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CLAY HACK: a series of discussions exploring alternative ways of sourcing, making, glazing and firing clay and its associated materials.

DIG IT, the first in the series, focuses on digging and working with clay as seen through varied practices of Ben Landau & Lucile Sciallano, Pie Bolton and Kate Hill.

In this session each speaker will discuss a specific project in which they sourced clay that they then produced glazed and fired work with - from working with community on site specific art works to commercial products. Each artist conceptually and by way of technique approach their project from different perspectives and all achieve the outcome of a finished body of work from clay they have sourced and processed themselves.

This panel presents a unique opportunity to join with the ceramics community to share knowledge and perspectives on clay.

This event took place on Thursday September 14 at 6 - 7:30pm.


Ben Landau and Lucile Sciallano created the experimental design studio Alterfact in 2014. Since graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2013, Lucile and Ben have worked in tandem on various issues in different mediums. They explore current and future issues and translate them into experiences, installations and objects. They conduct critical research with materials and data into the manufacture of ‘stuff’: where it comes from and where it goes; how it is made and how it will be used. They are interested in 3D printing in clay as a small batch manufacturing process, especially as it moves past a gimmick and into a feasible reality.

My practice explores the human/geological interface by examining temporality and materiality through technical testing of, and experimentation with, a diverse selection of materials including lithic fragments and plant-derived waxes. Simulating geological processes, unexpected coupling of elements, arranging and rearranging and twisting the preconceived or known serve to draw the observer in and encourages deeper consideration of scientific ideas and the environmental ‘anthropocene’ commentary running through my work.

The relevance of geology to environmental issues has come to the fore in recent years with the concept of the ‘anthropocene’ being coined, where human activity has altered most aspects of what might be found in the stratigraphy of the future. Through my own manipulation of geological fragments with ceramic (geologically aligned) processes, the inclusion of ‘ready-mades’ (ceramic substrates discarded from industry) and my own hand-built works I look forward to developing greater insights to the ‘anthropocene’. With these elements I contrast deep geological time with shallow human time.

Kate Hill is a Melbourne based artist. Her practice explores temporal engagements with place, utilising site-specific materials such as earth, clay and water to express local contexts through ceramic processes. In the past she has sourced local clay and water from sites to create functional vessels, and in the process of excavation and refinement she explores the place that the materials are coming from, the stories that are held there and the broader environmental and political questions associated with larger scale industries using similar processes. The use of video and photography juxtapose her traditional methods of making, and provide vivid references to actions, stories and place.

Images courtesy of Ben Landau and Lucile Scillano