The two strands of my teaching career, namely development work in rural areas and instructing ceramic technique in tertiary institutions form the basis of my current artistic practice.
I have gained invaluable artistic inspiration through many years of working with ceramic students in South Africa, Europe and America. My focus has especially been on traditional pottery techniques, notably low-fired impervious pots common to craft traditions practised in rural areas in South Africa, as well as in traditional contexts in the south of Spain and Switzerland and the east coast of North America.
I was especially drawn to the self-sufficiency skills of rural cultures and the way ceramics played an important part in their rituals and spiritual customs. I have for many years drawn on these practises in my work, and especially the functional and ritualistic role of ceramics in traditional contexts.
I started doing pottery at the age of three under the unique vision of my Grandmother who taught me the simpleness of life and the essential requirements of basic existence, which I experienced again in my first-hand encounters with rural traditions around the world. During severe illness during my early adulthood I was able to draw on her lessons in a way that was instrumental in my physical regeneration at that time. My Grandmother was also an incredible inspiration, whose sensitivity to the richness of form in three dimensional work and in painting, as well as her unique understanding of the materiality of texture, embodied my development as a ceramicist.
I love doing very detailed work and working with pattern in the objects I create. Artistic formats to which I am currently drawn include:
Working in 3 dimensions is my most favorite form of expression. I am drawn to the transfiguration of soft malleable clay into a permanent intransient object once fired.
Pots and Garden Pots
Containers for food or plants imbues a life force of continuation.
A perfect holder for a candle or libations for the body gives time to reflect on the ritual of light and bathing.
The lightness of porcelain suspended in space makes for an ethereal quality binding the earth with air.
TEACHING AT THE RHODES CLAY CAFE
We are always excited to welcome visitors to Rhodes Village and especially to the Clay Cafe where we give lessons in pottery and ceramics. Visitors can spend time learning how to make simple containers or more elaborate items that will be glazed sand fired in our on-site kiln. We welcome all ages and abilities and this inevitably proves to be a highlight of anyone’s visit to Rhodes.
Pottery Classes for all given on arrangement. If you are holidaying in Rhodes we will find a time that suits. Work not fired before you leave can be posted or sent to you with other visitors to the area. If you would like to book a class in advance that would be great.
E-mail or phone Irene Walker for details:
Contact details- Irene Walker
1 Vorster Street, or
P.O. Box 15,
Cell phone- 073 833 6068