Janet Barriskill

Janet Barriskill started taking pottery lessons with Dorothy Hope in 1957, training with her for four years and then for a further four years at St George Technical College. In the 1973 potters' directory, she is based at Avalon Beach, NSW, where she still lives and works. She began by making mainly wheel thrown functional pots in stoneware and porcelain using Australian clays and glazes, including salt glazes. After visiting Japan in 1973 and 1977, she developed a strong interest in Japanese ceramic techniques. She learnt to speak Japanese through an initial intensive course sponsored by the Japan Foundation, spent 12 months studying old Mino ware at the Tajimi Ceramic Research Institute, continued her Japanese language studies at the University of Sydney for three years from 1981, then returned to Japan for five-and-a-half years in the second half of the 1980s, studying minoyaki-shino with master potter Kato Kozo and oribe with master potter Sakai Reiko. Her work there culminated in an exhibition in June 1991 in Tajimi featuring oribe, ki-seto and shino-style work that she had made both in Japan and back in Australia with Australian materials, especially ashes and feldspars. In 1995, she published "Visiting the Mino kilns : with a translation of Arakawa Toyozo?'s "The traditions and techniques of Mino pottery", a book still in print today. In 2003, she returned to Tajimi to attend another highly successful solo exhibition of her work there and to be feted by local dignitories and old friends. She uses her initials - 'JB' - to sign her work and also an impressed twelve-petal flower or starburst motif.

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