Saturday, 31 July 2010

four oh one...










four oh one.. why i blog...this should have been the content of 400 but I was having a 'bad post day'! so I've been pondering for a while on what to write about 'Why I Blog' and being a person of usually few words it is a challenge to be succinct and at the same time interesting...

I heard about this blogging phenomena while at a workshop in town at the jam factory..'there's this guy in the UK who blogs every day about his clay experiences' and that was Doug Fitch...I remember thinking to myself what could you possibly write about everyday about clay?? HA!! well that was some time back now and i seem to have found plenty to write about!

I love getting comments from this great community i now consider great friends and seeing what the planet has been up to while i sleep! Most days i read through those posts that so expectantly appear in my blog list and visit the most amazing places like Alaska...wow gorgeous scenery!! I love hearing about the challenges the struggles the amazing firing successes.. the kiln building and man has there been some this year.. I totally love the problem solving that goes on between us, the rawness and the challenges of being a potter or clay artist whatever category you place yourself in, it's all great stuff!!!... Have i said how much i love this media and medium??

I think the distance that the great south land I call home is from everywhere adds to the challenge of communicating in real time... i think i have it figured out the only person apart from my town buds on the same timeline as me is Mr Young in Guam...Hiya 'wave'... Peter is about 3 hours ahead in New Zealand... All you teamsters Meredith, Hollis, Ron, Trace and Judy, F.G, Rae & Michael in the States are about 12hours behind, Cindy our lone Alaskan welder not sure where you are time wise, Patricia and i seem to have the same blogging hours we're always following each other around and Linda i have no idea is Florida ahead or behind an hour??? HA just kidding..and Meagan's back home in the same zone and the UK buds Margaret, Christine, Hannah, Doug, Paul and Andy are about 9 hours behind me...I've enjoyed a few skype chats and scrabble chatter too with some of you buds...
I'm very happy and blessed indeed to participate in such an open and supportive community and am truly chuffed to call you guys friends indeed.. now that's as much mush and waffle you'll get from me for one day!!

So here's my dear friend 'the Derek' doing his thing this morning shooting my online piece for the 'Clay and Blogs - Telling a Story' show... such a super effort from his portable studio, thanks dude you the man!!
Check out his blog too, he's an amazing portrait photographer and all round good guy married to my other bestest friend the lovely Simone who you may remember from the Jazz night!! We took pics of my work which looks great now the lighting stand is out of the way!! pics of the set up, pics of the 'D' man shooting and pics of me looking at the work on my computer behind the setup studio in my kitchen....HA!! anyhoo here it be my online piece for the show, hope you like it....

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

400...






400th post, I was thinking i'd make it something special but as things would be right now it's not quite there!! I was hoping for lots of treats from this last kiln load instead i have possibilities and quite a bit of disaster really..

Ho hum, my clay is bubbling on some random pieces so i'm not sure if its atmosphere with mixed clay bodies in the kiln.. It happened last glaze fire too so could be the body. no pics of that for now..

I also used the wrong glaze on my dippy bowls so the glaze ran everywhere and overheated bubbles too..they have been filed along with the glaze!!

One tile i'm very happy with.. some movement keeping the piece interesting and some lovely fuming on the clay body which had added nicely so i think i've just found my online piece for Clay and Blogs telling a story show, i'll keep that one under wraps until i get the pro photos done :)....

I think i can say this is one of my worst firings along with the raku this wkd 40% cracked too thin i suspect, 30% stuck to each other in the kiln!! I front loaded it and thought i'd left enough space between the pieces but obviously not..and 30% good...ha hope to learn something from all of this,, anything?? or just chalk it up to experience ..

Just some tiles pics for now the third tile is brushings of my local clay so it will be mixing together with my usual mix and try some throwing with it... and note to self too much red and the white on white looks quite nice i must give it another try and hopefully things get better this week..

Sunday, 25 July 2010

raku action



here she be.. the results and firing action or lack there of!! ha...thanks jess brilliant pics from yesterday...and again i'm exhausted after market day it was really chilly although the sun was out and shone all day, I've also captured a lil snippet of our hippy flute playing friends that set up opposite us..enjoy the mash up and now you get to hear some 'jazz' from the very entertaining adelaide male choir with doug fitch's very own band the love daddies... :P

Saturday, 24 July 2010

raku beast...


cheers jess for shooting this one... theres some fun vids on facebook if you're on FB if not i'll mix them as soon as they download... I have some punk courtesy of doug fitch and the love daddies and some 'jazz' aka the male choir to mix for the sound track this time :))..... that should be some mix up!

it's stirling market day tomorrow, come on up if you're in town...
hope to see you there..

and busy week this week, unloading the glaze fire from this wkd and some serious making to do...if i get the gas train together courtesy of keith our combustion guy extraordinaire i should be testing a soda fire next wkd too...

video coming shortly...

