Wednesday, November 18, 2009


A little while back Kenji and I did a workshop with the wonderful staff at our local child care centre. They were really keen to find out more about clay and to experiment with different ways they might be able to use it with the kids. We’re no experts in this field so it was really a collaborative approach between them and us, using their knowledge of kids and our knowledge of clay. One of the things we showed them was how to make simple bowls and vessels using a slab of clay and a slump/hump mould. They were quite taken with this process and so a couple of days ago I made them a whole bunch of plaster moulds they could use with the kids.

I have a love hate relationship with plaster. So much can go right with it, but so much can go wrong with it too. But today when I went down into the studio and saw all the finished moulds on my workbench it was all about the love. There is an indescribable quality to plaster that sometimes just takes my breath away. A day or two after it has been cast, before it is completely dry, it has this amazing sheen to it and reflects a beautiful soft light. Its cool and so smooth and clean and white and I just want to hold it against my cheek! In my recent musings on process I have been toying with some new ideas of working with plaster as the end, rather than simply as the means to an end.

But for now these smooth little beauties are off to a different fate!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Birdy Beakers

I've also been putting those hands of mine to use making a new range of birdy beakers.

tweet tweet.

By hand

Speaking of hands, this is what I’ve been using them for lately. These works are part of an exhibition coming up at Cudgegong Gallery in Gulgong. The show is called A New Look – Functional Ceramics and has been curated by Janet Mansfield. Forty ceramicists from across Australia were invited to show a piece from our current production, but also to create a second work that ‘presages a new look’, a new direction or extension of an idea for the future. And this is mine.

I've been off on a bit of a thread, which I’ve mentioned a little in earlier posts over the last year, about the idea of process and how we imbue the objects we make with our own marks and rythms. I’m enjoying stepping away from how I usually work and discovering (well actually, its more a case of re-discovering) some of these other processes/rythms/materials and ways of making. We’ll see where it takes me.

The text/images on the bowls are extracts from my sketchbook, where I hurriedly scribble and scrawl my ideas for work. This mostly consists of lots of text, lots of arrows, lots of asterix’s, and the occasional (bad) drawing – the first part of the process of making for me.

The show opens November 20th until January 25th.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Hands

I used to have a real thing about my hands. They’re big hands. With big knuckles. And compared to the rest of me look very out of proportion. They just kind of dangle off the end of my long skinny arms! I used to be so self-conscious about them, but over the years I’ve learned to love them. I think I just needed to figure out what to do with them!

Right now I wish I had a few extra ones.