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Happy St Patricks Day :-)

Happy St Patricks Day – and what better way to celebrate than with a 10% discount in both of my ETSY shops for the remainder of March!

Use coupon code StPats2017 in either shop for some great green finds or anything else for that matter!

In case you don’t know I have SHOP that sells handcrafted ceramic tableware and jewellery, and a SHOP that sells craft and jewellery supplies – so go wild!!

Here’s a little teaser:

and from my supplies shop

Happy St Patricks Day and happy savings!!

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!

deedeedeesupplies-pumpkin-leaf-plate_001

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

Sunday Studio Visit – reduce, reuse, recycle

During the week hubby broke a wine glass (again) and blamed the dishwasher (again). It seemed a shame to throw away yet another glass so I decided to have a bit of fun.

About a week prior hubby had also broken a hanging terrarium in the bathroom. I had salvaged the cactus and moss and stones and had them stored in a plastic bag. So I decided to cut down the broken wine glass and create a mini succulent garden!

I cut the glass using a diamond rotary cutting tool on my dremel. Then I smoothed down the rough edges with silicone carbide paper in varying textures, finishing with the finest.

While the edges were smooth and not sharp they were a bit uneven – it was the first time I had used the dremel in this way. So I applied some copper foil used for leadlighting to the edge.


Next I planted my rescued cactus and moss, and planted a cutting of succulent from my garden. I think it looks pretty cool!

I find it important to recycle and reuse as much as possible, especially in the current political state of climate change scepticism.

I also consider it important because as a ceramic artist I do use alot of gas, water and electricity. My clay and glaze ingredients have a large carbon footprint also, in terms of miles travelled and mining.

I try as much as possible to offset this footprint by growing as much food as possible, composting waste, not using chemicals when cleaning, being a vegetarian, and of cause recycling as much as possible.

 


Apart from that I am also firing the kiln today. The kiln contains the set of custom bowls I posted about last week and some student works. Tomorrow I will be glazing the bowls and reloading the kiln for glaze firing. Hopefully all will be on track to post the order on Tuesday.

2017-02-26_16-58-21-1281x2345

All going to plan I will post a pic of the finish bowls on Tuesday before I package them up.

Until then, have a great week!

New Exhibition – After the Fire.

As readers may know from previous POSTS I have been working on a new body of work, including sculptural ceramics and photography, which is now on exhibition at ContainArt till February 16th. The container is currently on location at Weerama Part, Wendouree.

The exhibition was inspired by the Scotsburn Bushfires, which I have also posted about before – both the experience on the day and Bushfire Relief Arts Program I was involved with in the following months.

I have friends who live in Scotsburn (and almost lost their home and business) and I know of others who did lose their homes. On the day of the fires I stood on my property watching the smoke and water bombers flying over, so it was very dramatic.

Approximately a week after the fires, which destroyed 4000 hectares, 12 homes and 23 sheds, I visited the site and drove through  the area extensively following the path of the fire. I took many pictures and have a comprehensive documentary of the immediate aftermath with the intention of developing a body of work to reflect the fires and comment on the climate (political and environmental) which has contributed to the severe bushfires Australia is experiencing on a more regular basis.

The opportunity serendipitously arose to hold an exhibition in ContainArt just a little after the twelve month anniversary of the event, providing a great chance to commemorate the fires.

All of the works are, of course, for sale, simply send me a message to begin the discussion 🙂

Following is the ‘Artist Statement’ for the exhibition and some images…

Artist Statement – Dawn Whitehand – After the Fire

As a person I feel deeply saddened about the natural environment and the harmful effect the human race has inflicted upon Mother Earth.

As an artist I feel a duty to bring these issues to the attention of the general public via a visual interpretation of the climate dilemmas currently perplexing our global society.

A little over a year ago the effects of global warming were brought into stark reality when the town of Scotsburn and surrounds, on the outskirts of Ballarat, experienced fires that raged out of control on the 19th December 2015. The fire, once started was fuelled by dry conditions, extreme heat and high winds, which combined to form the perfect storm of environmental conditions.

