Terry Bell Works

Materials: Buff stoneware

Dancing with Clay  $400

A metaphor for Mother Earth refreshing herself in the current climate crisis, supporting the old argument of Art versus Craft.

Seven individual clay vessels have been thrown and then melded together on the wheel to make an expressive artistic form. Cone, ball, cylinders, ring, and a hung ring shape connected on the wheel to demonstrate a dance with stoneware clay.

I have consciously made the forms on the potter’s wheel playing with the materiality of the clay, making shapes which may not look like anything else and is part of the creative process I am engaged in. The clay has been pushed, pulled, and stretched, distorting it to create a natural organic textured form which has presence and shows movement. I purposely allowed distortions such as cracking and bulges to accentuate the way the vessel projects in space and have known when to stop and it is done. Layers of lines give a beautiful organic pattern similar to layers of landscape you see on earth, where upheaval has occurred. A half ball shape is attached to the bottom to push the form upwards like a plinth and a gesture of a piece of shaped clay is attached, adding visual ornamental and tactile detail with the textured finger marks shown as the layered lines. The binary, chiaroscuro contrast of light and dark is achieved with using black slip with some areas of a white crawling lichen glaze showing the light, having some impact on lighting up the darkness.

Inspiration comes from abstract expressionism where emotions take over to make a change to a controlled expected outcome of centred clay, to “what happens happens”. I am refencing Peter Voulkas, who moved ceramics towards non useful art objects rather than utilitarian craft objects and words of Camile Virot who uses Raku tradition, suggesting “that one lives only through feelings and not at all in the world of ideas”. Metaphorically I think of a TV ad with “M" and “M”s where the “M” and “M”s are told to get in the bowl by the actor and they reply by saying “No, you get in the bowl”. This creates tension which shows in this vessel with the protrusions and lines which create a spinning effect.

My thoughts to being centred, is to firstly be balanced, so ‘Dancing with clay’ is an overt expression of an attempt to rebalance, by spinning around and to show effects of climate change and earth upheavals which are prevalent in today’s world.



A Dance of Clay… balance is a push and pull or a give and take $400

A continuation of old argument of art versus craft, focussing on minimalism and conceptualism. A composite stack of thrown stoneware forms pushed and pulled together into art forms. Inspired by Tony Cragg’s simple making technique of stacking. Glazed with black, charcoal, silicon carbide slips and a crawling glaze.


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Email info@waihekeartgallery.org.nz or call us at 09 372 9907.