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April 6th – 30th


Gang Gang Gallery is thrilled to be hosting our third collection of ceramic works by a number of talented potters, pushing boundaries with function and form in this energetic and creative exhibition.

OPENING EVENT – Saturday April 8th from 3pm

This beautiful opening speech by Bernadette Mansfield for ‘HANDS ON CLAY 2’ 2022 is worth sharing for ‘HANDS ON CLAY 3’ 2023
Unfortunately Bernadette is unable to join us this year due to other commitments but her words will be fondly remembered.
It is so fitting that here, in Lithgow, it is a group show I have been asked to open; whereby bringing artists together it amplifies and echoes the fact that every artist’s story is a testament to resilience, and a demonstration of resourcefulness.
Lithgow (named, of course, after Scotsman William Lithgow) was established as part of the vision of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth’s and their proposal to cross the mountains in 1814. Overseen by William Cox who ‘supervised’ 24 convicts to build the 12 foot wide roads these convicts managed to successfully construct a mountain crossing and reach Bathurst six months later.
It did not take too much longer for Lithgow and its miners to quickly develop a world-wide reputation for being some of the hardest working coal miners in the world.
This town is also widely known for its strong unionised activity and produced a Prime Minister in Joseph Cook in 1913 who arrived here as a 12 year old miner from England and began his political career here in the socially conscious Vale of Clwydd Miners Lodge.
We also know, as much has also been written about, how aboriginal people, by the 1820s actively resisted European occupation leading to horrific consequences.
This region, despite its relative isolation and small population, and through hard work and determination, became the fourth largest city in Australia with thriving industries including coal mining, copper smelting, woollen mills, iron and steel, refrigeration, shale oil refining, production of small arms, power generation.
But one of its other great natural assets, is clay.
Following the discovery of clay deposits in 1870 in the Lithgow Valley the Lithgow Valley Colliery Brickworks was established. And the English potter, James Silcock established the first pottery here in 1879.
Moving beyond Lithgow, the Blue Mountains region has become home to artists from all over Australia who share the resilience, tenacity, determination, resourcefulness, sense of community and social consciousness of those who built and established the smaller towns, up and over the mountains, leading to this place where we stand now.
Gang Gang Gallery have an incredible lineup of potters with work for sale at this years ‘HANDS ON CLAY 3’ Exhibition


“From the rolling hills of Devon, the vdst veldt of Africa to the weathered shores of Australia, my forms have emerged”.
Arriving in Australia in the late 60’s, I was immediately taken by the eroded sandstone foreshores and flora and fauna. Having canoed many times up the River Dart, Devon, England, where I experienced my formative years and walking along the cliff’s collecting primroses and bluebells overlooking the English Channel, I was acutely aware of the beauty of nature.
ln the early 1970’s the opportunity arose for me to get my hands into clay and I never looked back. Once my two sons started School, I enrolled in TAFE at Brookvale and completed a 4 year part time Diploma Course, graduating in 1986. On graduating, I was approached to teach at the Ku-ring-gai Art Centre in Roseville which I did for 27 years which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I have been a member of the Ceramic Study Group since the late 1980’s and in 2010-2014 was President and currently Vice President. 2016-2021 I was President of the Ferry Artists Gallery at Wisemans Ferry, where I still exhibit a range of my latest creations. Over the years I have been invited and exhibited all over Australia and my work has been acknowledged by winning 28 Awards at different times. To name a few, one of the awards was judged by Lloyd Rees in the late 1970’s at the Lane Cove Annual Art Exhibition which, I think, gave me the impetus to keep potting. ln 2015,1 won the 300 grams. Exhibition/Competition at the Mansfield Ceramics Gallery in Darlinghurst, judged by Art Critic, Dr. Christopher Allen. 2018 won the “Bowl” competition held by the Ceramic Study Group,2019 the ‘Animal, Vegetable and Mineral’ competition with a form entitled “Erosion” judged by Barbara Campbell Allen and in 2021 won the “Party theme” competition judged by Malcolm Greenwood . ln 2014, 2017 and 2018 I won one of the categories of the Annual Teapot Exhibition in Sydney. I have had several solo exhibitions, one entitled “Ripples of Time – celebrating 20 years” which was opened by celebrity John Doyle. My work has been purchased for Permanent Collections and Corporate gifts.
ln 2017 one of my Ned Kelly teapots was auctioned at the NSW Parliament House to raise funds for the AMA for the Luke Batty Foundation. 2017 exhibited with Artist Carol Gill entitled “Confluence” at the Art Studios Gallery in Gosford. Last year 2021,l’was invited and exhibited with a group called “Living Textures” at Brush Farm at Eastwood, “Platinum” celebrating the Ferry Artists 20 years in existence, Living Clay Expo. at the Coal Loader, Waverton, 2022″Ephemeral” at the Gang Gang Gallery, Lithgow and finally the North Shore Craft Group’s annual Exhibition in Thornleigh. My love of texture has drawn me to experiment with crystalline glazes, as it has a certain illusiveness and depth which still intrigues me. Mainly working with stoneware or porcelain clay bodies, l’ve recently started incorporating my East meets West, Japanese “Boro” patchwork concept into some of my creations which can also be adorned with the delicate floral motifs of the Australian bush. I usually fire in my electric, gas and sometimes raku kilns and have access to a wood fired kiln in the Wnter months which adds another dimension to the forms and desired aesthetics.
My insignia – the spiral – means ever evolving and so my journey with my love of clay continues



