LA PALOMA POTTERY
La Paloma, meaning the dove
a spirit of hope and freedom
celebrating both Australian and Mexican traditions
of ceramic artistry and craft – made by hand
Mexican born LINO ALVAREZ arrived in Australia in 1982. Having formally studied fine arts and ceramics in his native Mexico and the USA, Lino travelled extensively throughout Europe (running a bar in Spain) then chose Australia in which to pursue a career in ceramics.
Founded by Lino in 1984 in Newtown, Sydney, the workshop soon became well-known and respected as a big pot specialist. Architects, interior designers and landscape architects discovered La Paloma Pottery as the place to go for huge urns, ground sculptures, wall features, water installations and other unique and custom-made works — many of these feature prominently in locations including The Lodge (Canberra), Deutsche Bank, the Park Hyatt Hotel and Darling Harbour (Sydney), and other public, corporate and private spaces throughout Australia...
Everything at La Paloma Pottery is bespoke... made by hand.
The raw materials arrive to La Paloma Pottery on semi-trailers. Red earthenware clay and white clay from Gulgong — which we believe has the best clay properties of Kaolin in the world — just down the road from us in Hill End. Bags of silica, calcined flint clay... pallets of raw materials all get placed in our materials and clay-making shed, ready to be made up as required. There are different recipes for producing the clay bodies specific to large works, fine works, raku, cookwares, tiles, ground sculptures — this all happens in our clay shed with our giant dough-mixer, our clay pugmill and water, hard work and time.
Glaze bodies, hand-made, sieved 3 times... there is a beautiful feel to this work, a sensuality that comes from working in the ancient traditions of clay.
Out of the ground. Into our hands. A part of our lives. Forever.
clay Clay is the result of the decomposition of granite and igneous rocks. The alkalis are leached out; quartz, mica and clay remain.
dough mixers These machines, until recently used by small bakers, have found a new lease of life in craft potteries for mixing powdered clay and bodies with water into a plastic state.
earthenware Indicates pottery ware with a porous body which may or may not be covered with glaze. The bulk of all ceramics are earthenware.
frit A ground glass or glaze. The craft potter utilizes naturally occurring minerals as far as possible. Fritts are always used on industrial pottery in order to ensure uniformity of color and other qualities, and to avoid uneven settling in the glaze batch.
glaze Ceramic glaze is a special sort of glass, differing from window-glass and glassware in its lower thermal expansion and higher alumina content, which increase its viscosity and help it to adhere to the clay body.
kaolin The name derives from the Chinese Kao – high, and Ling – hill, a ridge or mountain where it was discovered. It is synonymous with china clay, the latter name being preferable to avoid confusion with kaolinite, the pure theoretical clay substance or mineral.
kiln Called an ‘oven’ in the industry. Essentially a box of refractory bricks, into or around which heat is introduced either by combustion or by radiant heat. A kiln must be capable of reaching at least 600 C. A cooking-oven, therefore, cannot be used as a kiln.
oven ware (ovenware) There are a number of factors governing the efficiency of ceramic cooking vessels. Our chief concern is with the expansion and contraction which occurs at oven temperatures. A reasonably open-bodied earthenware dish fired below 1050 C. and with a low-expansion glaze is, theoretically, the most likely to be successful.
pottery Fired clay objects. The term is narrower in its application than ceramics.
pugmill Machine similar to a meat-mincer; the difference between the two is that the pug mill has a de-airing motor.
raku A low temperature earthenware technique involving a very rapid glaze firing cycle, the pots being placed into and removed from a red-hot kiln.
silica All ceramics are based on silica both in the body and glaze. It is the principle glass-forming oxide.
For those keen to explore.
Australian Ceramics Website of The Australian Ceramics Association, formed in 1956 (as the Potters Society of Australia) to encourage and foster the development, appreciation and recognition of potters and pottery in Australia. australianceramics.com
Ceramics: Art and Perception Website of Ceramics: Art and Perception and Ceramics TECHNICAL magazines. These magazines and website aim to set 'the international standard' with regular features on a broad range of ceramic-related topics. ceramicart.com.au
Australian Pottery 1960's to date Website/discuss forum for collectors of Australian contemporary pottery, 1960's to date. australianpottery.wordpress.com
Hill End Artists in Residence Official home of Hill End Artists in Residence Program. Run by the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, the program is funded with the support of Arts NSW, The Department of Environment and Climate Change (Parks Services Division) and Country Energy). hillendart.com.au bathurstart.com.au
Hill End.org Website of the Hill End and Tambaroora Progress Association, dedicated to promoting the historic village of Hill End, NSW. hillend.org