30 June 2013

Fired plus decorating

More meetings this week for the Empty Bowls Project (check it on Facebook Here) - we have prices for places and will soon be putting out the call for works for the Silent Auction.

I picked up a few pieces of my own that were fired along with arts students works at Hazelhurst.  These had been sitting around for a while and I'm fairly pleased with the results.

Wheelthrown stoneware (Keanes Ironstone clay) Shino Glaze, Gas firing

I think their kiln did not reduce very much as I expected the Shino glaze would have given more colour to the Ironstone clay.  These will be going to the Empty Bowls project.

Wheelthrown porcelain, pierced Shino glaze Gas firing

This one is for a tealight.  I enjoy the piercing but glazing takes forever, getting the glaze out of all the holes.  I used a Chinese tissue print inside and also underneath which is not visible here.

Wheel thrown porcelain, pierced, light Celedon glaze Gas firing
This one has more holes.  I've varied the size of the holes which also adds to the tricky glazing.

Today I expected to do some glazing and then go onto decorating some more bowls (these)...
wheelthrown stoneware with yellow slip

however I found my bucket of glaze was getting rather mouldy!  The small amount left of the previous mix was still fine so I can only think it is because I used a recycled bucket which previously held icing sugar (commercial size) and perhaps it wasn't cleaned enough.  Sooo, sieved it into another 2 smaller buckets, washed it out with bleach and put it all back THen started glazing.  Why is it that glazing always takes longer than you expect?? even when you don't need to get rid of mould in your bucket...
Soo that's me for this week, drop by Mud Colony to see what the others have been up to... most of us also have a Facebook page and I have a Facebook Group too, Anna's Aussie Ceramics.

21 June 2013

Teapot Show invitation, woodfire exhibition

During the week I received my copies of the invites for the Sydney Teapot Show and oh my gosh I only have one teapot complete!!
One has been bisqued and one about to be so I sure hope I get them into a glaze firing very soon...

Mark your diary now - the teapots are always amazing... lots of interesting themes for makers to go wild with....

Tonight I am not long back from the opening of Woodfire 2013 a tribute to Janet Mansfield at the Kerrie Lowe Gallery in Newtown.
The opening was talk by Bernadette Mansfield and Neil Mansfield a moving account of Janet's contribution to the Australian and International ceramics community.

Works by every well known wood firer you might think of, Judy Boydell, Barbara Campbell-Allen, Ray Cavill, Zak Chalmers Len Cook, Geoff Crispin, Rowley Drysdale, Steve Harrison, Chester Nealie, Sandy Lockwood, Susie Mc Meekin, Owen Rye, Peter Rushforth, Yuri Wiedenhofer, the list goes on....

I am not a woodfirer myself though I quite enjoy the process of stoking the fire and waiting for the results, will we get flashing, will the ash form a nice glaze, etc.  This was a must see exhibition though and there was some beautiful pots on display and lots of red stickers by the end of the night.

Some fortunate person will be taking home a very large urn shaped pot by Chester Nealie that has the most wonderful greens and markings.

The other works I enjoyed were some nice beakers by Janine King with a pumice glaze which she tells me she developed as a student and recently rediscovered.

Some lovely little squared off beakers by Zak Chalmers, a green jug by Susie McMeekin and a set of pots by Len Cook.

It was also interesting to see works by Peter Rushforth which were not for sale and of course some amazing pots by Janet Mansfield herself.

An enjoyable exhibition so do call by if you are anywhere near Newtown before the 9 July.

the scene at Opening night, Woodfire 2013 Kerrie Lowe Gallery Newtown

This is my post for this week Mud Colony so make sure you link over and see what else is going on around the studios.  And if you like the wider craft scene check out Artists in Blogland.

16 June 2013

Bowls, slipped and carved

another set of bowls made this weekend for the Empty Bowls Project.

I use a white stoneware clay, Keane Ceramics #7, decorated with a tan slip and then carved into them in various designs.
I am hoping that the carving will enhance the effects of an Ohata glaze in an electric firing.

They will need a tidy up before being bisque fired but they are looking fine so far.

