Steve Harrison

(1952 – )

Mount Alexander Halloysite porcelain stone, Australia

Not on display
Further information

Steve Harrison’s ceramics take simple forms - specifically bowls and cups as a vehicle through which to articulate concerns around ceramic history, the environment, and a way of life based upon trying to touch the ground lightly. His research into kiln and clay technology has led him to a simplification of production and sourcing of materials that strips ceramics back to its origins.

His important series of bowls known as '5 stones' are made from the five naturally occurring sources of porcelain in the world: Jingdezhen, China; Yanggu, Korea; Arita, Japan; Cornwall, UK and Mittagong, Australia. Harrison's investigations into these sources stretch over 15 years, from 2002 to 2017. He is interested in the origins of these porcelain sources, specifically centred around a rock called serecite, which is ground and processed into a clay body without additives. It is this sourcing and pressing, and the making of the work near the source which is of interest to Harrison. Workng on the idea of sustainability, works are made from a 50-kilometre-wide palette of materials, not only for clay and glaze materials such as local rocks, shales, gravels and ash, but also the wood that fires the kiln.

This work was wood fired with pine wood that used to grow on the artist's land prior to the devastating bushfires in December 2019. It was made from a very small deposit unearthed in the gutter on the side of the new Hume Highway.

Mount Alexander Halloysite porcelain stone, wood fired, crackle glaze (Joadja aplite stone, felspar, limestone, wood ash, cow-bone ash)
9.5 x 17.1 x 16.2 cm
Vicki Grima Ceramics Fund and Mollie Douglas Bequest Fund 2020
Accession number
© Steve Harrison