Thursday, June 18, 2009

Enough about me...

Vicki Grima, Cool Ice porcelain bowls, 8-10cm

I'm very taken by these porcelain pinch pots by Vicki Grima - artist, teacher, editor, and now blogger.  Vicki says: I enjoy making pinch pots. I like the process; I like the fact that my fingers leave marks on the pot. When you hold a pot, you can feel the process that went into making it. Because pinch pots tend to be small, they can be held in the palm of a hand - they are personal pots, and each bears my imprint." 

I'm relating to that at the moment. You can see more of her work on her website, and learn more about what she's reading, eating and making at her brand new blog! 

And some more stunning work by Kenji (below).  Showing at Andrew Baker Gallery here in Brisbane with Pamela See and Deborah Walker until July 4th. Opens tonight. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

White Heat

Well I’m all in a bit of tiz really. Work coming out of my ears at the moment, which is all good and lovely and you’ll hear no complaints from me about that, but my head is in a spin trying to meet deadlines and making sure things are where they should be when they should be. 

One thing I can now cross off the list-to-do is the Australian Ceramics Association exhibition White Heat , which opens tonight at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum in Sydney.  The show has been curated by Dr Julie Bartholomew and is part of a huge swag of shows opening over the next month in conjunction with the upcoming Australian Ceramics Triennale. 

One of my exploding gun plates (above) is included in the show, and I'm keeping some very fine company including my very own local buddies Pru Morrison (image below - Malcolm Turnbull, Peter Costello and Joe Hockey I believe?!!), Kenji Uranishi (image below), Virginia Jones and Kathy Keys. Nice to see such a strong QLD contingent. You can read more about the premise of the show and the artists selected here.  The show opens today but there is also a shindig being held (July 19th) during the conference itself. So drop in if you can and have a cocktail (or twelve) for me!

Pru Morrison

Kenji Uranishi

More details on the conference and the exhibitions, speakers and demonstrators can be found at the conference website and the conference blog (administered by Shannon Garson). 

Monday, June 8, 2009

Going Native

We've been doing a lot of work in our garden over the last few months, clearing out the silly plants (ie: ones that require lots of water) and replanting with more sensible ones, mostly natives.  Its been so interesting, despite having grown up around many of these trees, learning more about them - which ones attract butterflies and birds, which ones you can eat or make tea from, which ones are drought resistant, which ones are native to our specific area etc. 

I find myself looking so much more closely at what is growing around me.  So many of the native trees flower in winter and our neighbourhood is just full of these flowering beauties at the moment. 

Winter round these parts really does rock. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bigger Uns?

Doesn't quite have the same ring as Little Uns.  These bowls are a bit of a follow on from my Little Uns series. I'm upping the scale a little (yes, they are a huge 9cm tall!) and playing around with forms and the natural colours and tones of the clay bodies. I've really been enjoying making these pieces - pushing and prodding and rubbing and poking, instead of pouring and polishing. I've been using my slipcasting moulds and a slab of clay, slowly working it into the mould, letting the process show a little more. I have to stop myself from smoothing out all the marks and folds and creases and fingerprints. Old habits die hard. But I couldn't help myself and just had to give them a quick once over with the wet and dry after I'd fired them. Just to give them that nice velvety finish....

They feel nice in my hand - heavy and bumpy. This is quite novel for me. I think its working as a counter balance to the hands-off approach of my waterjet cut pieces of late too. Getting my hands back in the clay. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ceramic Journeys

I first started messing around with clay way back in 1996.  I did a night class in wheel throwing and was struck by the proverbial bolt of lightning from the sky. Wham bam. I quit my job as an English teacher and enrolled to study ceramics at the Southbank Institute of TAFE. I spent 5 years studying there and soaked up every bit of information and all the skills I could from the amazingly talented and committed staff who, even years after I left, continue to support me in my ceramic endeavours. To this day I frequently refer to my TAFE text books and handouts, and to all the experiments and tests and notes I took during that time. It was the best grounding I could have asked for. 

So its really lovely to be part of the Ceramic Journeys exhibition that is opening tomorrow night at Fusions Gallery.  Curated by Ronelle Clark, one of my first ever teachers, the exhibition showcases the work of a number of Southbank Tafe graduates, alongside the work of current students. It really highlights the diverse approaches to the medium and the varying pathways people have taken.

I popped in to the gallery earlier this week to help set up my work and it was like a mini-reunion! Within minutes everyone had slipped into technical jargon and chat about what everyone else was doing and making.  So i'm looking forward to the opening to catch up with more old friends and faces. In the face of ever diminishing ceramics departments and facilities, being part of this show has also reminded me how lucky I am to have been able to study there when I did, and with whom I did - both students and teachers. 

The show opens tomorrow, June 5th until June 20th, and the exhibitors include Terry Bouton, Irene Brown, Ky Curran, Denise Douglas, Tim Fry, Shannon Garson, Grant Hodges, Creina Moore, Pru Morrison, Pattie Murray, Isaac Patmore, Julie Shepherd, Emma Trigg, Rikke Weibel and myself.