Janet Mansfield

Artist Statement & CV

Born: Sydney, Australia, 19th August 1934

Trained in Ceramics at National Art School, ESTC. 1964-65

To make good pots consistently is the greatest challenge. Sometimes it is possible to fluke a good pot or a fine performance but to be consistent, that is where experience and temperament play their part.

I like to experiment: different clays, different types of firing, and try out new forms that have relevance to me and the lifestyle of today.

The pots in this exhibition have been fired in three different kilns, a trolley kiln for wood-fired salt-glaze, a train kiln that is wood-fired and also salted, and an anagama kiln which relies on the effects of wood ash deposited on the work during the firing. All these kilns take their time to reach temperature and the results I seek. One firing can last several days and the high temperatures reached put the pots at risk of tumbling and distortion; it is the risk that gives the pots something extra: a richness and a spirit of independence.

In making numbers of pots, not only for the enjoyment of their forming or to fill the large kilns, is necessary in finding the rhythm and discipline of work. In this way, too, one can seek out the forms that best suit their particular purpose. After a firing one can sort out those pots that are successful; understanding the pots and what has happened to them can take more time.

Making pottery is a vocation that takes a lifetime. Making ceramic art requires all the senses as well as continual thought in order to make work that is worthwhile – aspects of our vocation we potters aspire to every day.


Thirty five solo exhibitions in Australia, Japan (1985, 88, 92) and NZ (1972, 73, 86) since 1968
National and Invitational exhibitions throughout Australia.
National Craft Exhibition World Craft Council, Art Gall. of NSW, 1974
National and Invitational exhibitions throughout Australia.
National Craft Exhibition World Craft Council, Art Gall. of NSW, 1974
Contemporary Australian Ceramics touring USA & SE Asia, 1982-84
Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis MN, 2003
Freeman Gallery, Hobart, 2003

Invitational exhibitions in many countries including:

Fletcher Brownbuilt Internationals, New Zealand
1st World Triennial of Ceramics, Yugoslavia, 1984
International Exhibition, Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, 1985
International Artists' Exhibition, Tennessee, USA. 1985
Invited Guest Exhibitor, NZ Society of Potters, Christchurch, NZ 1986
Salzbrand, Handswerkskammer Koblenz, W.Germany, 1986,89
Biennale Internationale de Céramique d'Art, Vallauris, France, 1986
Ceramics Internationalé, University of NSW, Ceramics 88, 1988.
International Artists' Exhibition, Hungary, 1988
2002. Wood Fire 89, touring various venues
Salt-glaze Exhibition, Amaury St. Giles Gallery. Tokyo. 1989
Tachikichi Corporation, Kyoto and Tokyo, 1989
Solo Exhibition Kyoto, 1998.
President of the International Academy of Ceramics Geneva, 1982, Australia, 1988, Scotland, 1990, Japan, 1996, Canada, 1998, Germany, 2000, Greece 2002, Korea 2004
Galeri b15, Munich, Germany, 1999
Galerie le Vieux-Bourg, Switzerland, 1992
Kunst and Keramiek, Holland 1993
Museums in Oslo and Lillehammer, Norway, 1993
Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 1998, 2001
Mino Kami City Festival, Japan, January, 1994
Galerie Nørby, Copenhagen, 1994
Korea symposiums (2 venues) 1994
Edmonton and Victoria, Canada, The Works Festival, 1994
Prague Museum of Contemporary Art, Czech Republic, 1994, Korea, 2001
Faenza Museum of Ceramics , Italy, 1995
Potters of Influence, Illinois, 2000
Marianne Heller Galerie, Heidelberg, Germany, 2001
Skaelsker, Denmark, 2001
Alpha Gallery, UK, 1994
Contemporary Ceramics, London, UK, 1994
Aberystwyth, Wales, 2001
University of Maine, US, 2002
Grande Dames, Arizona 2004
Handwerkskammer, Munich, 2005
Alpha Art, London + Dorset, UK, 2005

Grants and Awards

Craft Board Grants to study in USA., 1975; to research salt-glaze processes, 1976; to exhibit in Japan, 1985; to have trainees, 1986, 1987, 1988 to travel to Hungary for Symposium
Australia-Japan Foundation Grant to study in Japan, 1977
Australian Ceramic Society Biannual Award for Ceramic Design 1986
Order of Australia for Contribution to the Arts, Honours, June, 1987
Awarded Honorary Life Membership Ceramic Study Group, 1987; Canberra Potters Society, 2002
Australia Council Emeritus Award for services to art and ceramics, 1990
Ceramic Art Foundation, NY, Lifetime Achievement Award; Ceramic Millennium Award (Amsterdam) 1999
Citizen of the year, Mudgee Shire, for services to art, 2002.
Member of Honour, NCECA, 2003.
Regis Masters, Northern Clay Center, 2002.
International Festival, Wales, UK, Lifetime Achievement Award.
Honourable Doctor of Letters, University of of Tasmania 2004.
Prizes for ceramics in competitions throughout Australia


Represented in public collections including The National Gallery of Australia
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse), NSW
The National Gallery of Victoria
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Queensland Art Gallery
Festival Collection, South Australia
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmania
Ariana Museum, Geneva
Municipal collections Jinderzhen, China
Foshan, China.
Regional galleries, city & college collections in Australia and overseas including USA, Hungary, Japan, UK, NZ, Canada, Norway, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, China.

