STUDIO TOUR- Petrus Spronk: Master, muse, mentor.

Sunday 9 November 2014

We here at Clayspace Daylesford are very very lucky to count amongst us the amazing artist, Petrus Spronk. He is teacher, mentor, muse and he suffuses our little group with thoughtful calm. He has a special place in our wood firings- the zen master who can get up at four a.m to slowly place one twig at a time on the newly lit fire. This is no mean feat, believe me, all you want to do is keep feeding and building that fire, especially on wintry Daylesford morning! 

When my husband found out that I was working with the artist responsible for the sculpture below, Architectural Fragment, outside the State Library of Victoria, he was speechless probably for the first time in his life. He told Petrus that next to Michaelangelo's 'David' it was the most memorable sculpture he had encountered. So it goes Michaelangelo, Petrus. Petrus' response was, how do I get to first place?

 Most people when you mention that sculpture exclaim some variation of 'oh I LOVE that sculpture' and so it is with the man himself. And with his pots. Oh the pots.

Petrus' Black Earth studio is nestled on Bald Hill, at the forest edge just outside of Daylesford. When I first went there I asked Petrus how many acres he had he replied, as far as I can wander...

Everywhere you look there is beauty and there is art. Little pieces of sculpture placed lightly but purposefully through the garden. Seating situated for peaceful contemplation. You can feel that this is life as an art form.

The studio itself faces the forest, which is so verdant and rain forest like you could almost forget where you are and expect to see monkeys come swinging from the trees. You are surrounded by peace and growth and beauty. All things being constantly brought into  petrus' work.

Petrus uses traditional burnishing techniques learnt from the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico to decorate his work and a low tech wood-firing system for firing his finished pieces. His bowls are 'contemplative objects' not to be used as containers but rather for the 'appreciation of the empty space inside'. 

This particular bowl is called 'The infinite journey along the edge of the bowl' and it comes from the Inner Landscape Series. Petrus has offered this bowl as the top pledge in our Clayspace Daylesford Pozible Campaign. (click on the link and check out the video footage of Petrus throwing!)

 Pledging means you will receive this incredible piece of Australian ceramic fine art, that Petrus says 'I hope will bring some stillness and meditativeness into the space where you intend to display it. It was made with a similar attitude and in a similar atmosphere in my studio'.

 You will be supporting the future ceramic artists of our region by committing to this fantastic community project. And as a bonus, its also sound investment in a well known and recognised artist for below gallery pricing. Win!

I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into the studio of Petrus Spronk. Over the coming weeks I will be featuring the studios & surrounds of some of the other Clayspace Daylesford artists, so stay tuned if you like that sort of thing :)

and if you'd like to learn more about Petrus, you can head over to his blog, Slow Looking.

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