17 May 2015

Potters helping Timor/Leste

I love the generosity of potters...

One of my friends is organizing a charity event in Noosa Qld where potters donate bowls which are then filled with food for which they buy a serve and the money raised goes to a charity to help the women of East Timor (Now known as Leste). A form of "Empty Bowls" event.

After gaining their freedom from Indonesia the little country of East Timor is still doing it tough.

Here is a link to Ellen's website for details of the event: http://www.ellensappleby.com.au/#!Slow-Food-Empty-Bowls-Lunch/cvqq/555171640cf23d01648bc9d1

I've sent along two of my bowls and other members of the Port Hacking Potters Group have also donated bowls.  I hope it is very successful.

Wheel thrown, water etched bowls.  Dark Celedon Glaze fired to 1280 deg C in Reduction.

08 May 2015

A Potters April Autumn Holiday

I'm not long back from a lovely though short holiday down South in Victoria and through the Snowy Mountains to get there and back.. (click on the highlighted names for more information).

We stopped off in the Snowy Mountains to drop off our bird with a family member to look after while we were away.  Monty likes a car ride.



Travelling through the Snowy Mountains we stopped for a break at a little cafe in Khancobban which had this lovely Gingko or Maiden Hair Tree taking on its autumn colours.



 Our second night was in the lake side town of Yarrawonga where I met up with hobby potter, Dave.  We had made contact through Facebook and he agreed to meet up.  Generously inviting us to his home to meet his wife and see his studio space.  Dave also helps out at the local school and is involved in a project to make red poppies for an event in August.  Self taught, Dave brings a great enthusiasm to his work.  His 'have a go' attitude is inspiring.
As an example he made these objects from Blue Tack to then make a plaster mould and cast as jewellery. What an innovative idea!






The third night saw us in central Victoria in the town of Ballarat.  It was a boom town in the time of the Gold Rush and has some beautiful architecture. The older buildings are in the main business area. Where we were staying had been added to in the 1900s and had beautiful art nouveau decorations.

stained glass window of our accommodation built in the early 1900s

wonderful tiling along corridors (early 1900s)


Nearby was the site of the only armed rebellion in Australia, the Eureka Stockade. (link to story).  There is now an information centre and park on the site.
artist impression of the Eureka Stockade
sculpture at the Eureka Stockade memorial site

We were there for a week and enjoyed a trip to the Ballarat Art Gallery, the town of Daylesford and a day in the other gold rush town, Bendigo.

It just so happens that the first of my father's family to come to Australia landed in Bendigo in the early 1850s.  We went to the Bendigo Library and the very helpful social history librarian helped us find out where he and his wife were buried in the cemetery at Kangaroo Flat just outside the town.


The grave was in surprisingly good condition which was a comfort some how..  one of their daughters must have installed the headstone after their mother died or perhaps their only son helped to arrange it after their mother died.  The only son, my great great grandfather left Victoria to be a coal miner in Newcastle NSW.

Bendigo is now home of the Bendigo Pottery.  They were established in 1858. At first they made mostly bathroom and drainage ware but as the years progressed they became known for their homewares.  There is an interesting history self guided history tour with recorded voices conversing about their work as it would have been and the original bottle kilns are still standing much like those in Stoke on Trent in England.
mannequin showing how product was carried to the kilns when they used the bottle kilns

mannequin shovelling coal into kiln as part of  Bendigo Pottery history tour

















They also provide a potter demonstrating and the chance to have a lesson on the pottery wheel.  I had a nice chat with the potter that day, Graham Masters.

chattering tools
Graham was decorating bowls he had thrown the day before with the technique called 'chattering' which puts an interesting mark on the pots in a pattern which a master-potter such as Graham is able to vary by changing the tilt of the tool against the spinning pot.  He makes his own tools from old paint scrapers.


trimmed and chattered bowls

Bendigo Pottery yarn bowls made by Graham Masters


The buildings in Bendigo also reflect the boom times of the Gold Rush era

I liked the feel of Bendigo and would like to return one day.

Back in Ballarat we met up with another Facebook friend, Dawn Whitehand.  Dawn is a Visual Artist and writer.  Dawn's book on pit firing, "Pit Firing Ceramics Modern Methods, Ancient Traditions" is excellent and she was kind enough to sign my copy for me.

Here is a link to her site where you can buy a copy for yourself: https://dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com/publications/

Dawn generously invited my husband and I to her property where I enjoyed looking around her studio and garden and seeing her versatile pit where her firings take place.

It was lovely to receive one of her pieces, thank you Dawn. It is now with my other treasures from my pottery travels.

Pit fired Pod by Dawn Whitehand
On the way home we stopped off in the town of Shepparton for a quick visit to the Shepparton Art Museum which specialises in ceramics.

Their permanent collection is well worth the visit with early examples of Australian Studio Pottery and also exhibits contemporary artists such as Stephen Benwell.

Here are some more pics from there: 

an early example of a Paul Davis urn

Stephen Benwell display

display of early work by the Boyd family including Arthur Boyd and Merric Boyd

Well worth the visit if you are in the area.  They also run a competition for Indigenous Ceramic Artists.

