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The great news from Montsalvat is that more studios have been made available for new artists to join the arts community there.  Before Christmas I visited one of them, a ceramic artist Timothy Clarkson, who has been working with the idea of reinterpreting origami in clay.

While training in ceramics at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, an initial project was to create an object that referred to paper, using paper clay. In the first instance, Timothy made a tissue box and then a toilet roll.  He made his first origami crane in third year.  He has refined and expanded this interest over the last few years. Edges of the clay are shaved to give the illusion of paper thin shapes, newspaper decals are applied to refer to various issues of war and peace and he has explored a greater variety of origami shapes.

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It’s clear from these pics of unfinished work that Timothy has a great interest in pushing out the boundaries of form in clay. 

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Timothy very generously showed me some of the techniques he uses in the creation of his work. From tissue transfer to decal. I came away with a much clearer understanding of the many steps required to complete one of his pieces.

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The ‘magic’ of patterns on tissue paper being applied to clay (below).

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Decal specialists take the image and print it on plastic or latex using different oxides and stains as ink ( below).

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Once the decal has been applied to the clay, a clear glaze is applied to set the image.

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Timothy is quick to acknowledge his admiration for the work of Greg Daly.  Greg has considerable expertise with the use of glazes.  Timothy believes that in Greg’s work, the glaze is the artwork.  These examples (below) of Greg’s work, sit within Timothy’s studio as a reminder.

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The following photographs of Timothy’s work were taken by Christopher Sanders© and are published here with the permission of the artist. They showcase the results of Timothy’s interest in using origami to inspire his work in clay.

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Timothy is represented by Skepsi Gallery in Melbourne.  The manager of Skepsi, Anna Maas had this to say about Timothy’s work,

When I first introduced Timothy’s work to the gallery, I was drawn to his ability to make strong social comment.  He achieved this by using the form of the crane (traditionally a symbol of peace) and applying decals created from current newspaper headlines concerning (for instance) war in the Middle East.

In Tasmania, Timothy is represented by the Saddlers Court Gallery.

It’s recommended that you contact Timothy via his website if you wish to make an appointment with him at his studio at Montsalvat. He is well placed to contribute a great deal to Montsalvat with plans for a community firing, a presentation around his work and an exhibition at Montsalvat (possibly in October). These activities will no doubt add to the creative energy in a significant way.

With the exception of the work by Greg Daly©, all ceramics shown in this post are Timothy Clarkson©