Teaching and Associated Activities

Invited participant, Spotkane Symposium, Gippsland, 1985; International Symposium, Tennessee, USA, 1985; Tasmania'86, 1986; Wood fire '86, '89 and '92
1st International Salt-Glaze Symposium, Kecskemet, Hungary, 1988
Speaker, Symposiums, Australia, Canada, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal, UK and USA
Keynote speaker, Edmonton, Canada, 1998, Perth, Australia, 1999, Hamilton, Canada, 2000
Invited by various organisations to give workshop in Australia and overseas
Invited juror, national and international competitions including Mino, Japan; Faenza, Italy; Vallauris, France; NCECA Juried exhibition, USA; Gold Coast, 1986 & 1996
Clayart, First International, USA; Fletcher Challenge, NZ; Shepparton, Australia; Hangzhou, China; APSA, South Africa; Koblenz, Germany; Ontario, Canada; Taiwan, Westerwald Prize 2004; Woodfire, USA 2004.


President Ceramic Study Group, 1968-69
President Craft Council of NSW 1972-73
President Potters' Society 1985-86
Executive Member of Crafts Council of Australia, 1971-75
Special Committees of Crafts Council of Australia since 1975
Titular Member of the International Academy of Ceramics since 1982
President of the International Academy of Ceramics since 2007
Member Art Advisory Committees, art colleges in Australia.
Member Friends of Ceramics International Committee, USA
Member San Bao International Committee, China
Honorary member various organisations


Author and Editorial work
Pottery Support Yourself Series, Collins 1986
A Collector's Guide to Modern Australian Ceramics, Craftsmen's Press, 1988
Salt-Glaze Ceramics: An International Perspective. Craftsman House. 1991.
Contemporary Ceramic Art of Australia and NZ, Craftsman House, 1994.
Ceramics in the Environment, An International Review, (A&C Black) 2005.
Currently writing: Ceramics on The Edge of Future, (A&C Black).

Recent Ceramics Catalouge

The Potter's Art Cassel Australia 1981
Editor of Pottery in Australia ,1976-1990
Editor of Ceramics: Art and Perception from 1990
Editor of CeramicsTECHNICAL from 1995

Articles, photographs and text of work has appeared in
Crafts in Australia, Women in Australian Craft, Craft Australia, Pottery in Australia, Ceramics Monthly (USA), Ceramic Review (UK), Keramic creativ (West Germany), Ceramics- A Potters' Handbook by Glen Nelson (USA), History of World Ceramics by Emmanuel Cooper (UK), Studio Ceramics by Peter Lane (UK), Ceramic Spectrum by Robin Hopper (Canada), The Potters' Manual by Kenneth Clark (UK), The Potters' Art (Australia), Keramik de Welt by Gotfried Boorman (West Germany), Ceramica Decorazione by Nino Caruso (Italy), The Masters of Modern Ceramics, 1984 (Faenza Italy) Keramos, July 1984 (West Germany), Ceramica (Spain) 1986, Arts National, 1986, New Zealand Potter, 1986, Artists and Galleries of Australia edited by Max Germaine, 1986, The New Ceramics by Peter Dormer (UK), 1987. Crafts (UK.) 1987, Craft Arts 1988. Neue Keramik (Germany), Ceramic Form by Peter Lane, (UK) Clay Statements 1 and 2 by Anderson and Hoare, Australian Ceramics at Shepparton Art Gallery , A Collector's Guide to Modern Australian Ceramics by Janet Mansfield, 1988. Hands in Clay by Charlotte Speight (USA) 1989 Salt-Glaze Ceramics: An International Perspective. by Janet Mansfield, 1991. La Revue de la Ceramic et du Verre. (France) 1992. Oz Arts, Australia. 1992. Art File, Australia. 1992. The Crafts Movement in Australia. A History by Grace Cochrane. 1992. The Complete Potters Companion 1993 by Tony Birks (UK); CraftsWest National. 1992. Western Australia. Keramik Magazin (Germany) 1994. Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery by Robert Fournier (A&C Black UK). Contemporary Ceramic Art of Australia and NZ, by Janet Mansfield. 1994, (Craftsman House, Australia); Wood-fired Stoneware & Porcelain by Jack Troy, USA; Salt-Glaze Ceramics by Rosemary Cochrane, UK; Wood fired Ceramics by Coll Minogue and Robert Sanderson, UK; Studio Practice by Andrew Young, UK; Smashing Glazes by Susan Peterson, USA; The Craft & Art of Clay by Susan Peterson; The Ceramic Surface by Matthias Ostermann, Canada; National Ceramic Magazine 2001, South Africa; The Log Book, Scotland; Salt-glazing by Phil Rogers, UK; catalogue essay in John Parker, NZ; The Persistence of Craft by Paul Greenhalgh, UK. Ceramic Members of the World by Bai Ming, 2005 ( 8 V of set)