11 June 2013

Mudcolony Adventure

Mud Colony Bloggers Weekend Adventure.
The weekend was a holiday weekend in Australia and 6 members of the Group blog, Mud Colony met up to tour the Southern Gippsland area of Victoria.
With my bags packed I headed to the airport on Friday morning for the flight to Melbourne where the beautiful founder of Mud Colony, Adriana Christianson, met the four of us that arrived from all points of the compass.
There was myself from Sydney, Sadhana from the NSW Blue Mountains, Marian from Northern NSW and Kim from Tasmania and we were joined later by Truly Southurst, a potter from Melbourne.

We were given a whistle stop tour of the major (potters) points of interest, the exhibition space, Small Pieces at Northcote Pottery
Small pieces, Northcote Pottery
loved this little scene - apologies to the maker whose name I missed. ( see comment from Small Pieces, these are by Anne Ferguson).

Then over to Craft Victorias gallery in the city,

these works in their window are by Kim Jaeger of PotHeads.  Lots of other clever, beautiful, works inside..

We popped in to view a couple of other nearby galleries - no pic of those but I'm sure the others will have images if you follow them on Mud Colony.

After lunch at the Vic Markets we headed off to the Sth Gippsland and our home for the weekend.

On Saturday we visited Robert Barron's Gooseneck Pottery Kiln Opening and Winter Exhibition.  He is based in a beautiful rural area called Kardella to the west of where we stayed.

We were treated to the array of amazing works from his latest firing, a talk about the kiln and a demonstration of throwing on his motor assisted kick wheel.

Kim and Adriana arriving at Gooseneck Pottery
the garden at Gooseneck Pottery with Banksia flowers
The fishpond

a taste of more to see

another taster..
an overwhelming array of beautiful pots set out on the deck

another view of the array of pots for sale
bottles by Rob Barron
shark and teapot on the kiln's throat arch

I found a beautiful little bottle in this selection in front of the wood pile

Rob Barron gave us a demonstration on his adapted kick wheel.  Note in the first couple of images above he is bashing the clay with a thick wooden tool to do the initial centering.

Back to our house for the night with a stop off to admire the view as the sun set over the bay...

The next day was another adventure as we drove thru the farming area to get to our next wood firing potter, Zak Chalmers place - Valley Plains Pottery.

A beautiful family home and working pottery with his own gallery space, Zak's work is very different from that of Rob Barron's though Zak worked  alongside Rob to gain experience.

Sadhana admires the outdoor gallery

the indoor workshop and gallery

Zak gave us a tour of his two kilns..

Zak's little helpers

What a grand view!!

the Mud Colony Adventurers - L to R, Anna, Truly, Kim, Sadhana, Adriana and Marian

what do blogger/Facebookers do? Why post of course! LOL!

we were taking images of our spoils

my share of the spoils - this little tiny salt fired bottle from Gooseneck Pottery
and this delightful pourer from Valley Plains Pottery.

A big thank you to Adriana and the other potters for a memorable weekend.
PS: Thursday and now added to the Mud Colony group blog :) 

02 June 2013

Porcelain Pens on a Rainy Sunday

Its cold and wet in Sydney this Sunday morning.  With luck it will clear this afternoon and we will have sunshine again tomorrow.

This last week I have used the wonders of Facebook to gain some useful information. Yes, pottery related of course.

As part of the Empty Bowls Project ( a world wide phenomenon, click here to see more about it) my local pottery group are putting on in August, we are asking well known celebrities to sign bowls which will then be offered at a Silent Auction at the event.  As you might know, writing on clay has some technical issues.  We tried a ceramic pencil on a bisqued pot and were not happy with the result.

Thanks to my Facebook contacts it was suggested we try a porcelain pen (like a texta) and below is the test on one of my seconds.

Porcelain pen test in black

Porcelain pen in blue

These pens are readily available from Spotlight stores near their glass painting supplies.

They need to be tested on paper first.  As you can see the blue one had a bit too much ink in the marker when I first got the ink flow into the point.  The black one is a better line as I was more careful.
To set the ink, just bake in the kitchen oven for 90 minutes at 160deg C.

Much easier for a novice to use.  I think it has general application possibilities too.
Posting this over on the group blog link up,
Mud Colony or drop by my Facebook page, Anna's Ceramics.