Image courtesy Canberra Potters


Joey Burns, Alex de Vos, Paul Dumetz, Lea Durie, Helen Eatough, Chris Harford, Sue Hewat, Abbey Jamieson, Lesley Lebkowicz, Nichola Leeming, Katrina Leske, Sue Peachey, Julie Pennington, Don Porter, Fran Romano and Josephine Townsend

Opening 6pm Friday 20 May 2022

20 May – 3 July 2022

An exhibition that applauds the work of the Canberra region’s ceramic artists through a celebration of the vessel. Ceramic artists responded to the following definitions:

Vessel: A container (for example but not limited to a cask, bottle, kettle, cup, vase, or bowl) for holding something.

This collection epitomises the essence of good design, aesthetics and functionality in their work. The survey demonstrates the diversity of practice and approach to the vessel, where the artworks connect us to the maker, each made with the artist’s hand and then held within our own.

It is simply and elegantly presented to remove all distractions and we encourage you to sharpen your focus on the object and its making.

About Canberra Potters

Working in partnership with our colleagues at Canberra Potters, Watson Arts Centre we have come together to celebrate locally based ceramic artists.

Canberra Potters has been supporting and nurturing the region’s potters and ceramicists since its inception in 1975. Located in the inner north suburb of Watson the adapted premises include two large teaching workshops, a members workshop, production facilities, gallery and shop. There are four artist studios for hire to ceramic artists plus a further studio and accommodation for an artist-in-residence program.

With over 470 members and interaction with more than 2000 students each year through our education program, Canberra Potters continues to develop and engender the best qualities of ceramic arts practice. As pottery enjoys an ongoing resurgence a new vanguard of artists are continuing the tradition of exploring proven techniques and expanding boundaries to create work that is as diverse in method as it is in creativity.

The participants in VESSEL are testament to this practice.

Drop in and Draw: self-guided still life drawing, 24 May to 3 July

FREE, no bookings required

Inspired by ceramic works in VESSEL, take this opportunity to relax in the Generator Gallery, indulge your creative spirit and create your own artwork. Participants should bring their own materials and any equipment needed to take advantage of a curated still life setup, which is accessible during opening hours, 10am – 4pm Tues to Sunday. Easels are available if required.

Learn more

About the artists:

Joey Burns

The works I make are simple reflections of my surroundings, whether it be influences taken from the people and cityscapes of the cities I have lived, places I’ve visited, or landscapes from the rural area I grew up in and now live.  I try to incorporate a sense of character and personality into my pieces, which I gather from interactions with people, animals, and architecture.

The malleable nature of clay allows me to spontaneously create abstracted gestures of these visual, tactile, and aural influences. I fire my work in wood burning kilns because I can achieve a non-contrived reference to the colours and surface textures from the original inspiration behind the forms. Joey is a potter who works from his home studio near Gundaroo, New South Wales, Australia as well as currently teaching at Canberra Potters where he is also a Technical Manager.

Instagram: @SawpitStudios

Alexander de Vos / Flaming Gargoyle Pottery

Alex completed an Associate Diploma in Visual Arts in Ceramics at the Canberra School of Art in 1987 and has been an active member of the Canberra Potters Society since 1988. In 199, his interest in historical pottery started and since then, he has concentrated on reproducing a range of historical forms to cater for living history and re-enactment groups.

He has explored Byzantine and Italian sgraffito wares, and these styles remain a major part of his portfolio, with a lot of imagery based on marginalia (images in margins) found in medieval manuscripts. Also, he has produced salt fired pottery based on 16th Century German pottery. Recently his work has focussed on cookware and the earthenware pottery of the Netherlands and England. This cookware is popular with re-enactors demonstrating medieval cookery using period recipes at various Medieval Fairs. The use of these vessels provides a range of insights about their form and function that cannot be obtained elsewhere.

Facebook: @FlamingGargoylePottery

Paul Dumetz

I make wheel thrown work, with the view of creating functional wares which can be appreciated in an artistic sense. It explores a new development and direction and an interest in unique and striking surfaces and glazes drawing inspiration from wood ash glazes, salt and soda fired work, but without access to the equipment and necessities the mentioned work requires. An interest in patterns and nature, as well as drawing, brushwork, sketching and stories, are all essential. My work also reflects a keen interest and fascination of animals, such as frogs, as well as their significance in their environment and the ecosystem. My work captures the beauty, character, strength, purity, emotion and facial expression of the creatures and subjects which interest me.

