Artist Debbie Morris enjoys a challenge and working in porcelain is one of them.
Not that you would know, for her work would suggest that she has mastered this medium. “I love the purity of porcelain,” she says.
“Its translucent whiteness and delicacy can pose as a challenge to work with, but the results are well and truly worth the journey.”
She describes porcelain as “the diva of clays.” “I fell in love with porcelain about seven years ago,” she admits.
But in a seeming contrast, this daring artist also loves to work the gritty stuff.
Using raku and horsehair for a truly earthy feel, she expresses both sides of her personality in her work.
“I have a sense of adventure and I love the unpredictable,” she muses. “I suppose you could also say that it creates a balance.
“I love to experiment. That’s how I learn. You should never be afraid of an adventure or a challenge. It’s always a learning process and can produce the unexpected and some delights in the process.”
With a “no boundaries” approach, she researches for new techniques and ideas.
The colours of the ocean are among her favourites, and having travelled Australia with all its diversity of geography, climate and colour, she has created an amazing palette to work from.
“That balance, or contrast rears its head again,” she explains.
“From desert reds to ocean blues and from lush green to stark blue sky, her world of art is a plethora of colour.
“That’s also the moods of Australia,” she says. “The tame and the wild, the raw and the refined.
But how daring is this?
She will mix the two clays for effect. Porcelain and raku. “Why not challenge the clays themselves?” she taunts.
But typically, or untypically, she also sees that pottery can be a science. “Art and science are not so far apart,” she says.
“In fact, they are often inter-mingled and sometimes one-and-the –same.”
Her latest project?
This very complex process builds up layers of slip.
“What can I say,” she laughs.
“It’s a challenge!”
Debbie displays her work at the McLeay Island Arts Complex.
“MIAC is such an inspiration for the artists on the islands,” she says.
“Having an organisation that encourages and promotes our work is an incredible advantage.”