We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Joadja aplite native porcelain stone, Australia



Steve Harrison

England, Australia

1952 –

Alternate image of Joadja aplite native porcelain stone, Australia by Steve Harrison
Alternate image of Joadja aplite native porcelain stone, Australia by Steve Harrison
Alternate image of Joadja aplite native porcelain stone, Australia by Steve Harrison
  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    Joadja aplite native porcelain stone, wood fired, Joadja stone glaze, local limestone flux
    7.5 x 12.9 x 12.7 cm
    Purchased with funds provided by the Vicki Grima Ceramics Fund and the Mollie Douglas Bequest 2020
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Steve Harrison

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Steve Harrison

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Over a career stretching back to the 1970s Steve Harrison has been many things: ceramicist, technologist and environmental activist. These roles feed in to Harrison’s practice as a potter which has a distinctive link to the traditions of Bernard Leach. Leach advocated simple and utilitarian forms and saw pottery as a combination of Western and Eastern arts and philosophies. These traditions were transmitted through the regional outpost of the National Art School, Sydney, and the founder of the ceramics department there, Peter Rushforth, who was highly influential on Harrison. Rushforth’s work married a distinctly Japanese folk craft tradition with the colours of the Blue Mountains landscape where he lived and worked. Harrison's work echoes this style.

    Harrison’s ceramics take simple forms - specifically bowls and cups as a vehicle through which to articulate concerns around ceramic history, the environment, and a way of life based upon trying to touch the ground lightly. His research into kiln and clay technology has led him to a simplification of production and sourcing of materials that strips ceramics back to its origins.

    His important series of bowls known as '5 stones' are made from the five naturally occurring sources of porcelain in the world: Jingdezhen, China; Yanggu, Korea; Arita, Japan; Cornwall, UK and Mittagong, Australia. Harrison's investigations into these sources stretch over 15 years, from 2002 to 2017. He is interested in the origins of these porcelain sources, specifically centred around a rock called serecite, which is ground and processed into a clay body without additives. It is this sourcing and pressing, and the making of the work near the source which is of interest to Harrison. Workng on the idea of sustainability, works are made from a 50-kilometre-wide palette of materials, not only for clay and glaze materials such as local rocks, shales, gravels and ash, but also the wood that fires the kiln.

    This work is made from 100 per cent ground Joadja Aplite porcelain stone, mixed with water. A small amount of the body exposed to the flame at the base shows the body texture and colour.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Steve Harrison

See all 13 works