Friday, 23 July 2010

how dark is my local clay?!!









So much has just come out of the last 2 firings and its so cool to see ideas coming together...
Obviously i'm just not a white on white person! as much as i try i have to add something...the grey wash is over the white on white slip on white raku body and well the glaze firing will tell how much comes through at the higher temp... as always the firing has the last say!!

And how dark is my local clay?!! its really as red as it is here and that's from 3 different samples..If you remember the original they ranged from a yellow to brown so there must be a fair amount of iron in there eh.. :))

My stew dishes are all out and ready to get a glaze fire done now but i really should get some shino bowls in that firing so not just yet. I'm loading a cone6 glaze kiln tomorrow so that will be the tiles and some dippy bowls and the big bowl too, oh and i somehow managed to get a crack in my favourite tile grrrrrrrr!! why is it always the way....

Monday, 19 July 2010

ahhh the list goes on...


mmmm... yummo heres my local clay slip tests, they brushed on very nicely and i purposely used a course sieve to run them through to leave them as much in their natural state as possible and the darkest body is the smoothest as far as sand content goes..

Loading the bisque fire tomorrow night at the club and hopefully i'll get everything through in this firing... the clay samples are still in slip form and i hope to make a couple of test pieces when they've dried out enough. The sand content i think will be great for hand building..

I also should probably do a test mixing this clay with
my favourite throwing body and see how it holds up at higher temps...ahhh the list goes on doesn't it!??....






Saturday, 17 July 2010

slip, slop, slap...










slip, slop, slap... it is....

my local clay is at a lovely consistency and i used each sample with some brushwork today which i'll snapshot after some mark making soon.. i'm looking forward to getting it through some firings over the few next weeks, yey..

And you think keeping my clay in the fridge is odd how about this one we acquired an old vertical dryer for the club along with a whole bunch of really useful items from cockatoo valley last year and this one is just perfect.. I've had these pieces hanging around for weeks now and after a surge of warmth from the dryer they're looking so much better, bisquing this week!!

Oooh and anna brought my screens today, so images will be happening v soon...some really cool fish and other wildlife, dont think my vintage phone worked but all of the illustrations look good, so yey time and way more ideas are hitting my brainspace right now so lots more pots will be needed to 'house' the deco...wooo

Plans for this week, mugs, bowls and plates for all this iconic imagery...and focusing on pushing all this work through firings as per usual lots 'exploding' it seems all at once...probably this method will never change so i'll just need to learn to go with it and make enough to fire all together...

Saturday, 10 July 2010

i dig saturdays...

































hey i dig saturdays!! its the day i know the phone won't ring for work...mostly!! I can chill in the studio and just hang with ideas and try out stuff thats been brewing for a while...

todays day was no different apart from a bit of a sleepin after the crazy wind storms last night! 3am i was checking out the garden seeing what needed to be put away or tied down...it was a noisy one! tree carnage on the road today wasn't too bad...

I trimmed up some bowls from monday, did some tile work and loaded up my car to head down the club after lunch, my main route was blocked off by the CFS probably cleaning up some of the tree damage so i went the other way passed the brick factories.. It reminded me i must go visit and see if i can talk to a production manager about local clays..

On arrival at the club the girls were heading home so i did the same after loading up the storage shelves with my wares and got back into some more throwing.. I think i finally got into a groove on the stew bowls and got to the form i'd been aiming for this afternoon... by this time it was getting dark and i headed inside for a night by the fire...i dig saturdays...

Monday, 5 July 2010

amidst this flurry...



















Working through my list today in the studio I had a good start with the tiles and then got started on some raku bottles which usually takes me a while to get into the mode of throwing..
All was going too well throwing off the hump then i cut through the base of one and it was all downhill after that... judgement issues...but i stuck with it and considering clay issues, too hard, too wet, well i made a dent in my list at least! And thought how a bout some fun? so i got stuck into some large stew bowls. I think i was inspired by that guiness pie at the pub friday night, so i got through a few of those and still not quite in a throwing rhythm but heading somewhere which i'll pick up again later this week..

So amidst this flurry of clay i get a call from my buddy do i want to go to a club to hear some jazz tonight? ok i say what time well i need to be out by 6pm HA!! i'm covered in clay after shoving up my sleeves all day long but ok, so i pick out the clay bits from my hair... don't ask!!! and manage it all in time.... Long story short we really dont know what we're going to but its a music club, so we go throught the doors and i tell you straight the average age of that room would have been 70!!!! and wait for it its a mens choir with the same average age!! well after the initial shock we had the best night between my friends giggling, snorting, coughing and my barking lungs... With a nice bottle of wine, some ok food and the best canolis ever ... it was the best girls night out!! cheers girls...