Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Persistence is a glass bowl

It has been many years since I have done a glass slumping.
I talked up the process with my first yr sculpture students
and we decided to try.
I was disappointed it didn't work the first time.
Frustrated it didn't work the second time
and annoyed enough then to reprogram the auto controller on the kiln.
Upping the end temp by 100 degrees Celsius.
Finally success
No it is not an ashtray!
I can see some ice cream in there.

Here it is still on it's mould.
Here is the mould by itself.
I think someone in the family may be getting Ice cream bowls for Christmas.
I think this design will even stack reasonably well.
Wouldn't you know it the lilliums began to flower when there is a three week break between markets.
Check out this exotic specimen
How much would you pay for a stem of these?
I keep my flower prices to $5 so how many stems per bunch?
I have to get the bird mesh over the cherries before the birds notice that they are beginning to colour up.
This year I am going to get to eat plenty of these beauties.
Last year the outrageous rains split them all, the year before we were experiencing water restrictions and they all shrivelled and died after a heat wave.
This year........success.
So it is true, persistence pays.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fresh Flowers Mildura

I just love spring
I love picking flowers
Just lucky for me I like to grow them too!
I also like to share the flowers and have a road side stall selling them to the passing public.

 If you live in Mildura you can take advantage of the very cheap fresh flowers on
Etiwanda Ave just $5 per bunch.
 They are seasonal so whatever is flowering goes in the bunches.
This October there are lots of Dianthus and Alstromeria.

Alstromeria are my favourites. Very long lasting in the vase, and very long stemmed.
They are very prolific also.
I did try to tame this section but the weight of the flowers thwarted my efforts.
Some of the flowers have grown up through the passion fruit and would have to be 3 metres tall,
now that is long stemmed!

I am starting to think that the pink alstromeria here in the front is a dwarf variety.
Usually dug out every year by the white Labrador looking for a cool spot to sleep, this is the first flower in a long time. I had forgotten what it looked like.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rural inspired pottery

I have noticed a subtle change in the pottery I have been making since we moved to mum's garage down on the farm.
This must be a paper weight for a beef farmer
When I glazed this, the herd of cows were at the other end of the paddock.
Had they been a little closer I am sure their whole face would have been white.
This is represents the many rabbits on the farm even though it is more like a hare.
We do get the occasional hare but there are always rabbits. I think we should work out how to sell rabbits instead of vegetables.

This is half of a "Sweat box" sculpture
I had made the head on one day and the body on another and as a result I never did like the finished product, but I have found a way to enjoy it.

Placed on a H section of fence it has a PPeruvian feel to it.
It can watch over the Lillium patch, they are so close to flowering and there are no farmers markets for three weeks. I do hope it all works out that they flower on a market week.
This is the "sweat box" body. I am going to make a new head and neck from fabric.....and hopefully have it suspended on a big spring so there is movement. 
This next one is my favourite tea pot. It is fully functioning, the saddle lifts up so you can put in the tea leaves and water.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Busting the "No garlic from seed" myth

I totally hate being told I can't do something.

There is a very strong urban myth that you can't grow garlic from seed, in fact
someone was trying to convince me at the market on the weekend that it was not possible.
For the last few years I have been collecting garlic seed and growing it.
This is a garlic seed head.
It has fleshy little seeds that form after the flower.

I have also collected seed from half way up the stem (internal)
each plant is different and not all plants produce seed.
This is my summer haul from the last crop.
Like the cloves they will vanish to dust if not planted fresh.

I put four seeds in a pot and when up and established I "park" four to six pots around a dripper.
In 12 months time these will be my planting stock for the following year.

This means I can sell some of my crop and not worry so much about replanting the biggest and the best.
If you have ever grown garlic you will know it is best to plant big healthy cloves. The bigger the clove the better the result. If you are growing them for sale it is hard to forgo the good price and easy sale to increase the planting stock. I am confident that I have found the answer to that dilemma.
I am confident that I have "busted" this Garlic myth.
If you don't believe me......prove it for yourself.