More Blog Odds and Ends

Masterworks is Moving! After many years on Ponsonby Road and before that at two locations in Parnell, Masterworks is again moving base.

This time to 71 Upper Queen Street in Newton, where there is a small Design Precinct.

The grand opening exhibition is scheduled for

Sunday, July 6th.

Reasons are several… they will have more flexible and larger exhibition areas (almost double) and bigger storage areas – been a need for quite a while… Like you may be, I was a little concerned about the lack of foot traffic up there (I drive through regularly and don’t see many hoofing it) and the loss of a window to the passing parade of Ponsonby Road people. However I am assured that ‘drop-ins’ are rare, even in that high traffic area, and sales to them even scarcer. Eloise and Christine are confident that their established clients will follow and that they can attract at least the same proportion of new ones. There will be parking right outside – a positive as the increased distance would be a negative in wet weather as it’s a more exposed walk. The main plus though is that they can re-think their terms of how they would like to represent artists. As the nature of retail shifts and alters, (just walk Ponsonby or Jervois Roads to observe this) a business needs to re-focus how they operate so as to stay relevant and so we can all look forward to an increased dynamism that will work well for everybody.

Entries open for the Korean ceramics events and competition. KOCEF seems now the settled name for the large-scale events in Korea that centre on ceramics, after a few changes over recent years. Taking place over three towns that all feature different aspects, this might be the largest prizes of all for international competitions at almost US$50,000, $20,000, $10,000, $5,000 and it consequently attracts large numbers of entries. The prize money is acquisitional – that is KOCEF gets the work for no extra cost other than the prize and the work enters their collection. There are two judging processes: entry online by September 1 for the preliminary screening in November (takes 28 days) then actual work to be there for final screening by Feb 9th. However, like Mino they reserve the right to reject any entry following these processes. There has been controversy over Mino decisions along these lines in recent times so check the fine print. Categories allow for functional/design and art plus a reinterpretation of tradition. Winners are invited and costs covered to attend. I was there for the 3rd International event back in 2005 giving a paper at the symposium, and can promise that if the standard of entertainment is the same or better, you will never see a more spectacular opening event – a couple of hours of drummers, acrobats, corps of dancing girls, presentations impossible to categorise or put a name to…. all by grads from a school for traditional entertainment of tourists. It culminated in a gigantic (?8m high) pot that gradually inflated from a small flat base and then slowly moved to centre stage where it split open like a flower to reveal a working potter inside throwing on the wheel …gasps all round….

Korea currently invests more money than any other country into cultural tourism and ceramics is a main focus of this thrust. For more information go to

Last word on those big Museums and Galleries…

Down the road from NYC, in Washington DC,   you don’t have to pay in museums and galleries. It was a great surprise when our proffered $$$$ were returned as we entered one after another of the capital’s avenue of art galleries and museums. They flanked a wide sward of green, The National Mall – running between the Lincoln Memorial and its reflecting pool (remember Forrest Gump?) and The Capitol, with the White House (surprisingly small) as off-shoot along another side-sward of green. Large imposing buildings containing the nation’s treasures are free, as all are Federally owned, not private. We galloped around as many as possible. Marvellous, but we could not see all. The Gallery specific to applied arts was closed for long term refurbishment but the Freer Gallery, The Smithsonian and The National were open. The Smithsonian’s several buildings had many wondrous exhibits from the first American flag to Julia Child’s kitchen reproduced in every detail, or rather transported, following her death, to the Museum. She kept everything within grabbing reach instead of behind doors and I counted eighteen different saucepans on wall hooks….

Perhaps one of the most impressive things was the open storage. We saw this at The Met in NYC too but in Washington it was housed in an elegant three layered gallery accessed by winding stairs or a glass lift.

open storage

open storage

ceramics storage

ceramics storage

ceramics storage

ceramics storage

ceramics storage

ceramics storage


Carolina Folk Art ceramics storage

 Impregnated clay boot in Folk Art cabinet

Impregnated clay boot in Folk Art cabinet


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