"Inspiration comes easily from a rich history of form, texture and colour and from just about every culture on earth plus a love and passion for what I do. After all these years I am still like a little kid at Christmas waiting to see the results and surprised from the next kiln load."
Gary Hambleton Potter
Gary was born in London, the UK, in 1958 and immigrated to Australia in 1973. He started working at Courtland’s pottery in 1974 and began his learning’s from Barry and Grenville Courtland.
Courtland’s produced a large range of Terracotta Garden Pottery in its earlier years including salt glazed stoneware. Gary considers himself to be the lucky few to have successfully completed training at Courtland’s. The training helped him to learn the secrets of the family business which have been passed down over the last 160 years in Australia. In 1979 Gary started work at Austware Pottery and made stoneware until September 1985, when he was asked to be the resident potter at the Old Cheese Factory in Balingup. Over the next threeyears Gary developed his own style of work. "The Old Stables Pottery “, his own studio, was built by Gary in 1989 where a wide range of domestic stoneware and one-off pieces were made until 2004.Gary then decided to move to the hills in Nepal. There he spent time working with potters in remote villages and learning how pots were made using primitive technology, for the last many centuries and describes his experiences there as simply “amazing”. On one of his trips back to Australia, Gary spent the summers working at the original Happs Pottery at 575 Commonage Road in Quindalup. In 2010 he moved back to Australia to start again. He has a working studio in Capel, Western Australia. Gary specializes in high temperature reduction firings (cone 11) with copper reds, Chun Ware and Jun glazes. His splash decoration techniques along with glaze layering platters are his signature style of work.
Earlier, he used to work with stoneware using slips and oxides as under glaze decoration. Most of the decorations were done while the pot was still wet on the wheel. Gradually Gary was successful in creating his own pallet that is used to this day. With years of experimentation and fine tuning the kiln design has been tweaked for maximum efficiency.
Since January 2015 Gary has been conducting glaze development workshops with Japneet Keith and other specialised skills throughout India. Apart from designing and establishing high-efficiency kilns in India,Gary teaches pottery from RedMug Studio in Chandigarh and is a visiting faculty at few of India's finest Universities. He is currently working as a potter in residence again at the Happs Studio Gallery in Dunsborough.