Les Blakebrough (b. 1930) is one of Australia’s most respected ceramic artists. He is best known for the type of translucent porcelain he developed called ‘Southern Ice’ porcelain. Fired at 1300 degrees Celsius, this material has the ‘whiteness of snow and a translucence of ice’.
It is now used by ceramicists worldwide and features in the practice of another NAS alumni, Juz Kitson. Blakebrough’s works in porcelain have an ethereal simplicity and visual purity. In ‘Three tilted bowls’, a recent work from 2016, he set each bowl on an individual angle of tilt, side by side.
Wave-like lines are carved into the unglazed outer wall of each form, poetically articulating the gentle undulations of the sea. The artist says, ‘My local environment in Coledale informs what I do; the brooding presence of the sandstone escarpment, the energetic forces of the ocean and the beautiful lines of the waves rising and falling.’
Images: Les Blakebrough AM, Three tilted bowls, 2016, southern ice porcelain, 12.5 x 17 cm (each). National Art School Collection, donated by the artist via the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, 2018; © the artist