30 August 2012

Great time up North

If you noticed a certain lack of activity on my blog lately it was just because I was on hols with my husband.  We took a drive north up the Pacific Highway, caught up with family and friends and had a thoroughly good time.

First off, we met up with the lovely Ellen Appleby of the blog, Based in Noosa and then attended the opening of her latest exhibition at Kari out at Kenilworth.  It was a very friendly crowd and the paintings by Chris Brown added to the zing.

Ellen Appleby at the opening of her Equilibrium exhibition

Ellen's clowns and acrobats are beautifully made and the glazes used are the result of much research.
It's a lovely little gallery with an open window letting in lots of natural light.

We couldn't resist bringing 'Stoked' home with us though it was a close run between him and Gazza :^)

After the exhibition opening we drove over to a nearby town called Imbil  where we visited the new 'Gallery Frit'.  Here we found work by Michael Ciavarella - the artist behind The Matchbox Show

Later in the week we met up again and toured some very nice galleries around Noosa, including their Regional Gallery which has the sculpture exhibition/competition, SCAP3D, underway, nice to see some ceramic entries doing well here:

Entry of Petra Svoboda

Award winner by Johanne Demaine

Entry by Rowley Drysdale

We also visited the Wallace House craft centre, had a pleasant lunch at a cafe before dropping by at Quixotica, the home of Rowley Drysdale.

Rowley shows us his new Japanese style bath house which is close to completion

His Ogama kiln

Rowley at his wheel

lots of space in a tranquil bush setting

Lots more to see and do around the Sunshine Coast but it was inspiring to see so many clay artists getting their work out there.  Thanks again to Ellen for making my holiday very special.

11 August 2012

Super testing and a book to read

this week I have been testing a new clay from Blackwattle Pottery.  It's a 1200 stoneware which could be very useful if it works with the glazes I have access to at TAFE.

First I made some shrink test bars, then I threw a few little bowls

either I need some lessons from Melanie at  Eucalyptus Homewares or this clay is not so easy to use tissue tranfers on :^)

And I've also been working on a little handbuilt Staffordshire figurine inspired pigs piece

and just to keep me out of mischief I've been helping the Port Hacking Potters with their Wood Firing AND preparing for their 47th National Pottery Competition.  Check their blog for more - Port Hacking Potters Group...

Oh and then I was led to this lovely little book which is a Bio of Dorothy Hope who is the Patron of the Port Hacking Potters Group, titled "Impressions in Clay" it tells of her love of creating in clay back when there were only 2 rough earthenware clays, 1 red, 1 white, available commercially.  Her wonderful supportive husband helped her to set up their pottery near Port Macquarie on the NSW North Coast where they dug their own clay and processed it themselves - a true pioneer.

So that's me for this week.  Remember to drop by Mud Colony or check out my Facebook pages, Anna's Ceramics and Anna's Aussie Ceramics and I love comments, here or there :^)

05 August 2012

first pot and inspirations

My friend, Adriana Christianson, posed the question, do you remember the first piece you made?

Well yes, I do, and like Suzi over at The Smart Cat I still have that funny little pot. When I first learnt to throw on the wheel back in the early 1980s,  I was living in Papua New Guinea and went along to a Co-op at the University where a clay studio had been set up to help local potters learn Western methods.  I was given a demonstration, a few balls of clay and told to 'see what you can do with that'.  Well after a few false starts this is what I managed to produce and the lovely encouraging women there even fired it for me.  It has followed around over many house moves back in Australia.
wheel thrown stoneware with 'student' glaze (left overs mixed together) reduction firing

My next 'first' was a hand building night class back in Australia in the mid '80s
handbuilt, earthenware clay, oxides and brown glaze inside pot,

I think my first interest in clay came about when I was a baby :^) when I realised someone with the same name as me had made a living from working as a studio potter.
These are collectables now though very kitch they do have a certain charm - a little ash tray (do they still make those?) by Studio Anna circa 1950s - 1960s.  The 'Aboriginal' design would also be politically incorrect now. Don't forget to check out Mud Colony and maybe say hi on one of my Facebook pages, Anna's Aussie Ceramics (Group Page) or my Artist Page - Anna's Ceramics...