and head was encouraged in art class as a secondary student. Art teachers are some of my favourite people in the world. The art teachers who taught me were kind, funny and believed in me…I am not sure I’d be a practicing artist today without them. Art teachers really are key to imparting to our children how to be creative and innovative. They provide many different solutions to a problem while celebrating mistakes and experimentation. A great art teacher teaches a young person to be kind to themselves in life.

Best Of Ceramics, SPRING 2017. Artedit.com
https://www.fleurschell.com/

 

Simone Fraser

Simone Fraser has been a practicing potter since 1981 and her acclaimed work is represented in major collections including the National Gallery of Australia as well as many regional galleries and international collections. She is a member of the prestigious International Academy of Ceramics in Geneva and has lectured at the National Art Schools in Sydney. Fraser has been involved in Clay Gulgong for many years and was one of the Masters in 2018. She has exhibited in over 80 group and solo shows. 

Simone Fraser has always worked with the vessel, which she sees as “a time capsule that carries antiquity within it – a thumbprint of our civilization.” Her search is for new rhythms in ancient forms via disordered patterning and pierced surfaces, permitting texture to instruct and partly define the form, while at the same time deconstructing the “container.”

“Over these textured fingered surfaces I layer porcelain and terracotta slips and finally a water colour thin wash of dry glaze. This layering further invokes a sense of time and is a response to my own environment. The work is mid fired up to three times in an oxidized atmosphere,” Fraser states.

https://cfileonline.org/studio-pottery-simone-fraser/

https://simonefraser.com.au/

 

Ebony Russell

Ebony Russell is an artist currently working in Sydney and is also a sessional lecturer in ceramics at the National Art School. In 2022, Schell was one of the Clay Gulgong Masters and was one of the artists included in the comprehensive survey of Australian Ceramics, Clay Dynasty at the Powerhouse Museum in 2022. Russell subverts traditional construction practices or forms by using cake decorating tools to pipe porcelain in layers that become magical environments or frilly re-interpretations of traditional urn or amphora forms, finished with unicorn colours and lustre glazes. She creates evocative forms that connect to childhood memories and past experiences alongside references to decorative pieces in museum collections. 

I am interested in exploring decorative practices traditionally performed by women as the main construction method for my practice. Currently the environments and structures I create utilise cake piping techniques with porcelain, allowing my imaginings and reveries to take shape.

https://ebonyrussell.com/