Thursday, 20 December 2007

pause button

...want the year to end but not quite ready....
I went with a non-Christmas theme for my Christmas cards this year ( probably a throwback against all the stenciled and collaged beauties I slaved over as a youngster...)
and yes these are collaged cards, but cut from magazines and not in the shape of a tree or a candy-cane!

Monday, 17 December 2007

from scratch

thats it. no more colour, its had its chance, simple black and white is the way for all pottery until I get bored...
these 'bendigo' outcomes are what pushed me over the edge to the extreme colour ban.

naaaasty! I cant even justify applying these colours or patterns. All that glaze is doing is making good shapes ugly. Maybe form now on I will only use clear glaze, under glaze, slip and different types of clay. I dont know, I just want to make pretty things !!!!!

on to other peoples work... a few finds at make

Lisa Boyter The calligraphic markings on Lisa's vessels and large vases are hand-painted to the inside of mold before being filled with porcelain slip. The result is a unique and permanent record of individual expressive action. The surface is then polished with paper to enhance the translucent glass-like appearance. These vessels are beautiful as well as strong and resilient. Prices start at $250AUD.

porcelain vessel

Love the organic lines- great technique. The pattern is lumpy on the inside of the vessel which a nice handmade touch, showing the process.

great use of coloured clay, something I could look into to ease my no coloured glaze policy... very pretty shapes, all unique hand made and so simple.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

caffinated again

It would be too much to ask for... one stand alone project with an outcome of unlimited prospects instead of this Christmas tree of small idea lights all flicking at once!!
Often when you are all over the place with no one to reel you in, wandering occurs. In my case, internet wandering, where items are transferred from the not even knowing about them category to the I MUST HAVE THIS category before your mind catches up to moderate the wildest desires.

Annette Bugansky pots I discovered on flickr in a ceramics photo pool. I Love them, so simple, such a clever integration of textile and clay.

And I cant stop thinking about Gwyn Hanssen Pigott. Who could? Not only are the shapes and surfaces stunning, I have a real admiration for all 'elevated' domestic objects. Gwyn's arrangements have such a quiet rhythm, each group is perfect.
I went to the wheel yesterday in the heat and threw these...

The oval shape is experimental (a cup gone wrong) but I like it, its been very shadily repaired with some slip, so is likely to crack but its a shape I will try again.

Another idea thats been on the shelf... I have this beautiful little book called speak Italian full of images of old Neapolitan hand gestures. I love them and am itching to reproduce them on card or cloth.
I have nearly finished a pot of coffee that I am positive will push me through a few more tricks for the day, first of all putting those animal shaped cookie cutters into action!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


It actually happened, I have posted a Christmas gift. It wont get there on time at all, but I have actually posted a Christmas gift.
A sneak pee
k perhaps?

I felt like the little splityarn purse wasn't enough. I still hadn't put any of those leather scraps to any use, so set about making a little leather covered not
e book (from the inspiration that hit when I purchased the wrapping paper). It turned out very very badly. So, I had an original pattern design - the glasses - and wanted to make a complementing item to the purse...

some black leather from the stockpile,a bit of poplin sprayed with gold fabric paint through the glasses stencil and a strap from an unused camisole (too lazy to get to the fabric shop and too impatient to wait until I acquired the right materials, ie a bit of elastic)

I glued and stitched, un-picked and re-stitched a diary jacket that snuggly fits my moleskine.

I loooove my moleskine diary, but it is about to lose it down the spine from a year
of activity. Maybe the diary jacket idea is commercially viable? I was too cheap and too impatient to purchase said diary for part of this gift, so glued and stitched a blank note book of the same dimensions to fit inside the jacket. Once again using materials at hand (thanks Sam for appropriating reams of photo-copy paper from the office) I used a branded ribbon from the packaging of some beautiful jewelery Logan gave me last year, to secure the spine and bookmark pages.

And voila! complete and posted!

Thursday, 6 December 2007


As indicated b the baking of THE cake, the Christmas season is upon us... making lists, conjuring perfect gifts that involve skills and materials beyond my meagre means, working more shifts, hitting the streets, buying things for myself. dammit. I wasn't supposed to buy that cute top! but, constructive (to be constructed) items were purchased also...

Found a new fabric stash on Brunswick Street, Alanah Hill by the metre, which is very girly.... so just got these zips, tre cheap!

