It's a cold, cold winter...
Well, winter has finally hit - and it's sooo cold !!! I really don't like the cold, every winter we both threaten to move. It was minus 2 degrees on friday and the ground was completely white with frost, brrrr - now it's blowing a gale and making a cold day even colder!
.....but enough of that... what about the art!
Blue & White Anyone?
I decided to experiment with a bit of blue & white porcelain this week. I had made some miniature landscapes for 'Trading Place' using some Traditional Porcelain, but wasn't sure if I should decorate the same way as I had done the stoneware ones I had previously made (see earlier posts).
That's when I thought about just doing them blue. I really wasn't convinced in my own mind, but thought, hey... why not give it go - I could always wash it off and redo if I was really against it, right? I was still a little unconvinced even after doing it.... but they are growing on me.... Here's some of the results pictured below.
Cass has been powering along with more spirit figures and
story dogs and is busily decorating them in her story telling
Here's a work in progress shot (right) of one of her new
Story Dogs which will be featured in the end of year exhibition.
Sunday Ceramics is now up to it's 20th episode -
read along by clicking here and check out the other studios,
always worth a read.
We are also looking to the future and planning yet another exhibition, probably for 2016, as 2014-2015 are all pretty much booked out already for us - busy beavers that we are. We have already started the process of making pieces which will feature in this exhibition - name & venue yet to be finalised.... watch this space!!!
...and until next time keep creating!!!!
Keeping up the creative flow...
Well, it's been another big week in EFS Studios, is there any other kind!
We have both been very busy keeping up with our creating, making more and more art - this makes us happy!
Cass has been continuing her spirit figures and dogs - and has been busy this week decorating each one - as you can see, this is her pictured left, busily painting one of her puppies with blue underglaze, with some of the already decorated spirit figures behind. There's some great things happening with her works and it's exciting to see each piece come alive with her signature 'story telling' designs being painted on each one.
She has been using a combination of textural surface treatments, oxides, ochres and underglazes to acheive the desired results. They are still to undergo the final firing process, so will be interesting to see the finished pieces after firing.
I have also been busily decorating bisqued pieces getting them ready for their second firing. As well as pouring loads of little cups and a few caravans too.
Walking in Country
The other project I have been busy working on is a creative collaboration project with my Son, inspired by the project Cass and he did together last year, Yurgiyn Dahnswena (see previous blog about this), we decided to undertake a further project with him this year.
He and I have been taking daily walks together around our bush property and then recording what we see and experience. Then we spend some time, usually weekly/fortnightly interpreting these walks into artworks. It's a fun process and great to see such interesting concepts and interpretations coming from a 4 year old. Exciting and rewarding.
It is intended that then these artworks will be then used to create some further ceramic works with a planned exhibition and accompanying book.
Stay tuned for more exciting details about this thrilling and inspiring project... and how you can be involved!
I have also been working on a creating a website for a new client, Sea Silks Gallery. They are a collective of artists opening a new gallery in the Ramada Hotel complex in Ballina, the Grand Opening is today if anyone is nearby, it should be a great day - check out their brand new website, created by me - seasilksgallery.com
Don't forget to check in with the other studios on Sunday Ceramics
Next week we hope to fire another kiln load so stay tuned for some more images of finished works
so until next time.... keep creating!
Unpacking the Kiln...
Another very succesful kiln firing this week with great results.
It's always so much fun unpacking a kiln after firing, I love the anticipation of wondering how that bowl looks, or did the spoons come out OK? Did the glaze work? etc... or knowing that you will have so many bisqued items to go on with and decorate to get to the next stage - good fun!
We were both so pleased with the results and we have several pieces which have 'made the cut' into the Trading Place exhibition in Port Augusta.
The above photos show some of the great results - although some of the photos don't really do justice to the pieces (as I only took them with the phone) but they really are great! I especially love Cass' coconut bowls, they turned out fabulous.
Lots of my spoons turned out pretty good too, but I have mixed feelings about my miniature landscapes - some I love, some I'm not so rapt with, some I just can't decide.... does anyone else have this problem?
Not sure if there's a Sunday Ceramics this week, there was talk of it going bi-weekly - but check it out anyway... always worth it!
One of the Crowd...
