Friday, July 31, 2009

Ceramic Clocks

Once a term I run a six week adults ceramic workshop. I have been running them for a year now. I find they are a lovely way to spend a relaxing evening with classical music, thanks to the ABC, good company and passing on some of my skills. My students range from artists who enjoy learning a new discipline to friends of friends looking for a different way to spend their evening, kid free. I even have a few who come back very term for their dose of mucking in with mud.This term we are making clocks. The photos are of a clock I am working on. I haven't made clocks since I was studying (I think we made one as a project), so it has been nice for me to have a play. This one is a wall hanging clock which will sit about 10cm from the wall.

This class I hope to make some piece towards my exhibition, which will be early next year. Most classes I end up making demo pieces that are a hotchpotch of different ideas to demonstrate different skills/techniques. The finished piece is usually very daggy! But as with any new designing, it can be hit and miss, then back to the drawing board.

I quite like this one so far...
The first thing I got my students to do was experiment with a few decorating techniques. We are using a porcelain paper clay so they will have a nice white backdrop to work with. They have watched a demo on a whole host of techniques; scrafetto, inlay, tissue transfer, wax resist, carving, brush work, lino cut prints.... Then they made some tiles to experiment on themselves. I thought this would be a good way to come up with some decoration ideas for their clocks. The tiles will then be mounted and grouted onto some board as a little wall hanging.
These are a few of the tiles. I will post more photos as the ideas flow and clocks start forming shape.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sunni's Cakes

I know you are not meant to boast about your children, but what can I say I'm a proud mother :)
My daughter, Sunni, who is 13, is the most amazing cook. Even before Master Chief hit our TV screens.

She usually cooks up a storm in the kitchen making something yummy for her to take to school for morning tea. She does tend to hide her goodies so she doesn't have to share - a symptom of a large family.
Recently she cooked some choc chip butterfly cakes and we where allowed to eat them - yummo!
Before we ate them I chooffed them off to the studio to take a couple of snaps with my pink, yellow and blue plates and bowls.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New photos

Last week, before my kid's got sick, my friend Tanya took these great photos of my work. I am very excited to show them off. I hope to use them on my website once I finish organising all the images etc. My lovely sister, Simone, is going to refresh my site for me. It's quite a lot of work getting all the images ready (my job) and then uploading them (Simone's job). What I'm trying to say is it could be a while before it's done.
Meanwhile, here's a taster...
These are some of my Christmas decorations. They are made with Southern Ice porcelain and glazed in either clear, green or red translucent glaze.

This image shows the relative size of my plates, bowls and platter with a 22cm cake in the platter.

The cake was quite yummy. After Tanya had taken lots of photos of it whole, we ate some. It was pistachio nut with honey and orange syrup. I am a bit nuts for syrup cakes. They are easy to make and are moist and very tasty. (Perhaps I should have my breakfast now, feeling a bit hungry!)

A stack of round bowls, these are about 7cm tall and can be used as a cup, dip bowl, sorbet/ice cream bowl, candle glow bowl...

This is my favourite shot. I want some cake now!

Here are an ensemble of round bowls, tumblers, triangle bowls and oval bowls in pink, light pink, white and lime.

The taller pieces in the back are tumblers, great for drinking tea or coffee.
The colours here are chocolate, peacock, yellow and white.

Thanks Tanya!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kensington back garden bliss

I'm not sure if I'll always get to post something everyday. At the moment my kids are sick, so I am house bound and have had to cancel all our school holiday catch-ups. [Sigh]

I thought I might as well give a tour of my studio.

It is a lovely space with lots of natural light, situated in my back garden right next to the sandpit. Sometimes the kids come in to the studio and fiddle around with bits of clay and the seconds bowls. My two year old likes to "share" my tools and always knows where I left my special knife, as I am always loosing it. She is pretty good company mostly, though does tend to make lots of mess with water. I must say I get a bit selfish with my space when more than one child comes in and wants to fight over stuff - they get kicked out pretty quick smart! Mostly they are more than happy to play outside together in the garden :)

The first series of photos are a few years old but they show my dodgy mould making skills with the results at the end.

Eucalypt Series 2007

These are quite small and very fine. I used a porcelain body which I colour with stains and clear glaze the interior. The pieces are wet sanded after bisque firing and again after glaze firing to give them a satin feel. Rims are important to me so I sand them flat and smooth too

Back to the studio...

This photo was taken during production time. It doesn't take long for the space to fill!

Then I start loading the kiln...

Actually I try to glaze and load as I go. These days I once fire which means I brush the glaze on green wear (unfired clay) and do a slow firing to temperature (1260*C).

Ok, the little ones are up from their sleep and I'm off to the doctors now...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Handprint Tiles

I was going to be pressing some little peoples hands into clay today. But my littlest is sick with a tummy bug. She has either been stuck to my knee or asleep - very unlike her.
Here are some photos of my hand print tiles. I do them for children and babies. My nephew had his done when one day old. I used to make frames but woodwork is not really area of expertise. Besides you can purchase much better (and cheaper) frames from Ikea!

Last year I made a tile mural from all the kids hand prints at our playgroup and Sunday Club. It has been bolted in two panels on the exterior walls of the playgroup/church.

Here is how I do it...

Firstly, I roll and cut a tile from wet white clay (the softer the better for a good print).

I press the child's hand or feet or both, if little enough into the clay.

Years ago I hand made lower case letter stamps. They have become very handy for naming these tiles. I also stamp in the year.
Once dry I glaze in bright colours and once fire to 1260*C

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Time to begin...

I have been slightly overwhelmed by the number of amazing blogs dedicated to crafts. I thought it was about time I shared too. I set this blog site up a few weeks ago and didn't quite know where to start, so didn't. Well here goes, I have to start somewhere.

These photos were taken by my friend Tanya from Old Grey House. She is my neigbour, aren't I lucky to have such a talented friend and neigbour! These were taken a couple of weeks ago.

I will have more to show soon as she took more photos yesterday. I made cake and took all my kids and work to her house. The kids played with lego, ate, fought over the dolls pram, ate some more and played in the sand pit. It was all a bit mad, but hey that's what makes it fun!