Poetry Pots Australia

Adelaide – December 2008

Home again, home again jiggity jog. My Family and I have recently returned from a year away in the west of Scotland. Hard work for my wife and an exhibition created on the banks of Loch Lomond for me. There might have been a bit of golf and whisky drinking as well!

My exhibition at the “Hill House”  ( a Charles Rennie Mackintosh masterpiece owned by theNational Trust in Helensburgh,  Scotland ) in May this year proved successful and this is a continuation of that work.

I, like most modern ( or indeed post modern!) potters, are looking for ways to make their work objects of contemplation as well as objects  of use. Poems or parts of poems and a developing calligraphic style have allowed me to do this. The use of poetry and calligraphy  on pottery has a rich history in the oriental tradition. It is, whilst not unknown in the western traditions , not a common potterly  theme. As the kids say “Go Me!”

Most of the quotes are romantic or spiritual in nature, little snapshots that strike a chord with  my internal life.  Ceramic illuminations is a term that comes to mind and gives an idea of the future for this work

Coming back to Adelaide has involved testing and using new clays and glazes (as I did in Scotland) with a variety of aesthetic and technical  successes, failures and problems.

Such is the life of this potter! But I can see now a clear path to where the work can go, illuminated, as it were, my task is to get there. The pots, the glazes and the poems are full of problems and thankfully solutions.

John Ullinger

Out of the Circle

I began making these spiral altered bowls in the early to mid eighties originally from polished unglazed porcelain.

I made these pots around the year 2000. The movement inherent in these types of alteration set up rhythms that are capable of ( to borrow another musical term) syncopation and the possibilities for arrangements that create interesting negative spaces. This still  draws me in and I find myself revisiting it from time to time