Australian ceramicist Phil Elson
March 28, 2010
Porcelain bowl, Green celadon with red copper glaze by Phil Elson
Australian ceramicist Phil Elson creates fine handthrown porcelain tableware, large bowls and teapots. He works exclusively in porcelain drawing on influences from both Eastern and Western traditions and has been particularly influenced by the beautiful Shino ware of Japan. He has attracted buyers from Japan who appreciate the fine quality and design of his porcelain.
On a trip to Barcelona , studying Baroque ceramics, Phil was impressed by the Modernist architecture, culture and its lasting vibrancy and he felt this somehow inspired his pottery art to another level. In Phils own words,” It does seem to happen that you embark on a particular journey with a particular destination in mind, and probably some ideas as to what you will see and experience; perhaps even some idea of what you may bring back with you. The reality however is that the tides and currents have their way with you…your imagined experience is utterly different and turns life as you knew it on its head .”
Porcelain bowl blue pigment with high nepheline glaze
“At a point in my journey my original intent and imaginings were overtaken as, in Barcelona, I was able to visit with ease the work of Picasso, Miro, Duchamp, Picabia. I was able to walk in the streets as they existed in Roman times. I stood, overwhelmed, in the stunningly beautiful buildings of the Modernist designs of Montaner (Palau de la Musica Catalana), Cadafalch (Casa Amatller) and Gaudi (Casa Batllo, La Pedrera, Sagrada Familia). I loved how these buildings reached into the air; into the sky about them. They exuded a love of materials, a love of place, a love of life.”
Phil begin his quest to be a ceramic artist in 1981 at the age of 29. After full time study for a few years he trained and worked with various potters until 1989 when he opened his first studio at Trentham. His current studio, Phil Elson Pottery, in Castlemaine was opened in 2001.
Over many years Phil’s work has centred around the exploration of the bowl both as a functional form and an object of beauty…bowls of different shape, size and colour…a process he found to be wonderfully enriching as he pursued the evolution of form alongside the development of glaze quality and glaze colour. The sublime results are a testament to his dedication .
Blended porcelain bowl, deep black shino style interior glaze with iron shino style glaze exterior.
Southern Ice porcelain rare earth glazes – Phil Elson
In Taoist philosophy they believed a slightly asymmetrical shape is more dynamic than a symmetrical shape because the asymmetrical object is still striving for perfection. As opposed to the symmetrical object that had already attained perfection and has no further to go. ” Better to build near the summit but not on top of the summit.”
Porcelain vessels – Phil Elson
Pale beige interior, pale blue celadon exterior – Phil Elson
Phil Elson ceramics
Phil Elson in studio
Pale Green Celadon glaze – Phil Elson
Bowl with grey shino interior, with iron speckled shino exterior.
Phil Elson ceramics
Phil’s website : www.philelsonpottery.com