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Ceramicist’s years of service to Goldfields art community honoured

Ceramicist Len Harmalin was celebrated last weekend with a tribute at the Golden Mile Art Prize exhibition opening in honour of his years of service to the Goldfields art community.

Len Harmalin's work on display at the Museum of the Goldfields.
Camera IconLen Harmalin’s work on display at the Museum of the Goldfields. Credit: Madeleine Clark/Kalgoorlie Miner

Mr Harmalin has been making ceramics for more than 30 years, crafting treasures and offering workshops and guidance to emerging artists.

Some of his works are on display at the exhibition and available for purchase.

Born in Egypt in 1941, he moved with his family from Alexandria to Cairo, then after losing his father, he and his mother, sister and grandmother moved to Perth in 1951.

None of his family spoke English.

He married his wife Anne in 1964 and moved to Kalgoorlie in 1966 to work in the mines as a surveyor and later a machine miner before eventually working as a geological draughtsman.

Together Mr and Mrs Harmalin raised six children, sadly losing their youngest at age 22.

After retiring and not wanting “to just waste away”, Mr Harmalin inquired with Kalgoorlie College about a photography class.

Len Harmalin's work on display at the Museum of the Goldfields.
Camera IconLen Harmalin’s work on display at the Museum of the Goldfields. Credit: Madeleine Clark/Kalgoorlie Miner

The photography class was full, so he enrolled in a pottery class thinking he would just give it a try.

He went on to complete an advanced certificate IV and associate degree in visual art at Edith Cowan University.

He than began teaching classes at Kalgoorlie College and continued to do so until it closed the arts department.

The ceramicist has many artists he admires, such as John Brit and Hsinchuen Lin, who he has learnt from over many years and continue to inspire his work.

He is a life member of Golden Mile Art and continues to teach classes and individuals in Kambalda and Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Mr and Mrs Harmalin are also enthusiastic collectors of works from many local artists.

His work is in many collections across WA and he still produces exquisite works from his studio at home and spends many hours creating daily.

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