Check out my friend Kim's pozible campaign - some great rewards offered. I think it has inspired me to try it - who wants one of our artworks in exchange for helping us out? Stay Tuned for details...
... and until next time keep creating...
This week we collected our photobook of the Dancing Dingo Project undertaken by Cass & Jay last year (read about it on our Collaborations pages). I created the book online using images from the project and text written by Cass about the project, using the software template provided.
I must say that we are so pleased with the outcome. It's the first photobook we have made and are planning more, even though it is a relatively expensive process for just one book, well worth it, we think. What a great way to mark a project and have a record of it for the future, and, in this case, for our Son to keep. Here are some images of some of the pages in the book...
(Click on an image to see larger version)
Gettin' down & dirty .... again
It has been great to finally get our hands dirty and covered in clay again - and we are both so much happier. We have finished the study unit 'Research Methods for Arts & Social Sciences' and are now breathing a huge sigh of relief (just now waiting on results). It was a very intense 14 weeks and so glad it's now over and that we can actually get back into creating artworks for the end of year show. Cass is making a large installation which will combine her Spirit Figures and Story Dogs in one artwork - it will be very exciting to see them both together in one installation and definitely something to look forward to!
We are now ramping up our making efforts to create works for our 'Trading Place' exhibition. The premier of this project will take place in September at the Arid Festival in Port Augusta. We intend to make 100 artworks between us, all miniatures (which is a challenge for two people who like to work large) to take over to Port Augusta for trade. I have been busily making more miniature landscapes and find that it is something I really enjoy. So far I have used three different types of clay, all white varieties, as they take the underglaze decoration much better. I have just bought a pug of Traditional Porcelain to create some more and am interested to see how these ones will turn out.
Finally I have been able to write again, after the madness of assignments and am glad to be back with the Sunday Ceramics clan. Please go over to the site and take a look at what the others have been up to in their studios, always interesting.
Until next time, keep creative!!!
Please Grant us the Serenity!
This week was another busy one at EFS and we had loads to do including submitting a grant application for our Trading Place project.
Pictured Left is an image of our concept - it is a merging of our Art practices, as you can see! We hope to make a travelling studio to facilitate our collecting of country and pieces of place related artworks for the Trading Place project and exhibitions.
It was stressful writing it up and getting all the figures right for the budget section (that's the bit I hate actually) and then getting it in on time. There was a last minute panic about some of the details, but it was submitted ... now all we have to do is wait....
... cross your fingers for us!
I have decided to make some moulds from a couple of the cardboard caravans that I made last year so that I can make ceramic vans from them. So this week I was busy preparing them for the mould making process. As the cardboard would've disintegrated when the plaster is poured around it, I had to address this first. I decided to coat them in wax as a protective coating, plus as they were not perfectly symetrical I could add bits of modelling wax where needed to help fill any undercuts. Well... this was a much bigger job than anticipated, I thought it would be quick (I am always underestimating!) - it took up most of a whole day - but will be worth it for the next stage of pouring the plaster, which I plan to do this week.
For all the Stirrers...
Most ceramicists would already be aware of this but ceramic artist Vipoo Srivalasa is calling out for spoons for his Object:Spoon event - click on this link to find out more. 40 of the most outstanding spoons will be chosen and exhibited at Harvard in Boston, USA.
Maybe we will submit one ourselves...?
This week we have all felt like bookworms - reading loads of books - I don't think I have ever read as many in as short amount of time as I have this week. Between us I think we are up to about 40 or so! All in the name of research ( and some even about research). At least we can both now say Assignment number one - tick!
Cass is even Assignment Two - tick - good for her!
Don't forget to check out all the other studios on Sunday Ceramics,
& if you are a ceramic artist you may even want to join in!
Until next time - Keep Creating....
Artist as Researcher
Well it has been another huge week for us at EFS - loads & loads going on, as always - and no signs of slowing down in sight!
There was not as much creating happening this week, although we did manage to pack, fire and unpack a full kiln load.
The week was mainly taken up with writing & research. We are both working on several projects at once (mad I know) and this includes our Uni work and our collaboration projects.
I am researching the concept of 'home' and what that means. It is a very interesting topic and enjoying it so far... especially researching artworks related to the topic.
