small time + small space = small work
Vicki Grima lives in Sydney, Australia, close to many beautiful beaches, and her favourite place to spend time. She started off teaching visual arts, for the first fifteen years to secondary students then to teachers with whom she could share her passion for integrating visual arts through the whole curriculum. Over the next few years as she developed her own arts practice, she enjoyed 14 years as a member of a co-operative ceramics gallery in Sydney, and continued to teach a broad range of visual arts to adults throughout Australia.
In 2005, Vicki took on the dual position with The Australian Ceramics Association, as Executive Officer and also Editor of their tri-annual print publication, The Journal of Australian Ceramics. This challenging job involves working with a diverse, dynamic membership of over 1200 studio potters, print and web publishing, along with event and exhibition management.
For the last 13 years, my ceramics practice has been squeezed into the gaps left after my busy job is done. Time in the studio gives me a quiet space for my mind and my eyes. It’s an escape, a meditation, away from words on a page and emails on a screen, the phone ringing and the social media merry-go-round. Some time ago, after committing to an exhibition, I found myself stressed about the work I would make and how I would fit it in to my schedule. How did I want to spend my time in the studio? My decision became clear. Say no.
Instead I decided to do what I loved – make small pinch pots. Just one ball of clay. No wedging. No joining. Eyes closed. No stress. Feel the clay. Yes.
With a small ball of clay I move my hands in a spiral movement, a meditative practice done often with my eyes closed to feel the thickness of the walls as they form. I explore the feel of clay, its strength and its fragility. When I use a mid-fire porcelain body, I impress the walls with intricate textures using sticks, coral, shells, echidna spikes and various tools collected over the years. I push the textures in as I support the bowl from the inside, pushing until I almost go through. The result, after firing, is translucent patterns and textures, which I sometimes later sometimes decorate with delicate gold lustre dots.
My other recent love has been woodfiring, using a variety of clay bodies.
My forms are made to nestle in the hand. I seek the beauty in handmade details – finger prints, delicate edges and decoration which unravels as the viewer gets closer and then holds the pot. My work spans functional, sculptural and decorative realms.
The Australian Ceramics Association and The Journal of Australian Ceramics
In my position as Executive Officer of The Australian Ceramics Association (TACA) and Editor of The Journal of Australian Ceramics (JAC) I am in daily contact with the ceramics community nationally and internationally. My focus is to represent the diversity of ceramics practice in Australia through our Journal and offer support to the sector via TACA’s membership services. In this rapidly changing digital world the challenge is to maintain relevance to the new ways of working, whilst also honouring the rich history of ceramics practice in Australia; www.australianceramics.com.
These 2 positions involve both paid and voluntary work.
Editor, The Journal of Australian Ceramics, 2006 – current
Executive Officer, The Australian Ceramics Association, 2006 – current
Studio Artist: 1988 – current
9 October 2017: Awarded Australian Design Honours by Australian Design Centre
11 June 2018: Awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
Director, Australian Ceramics Triennale Ltd: 2016 – current
Chair, The Australian Ceramics Triennale Tasmania 2019: October 2018 – current
Event Director/Manager, Clay Push Gulgong 2013
Curator, Back to the Table, September 2014, Sturt Gallery, NSW
Curator: Time & Place: Australian Studio Ceramics, 2010/2011, Cudgegong Gallery NSW
2003 – current: The Potters’ Society of Australia / The Australian Ceramics Association
1989 – 2002 Inner City Clayworkers Gallery Co-operative Ltd., Glebe
1979 – 1990 The Batik Association of Australia/ Australian Batik & Surface Design Association
2017 Ceramics Ireland, profile article
2006 – current … Editor, The Journal of Australian Ceramics
2005 The Journal of Australian Ceramics, 44/2, July 2005; “Domestic Scale”
1998 Pottery in Australia, 37/1, Autumn 1998; Review: “Shimmer”
Pottery in Australia, 37/4, Dec 1998; Profile: “A Sense of Hand”
2017 Tales of a Red Clay Rambler: Ep.181: Vicki Grima and Stephen Creech on increasing ceramic outreach through national open studio events; listen HERE.
2014 Tales of a Red Clay Rambler: Ep.77: Vicki Grima on what makes a successful magazine in the digital age; listen HERE.
