Ceramic artist shares passion
A ‘‘renewed hunger’’ for hand made items has seen a boost in ceramic artists in this year’s Kerikeri Open Art Studios Trail.
Of the 41 artists opening their studio doors to the public over Labour weekend for KOAST, nine are clay artists. They include guest artist Julie Cromwell, from Maungatapere.
‘‘We’re noticing a huge increase in people wanting to learn hands on skills as a kick back to our digital world saturation,’’ Cromwell says. ’’There’s a renewed hunger for things hand made.
‘‘There’s a self satisfaction that comes from making something with our own hands... It’s a fundamental human need that we’ve been missing and there’s now a resurgence in reclaiming it.’’
Cromwell and her steel artist partner, Pete Brammer moved from England to New Zealand in 2001 to focus on their own creative passions.
‘‘We found a 10 acre property at Maungatapere with some derelict barns that, with lots of TLC, has given us the space to set up our two studios and a gallery.’’
Her work features in a sculptural exhibition at Whangarei Quarry Gardens and she and Brammer have their work at the Yvonne Rust Gallery at The Quarry Arts Centre in Whangarei in November.
Cromwell has previously participated in the Whangarei Heads Art Trail and had a piece in Sculpture on the Shore in Auckland last year.
She recently gave up her full time high school art teaching to study for a Masters in Fine Art and to focus on her ceramic work.
‘‘My training was in domestic ware, but my passion is sculpting forms using the coil and throw method, then subjecting them to elemental raku, pit or wood kiln firings.
‘‘I’m starting the journey of getting my work out there, but for now I’m enjoying having the time to concentrate on bigger pieces and expressing more of what I have to say in clay.’’
During KOAST she will be ‘‘throwing demos with another clay artist Alan Thomas at a Mill Lane venue in Kerikeri where four of us will have our ceramic work on show and be available to inspire others to explore clay’’.
KOAST October 21-23. Visit koast.org.nz
Ceramic artist Julie Cromwell is a guest artist at Koast, Kerikeri Open Art Studios Trail.