Slow Clay Centre does live up to it’s moniker sometimes: we tried for two whole years to get a date with Andrew Halford to give a guest artist workshop! Finally the stars aligned on 21 May 2017 and we now have a little video to show for it.
Slow Clay Centre’s founder, Jane Sawyer, acknowledges Andrew’s influence is everywhere at Slow Clay Centre, from the techniques we teach to the way we honour materials and processes, history, creative thinking and the environment. Jane spent three formative years training with Andrew in the 1980’s at Kinka Pottery, on the northern outskirts of Sydney. It was a busy studio with a large output of studio pottery finding its way to many shops and Andrew’s exhibition pieces to galleries via a demanding exhibition schedule. Jane was introduced to Japanese techniques (which Andrew had learnt himself both in Australia as an apprentice of Shiga Shigeo’s and in Japan from Shimaoka Tatsuzo and Shimada Haruo) and these techniques form the basis of our Slow Clay Method that Jane has developed and we teach today. As a trainee, Jane learnt all aspects of the studio practice before heading to Japan herself – but that’s another story! Kinka Pottery also deserves a whole separate post to discuss and preserve it’s place in the history of Australian ceramics. It was a large shared studio, run by Andrew but with many potters setting up and staying for years at a time. Lex Dickson (1951-2008) was also there, working for Andrew, before heading to Japan himself. In this video you get a glimpse of the thinking behind Andrew Halford’s beautiful work. Enjoy! (apologies for the sound quality!)