Saturday, September 22, 2012

Endangered Species. Jude Maisch.

 There is an unprecedented unnatural extinction of many marine species, due mainly to irrational human behaviour and activities. While most of the focus of ecologists is on the larger species, it is the tiny sea creatures, the molluscs, that I wish to focus on. Every species, no matter how small, is special and unique.

As a child I was a shell collector, a gatherer of unusual shapes with intricate patterned and textured surfaces:  the discarded homes of tiny sea creatures. One of my most favoured was the cowrie, the glossy shell made by a sea snail. (There are about 200 different species of cowries, and they are endangered.) The discovery of such beauty amidst an expanse of sand, in a rock crevice or beside the water’s edge was always a moment of excitement and joy.

Now I find myself gravitating towards shell type forms as I squeeze and pinch the clay in my hands. What I am making are forms that represent these endangered molluscs, rather than imitations of them. The vessels focus on colour, pattern, texture and often tiny patches of incredible contrasting iridescence or pearl-like beauty. You are being asked to consider the beauty in every species, no matter how small, and to look carefully.


Jude Maisch
September 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New work by Yulia Szalay and John Watson

Pierced Southern Ice porcelain vessel by Yulia Szalay
This month Off Centre features new ceramics by Yulia Szalay and John Watson
Yulia Szalay's passion is decoration, creating intricate designs on slipcast forms through piercing, carving, and incising.  Her material is mainly Southern Ice Porcelain, and her elegant vessels and sculptures fully exploit its stunning translucency and whiteness.

Sculptural ceramics by John Watson
John Watson's work references past civilisations, often in the form of towers and other buildings, and combines strong architectural forms with rich glazes of colour. 
You can view these works daily at Off Centre, from 10 am to 5 pm throughout September.