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FRANCES SMITH – Ceramic Artist

I was always drawing and sculpting as a child. In the 1970’s, I was academically trained in graphic design at Sydney College of the Arts and after graduating, began work as a graphic designer in television.

While working in various design practices, I was introduced to clay which started as a challenging distraction and turned into a life long passion!

Over the years I gained competence in both throwing and glazing, thanks to the inspiration of many experienced teachers in TAFE attending master workshops and working for a time as a full time potter from my home studio.

Compared to most of the mediums I have used, clay is the most challenging – but it is also the most rewarding. From a plastic, almost trivial raw material, it is transformed over a series of stages into a highly decorative, functional and long-term expression of creative intent.

My fascination is with simple, functional forms sometimes as a surface for intricate illustration and sometimes as a form that uses glaze simply as a means to highlight the underlying beauty of the piece itself, without further artistic overloading.

EDITH SCHMIDT – Fibre & Weaving

I was fortunate to have grown up in a small community in the Northern Illawarra, a beautiful spot between ocean and escarpment.

Living and traveling extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia led to a growing fascination with traditional crafts, especially textiles. The expertise of the cloth and basket makers was admirable, while the comradery and serenity of “weavers” common in diverse locations and cultures was truly enviable.

After a career in laboratory medicine I enrolled in weaving and basketry workshops as a complete novice, grateful for skilled and patient instructors.
Thinking I had put science aside, colour combinations, patterns and precision learnt resembled what the microscope always revealed.

The reminder that I’d long said that “when I retire I will throw pots” was the prompt that led to Fran and the chance to combine my emerging weaving skills with her polished ceramics.

I like to work with recycled fabric, paper string, hemp, jute – all pliable materials that give a neat finish. Beads, vines and pieces of drift wood are incorporated into designs intended to compliment the ceramic form, glaze and function.

The Artists at Work

Frances Smith

Edith Schmidt