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Teacher Masterclass: The Nature of Clay

Merran Esson
  • Term: Term Two 2018
  • Start Date: 16 Jun 2018
  • End Date: 16 Jun 2018
  • Time: 10am to 4pm
  • Number of Classes: 1
  • Teacher: Merran Esson
  • Level: Teachers Only
  • Age: Teachers Only
  • Location: National Art School
  • Availability: Unavailable

This ceramics hand-building workshop will experiment with techniques of constructing clay objects and explore the notion of place. From simple slab, pinch and coil techniques to discussing slips, engobes and oxide washes, learn how to adapt these processes for classroom teaching. Artist Merran Esson will guide you through the development of subject matter, glazing alternatives and texture impressions using found objects. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to teaching, this workshop will offer discoveries and direction for developing projects with students in the visual arts classroom as well as your own technical skills and understanding of the medium.

This NAS teacher Professional Development session will contribute to 6 hours of QTC registered professional development towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.


Merran Esson

Merran Esson’s ceramics express the contrast between the extremes of country and city. Influences from her rural childhood combine with the urban confines of city life to produce containers connecting in ways that explore mutual survival. Merran Esson has been making works of art using clay for over 30 years. In 2014 she won Highly Commended in the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, her other awards include the Port Hacking Award (2000), Nava Marketing Grant (2006), the Gold Coast Ceramic Award (2005) and Poyntzpass Pioneer Ceramic Award (2008). In 2016 she was a master presenter at Clay Gulgong and exhibited her work in Barcelona as part of the International Academy of Ceramics Congress. Esson was a resident in the National Art School Studio at the Cite International des Arts in Paris in 2006. In 2011 she did a residency at Fowler’s Gap in the semi arid zone north of Broken Hill. She has been a visiting artist in China, Korea, Scotland, Sweden, Taiwan, Japan and Pakistan. Esson has exhibited in The National Gallery of Australia, The Art Galleries of South Australia and Western Australia, The Victoria and Albert Museum London, Galerie Rosenhauer in Germany, Gaffer Gallery in Hong Kong, also Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Sweden, Pakistan, Spain and numerous galleries in Australia. Her recent work was exhibited in 2016 Sculpture by the Sea, in 2017 Sculpture at Scenic World. In 2018 she is a finalist in The University of Western Sydney Sculpture Award (May 2018) and Sculpture at Scenic World (April 2018).

Her work features in the text book Artwise 7-10 by Glenis Israel. Merran has recently retired from her position as the Head of Ceramics, at The National Art School in Sydney. Merran Esson is represented by Stella Downer Fine Art in Sydney.

Please bring along a small knife, cutting wire, ceramic tools you have on hand, a small towel, a sketchbook or notebook.