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!


Had my first pinelime splice iceblock treat of the season today... very aussie, green and delicious on a hot day after an unlrealistic attempt to beat my hangover at the pool by swimming lengths, really it was all about the iceblock.
At this very moment, not one but two giant three piece pots are drying slowly under plastic at the pottery studio. One is a true success, the other came up lop-sided and looks a bit hilarious, but a handle or some other distraction should re-balance it. All will be revealed on Tuesday morning when I next vi
Other exciting pottery news includes putting these buttons in for firing They are made with porcelain, Connie
has some bright underglaze colours I can use on the surface, I should really plan what I want them to look like... I do enjoy the rough shapes of these buttons, which I cut from various sized logs of clay, but the inconsistency of the shapes and the clay (airbubbles!) only added to the tedious task leaving me wondering if this is the way you should make buttons? I really don't know, I just thought any textile freak with the means to make ceramics MUST make some buttons. I have had a severe craving for a cloth covered button machine for a while now, so I am hoping this is a practical fix. Anyway, the point is I went mad purchasing cookie cutters for the next lot of buttons...
Obviously the r
ound ones, more specifically the round one in the middle is what I was after, but how cute are letter magnets and animal badges??? will let you know when it happens (slowcraft).
I kind of finished the top, But as you can see those edges were in fact not resolved, just stitched down with hope.. Its not going to be everyday wear, maybe when it gets hot? It looks cute pinched at the waist with skinny belt too.

In the hunt for a new flatmate its time to glamourize the house a little (obvious
ly cleaning will go a long way but its very boring) so I made a display shelf for a few pots to look pretty on instead.
Yes its an old ladder painted black.

And, the most exciting ebay package arrived yesterday....2kg of leather all the colours are amazing and only two bits are too shiny for my taste. An absolute bargain (always good for those of us with only
very tentative ideas about the end use/product).
Also was chuffed to be invited to join madeit group on flickr, I dont have anything to sell yet, but its nice to have the contact - I wasnt sure if I should tell them I'm from New Zealand! If I'm ok being Australian, Australian crafters will accept me as their own right?

Slowcraft Manifesto

Pick a name for your blog...
Having created this thing with only the most vague ideas about what I might like to publish on the internet, the only truths that have developed during recent explorations of my crafting ambitions are the following.
  1. I have crafting ambitions
  2. I am quite slow at achieving said crafting ambitions...
Slowcraft is born. Essentially an attempt to not only document and share my crafting, but to speed it all up to the point that I feel productive! Having dragged myself to the bitter end of a bachelor of design while working full time in restaurants and bars (see current occupation as evidence of what stuck) its time to resurrect what few design sensibilities I may have left after all this time out of the game.
My current focus orbits around a local pottery studio
where I have been learning to throw on the wheel since late last year. I do own a sewing machine (the evil Lydia who I purchased from ebay purely because she is gorgeous) there is also evidence to suggest that from time to time I do know how to construct bits and pieces on a sewing machine. (Even the evil Lydia). Recently I have abducted our second living area as my sewing/storage room. As of yet I am not paying any extra rent for this rude appropriation of space (bless my flatmates)... Just to top of my list of 'no more excuses' I have reduced my roster to a pitiful 2 nights a week. The poverty is horrifying, but the free time is gold.

Starting with the most recent success to come out of the kiln, these two bottles were the last of the bottle shapes I made in a 'make them until you can make them' trial that took quite a long time
(Slowcraft, remember).

In a break from the norm I actually chose some silk from my pile of fabric (all purchased in advance for potential projects), and am on my way to finishing a top cut from an old

I still love the print and the softness of the cotton on this t, but its become dangerously crop-top-ish and stretched a bit sideways. Despite issues of wear and tear the shape is simple enough to host a print/pattern, and all has been going very well including the tidiest seams
I have ever sewn along the shoulders and sides.... until I was challenged by some curvy neckline and arm hole action. Yet to be resolved, as am determined to continue the tidy thing to the end with limited course language.