26 May 2018

Google and all that stuff

Dear Friends and followers in the EU
I believe Google may have added a message regarding its use of cookies and data on this blog... I have tried to check but as I am in Australia even after taking their suggested way of checking it doesn't appear.
So, I am using a template provided by Blogger which is part of the Google group of companies.  I do not share any data or contact details myself. 

As I do not use their Ad function I believe I do not need to any more.

Hopefully this will not put you off following my posts.

Regards to all

22 May 2018

Raku firing with potters group

last weekend I took part in a Raku firing day with friends from the Port Hacking Potters Group.

I shared a ride with two others and met at the property of Master Potter, Steve Harrison and his partner, Janine.

Steve Harrison getting his raku kilns fired up
The glazes were provided as a part of the workshop price and we each took around 6 pots to fire.

my friend Joe glazing his pots

We all helped stoke his natty little wood firing kilns, move the hot pots to the sawdust for the post reduction and at the end of the day, pack it all away.
in the firebox
Sally and Helen moving the sawdust over the pots while Rhonda and Dorothy watch for the next load.

A mixed result for me but when you don't use this technique very often it can be tricky...

Here are some of the better ones:

this is probably the best result although it wasn't put in the sawdust so no post firing reduction

this glaze is likely to crackle more in days to come

some very subtle colours with this one and it has a bit of a landscape affect

my pears look a bit stressed...
the weather was great... the early cold wind died off and it was perfect for firing outdoors.  I'd say we all slept well that night.

16 May 2018

Mother's Day bouquet

The day before Mother's Day (second Sunday in May here in Oz) I sold well at the local Farmer's Market.
One of my son's and his wife sent me a huge bouquet so I had to go looking for vases...

I was also given a treat at a local spa... it's lovely when you are remembered by family even if these days are very commercial.

wheel thrown Shino glaze with iron oxide brush strokes fired in reduction

Wheel thrown black slip on white body scraffito into wet slip clear glaze stoneware electric firing

08 May 2018

Highlights, donations and back to the studio

 If I'm not blogging I must be making....  
rolling slabs by hand - big rolling pin and textured slabs ready for making platters...

the last month or so has been busy with sales and a new supplier taking my work... a big thank you to Neta at the Hazelhurst Gallery Shop where my pigs seem to be very popular.

They are not very big but are time consuming to make...

Hand formed porcelain pigs - underglaze and tissue print decoration

Handformed speckled pigs - stoneware BRT clay with underglaze

the slab work can be fun and this little dish found a new home at the Shire Creativity exhibition
Hand formed trinket dish - stoneware, stamped and tissue print decoration
 Meanwhile this teapot was my donation to a local Heritage Day raffle by the Botany Bay Family History Society
Blue/green glaze teapot - wheel thrown stoneware with cane handle
 and this one went to a charity auction to help the Tamworth Legacy and I heard back later that the local Mayor had the winning bid.  I hope their new owners enjoy a good few cups of tea from them.
Hobbit style teapot - stoneware, wheel thrown with underglaze and tissue print decoration

23 April 2018

Shire Creativity 2018

I'll be packing pots this week to take to Shire Creativity exhibition from Thursday 26 April to Sunday 29 April...

Meet the Artists on Thursday evening from 5pm

Details below for address etc...

01 April 2018

A long day but well worth it

As you know from my previous post I spent Good Friday at the Sydney Royal Easter Show helping with friends to promote the art of pottery.

Kara of CeramicsbyKara has organised this for the last few years.  This year there were five of us involved, myself, Tanya of Hop'n Frog Pottery, Roslyn Lowe and Dana Lundmark.

It meant a really early morning start but it was nice to arrive before the crowds and do a quick look around the Arts and Crafts Pavillion exhibitions once we were setup.

we arrived at sunrise

My friend, Jim Flood is an artist and had one of his palette knife oil paintings on display... a very talented fellow as you can see from this photo of his work

Sydney Harbour view by Jim Flood
The Arts and Crafts Pavillion has entries from across the state in all sorts of categories which include pottery, porcelain painting, cake decorating, sculpture, knitting, embroidery and lots more.