Lea Durie

Lea Durie is an artist based in Braidwood. Lea’s work explores post-colonial land use, land degradation and climate change, and perspectives of place. Lea is currently completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts at ANU. Lea’s work is tactile, often installation-based, using ceramics as a foundation supported by found objects, textiles, and other materials. Lea was the recipient of the Doug Alexander Award at the Canberra Potters’ Society and the ceramics award at the QPRC Art Awards in 2021.  In 2020 she was awarded the Craft ACT Emerging Artist’s award and included in the CraftACT Emerging Contemporaries Exhibition. Lea has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions.


Instagram: @leadurieceramics

Helen Eatough

I have had over 23 years’ experience, having completed a Diploma of Ceramics at The Australian National University and numerous Tafe courses. My approach to ceramics is experimental and innovative, embracing new materials and techniques. I’m regularly commissioned to create bespoke ceramic pieces, with some of these projects including specialized platters, chess sets and an open fire cooking pot. I’m a teacher at Canberra Potters Society and regularly run classes from my own studio “Woodbine Cottage Pottery” situated in Goulburn NSW. I’m currently conducting a Ceramic workshop at the Goulburn Regional Gallery.

Facebook: @WoodbineCottagePottery

Instagram: @WoodbineCottagePottery

Chris Harford

Chris Harford is a full-time ceramic artist and has been a professional potter for 37 years, working in stoneware and porcelain clays, he is known for his refined tableware and teapots. High-fired tableware has always been a major focus of his practice. Currently he designs and makes contemporary tableware for several prestigious Canberra restaurants, dinner sets for private clients and pieces for exhibition. The recipient of many National awards, his work is represented in public and private collections in Australia and overseas. He has conducted more than 50 workshops Nationally, in Britain, Ireland and New Zealand. 


Instagram: @chris_harford_tableware

Sue Hewat

I am a ceramic artist living and working in Canberra.  In 2015, having worked with clay for many years, I attained a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours (Ceramics) from the Australian National University, School of Art and Design. On graduation, I was awarded many exhibition and studio opportunities.  Since then, I have exhibited in selected shows in Canberra and interstate, and I have work available at various retail outlets and galleries. My work continues to be an interpretation of the layers, lines and colours that are seen in the sea or landscape. This large wheel thrown stoneware serving bowl is part of my Rockpool range.  Sandy coloured unglazed clay, textured with lines, juxtaposes a shiny sea glaze; indicative of rock pools that gather at the ocean’s edge.


Instagram: @suehewatceramics

Photo: Lean Timms

Abbey Jamieson

Abbey Jamieson is a Canberra based artist who works predominately with clay. Through the processes of pinching and soda firing she creates ceramic objects with themes of comfort and connection. By utilising the soda firing process she allows the kiln to become an active participant in her work. This creates a contrast between the slow, controlled pinching of clay, and the dynamic, spontaneous nature of soda firing.

In 2018 Jamieson graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours), majoring in Ceramics. During her second year she spent a semester abroad at the Alberta College of Art and Design, in Calgary, Canada.


Instagram: @abbey_jamieson

Facebook: @Abbey Jamieson, Artist

Lesley Lebkowicz

For several decades Lebkowicz has practised an ascetic form of Buddhism which has influenced her work. Many traditional Buddhist countries gave birth to significant work in ceramics, and these inform her practice. She took classes at Canberra Potters Society where she later had a studio. She has exhibited there in small group shows three times, most recently in March 2022. Her work is thrown, and the decoration is expressive. Colour is incised, brushed on or fingerpainted on surfaces. Vessels are sealed with clear glaze or liquid quartz.

Instagram: @lmlceramics

Nichola Leeming

Nichola is a Canberra based studio potter working in wheel thrown porcelain. A very recent entrant to commercial and exhibition work, Nichola has received several awards, including the Award for Surface Decoration at the 2021 Canberra Potters Society Members Exhibition, and being named Overall Champion for Pottery at the 2022 Royal Canberra Show.

