The Magic of Clay & Fire
The word ceramics can be traced to the Greek keramos, meaning “potter’s clay.” In the foreground is the potter, humankind, who has left us with objects as vestiges of culture. Sometimes, as in the Nok peoples of Africa, ceramic objects are all that is left of a civilization—as though their spirit comes to life through our observance.
For Angie Izard the practice is a little more modest, she simply describes herself as a maker of things.
“My background is in journalism, I worked as a sub-editor at The Age and The Courier,” Angie explains from her Porcupine Ridge studio, “I’ve always made art in some form; I practised photography. But I like the physicality of clay. I also like that there’s technique, it’s not just about having a go...you have to think.”
This month, on the 17th and 18th of August, Angie will be opening her studio to the public along with eight other studios as part of Australian Ceramics Open Studios program, a trail that crosses Newstead, Maldon, Creswick, Talbot and Daylesford. Anyone who enjoys flirting with art is invited to see how the pottery is made and, most importantly, meet the ghosts inside the work.
“It’s a labour of love...and at the studio, you’ll get a glimpse of that process,” laughs Angie, “When you meet an artist at their studio, you start to join the dots a bit. If you choose to buy a work and take it home you become part of the process—part of the narrative.”
Angie’s work draws it’s life-blood from, “the play of light and shadow, the movement of the clouds, rusted iron...I live on 20 acres of bushland and I have an intense connection to this place,” explains Angie. “It’s an open forest that offers a sense of freedom, of spaciousness and I guess a sense of possibility.”
Angie’s cups and pots are splashed with blooming hues of blue and textured with lines that leave scars like expressive bursts. “I use a lot of mark-making, graffito and layering,” explains Angie, “An artist that has inspired me is the American artist Cy Twombly. That freedom of line that, in a way, connects to language. And my first love was language. You can convey meaning in all sorts of forms and language is one of them, ceramics is just another one.”
For Angie, meaning begins with the human spirit but hides in language and pottery, and comes to life in the elements of a creative process. “When people see how work is made, they do feel connected to that process,” says Angie. “It’s about forming these connections. It creates a story and that story creates a network that goes out into the world.”
The process from wheel-throwing clay to the firing of shapes in a 1000 degree kiln - leaves the final step to a kind of miraculous energy, “It’s completely random. You can do everything exactly the same way three or four times before and you get a completely different result,” explains Angie, promising she is not the New Age type, “But you’re always chasing something that’s a little bit ephemeral or fleeting. It’s all part of the cycle of making.”
Angie Izard - 64 Pine Crt, Porcupine Ridge
0490 379 967 | 03 5348 1285