Back in NSW and leaving the Snowy Mountains behind us I was taken by the wonderful autumn colours of the trees and paddocks.


It was a short holiday but very refreshing.

05 May 2015

Listed on Blog Review

Thanks to my Fb pottery friend, Dawn Whitehand of Clay Motion,  for alerting me to the fact I was listed on Pottery Review back in March...

Here is the link: http://www.potterymakinginfo.com/news/clay-blog-review-march-2015/

Its a great site that I visit from time to time so its very nice to be included.

I've been on a holiday to Victoria and will be posting all about it very soon..

when I've downloaded the heap of photos!



14 April 2015

Labourers, Luminaries and Lieutenants Exhibition



On Friday I will be delivering artwork for an exhibition being run to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of ANZAC's Day.  A National memorial day in Australia.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and is celebrated on the 25th April each year. "It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War." The Anzac's fought at Gallipoli in World War One.
It is not a glorification of war but rather remembering with respect those who died in past conflicts.

Anzac Day is remembered in various ways, from special biscuits to games of 'Two Up'..

As London remembered the loss with the red tide of ceramic poppies, Australians will be taking part in many memorial activities this year.

The college I attended is putting on an exhibition to remember the many who contributed to the nation during WW1.

My grandfather joined up in the last year of the war leaving behind my grandmother and two little boys. Fortunately he returned though his health was damaged.

My father attended this college as a young man training to be an industrial electrician.  He was not allowed to sign up for military service for WWII as he was classed as Essential Personnel and sent to keep munitions factories running among other services.

I created this artwork during my Art History classes and it has been accepted for the exhibition.
It should be an interesting and moving collection.



 The artwork shows the three generations of men in my family and their involvement in WW1 (my grandfather) WWII (my father) and Vietnam (my brother).

I will also include a pot or two or three of the herb rosemary which we use for remembrance and in particular remembrance on ANZAC Day.
the large pot was thrown on the wheel from one ball of clay - the others too but obviously not such a large ball :)



09 April 2015

Saturday stall and demo

My pottery group friends will be taking part in the Heritage Week events...

If my cold has gone I'll be there too:


Check their blog for details:  http://www.porthackingpotters.blogspot.com.au/


07 April 2015

throwing planter pots again

Well I have another exhibition requiring planter pots..

They are not fired yet so I hope all goes well...  this is the largest one and I have three smaller ones underway... will they fit in my little kiln?  Will they be dry enough in time to fire?  Stay posted and I'll let you know..


28 March 2015

Your Invited

Here is your invitation to attend the Garden Show at the Inner City Clayworkers in Glebe NSW


The show is not only for pots for your garden or veranda but lots of other knick knacks to suit as well.

Perhaps some pigs to decorate your outdoor table?

Or something green to highlight your indoor plant?

Wheel thrown planter and attached saucer. Stamped underglaze decoration under Dark Celedon glaze. Fired in Reduction.

Same firing as green planter
These blue pots are out of the same firing as the green planter.  The blue is transparent but very dark so the pattern underneath is difficult to see.  Still nice pots though.  The White planter has a small fault so I experimented... I'll be keeping that one for my own plants.


23 March 2015

Garden Show coming up

My second glaze firing finished today.  I haven't fully unpacked yet but its looking very promising.

The main items are three planter pots destined for the Inner City Clayworkers Garden Show next month.  I was thrilled to be invited to take part.  It opens on 29 April and runs until 17 May 2015.
 Correction - the dates are opens on 1st April and closes on 26 April 2015.

I'm sure there will be some fantastic works there.... not only pots but also sculptures and all sorts of things for the garden..


There are several glaze tests in this firing for future reference...  The lilac satin matt went well and one of the green glazes looks fine.  One test needs more work...


These lovely tangerine pieces were meant to be red.  I'll try again next time I glaze fire.


I had a few sales at the last stall I took part in at the Art of Living Festival..

The weather was shocking in the morning with heavy rain squalls and strong wind gusts.

We didn't bother to  put table cloths on and at times hung onto the gazebo as it blew like a sail in a gale..

Pots by Anna and Sandra in this image
I was happy that one of my new vases and that little jug found a new home  and several other pieces too.

16 March 2015

The Matchbox Show now open - runs to 21 March 2015

If you have been following my blog you will know that I entered The Matchbox Show 5th Anniversary Exhibition being held at the Brisbane Modern Art Gallery

Now that the exhibition is open I thought I would share images of my entries with you...

There were 10 pieces sent altogether.  There were two Magnolia seed pods almost identical so only one shown here.
Spot from The Breakfast Club Diaries on Facebook


Spot from The Breakfast Club Diaries on Facebook
Two Blue Fishes

Flora Snail

Gilded Snail

Guinea Flower Bud with 2 leaves

Guinea Flower Bud with gilded leaf

Jacaranda flowers, one gilded



Gilded Magnolia seed pod
It would be lovely if you could get along and see the show.  There are some very creative ceramic artists from across Australia taking part.

09 March 2015

Market at the Art of Living Festival

this is where I will be on Sunday - if you are there please stop by and say hello...