I had a quick look around - 

one of the pottery sections

part of the wood work section

and then the doors were open and the crowds arrived...

We were soon kept busy for the rest of the day... Kara was demonstrating handbuilding large poultry characters while Tanya and I had kids lined up to make a clay feather to put on the large hen she had made for the purpose..
A local supplier Keane Ceramics provided the clay and our other sponsors for the day were Art Est where Kara teaches children's classes and Northern Beaches TAFE where Kara, Roslyn and Dana have studied.

Tanya, Kara and Roslyn getting setup

Kara with one of her characters made as a demonstration piece

our partly feathered chook towards the end of the day... each feather represents one child's effort

Roslyn spent most of the day throwing and Dana was kept busy showing young folk how to make a pinch pot... 

Roslyn Lowe at the wheel

Dana helping the kids and parents make pinch pots
All in all a very tiring but fulfilling day!  I was so impressed by the young folk and their parents who were all so polite and interested.

Dana and I had some finished work on display - the others decided not to risk their pieces in transport to the Show
Thanks to Kara for organising the effort and getting the rest of us involved.

To finish off a short video clip Tanya shared so you get an idea of the atmosphere... it was a very hot day outside so I think we were in a good place.

26 March 2018

The Sydney Royal Easter Show - this Friday

The Sydney Royal Easter Show is basically an Agricultural show in the city.

It is the pinnacle for exhibitors across the State of NSW.  Everything from cows, horses and yes pigs are shown and judged.  In addition there are competitions for exhibitions of produce from different regions which use their local fruit, vegetables or grains to create a large display that makes a collage depicting that region.

And then there is the Art and Craft Pavillion where there are paintings, sculptures, pottery, cake decorating, weaving, knitting, embroidery and many more competing for that winning blue ribbon or even Best in Show award.

So I have been asked to go along with some friends and show the general public how we make our pottery/ceramics.  Exciting but a bit scary too... 

I will have a few pieces on display but will mainly be helping the others with building a huge chicken (or two) and we will be inviting the public to add feathers to the pair.  Sounds like fun?

Come and say hi

11 March 2018

happy with these white platter/plates

These are from my last firing and turned out quite well...

Very useful either for food or to keep your bathroom tidy - available at the little home decor store in Miranda - Fred & Co

handformed and texture slabs stoneware with food safe glaze.

27 February 2018

Now stock in local gallery

I am thrilled that the local gallery shop is taking some of my bowls and has already sold one of my pigs..

The Gallery always has fanstatic exhibitions so worth calling by -

Hazelhurst Arts Centre Kingway Gymea NSW.

Guess what I will be making next

Gumleaf Bowls - thrown stoneware underglaze decoration clear glaze.  Food safe and dishwasher safe.

23 February 2018

Patience of the Potter

There are many aspects of pottery that teach the potter about patience.

First and most important is the forming of the pot whether on the wheel or by hand.  A steady rate of spin or a considered handling of the hand formed piece is crucial for a good outcome.

Next is the slow drying process - whatever the size or style trying to rush this process with almost always result in cracks.

The kiln firing also needs patience... again firing too high too quickly will result in cracks or even explosions...

Then there is the glazing process - each piece needs just the right amount of glaze then needs to dry and have its bases wiped clear of glaze residue so that it doesn't stick to the kiln shelf.

And we are not done yet!  Once the kiln has fired to temperature there is another wait while the kiln cools.  Again, rush this process and you are likely to have a poor glaze result or again cracks.

Even then the results are not guaranteed - this little jug looks pretty but drips when pouring so it won't be for sale.  I'll keep it for a while and try making a better one and then this one will be destroyed. 

I will once again be practising patience tomorrow as I wait for the kiln to cool from my latest glaze firing which took place today...

Have a lovely weekend