Monday, July 30, 2007

Sea Jewels Paddling North

Recycled glass Sea Jewels have been going beserk in the top end so I just sent another batch of necklaces to Framed- the Darwin Gallery.
Life is slowly getting better after the shock of breaking up with my long-term partner and I will soon have the energy to face making a new range of pebble work. At moment it feels good to clean out and reorganise my home workshop.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tea For Three

Cups of russian caravan tea and Dad's famous shortbread on gorgeous mix-matched handmade pottery as the afternoon sunlight trickles through the leaves in my garden. I thank my family for helping me clean out and reorganise my life and enjoy the beautiful life after a bad start to the day.

I gathered together my favourite pottery for a special tea. As Simon Suckling, who made the blue cup and saucer told me that it is better karma to break pottery after having used it than to break it having never used it, something that Shannon Garson who made the teapot and milkjug is also reminds us of.

Tea, family, neighbours and friends help you get through the hard times and I thank them all.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Saint Fran

Congratulations to Fran Crowe whose 1st solo exhibition is now underway.

Fran says "I am walking to collect 46000 pieces of litter from my local Suffolk beaches - 46000 because this is the average number of pieces of litter per square mile of ocean worldwide according to the UN. I have been walking since last September and so far I have collected over 41000 pieces, most of which I have just installed in the Babylon Gallery in Ely (where I am 2007 bursary artist). I think it makes a shocking but fascinating viewing which I really hope will engage people with some of the issues to do with marine litter and the state of our oceans. " I've been following Fran's work for some time on her website and love the way that she gets an environmental message out there with humour and a cheeky challenge to her audience. And I think she has come up with a perfect excuse for long walks on the beach and cannot help but feel a bit envious that did not think of it first!

The results of her project are not only backed up with scientific data detailed on her website but they are so very aesthetically seductive!
I know all the beach plastic is bad but I cannot help but love it at the same time for its worn edges, eroded textures and washed out colours that tell of all sorts of adventures at sea.

Here are some favourite beach plastic specimens from my personal collection:

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Surface Paradise

A need to escape from Brisbania led me to beg fellow Umbrellaist and good friend Shannon Garson to accompany her on a weekend ceramic workshop at the Gold Coast Potters Association. She was more than happy to have me along as she was touching on jewellery making in the workshop and adorable little Pearl, her 4mth old baby was also coming and in need of occassional distraction and cuddles (not that I got much of a look in with 15 or so clucky women at the workshop).
Shannon demonstrates her leaf tattoo painting style in sepia watercolour.

Shannon generously demonstrated many of her surface decoration techniques (slip trailing, watercolour-like brush work, shellac resists and sgraffito) as well as expertly throwing some tricksy southern ice clay and demonstrating the turning of the drying pots. While I have no intention of getting into ceramics myself, I gained plenty of useful knowledge during the workshop and enjoyed meeting the lovely ladies from the Potters group who were so appreciative of Shannon's tuition.
Top: Throwing
Bottom: Shannon with Anne

We also publicly showed for the very first time our collaborative project: Nibble. Shannon has created some delightful tiny porcelain pieces which I have turned into rings (below), necklaces, earrings and brooches with st silver and gold. Shannon was initially inspired after making a gift of porcelain miniature food for a child's dolls house and we have always wanted to do a collaboration together. Giftmaking often inspires me too as I try to make something different from my usual to suit a specific person and this often leads to a whole new tangent! Much of the Nibble range is about food and nurturing: there are peas in pods, eggs in nests, iced vovos and pumpkins. More photos of it on this site in a review by participant Anne Mossman and we'll be publicising it more soon. Any suggestions on where and how to exhibit it are most welcome!
Above top: rings from the Nibble collection
Below: surface decoration equip, workshop participants