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Sunday Studio Visit – or rather Sunday Kitchen Visit!

The firing schedule is really busy at the moment in the studio due to my ceramic classes and also my own art work …. so I am firing the kiln today, mostly with student works, plus a few of my own artworks.

But my attention today has been in the kitchen – it is that time of year again!

An abundance of produce has meant preserving – so today’s efforts involved squash relish and fermented cucumbers.

We enjoyed a sample of the relish on tonight’s dinner – zucchini (from the garden) and corn patties accompanied by said relish! It was so good…

I wont be able to sample the cucumbers for a week as they need to ferment – but i’m sure they will be yummo!

The other cool thing about having a vegetable garden are the pumpkin and zucchini leaves which leave a great impression on clay. These plates have a pumpkin leaf impressed into the surface which has been highlighted with black copper oxide and finished with a clear glaze. I am pretty happy with them, even though one cracked! I will be making more, and will have to do so in the next month before the plants die off as Winter approaches.

So until next week – have fun! But hopefully I post before then!

Sunday Studio Visit – bits and bops

Happy Sunday everyone!

Last Sunday I shared with you some bowls I was making as a custom order from my ETSY shop which was to be a wedding present. I said I would post an image of the bowls mid-week….. but life just got too busy and I didn’t 😦

However, here is a pic now! I was happy with the bowls, their uniformity and the finished glazed product which strengthened the uniformity of the set further. The bowls were sent on Wednesday with loads of bubble wrap, so I hope the newly wedded recipients love them too!

Dawn Whitehand ceramic bowl set

As far as today goes, I have FINALLY gotten around to glazing the pumpkin plate sets I made almost a year ago – I know it was this long ago because they were made with last years pumpkin leaves from the garden.

Plates impressed with Pumplin Leaves

Plates impressed with Pumplin Leaves

Hopefully – all things being equal – these plates will be finished in time for the BOAAmerch Showroom opening this coming Friday night.

Dawn Whitehand pumpkin leaf plates

I also listed a pumpkin plate in my ETSY shop tonight which I made during the same time last year – I had listed one a few months ago, and this is another in a different glaze. I think it looks pretty cool! The glaze is ovenproof, microwave proof and dishwasher safe, making it ideal for everyday use as a serving plate and for warming up and cooking food!

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Well, that’s about it for today’s studio visit – hopefully see you midweek!

Sunday Studio Visit …. custom orders!

I haven’t posted for a while (again)…. what is my ‘excuse’ this time?

Hubby & I have been busy trying to finish the deck we started a year ago! After the initial build winter hit Dunnstown and building was pretty much ruled out. Add to that the ill health I had for most of last year and building was impossible.

So, now that the nicer weather is upon us and my health is in recovery mode we wanted to get the deck finished before it stretched out to a second year – plus we (and our friends) are hanging out for a deck party!

So yesterday I oiled the floor of the deck, but I couldn’t put a second coat on today because it rained all day – thankyou Ballarat summer! But progress was still made – hubby put together the steps (with a little help from me) … and they look great!

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But in the studio for today, I have been working on a custom order I received through my ETSY store for a set of bowls. The bowls are a wedding present and are to be personally inscribed on the base – so the pressure is on. It is a big responsibility to make quality tablewares at the best of times – but a personalised wedding gift really heightens the concept of well designed handmade products.

This is the bowl that inspired the custom order and is currently available as a single bowl in my ETSY shop….

Dawn Whitehand - wheelthrown bowl

Dawn Whitehand – wheelthrown bowl

And this is today’s effort in the studio. I am happy with the uniform shapes and sizes, so think they will be successful as a ‘set’ of bowls. The order is for a set of eight so I made twelve, just to be on safe side. The remaining four will make it into my shop if they all fire successfully – if not hubby will get them (the cook of the house) 🙂

Dawn Whitehand pottery bowls

So, that’s it for today’s visit….. have a great week 🙂

Merry Christmas Everyone 🎄🎉

Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for visiting my blog throughout the year even though I have been scattered in my posts and in visiting others due to ill health. My New Years Resolution is good health and, therefore by default, more regular posting and visiting!!

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AND be sure to visit my ETSY tomorrow for a Boxing Day Sale – use ‘boxingday2016’ for 20% off storewide … avoid the chaos of shopping malls and shop online! 🎁🎁

Have a great Christmas and New Year everyone and see you in 2017 🎉

 

Have a great Christmas everyone 🎄

I said in my last post I was going to start posting more frequently after ill health – but getting so far behind in my teaching and firing schedule and other business stuff – plus a bit of a health relapse – meant it just hasn’t happened. So I am going to call it quits for 2016 and make my New Years Resolution to have GOOD HEALTH!! I have never experienced six months of ill health before and it has done my head in!! So here’s to 2017.

I will leave you with a couple of pics of works in my ETSY store though because I am having a boxing day sale – perfect: no need to visit the chaos of the malls, just buy online!! At the checkout use ‘boxingday2016’ and receive 20% off your entire purchase – what better way to end the year?

Have a great Christmas and New Year everyone and see you – hopefully – more regularly in 2017 🎄🎉☺

Sunday Studio Visit…. custom orders!

