Saturday, March 30, 2013

First quarter gone!

The biggest market of the year is on this Saturday morning.
I have had fractured preparation time for it with many spare hours spent
at the dentist :( Distracting me from my Egyptian paste bead making.
A back tooth broke which led to preparation for a crown, then
a temporary crown, reattach temporary crown after it came off,
and off it came again four days later.

I don't think the dentist understands how precious my spare time is.
I also have to confess to being influenced by a potter who blogs
This tea pot would have to be considered a homage to Gary Rith.
I am planning to glaze it in a thick Tenmoku and attach a cane handle.
We are just part way through the process...don't boil the kettle just yet.
I did try to be organised and started this post about Thursday....
It's now after the market which was huge and it is a bit hard to patch these thoughts together.

I would rather be weeding or planting out new seedlings,
or preparing some ground for the spring bulbs.
That's when I can dream up new things to make....
I have a couple of sculpture exhibitions in the next term to work towards.
Ideas are brewing and I am getting excited.
I have to make a new head and neck for this camel.
I would really like the head to move and a plan is formulating
But I have to focus on market preparation, pack the plant tins,
make the list.
Pot up some oregano (sold!) , garlic& borage from self sown plants in the garden.
Inform the council of my intention to trade, 5 days in advance, every
 If that's not paperwork overload...or administrative justification....I don't know.
We have extremely high food standards here in Australia
yet we have become a net importer of food
from countries with much lower standards
and much lower wages.
I tried to comply but the computer path became very confused, not simple and for lack of acceptable  passwords I simply wrote to the council to inform of my intention to trade, which was not certainly not acceptable and a phone call was required.
It's still not sorted and there are many more markets on the agenda. Oh my! I do hate paperwork.
I am glad I grow my own food, it's not jet lagged when it reaches my plate.
Nor has it been fumigated, or radiated or sprayed with anything while growing.
You simply can't get fresher than the 5 minute walk from garden to kitchen.
This post will be linked to
If you are interested in making things with clay click on this link and you will be inspired.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I had a few things come out of the kiln this week

A little box

Thrown as one piece and turned down to fit snugly.
I should have taken more time with the waxing before glaze as
it has to be really thick to get the right colour and that has meant the
lid doesn't fit as well as I would like.

This time I fired them separately to improve the chance of a two piece work.
Hyacinth blue drops over thick Tenmoku.
Stoneware fired to 1280 C
And this one was just a bit of fun.

I couldn't resist making a spider that wears shoes.

I am not a shoe fiend myself but I do realise it is a compulsion for many folks.
I think it is because the shoe always fits,
which pleases people with  fluctuating measurements.

No offence intended.
I am thinking of adding a mop of black hair....just on top
This one was a demo pot made when I had some new young students.
I was talking about putting some feet on the pot.

Which resulted in more shoes!

I am going to link this post to
Click on that link to see what some other potters are doing this week

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another Tuesday sculpture class in my forest

Today was a continuation of last Tuesdays sculpture class.
Working on the concept of ephemeral sculpture we took to the forest

I tried to recreate Andy Goldsworthy again.

It is certainly more difficult than it looks.
I am sure he had perfectly straight sticks, long sticks and soft ground.
We have none of that except the sand becomes soft if it is dug over.

I tried burying the sticks for stability.
I seem to be getting one side right and then it all starts to fall over.
I wonder if Andy uses some pins or brads to hold it in place until complete.

I think will
We had company out there. The older two happy to sit and watch.
I was happier when Skittles sat down. Her big chocolate tail is quite strong and she kept
knocking down my sticks...
I bet Andy didn't have a wagging dog destroying his work before it was complete

Shelia blends in with the surroundings quite well.
Stella was on lizard alert and chased  little lizards all over the place.

The drop tail variety....

She was very busy and will sleep well this afternoon

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bearded Dragon in the garden

I was surprised to notice this lizard in the house yard.
With three lively dogs this game lizard came out of the undergrowth
and headed for a wild tomato bush,
where it sat and ate quite a few berries.

I was amazed there was time for me to go inside and
grab the camera.

The dogs are given strict "lizards are ok training"
Usually its the stumpy tail ones in the yard,

I don't think I have ever seen a bearded dragon this close to the house.
It was hard to keep in the view finder...they blend very well with the landscape.
It had an eye in the sky for most of the encounter and
I wondered if it was afraid of the butcher bird that was hanging around.
In an Art sense.....
One of my favourite tasks for my sculpture students is sand sculpture.

The Mildura Ski Club is on the riverfront in front of our farm.
They have a good clean beach which is usually deserted in the day time during the week.

I can't resist joining in the opportunity.
My student was creating an eagle...It has a Thunderbird shape
There was a family enjoying the river and a wake boat
I don't know what they thought of our activities.
I thought it a most pleasant morning's work.
I think I was channelling Henry Moore

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Full swing

The year is now officially in full swing.
Uni classes back 2 x1/2 days a week, afterschool kids classes 2 times a week,
Night classes for the general community 2 nights a week.

Last weekend there were 2 markets too.
Not much time for the garden.
The weeds have run riot!
Finally out there this morning and I got to thinking about the weed names.
This one is called "love grass"
I wonder who  coined that name?
It is the worst stuff, sticks to every thing.
If you get it on your socks there is nothing you can do but throw them out.
Near on impossible to remove.
It is very important not to let them get away and seed.
What's that saying, "One years seeding equals seven years weeding"

When you try and peel it off what ever it is stuck on, the seeds remain fixed
and all that is removed is the stalk.
Love grass?
I wonder if they have this weed in other parts of the world .
The other one I had to dig out this morning
Gentle Annie
There is nothing gentle about this weed.
It too sticks fast and is near on impossible to remove.
If you get on on your hand it must be flicked off because
if you try and pull it off it will stick to the prying fingers.
It hurts.
It got me thinking about the invention of velcro.
Nature has many secrets and good ideas.
I often think there is a purpose for everything but I cannot for the life of me
find a good excuse for these two weeds.

 I have a sticking problem with some lidded pots I made
I try and fire them with the lid on so that any warping  is done together.
This works about 50% of the time for me.
This next pot was to be part of a set of dinner ware for us.
Turns out it was a garden ornament all along.
I did try to prize the lid off and broke one.
I accepted defeat with this one and put it in the garden before I broke it too.
I have to make the fit a bit looser. A couple of mm's smaller than the base pot.
I will have to keep trying.
Check out some other potters and what they have been up to at