Bill Powell was born in Victoria in 1959 and moved to Queensland in 1971. He completed the Fine Arts Diploma at the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, majoring in ceramics. He then went on to establish his own studio on the Gold Coast in 1980.
The original focus of this studio was functional wares, selling a wide range of pieces on the local and interstate art and craft market circuit. Throughout the years Bill honed his wheelthrowing skills as a contracted production potter within many Queensland potteries, quickly developing a reputation as a master of the pottery wheel.
The past decade has seen an enhanced emphasis on the one-off expressive piece. The functional heritage is still in evidence, but the direction is one of high quality and increased attention to detail. Bill’s signature technique is the inclusion of crystal glazes. Each piece is unique and unreproducible in its design. All pieces are hand signed and individually serial numbered.
“The exploration of the clay as a medium has been my lifelong passion. I utilize multiple creative processes. Colour, form and texture still remain at the centre of my creative process. A mastery of the potter’s wheel and crystal glazes, along with a new-found fascination with casting techniques and glass-work, have allowed me to explore a mix of media that is unique in the art form. My latest pieces explore the translucent nature of glass in combination with, and in contrast to, the space-defining clay object.”
With his recent work Bill continues to engage with ceramics and glass, combining both in new and original designs that succeed in marrying the seductive nature of glass with the enduring traditions of the ceramic form.
From the finely poised compotes with their delicate turned bases and floating glass bowls to the well-presented glass-centred plates bowls and platters, all of Bill’s artwork displays a commitment that stands in evidence of his thirty year career path, a career engrossed in colour and patination of the technically difficult crystal glaze.
“These forms draw upon a vast history of ceramics and act as a canvas for my obsession with the random and organic crystal growth patterns within my glazes. Subtle they are not. I have never been a devotee of the minimalist aesthetic. To me, more is much more. I value true craftsmanship. In this 21st century when all is fast and furious, I feel a need to slow the process down and rekindle the elusive art of the hand made.”