This is important. Plus enough of an explanation. During Petrus’ childhood, the informative years, he spend most of his time either reading, making things or, weather permitting, playing in his sandpit.
Changes in his professional life came about in interesting ways. The contributing factors, or new starting off points, always seemed steeped in difficulties of one kind or another:
Having no money to start with, which became an advantage, in that it practiced the creative aspect of the mind.
The money becoming tight as a result of the recession, which brought about another major change.
Finding himself spending time in Boston and going to free lectures at Harvard and consequently being introduced to the Japanese tea ceremony and its tea bowls. This set the course of his bowl making.
Getting stuck in the work and not seeing a way ahead. This is how he decided to apply for a Korean residency. This was successful and brought with it a huge change in his life.
Working with the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. Seeing the world through their eyes, and what a rich world that was.
The basic driver for Petrus’ work is his desire to make beautiful things with his hands. Hands which are connected to the heart.
After his education at the S.A. school of art, Petrus hitch-hiked around the world for 8 years, seeking out places of ceramic interest. Especially places where the making and firing of ceramics was still a simple exercise. He examined the basic techniques of making and firing of all kinds of ceramics.
Upon his return to Australia he set up his studio in the Flinders ranges, build an adobe house and started his ceramic career with his particular ceramic expression of burnished, black-wood fired bowls.
Exhibitions, competitions and presentations resulted. His work was being collected by private and corporate institutions and all went well until the recession of the late eighties, when it became especially hard to make an income from ceramic work.
Petrus recalls how at that time his mother told him that as a child he was always working in the sand pit. He took that suggestion. He learned about sand and started to play with the material. Then created a number of architectural pieces. These formed the basis for a series of ephemeral sand artworks in the street. Commissions for art festivals followed. This, in time, led to the creation of The Architectural Fragment. A longer lasting blue stone work in Swanston Street Melbourne.
The economy picked up and Petrus returned to his ceramic work. This part of his ceramic journey started with a residency in Korea. An experience which brought about a new direction in his work and attitude. He wrote a book about it.
Petrus is on a constant learning journey, because he believes that “learning is the best healer”.