Portage Awards News

The judge for this year’s Portage Awards has been announced and many will be pleased to hear that this year it will be Takeshi Yasuda. Takeshi has visited before, as Fletcher judge and for exhibitions and workshops. Many will have met him and enjoyed his warmth and wit. He has seen work from here before but it’s been a while and he has visited many counties in the meantime so we can be confident he comes with a fresh eye. Some will know that he works mainly based in China these days. He is long gone from running the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen and now has his own small (by Chinese standards) business there. We’ll learn more, no doubt, when he is here.

The Portage is under fresh direction with a new building, under construction as I write, beside the old Lopdell House in the middle of Titirangi. Gone from our concerns will be the former hotel and education facility with reconfigured rooms and verandah not quite doing the job required. It will be called Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery and is a regional Art Gallery under the expanded Auckland Council. Beside new facilities of varied types there will be five brand new exhibition spaces. There is also a newly appointed administration team so we can look forward to a somewhat different show this year I expect. Andrew Clifford, former curator for Gus Fisher and noted writer on the arts, is the new Director and Kenny Willis, who did a large part of the extraordinary job of setting up the Portage exhibition in the waterfront silos spaces last year, is now the Art and Events Co-ordinator. They will be key to the new Portage experience we can all anticipate with pleasure and great interest.

The plan is to renew and expand the event and so, now that there is no annual pottery conference here, this year’s event will not only feature the grand opening on Thursday, November 6th evening, and the judge’s walk and talk with the winners on Saturday 8th morning, but on the Friday afternoon there will be a session on issues to do with ceramics at the Gallery moderated and led by another off-shore invitee. There’s a new seminar room to inaugurate. This will be followed by a shared pot-luck, evening meal so the community can have informal time with the two guests and old mates from out of town and within. More information will follow later but all are invited to participate. If you live out of Auckland, maybe keep an eye on advance cheapo fares so you don’t miss the festivities.

While negotiations are set in motion for future residencies as part of the attainable rewards for participation, this year there is a Peter’s Valley Scholarship Award toward a workshop at Peter’s Valley in New Jersey, USA. You can opt to be considered, or not, on your entry form. More details later but entries deadline is August 5th so the time to get cracking is now! No good leaving the firing of your sole entry till July 31st

Maybe think about those statements well in advance – here is something from Betty’s husband, the photographer, painter and writer, George Woodman –

To hear ceramicists talk about their work is like listening to a discussion of fur, purr and pounce without any mention of the cat!


Our recent Royal visit was a tad underwhelming but, given the rapture with which it was treated by our press, inescapable. What penetrated was that our guests were treated to an unremitting diet of things sporty…. steering yachts on the harbour, talking with rugby players, meeting endless retired sports people and administrators…. and such marvellous stuff. I did wonder about the fact that the couple reputedly met while at University of St Andrews studying Art History and Kate has a degree in the subject while ‘Wills’ swapped it, at higher levels, for Geography, I understand. Given this interest, I wondered why the relentlessly sporty banquet – why did Kate not get a chance to see something of our art? Maybe it was offered but turned down – we’ll never know.

However I since learned that somewhere, they ate from plates made by our own Ross Mitchell Anyon. I know no more so would be pleased if someone can expand a bit on this. Tell us more…


The 12th International Porcelain Symposium of Underglaze Painting entitled, ” Tradition and Possibilities”, will take place, in Prague, Czech Republic, August 11th-20th 2014.
Applications must be sent by May 30th to Pavel Jarkovsky,
Address: Český porcelán). U Demartinky 1348/7
Praha 5, 150 00  Czech Republic

Regret I have no more information so suggest you write or email for more if interested.

The Czechs have great expertise in this field so if it’s your thing, and you can be in Prague (the most gorgeous city!) in August, it’s possible to find out more by writing.


The American Crafts Council has just made its bi-annual awards to honour crafts people, professionals and others in the field.

