Monday, 21 October 2013

Paying homage to the garden

                                   I thought I would document a few things
                                   in the garden in case I lose them in the fires.
                                   Lots of favourites are just coming into bud
                                   and it is that time of the year when everything
                                   is about to grow and flourish.
                                   I do hope I don't lose them.


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Just a little HOT around the collar

                                           If you are reading this post from far away like
                                                           India, UK, USA, Russia or China,
                                       as I know I have some readers from far and wide,
                                you may not have not heard this week has been full of fire
                                                      here in the Blue Mountains, NSW.


The fires are a fair distance from us 
but the effect on the community is devastating.

To date in NSW
More than 200 properties have now
 been confirmed destroyed
following this week’s devastating fire emergency.
In total, 208 homes have been destroyed, 122 damaged.
I can't help but feel deeply for all those who have been both 
directly and indirectly impacted by this disaster.

                                             We keep hearing of people we know who have lost 
                                              everything and that will continue I am sure over the 
                                               next few weeks as everyone knows everyone 
                                                                 in the mountains.

While we are safe now, there is no way of knowing 
what will happen in the following hot days. So it is a time
 to be getting ready for the worst and hoping for the best.

I have found I have been using my art to take 
my mind off the fires and have got quite a bit done.
Strange but true.

I have a little project making a stoneware vinegar jar 
for my dear friend Beatrice in Auckland.
Not sure if I am getting it right yet.
What do you think Beatrice?

This one has two trees embracing in friendship across the skies.
It is a combination of hand built and thrown.
Hope it will work in the firing.

The hole is for  this lovely little wooden tap 
that I found on eBay and to my surprise 
when it arrived it had come from Romania.

Hope it all works in the end.
But if it doesn't I will try again :)

                                                                           I have also been making paper.

                                                                                             Iris paper  



                                                              Bleached banana



                                                                       Natural banana



                                              So tomorrow we will put a sprinkler system onto the roof.
                                              The next couple of days are supposed to be 
                                              hot and windy so the fires will haunt our thoughts.

                                                 If I was a well organised potter
                                                 I would have a whole lot of pots suitable for 
                                                 a pit fire all ready for firing.
                                                 Then I could have loaded up the pit in case a fire 
                                                 came this way and instead of losing everything 
                                                 I could have had some nice pots to return to.
                                                  But of course I haven't got any.

                                                   This week I will try to work on some stoneware platters 
                                                            and a batch of agapanthus paper
                                                     and I can also take my mind off things by looking 
                                                        at the many clay lovers posts at Mud Colony

Friday, 11 October 2013

A return to the real world

Why is it that after a climax in a work experience 
we often have a period of feeling flat?
As my friend Tony would say there is only one place
 to go when you have been so high on Hype and that's down.
Ha ha ha thanks Tony :D

I have spent this week recuperating in the garden.
It is a good grounding, soothing and reflecting place to work.

I am a bit of a hermit by choice and my week at WOW 
is always a wonderful contrast to that.
I spend my time in NZ with wall to wall 
 friends to catch up with. 
I love it!
 I always return exhausted but happy.

On returning I tend to reflect on my work 
and the work of others.
I am always harsh on myself in this regard.
That's where the flat feeling comes in.

Better keep busy.

Before I left I had an unsuccessful firing 
which will means a re glaze of everything.

I think the frit I used has changed and the recipe 
is just not behaving itself
I am finding my glaze process so 
I am really looking forward to addressing this at uni next year.

However the little gem that did come out of this firing
is this

I know it doesn't look like much 
but this clay is a wonderful colour in my books.
I fired to 1200 and it coped fine 
I think it may even go to porcelain temps.

What is it?

I dug it in out back NSW 
on the banks of the Darling River.
Too beautiful.

Today, as I garden,
I am making paper
 from my irises that have been
drying and waiting for me.

 I harvested them last year.

This years are nearly ready to harvest 
So it must be time to turn the old ones into some lovely fibre
for drawing, collage and cards.

