RUFFORD CRAFT CENTRE / GB 19.9.-29.10.2000






RUFFORD COUNTRY PARK , Nr. Ollerton, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG22 9DF

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SCOTTISH GALLERY  EDINBURGH EH3 6HZ, 16 Dundas Street, TEL. 0131 558 1200

Ausstellung anläßlich der Eröffnung des gleichnamigen Buches von David Howard Jones



Gail Bakutis,



Raku: Investigations into fire


Some of the world's leading exponents of raku andlow-fired ceramics will be taking part in a major exhibition in the gallery at Rufford Craft Centrefrom September 18 to October 29, 2000. Theexhibition is then scheduled to tour to the ScottishGallery in Edinburgh in Spring, 2001 andnegotiations are under way for it to be seen inRochester, New York State, in 2002. 
The exhibition has been co-curated by staff at Rufford Ceramics Centre and David Jones, a senior lecturer in the ceramics department at Wolverhampton University and fellow of the Craft Potters Association, and is based on David’s research for his recent book on low-fired ceramics.

Among the 20 potters and ceramists who haveagreed to include work in the exhibition are PaulSoldner and Richard Hirsch, from the United States,Roland Summer, of Austria, and Martin Smith,Magdalene Odundo, Elizabeth Raeburn and David
Roberts, from the United Kingdom.

David Jones writes: “This exhibition proposes an argument in the form of a presentation of work, pictures and writing, to examine the current state of raku and other low-temperature firing methodologies. It looks at the relationship between the historic tradition deriving from 17th century Japan and its re-interpretation, in England, the USA and Mainland Europe. "Raku is the name given to a technique of firing. As a practice it has grown in significance as it is identified as one of the most exciting ways of processing ceramic today: the piece is withdrawn, red-hot from the kiln and then subjected to further 'out-of-kiln' experiences. “The technique originated in, and got its name from, mediaeval Japan, where the vessels were originally produced and used in Cha-no-yu ('the Japanese Tea Ceremony'). It was studied and transmitted to the West by Bernard Leach ­ the doyen of British craft ceramics, at the beginning of the 20th century. It was practised almost as a museum piece for a further half century and then, in the 1960s, Paul Soldner in America read the account of the hallowed process in Leach's "A Potter's Book". 

“Soldner tried to perform the technique that he had read about, but then, bored with the results that he had achieved, he ‘rolled the pot in some pepper leaves that were lying in the sidewalk’. We in Europe read about the products of this serendipity and so a whole new movement in the firing of clay was born ­ the result of chance readings and iconoclasm. Potters who have agreed to include work in the exhibition are Gail Bakutis (USA), Sebastian Blackie, Dennis Farrell, Michael Flynn (UK/Germany), Ian Gregory, Sue Halls (UK/USA), Peter Hayes, Richard Hirsch (USA), David Jones, Susan and Steven Kemenyffy (USA), Mari Oda (UK/Japan), Magdelene Odundo, Elizabeth Raeburn, David Roberts, Emma Rodgers, Antonia Salmon, Martin Smith, Paul Soldner (USA), and Roland Summer (Austria). A follow-up symposium featuring some of the potters whose work is included in the exhibition is planned for Rufford on Saturday, October 6, 2001. 

‘Raku: Investigations into Fire’ will be the second Rufford exhibition to go on tour. The Sandy Brown solo show seen in the gallery earlier this year is featured at the Galerie Marianne Heller in Heidelberg, Germany from September 17 to October 29, 2000 and the Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, North Devon from September 1 - 30, 2001. 

David Jones’s book, Raku: Investigations into Fire, is published by The Crowood Press, Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 2HR, price £25. 

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