JUZ KITSON || UNCANNY OBJECTS IN CLAY: a reference to the Wild

Uncanny Objects in Clay
with Juz Kitson
September 23-Oct 6, 2018

Join this experimental hand-building course to create individualized ceramic objects for a unique and personalized installation while exploring the unique properties of various clays, such as porcelain, stoneware and terracotta in potential juxtaposition.  Juz Kitson, your everyday shaman-goddess-ceramicist, will offer instructive, practical demonstrations on how to push and pull the materials by hand, building up forms and preparing surface treatments. Encouraging the drawing of inspiration from the natural world and the studio’s lush tropical surroundings, the workshop will focus on the familiar and unfamiliar, the internal and external environments, as well as on human and animal forms.  There will also be discussion and experimentation with combining other materials with the ceramics and exploring different ways of installing/displaying final works. 

Moving away from the traditions/confines of plinth and/or wheel, Juz thoroughly encourages the crossing of boundaries, mixing of medias, challenging of perceptions of the material and the creating of avant-garde works—all while enjoying the evolution of process along the way. 

o   The Uncanny
o   The Natural V’s Manmade
o   Bleaching. Devastation on the reef.
o   Natural wonders/ disasters
o   Familiar and unfamiliar landscapes
o   Interior and exterior, human and animal forms
o   Pre-science experiments
o   The Wunderkammer - Cabinet of Curiosities

For students further reading:
C-File Online
Ceramic Review Magazine
The Journal of Australian Ceramics Craft International
Ceramics Art and Perception Magazine Ceramics Monthly

For our two-week intensive workshop first and foremost it’s about ceramics, exploring the material to create ‘Uncanny’ objects that will come together as a collection or installation.
Our starting point is The ‘Uncanny’ which represents the strange and mysterious, especially in an unsettling way. It is described as eerie, unnatural, supernatural, unearthly, other-worldly, unreal, ghostly, mysterious, strange, abnormal, odd, curious, weird, bizarre, freakish...
Within my own artistic practice over the last ten years I have worked to push perceptions of ceramics and what you are ‘supposed’ to do - learning traditional notions and ways of making only to turn them upside down and create my own unique voice in the ceramic and contemporary art world. And it’s something I want you to consider during our workshop - how can you re-invent a material steeped in history.
My exploration began in my undergraduate degree at The National Art School in 2008 and it was the ceramics department that I felt were the most open to experimentation and working in a cross-disciplinary way. Given the time and freedom to explore / experiment through trial and error is a huge part of any creative practice and especially our course over the next two weeks.

I want each of you to challenge yourself with each clay body through developing a series of objects/ works that explore your own personal interests / ceramic or contemporary artists of interest and intensely immersing and focusing on this body of work for the duration of the workshop; I will work individually with each student to develop and refine skills and guide everyone to draw, collage and collect resources and inspiration and document it in your visual diaries.
Also considering ways of installing the finished works.
Will the works be freestanding? Wall based? Or mounted onto a shelf?
What other components could you combine to the ceramic objects?
Natural fibres, resin, wood, cement, latex and found objects, etc.
Could you create structures out of the clay to display the pieces and use a combination of other materials like fabrics or fibre or introduce juxtaposing materials like rock/ wood and concrete. This workshop is completely open to pursue any of the above.
Intently focusing on the wonderful world of Ceramics and enjoying the process along the way.
Like in my own practice I never see entirely finished works - they are always works in progress, one work will ultimately lead into the next, it’s a process of evolution and as you become more familiar with the material, your ideas and through experimentation you will end up with a narrative of works that will tell a story; your individual story.
I will give instructive demonstrations on how to build up hand-built and tool formed symmetrical, textures and surface treatment with porcelain/ stoneware and terracotta and explore new ways of making but more importantly I will guide you individually to create your own individualized body of work.
Firing techniques will include high fire oxidation, Raku and black saggar firings.