It is a special process for me as these 
plants are from my late mums garden/pond 
and it always feels so connected with her 
when I make paper with them.
It would be her 92nd birthday 
this month if she was still alive.

They are watered with our grey water 
so it is a great bit of Eco art for me.

Next week I will be back into my ceramics 
so in the mean time I will have a peek at the 
Mud Colony potters blogs to get some inspiration 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The making of 'Forbidden Fruits - Red Yellow Blue'

Wearable Art is a labour of love
There is no two ways about it.

You have to have the bug,
the passion,the obsession 
and to be crazy enough to spend 
this much time on a work
that will never give a financial equivalence 
to the amount of time and money in materials
that goes into these creations.

However the friendships that are forged 
and the excitement that comes with seeing 
the works in their finished form 
and performing with other artists work 
from around the world is something 
that is beyond money.

Here is a bit about my work process for 'Forbidden Fruit -Red Yellow Blue'

I decided to enter the 
Gen I - Creative Excellence Section
The theme for this section this year 
was Art Forms in Nature - be inspired 
by the German Naturalist, Ernst Haeckel

Well I looked him up and I was inspired.

Below is the Earnst Haeckel picture 
that I based my piece on.

I started with my red piece.

The headdress is made from brown paper bags which I distressed.

 I combined these with some clear plastic 
loose leaf pages and chocolate wrappers
for sparkle

and some used tea bags.

These were all layered, 
hand stitched and machine embroidered until
they became a fabric like media.

I pieced them together and added 
a fringe of tooth picks and 
basketed one of my hand made cords 
around the edge just to make it a little 
less spiky for the model.

Inside is dyed and pleated silk 
and Turkish lace around the face

The cords in the collar and the dress 
are metres and meters long.

To make these I fed a combination 
of fishing line, silk yarn 
and shredded sari silk 
into the machine, twining them
together as I stitched.

   Many needles were broken
and many fingers stitched...OUCH!


       At the final photo shoot 
         Mara plaited Suse's hair with yarn 
      to match the corded collar.

  The dress fabric on 'Red' is a woven vintage rayon
 dyed with MX dye .  


      The lining inside the dresses of 
     'Red' (left) and 'Yellow' (right)    
        is MX dyed cotton 

I had to submit photos for the 
first judging round
but we couldn't organise a 
shoot before the deadline.

                                        3 busy models and a 
                                            sort after photographer 
                                              are hard to co-ordinate!

 So I took some rough photos 
on mannequins outside the studio. 

My rough photography 
must have been good enough.

With many, many, many 
hours spent on the 'Red'
I was running close to the wind
for getting the next two garments completed.

Why did I do three?
For a start sea creatures often travel as a school.

                                                   But for me there is also a delight in 
                                                   photographing my beautiful family  
                                                  (and some times friends) in my work.

                                         This year was about having a set of photos 
                                 with my daughter and two daughter in-laws together.

                                          The person modelling is always a consideration 
                                          I regard them as a major part of the design.

                                         For instance I designed 'Yellow' with holes 
                                     that make the most of Emma's tattoos at her navel
                                                              and also on her feet

        The dress is silk that I have shibori dyed 
        with silk dyes from Beautiful Silks
         to get the colour and the form in the cloth.

 The top of the hat is, like 'Red', 
made of paper shopping bags layered and stitched.


The underside is off cuts of fabric stitched onto
loose leaf plastic sleeves and 
melted back leaving holes
 to see the dyed silk inside the hat

'Blue' (a blue bottle)
was left with the least amount 
of time to complete by the deadline.

If I hadn't particularly wanted
these three girls in the shoot together 
I may well have left the entry as one costume.

But I was on a mission!

I WOULD get them done!

Once again the silk was bought from 
Beautiful Silks and dyed with their dyes
shredded, embroidered and shaped with fishing line.

The hat, like the underside of 'Yellow',
was fabric layered and stitched 
on plastic loose leaf sleeves 
then melted and appliqued with felt yarn

Mission accomplished!

Another wonderful WOW experience