David Pottinger was born in Dalby, Queensland, and lives and works in Melbourne. His work has firmly established him as one of Australia’s foremost ceramic artists. He is well known for employing the technique of Nerikomi (a technique that uses coloured clays adhered together to form compounded blocks from which the vessels are made). Pottinger uses a locally sourced Australian-made soft paste porcelain which he stains with oxides to create the large palette of colours found in his work.
This technique starts with the different coloured clays being cut, layered and rejoined; a process that is repeated many times over. This repeated layering creates movement within the pliable, coloured layers that make up solid blocks. Those blocks are, in turn, sliced up into segments and joined to make the highly patterned body of the vessels. This intricate method leaves a dynamic ‘map’ of the process, that intrinsically informs the structure of each piece both internally and externally. Once formed, the work is wrapped for a number of weeks for the slow drying process. Once bone-dry the pieces are lightly sanded and bisque fired before glazing.
“The complexity of the vessels invite contemplation akin to the reading of a Zen tea bowl before drinking from it. The work strives for a deeper connection from the hand of the maker to the completed forms. To quote Soetsu Yanagi from The Unknown Craftsman, ‘The maker of a pattern draws the essence of the thing seen with his own heartbeat, life to life.’” – David Pottinger
Pottinger’s work is represented in several public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Shepparton Art Gallery, Victoria; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.