At the time I witnessed the billowing smoke from my property, and having close friends in the area I was watching and worried. Thankfully my friends remained safe, as was their property. Others were not so fortunate.

A week later I undertook an extensive tour throughout the entire route of the fire, documenting the physical effect of the tragic event on the environment. During the following months I worked with the local community conducting art workshops as part of the Scotsburn Bushfire Relief Project.

This current body of work presents a series of documentary photographs and interpretive ceramic sculptures which respond to the colours, shapes and textures of the event, that also hopefully, evoke an emotive outcome within the viewer that raises questions about their personal and communal responsiveness toward the environment, and their role within the wider global context.

A little after a year later I revisited Scotsburn and the abundance of regrowth is majestic – Mother Nature healing both the local community and her natural environment.

By presenting a display commemorating the Scotsburn fires in the context of “urban Ballarat” I am hoping to make this seemingly physically remote event more immediate & real.

Overall images of ContainArt:

Images of individual windows:

Ceramic Sculpture:

Ceramic Pit firing – New sculpture.

Hope everyone is having a great week 🙂

Following on from the previous POST I have now pitfired all of the sculptural works I made for the exhibition in ContainArt – yes I got the fire permit 🙂

 

It has been very warm over the past few weeks, so it was great that the day I chose to do the firing was only a 26C day… but, of course, we still needed a beer by the end of it (or maybe before the end of it!)

I have since installed the exhibition, but am a bit behind in my posts because – yes – I am still sick!! It comes and goes in waves and is driving me crazy!!

Anyways…. here are some pics of the pit firing, and the next post will be pics of the installed exhibition…. so stay tuned 🙂

Sunday Studio Visit – a bit of photography!

Its been a while since I posted – I have been sick in varying degrees (coming good, then not) for a few months now. I started with insomnia a few months ago which left me run down. I then came down with a virus which I couldn’t shift and which developed from there to a severe chest infection and virus induced asthma! I have never had asthma, so it has been weird! Due to ll of this I have been doing the bare minimum of what I need to do, and now that I am starting to feel better (I think) I am in catch up mode.

I haven’t even posted a Christmas pressie reminder for my ETSY shop – so here is one now 🙂

As for today’s Sunday studio visit – I wasn’t in the studio today. Being a couple of weeks from Christmas we had a family Christmas lunch with a side from my partners family, which was lovely and relaxing. The weather was beautiful, which is only just starting to happen in Ballarat – so it was perfectly timed!

The hosts live a big warehouse which they are slowly converting in a gorgeous home, and there were some fantastic views from the outdoor deck of the surrounds, which included some great geometric architectural juxtapositions which I couldn’t resist capturing on my phone.

So, I thought these shots would be a great re-introduction to my – hopefully – more regular blogging life 🙂

Enjoy!

Sunday Studio Visit – more custom orders!

This week I have glazed , fired and delivered some custom orders which  I posted about in the last studio visit, and today I have been making more custom orders – yarn bowls and earring holders.

Yarn bowls are very popular at the moment, so while my custom order is for one bowl, I have made six so that I can list some in my ETSY shop. I made extra earring holders so that I can list them also.

When throwing multiples on the wheel I thrown on bats which makes it easier to throw a series of things, and also makes it easier to remove the thrown works without warping – warping is not desirable as clay has a memory, and during firing will often revert back to the shape it has been stretched into. This is because the clay molecules realign themselves into what they were – hence the memory.

Here’s a video of me throwing on bats – thanks to hubby for holding my phone during today’s throwing session 🙂

Hopefully, all things going well, I will turn (trim) what I made today and carve out the holes needed to transform the forms into yarn bowls and earring holders.

The end products will look like this:

And here are some pics of what they look now fresh off the potters wheel 🙂

Well, that’s it for today…. hope to catch up during the week 🙂

 

Sunday Studio Visit – taking the studio out of the studio!

Today’s Sunday studio visit is a visit outside the studio – I spent the day running clay workshops as part of the Scotsburn Fire Recovery Art project.

