19 July 2014

A trip up the coast

Just back from a few days up the coast to a place called Tea Gardens.
The weather was cold and windy but fine.  We had a nice warm unit to go back to each day so enjoyed ourselves.

the next village is called Hawks Nest but the hawks came across the river to visit us
we drove along the coast and stopped at this beach access - the colour of the water would make a beautiful glaze

a wonderful feeling driving through the bush - here near the Myall Lakes

and here on the dirt road to the west of the highway























on our way back to Sydney we called in to visit a potter, Marian Marcatli who makes some beautiful porcelain pieces. Check her website here: ceramics--by-marian

Marian also makes wonderful pink macaroons with creamy pink filling.  Thanks Marian for your hospitality.


13 July 2014

clay alternatives

What does one do when one can't play with clay?

Well the weather is cool and so I've been doing some knitting..

these are blanket squares knitted on the diagonal.. so easy for anyone not skilled at knitting...
just cast on 3 stitches then K1, increase 1 in next stitch, knit to end of row. Continue until edge equals 25cm then reduce by K1 K2 together, knit to end of row repeat until 3 stitches remain, cast off.

I'll be sending them off to a charity to be made into blankets for needy people.

Probably this one - an Australian volunteer group: Wrap with Love, the pattern is on this site..

I also like to cook some 'extras' in this cool weather.  I use a gluten free flour and recipes I've collected over the years.. some work better than others with gluten free flour.. these worked OK..


Jam drops with plum jam and some have coconut sprinkled on top..  if you called by expecting something about pottery/ceramics then I can recommend hopping over to Sunday Ceramics - the blog linkup for those who play with clay...


09 July 2014

Tissue prints, cold weather and a broken foot


It is ages since I have been able to get into my studio.. I have an almost healed broken foot and have been lugging around one of those 'moon boots' or walking splints for a month now... at last I can take it off for short periods to walk around the house.. still no driving which is so restricting... just as well my husband can drive me to do the shopping at least.

Its the middle of winter here in Sydney, the minimum temperature last night was 3.7 degrees Celsius - it would be easy to stay in bed on such cold mornings.

Before the enforced break from my studio I did make and bisque 3 bottles.  Just tiny ones that a customer was looking for when I last had a stall.  They can be used as bud vases.  In the warmth of my kitchen I decorated one this afternoon with tissue prints.  The glaze can be applied straight over the top without having to bisque again.


01 July 2014

Teapot Show 2014

The Sydney Teapot Show is at the end of this month - official opening is 1 August but I'll need to have my entries in before then...

I have two little tea bowls to go with one of them.  They are either his and her tea bowls or summer winter tea bowls.. and will be offered as an extra to go with the teapot.


Here is your invitation to come along during the month of August.  There will be Amazing teapots there - can't wait to see what my friend Tanya of Hop'n Frog Pottery will present this year...  that's her "Jonah Saves the Whale" entry from last year in the bottom right hand side of the invitation - such a clever lady.

Might see you there - Inner City Clayworkers in Glebe.



21 June 2014

Congratulations Chinaclay on your first anniversary

Today I visited China Clay the terrific little gallery at Clovelly.

The manager, Cath Fogarty is always friendly and has such a tremendous clientele of the cross section of Australian contemporary ceramic artists.

Her own work is beautifully feminine - call by if you are over that way.  

Bowl by Cath Fogarty

15 June 2014

my very own little kiln...

I recently purchased a second hand kiln!
Yes very exciting...
it is tiny, only about 30cm by 30cm but I'll be able to fire and glaze without having to transport pieces.


A few housekeeping things to be done first AND I need to work out how to use the controller...

its not one I've seen before


rather a learning curve in store for me ...

Kim's Sunday Ceramics linkup is open today so hop over and check out for other pottery blogs

or I might see you on Facebook - Anna's Ceramics

09 June 2014

Euan Craig's visit to Sydney

I had the great privilege of attending a demonstration and talk by Euan Craig, the potter from Japan.
I've been following his blog for many years now - click on the name to be taken to his site.

During the terrible aftermath of the earthquake that wrecked his home and kiln in 2011 Euan wrote in heart rending terms of the experience and the hope of rebuilding.