Another Brunswick Street fix I cant miss is Zetta Florence where I couldn't resist this wrapping paper. I cant wait to cut it up and make cards and note books....

Monday, 3 December 2007

lacking in patience

THE Christmas cake was a success, luckily it turned into two cakes because one disappeared. Who can wait?

Surprisingly on topic for a late night entry, I c
ouldn't wait for the daylight to snap some picks of this purse, hot off the press... I tried to be good and follow the instructions! gratefully sourced from

Thursday, 29 November 2007


spending money on things that are a little over the ol' budget.... nothing drastic, a book, a magazine, a cake, a wheel, some stylie shorts for my man, and the ever faithful budget ruiners - food and booze.
Pictures from in fashion magazine issue 33, loads of crazy inspirations for my pottery, colour structure, detail, its all there, I just need to trial and error to adapt techniques from textiles to ceramics... very exciting!

Valentino Garavani for VALENTINO. I love the structured half circles clinging to the
delicate highly patterned

Alber Elbaz for LANVIN, almost the opposite, the ruffles fall as they pleased, tipped with gloss to highlight the

Paulo Melim Anderson for CHLOE. so exp
ressive in colour and application, great asymmetry.

Riccardo Tisci for GIVENCHY, Albert Kriemler for AKRIS. loving the scales, can really see this translating into surface treatment for ceramics. The geometric and folded shapes are beautiful too, reminds me of traditional pleating treatments we experimented with at Massey.
And last of all images from a recent ebay purchase Decorating pottery with clay, slip and glaze by F. Carlton Ball 1967! which could give me a few clues on my way to achieving some of the prettiness I desire for my pots...

THE recipe

A wave of I don't know what came over me about a week ago and gave me the idea to make a christmas cake. Its started, Nan sent the recipe today and the mixed fruit is soaking up the brandy and glycerine goodness as we speak. The soaking stage has been quite enjoyable so far, I feel relaxed, no trouble seems to be brewing, and I can spend as much time as I like reading other craft blogs and clawing my way through the mountain of amazing things to be seen on flickr.
THE cake can also give you permission to drink the rest of the brandy (ahem, quite a lot) and boast about your domestic prowess to others (regardless of the outcome, making a christmas cake is quite impressive).

½ lb butter
½ lb sugar
6 eggs - separated
¾ lb flour
1 tspn mixed spice

3 lb mixed fruit – I generally add a packet of glace red cherries to that.
8 0z tin crushed pineapple
2tbspns brandy
1 tspn glycerine

1 tspn each of essences, lemon, rum, almond and vanilla.

Soak fruit overnight in pineapple, brandy and glycerine

Cream butter and sugar, add egg yolks one at a time, add spice and essences then flour, fruit and lastly beaten egg whites.

Preheat oven to 150 then turn to `135 when cake goes in, cook 4 hours or until tested. (Prick with a skewer and if it comes up clean it’s cooked. Cover top with baking paper for the first hour so the top doesn’t get too brown.

When it’s cooked and cooled down I poke it all over with the skewer and then pour LOTS of brandy over I – well about 3-4 tbspns I’d say.

Good luck and sorry about the imperial measures.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

the test

I put some price tags on my pots today. There is a three day exhibition/sale on at the pottery studio this weekend. I have put in 24 pieces, some to get rid of, and a couple so outrageously expensively priced I wont be disappointed if they don't go.

Monday, 19 November 2007


Ironing fabric and other kinks can be very satisfying. I am currently trying to smooth my life out and catch up on about 3 weeks of not normal. Starting from today with this post. Lots to catch up on, I have a few pots to photograph and some selections to make for the end of year exhibition. I am being leaned on to put some things in to sell, but which??? Very scary, and happening this weekend before my big vases have been glazed, dammit!
So the photos here are evidence of a flurry of stitching on the last day Amber was here... It all began after stumbling unknowingly from Richmond Train station into a golden haven of fabric. Artextil at 285 Lennox Street. I am yet to tackle this amazing cotton drill shot with stainless steel, very exciting! The skirts we made were all cut from a little A-Line Amber had with her, one military styles thanks to an old iron on patch I have had for years, and one cute apron type of thing pictured. We made one greenish and one blue underskirt for the apron with patterned facings and brightly coloured zips for secret off-the-wall-ness.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007


Even pottery went out the window last week... Logan and I went to dog-sit on the other side of the river making early classes and late work impossible for someone erring toward lazy. Positive points of note are however
  1. I did a favour for my boss
  2. I got to hang out in a house with just Logan and one crazy boxer
  3. I clocked a few hours at work (thus lubricating some outrageous spending)
  4. Had another other side of the river experience
  5. Was nearly attacked my a magpie for the first time (positive point for the thrill of survival)
And now some New Zealanders are here to distract me with their duty free and onion soup/reduced cream dip...