The 2014 Gold Medal for Consummate Craftsmanship went to Betty Woodman. It is an award for a lifetime of achievements and is the highest award given by the Council. Gold Medal awardees of the College of Fellows represent the extraordinary among a field of elite craftspeople. Awardees are nominated by the College of Fellows and selected by the American Craft Council Board of Trustees.

Earlier winners included Paul Soldner, Don Reitz, Ruth Duckworth….

Seven individuals were inducted into the College of Fellows including ceramicist, John Gill. The significance of the College of Fellows has importance to the preservation and scholarship of American craft. Criteria for nomination are few, but significant. An artist must demonstrate leadership in the field, outstanding ability as an artist and/or teacher, and 25 years or more of professional achievement as an American craftsperson. Awardees are nominated by the active College of Fellows; the distinction is recognition of meaningful contribution to the field not by critics, scholars, or collectors, but by one’s peers. It has become appropriately cherished by its recipients who may be artists but Honorary Fellowships are granted to individuals who made significant contributions in related fields. Recipients have been Fred Marer – collector, Janet Koplos and Garth Clark – writers.

The Award of Distinction recognizes an organization, institution, corporation, or individual who has made significant contributions to the field of craft with a minimum of 25 years of service. This year it was given to The Clay Studio in Philadelphia.


COLLECT, that many regard as Europe’s top craft fair is on at Saachi Galleries, London, May 9-12.

Thirty seven galleries involved this year. If you are interested in the catalogue, send to British Crafts Council for it – very luxe.



Art and Design Congress – Turkey

Organised by the Dokuz Eylul University, Facilty Fine Arts situated in Izmir located on the south east coast from Istanbul.

Dates – October 20-25th

‘What is the situation of the artist and designer whose production process is based upon transformation? At the turn of this century in which there are many question marks regarding what awaits art and design in the near future, what they transform, and their relation to our lives along with the transformations that are going on today in this new century.’


· New approaches in theory and practice

· Cultural politics and economic projections around the world

· New forms of learning in art and design

· Speed, technology and utopia in the context of time

· Originality, form and content

· Continuity and sustainability of transformation

For more information and submission of papers etc…

Don’t forget the CERAMIC ARTS LIBRARY, based in the USA – great source of those out-of-print books on things ceramic. Lynne seems able to find/produce pretty much anything

Ceramic Arts Library
Corning, NY 14830  (607) 962-6042

She writes…

Shipping has become very expensive, and I try my best to lighten the packing material, we have custom shipping boxes which reduce the weight a great deal and are able to use the most economic shipping method possible.  It also works out better if you purchase more than one title, which can then go into a Flat Rate Box, which is quite large and can take several titles (depending on their size and weight).   I am slowly adding the weight of each book, which will assist in your estimation of shipping costs.

Shipping to Canada had tripled, a real shocker, therefore if you are not from the United States; please let me quote for you on an individual basis.

Overseas orders have to be shipped via Priority Mail – There is no surface mail available – please let me quote before purchasing – just send me an e-mail as to what you are interested in and I will let you know the total shipping cost before you purchase the items.  I will put the books on hold for 3 days so that no one else can purchase them.    

Please e-mail me at, that way there is no mistaking what you need, very often I cannot understand what is being said on the answering machine, but with the written e-mail, there is no mistaking what you are looking for.  I hope to hear from you soon.



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2 responses to “THIS ‘n THAT, ODDS ‘n ENDS…

  1. Thank you for that. The article reads just like Ross! Good to know someone in Wellington has some aesthetic sophistication and sense! Guess that must be VESSEL Gallery?

    I also had response to the mention of the Woodmans with suggestions that there is a film about the family, Betty George, deceased daughter Franceska who was gaining much fame as a photographer and son Charlie. It’s not some laudatory epistle but critical scrutiny of the nature of fame and its effects on members of the same family. I saw this film at (I think) a Film festival a few years ago…well worth looking and thinking. Thanks to Chuck and Louise and go to

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