Thursday, 12 February 2015

Return to sender.

Sometimes I wonder about the whole process of sending art over seas.
I don't deny that it is great to branch out and meet fellow artists from other countries.
It is also great to be part of an international show.
However the red tape and Hoo Ha that goes with freighting and customs agents leaves a lot to be desired and is nothing short of teeth grinding frustration for the most part.

My "Forbidden Fruits-Red Yellow Blue"
went to New Zealand in 2013 for the World of Wearable Art Show (WOW)
It stayed on for most of the year that followed and came back just before Christmas 2014.
On opening the box  I found that only 2 of the three garments were there.
It took some time for the third Yellow piece to be located,
it was somewhere in Auckland as I understand,
and finally it found it's way home to it's maker today.
But OH MY! What a process to pick it up!
I chose to drive the two hours to Sydney to get it as delivery was quoted as $295 to my home!!!!!!!
Yes, one small box that I could pick it up with one hand.
Only about 1/2 a meter square.
 It contained only paper and silk.
It be transported from Sydney to the Blue Mountains - $295!

What I hadn't been told was that to pick it up I needed to have closed shoes and a fluro safety vest.
You know the kind that every one puts on when they go to the shop?
Why would I need to be told that?
As it happens I always wear closed shoes but today I thought I would wear the walking sandals that I bought two days ago on special from 'sumit gear' an outdoor and bush walking gear shop….
the first sandals I have had in about ten year and the first time I had worn them!
Sturdy and sensible outdoor walking shoes.
Of course!
Well the guy at the boom gate told me to come back tomorrow with better attire.
I am nursing a very unhappy and painful hip and knee at present and the trip to the city is nothing short of eye watering with short out burst of screeches and groans so the thought of making the 2 hour return to the mountains without the costume only to have to do it all again tomorrow was horrific!

I asked why one of the forklifts that were buzzing about on the other side of the boom gate couldn't just bring my little box down to the gate?
I could see the box only 10 meters away.
He said call this number and ask the office.
So I tried but my phone had decided not to work, totally dead,
and no obvious reason why it had gone into a comber so I couldn't call the office.
I kept trying for an hour…then two hours...
But it wouldn't work I couldn't make any calls.
So the boom gate guy toddled on down to me and said in his broad Italian accent
"go buy some shoes lady,at the shop it's not so far and buy a vest from me. It will be better for you."
I had no idea where to look in Matraville for shopping centres  I couldn't even google shops as my phone wasn't working!

So I went looking for shops to buy shoes for this complete circus of a freighting company.
After much searching with no luck I found an op shop with shoes
that matched the clown persona I had to become in this circus situation.

I bought his safety vest.
Walked through the boom gate.
Into the office….no machinery…no vehicles….nothing that my walking shoes couldn't have coped with.
They stamped the paper.
I drove my car to the other side of the boom gate and the fork lift put the very light small box in the car.

So it took all day….I have my costume….but will I do it again?

I probably will…..but not just now…….
and perhaps I will use the post rather than freight in the future.

The things we do for art!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Of Pots and People, Rust and Rags.

Here it is only just February and it already feels
as though enough has happened to fill a year!

My mind has been pondering on how to get my gas kiln working.
A friend who came to stay at the end of last year
told me about a very clever bit of magic/science to use
for cleaning my gas burners.
Here is the tip.
Create a vat with
1 part molasses
2 parts water
leave rusty item in the vat for a few days and all the rust lifts off.
OH JOY!!!!
I didn't have to sit with sand paper or consider developing my skills as a sandblaster ????
And it would come out shiny and new????
While I went about all the other things I needed to do????!!!!


Thank you Barry Voorwinden you are awesome!
So I made the mixture and put the bits in the vat.

Here is a beautiful running picture diary
of the rust lifting onto the surface of the solution.





Not perfect but really good!
Now the fabulous Steve Harrison is working his magic on them
and hopefully I will be one step closer to getting my gas kiln working! YAY!

I returned last week from a week at ANU where I was participating
in a masterclass with Greg Daly on domestic ware.
I get frustrated by the work I create while away….

But I love catching up with like minded souls 
while we contemplate clay and making.
Along with being inspired by looking 
at the work of Gwyn Hanson Piggott, 
                                                    Leach and Lucie Rie, to name a few.

Greg Daly

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

Bernard Leach

Lucie Rie

I always return itching to get making.
However life continues to provide me with many tasks to deal with
that challenge my time in the studio.
I am not complaining, as every thing I need to divide myself between is very worth while.


                                      I returned home with lots of clay and
                                     I have started this years beginners classes at Lilli Pilli Studio
                                     and I have a beautiful group of people to share my love of clay with.

                                    Last weekend I attended a memorial service with my siblings
                                    for our dear family friend, May Barrie (sculptor),
                                    who died aged 96,  just before Christmas 2014.
                                    The Barrie /Voorwinden family have always been
                                    like a branch of our family.
                                   My mum,Tattwam, met May at
                                   National Art School (East Sydney Tech) in the 40's
                                   and they remained close until mum died.
                                   May has been a huge creative influence for me and all of
                                   my siblings, as we spent many childhood times on the farm.

                                    Let me share a glimpse of the day and her environment with you.
                                   Her living space was as much a piece of her sculpture
                                   as the rest of her impressive sculptural works.

Now it is time to breath in all the creative inspiration 
and take myself back to the studio
as there is much work to get on with!
We will be having our next (7th) family exhibition 
in October this year at the BDAS Gallery, Bowral.
So stay tuned for details.