Was you New Years Resolution to find a new hobby or to relax more or learn a new skill or get more “arty”? Enrolling in a ceramics/pottery course could be the perfect solution! And if that wasn’t your New Years Resolution, it would be fun to do anyway!
Clay is a highly tactile medium, so it is a great way to express feelings, de-stress and be creative – it also has far reaching therapeutic outcomes both psychologically and physically. Classes are available for adults and children which run with the school terms – dates and times can be found on the ClayMotion website.
Classes are suitable for beginners through to advanced, and wheelthrowing, handbuilding and sculptural techniques are taught. Outcomes include set projects and self initiated.
TERM ONE is only one weeks away and I have had lots of enquiries over the summer break, so don’t miss out!
BOOK ONLINE NOW to secure your place in classes or workshops.
Workshops, corporate teambuilding, mothers group sessions and family workshops are also available at the ClayMotion studios – see all the information on the website.
My most recent saggar bonfire was two weeks ago on the 16th November… we needed to clean up the underbrush from the property for the summer season, and whenever that happens I don’t pass up the opportunity to put some small works into the fire.
I am very happy with the outcomes, and will be making jewellery with the finished beads once I return from Italy. I am also happy with the little experimental teabowls I fired, and will definitely be doing more of those little gems.
The photo gallery below shows images of the process and step by step descriptions of the process. Click on the image for a larger view.
There is only five weeks till Christmas, so shopping time quickly passing by. The simple solution may seem to go to a large department store, and buy everything in one frenzied spree, but why not consider buying from small business and/or self employed people this year, rather than from multinational companies?
Shopping online is a great way to accomplish this. Not only is it a time saver if you are feeling the rush of festive season, but it also provides easy access to a whole assortment of small businesses, individuals and artists that sell online. An added bonus is that usually these business are more sustainable and more ethical. These are people who are interested in customer satisfaction, and your goods are delivered to your door – what could be better?
My online store is on Etsy, along with lots of other artists and crafters that make a wide array of handcrafted goods.
As some regular readers will know my speciality is ceramic jewellery and tableware, but I also have upcycled button jewellery, ceramic buttons, and original artwork blank greeting cards. And I hope to be introducing a new line of tone jewellery in the next day or two.
To ensure Christmas delivery orders must be placed in my shop by 26th November. This is because I am going overseas to exhibit in Florence, but also because the post can be pretty swamped at Christmas, so the more delivery time the better.
Below is a small selection of items from my store. To view the full range of my products, visit me here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeeDeeDeesigns
I am featured on this blog today. It is a post that talks about my inspirations and creative spaces that I work in with a few photos from my studio. Check it out
So, I set up my retail space at Incube8r in Smith St, Fitzroy last week with ceramic tableware, ceramic buttons and small ceramic sculptural pieces… fingers crossed!!
For those of you who don’t know, Incube8r is an initiative that features only handmade goods by local artists… clothes, jewellery, paintings, bags, sculpture, craft…. you name it… if it’s handmade it’s there!!
So, if you are in Smith St drop in, and get yourself something unique, quirky and handmade!!
Week three at the Melbourne Arts Centre Market saw another cold Melbourne day…. typical Melbourne weather!!
The appearance continues to improve though, with a white background to make the work stand out better, food in some of the tableware, and the introduction of some rings and brooches for extra variety.
Next weeks improvements will include a better method of displaying the jewellery, so that the rings stand up a bit more and are more easily seen… working on some sort of little stand.
So off I’d better go and get designing!!
This coming Sunday will be my third week at the Melborne Arts Centre Sunday Market. I was excited to be accepted to have a stall at the market, as it is quite hard to get into, and they maintain a high quality standard. Unfortunately I could not display my jewellery, as they already have ssooo much , but going in with the tableware range is still all good!
Each week is a “work in progress”, in terms of improving the visual appeal of my stall. Sales have been slow – it is winter in Melbourne – but each week I have tweaked my stall set-up, trying to improve the overall appearance.
Week one my wares were displayed on the supplied red tablecloth (so that there is uniformity to the market) with the addition of some old wooden crates to consolidate the organic and rustic nature ofclay. I also used some hessian to break up the red tablecloth.
For the second week I diluted some white paint and whitewashed the wooden crates to give them more distressd/shabby chick look, but also to give the wares a lighter background to sit against – this definitely added to customer appeal. I also found another wooden display stand and dispensed with the hessian. I made signs featuring my business name and the uniqueness of the product, and another sign suggesting usage for the tablewares - the power of suggestion!!
