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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Featured Mud Colony Artist/Blogger-Anna Ryland

1.       MC; What do you love the most about being a potter/ceramist/clayworker?

I love the endless possibilities of clay work – to be able create almost anything from the functional bowl to the elegant piece of jewellery to the funky little sculpture, then there are the different clay bodies, the colours and textures and then the glazes.  Always something new to try and someone (either another Mud -Colonist or on the ACA Discussion List), will know how to go about it!

2.       MC; What inspires you?
Mostly nature, bush flowers, birds and trees but also memories of childhood (playing in unpaved roadside gutters making clay dams and floating leaf boats, my Dad’s pure bred Berkshire pigs); expressions of ‘Nice’ (think Myf Warhurst); other potters works, often a form or pattern
3.   MC:    Tell us about the processes involved in producing your work? 
     I mostly throw on the wheel but enjoy hand building too.  I use either a white stoneware or porcelain, though I recently used a mix of buff stoneware clays for a wood firing workshop  
     ........... and am using the same clay for a pig sculpture. 

       I love texture and pattern so often apply sprigs ,or if hand building, use textured wall paper to pattern my clay. I use commercial tissue prints in small amounts and some ceramic pencil or under glaze colours.  Very eclectic :^)

4.       MC; Describe your studio
A cave?  It’s a small room under a concrete deck so the ventilation could be better.  It is good in summer in that the work dries slowly, cold in winter. I have a wheel, a wedging table, a work table and shelves and a cupboard for storage.  The tiled floor makes it easy to clean.  It looks out into a little garden often visited by King parrots and lorikeets.

I don’t have my own kiln so either share firings with a friend who has one or submit to the vagaries of class kilns when enrolled at TAFE or community classes. I am a member (and President) of the Port Hacking Potters Group  and use their electric kilns but they have been out of action for months but just reinstalled so I’m looking forward to being able to fire my own wares again.

     How do your market and sell your work?

I’ve been entering the Sydney Teapot Show for a few years now and this year also entered the Melbourne Teapot Exhibition.

 I’ve had some success in the Hornsby ArtPrize with my pig sculptures and last year entered the Coraki Art Prize and sold my piece there too.   

Otherwise I share market stalls with other members of the Port Hacking Potters.  Now that I’m more confident with my jewellery I hope to start an online outlet before too long.

6.    MC; How did you find Mud Colony? And what impact, (if any), has it had on your blogging?

Well I’d already met up online with Adriana through our blogs and then Facebook and the Australian Ceramics Assn Discussion List so Mud Colony was a natural progression.  My blog stats soar each time I post to Mud Colony and its lovely to get some new visitors commenting on my posts.  It also encourages me to post more often and pushes me to make so that I have something to post about! 

7.       MC:Are there any clay blogs that you ALWAYS look at, and why?

    That has changed slightly since joining Mud Colony.  Now the posts of the week are the ones I am sure to look at.  
 Fortunately one of my favourites, Linda Starr’s, Blue Star Gallery is now part of Mud Colony. Linda shares her clay struggles as well as recipes and daily life, often inspiring or thought provoking. 
  Of course, Adriana’s posts are always inspiring – all those pots and beautiful sgraffito!
  Ellen Appleby’s “Based in Noosa”

    Sophie Milne’s “Six Hundred Degrees” 
    Elaine Bradley’s  blog  beautiful work and an insight into happenings on the other side of the country;

    and the latest one, since Mud Colony would be Marian Williams, “A Love Affair With Clay”  Great to see her work being influenced by her recent trip to Italy.

1.      MC; Best piece of advice you have been given about your practice?
“You have to love it” and then (wish I’d been told this earlier) “make more pots”.

2.       MC:What would be YOUR advice to someone just beginning their practice?
    Get your work out there – enter competitions, look for any opportunity to exhibit or place your work in a gallery that appreciates ceramics.  Don’t leave it too late! Go for it even while you are still studying!
Anna Ryland is a regular contributor to Mud Colony with her blog 'Anna's Ceramics'
Anna also has a second blog , which serves as a portfolio

Click HERE to read Carole Epp's 'Artist of the Day 'article  about Anna.


  1. Wow and's a very long time since I have seen such wonderful truly is....I used to even pot myself , but sadly the pottery faze went out up here in qld.......but it is obviously alive and thriving down there! Well done people's!! Lovely to see! Tanya BERARDI

  2. Hey Tanya- Ceramics is ALIVE AND KICKING BUTT in Queensland ! We have many active contributors to Mud Colony- check out the BLOG ROLL on the right hand side of this page !!
    Maybe its time for you to begin again??


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