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 What You See Is Not What You Get (WYSINWYG)!

See Patch?

See Patch? [1]

As a student studying Ceramics At RMIT University in the 1990’s there was a strong emphasis on the Studio tradition arising from the practice of English potters Bernard LeechShoji Hamada and Lucie Rie. Significantly linked to the Japanese Studio Pottery tradition.

I was strongly attracted to working with the clay itself particularly the dry and for me compellingly tactile characteristics of what we call Bisque Ware – low fired clay (1000 oC), not yet glazed. I felt that there was a significant emphasis in my training to make work that was glazed (essentially having a thin layer of glass on the surface) and that said work was not considered to be finished until it was glazed. Not being particularly in agreement with this position I set about engaging in a dialogue about the inherent alienation of the maker in having to cover the clay with glass.

I set about finding ways to “float ceramic pieces in glass boxes”.

I used what I knew of the study of Perception and Visual Psychophysics, from a Science degree (Psychology and Cell Biology) at Monash University.

I have produced work that in addition describing the alienation of the maker activates the viewer in ways that encourage the brain to complete objects that are not actually there.

 Psychology and the study of Perception

per·cep·tion(pər-sĕp′shən)n. Recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli based chiefly on memory. The neurological processes by which such recognition and interpretation are effected.

Gestalt Theory – The Gestalt Laws of Organisation

  • Closure principle posits that we perceptually close up, or complete, objects that are not, in fact, complete.



  • Proximity principle or contiguity posits that things which are closer together will be seen as belonging together.    !!! !! !!!!!
  • Similarity principle captures the idea that elements will be grouped perceptually if they are similar to each other.

    Similarity Principle

    Similarity Principle {2}

  • Area principle states that the smaller of two overlapping figures is perceived as figure while the larger is regarded as ground.Figure ground articulation
  • Symmetrical figure principle is that it is seen as a closed figure. Symmetrical contours thus define a figure and isolate it from its ground.   

    [] [  ] [    ] [                     ]

  • Common fate principle states that elements tend to be perceived as grouped together if they move together.

    Common Fate

    Common Fate{4}

  • Good Gestalt principle: elements tend to be grouped together if they are parts of a pattern which is a good Gestalt, meaning as simple, orderly, balanced, unified, coherent, regular, etc as possible, given the input.

    Good Gestalt

    Good Gestalt {5}

  • Continuity principle: oriented units or groups tend to be integrated into perceptual wholes if they are aligned with each other.

    Continuity Principle

  • Past experience principle: elements tend to be grouped together if they were together often in the past experience of the observer.
    Past Experience

    Past Experience


  • Wanna see some more optical illusions?


{1}  Retrieved 8 February 2014.

{2}, {3} Gestalt principles of form perception. Soegaard, Mads (2005).  Retrieved 9 February 2014.

 {4}  Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
{5} Dejan Todorovic (2008), Scholarpedia, 3(12):5345  Retrieved 8 February 2014.





“The natural melancholic beauty of things imperfect and simple.”


My greatest pleasure in making this work is to use porcelain in ways that give expression to the imperfect beauty and integrity of … material, process and human touch.

“Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional. … Things wabi-sabi are unstudied and inevitable looking. .. unpretentious. .. Their craftsmanship may be impossible to discern.”

-“Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers”, Leonard Koren, Imperfect Publishing, 1994.

Pendant Light - Cone

Pendant Light – Cone

I have been told that Japanese Master Potters will, after making perfect pots, add an imperfection to their work so as to reflect the imperfections found in nature.

“In the Japanese tea ceremony, the pottery items used are often rustic and simple-looking, with shapes that are not quite symmetrical, and colors or textures that appear to emphasize an unrefined or simple style. In fact, it is up to the knowledge and observational ability of the participant to notice and discern the hidden signs of a truly excellent design or glaze.”




I am currently teaching a range of classes at

The Centre For Adult Education (CAE)

For class details:

Bijoux Porcelain

Bijoux samples

Bijoux samples

We use porcelain to make small pieces for jewellery, buttons or unique gift tags. Thebeautiful milky whiteness of porcelain is complimented by the delicate beauty of Japanese Tissue Transfer decoration.

No experience required

Bijoux 2



An opportunity to put the skills from Bijoux Porcelain to further use or I can suggest more advanced exercises.

Bijoux Christmas

Bijoux Christmas

Bijoux Christmas

In this class we make porcelain gift tags, tree and table decorations. You will be able to easily make beautiful finished porcelain decorations with Japanese tissue transfer and porcelain. Adds a very personal touch to Christmas.

No experience required

Ceramics: Craft Your Way in Clay

A great introduction to clay and decoration. We use earthenware clay to make simple pots and plates. I will also take you through a few simple exercise to help you create your own painted designs.

Put together especially for those with no experience in clay or painting.

No experience required

Ceramic Hanging Planters

Planters 1Planters 5Planters 2


Learn the simple techniques required to make your own hanging planters. Also in the class you will find out where to get materials and have work fired so you can go on creating!