Thursday, 20 March 2014

Living with ART

                                             I am off to this opening this weekend.

                             Margaret Tuckson was my first pottery teacher in 1975,
                             when I was 15 and she was 50.
                             I started off going to her home/studio on Saturday mornings.
                             By the end of 1976 I had decided to leave school and focus on pottery.
                             I spent several days each week at Margaret's place potting
                             through 1977 and part of 1978.
                             (When she wasn't in PNG or busy with writing and other things)
                             I did this until my first son was born.

                            Margaret is the same age as my mum (born the day after )
                            and I feel like her life and art has influenced my life in
                            a different way but alongside my mum's influence.

                            I lost my mum in 2007 and although I don't manage to see
                            Margaret as often as I would like to I feel such a deep
                            fondness for this woman who gave me such great mentoring
                            and instilled a passion not only for ceramics and art but also for life.
                            Margaret is 93 this year and her collection is wonderful.
                            I imagine there will be many, many people at this opening.
                            When I rang her last week to say that I would be there
                            and that I didn't imagine I would get to talk to her much on the day
                            as she would have a big fan club surrounding her ….
                            but that I would come and have a cuppa with her very soon. She said
                            "That would be great but of course I will have time to talk to you!"
                            She is amazing like that always so supportive and positive.

                            I am so grateful that our paths crossed at such
                            an important time in my life.
                            Love you Margaret!

                                                 photo by my brother Chris Donaldson

Monday, 17 March 2014

Crafty Kids

                                              One of the great things about being an artist
                                              and a grandmother is that the grand children
                                              are such enthusiastic studio visitors.

                                                      Last week we made play dough

I love the different tactile learning elements 
involved in making coloured dough.

There is the decision of which colours to make.

"Lellow, Boo and Wed pease GoGo"
(My grand children call me GoGo)

 There is the kitchen science 
of mixing the concoction.

"OK. Me do it myself GoGo"

There is watching it turn 
from liquid to solid as it is cooked.

(wrinkle nose)

                                                                   The joy of making.


                                                        Watching what other colours
                                                        come when they are combined.
                                                              "Skoosme GoGo.
                                                               Why they
                                                               Gween, Purpoow, Owinje,
                                                                now GoGo? "


        ( For an extra bit of GoGo magic
               we also added coloured glitters
             into the initial mix of each batch.)

"Yeah YAY!"

Here is my favourite cooked play dough recipe 
I have used it since my kids were small
30+ years

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup cold water
1 table spoon oil
2 tea spoons cream of tartar
food colour (optional)
glitter (optional)

Mix all together and stir over a low heat 
until it turns into dough (1-5 min)

Ready to use when cool.

Store in a plastic bag in an air tight container

Monday, 10 March 2014

Setting my House/Studio in Order.

                                                   Life is always full.
                                                   In a good way….mostly.
                                                   It is Autumn here now and the
                                                   weather is starting to cool.

                                                   Last week at this time I was excitedly packing
                                                   my bags and heading for Sydney to
                                                   look after my little grand daughter, Lillie,
                                                   as her mum had gone into labour.


                                                   It is a good thing that they share their
                                                   house with another family as I
                                                   arrived 30mins too late.
                                                   Gopal and Suse had walked into the
                                                   hospital at 11pm and she was holding
                                                   her little son seven minutes later at 11.07.
                                                   WOOO HOOO!
                                                   What a woman!

one week later :)

                                                   There is something about focusing on
                                                   the basics in life that I find very nourishing.
                                                   Things are put into perspective and a natural
                                                   order seems to be set in place.

                                                    Over the last few weeks I have had no time
                                                    to write on my blog or be creative in my studio.
                                                    Now that could have caused me great misery
                                                    however there are other, more basic, needs to fill
                                                    and studio time just doesn't rate on my 'to do' list

                                                    We had funeral for a much loved uncle.


                                                    Helping with a big move from city to country
                                                    for my eldest son and his family.

         I did sneak in  a Cameron Williams 
           demonstration at the CSG and was filled with lust for his 

                                                    The birth of my first grandson.

Finn Kalani 
                                                      In and around all of that there were HSC activities
                                                      for my daughter.

                                                      My step son returning from travel in the U.S.

                                                      Visits to my middle son in hospital.

                                                      And grandma duty.

                                                       Of course, in the mix, my essay was due this week
                                                       for my distance Grad Cert Ceramics ANU course.
                                                        That is life!
                                                       Fortunately, my attitude to work and dead lines
                                                       (which seem to be the story of my life)
                                                       has always been
                                                       'do it now because you might not be able to later'
                                                       With this in mind, as soon as I returned home from my
                                                       residential, I did a block of research work and
                                                       wrote up my findings as I went .
                                                      This made the finishing it off fairly straight forward.
                                                       However, I am sure if I had a simple life, I could
                                                       do much better.
                                                       It has been submitted on time
                                                       and I am pleased with that considering the
                                                       grand picture of life here at Lilli Pilli Studio.
                                                       If I can just pass each unit I will be happy
                                                       because in the scheme of things, it is the basics in life
                                                       that really matter to me and it will always be that way.

                                                       Art is essential to my life but only after the basics.

                                                                         This weeks harvest
                                                      and here is a little wool and silk MUD CLOTH test
                                                      that I put into a bucket of mud from out back NSW
                                                      in January and just opened today when I was cleaning
                                                      the studio.

                                           and now my spring harvest of reeds and grasses
                                           is dry and ready to be made into paper so March
                                           will be all about plant fibre paper


                                                    and then my studio will be ready
                                                    for an April of throwing.