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!!
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 🎉
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 🎄🎉☺
Many years ago I had a studio/gallery separate to where I live and at this studio I had a huge brick kiln, unfortunately I don’t have any pics of the kiln, though I do of the studio.
After a few life changes at the time I decided to downsize and relocate the studio to the garage at my home, which I did over the Christmas break of 2003-4, and have been slowly renovating ever since, the most recent being in the past few months and which I have posted about HERE.
Over the past decade the studio has gone from tin garage to insulated, walled and painted studio, to studio with new entry and french doors, to the most recent extension.
As part of the expansion I also acquired a ‘new’second hand kiln, which I have also posted about HERE.
Now back to the huge brick kiln…. and today’s studio visit. When I relocated I pulled the kiln apart and brought all of the bricks and kiln shelves and props with me. The props I have been using ever since, but the kiln shelves were too long for the smaller kiln I also had at the time, and still have. As the kiln was large it had lots of kiln shelves.
All of these kiln shelves are finally coming in handy for two reasons…. 1/ after many years of firing my smaller kiln to stoneware temperature the shelves have become warped. So today I (or should I say hubby) cut down some shelves to fit the kiln…. and 2/ bonus that the old shelves are the perfect fit for my new/old pert-o-kiln, well almost. They are fraction short on width, but perfect on length. And I have enough shelved for both with more left over!
The other great leftover from the old studio/gallery was sandwich boards, a couple of which I still use now, but I did have a spare one….and amazingly they fitted precisely under the tables in the new glaze room so that I was able to convert them into mini trolleys with caster wheels to put glaze buckets on for storage under the tables. So now it is easy to pull the buckets in and out for simple access to the glazes.
And the best part is that I am still recycling … even the castors were reclaimed from a couple of storage units I rescued from a dump site and am now using in the new renovation!
Once all this outdoor work was finished I retired indoors into what I call the ‘jewellery room’ – basically a room inside the house I converted to a ‘clean’ studio when my kids moved out, much to their chagrin! I am really behind with product photography for my ETSY shop due to the studio renovations and really want to upload some new listings over the coming weeks – that means good photos!
Apart from that I fired the kiln – the old one. I haven’t fired the new (old) kiln yet as I only cut the kiln shelves today. So tomorrow a new batch of kiln wash will be made and away I go!
I hope you have enjoyed visiting the studio …. talk soon 🙂
I am LOVING my newly renovated studio!! I just want to work in here the time!! It is so welcoming & cozy and warm….
So today I unloaded and reloaded the kiln and turned it on! (still have to make a kiln god for the new 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!
While throwing in this style I decided to experiment with a new design…. chip n dip anyone, or maybe cheese and crackers?
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
Can’t wait to get back into the studio tomorrow – which will involve teaching and glaze making 🙂
See you then!
Regular readers will know one of my ceramic sculptures was recently accepted into the biennial Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award, an award that has become a fixture on the ceramic awards calendar in recent years, The award is open to all Victorian artists, and spans functional ceramics through to sculptural and conceptual works, as long as the main medium used is clay.
The exhibition opening was held on Wednesday evening at the Mannigham Art Gallery in Doncaster, so now I can reveal my sculpture and give you a bit of information about the conceptual underpinnings of the piece.
So what is this artwork actually about?
I’m glad you asked…here’s my Artist Statement:
Much of the artwork I create addresses environmental issues, sustainability and the need for humanity to reconnect to the Earth and realise their symbiotic relationship with the landscape.
Landscape 1 is the first in a series of sculptural artworks that capture this ethic in both the making process and the finished form.
The sculpture was press moulded in two halves using the polystyrene end packaging of a radiator heater. Polystyrene is especially bad for the environment in its manufacturing process and in that it doesn’t break down and so remains a permanent waste product.
With some creative thinking, however, this material can be used to model artworks or can be turned into artworks itself.
The surface of Landscape 1 is achieved through pit firing, a method of firing ceramics in the ground using organic materials to achieve the mottled coloured surface. When pit firing I only use materials which are found on the ground – old branches, sticks, pine cones, cow dung and leaves.
