I do take alot of photographs… and many of them are creatively based…. but most are geared toward documenting my artworks, or other exhibitions. So, I’ve decided to take part in the the WordPress weekly photo challenge. I may not make it every week, life can get busy at times. I do intend to give it my best shot though, as I would like to use it an opportunity to challenge and develop my photographic skills.
So here is my first effort for the “Purple” challenge…. funny thing is I took this shot a few days before I found this challenge on the net : serendipitous??
Can you guess what it is?
© Dawn Whitehand 2012
I have started a new blog called A poem and Drawing a Day. It is a good way to make myself begin writing poetry after a lapse of several years, and a good way to do some drawing, which I don’t get to do very often. The drawings are only small experiments or ideas of perhaps bigger things to come.
Below is a sample post, so if you’d like to read and see more head over to A Poem and Drawing a Day
It’s dark in that place
I don’t want to go,
…coldness envelopes it,
…fog enshrouds it,
…emptiness inhabits it,
Bouncing off its walls,
…sadness consumes it,
It’s dark in that place
I don’t want to go,
In My Mind.
These mums and bubs had a great time last Monday at the ClayMotion studio… do you know any mums groups that would like to do something different? Feel free to share this with them….
ClayMotion offers two hour ceramic sessions to Mothers Groups, where mums and babies can relax in a creative environment. Mums makes a bowl, plate or cup for baby, and baby decorates with his/her handprints or footprints, creating a unique keepsake to treasure into the future.
Afternoon tea or morning tea is provided.
$25.00 per mum and baby. Maximum of 12 pairs, minimum of 6 pairs.
Price includes materials (clay, glaze, etc), kiln firing, and morning or afternoon tea.
Visit the website for details on how to book your session.
So, back in January I started experimenting with some rubbings taken from the slate tiles in my house…. you can check out the extreme circumstances (and the results) of why I began doing this here
Since then I have continued experimenting with different pencils, different colours, different tiles – all very interesting, and with great outcomes.
The following slideshow highlights a few results …. again thanks Max!!
Since the closing of the local ceramic supplies I have had to order materials from Melbourne – the closest large city to me which is 100kms away. Subsequently this involves postage and transport costs – a real doozy when it comes to ordering clay by the ton! I also constantly have people asking me where they can buy clay, glaze, tools – and I refer them to the companies in Melbourne, or Ebay.
Then it struck me – why don’t I start selling some tools, and build up a variety of different stock over time. So I began researching costs and products, and ordered some tools in bulk. I already have clay as I buy it by the ton for myself and classes. I am trying to keep the prices competitive to those of the Melbourne companies and Ebay.
So I have opened an online shop via my Facebook ClayMotion page. Currently I have come clay and tools available. The clay must be picked up from my studio, but the tools can be shipped, and postage is free Australia wide. I also ship internationally with a flat $8.00 shipping fee.
You can check out my shop here, and the products I have for sale are pictured below. Happy shopping
My last couple of artworks were made in response to a call for entries to an exhibition at Red Brick Gallery that was for small wall works 30 x 30cm. Both works are mixed media, and contain no ceramic components (well apart from a commercially produced shard) – which is unusual for me!!
I began making Relic back in April, but did not have any plans for it…. so this call for entries made me think about how I wanted to resolve the work. The work is about objectification, museum-ology and colonisation. I posted on this blog about the axe component of the work when I made it back in April: http://dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/ritual-object-a-new-sculptural-work-in-progress/
As you can see from the sketch in the above post, originally I was going to mount it on some sort of stand, but as this exhibition called for 2D works I mounted it onto a wooden backboard – made from an old frame I recycled, which I think is just as effective at turning it into an object for the consuming gaze.
The idea for Archaeological Grid came to me one morning whilst lying in bed and not really wanting to get up!! That’s how I legitimise sleeping in – when I have a blank mind new ideas and inspirations have room to emerge and develop… so staying in bed is a very important part of my arts practice!!
The work is made of the flotsam and jetsam that I am continually collecting and storing – not hoarding – in my studio. Mounted on an old piece of rio – concrete reinforcing mesh – the various components are bound on using some old rusty wire. Said various components are both organic – bone, feathers, shells – and non-organic – hinges, washers, meccano – to name a few. The work itself is a comment on modern society, our throwaway culture, our complacency toward the environment, and the title Archaeological Grid is a play on Archaeological Dig : what will archaeologists be digging up about our society in 5000 years time? What will they infer from their finds?
This is the second small works exhibition held by Red Brick Gallery – last year was the inaugural show, and I won first prize with this work: Shards !
This year I was lucky again, and received a Highly Commended for Archaeological Grid, so the pressure is on for the trifecta next year!
Lately the inspiration for my jewellery has turned toward a more tribal and organic direction, probably because of the choice of clay I am using - Buff Raku Trachyte (BRT). I first began using this clay during my honours year at University, making wheelthrown sculptural pieces such as this:
BRT is a very textured, finely gritted clay with a high trachyte content. The trachyte melts at stoneware temperature to form little sparkly highlights in the clay- photographic images do not show this feature off to its full justice.
As a textured clay throwing with it on the wheel was and is quite a challenging task. Usually I wear rubber gloves to centre and do the initial opening, then take the gloves off for forming and shaping.
To hand-build with, though, it has a satisfying textural feel. While glaze can be applied to BRT, I mostly prefer to leave it unglazed – for me the whole point is to showcase the actual clay body.
The image below shows some finished jewellery pieces I have made, most of which feature leather thong, as this too is also tribal and organic.
One necklace in this picture, though, is made of white clay and glazed in a stoneware glaze – a very organic glaze that I am also partial to at the moment. The glaze is brown, but features flecks of red to orange to black – giving it great tonal variation. I have incorporated wooden beads into this necklace also which I think gives it another layer of aesthetic interest and visual depth.
Of these new pieces, two have been listed on my Etsy store : a bracelet…
and a necklace…
The discs forming this necklace have actually been made by lightly wedging the BRT with a white raku clay to give a marbled appearance.
I hope to add these earrings within the next day or two…
I have more beads that I have not yet made into jewellery as yet, and more unfired beads in the studio, so there will be more organic jewellery on the way!!
Remember if you would like a piece custom made, just send me a message