Stone Samplers...in progress
The glazing process is abaout to begin and I spent most of the day yesterday preparing the studio for the next phase. The glaze palette is up for consideration and there will be quite some new testing and progressing the testing already in the pipeline. I have about 20 pieces finsihed construction and wouldl ike to glazr them all and choosefrom that series for the Tweed, Stone Samplers exhibition.
The Friends of the Gallery have a newsletter they send out periodocally and we have written something for the upcoming edition. I am showing with Karyn Fendley who paints very gorgeous landscapres and whose work is complementary to mine. We both sample the landscape and the exhibition is entitled Stone Samplers. About my own work, I quote:
From the Asian tradition of Scholars' Rocks (gōngshí- China, Suiseki - Japan), sculptor Suvira McDonald’s ceramic forms initially derived from a study of these naturally occurring, characteristically shaped rocks..
Traditionally these samples of various stones are taken from the landscape for their unique visual qualities and represent an intuitive-aesthetic curiosity - in contrast with the more intellectual curiosity of western scientific specimen collecting. The stones,which often resembled mountainous formations or sometimes figures, are displayed and appreciated as stone samples and are mounted on ornately carved rosewood bases. Evidence suggests Gongshi originated in the Yellow Mountains which have deep spiritual significance in China. Chinese scholars often called these rare examples Spirit Stones and placed them in their studies for indoor contemplative viewing. In Japan, Suiseki forms a triad with ikebana and bonsai.
Suvira’s sculptures have developed from this study over the past 6-8 years; it began with vessel forms, with direct relevance to particular landscapes and recently the sculptures have become more representational although with facetted stylisation. It is his chosen construction method that produces this. He has also emphasised the presence of quartz veins in the rocks which manifest as a waterfall-like part of his composition. The relationship of ceramics with landscape is not only pictorial but also one of materiality.
“My pieces have derived from this Gongshi tradition, translated into the ceramic medium and now several steps removed. As an ideally suited medium to represent landscape, ceramics is formed by firing to lavaic temperatures, broadly simulating a process of volcanic activity, producing igneous rock. The name stoneware is no accident!”