I have been very busy this past month, with catching up after being ill for a while (Winter/Spring bugs), and also quite a few custom orders. So yesterday (Sunday) I was very busy, therefore I am writing this a day late.

In my last Sunday studio visit post I showed you a picture of the 200 snow flakes I was glazing for a custom order I received through my ETSY shop. Well, the glazing is finally all done, and now I am threading ribbon through them all for hanging!! What a job!

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Besides that order, I also am working on custom orders for some focal beads, some champagne flutes and a coffee cup.

Overall its been a very busy October with lots of orders and purchases coming through my Etsy shop …. here’s a few of the items that have found new homes this month – some within Australia and some overseas.

And of course there is always the customary kiln firing – this firing is full of students works, plus the custom champagne flutes.

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Well, that’s about all I have time for – back to snow flake threading!

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Sunday Studio visit – Glazing in the Studio

Its a bit of a dreary Sunday today with lots of (more) rain! So I have been catching up on some glazing in the studio….

{insert pic here} oops sorry folks, forgot to take it!! lol….

Glazing of children’s works created during the school holiday workshops a couple of weeks ago – during the workshops we made Christmas plates and decorations decorating them with coloured slips…. so today I applied a clear glaze to the kids plates and decorations which will make them shiny:

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The other glazing I began was the custom order I have for two hundred (yes 200) Christmas snow flakes which i received via my ETSY shop. the test turned out great so I am doing the mass production thing for a couple of days!!

Dawn Whitehand

If you would like to place a Christmas decorations order best do it NOW to ensure pre xmas delivery – message me here or place a custom order through ETSY 🙂

And of course the kiln is loaded with the glazed lovelies from today!! And overseen by the kiln goddess…

Dawn Whitehand

Well that’s about it for today – have a great Sunday/Monday/Week 🙂

 

 

 

Teepee Firing – experimental low fired ceramics

As readers may know I am somewhat a specialist in pit firing, having explored it extensively during my PhD and then writing a book about it which you can find on lots of online book stores such as AMAZON.

Lately I have been yearning to explore more methods of alternative firing. The idea arose when my pugmill decided to die leaving me with lots of clay I haven’t had time to manually reclaim. So I thought I would make an outdoor clay kiln – this is still in the planning stage, and I hope to get it up and running (so that it is ‘fired’) before fire restrictions come in this year.

In the meantime I decided to use some of this excess clay – mainly from buckets under the potters wheels which has a high water content – and experiment with a TeePee firing. I did the firing a couple of weeks ago, but hadn’t had time to post it till now – it seems to be very busy at the moment!

I am lucky enough to live on a 10 acre property with lots of trees, and it has been a windy year so there are lots of blown down branches scattered around. I began by constructing my TeePee using these branches and then lining it with fence palings which I reclaimed from a neighbour a few months ago. Before lining the TeePee though, I constructed a tripod with smaller branches within the TeePee which included seeweed, cow dung, salt and some copper sulphate and nestled my pots into it.

I had previously made a series of pinch pots which were were prepared using string and copper wire wound around the pots to hold on seaweed, gumleaves and cow dung.

Prepared pots

Prepared pots

After lining the TeePee with fence palings I dipped newspaper – in two or three layers for strength – into clay slip, which I had made by using my glaze drill to mix the clay in the potters wheel slag buckets. I then lined the TeePee with this paper making sure I left I left two holes for lighting the fire and a few draft holes to feed the fire. I also left a hole in the top of the TeePee for drawing.

The firing was really fun to do and visually splendid and I was very happy with the result for a first effort and intend to experiment with this technique more.

And here are the finished pots cleaned and polished 🙂

Pot One – when the paper slip fires it creates an almost low fire sculpture, so I rescued some shards the following morning and experimented 🙂

Pot Two – love these colours!

Pot Three – great copper wire markings here!

Pot Four – love the subtlety ….

 

Sunday Studio visit – Bits & Pieces!

Today (well, yesterday – I am running a bit late) in the studio I have been finishing making a custom order – 200 snow flake Christmas decorations : phew!!

And here is what 200+ decorations look like 🙂

 

Apart from that I have not been doing much – I am still recovering from a terrible virus i have had, and it does not want to let go!!

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So, I will share with you some items I have recently added to my Etsy shop – its never too early to think about Christmas gifts!!

Have a great week everyone 🙂

Sunday Studio Visit – another art session for the Scotsburn Bushfire Recovery Art project

I am writing this a day late as yesterday (Sunday) I just ran out of time after being at the Scotsburn Bushfire Art Relief project all day and then visiting friends who live in Scotsburn, and just managed to save their property, for dinner.

The Scotsburn fires happened a week before Christmas last year (2015), and burnt through  4,000 hectares, taking livestock, shedding, homes and precious memories.

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The Victorian government appointed a bushfire relief officer to facilitate healing in the community and as part of that initiative an arts program was established.

This is the second art session we have held in the community – you can check out the first session HERE.

And here are some pics of the finished works from the first session:

There will be a third session in mid November culminating in an exhibition to be held for a week and coinciding with the Anniversary Family BBQ being held in December to bring the community together and commemorate the bushfire.

The session included clay (me), drawing, felting and jewellery making, and the community had a great day with a BBQ lunch between sessions.

Following are some pics from the day and go to show how art is integral to bringing communities together and healing 🙂

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