Pieces of Place
The other theme we are working on is our Collecting Country projects and we have been researching Place-making and Sense of Place. I love this area of investigation and particularly like the idea of 'pieces of place' as souvenirs. This term refers to an object that has been collected in it's original environment as a memento of the place or event and the act of collecting the piece personally gives it extra significance to the collector. Our work relates to this concept as we are utilising pieces of place and the idea of collecting imprints on site to create our artworks and wish to convey this importance of connection to place to our pieces.
We have had some great success with this (see previous blog posts for some images) and will be continuing with the process for some time.
As I haven't done much creating this week at all, I thought I would take today to do some Sunday Ceramics... that is actually get my hands muddy and make something!
Please check out the other ceramicists on the Sunday Ceramics blog too to see what others have been up to for the past week.
Until next week... be creative!
Working hard ...
What another jam-packed week we've had at Earth Fire Spirit!
Firstly we officially started our Honours year at Uni and it was a little overwhelming to begin with, although I think we've managed to get our heads around at least some of it!
We packed and unpacked and re-packed kilns and , of course, kept creating more & more new work.
Location, Location, Location
In between all this we decided to take a day to photograph some of our work. We spent half a day in the studio taking studio shots and then we ventured outdoors...
Shelly Beach at Ballina provided the ideal setting for the look we were going for and even though the weather wasn't the greatest it didn't deter us.
Armed with boxes full of wares and camera gear slung over the shoulder we headed down to the water to take photos.
A bemused man walking his dog stopped to watch the proceedings. I'm sure he thought we were crazy as we squated in the water waiting for the waves to come in - and yes I did get a wet bum!
The studio images also turned out fantastically and we were very happy with the results from this photo session too.
We took some photos in our photography studio and others inside the gallery at Studio One29.
Pictured right is a piece we collaborated on together last year and was exhibited in the Northern Rivers Community Gallery.
It is a merging of our two art practices and this sparked the concept of a whole new collaboration project we have dreamed up. I will reveal more about this project in a future blog post ... stay tuned for that one, as it's very exciting - and could even involve some audience participation!
Last week my donated materials arrived for my Flatpack Habitat project.
Thanks so much to RCR International for your generosity and willingness to work with me on this project. Working with Big Business is very exciting and hopefully we can form an ongoing relationship (My head is full of more ideas!).
I started to assemble some of the pieces, as I just couldn't wait to get started, but quickly realised that some adjustments need to be considered.
Not least of which will be the actual location where this piece will be ultimately exhibited, due to it's size and the size restraints of the exhibition space. The joys of being a 3D artist!
Big Things ahead...
So...another big week ahead of Art and creating, research and learning.
It's always a journey, but a wonderful one!
More and more opportunities on our horizon.
If you're interested in ceramics check out the other studios on Sunday Ceramics
Until next time... keep creating - or just go surfing!
This week we packed the kiln with our first round of offerings, which is always an exciting process - it's just the bisque but still makes you feel good! I love the anticipation of waiting for the firing process to end and then opening the kiln again to see what treasures await. The bisque firing offers all the promise of what will happen and then deciding how the pieces will be glazed or finished - love it!
Dish it out
We have now graduated from spoons to little dishes (although continue to make spoons as well)
Pictured above are some of the first lot of these dishes. They are fun to make and look great with the imprints. They just look like squares of clay but they are shaped to form small dishes or plates.
I have also been experimenting with creating some miniature landscapes (one of these is pictured right). These were also a load of fun and we will most definitely make some more of these. This one I'm calling Up Mallanganee Hill. It's a very steep hill and anyone who's towed anything up it will relate! Our previous vehicle really used to struggle and it was almost impossible to tow a caravan up there, luckily our current vehicle climbs the hill with ease!
One thing about this process of responding to place is that we have a great excuse to go out exploring the region. This week we decided to go bushwalking in Bundjalung National Park and went on the Wedding Tree walk by the banks of the Evans River at the Evan's Head end of the park. This is of great significance to the Bundjalung People as it is the site of the first camp made by the 3 brothers who first arrived at the beach by canoe. The Wedding Tree is a kurrajong tree and was a wedding gift from the Wahlubal tribe from Tabulam.
It's such a peaceful place and full of wildlife too - we really enjoyed our time there, although the little one was complaining about having sore legs! "Bushwalking is really, really hard" he says, and wanted to be carried back.
