Opening night of the Perth Studio Potters Selective Exhibition was hotter than a blazing kiln. It was standing room only at the group’s Burt Street Cottesloe space.
Pottery and ceramics devotees sipped wine and nibbled snacks as they moved en masse through the gallery, perusing a dazzling variety of exciting new works.
As usual, the quality of the exhibits was exemplary; red stickers began popping up throughout the room the moment the doors opened.
The winter show was was judged by Bernard Kerr, President of the Ceramics Art Association of WA (CAAWA), who gave an enthusiastic and informative talk about the group activities and techniques, before announcing the winners of the best works.
Among these were: Highly Commended – Laurel Holyoak, Sow Fong Khoo, Jane McNabb, Peter Milligan, Johanna Male, Juliana Fraser and Beverley McMahon; Creative Award – Valerie Schonjahn; Technical Award – Victoria Malone; and Best Overall – Jackie Masters.
The Selective Exhibition opening was the best attended Burt Street event in a long while, and there was even slight concern that the room might not accommodate both the large crowd and delicate works without some collateral damage.
Indeed, at one point there was the chilling sound of a piece crashing off its plinth, but the ‘disaster’ was happily assuaged by its creator, “Don’t worry everyone, it’s mine and it survived!”
Never failing to impress at Burt Street: the levels of individual skill and imagination among its members. Each artist has developed a distinctive technique and many have achieved very high levels of proficiency in their medium.
The artists are as varied as their works in style, skill and creativity, and range from relative beginners to professionals. Their materials, designs and imagination create a wide spectrum of visual arts from the quirky and decorative to utilitarian and structured, from wildly loose and organic to refined and precise.
A Long and Rich History
Perth Studio Potters has been nestled in its quiet Burt Street location for sixty years. The group of like-minded artists held its inaugural meeting way back on 11 July 1957.
Initially, local artist Owen Garde offered the group his timber frame boatshed on the Dalkeith Swan River foreshore as a workshop, allowing the PSP to thrive and become a significant presence in the early Perth ceramics art scene.
Within a few years, larger premises were needed and through fund-raising efforts by the group potters, the Burt Street, Cottesloe property was purchased in September 1963. Expanded and updated over the years, it now accommodates a well-equipped studio, gallery and spacious kiln shed.
The club is unique in Perth in its constitution as a not-for-profit organisation, managed by a committee of dedicated volunteer members, for the members. During its nearly 70-year history PSP has counted some of the state’s most noted potters an ceramicists as members and teachers.
Classes are run by accredited teachers for both beginners and skilled students, and information can be accessed through the Club website – www.perthstudiopotters.org.au. Members have access to learning, workshops and masterclasses, aimed at firing up inspiration and bringing new skills.
Frequent exhibitions are a showcase for group’s collective skills, experience and artistic endeavour. The appeal of working with clay continues to grow.
There is something for everyone’s taste in this show which is open from 10am-4pm each Friday and Saturday during the exhibition.
PSP Selective Exhibition runs until 26 August 2023.