A lifelong dream has been realised for local ceramic artist Debbie Bennett thanks to a Regional Arts Development Fund grant she received earlier this year.
The grant enabled Debbie to attend a hands-on porcelain workshop with ceramicist Shannon Garson at the University of Southern Queensland’s MacGregor School in Toowoomba.
Debbie spent a week learning and creating with nine other artists in the University’s ceramic studio.
The class explored new techniques to apply surface designs, including using slip consisting of liquid mixture of clay mixed with stains and underglaze, to create unique motifs.
Debbie said Shannon was a great tutor who helped the workshop participants undertake field work to develop their own styles.
“We looked at patterns in nature and how they could be transferred into designs on our test tiles and vessels,” she said.
Firing of her porcelain pieces on site during the course gave Debbie several new works to bring home to Bundaberg.
This valuable professional development opportunity has allowed Debbie to propel forward her career as an artist, which she embarked on after retirement.
“Now as a retired nurse, I have been able to devote more time to my artistic endeavours,” she said.
“Since the workshop my work has significantly improved, with more cohesion within my pieces.”
“One of the greatest outcomes is I now have a body of work which I am very proud of and will be entering in upcoming competitions.”
Debbie is excited about plans to facilitate a local workshop for regional potters to share the skills and knowledge she gained.
She now has her sights set on exhibiting more widely, as well as continuing with personal commissions and selling her work through regional art galleries.
The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Bundaberg Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.
For more information about the Regional Arts Development Fund, click here.