Given the fragile state of the future environment this method of firing is also a sustainable way of finishing sculptural and decorative ceramics
The exhibition runs until the 29th August and there are some fantastic ceramic artworks to see, and buy, from over fifty Victorian artists, emerging through to established. So if you are in or near the area it is definitely worth a visit.
Below are some images from opening night….enjoy 🙂
Today i didn’t get anything done in the studio!
Being Sunday I had a sleep in, then had friends visit spontaneously this afternoon, which was very nice. They visited for a couple of hours, and then it was tidy the house time in preparation for my son and his girlfriend visiting. It was my son’s birthday, we were having dinner, and my son’s favourite – my partners famous apple pie.
However, today I was featured on the Australian Wandarrah blog, which I have reblogged below.
Australian Wandarrah is an Australian and New Zealand team on ETSY. The team is a great resource for sharing, networking and supporting fellow makers. Their blog is relatively new and they write frequent features of member shops. And…. I am going to begin writing articles for this blog soon – so that will be fun!
So, check out the blog post and find out more about me! And check out some of the other team member shops while you are there 🙂
Today we chat with Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns.
1. Share a little about yourself … what makes you you?
I was always crafty’ as a kid, and to a degree it was encouraged…. but when it came to schooling I was not encouraged to pursue art, but rather ‘proper’ academic subjects.
So, it has been in later life that I rediscovered myself in art and creativity. I enrolled in a pottery class when my youngest was about 2yrs old and have been going ever since!
2. What inspired you to create your business and how long have you been trading for?
I joined Etsy in 2010 out of curiosity but did nothing with the shop – I was mainly creating sculpture and exhibiting back then and felt my work was not a good fit with Etsy.
Then in late 2011 I had an accident and severed…
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Today I was not actually in the studio, I was participating in the Golden Plains Arts Trail, purely by chance.
I was in a group exhibition a few years ago for the Arts Trail, but this year decided not to join in, but then a friend who was opening her studio for the weekend event had a last minute commitment elsewhere on the Sunday so needed someone to babysit – and that was me! So I took along some sculpture to display in her garden.
This friend is Julie Collins, who, in collaboration with her husband, makes fantastic large scale sculptures which you can see on their website.
The Arts Trail is an annual event held in the Golden Plains Shire in Central Victoria which showcases local artists who participate by opening their studios to the public or by staging solo or group exhibitions at various venues throughout the shire. Members of the public obtain a map of all the locations from places such as tourist information centres or galleries, and visit artists over a weekend…. it is a great success and many people specifically come to the region especially for the event.
The sculptures I displayed for the day are all ceramic and are wheelthrown and manipulated while still soft to form organic shapes. The pieces are finished in textured glazes that highlight the natural forms….. here are some pictures 🙂 Have a great day!
Brainchild of Niki Lakerink, Collidescope Art Meets Fashion began as Niki noticed the use of well known traditional artists, such as Mondrian and Picasso, on garments parading the European catwalks. An artist herself with a strong interest in fashion, Niki was also frustrated over the lack of sales and recognition within the regional art-scene. These two seeds cross pollinated and germinated into the Collidescope project. Coincidentally Melbourne Fashion Week was four months away, which gave Niki a target date to begin the process of bringing the concept together.
The project paired regional artists and designers together, inspiring them to work collaboratively to produce garments to be featured in a fashion parade event in Ballarat to coincide with Fashion Week. Thee were also designers drawn in to create accessories for some of the outfits – jewellery, millinery and bags.
After a hectic four months of setting up websites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, sourcing funding via council, arts bodies and a crowdfunding campaign, and organising fabric and printers the collaborative teams successfully completed their design briefs and the catwalk fashion parade was launched on the 21st February at the Mechanics Institute in central Ballarat. Niki also secured a partnership with Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Week (VAMFF) enabling the project to leverage some promotional muscle.
There were three sessions of the fashion parade accompanied by the VAMFF short film series. The sessions were extremely well attended, including council dignitaries and senior representatives from Regional Arts Victoria and the Arts Council of Australia. The feedback was fantastic as seen in this After Party Video filmed by Augustus Firestone for his Visual Feasts YouTube Channel.
Footage of the catwalk can be seen on Niki’s YouTube channel also filmed by Augustus Firestone.
But the project didn’t stop there!
The success of the catwalk fashion parade has been followed up by an exhibition of a selection of the garments and some of the original artworks behind the garment inspiration. The exhibition is currently at Wolveschildren Art Space and continues through to the 8th March. The garments look great in the gallery setting providing an ideal opportunity to see the fabrics and designs close up. It is also fantastic to see some of the original artworks that inspired the collaborations. Images of the garments and artworks can be seen in the picture gallery below.
But wait there’s more!
This coming weekend is the annual Begonia Festival in Ballarat, and Niki has secured a place in the program of events – a catwalk fashion parade being held on Monday 9th March at 2pm. The parade is on the main stage and is a free event.
For more information bout the collaboration teams visit the Collidescope website.
Congratulations to Niki and the team for an initiative unlike anything seen in Ballarat before!
So, what’s next?
Based on the huge success of this event Niki is planning to continue this project annually in Ballarat to showcase regional local art and design talent. She is also organising a small group of the collaboration teams to design a full range to be launched at the September City of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.
Oh, and did I mention that I designed the jewellery for one of the garments? The Ballarat Print designed by Niki’s son Thurston features a digital photography mash up of Ballarat heritage and modern buildings printed in a block design. The fabric is very architectural in inspiration so I designed a jewellery set capturing an industrial architectural feel. It was modelled by Deborah Klein and looked fantastic.
And below are images of the garments and original works currently on exhibition at Wolveschildren Art Space.
If you have following my blog over the past few days you will know that I am participating in a challenge on Facebook where potters are asked to post three pot pictures for five days and also nominate another to do the same each day. Today is the final day – and I am also sharing these pictures with my wordpress readers – that’s you 🙂
I have been taking a nostalgic approach to this challenge and have been sharing pictures that reflect my development over the years… from my early self taught days through to my Honours Year and PhD at Uni. This journey, I think, shows the development of my work over the years, but also illustrates the basis of my major influence – the natural environment. These posts show a movement from functional ceramic wares through to abstract sculptural ceramics while still capturing nature and all she has to offer, and in later work, what is in danger of being lost.
Todays images are a selection of pictures from the years following my PhD – their theme is still about conserving the environment, but I have begun to introduce found objects – from natural things such as sticks and feathers through to industrial objects such as barbed wire and nuts and bolts. Juxtaposed against clay – the skin of the Earth – I believe strengthens the underlying premise of the artworks, making them more powerful and more confronting to view.
It was a bit difficult to limit this gradual development with only three images, so on this final day I thought I would ‘cheat’ and have posted five pics.
You can check out my original post on my Facebook page, and even follow me if you like what you see 🙂
Until Sunday’s Studio Visit….
So, you probably already know by now that I am participating in a challenge on Facebook where potters are asked to post three pot pictures for five days and also nominate another to do the same each day – and I am also sharing these pictures with my wordpress readers – that’s you 🙂
I have been taking a nostalgic approach to this challenge and have been sharing pictures that reflect my development over the years… from my early self taught days through to my Honours Year at Uni. This journey, I think, shows the development of my work over the years, but also illustrates the basis of my major influence – the natural environment. These posts show a movement from functional ceramic wares through to abstract sculptural ceramics while still capturing nature and all she has to offer, and in later work, what is in danger of being lost.
Today’s images feature my PhD works– 2005-9. The title of my PhD was Sacred Space in Contemporary Society: the Artist as Sharman, and can be downloaded and read HERE. This thesis was a natural progression from my Honours thesis which questioned the role of ceramics in the 21st Century. My PhD thesis asserted that sculptural ceramics installed in the natural environment – an installation – could act as a conduit reconnecting humanity to the Earth – an act that is required if we are to stop using & exploiting the environment. The research was framed within a feminist framework, exploring the patriarchy that has allowed the unstemmed growth of capitalism and exploitation. In this context the artwork was developed to sit within the landscape, not overpower and dominate, as does much modern patriarchal sculpture.
You can check out my original post on my Facebook page, and even follow me if you like what you see 🙂
Until my final post tomorrow….