My plans for week three include laying a white tablecloth over the tabletop part of the red cloth, to give a cleaner backdrop to the tableware, and to display some Japanese rolls, wasabi, soy and pickled ginger on a three dish tapas set -pictured below. Again, the power of suggestion… and some late lunch for when the market finishes!!
On Friday I set up my retail space at Incub8r in Geelong with some of my ceramic jewellery and small tablewares. Originally I was going to have one display case, mixing the jewellery and tableware together, but when I arrived I was lucky enough o be given two cubes, so the two wares are separate. I am happy with the outcome… so hopefully a few sales will come my way.
Incub8r showcases handcrafted works from all around Australia – clothing, jewellery, ceramics, candles, painting – if its handmade its available.
I will be setting up a retail display at Incub8r in Fitzroy on the 14th June, but until then if you are in Geelong, drop by and have a look at 127 Moorabool st!!
Plate & Bowl Creating Workshop
Saturday 9th June 2-4pm $50.00 all inclusive
Participants will learn a range of handbuilding methods, including slabs, moulds and tearing, to make plates and bowls. Greenware decoration methods will then be explored, using a variety of methods, including imprinting, carving, scraffito, slip decoration and underglazing.
Cost is $50.00 per person and includes all materials and firing.
Numbers are limited, so book early!!
**Remember if you would like to give this workshop as a gift you can purchase a gift certificate**
Visit the ClayMotion website for enrolment information and payment options.
In July-August 2011, I was lucky enough to be invited by the Korean government to participate in the annual Gangjin Celadon Ceramics Festival where, along with other international ceramicists invited from the USA, Israel, Pakistan and Germany, we exhibited in an international ceramics exhibition and demonstrated our making techniques during the festival.
In return for our participation we were provided with yummy Korean meals, accommodation, and were treated to workshops devoted to local and traditional techniques given by Korean potters.
Korea has a long history of invasion and cultural assimilation, from the Mongols in the 13th century, the Japanese in the 16th century, and the Japanese again in 1910. Since independence in 1948, there has been an emphasis in Korea on revitalising cultural identity: the Gangjin Celadon Ceramics Festival has become a beneficiary of this South Korean government initiative.
As a group we began by arriving at Seoul Airport then travelled to Incheon, where we stayed overnight. Then we bused it way down to the other end of South Korea, Gangjin, where we stayed for a week while joining the festival.
The actual festival was a fantastic experience, with many new friends made. As ceramics has a huge cultural identity in Korea, the festival was visited not only by ceramics ‘geeks’ but by families and general members of the community who were treated to market stalls, hands-on making marquees and traditional tea ceremony experiences.
The second week of our stay we all climbed on a bus and embarked on a Korean government subsidised ceramic tour of South Korea. The tour involved visiting National Treasures, Master Potters, Tea Masters, Temples, Museums and Galleries. It was amazing!
The following week’s tour was a marathon effort, though well worth the on and offing of the bus. It is hard to fathom the value the government and people put on ceramics, when one comes from Australia, where artists have to struggle to make ends meet, and many give up altogether. In Korea ceramicists are well respected, and some are national treasures (and this is noted on posts outside their homes) or have titles as officially developing, maintaining and handing down certain ceramic traditions.
While on tour we travelled from Gangjin to Boseong to Hadong to Gimhae to Busan to Ulsan to Gyeongju to Daegu to Mungyeong to Suanbo to Yeolu to Icheon, then back to Incheon then on to Seoul, where we stayed in Insa-Dong, a suburb of Seoul. Here we were able to stay a few days and nights to explore and have free time. Insa-Dong is the cultural & arts hot spot of Seoul, and the food was great. Of course I did my fair share of shopping while in South Korea, both at the festival and while on tour. As well as clothes and present for family I also purchased some beautiful tableware and tea-bowls.
I had previously been exposed to the ‘tea ceremony’ via my research of Japanese Ceramics, and like most people believed that this is where all the tea traditions were founded. My Korean experience, and the knowledge I gained, particularly while on tour, changed this notion and fuelled my interest in this area of ceramic history. As a result I am currently compiling a book of my Korean experience, containing a brief history of Korea and Tea, and an extensive photo gallery of my ‘tea’ experiences while in Korea. I am constructing the book using Blurb, and hope to have it finished by the end of the month, at which time it will be available to purchase online.
Left & Below: Ancient Korean Ceramics showing tea-bowls in the foreground.