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Local potter Geoff Thomas has been honing his skills for the past 40 years, combining self-taught techniques and East Asian pottery practices to create unique pieces where no two items are the same.

The latest HomeGround exhibition at Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC), All About the Material explores the processes involved in creating wood-fired pottery using an Anagama kiln.

The Gilgandra-based potter uses locally sourced and imported materials such as feldspars, ash, silica, limestone and bentonite to create glazes, which are then combined with various seashells to set the work.

WPCC HomeGround Curator Mariam Abboud said All About the Material explored both Western and Eastern pottery practises.

“This combination and the respect that Mr Thomas feels towards the nature of the material is emphasised in the outcome and the unique qualities of each work; an instrumental component in expressing his artistic practice,” said Ms Abboud. “The featured body of work is the result of Mr Thomas’ appreciation of the art form, its history, techniques and practices that have been passed down to him, combined with his own experiences and knowledge.”

Mr Thomas said the exhibition gave him the opportunity to showcase to the wider community what he’s been doing for the past 40 years.

“Wedgewood boasted about how his plates stacked like a deck of cards but they are all the same and hard,” said Mr Thomas. “Whereas Asian, and in particular Japanese aesthetics allow for a softer approach. Making pots by hand or on the wheel resulting in little wobbles, bends, or off-centres, teamed with wood-firing results in something that shows lineage.

“The understanding and management of wood fired kilns to mature and embellish the pots is probably the most exciting and entertaining part of the whole process, but also the intrigue of the unknown.”

All About the Materials is exhibiting at the WPCC until 1 May 2022.

The official opening and artist talk is being held on Saturday 26 February at 2pm. You can RSVP at WPCC's event listing Official Opening Artist Talk Geoff Thomas: All About the Materials

Last Edited: 17 Jul 2023

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