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Image © Courtesy of Artist

Julie Excell

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Julie Excell began her ceramics journey in England, making wheel thrown domestic ware as an apprentice. Now she primarily uses hand building, crafting pots from her home studio in East Fremantle. A member of The Australian Ceramics Association and under their auspices held a successful Open Studio in November 2021, she is also a member of the Ceramic Arts Association of Western Australia. In April last year Julie's entry won the Kusnik Award for Excellence at their biennial show at EarlyWork Gallery. Julie's ceramic practice is about shaping form out of clay by hand building. It is a deliberately slow method of making that allows her to work the clay towards my realisation of its inherent form. This is usually a vessel, which may be sculptural and functional. The process of making by pinching and coiling allows Julie to creatively explore the material properties of plastic clay as it is pushed, pressed, squeezed and stretched into being something. This act of crafting is both intuitive and considered. It is exciting and satisfying to craft an object that emerges from these particular interplays, imparting a vitality and mystery to the resultant inanimate object. Julie recently commenced making a series of porcelain vessels inspired and influenced by past generations of women in her family whose hands were always busy crafting; sometimes weaving utilitarian objects for the home, baskets and mats. The act of making itself is Julie's motivation; the continual improvement process of testing, making and evaluation being an integral and exciting part of the ever-evolving creative process.