Craft: Shannon Garson ceramics

 

Shannon Garson is a ceramicist specialising in thrown, decorated porcelain. However, she started her career as a painter, and only came to ceramics after a stint of work for the innovative Brisbane Gallery Amfora.

firewheel (series) – decorated porcelain

 

firewheel (series) – decorated porcelain

 

firewheel (series) – decorated porcelain

Her background as a painter is a vital element in shaping her current work. She says “I use a lot of different techniques on each work but in all my pots my background as a painter has been the basis of a successful design. If you can’t make a successful, strong, visually coherent drawing a on a piece of paper it won’t come out well on a pot.”

magnolia (series)

The first thing that strikes me about Shannon Garson’s porcelain work is how deliciously beautiful it is. Gentle, cool forms with delicate surfaces; strong and subtle at the same time. Her palette is muted and earthy, with touches of bright red.

The strong lines of branches and stems flow with the shapes of the vessels. This is no accident. She states – “When using the vessel as a canvas for a drawing, I consider the whole of the pots – this includes three surfaces, the inside, the outside and the bottom. … I want the surface of the pot to be part of the drawing, not just a surface for the drawing to sit on. I want the whole pot to be experienced, from the weight of it as you pick it up, the texture, the drawing, colour, smoothness of the glaze, all the elements draw the viewer into experiencing the vessel.”

fennel (series)

leptospermum (series)

While the majority of her work is driven by her obvious love of plants, she has recently also completed a series of works called Mapping. She says these pieces act as maps. “The marks are intended to draw the viewer over the surface, they map the volume and exterior of the vessel, the journeys I’ve taken through the wallum (bushland environment) and the creative process. I wanted the [receiver] of these bowls to feel their way over the surface and through the wallum. I also wanted the pots to contain a secondary map of the cartographer (me) and the day I made these pieces.”

mapping (series)

 

mapping (series)

 

Shannon’s work has appeared in many magazines, and she has won numerous awards, including a Churchill Fellowship in 2005. She has also recently received an  Australia Council New Works Grant for her work on the Magnolia series.

You can find more of Shannon’s work on her website – http://www.shannongarson.com.
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Quotes and images used with kind permission of Shannon Garson.