Porcelain through History

Steven Harrison (1952- ) is a woodfirer, teacher and kiln designer living at Balmoral Village. Over the years he ended up building about 300 custom built kilns in his spare time! Two of which, one electric kiln and one gas kiln, were commissioned by Sturt Pottery workshop in the Frencham Girls school in Mittagong. He also built kilns for many local potters in the highlands and Moss Vale TAFE ceramics dept.

He set up the Loopline Pottery with Janine King in 1977. The two make pottery together under the Loopline Pottery label as well as running the Kiln and Clay Technology Company ‘Hot and Sticky’ and making one-off pieces under their own names. Their aim is to be completely self-sustainable as potters.

Steven was born in England, arriving in Australia in 1956. He obtained a Ceramics Certificate from the East Sydney Technical College in 1971-72, then spent a year at Terrey Hills with the Japanese potter Shigeo Shiga before establishing a small workshop - Steve's Pottery - at nearby Beacon Hill. Between 1975 and 1976, he and Janine King briefly took over the Jenner Road studio in Dural, NSW, from Malina Reddish and Dennis Monks. Janine King had also studied ceramics at East Sydney Technical College and became an exhibiting member of the Australian Potters' Society in 1976.

Pursuing a research interest in woodfiring using local clays and glazes, Harrison was awarded MA Hons from Wollongong University in 1995, and a PhD from the University of Western Sydney in 1998. As well as working in clay, he makes works in metal, stainless steel, aluminium and cast bronze.

He has presented in many international conferences throughout Europe and Asia, including the Royal College of Art in London. He has published over 70 research papers and written 6 books, 3 of which have been translated into other languages

Topic:   Porcelain through history.

This presentation will focus on the discovery of porcelain at several sites around the world and the small part that Mittagong has had to play in its history. The discovery of porcelain over a one thousand year period from China, to Korea, Japan, UK and eventually Australia will be discussed.

To get a better understanding of the essence of porcelain, Harrison spent 20 years travelling to each of these fundamental sites around the world, staying and working in each to create his own contemporary porcelain pieces from these ancient materials. He brought samples of these unique porcelain stones from around the world back to Australia and had them analysed by Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre. The findings from these analyses will be presented and discussed in this lecture.

This is the last lecture for 2019. We recommence our lectures on 20th February 2020, when Professor John Thompson who was formerly head of the melanoma Unit in Sydney will speak on "melanoma detection and treatment"

The committee wishes all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year and look forward to a an exciting and informative series of talks for 2020.

Porcelain through History

Lecture by:
Dr Steven Harrison
Nov 2019
Mittagong RSL


Oct 2020
Susannah Fullerton OAM

Past Lectures

May 2020
Apr 2020
Mar 2020
Mathematics - exact topic t.b.a.
Prof Geordie Williamson
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