Well he has rebuilt and now has a new kiln and a new home.  While I knew his story from his blog, it was a moving experience to see those images again and to hear him personally recount that story as he gave a presentation before getting on the wheel.


To see a professional potter working is a real joy. Both inspiring and daunting at the same time.  There is no way I could manage the 12 kgs of clay he centred on the wheel and then proceeded to quickly throw bowls from 'off the hump' as us westerners call it.  Apparently that is the usual way work is made in Japan and for them throwing one piece at a time on the wheel head is more unusual.



Euan had thrown some work a couple of days earlier so we could see him trim some bowls.


 He then made a footed bowl using pulled handles that he looped over...



Euan trimming base of large vase
 He had also previously thrown the base of a large vessel and proceeded to throw the top part of it ready to join the two together to make a tall vase..
base of large vase. untrimmed bowls in foreground.

base of large vase trimmed

Rope patterned marking is a trademark decoration for Euan Craig

joining the two parts

The vessel being finished off...
There are more images on his Facebook page here: Euan Craig The Potter in Japan

I was delighted to meet Euan in person and to be able to bring home a small example of his work which I purchased .. a fine addition to my small collection...

wheel thrown bowl by Euan Craig 2014




01 June 2014

Travels - Part Three _ Wales

After leaving the Isle of Man we flew to the UK and spent a few days with my husbands relatives before driving to Wales.

Fortunately the UK and Australia both drive on the left hand side and with a Sat Nav and a competent driver like my husband, it was an enjoyable adventure.

We stayed in Penally which is not far from Tenby...

Penally garden - Yukka plants are a popular exotic in both the UK and Ireland


close up of Clematis vine on fence - many varieties all over Ireland and Wales (they are not easy to grow in my Sydney coastal area as they need cool roots to flower.)

Tenby is a popular holiday town




 We wanted to see the countryside and compare the old South Wales with our New South Wales...
Welsh country road
not much room to pass and oncoming vehicles appear suddenly but everyone is happy to let you pass, just take turns pulling over where you can

Welsh country road with view

But what about the pots I hear you ask...

Well what a treat..
We discovered the prettily located Gwili Pottery
Gwili Pottery, Pontarsais, Carmarthen, Wales UK

where we met Chris, the maker/thrower and her decorator of the day, Kelly. Usually Chris's daughter, Sarah does the decorating but Kelly helps out when she has time from her own business, Kelly Edwards Skincare
Chris at work in the studio
Mugs in the making

We had a lovely chat with them both about clays and firing and decorating with slips and a gorgeous mug has found a new home in my kitchen.

decorating undeway


Kelly working with slips to decorate a bowl

the mug which came home with me


The pottery has a Facebook page: link here  and a website: link here.

The Welsh town names are fascinating and quite unpronounceable to my Aussie tongue..
I had heard a lot about Aberystwyth  in regards to pottery and so we took a drive to check it out...

I should have done some better research before getting there, The Arts Centre is at the University and from the road appears to be a venue for performing arts only... after checking with the Tourist Info office we found it was the right place afterall, so back we went and I had an hour or so of browsing while my better half read a book.

It was such a treat:

Michael Cardew

Elizabeth Fritsch was one I admired while researching handbuilding during my studies

Lucie Rie bowl

Lucie Rie narrow necked vessel

Lucie Rie - same bowl showing inside

Lucie Rie - narrow necked vessel

Hans Coper - vessel

another Elizabeth Fritsch vessel

Contemporary student work - amazing detail - 40? shades of grey

Love the precision of these yellow bowls too
a nod to the Welsh traditions


Raku pigs and sheep - had seen these in a book/mag before but so good to see them in the flesh





From Wales we spent a few days in Somerset before packing for our return to Sydney in a dear little village called DowlishWake which is the home of Perry's Apple Cider.


Perry's Cider

the apple orchard




















And then it was back home to get over my jet lag so I could attend a talk and demonstration by Euan Craig The Potter from Japan.  Watch the next post...

Remember to check Kim's link up over at Frogpondsrock  for more pottery blogs.

or I might see you on Facebook: Anna's Ceramics