Sept. 23, SUNDAY:              WELCOME DINNER
6pm MOKSA Restaurant opening of the workshop with a sumptuous meal, a time for introducing ourselves and getting to know the group.
Each student introduces themselves and speaks briefly of their ceramic/art experience? And what attracted you to the course? What ideas are you interested in?
Sept. 24, MONDAY:                         INTRODUCTION
Introduction to GAYA studio/facilities.
Powerpoint presentation:
Juz gives an in-depth look into her practice to date and experiences being based in an ancient porcelain city in China, exhibiting nationally and internationally and what motivates her to continue to pursue her practice creating ambitious porcelain and mixed media installations.
Course outline/ overview- Description of reference/inspiration points for individual projects - The Natural world (landscapes, coral reefs etc..) Familiar and Unfamiliar environments, Internal and external environments (both in human and animal forms) and the Cabinet of Curiosities/ Wunderkammer.
Demonstration: Building a basic interior structure/ maquette.
Creating textures / surface treatment and building form with hands only (no tools yet) - forms that are reminiscent of flora and fauna.
Activity: Select one image from Juz’s collection of succulents, cacti and flora and fauna and re-create it / re-interpreting the form so it is an exact representation or is of the essence. This exercise gets you looking at the form and understanding the complexity of structure within natural forms.
Focus: developing form, detail, texture, structure, composition and surface treatment.
(these forms will be saggar fired and raku fired)
Sept. 25: TUESDAY:   CROSSING THE BOUNDARIES - International Artists

Powerpoint Presentation:
Introduction of Key International artists working with Ceramics.
Working internationally pushing the boundaries of ceramics on a contemporary platform. International Artists include; Rachel Kneebone, Grayson Perry, Antony Gormley, Ai Wei Wei, Ikuko Iwamoto, Beth Cavaner, Kate Malone, Jason Briggs, William Cobbing, Crystal Morey, Phoebe Cummings, Zemer Peled, Crystal Morey, Takuro Kuwata, Claudia Fontes, Aneta Regal, Edward Eberle.
Demonstration: Using Tools/ objects/ natural found material to create surface treatment - dots, punctures, stitching, folding, piercing.  Referencing a selection of previously mentioned ceramic artist techniques to explore new ways of making.
Activity: Select one of the Artists mentioned in the Power point presentation and re-create an object inspired by their work (or an artist of your choosing). Exploring form and surface treatment.
Sept. 26, WEDNESDAY:     CROSSING THE BOUNDARIES - Australian Artists
Powerpoint presentation: Introduction of Australian Artists working with Ceramics--
Jenny Orchard, Nell, Brendan Huntley, Lynda Draper, Steven Bird ,Glenn Barkley, Ben Quilty, Philippa Taylor, Vippo Srivilasa, Karlien Van Rooyen, Steven Bird, Madeleine Preston, Phil James.
Activity: Make one object/ collection of works inspired one of the Artists mentioned in the Power point presentation and re-create an object inspired by their work (or an artist of your choosing). Exploring scale, form, surface treatment and concepts.
(Afternoon: Juz will speak individually with each student to kick start them with their individual projects - directions, reference points and what they are interested in pursuing)
(LOAD works made so far to be bisque fired)
Sept. 27, THURSDAY:        Excursion INTO THE JUNGLE
A visit to a water temple and studio visits to artisans carving bone and skulls in Tampaksiring.
Gather inspiration, drawing, photos, and collecting resources, take imprints/ rubbings of textures. The dense jungle of Bali oozes rich inspiration - themes of budding life and regeneration. Excursion to Water temple and Tampaksiring to visit the studios of artisans working with bone carving.
Sept. 28, FRIDAY:               ART FORMS IN NATURE
Inspired and refreshed…
Start the day by exploring subjects, ideas, textures, forms, materials guided by the excursion Into the Jungle and the studio visits from the previous day.
Studio time: Begin individual projects. Students can start drawing down ideas/ mind mapping/ collaging in visual diaries- creating a visual plan of ideas for their projects.
Thinking about Scale: (if they decide to work small scale - creating a collection of objects to form an installation or a series of large freestanding sculptures etc..) Students start making intensely - One on one tutorial with Juz to develop ideas and create a plan for their project.
Afternoon Activity: Make one small object or a collection of small pieces inspired by the drawings of Ernst Haeckel (Art Forms in Nature).
Students experiment and explore the techniques learnt from previous days, developing an understanding the material. Creating experimental pieces and studies.
Demonstration: Press-moulding (available moulds) and altering.
How to push and pull the material. (Students with experience have access to wheel to hand form structures and alter them)
Looking at botanical references/ flora and fauna/ seed pods/ succulents and still life objects. Introduction to stoneware clay.

