Tuesday, 30 April 2013

It's only Wednesday!!!!!

This can't be true, Wednesday already. I'm sure it's been six weeks since I left home. What a wonderful time I'm having, this is the fifth Gulgong I've been to and each one is fantastic. I will post photos of what's happening as there's no time to write.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Gulgong or Bust

On the way to Clay Push in Gulgong NSW. Over the Great Dividing Range in fog (1), through central Queensland and New South Wales (2) through Dunedoo to Gulgong (3), a ten and a half hour drive.

Gulgong is an historic town where many of the original buildings remain. Dame Nellie Melba sang in the old opera house in the main street.(4 & 5)

This morning Kim and I went up to register at what is called Red Hill. I recall gold was first discovered at this spot in Gulgong. Delegates were putting their wares out on long tables to sell or swap in the large marquee set up for demonstrations (6).

Tonight we kick off with a welcome at the Bowling Club along with dinner, and the main action starts tomorrow (7).

A line up of interesting Masters and presenters ahead (8).

Monday, 22 April 2013

Clayless in Brissie

Clayless this week as I've been busy with other things. Friday I helped Kate make 120 or more cup cakes for an engagement party and we both remarked how similar the experience was to using clay. Pouring the batter/slip, kneading the icing/clay before rolling and assembling.

Saturday Geoff and I went to a Stradbroke Island wedding which was wonderful, a real country wedding with such sincerity and warmth that it brought tears to our eyes.

Today Kim and I met to plan our trip to Gulgong, we're excited! Delegates are given space on large tables to sell work, I hadn't planned to take anything as I don't have much work available but found some celadon plates and cups I had made ages ago which I have wrapped up to take. They were from an ocean series of work glazed with a beautiful crazed, green celadon with a small Lino cut impressed into each plate with wave like carving covering a small area. The celadon is much greener and has a lot of depth to it than can be seen in the photo.

Photographs below
1. Slip casting or batter pouring
2. Slab rolling
3. Finished product
5. Wedding under the Camphor Laurel tree NSI
6. Plates bound for Gulgong
7. Plate detail

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

11 days to Gulgong

The countdown has begun. I've set the route in my maps app, only a ten hour trip! But it is worth every agonising kilometre, it's CLAY PUSH in Gulgong NSW. It's on every three years and I've been going since 2001. It's a week of intense clay exposure with master potters, demos, show openings, old friends, take a look at the website http://gulgong2013.com/ and go if you can. My friend Kim and I are driving down on Saturday 27th April and we are very excited.

There will be one very sad omission from Gulgong this year. The woman who started the events in 1989, Janet Mansfield, died recently. She will be greatly missed not only in Gulgong but within the ceramic community world wide. What a woman, a big hero of mine.

My dear friend Robin Roberts in Tasmania sent me some images of recent work using Raku. It's on its way to a gallery, images I will place below. I was concerned that he had abandoned clay for photography but he has seen the error of his ways and is back into it successfully by the looks of it. He does take wonderful photographs as well. Look at his website. http://www.robinroberts.com.au/ceramics

I've gone off the boil with my shed activities for a few days with family activities but I quickly did some sgraffito on the small sugar and creamer. After very good suggestions from my friend Susan I am going to try graded colour which I think will work better.

The Twilight Markets at Cleveland and the Straddie markets are being held one weekend while I am in Gulgong but I'll be back.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Back to the shed

Dropped into "Drift" at Point Lookout this afternoon, Jennie had emailed me to say all the pots I'd given to her after the market last weekend had been sold in two days, yippee! It is great to have a local gallery carrying my ceramics I should have made work for Jennie sooner.

It's been a wet, wet, wet, weekend. The rain has been pouring down and nothing is drying in the shed and it feels like watching paint dry. I was wanting to make some other work besides market work as it seems I've been doing nothing else for months. Well my wish has come true and I've had a shot in the arm. I've been invited to join an exhibition of mixed work, paintings, ceramics etc. The shore birds workshop has had ideas buzzing in my head so I think I will make a series of pieces based on the birds who are just about to leave for their long journey north for winter. It means a lot more walks at low tide on the mud flats with the binoculars, I will mull it over and see what else comes into my mind. I'm excited!

I've been throwing some small creamer jugs and sugar bowls along with hand making some spoons to go with them. I have been gathering pieces of driftwood on my walks and will make handles out of them. I have to shape the end of the wood to fit in the spoon head as you can see below.

A photo of Main Beach at dusk the other evening when I was looking for turtle hatchlings, but no luck. The black line along the water line is pumice from some long ago eruption of a volcano.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

A busy weekend

Time is flying by, so much I want to do but too little time. Straddie markets again yesterday and thankfully I am not as anxious as I was in December when I began my marketing career. Apart from the abysmal market on the Easter Saturday I cannot complain. All the other markets have surpassed my expectations. Customers are returning to buy more work and I find this so thrilling. Thank you if you are a customer reading this.

A very nice fellow who goes diving off Straddie and bought a carved shark beaker last year, returned and has left me a long list of sea creatures he sees diving. He is so enthusiastic that I want to make him beakers illustrating each creature and give them to him. Not good for business but I feel like that whenever anyone really likes my work.

After yesterday's market I went to see the "Straddie Turtle Lady" to report my green turtle find. She runs a great little shop of paintings, ceramics and other interesting things she sources from Straddie and elsewhere. After my husband, Geoff, and I had seen Jennie and gave her the location of the turtle and scratched the surface of her vast knowledge about turtles, we offered to be turtle finders for the nesting season from October to December. It will mean getting up at whenever low tide occurs which may be the middle of the night to go to the causeway where we found the turtle and monitor the beach in that area. We will be saving Jennie having to do the whole beach by herself. I am very excited about this although I may not be so enthusiastic after doing it for a few nights in a row.

Jennie has requests for local artist's work from tourists and I have been remiss not seeing her earlier. I wanted to make a range exclusively for her shop but haven't had time, but as I still had work in the car from the market I selected a few pieces and she bought them on the spot. I have also had people seeking me out in my shed for work so I am getting busier and busier. I am getting low on stock so will have to put my head down.

We also went to a wonderful shore bird lecture all day Saturday put on by Wetland Care and Birds Australia. Dan, the lecturer, filled our heads with tons of information before going out onto the shore with our binoculars and trying to identify the birds we'd learned about. A marvellous day.

Below are images of Jennie's post card and some work I've been selling from my shed.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Mugs on legs

After the success of the footed porcelain mugs with under glaze decoration I have been making more. This time I am making them out of a darker, course clay and fire them in reduction in my gas kiln. I would prefer to fire them in my wood kiln but I need to have some sooner than I'm firing the anagama kiln. These mugs are HUGE as this clay shrinks enormously but even with shrinkage they will still make a big cup of tea to wallow in.

Today I used my new, pretty cup, made by my friend Kim Aitken for my morning coffee. See below. The National Library in Canberra has asked for her work to put in their shop, which is wonderful. Her work is beautiful and cheerful just like her and I am thrilled for her success. Her Facebook page is Kim Aitken Ceramics and well worth a look.