Skip to main content
What's OnWho We Are

Who Are We: Steven James

By 13 March 2023March 15th, 2023No Comments

What do you do at WWAS?
As of 2023, I serve the members of WWAS as the chair of the board. Prior to this, I was the treasurer of WWAS and have also been a student, tutor and administrator at WWAS. 

Tell us about your artistic/career journey to this point.
I am not a professional potter. Rather a professional and a potter. An early noughties visit to Pompeii left me gobsmacked by the beauty, utility and endurance of ceramics – a rare artform that can transcend thousands of years and a volcanic apocalypse, while maintaining every ounce of its functionality and beauty. Two decades later, I have instructed over 11,000 Sydneysiders in the immersive craft of making ceramics, alongside a 30+ year corporate career in finance and technology. At WWAS, I first taught school holiday clay classes, then worked for a time in the office as Administrator. I was invited to join the board in 2018 as Treasurer when asked if I like maths. ‘Sure, I love #mafs’, said I. But here we are. And I’m proud to have served as Treasurer while the school survived and thrived through COVID.

What is your favourite thing about WWAS?
Hands down my favourite time of year at WWAS is the end of year show. The walls are adorned with inspiring works and amazing art prize entries. We take this moment as the year winds down to celebrate those excelling in their practice. All the magic ingredients of the WWAS special sauce are on display. Best of all, makers get to sell their work, a huge win for them, the buyers and the school.

If you could share a meal with three artists living or dead, who would they be?
One is enough. I would break bread with Frida Khalo.

What do you do when not creating or teaching?
By day I am the sustainability officer for an ethical super fund fighting climate change and inequality. Some weekends you’ll find me in a clay studio spinning something up.

What are you listening to?
Top of my list for emotional nourishment is the Blindboy podcast. This American Life and Savage Love are also on high rotation.

 If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
Notwithstanding some logistical challenges like bugs and birds, the power of flight beats every other super power, IMHO.

What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
Islands with rum-filled coconuts available for purchase are preferable to deserted islands.