John Dermer

john-dermer-1912x1280.jpg
john-dermer-1912x1280.jpg

John Dermer

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EXHIBITED WORK
Salt Glazed Porcelain
porcelain clay, salt glazed
25 x 20cm
$1,980

ARTIST STATEMENT
I endeavour with these pieces to retain the essence of the materials and firing process and to create a pot that has its roots in tradition and timeless process. Being a full time potter is not an easy or idyllic existence. The hurdles have increased in height and number over the years as costs increase and fitness levels decrease! Initially it was about making items that people could use and enjoy- a bowl to serve with, or bowls to eat from. To be part of the enjoyment of food and to enable people to use an object that had been created with care, consideration, skill and passion. It is working with the head, heart and hands. In Japan it is called Mingei (the “art of the people”).  Another equally important driving force behind my work is the constant striving for, and anticipation of, that “magic pot”. It emerges in all its mystery and glory when you open the kiln. It is the pot with a timelessness and spirit that takes your breath away. It is the result of years of experience, research, experimentation, mistakes and sometimes tiny miracles. They are rare gems which make them all the more special. They help to explain the addictiveness of the process and the search. Failures become an opportunity to learn and, after more than 45 years of salt glazing, it has been the kiln disasters that have helped lead to some most wonderful developments in surfaces. These unique and rare surfaces are an extraordinary evolution from a process which is notoriously limiting in outcome due to the severity of the kiln atmosphere. I have been inspired and encouraged by potters such as Buzz Hughan, Reg Preston and Peter Rushforth – potters who believed in the honesty of the process, integrity towards the materials and who believed in the importance of learning timeless skills. They were proud to be part of a conversation that has existed for thousands of years.  It brings me peace of mind to create a bowl or a cooking pot that can be used confidently every day or an “exhibition” piece that will bring joy to the viewer. There is a strong sense of fulfilment in the sharing. I will continue to accept the challenges and hopefully I will remain aware of the evolution taking place in my work as I continue to strive for that ” magic pot “.

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