A Sydney-based ceramic sculptor has received the Premier’s Award for Excellence at this year’s Tasmanian Craft Festival.
Jean Swinyard, of Jean Swinyard Ceramics, received the award for her impressive creations using clay.
The award is presented to the stallholder that presents the most outstanding new work in any medium, the recipient also receives $10,000.
“I have been to the art fair before as a spectator and as a helper but never as an exhibitor,” Swinyard said.
“I am amazed because the quality of work here is unbelievable it’s fantastic.”
Swinyard has been sculpting clay in NSW for 15 years.
Her inspiration came from natural landscapes she’s encountered in places such as Canada and Iceland.
“I’ll take a memory from where I’ve been I know that a lot of artists will go out to nature and take photographs,” Swinyard said.
“Before you know it you take a few photographs and you can't wait to make something.”
Swinyard said natural formations such as lava lakes and grasstrees influence the shapes of her ceramics.
“Art has taught me to perceive things differently and to see things as you know a photographer would do,” she said.
SEE ALSO: Sunday’s Deloraine Craft Fair.
Swinyard transfers the various patterns and forms of the clay, making what she described as anthropomorphic, human-like forms.
“I see them as masculine or feminine but still in terms of design links into patterns I’ve seen in nature,” she said.
Swinyard used glaze technology to give her sculptures their particular sheen.
She said that her five varieties of clay were heated at different temperatures in a kiln, to control the various metals and allow for different visual effects.
“The glaze is basically a glass to protect it [the clay] and seal it,” she said.
Swinyard was initially nervous about attending the craft fair, however she said she was amazed by the support of her fellow stallholders and fair volunteers.
“I really appreciate the support because for any artist the affirmation is what gives you the confidence to keep going,” she said.
Swinyard said due to the welcoming nature of everyone at the fair, she couldn’t wait to come back next year.
“People go out of their way to reassure you and help you, anything you need it’s just amazing the community feel is priceless,” she said.
The craft fair will be open Monday 9am-4pm.
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