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Ceramics Southern Africa Gauteng Newsletter


  • Gauteng Region

    NewsletterVolume 10 Issue: May 2014

    Affiliate South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA)

    Inside this issue

    Letter from the Editor

    Johns column


    Gauteng Regional Exhibition

    2014 AGM Report

    Summer Workshop Feedback


    Rose Theme Exhibition Info

    2014 Calendar

    Gauteng Committee





  • We are surrounded by mass production, mass consumption and new technologies, which suggest that we can design and make a pot or a sculpture without ever touching a piece of clay!

    Will our creative powers be lost before this onslaught of technological achievement? Surely not.

    Our involvement in and passion for clay leaps out in so many forms each time we present our work on an exhibition.

    The profound tactile sensation of clay will always reach out to those who are makers and those who are users and admirers.

    We simply cannot substitute a computer for that special feeling when we start to wedge and conceptualise the finished piece from that damp lump of earth something so fundamental cannot possibly be replaced with a few taps on a computer keyboard.

    So, we look forward to seeing the wonderful variety of work which we know will be submitted for this years Regional.

    There will be members entering for the first time and many who are frequent exhibitors, but, for all, it is always a soul searching experience when you have to decide which pieces you will submit.

    Selections are a feature of most exhibitions and are there to set the standards and help the members to grow. The selectors are not there to criticise, but to evaluate and present the best possible exhibition.

    This is a combination of your skills and

    creativity and their experience.

    See you there.Jerice.

    The upcoming Regional Exhibition has provoked some thoughts about where we are going in our ceramic world.Editorial

    Opinions expressed are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Ceramics SA.

  • Johns Column

    With all the opportunities on the horizon to exhibit your work this year, there is one subject that seems to strike terror in many,

    particularly newer, exhibitors. That is the pricing of ones work.

    Where does one begin with this?

    My suggestion is to spend some time looking at stores and galleries that sell handmade work and accustom yourself with the price range that you feel your work is in line with.

    Another question that is worth asking is what you would pay for the work. An idea might be to ask a few friends or fellow ceramists their opinion on the prices you have in mind.

    One thing that plays a major role in pricing is self-worth, often resulting in undervaluing what you are making. I am not saying this applies to you, but be aware of it.

    An exercise worth carrying out is to work out exactly what it costs you to make the item. List EVERYTHING. Including clay, glaze, colours, and anything else you may use as well as the firing costs and also your time to arrive at a cost price and then add the profit you want to make on to this. This is really an interesting exercise to carry out and could be quite an eye opener!

    When you are pricing your work and you are new to it, it is easier to put prices up when you start selling than it is to drop prices when work does not sell. Also, bear in mind that when you give work to a gallery or exhibition there is a percentage that the gallery/exhibition takes, varying between 25 and 50%. So the amount you will be paid on sale of the work is the retail price less the percentage taken by the galley or exhibition. Be sure to ascertain that this amount covers what you want for the work.

    There is much to consider on the subject of pricing and there really is no one correct answer or formula. For me it is important that you be comfortable with the price you are asking, and even more important is to make the work so that you can get to the pricing exercise!

    . . . most important is to make the work

  • Collector, commentator

    Instead you will read his words as he comments and reflects on the ceramics of South Africa, past and present on his website Art at Work Today ( and in the National Ceramics magazine and other publications.

    Ronnie writes that he purchased his first pieces in 1983 at an exhibition at the Beuster-Skolimowski Gallery in Pretoria a Tim Morris bowl, two bowls by Bruce Walford and a bowl by Ian Glenny - and that got him hooked.

    Over the years he acquired a large number of works, especially of his all-time favourites, Esias Bosch and Ian Glenny.

    He also has a passion for the hand built pieces of the women potters of Rorkes Drift.

    There are many contemporary potters/ceramists whose work I admire and amongst them I must single out Christo Giles and Anton Bosch they have such intense passion for what they do, he says.

    Collecting is not about laying your hands on as many pots as possible ... it is about understanding what constitutes a good pot, what it represents in its own and in universal values, and how it addresses functions and spaces.

    Ronnie began his website project in 2010 to feature essays and photo galleries about South African pottery/ceramics.

