Bronwyn Clarke, TAS

Bronwyn was interested in ceramics from a very early age and extremely talented from the outset. She was awarded several scholarships after achieving high marks in the HSC for her ceramic major work. It is from there that her passion for clay grew and continued throughout her Art Teacher Training in the late 60’s and early 70’s at the National Art School

On graduating, she taught in secondary high schools for a short while before taking some time out to travel throughout Europe, settling for a short time in Buffalo, New York to work at a private pottery studio called Clayworks. There she had an opportunity to further develop her throwing skills and research the art of glazes and glazing.

She returned to Sydney in 1976, teaching for a while before making a decision to apply for an Australian Council Crafts Board grant to establish herself as a full-time studio potter. The successful outcome of this led to the establishment of her first pottery studio in Glenbrook, NSW.

By the late 70’s Bronwyn was actively involved in the arts community serving on committees such as the Craft Council of NSW, (now called Craft NSW) and as the Vice President of the Potters Society of Australia, predecessor to the current Australian Ceramics Association. During that time she established a training studio for the Warringah Shire Council and opened a bigger and better pottery at Duffy’s Forest.

She moved to the NSW South Coast with her family in 1985 and established the well-known and much loved Murramarang Pottery at Bawley Point, which operated for more than ten years. In that time she had 2 children and built her pottery business from her own loyal customer base, as well as developing successful business relationships with craft outlets in Sydney, Queensland and the Hunter Valley.

In 1985 she had a solo exhibition at the Potters Society which led to several joint and collaborative exhibitions in the Shoalhaven. During that time she worked hard to establish Arts Shoalhaven, the forerunner to the still active and successful arts community in that region. 

In 1996 the world changed and the demand for “handmade” pottery suddenly disappeared, So Bronwyn took a decision to take a break from making pots and go out and find a “proper job” as a Sydney based Project Manager. This enabled her to introduce arts based activities wherever and whenever there was a viable opportunity. She became a well-known mover and shaker in the local North Sydney community and did this very successfully for twenty years, until recently.

In January 2016 Bronwyn moved to Deep Bay Tasmania and suddenly her passion for clay was reawakened. After purchasing, once again, an array of “ceramic paraphernalia” she started to create once again. But this time it’s different – she now has much more time and a wonderful seam of high firing stoneware clay running through her property, so not only can she design her own pots, she can now use this local clay, blended or wild, to produce her latest body of work. An exciting point of difference.

Bronwyn is a talented artist, but she boasts a unique combination for the art community of artist cum entrepreneur. She is always striving for new opportunities and trying to drive change in the art world. Her work does not reflect that tension– it is calm, subtle and very soft.  It is simply beautiful.

Bronwyn Clarke, TAS

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