Sept. 30, SUNDAY:                          DAY OFF: Rest and Relaxation
Oct.1, MONDAY:                             MAKE MAKE MAKE
Studio time: Start individual projects. Students can start drawing down ideas/ mind mapping/ collaging in visual diaries- creating a visual plan of ideas for their projects.
Thinking about Scale : (if they decide to work small scale - creating a collection of objects to form an installation or a series of large freestanding sculptures etc..) Students start making intensely - One on one tutorial with Juz to develop ideas and create a plan for their project.
HOMEWORK: (recommended but of course optional)
Research a Contemporary Ceramic Artist (either from the list previously mentioned or one of your own choosing) Write a 300 word statement about their practice, the conceptual basis behind their work, their motivations and techniques used. How does this artist push the boundaries of their chosen material? Do they only work with ceramics? Or is it the combination of other materials that sets them apart from their contemporaries?
Demonstration: Painting/ drawing on the surface/ using a heat gun/ bubble technique/ sgraffito.
Students should have a strong idea of what they will be pursuing. Students should be well underway to developing their projects. One-on-one tutorial with Juz.
Oct. 2, TUESDAY:                           STUDIO IMMERSION
Full Studio Day – one-on-one tutorials with Juz
Painting - Underglaze colour/stains/oxides
Students delve into their projects.
Refining artist statement/ drawings/ diagrams/ collage / reference images to be exhibited alongside the works in the open studio exhibition on the last day.
HOMEWORK: Write a minimum 300-word statement about your project, the conceptual idea you will explore, the techniques and forms, the reference points for inspiration and how you intend to install/ display the objects? Start gathering objects/ material/ photos/ drawings/ collage/ in your visual diaries
BISQUE Kiln loaded for firing at midnight.
Visit GAYA Glaze archive room for a peek into inspiration.
Talk about possible glaze options for the works for these two brief weeks.
(glazes will be prepared--a small selection of possibilities will be available)
Pour, Dunk, or Spray glaze

UNLOAD bisque kiln. Spray, or dip works.
PACK KILN for High Fired Gas or prep for next day’s Saggar or Raku firings.
Oct. 4, THURSDAY:                                    FIRING / EXQUISITE CORPSE
(Sagger or Raku firing for those interested)
Group Activity: Exquisite corpse drawing exercise. Coloured pens/texters.
Make them wild and colourful!! Referencing Jake and Dinos Chapmans print series.
Activity: Re-create your Exquisite Corpse in porcelain - either freestanding or as a relief sculpture on a slab. Referencing Jake and Dinos Chapmans print series from 2000 and artists- Vipoo Srivalasa, Jenny Orchard, Phil James, Steven Bird (or an artist of your choosing)

FIRE GAS KILN (begin midnight, finish by late afternoon Thursday—can unload by Friday late morning)
Oct. 5, FRIDAY:                   BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
Prepare space and workbenches for exhibition - collection of materials and recourses that can be combined with the ceramic sculptures or objects can be displayed on for documentation, finish drawings, visual diaries and artist statements.
Unload gas kiln after lunch.
Start configuring installations/ collections of works with other materials.
Finish works- combining other materials
Display all finished works for studio exhibition all around the studio—each artist explaining her/his intention.
Photographing; disassembly; packing.
Workshop concludes with lunch.
*Schedule is subject to revision prior to the commencement of the actual workshop
**all lunches during studio days will be catered family-style in the studio mezzanine midday

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