26 October 2013

Life's ups and downs

It has been a sobering week for me.  NSW Blue Mountains are just to my West about an hours drive and a large part of them were subject to bush fires this week and although no longer threatening houses the fires are still burning.  See this link for more details: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-25/firefighters-in-control-as-blue-mountains-bushfire-threat-eases/5044770

We had some unusually hot windy days for October resulting in total fire bans but the fires were already a problem.  While my friend Sadhana was being very calm about it all,  it must have been of great concern to have to pack precious things ready to flee and to prepare to stay if possible.  It is good to stay if you are fit and have a good place to shelter as the fire storm passes over.  It is often the embers from after the fire has passed that ignite the homes so if you can stay safe you can then get out and extinguish the embers before the house starts to burn.

My husband and I live close to a bush reserve and our home was singed by a bushfire in that reserve.  This was in 1994 and it was only quick action by a Rural Fire Service team and the neighbours that saved this house.  We moved in 4 months later with the damage still to be repaired as the owners selling the place obviously just wanted out.  The RFS were from out of the area and took a wrong turn.  They were heading for the other side of the main road where 100 homes were lost but they saved this street and stopped the fire spreading to surrounding streets behind us or the count would have been much higher.

this image was taken from our verandah yesterday showing how the smoke still in the air gave an eery red glow to the setting sun.

The other event near us was the removal of 3 huge gum trees from another neighbours back yard.  These trees must have become stressed during the drought allowing them to be infested with termites and borers.  A large branch fell and narrowly missed my neighbour.  The Tree Preservation Officer from the council agreed that they all had to be removed and not just lopped.  Apparently one large branch over hanging our roof was only just hanging on as it was hollowed out inside.  Still distressing for both our neighbour and ourselves...  many times the Little Ravens have nested in those trees.  I'm sure I heard them fly over and moan at the loss the day after they were taken down.
this is the last of them about to come down.  The tree loppers needed a large cherry picker to get to them.  It has changed our landscape however our homes are now safer.

this is how I felt while all this was going on...

and this will be me when the fires are out and our neighbour grows her replacement trees

these Christmas angels are in a bisque firing and I hope to glaze them tomorrow.
Take care, stay safe if you are in the bush this summer... and some good rain would be nice :)

14 October 2013

Upcycling and a stall on Friday

On Friday 18th October, I , along with two other Port Hacking Potters will be having a stall in the foyer of Sutherland hospital on the Kingsway at Caringbah.

We will be selling some of our own work but also selling the Left Overs from the Empty Bowls project we were involved with a few weeks ago.
It was very successful - see here: Port Hacking Potters Empty Bowls Project
or on Facebook : Empty Bowls Project

I had some recent pieces that had a few problems but were still OK so I decided to Up-cycle them..

They should find a new home - we will be there from 9.30am to 3pm.

12 October 2013

Making a Load

I am in the process of making enough pots to load a kiln on my own. It is a fairly large kiln and I have usually shared it with others in the past.
As I fire to 1280C for my porcelain and the stoneware I use can also go that high I am making a mix of items with both clays.

I have some jugs, some bowls, some Christmas tree hangers, some tea light holders and a couple of teapots so far.  I hope to have some slip cast platters too..

trying out the new Graffito paper on leatherhard clay ..

these are textured with wall paper and then the prints added

I tried a new coloured porcelain casting slip..
Made it too thin and took it apart too soon -  will try a single piece mold next time.

So a bit of decoration coming up too...

Remember I have a Facebook page: Anna's Ceramics

and check out the other studio potters posts on Mud Colony blog who also have a Fb group of the same name.Hope you join us :^)