I look forward to our next exciting adventure, all in the name of Art!
And if you're interested don't forget to check out the other ceramic studios posted on Sunday Ceramics.
Until next time.... keep creating!
This week we have been busy creating lots of new ceramic works and doing loads of experiments, mostly about making impressions.
Taking inspiration from nature we first went fossicking in forests and combing beaches to find interesting objects to use in this process.
Pictured left are some bowls Cass made from impressions off a coconut found washed up on Shelly Beach. This is such a fun process and we have used numerous things like driftwood, bark, banksias, stones, petrified wood, shells, leaves, seed pods, etc and you can see more of the initial results in the pictures below.
(Click on the image to see the larger version.)
The Art of Spooning...
We have also been busy making spoons - many, many spoons!
We have experimented with turning some of our impressions into spoons with some great initial results. These are yet to be fired but we are hooked! they are rather addictive to make for some reason and I in particular am having a great time creating these.
Fellow ceramicist Kim Foale from frogpondsrock and host of Sunday Ceramics also knows the strange spoon making addiction and she and I are doing a swap - I am very excited and can't wait to receive Kim's spoon.
Pictured right are just some of the latest batch - using the matchbox as size reference, and that is the great piece of petrified wood on the left - the spoon in the bottom righthand corner is the one our son made - getting the whole family involved!
Not only nature...
After our initial imprints using natural objects and surfaces we also decided to make imprints of other things such as road surfaces, fabric, metal, plastics, even my son's matchbox cars!
Once they are glazed and fired we will post some images of the results - can't wait!
This is such a great process and one we are continuing to develop and weave into our art practice - with some awesome projects based on this on the horizon ... stay tuned!
Well, it's been a big week of creating, with an even bigger one coming up, and check out Sunday Ceramics if you are interested to see what other ceramic artists are doing in their studios...
.... so now I'm off to make some more spoons!
Happy Lunar New Year!!!
Well, can you believe that we are already into month 2 of the new year! Actually Cass and I always have preferred to celebrate the Chinese New Year and that means we are only day 2 into it! This is now the Year of the Horse = something that Cass is especially happy with, as she is also a horse - it promises to be a good one for all of us!
We are still working on making artworks for our 'Trading Place' installation. It is envisaged that we will create 100 pieces between us!
Some of these will be individual works while some will be collaborative pieces - all of them will be about 'place' - our connection to it - our response to it - our relationship with it.
Actually we will probably make more than 100 pieces and chose the best 100 out of them - that's about 2 per week each to get them created in time - so be prepared for weekly updates on our progess!
To that end I sat back and thought about all the native plants and animals that I believe are the most significant to me on this property. It was a long list! Bottle brush most definitely, as it grows along the creek - wattles everywhere, spotted gum and river she-oaks... and grass trees - grass trees everywhere. Wallabies are the first animals that I think of - there's an abundance of them, then possums, bandicoots, bettongs, kookaburras, black cockatoos, and the little finches that always make me smile and think of my Dad. There's a resident goanna - well a few actually - and the red belly black snakes... and the owls I hear at night... then there's the frog chorus... the wonga pigeons... I said it was a long list!
This is a drawing of Kookaburras that I will turn into a print - maybe on ceramic?...maybe on card & framed?... we shall see... I also attempted to draw some of the other things on my list - some with great success - some major failure - but all good fun!
In other news, I have had some success in securing some corporate sponsorship for my project titled 'Flatpack Habitat'. Just when I thought that big business didn't care anymore about anything but the bottom line - this restores your faith somewhat!
I am very excited about this project and can't wait to get started on this and I must give major thanks to Gary at RCR International Pty Ltd - There will be more details about this project in future blog posts, including a link to their website - so stay tuned...
Needless to say that it is great to team up with up with big business on an art project and an extremely exciting, and one that I believe will prove to be hugely rewarding, opportunity.
Let's hope it's the first of many more to come!
So, I'm off now to create some more....
And don't forget to
Read the other 'Sunday Ceramics' blogs here...
One half of the Earth Fire Spirit Team, I have an obsession with transport & homes including caravans, mobile homes, temporary dwellings, etc ... and a passion for all Art!