Monday, July 30, 2012

Preparing for Spring

Porcelain brooches
Winter is the best time for developing new work, I find,  when there is a lull in sales and I need something fresh to put out into the world for when spring eventually arrives.

I wanted to make some new small pieces that I can post economically as sending ceramics can be very expensive, so I developed some drawings of animals that I can print onto clay and add then colour to. They have ended up as a collection of mostly domestic creatures, probably because I spend so much time working from home at this time of year I have unconsciously reflected my surroundings, although I don't actually have a cat...or an alpaca for that matter!

I have been combining the prints with some scraffitto, sponge printing and brushwork on other forms.
I'm also making a lot of tea pots which are selling well and have added this design to tie in with the humming bird design.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Australian Womens Weekly Tea Sets

These tea sets were inspired by images from my collection of 1950's Australian Womens Weeklys. They are on display at Murray Bridge Regional Gallery as an artist of the month feature, more of the series will be available in Urban Cow, Adelaide in October

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

3 Seasons in One Day

August in South Australia becomes a frenzy of activity for artists, gallery managers, and business owners as this festival state puts on its annual showcase of visual art in the form of South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA). Every spare meter of space is filled with creativity, from galleries to cafes, cellar doors, and city streets. This year, me and my 'partners in art' Angela Walford and Rose Maguire decided to put on a little show in the hills in one of the boutique wineries that Adelaide is famous for. '3 Season in One Day' We've had fun using a variety of decorating techniques, some are old favourites but many are new methods that we've had a hankering to try, lots of the work will be on the walls but we've also made beakers, bowls, teapots and jewellery so there's plenty of work on plinths as well. Here's a peak at some of my pieces,

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pretty, Pretty, Pre - Tea!

This month I challenged myself to making tea pots, I have only tried once or twice before without much success but when I received an invitation to take part in a tea pot show I decided it was about time I took the pot by the spout as it were and made a serious effort to make some that I liked. I wanted to make them in a sort of art deco, Susie Cooper style with some retro designs, which sort of worked but after discussing them with my friend Rose and realising that the spouts looked quite 'beaky' she suggested that bird designs might be appropriate. I have been looking at the work of Charlie Harper for some time and just love his illustrations, I think they're very clever, especially the way he shows 2 different perspectives in one drawing ( if you look up Charlie Harper in Google make sure you add 'illustrations' otherwise you'll just get lots of pictures of Charlie Sheen...and I really didn't need to see any more of those).

Although I looked at his style for influence and used a similar technique of simplifying and breaking down bird shapes to create patterns I hope they will not be seen in any way as appropriation. I think I'll keep going with them though, and I'm being more disciplined about focusing on fewer designs so I'll probably develop a couple of these and try them in different colour ways and on other forms.

They're going in the Greenhill Galleries Teapot show in April.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fine Lines

As promised here are some photos of the finished Keraflex jewellery pieces. As I expected its been a steep learning curve with a fair amount of problem solving on the way, mostly because the pieces are so thin I felt they needed some kind of backing to add strength. In the end I used some clear flexible acrylic which doesn't add any weight and is comfortable next to the skin.
The origami pieces are just a bit of fun at the moment, it would be good to make them into jewellery too but I don't think they're quite strong enough to wear, and I have to work out how to place holes for findings without them filling with glaze.
The Jewellery will be on display at Urban Cow Gallery in their Mini Showcase Cabinet from 1st March 2011 for a month

Monday, February 14, 2011

Porcelain Origami

I have been making some work for a small exhibition at Urban Cow Gallery, each month they feature a different artist in their jewelery cabinet and I'm in there during March. This particular show is a bit different for me, mainly because I'm not a jeweler. However I often make ceramic brooches and even pendants sometimes but this opportunity has allowed me to do several of the creative things that I enjoy most...i.e trying a new material, challenging my skills and thinking outside my comfort zone. The material in question is a form of porcelain called Keraflex, it comes in 1.0 and 0.5 mm A4 sheets, yes its superfine and as the name suggests, flexible. I ordered their trial pack and when it arrived by mail my husband couldn't understand why I was excited about my new clay when all I had in my hand was a large envelope, even when I showed him the sheets he gave me a very sceptical look, and suggested that I may have fallen for some kind of scam targeting gullible potters and all I had bought was 4 very expensive sheets of blank paper. Undeterred I set to work on seeing what I could do with this 'paper'. I was quite timid at first and simply cut shapes and layered them but as got used to it and became more confident I found that I could cut fine detail, bend, roll and even fold it, in the end was happily making origami shapes from it.
Here are some images of the unfired work, I did try a few pieces in my last Cone 6 (1220 C) firing and sure enough they fire up into superfine porcelain, however the manufacturers recommend that it be fired to Cone 10 (1300 C) for optimum strength and vitrification, so I've just loaded them into the kiln and am hoping that she doesn't object too much to going to that temperature. I plan to put a clear glaze on some of the pieces to bring out the colours so will refire them to C6.

and of course I'll post some new images when they're done!

Friday, November 5, 2010

'Tis the sell, sell, sell!

Whew its been a busy couple of months! I've had my head down making work for the summer/festive season but at last I think I have enough stock for the markets and some for the shops too. I love doing the summer markets, its a great opportunity to meet lots of lovely people and get some direct feed back on my work, there's always a great atmosphere, great food and often great music too, and if the weather is fine all the better. Last weekend was the Mount Barker Waldorf School Spring Fair which was a great start to the season even though I managed to lose the beautiful bunting that I had made to attract people to my stall. This weekend its the Whitmore Square Artists Fair in Adelaide and at the beginning of December I'm doing the Art at the Hart 2 day Artists Fair and Celtica Festival at Port Adelaide with Ang and Rose, we're sharing a big stall and doing throwing demos too so I'm really looking forward to that, last year was a great success with beautiful weather and an added bonus of a perfect view of the dolphins frolicking in the Port river.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Erin challenged all the potters she knows to a 'throwathon' which meant we all had to throw as many pots as we could on one particular day, it was a great idea as it got everyone very motivated and boosted out Christmas stock nicely. I managed 70 pieces but came no where close to Erin who threw over 140! ( But I did run out of clay).

I have developed some new lines this year which are proving popular already so I've decided to concentrate on them next year (and not get to distracted by trying new things!), I'm going to set up a new website that features my new cups, then I'll link it to my other website ( so that customers have the option to purchase from either or combine items from both as a special gift.
The best piece of advice I've heard this year is that one should never say, " I hope to...' or 'plan to...' or 'try to...' do something but instead say 'I'm going to..' So now I'm going to get a glass of wine!