The house over the river is full of things (and magazines of things) that are so super design-y... the jealousy raged! I couldn't stop looking at this painting. I feel bad for not remembering who painted it, but I think its supposed to be breasts. So simple and beautiful.

Ps walking past an aboriginal art gallery on Bourke street about a week ago, I noticed a painting similar to this... a bit of detective work and the artist is.....Minnie Pwerle.The idea that the motif is breasts is slightly questionable?

Thursday, 25 October 2007

failed collaboration

my one woman collaboration currently is lacking in both free time and inspiration.
I shouldn't be so impatient with myself it is slowcraft after all, and I did glaze some of my big pots yesterday (fingers crossed they come out looking amazing!) I marvel at women like Melissa who can inspire and encourage crafty obsession while secretly raising children, animal rights awareness and baking her own crackers...

Sunday, 21 October 2007

21 degrees

The only temperature I am truly comfortable in has been unattainable recently... the scary summer is making day long appearances then hiding in the clouds. Yesterday was so unbearably hot that today when I opened the door decked in my swimming togs and ready for refreshment, I was surprised to find the summer trapped inside and a fierce winter outside. Its so confusing we swam anyway.
After the glamorizing of the house yesterday a new flatmate was selected to move in in November, this is good news because looking for people is not fun and uses all of my computer time in boring and occasionally frustrating ways.... not today!
Some Images to share....

Gwyn Hanssen Pigot, Travellers 2000.Porcelain beakers and bowls arranged rhythmically play with shadows, scale and end use (how could you possibly separate one to use in an inferior domestic act???)

Jane Atfield T-Towels, Washing Up Series 1, 2000
Pillows Lounger, Hanging Things and Stuffing Things Series, 2000.
"I am interested in the familiar elemental forms found in archetypes lea
ding to simple and functional objects that evoke strong associations and narratives, often addressing environmental issues."
A discussion on sustainable craft here.

The most satisfying design surely addresses concerns of ethical obligations
to the consumer and the environment, I have always worried about making more crap for a market that doesn't need it. How is a healthy desire for products created? When I say healthy, I mean more aware of production (how it was made why it was made where it was made how many times was it made) and more importantly its role in your life - the end use (does it become more valuable to you or less valuable what is its life span is it recycled is it loved????) After thinking about it too much will you still buy it? what am I to do with all of this frickin pottery? Re-gifting and waiting for Christmas cant solve the dilemma of someone guilty of making more crap without addressing any of these issues.
Anyway some more distraction per

Ettore Sottsass From the Rocchetti Series 1956-59
I am completely in love. I picked up this book (Ettore Sottsass Ceramics, Chronicle Books 1996) in Adelaide after a boozy tour around the Barrossa (check out Torbreck wines, amazing) an
d despite being infinitely inspired by an array of pure forms, colours textures and his own meanderings and gallery notes, none of my pots look like this (I have tried, will post some picks later after I recover from how awful they are).
Interview with Sottsass 2000

Alessandro Mendini Manici (Handles) Vases for Studio Alchimia, 1984

These vases are a sweet relief, and give me confidence to attach as many handles as required to my own wonky vase tomorrow....

I found Lydia in one of my design books,
Design of the 20th Century, C
harlotte and Peter Fiell, Taschen 2001

These are from a book called Heaven and Earth, Unseen from the naked eye, Phaidon Press New York 2002. The pink image is a desert in the United Arab Emirates, Imagine achieving this surface on a ceramic.... Below, Rainbow Trout eggs. You can see the embryo inside, a beautiful painterly contrast to the symmetry of the eggs on the black background. Destined for interpretation on fabric!

The Ganges river delta, desert irrigation in Saudi Arabia, like a painting by Klimt and Sudan's patchwork of irrigated fields.
Heres hoping for a comfortable 21 degrees tomorrow in a perfect(ly inspirational) world!