Anne Edwards began working with clay at 16. Mentored by Col Levy and Maureen Williams, the resulting pots toured in ArtExpress and since then Anne has worked in studios in Japan, Brazil, Germany, Thailand and Australia. The main focus of Anne’s work is on the relationship between breath and form in the process of making. Each piece reflects the immediacy of using the wheel to shape clay and using breath techniques to create form. Surface decoration is minimal. The resulting pieces are meditations and carry this intention when held.
Hold a thrown bowl in your hands; pause a moment, and let your fingers connect with the surface.
Feel the shape; the heft or fragility of the weight; the way it sits in your cupped palms; it was made for your hands.
Look into the pot and imagine the food you would place there – the colour of it, the smell, the taste and texture, the heat of it warming the vessel, warming your hands around it.
Raise the bowl to your lips and place them to the contour of the rim, a slight flare there; it was shaped for your mouth.
Sense the wheel still turning.
Sense the clay still glistening.
Sense the glaze still melting.
Sense the movement of your breath.
Hold a thrown bowl in your hands…


”In my ceramics, I work with low temperatures, organic shapes, clear lines and colour, but most of all, I strive for simplicity. Simplicity balances my busy life and my other passion…. portrait sculpture.To quote Edward de Bono…”Simplicity is easy to use but hard to design.  Although simplicity is very obvious in hindsight, getting there requires a lot of creative thinking.



Most of Robin Gurr’s work in this exhibition was inspired by the old Lithgow mine site. She refers to worn graffiti, survivors of fire and detritus from the abandoned mine site. She depicts relics – ” surviving memorials of something past” – and, in so doing, anchors our place in time, contributing to our collective memory by making a material connection with a world which is in the act of slipping away.

Her work consists of wheel formed elements, altered and combined mostly into sculptural vessels, gas fired to stoneware temperatures. Her palate is subdued with surfaces showing evidence of weathering, decay and erosion.



On Making Weed Ash Glazes

I live and work on the edge of a Blue Mountains hanging swamp at Leura. The land has beautiful parts but is partly overgrown with invasive weeds. I’m working to regenerate the native bush, by clearing the woody weeds, drying them in piles, burning them off in the winter and collecting the ash.Wood ash has been used as a ceramic glaze material for hundreds of years. It contains the all the elements that the plant has drawn from the soil as it has grown. The ash is a unique fingerprint of the location, the soil, the species and even which part of the plant is used. By using my local ash, I hope to make something positive from these bush pests and create something unique to this place.I make separate piles of each weed species, so I can make a glaze with the ash of just one type of weed at a time.You have to burn a huge volume of weeds to collect a small bucket of ash, so there is usually only enough glaze to make a few pots with each small batch. Each new batch of ash is a little different, so it’s not possible to make the exact same glaze again. When it runs out, it’s gone forever and I have to try to make something new. It can be frustrating but I think there’s a bit of a metaphor for life there.


“….In my own way it exemplifies my approach to the creative process – realizing a whole new technique then solving the problems as they emerge. The idea also evolved out of my approach to ceramic materials in general. While I lean heavily on the traditional approach to ceramics I have deliberately chosen to find and use my own materials rather than commercially prepared ones. THe beauty of some of the old pots from cultures that have a long ceramic history (unlike Oz that has none) has intrigued me for the last 50 odd years. I believe their beauty resulted from the potters use of “materials at hand” and their “primitive” methods of preparation. I don’t mind being called a nutter by my colleagues because I enjoy the chase, the research is endless and it’s what keeps me going, albeit at an increasingly slower pace.”



The pots for this exhibition are mostly from the fire box area of an anagama kiln where they are exposed to the most severe of the firing conditions. lt is these conditions that give the pots these results. Only 3 to 5 pots fit in this area and the losses are high but as this is the result I am trying to achieve we will keep working on it.