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Who We Are: Laura Jankelson

By 15 September 2022February 9th, 2023No Comments

How long have you been at WWAS?
About 20 years – since sometime in 2002

Where do you travel from each week?
Eastern suburbs

What class do you do at WWAS?
Ceramics 2 classes/week. Usually Mondays and Fridays but it has varied over the years.

What do you do when you are not creating?
Run a busy Medical Practice/run a busy domestic life/exercise 5 x a week/admin on my pottery practice

What are you reading or listening to?
Nora Ephron “I feel bad about my Neck” + just finished “The Promise”. Listening to Hettie McKinnon “Lessons in my Mother’s Kitchen” podcast. Pottery You tube videos if I have time.

Who is your tutor and what do you like about them?
Lia Klugman – she is my friend and art ‘colleague’ who has patience and knowledge and tolerates my moods!
Catherine Tate – she is able to advise me when I need help and knows her stuff. She, too, gives me space.

Why did you join WWAS? or Why do you keep coming back to WWAS?
I was looking to progress my pottery ‘hobby’ when I migrated here (having started in South Africa) and this college met all my needs. It had a sense of history and standing as an art college even then. It was funky, trendy and diverse, and in the right location for me.  It also provides me with continuity and is both a social and educative environment for my techniques which continually evolve, both self motivated as well as by the tutors. I would also say that over the years, the school has evolved into a cohesive, creative and varied art school, more professionally and run with leadership with our current admin office! I need flexibility and yet it is structured enough for my needs.

What are you currently working on?
I always handbuild with coils and continue to make vessels, functional as well as sculptural. I use a variety of clays and decorative techniques which keep me interested. I also make bowls and platters for food safe use. I am thrilled by anything made with fire and smoke and feel that magic of the unknown and unpredictable. In the past I would create very large pieces which have taken a toll on my body!

What inspires or motivates your art practice?
I am inspired by natural textures and colours and forms. I love looking at other potters and makers on social media and often move in a different direction as a result of what I see.  I am also inspired by new stuff that is out there – in clay and colour, always experimenting with the new and untried and tested! I work on an intuitive rather than academic basis.

Who are your favourite artists?
In clay, I love the Greek modern and ancient ceramic artists, who create work that evokes antiquity and history.  I love Australian Indigenous artists and feel at home with the rawness of their work which is probably a transition from the African pottery of my first home. I am passionate about 3D art more than wall art but love the work of the Impressionists.  I am fascinated by the work of contemporary artists but often don’t understand it.

What would you say to someone thinking about taking an art class at WWAS?
Go for it. Try it out. Approach it with an open mind and use the session to focus on what’s in front of you rather than the outside chaos of the everyday . You never know what is inside of you till it comes out.  Art school brings it out.