Today, April 22nd is Earth Day – are you doing anything special? Planting a tree, turning your lights, tv and computer off for a few hours?
I am not planning on doing anything special per se – my television never goes on until about 9pm at night for the news anyway! … and I do, on a daily basis, try to live sustainably, so will do more of that today with a little more mindfulness during the day.
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.
Here in Dunnstown,, where I live, we are approaching the end of the Summer/Autumn growing season and I have been doing lots of preserving, bottling and preserving – I will be doing more of that today. I still have lots of apples left which I will be using to make more apple chutney and apple paste (which is great with strong blue cheeses). I have made bottled apples in the past, which were great, so I might make more of them too. I have also recently delved into raw apple cider vinegar!
As followers of my ETSY shop may know – and if not you will now – as well as making ceramic homewares and jewellery, I also make a range of jewellery made from upcycled materials such as guitar strings, plastic bottles, buttons and beads. Love jewellery, or know someone who does? Today, being Earth Day is the ideal day to purchase an upcycled gift for yourself or a friend…. and remember Mothers Day is coming up on May 14th.
I have been a bit preoccupied lately with all the preserving and fermenting from the summer/autumn garden so have not been doing a great deal of making… but recently I had a custom order from my ETSY shop for twelve ceramic buttons so took the opportunity to also make some extra buttons and some pendants at the same time.
The buttons turned out beautifully. The customer wanted them to add a unique and jazzed up element to a denim jacket which she wants to take on holiday with her at the end of April! I love these kinds of stories that accompany custom orders and hope she will be happy with them! I think she will…
The pendants, which I will list as necklaces and earrings in my ETSY shop, are just in time for Mothers Day – May 14th. I have assembled some of them and will be listing them over the coming week. If your mum/sister/girlfriend/wife/aunt/nana/partner or female friends anywhere love both handmade and jewellery these are the perfect gifts!
See you soon!
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 🙂
Today’s Sunday Studio visit is focusing on my Etsy shop.
I have a great array of handcrafted gifts in my shop which make great alternative Easter gifts! You can also place a custom order for both tableware or jewellery pieces.
Speaking of custom orders, tomorrow I will be posting a yarn bowl which was custom ordered for the colours the customer preferred. I think it turned out great. The yarn bowl is a gift for the customer’s mums birthday, and I think she will like it!
Readers may remember from previous posts some plates I made impressed with pumpkin leaves from my garden … well these are now live on ETSY. I have listed a dinnerware set which is available as a single setting, or other custom quantities, four place settings for example. Coming soon will be plate size sets – four side plates, for example.
Pumpkin leaves are only available in my garden from November to April (approximately), so at other times of the year the plates will be available with other seasonal leaf imprints.
I also have other pumpkin leaf imprint items in my shop, such as these:
And on Friday I sent this pumpkin leaf plate off to a new home in Melbourne – a mere 100km from where I live!
And speaking of pumpkin leaves and garden produce I have been busy again this week preserving gods from the garden!! Today it was fermented cucumbers, bottled tomatoes and apple paste, which I can’t wait to taste with blue cheese!!
Well, that’s it for today – I will hope to catch up mid week 🙂
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!
Here’s a little teaser:
and from my supplies shop
Happy St Patricks Day and happy savings!!
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!
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!
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.
Hopefully – all things being equal – these plates will be finished in time for the BOAAmerch Showroom opening this coming Friday night.
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!
Well, that’s about it for today’s studio visit – hopefully see you midweek!
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!
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….
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) 🙂
So, that’s it for today’s visit….. have a great week 🙂
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: