Wheelthrown Jugs and Vases
It’s been a long time since I wrote in this blog…. 2020 has certainly been a mind altering experience! Prior to that my posting was slowing due to being so busy with the ClayMotion shop I have mentioned in previous posts … so the combination of both made 2020 an almost complete write off! But it’s not finished as yet.
Due to the ongoing social distancing requirements that will be in place most certainly until a vaccine is rolled out, which I suspect will be quite a while, I am unable to run classes at the shop-studio at full capacity. I haven’t for a while, and, as i said, i can’t see that changing for months.
So, I have made the difficult decision to class the shop and relocate back to my home studio, where I can still accommodate socially distanced classes, but having lower overheads, will be more viable.
Having made the decision I now need to focus on the positive outcomes, and one of them is that I can now dedicate more time to my own art practice and post more regularly here on my blog. I also plan to attach a shopping cart to this site and sell my artwork online from here, rather than via a third party such as Etsy. During lockdown I have also been drawing more, so might share some of that process and results too.
So for my first post in months I would like to share some wheelthrown jugs and vases I threw on the pottery wheel back in February. These will be posted in the online shop, but if you are interested and don’t want to wait – great Christmas pressies – let me know and payment options can be organised via email.
They were thrown using BRT clay which is a course clay, but has a beautiful, speckled, textural body that is also gorgeous with a glaze over the top. I do always like to leave some of the body unglazed to feature the clay surface – that’s kind of the purpose of using it in the first place.
Following is a video of me throwing one of these vessels and also a video of the finished vessels.
Enjoy, and I look forward to sharing more with you soon on a much more regular basis!
Remember my art installation Earth Blanket exhibited as part of The Biennale of Australian Art (BOAA)? Well it has now been accepted into the North Sydney Art Prize – which is great…. but now how to get it there! What was I thinking – haha….
I also have an artwork on display, Symbiotic, at the Post Office Gallery in Central Ballarat as part of the annual Ballarat Arts Foundation Alumni Exhibition. The exhibition runs through till the end of the week, so if you are in or around Ballarat there are some great artworks to see – plus there is a peoples choice award – nudge nudge wink wink 🙂
My latest acrylic pouring painting was my best yet, with lots of cell development in different sizes and good colour formation – very happy with this effort, and will be having another go with the same colours and pouring medium – the trick though is getting the consistency of the paint correct….
The painting was created over the top of another painting I was not a fan of … I didn’t gesso the canvas, so we shall see – so far so good! I used the flip cup method, and just look at the colours in the cup! Looks good enough to eat…
That’s it for today – hope to see you next week 🙂
Since my first post about acrylic pouring a few months ago I have had another few plays with the technique and it is quite a fun spontaneous method. As you experiment more there is a certain amount of predictability to it – the colours you choose, the order that you layer your colours, things like that – but once it is on the canvas the paint takes on a life of its own. In this way it is a bit like pottery – you can control the form you make, apply your precisely measured glaze design and recipe, but once in the kiln the flame will take over and the kiln goddess will have her way!
Previously I have experimented with flip cups* and dirty pours*, so this time I thought I would try a couple of different methods I have seen while losing hours to You-Tube!!
Firstly I tried pouring from a jug in which I layered my paints. I poured in a circular motion onto a larger canvas … I videoed it, but have just a screenshot of what it looked like, because I can’t upload a video directly to WordPress and I don’t have it posted somewhere else to add via URL – anyway the screenshot gives you the idea (I hope). The pic next to it is the end result after some titling.
Next I lined up three toilet rolls and poured my paint into them directly on the canvas. Again, I can’t show the video, put a still pic, and the end result…. I enjoyed this method, and it is a good way to cover a more rectangular canvas.
Finally I did a colander pour! it was a fun method, and I will definitely try it again now that I know – sort of – what to expect! Finally I can show you a video of this as I posted it on my Instagram page. Watch the vid, then keep scrolling to see the final painting.
Acrylic pouring can be challenging in that you are pouring – usually – from a circular object onto a square canvas so that it can be hard to reach the corners without losing the integrity of the pour and “cells”. To counter this I tried pouring a little paint on the corners and then blowing through a straw so that the paint would flow and blend with the other colours resulting in a more integrated effect and not just a blob of paint in the corner – I think it worked quite well.
*Dirty Pour – different coloured paints are layered into a cup and poured onto the canvas.
*Flip Cup – different coloured paints are layered into a cup and flipped onto the canvas.
As promised I am going to attempt to keep up the Sunday Studio visit blog posts at the very least! So today I will share with you an elaborate doodle that took me a few drawing sessions to finish.
I have been having fun subscribing to Scrawlbox, a subscriber art supplies box of goodies that I receive every month. I began this as a way to prompt me at least once a month to create an artwork, because I have been so overrun with the shop.
I hadn’t received my October box as yet (and still haven’t, so they are generously sending a replacement box – good old Australia Post), so I decided to create a doodle using the alcohol based markers I received in a previous box. I didn’t have any marker paper so just used my visual journal, but I didn’t mind because I wanted to retain the intensity of the individual colours in the doodle anyway (IE – I didn’t mind that I couldn’t blend the colours).
I was happy with the result, and my son loved it so much he wants me to get it printed on fabric and make a shirt for him – or get someone else to make a shirt for him! So that was nice 🙂
I still haven’t received that October box so today I have began a watercolour painting of Peeps, my shopdog, also using supplies from a previous Scrawlbox – this time a watercolour palette. I have finished the sketch and layed down some colour, which I will continue tomorrow and during the week. I will finish with some finer detail – fur, etc – using some watercolour pencils which I already have in my art supplies collection.
So that’s it for today’s studio visit – see you next week 🙂
Its been a while since I’ve been on the wheel, apart from demonstrating in classes – mainly because I am so busy with classes.
Regular readers may know that last October I moved my home studio into a shop in Ballarat Central. This means I have increased my pottery classes, have introduced mosaic classes, and have also invited guest artists to run workshops. As well there are also art supplies, an exhibition space and locally made giftware. All this adds up to a very busy routine.
A little while ago, however, I received an order for some mugs, so this provided a need and some inspiration to jump back on the wheel. The order was for mugs made from BRT clay, so I conditioned a bag to make it nice and soft for fast centring and jumped in the saddle.
The order was for four mugs, so I made twelve – you never know what the kiln gods will do! Besides, I wanted a set for the shop, and I fancied one for myself.
I threw the mugs in one throwing session and finished with a tall cylinder vase using approximately 1.8kg clay, leaving it on the wheelhead to dry. I was quite happy with the result, so a few days later I threw another vase using 2.1kg of BRT clay, which you can watch in the video below.
Next I will have a go with 3kg of clay, so stay tuned!
As some of you may have noticed I haven’t posted on this blog for months!! This is because I opened a shop in Central Ballarat where I am teaching pottery classes amongst other things.
Regular readers may know that I taught for years from my home studio which had been renovated and even extended…. but I kept outgrowing it. So in October I moved the whole shebang to the shop/studio and have been flat out ever since. The shop’s window display features locally made giftware, there is an exhibition space, art and pottery supplies, casual studio space hire, kiln service, and classes by myself and other guest artists…. you can check everything out on the ClayMotion website.
Even my weekends have been taken up lately with preserving all the goodies from our garden.
But this weekend I decided to get back into a bit of art. One of the guest artists this month is running some acrylic pouring workshops at the studio, and being inspired, I decided to have a bit of fun at home. So I watched a few YouTube vids and plunged in!
I used coconut milk as my additive to achieve cells on all of last nights paintings, and I am going to use nail polish remover in the next batch, which I am hoping to tackle tonight. I didn’t pour my canvases over a try, but instead lay grease proof paper over newspaper. This is so that when the excess that poured off the canvases dry I can peel them off as acrylic skins. I then want to cut them into shapes and mount them in glass dome cabochons to make jewellery. So stay tuned for that blog post 🙂
Below I will explain my process for each painting … so read on!
This was the first painting I did, I applied the paint by layering the colours in a funnel allowing for more control of application, however I didn’t pour enough paint for it to be fluid enough. The paint was also a bit too thick, and perhaps I didn’t add enough coconut milk. So I had to spread the paint manually which blended the colours together a bit too much and no cells developed. So I decided to try a technique I saw on YouTube called the String Pull Technique, and I think it worked out quite well. After pouring the canvas a piece of string is coated with paint laid on the wet canvas in a shape – for me it was a squiggle – and then pulled off the canvas in a downward motion. I did it with white first, then black and then two with glitter gold. I then pulled a craft stick through some of the wet paint to create different effects. Here’s a vid of what I did (its quite big so keep scrolling down for more info):
The second painting I quite like and I created it using a dirty pour. This is when you layer the paints in a cup and then turn the cup onto the canvas and leave it to run to the bottom of the cup. Although I thinned the paint down a little it still wasn’t quite enough and I think I still needed a little more coconut milk. Although there are a few nice cells and quite a few really small ones I do like the colours and the way the overall composition turned out.
Here’s a vid of the dirty pour (again it is big, so keep scrolling):
The next painting had much better cell development. I thinned the paint down much more and added more coconut milk. Again it was created with a dirty pour.
And the final painting had even better cell development – not quite enough, but better. It was also created using a dirty pour. I do like the middle swirls too. It looks a bit galaxy like.
I enjoyed the process and liked how it is very similar to slip marbling and feathering on pottery. This has set my mind racing to try the string pull on a plate!
And now I am off to do some more playing!
It has been a while since I published anything – sorry about the absence, but things have been a bit hectic!!
Ceramics wise I have been busy with custom orders in my ETSY shop and also for a local restaurant.
I have also been experimenting with some new jewellery making techniques – which I will post about in the near future – and I have also been building up my new jewellery and craft supplies shop on ETSY
But for the purposes of this post I will stick to ceramics and i will let the pictures tell the story!
See you soon 🙂
Today is Mothers Day and my mum, sister and son are visiting – so I am not doing anything in the studio today. My other sister is away on holidays in Western Australia, and my other son in the midst of travelling around Australia in a caravan! So it the three of us – plus hubby!
So I will share with you what I would’ve done today, but did yesterday instead, because I knew I couldn’t do it today – wow, how complicated!
You may remember from my last post that I threw lots of bowls, earrings holders, yarn bowls and oil burners a few days ago. So today (yesterday) I turned and carved everything ready for drying, bisque firing and then glazing. I am quite happy with how everything turned out – and even experimented with a prototype for a light/lamp shade.
One of the freshly turned yarn bowls is already SOLD after sharing the image below on my INSTAGRAM account – so get in fast!!
Here is a gallery of the finished freshly turned pieces…. looking forward to seeing how they turn out after gazing!
April is National Poetry Writing Month and I have been participating over on my Poetry blog where I publish a poem and a drawing inspired by the poem.
My poetry blog has been going for a few years now, but I haven’t published much this year, until this month – so hopefully participating in this daily challenge will get me back into a more regular routine!
Following is a sample of some of the drawings I have been publishing – but you’ll have to visit my blog to read some poetry!
Happy reading 🙂
Hello everybody! It has been a rainy day here at the studio – almost 50 ml of rain!!
Thankfully my studio did not flood as it has done in the past – just a bit of wetness, which will be easily fixed once we extend the stone driveway we laid down recently.
This was the flooding prior to the new driveway ….
Apart from that I am firing the kiln today with a mixture of student works and some pieces for my ETSY shop including these buttons and pendants, which include custom orders – I always make extras!
So that is about it for today … hopefully I will see you during the week, or not next Sunday 🙂