I was fortunate to be asked to be a demonstrator at the 9th National Ceramics Conference in 1999 titled ‘Edge, Identity and Change’ held at the University of Western Australia.

I had just graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. While I was studying at Curtin, I created some large-scale ceramic disk/plate forms that were inspired by the Western Australian Southwest coastline. The success of this body of work caught the eye of the conference committee and I was asked to be one of the demonstrators for the 9th National Ceramics Conference

During the conference I met many national and international ceramic artists who attended. One of the artists who left an impression on me was the Norwegian ceramic artist, Torbjørn Kvasbø.

Torbjørn was a demonstrator and keynote speaker at the 1999 conference. I was scheduled to demonstrate at the same time as Torbjørn and positioned next to him in the Undercroft Exhibition space during the conference. Torbjørn’s work was also large in scale and very expressive. There was a lot of energy in the Undercroft space with the both of us working with large amounts of clay in front of a sizable audience.

After the demonstrations were concluded I was able to chat with Torbjørn about his work and his techniques for firing his sculptural forms. This experience had a strong influence on my aspirations for the future and the direction of my career working with clay.

As I write about this time in my life, I am beginning the journey back into large scale plate/disk forms for an upcoming exhibition as part of the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial in 2024. The time I spent with Torbjørn Kvasbø back in 1999 will certainly influence this new body of work.