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February 4, 2013
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Janet Mansfield 1934-2013













JANET MANSFIELD (1934- 2013)

Janet Mansfiled (l) pictured with Goro Suzuki (c) and Jun Kaneko (r)
in Gulgong, Australia circa 2001, photo by John Neely

Early this morning, NCECA learned that potter, writer, editor and publisher Janet Mansfield had passed away in Sydney, Australia. Janet was hugely prolific in her work and international in her outlook. After training in ceramics at the National Art School, East Sydney in 1964, she initiated a career that resulted in 35 solo exhibitions, and contributions to dozens of group exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia and the US. She is represented in major public collections including The National Gallery of Australia; Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse), NSW; The National Gallery of Victoria; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Queensland Art Gallery; Festival Collection, South Australia; Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmania; Ariana Museum, Geneva; Municipal collections Jingdezhen, China; Foshan, China. Her work has appeared in international publications and she participated in symposiums, conferences and as a juror in many countries.

The international contributions that Janet Mansfield made to the ceramics community are unprecedented and unsurpassed. Combining her love of the ceramics field worldwide with her affinity for words and language, Janet was able to change the world of ceramics publication and elevate it to a new level. This does not even touch on her many accomplishments and teachings as a ceramics artist. We have lost an international treasure.

Elaine Olafson Henry, Editor/Publisher
Ceramics: Art and Perception/Ceramics TECHNICAL


A member of the International Academy of Ceramics since 1982 and former president (2006-2012), Janet Mansfield was named an Honorary Member of NCECA in 2003. Among her many awards are the Order of Australia Medal for her services to ceramic art and the Emeritus Award for Art from the Australia Council. In 2004 she was awarded a Doctor of Letters from the University of Tasmania.

As vibrant as her work was as a creative artist and educator, Janet's transformational influence on contemporary ceramics was perhaps most impactful through her work as a writer, editor and publisher. She authored six books on ceramics, served as the editor of Pottery in Australia (1976-1989); established the journals Ceramics: Art and Perception (1990–2008) and Ceramics Technical (1995–2008); and subsequently founded Mansfield Press.

Janet was present at every NCECA Conference beginning in 1992 until last year when she was unable to join us in Seattle, many of them as a presenter. Her devotion to ceramic art, personal vibrancy, intelligence and generosity of spirit made the work of makers, thinkers and writers throughout the world feel more connected, thoughtful and meaningful.

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