2016 ICMEA (International Ceramic Magazine Editors Association) conference, Beijing, China
2016 India – Delhi Blue Pottery Trust, Ceramic Tales Lectures Series; Publishing, Pots & Passion
2013 ICMEA (International Ceramic Magazine Editors Association) conference, Fuping, China
2013 When Push Comes to Shove – writing/editing/getting published: Coll Minogue, Elaine O.Henry, Jan Howlin and Vicki Grima
2007 + 2010 ICMEA (International Ceramic Magazine Editors Conference), Fuping, China; Ceramics in Australia – a pictorial survey
2007 ClayEdge, Gulgong; Promoting your Work: panel
2017 – Canberra Potters Society; Mind Your Business
2016 – Sturt Winter School (pinch pots); Australian Ceramics Open Studios pinch pots, South Golden Beach
2015 – “Profiling, publishing and portfolios – a practical look at promoting yourself as an artist”; Brisbane Modern Art Gallery
2013 – “Pinch Pots and Beyond” weekend workshop, Central Coast Potters, NSW, & Gold Coast Potters, QLD
2005 – 2011 Tutor with Teacher Training Australia
2003 – 2005 Tutor, Eastern Suburbs Community College – Mosaic and Art for Beginners
2003 – 2006 Sturt Summer School and Sturt Weekend Workshops
2002 – 2003 Marketing and Administrative Assistant – Digital Art Directory, Annandale
2001 – 2002 Art Gallery Assistant – Retail at “Discover Art Australia” Sydney International Airport
1996 – 2005 Secondary Art Teacher, Sydney, casual
1988 – 2006 Continued teaching by giving workshops/ lectures/ discussions on a contract basis to adults in various locations – TAFE, Ceramic Study Group, NSW Pottery Supplies, Port Hacking Potters, relating to a wide variety of Art Making – ceramics, mosaics, jewellery etc
1992, 1996, 1997: Tutor at Textile Fibre Forum, an annual textile conference featuring tutors from Australia and overseas – “Batik and Beyond”, “Bijouterie and Beyond”.
1993 Broken Hill TAFE, Ceramic Jewellery, 2-day workshop
1989 Creative Dyeing – University of NSW Summer School
1988 Batik Workshop – Fregon Aboriginal Mission
1984 W.E.A. “Handbuilding Ceramic Forms”
2018 Lifeblood, Grace Cossington Smith Gallery, 1666 Pacific Hwy, Wahroonga NSW
2017 Fire Tales, Made Local, 22 Llewellyn St, Marrickville NSW 2204
2017 3 Cubed, Gallery of Small Things, 27 Wade St, Watson ACT 2602
2017 HeadON Festival, Kerrie Lowe Gallery, 49-51 King St Newtown NSW 2042
2017 Omnus Terra, NCECA 2017, Gallery 114, 1100 NW Glisan, Portland, OR. 97209 USA
2017 The White Room, Stanley Street Gallery, Darlinghurst NSW
2016 The Cup Collaboration, Box Hill Community Arts Centre, Melbourne VIC
2016 Square One @ ARO
2015 The Cup Collaboration, Box Hill Community Arts Centre, Melbourne VIC
2015 Object: Spoon; Beaver Galleries, Canberra ACT
2014 Give Me A Spoon, Atta Gallery, THAILAND
2011 Offerings, Kerrie Lowe Gallery, NSW
2010 Melting Pot, Manningham Gallery, Victoria
2009 Pourers, Collectors Cabinet, Object Gallery, Surry Hills, Sydney; makers from across Australia.
Please Handle the Pots, Legge Gallery
2008 Les Tupiniers du Vieux Lyon – Potters market at Lyon + St Uze with French potters, France
2006 Clay Statements, digital, Verge Ceramic Conference Brisbane, curator Patsy Hely
2006 Harvest, The Palm House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
2003 – 2005 The Sydney Teapot Show, Inner City Clayworkers Co-operative Gallery, Glebe, Sydney
2004 Bowl’d and Beautiful, Ceramic Art Gallery, Paddington
To Be or Not To Be Jewelled, Fusions Gallery, Brisbane
The Sydney Teapot Show, Glebe
Tea, Coffee or Chocolate, Teapots 2004, Perth
Lynn + Vicki + Sophie – studio exhibition at Alexandria
The Christmas Show, Mura Gallery, Newtown, Sydney
2003 + 2005 Artisans in the Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
2005 Tea Stories, Mura Clay Gallery
Inner City Clayworkers Gallery Co-operative Gallery
Solo / Feature Exhibitions
2002 one small red chilli – solo – ceramics, mosaics, painting
2001 Just in Time for Spring
2000 Looking Out, Looking In
1998 Practical and Precious
1992 A Sliced View
1991 Spiral Panorama
1989 – 2002 At least 3 group exhibitions per year, including The Vase Show
1989 – 2002 The Sydney Teapot Show
Visual Arts Teacher (Secondary): 1978 – 1988
1974–77: Diploma in Art (Education), Alexander Mackie C.A.E, 4 years full-time majoring in sculpture, with minor study in textiles and jewellery.