Carol Watkins of Hinterland Ceramics was born in Cairns and took up pottery in 2003 towards the end of a busy career in Human Resource Management, which included running her own agency in Brisbane.
I work from my studio at home in the sunshine coast hinterland and do workshops with visiting tutors, something I particularly enjoy as I am able to learn new techniques and exchange ideas with other potters. I now make many of my own glazes and love the many challenges that pottery provides. ‘You just keep learning’ Surprisingly, pottery is quite technical’.
Alternative firing methods such as raku, smoke and saggar are probably my favourite mediums and processes. The origin of raku can be traced back to sixteenth century Japan and involves firing the glaze at a low temperature, removing pieces from the kiln while still glowing hot and introducing them into a reduction chamber containing combustible materials. Ignition produces a reducing (limited oxygen) atmosphere for the glaze with black carbon deposited on unglazed surfaces and in crackles in the glaze. Generally, one is never quite certain of the result, leading to a certain serendipity, which is part of the fascination I have with raku firings.
This serendipity is also part of the charm for me of saggar and smoke firings, as these results are glaze free and also quite unpredictable. Smoke firing is messy and the results can be quite joyous or disappointing. There is a lot of experimentation involved and the sense of anticipation can be immense.
There are a number of types of saggar firing where pots are usually burnished and fired within a variety of types of chamber. The results can be quite breathtaking. One thing can be guaranteed …….. no two pots will ever be exactly the same.’
My work has been exhibited at
‘Ignition’ 2010 and 2012, a national exhibition held on the Sunshine Coast every two years
‘Tribe’ an exhibition at Rosebed St Gallery, Eudlo in September 2012
‘A Taste of Art’ an exhibition of work by members of Friends of Noosa Regional Gallery
‘FireWorks’ at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre in September 2010 as a member of Claymates, a group of potters from the northern end of the Sunshine Coast
the Sunshine Coast University
Kenilworth Art Space
the annual Nambour Home Garden Expo
Main Street Gallery, Montville
at Mt Uncle Distillery, on the Wine and Food Trail on the Cairns Highlands
As part of Claymates, at the Pomona Carriage Gallery in November 2012
'A Taste of Art' at Noosa Regional Gallery in April 2013
'Coastal Collage' at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre in July 2013 as a member of Claymates
As part of the POP UP ART Exhibitions at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre, May to December 2015; and as POP UP Artist of the Month during October and November