Scotsburn is a beautiful picturesque rural community on the outskirts of Ballarat in regional Australia.

Photo : Dawn Whitehand Scotsburn Bushfires 2015

Photo : Dawn Whitehand Scotsburn Bushfires 2015

The bushfire happened in December 2015, and burnt through 4,000 hectares, taking livestock, shedding, homes and precious memories.

I remember the day vividly . I live in Dunnstown – a stones throw away as the crow flys – and have friends living in the area, so we were very concerned and attentive to the situation on the day. In fact we watched the huge D10 waterbomber zigzag across the sky approaching the area to douse the flames. It was very scary and in the following days I visited the area and documented the scene in an artist capacity. I have not, as yet, developed these images in any way out of sensitivity to a community that is, and will be for quite some time, hurting on many levels.

It is in response to this hurt that an arts recovery program has been developed to engage with the local community – art being an important vehicle toward expression and healing. There are a variety of activities being offered to the community in a series of workshops – clay (that’s me), felting, drawing and jewellery making – which will culminate in an exhibition at the end of the year.

And today was the first session! And I had some some happy cheesy smiley people playing with clay!

Dawn Whitehand Scotsburn arts recovery program

The day was divided into a morning and afternoon session with a BBQ lunch in between – complete with vegetarian BBQ! lucky for me 🙂

Lots of fab work was made during the day, and I can’t wait for the future sessions and the exhibition in November!

And here are some pics from the day – enjoy!

Dawn Whitehand Scotsburn arts recovery program

Dawn Whitehand Scotsburn arts recovery program

Dawn Whitehand Scotsburn arts recovery programDawn Whitehand Scotsburn arts recovery program

Finished creations

Finished creations

 

Mid Week Snow ….

BBRRRR …. we have had a cold snap here in the southern reaches of Australia, and where I live is a high area of Victoria which is usually colder and more rainy than other parts of Victoria. It has been really cold and wet now ffor about a month, more so in the past few days, in the lead up to a forecast for snow!

So with a forecast for snow and below 0C temperatures, I awoke to snow this morning. Snow is beautiful and I say, if its going to be that cold it may as well snow!! We usually get snow flurries here most Winters, in fact the last was only two weeks ago, but it is not usually enough to settle on the ground. Today’s snow was the most we have had since June 2000. I did take pics of that snow, and have searched, but can’t find them.

Here’s a YouTube drone view of the area near me courtesy of Higher Perspective Photography – I live on the other side of the mount, which is Mount Warrenheip.

And here are some pics of today’s snow…. they are all colour photos, but some appear black and white due to the flat light. They are all straight from my phone, no filters in an attempt to capture the grey atmosphere of the morning – enjoy 🙂

Busy Day in the Studio

I am LOVING my newly renovated studio!! I just want to work in here the time!! It is so welcoming & cozy and warm….

Dawn Whitehand

So today I unloaded and reloaded the kiln and turned it on! (still have to make a kiln god for the new kiln)

Dawn Whitehand Kiln

Then I prepared clay for throwing on the wheel – I have a custom order to make from my MADEIT shop – ant proof pet bowls, which were made specifically for the customer’s small cats, therefore they are shallow. This design would also be great for little dogs and maybe rabbits and other small pets. The order was for four bowls, so I made six to be on the safe side…. if they all turn out well the extra two may end up in my ETSY shop!

Dawn Whitehand Pet Bowls

While throwing in this style I decided to experiment with a new design…. chip n dip anyone, or maybe cheese and crackers?

Dawn Whitehand Chip n dip

Next I experimented with rings to get a firmer grip on shrinkage. I have alot of custom ring requests, so I figured it was time to work out my shrinkage rates so that I don’t have to make surplus rings to chance the right size! This method usually produces the right size and the surplus can always be listed in my ETSY shop, but I thought I would like to have more of a “formula” in place. By now it was edging toward “wine time” LOL

Dawn Whitehand Rings

Can’t wait to get back into the studio tomorrow – which will involve teaching and glaze making 🙂

See you then!

 

 

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