Monday, January 23, 2012

Q&A With Tamara Hahn: Connections 19 January - 19 February

The work of South Australian ceramic artist and JamFactory alumnus Tamara Hahn celebrates fertility, motherhood, and family. Hahn’s nested vessels formed with deliberate imperfections create a mutually supportive family of objects.
Tamara’s latest exhibition, Connections, can be seen in The JamFactory Atrium Gallery from 19 January – 19 February.
Tamara was kind enough to do a brief Q&A with The JamFactory;

Tell us about yourself, how did you become a ceramic artist?
I first touched clay in year 8 and was instantly in love. Supported by some really good art teachers I went on to try out a few different mediums and finished year 12 with top marks in art.
But ceramics was always my passion. After school I studied for 4 years at North Adelaide School of Art (Ceramics), took 11 years off to have a family (5children), before completing a Bachelor of Visual Art (Ceramics) at UniSA in 2007. In 2008 I was accepted into the JamFactory and have gone on from there. 

Which ceramics artist, craftspeople, writers, artists, musicians, anyone do you find particularly inspiring and how have they influenced your approach to making?
I love a lot of different artists work, Picasso being one of my favourites, but the people who have mostly inspired me have been everyday people in my lives who have a passion for their work, be they art teachers, or lecturers (Kirsten Coelho) or anyone who shows enthusiasm and commitment. I love it when people are passionate about their work like I am.

Are there any specific collections, museums that you have found inspiring and why?
 Most recently I went to the Tutankhamen exhibition in Melbourne. What inspired me most was the amazing craftsmanship and skill of these people. Everything was made with amazing attention to detail and adorned beautifully. Today we make a lot of things so cheaply and designed just to be practical and last such a short time. These works were not only functional, but beautiful, amazingly so, and have also lasted so long. Very inspiring. 

Welcome us to your studio - where is it?
In August 2011 I moved to a purpose built studio at my home in Clovelly Park -'ChocolateBox Ceramics Studio'
When we purchased a home in 2010 I could finally follow a dream of setting up my own studio. It has been wonderful working in a shared studio environment and I have learnt a lot from other artists, but this was the right time to set myself up and have my own space.

The work for the exhibition: Can you describe the specific themes reflected in this body of work?
This exhibition follows similar themes that follow through a lot of my previous work. My family is always around me and has influenced this theme of connected; we need each other and yet are independent. We are alike and yet all unique. Having 5 boys I am always amazed how seemingly having used the same formula we have created 5 completely different children, and yet they are obviously brothers and connected. My process of making reminds me of this, using just two clays and two different glazes and just playing with altering 'form', the possibilities seem endless. No two pots are exactly alike, but are connected by materials and the same process of making.

Describe your method of production in this current work?
Like most of my work to date, these pieces have been created by hand on the potter’s wheel (wheel thrown) and then altered. Mostly I use porcelain clay, but have recently also been using some stoneware. They are fired in a gas kiln to around 1300 degrees in a reduction firing. 

Connections can be seen at The JamFactory 19 January - 19 February