As the finale of this year’s Rocket Science program, master ceramicist Phil Elson was invited to give a demonstration of his skills. It was a perfect opportunity to use the workshop room at the Arts Hub.

Phil is a renowned ceramic artist, with works on display in the collections of major institutions, including Bendigo Gallery. He began with a presentation of his work and influences, and then sat down at the wheel…

Seated at the wheel, ready to throw

Seated, ready to throw, Phil discusses centering oneself in readiness

After centering the clay, the form is begun

After centering the clay, the form is begun

Amazement as the bowl takes shape

Fascination as the bowl takes shape before our eyes

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Phil works more or less exclusively in porcelain, a particularly difficult material to throw in. He makes it look so easy!

Refining the form

Meticulously shaping the basic form

Phil then produced a bowl he had thrown earlier and allowed to dry 'leather' hard. This was put 'on the hump' and turned to shave the footring and refine the final form

Phil then removed the bowl he’d just thrown, and produced one made earlier and allowed to dry ‘leather’ hard. This was put ‘on the chuck’ and turned to shave the footring and refine the final form

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Phil spoke of the elegance of shape and the philosophy of the potter’s art

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Ros and Prue in wonderment at the conclusion of the session

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