Her colourful images are not painted. She cuts into the piece, incising, inlaying, and inserting coloured porcelain. Unglazed exteriors are hand polished multiple times giving her vessels a luxurious feel. The work is designed to be held and rotated to reveal new perspectives and the personality of the narrative character of each individual piece.

Instagram: @nicholaleeming_ceramics

Katrina Leske

Katrina Leske is a Canberra-based ceramic artist exploring how physical processes affect people’s understanding of the handmade ceramic vessel. She is heavily influenced by the opposition of nature and culture, which is realised through multiple counterpoints within her work: material and body, interior and exterior, textured, and smooth, functional, and non-functional. Throughout her studies and after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from the ANU in 2018, Katrina has received wide recognition for her work. Alongside pursuing her own ceramic practice and teaching, Katrina currently works as the Gallery and Events Manager at Canberra Potters.

Instagram: @katrinaleskeceramics


Sue Peachey

Sue Peachey is an emerging ceramic artist who hand builds in coloured porcelain using the technique of nerikomi.  Appreciation and gratitude for all that sustains us on planet Earth and her love of the natural world are recurrent themes in the ceramics she creates. Sue was awarded the CAPO – Craft ACT Emerging Artist Award and the Canberra Potters Society – Keane Ceramics Emerging Artist Award, both in 2021. Based in Canberra, she is originally from New Zealand and brings a background in landscape design, permaculture, and poetry to the work. Since June 2020 River’s Edge Ceramics has been located at Studio 7 at the Canberra Potters Society. 


Instagram: @riversedgeceramics

Julie Pennington

Julie Pennington is a ceramic artist whose work explores the subtleties and complexities of pattern and texture through hand-built vessel forms. Julie’s career in the visual arts began in the field of textile design, before pursuing her interest in ceramics and completing a Diploma of Ceramics at Moss Vale TAFE in 2010. Julie has been a finalist in several major ceramic competitions, recent awards include the Significant 3D Award Stanthorpe Art Prize QLD in 2016 and Scott Brickworks Prize North Queensland Biennial Award in 2018.  Julie has exhibited nationally and undertaken artist residencies in Australia and Spain.


Instagram: @juliepenningtonceramics

Don Porter

After enrolling in an Associate Diploma in Ceramics at the Canberra School of Art I learned a vast number of ways of making from many incredibly skilled professional artists. For the past 12 years I’ve been a member of the Canberra Potters Society. I’ve taken many classes and attended many workshops at CPS.  Over time I found a form that I wanted to explore and refine.  The teachers at the potters’ society influenced and still influence my development.  My interest in Raku was piqued by one of my teachers, who taught glazed Raku. I started to learn about Raku techniques and was keen to know more, so I enrolled in a weekend workshop on Naked (or Smoked) Raku. have been exploring Raku for many years since. I continue working to master the medium through technique, execution, and design.

Facebook: @DonPorterPottery

Instagram: @DonPorterPottery

Photo: Mel Hill Photography 

Fran Romano

A graduate of ANU School of Art, Canberra (2013); Fran uses layering, surface texture and imagery to explore themes of memory, history, and nostalgia. In recent years, she has begun to explore death rites and rituals from both an archaeological/historical perspective and a human one.

She has been a finalist in the Little Things Art Prize (2018) and the Inaugural Palliative Care Art Prize (2017); and she was awarded first place (3D Art) in the Foot Square Small Pieces Competition (Brisbane, 2019).

Offering space for contemplation, her works explore interiors, physical and metaphorical. They ask to be looked into, and for the viewer to look within themselves.


Josephine Townsend

Josephine Townsend is a ceramic artist working from her home studio in Canberra. She has been working with clay since the late nineties. The tactile nature of ceramics, the materiality of the clay itself, and the colours, shapes and patterns of the natural environment form the underpinning concepts of her work. She builds surfaces and shapes that invite the touch and fit the contours of the human hand. Her nerikomi work is all about colour, pattern and expressing the precious qualities of porcelain, the delicacy, the luminous translucence and the pure colour response. Between 2017-2020 she was the Education Manager at Canberra Potters, she continues to teach ceramics there, as well as conduct workshops around the region.