Julie Butler

I have always been interested in manipulating materials but none so much as clay. This fascinating material pushes me to my limits as I push it to its. I fire my sculptures in a large gas kiln using a reduction technique and use glazes that have evolved over the past thirty years and after much experimentation work.

My subjects vary depending on my environment at the time of making, and my works range from whimsical abstracts to highly realistic pieces. “Drawing Grace” is a sculpture of my youngest daughter who is a strong young woman exploring the world through travel. I notice her generation is very adventurous, yet faced with challenges that my own generation escaped. At first I struggled to accept that so many young people including my daughters are marking their bodies with tattoos. After some thought and discussion it is however part of who they are and part of their life journey and I have begun to accept this form of identity. As part of this acceptance I have marked the sculpture with meaningful patterns from Grace's childhood.

I have been teaching technology at Dunedin North Intermediate for eight years now. I always have a project or two on the go and I am known for my sculptures which are large outdoor pieces that are scattered in gardens all over New Zealand and in places such as Scotland and New York. These days I have just as much passion for sharing my knowledge with students and get a great deal of satisfaction teaching them about technology and art (in after school classes). I love to travel, cycle, garden, cook for friends and build furniture and sculptures.



Tomorrow's Memory

Julie Butler