    He avoids writing biographies and pot-chat and tries to present insight into contemporary debate about the Craft/art, its ethics and aesthetics.

    He believes that it is imperative that much more must be documented about our past and present artists not only about their works but about their creative thoughts and processes.

    In May 2014 he will be one of three international press representatives at the Taiwan Ceramics Bienale, where he will deliver a paper on the Post-colonial status of Rorkes Drift pottery.

    If you follow Ronnie on Facebook you will also know that he has a great interest in and love for Skye Terriers, which have won him many championship medals.

    i n t r o d u C i n G . . .

    r o n n i E W a t t

    Ronnie Watt is a member of Ceramics SA, but you will not see his work on any of our exhibitions.

  • Gauteng Regional Exhibition

    Looking forward to seeing the usual high standard of work that CSA exhibitions are known for.Please contact Colleen or John if you have any questions. Colleen 073 481 0889 John 083 407 5968

    Venue : MuseumAfrica, Bree Street, Newtown, Johannesburg

    CSA Gauteng members are invited to submit 3 pieces, of which 1 may be a set.

    Important DatesSubmission of work : Saturday 31 May

    between 09:00 and 13:00Selections : Sunday 1 June

    participants will be informed between 1400 and 16:30

    Selector feedback : On request for unsuccessful entries

    Opening : Sunday 8 June @ 11:00Exhibition closes : Sunday 22 JuneCollection of unsold work : Sunday 22 June between

    13:00 and 17:00 or Monday 23 June between 10:00 and 14:00

  • GautenG aGM Chair rEport 22 FEbruary 2014Gauteng Committee:

    A decision was taken at the AGM in Feb 2013 to combine the Gauteng North South Committees. We decided that although we would lose a voting seat on the National Council, it make sense from a logistical viewpoint and causes less conflict. We have separate working committees depending on where the event is taking place. Our core committee is; Colleen Lehmkuhl, John Shirley, Rose Hobson, Melanie Robinson, Claudia Posterameczak, Jerice Doeg, Marentia Jordaan, Darian Harrison and Dineke den Bakker.

    We asked for volunteers for a co-opt list and were overwhelmed at the response.

    Membership Statistics:2012 Total 179.

    2013 Total 222 (includes country members now incorporated into regions)

    AGM and Karen Sinovich workshop - Feb

    Starting in Feb, we kicked off with a fabulous workshop given by Karen Sinovich. We had almost 60 attendees and highly recommend Karen for a professional, inspiring and fun filled workshop..

    Clay Festival March Held again at Berario, we invited very few out of town presenters in order to keep costs down. Lisa Firer, Charmaine Haines and Madoda Fani were our only non Gauteng presenters. We introduced a new workshop Ceramics in Action which proved to be very popular. 6 ceramists worked in a separate studio and visitors bought a weekend pass to pop in anytime and discuss progress of the participating ceramists work. Donated pieces ensured the raffle was popular and we raised R 28 K from the weekend.

    Regional exhibition April Held again at MuseumAfrica in the same space. Decided to allow only 3 pieces per member to ensure a better display. Invited guests Karen Sinovich, W Cape, and Andrew Walford, KZN. Selectors were Ingrid Stevens, Kay Potts and

    Wendy Goldblatt. Ingrid did the opening address and wrote the article for NCQ.

    In 2012, CSA earned R27K in net income and in 2013, R20K. Sales were similar each year at R42K. We sold 30% of the work on show 43 pieces out of 141.

    Winter workshop - July4 simultaneous workshops run twice in 1 day resulted in a highly successful Winter workshop. Workshops by Madoda Fani carving techniques. Julia Kunstler - Decorating Techniques. Jerice Doeg Surface treatment with shellac & slips. Drury Brandt - Slab techniques. 28 delighted participants, soup & rolls included. We did not make much money after expenses R1 470 but saw it as a members event rather than a fund raiser.

    Potters Market AugustThe first Potters Market held at the Association of Arts in Pretoria was organised by Jerice Doeg & Karen v d Riet and proved to be extremely successful. 32 members participated and feedback has been positive with requests for twice annual

    I would like to congratulate C