Workshop Coordinator Kay Alliband and Librarian Pauline Ryan of the Ceramics Study
Group, are all fired up! The not for profit organisation has moved into building 16a
Balcombe Heights Estate and members agree that Baulkham Hills, mid-way from the
mountains and the sea, is an ideal location. The neighbours too, are ideal. The Macquarie
Hills Potters have occupied building 16b since 2002.
The Ceramics Study Group (CSG) was founded in 1963 by twenty five former students of
the National Art School (the East Sydney Tech) and their teacher Peter Rushforth. Today it
has over one hundred and twenty members – and a lot of equipment! At Baulkham Hills,
the group has unpacked and spread out. Their venue comfortably accommodates potting
wheels, kilns, supplies and tools whilst also providing much needed floor/bench/shelf space.
It allows the CSG to hold meetings and events, to show their one hundred and seventy piece ceramic collection (on permanent rotation) and to display a library of print and digital
material. Additionally, there is room to host demonstrations and/or workshops with leading
local and international ceramic artists.
Though the Baulkham Hills potters are not ‘Harry’ related or claim Hogwarts as their alma
mater, there are similarities. Ceramic artists have a strange vocabulary. They use words like candling, coiling, slurry, slip, jigger and jolley. Curious words. And in their hands, lumps of clay are transformed into charming creations.
This month the Baulkham Hills potters are off to attend Clay Gulgong, a festival initiated in
1989 by Janet Mansfield, one of the world’s foremost ambassadors for Australian ceramics.
The festival will run from 15 th -21 st April and bring together artists from around the world to create, collaborate and celebrate – all things clay. The muggles in 16a & 16b are preparing their exhibits. The Macquarie Hills Potters have fashioned decorative and wearable ceramic masks and members of the CSG will present a selection of wood fired pots.
Intrigued by the realm of blunging, banding and bone ash? Visit CSG’s website for more
information. New members, (experienced and student potters), are most welcome. Dress
down and bring a packed lunch. The studios are open from 10am – 4pm on week days.
References: Mudgee Guardian, CSG newsletter & website – ceramicstudygroup.org.au