In 1970 Ken Ford met with Peter Rushforth at East Sydney Technical College, The National Art School to discus the possibility of joining the certificate course. He started the full time course in 1972. “They were amazing times” he says “a whole new world was opening up to me and I was certainly in good company”* The certificate course was a full on program at 30 hours face to face training per week!!! These days that is unheard of in even the most prestigious of facilities. Ford’s journey had begun and his passion for ceramics and art in general has never wained.
- (The good company referred to here included some fellow students who became big names in ceramics and a bunch of teachers including Peter Rushforth, Derek Smith, Joan Grounds, Bernhard Sham , Col Levy , Diogenes Farri, Shiga Shigeo, and Peter Travis. )
On completion of the ceramics certificate Ford established a small pottery studio in Brookvale, a suburb of Sydney’s northern beaches. While building a gas kiln and buying equipment Ken worked as a screen printer making high quality advertising material. A skill that he utilised later in his ceramic practice.
In 1976 Head Pots was Ford’s first solo show at Macquarie Galleries in King St Sydney. Ceramic sculpture, mainly thrown vessels altered as anthropomorphic forms with reference to popular culture and cultural differences/stereotypes. A theme that has never been far from the coal face in a 50 year practice.
In 1976 Ford moved to the Rainbow Region – Northern Rivers of NSW in search of the alternative life.
He then returned to Sydney in 1977 to take a position of Attendant in Ceramics at Alexander Mackie but the country called him back.
Between 1978 and 1982 Ford used studios of other potters to keep in touch with his craft. Upside Down Pots and Daemon Garden Pots being the highlights.
Mountain Pottery was established at Larnook in 1984 when he purchased a block of land and has been Ford’s home base since then.
to be continued…...