Happening this Friday and Saturday until late in the evening in Adelaide is the Dirty Girl Kitchen – Artisan Christmas Markets. Should be amazing, with live music, lots of food stalls, arty crafty goodness and styling and retail stalls like mine!!
Come along and enjoy the vibe and buy something original and handmade for Christmas.
Lovely “Maureen Margaret Alice” handmade ceramic plates with crochet – named after my Granny.
Crochet goodies will be there. Perfect for storing all your stuff and great for pressies.
I’ll be there so drop by and say hi. I’m quite excited about the gin bars myself!! Quite partial to a nice G & T on a hot day.
The C word…that’s Christmas!!! is coming and I’m having a few markets where I will be selling my wares.
Sunday 7 December, 1-5pm at my house in Adelaide. Please contact me privately if you wish to come to this one
Friday 12 December from 12-9pm and Saturday 13 December from 10am -7pm “Granny Skills Market” Victoria Square Adelaide. This is part of of a bigger event put on by Dirty Girl Kitchen in Victoria Square which sounds awesome. The event is shaping up to be super cool – oyster tasting off the back of a land-cruiser, gin bars, live music, cooking classes, styling and retail.
These are my Live. Grow. Flourish plant pots in small and large. Each one has different text.
Live. Grow. Blossom and Breathe. Bloom. Flower in my two favourite colours Turquoise Blue and Red.
An invocation to the plant and the person
Fresh out of the kiln and still piping hot in the studio.
Uh Oh. Breakages…
Helloo lovely people.
I’ve been working hard in the studio recently and building up for Christmas markets. Above are my plant pots after bisque firing. I’ve been concentrating on trying to replicate the same size pots. It’s not that easy. For sale purposes it makes pricing easier though. Most of these pots are made from recycled clay. That’s clay that is left over bits, trimmings and greenware breakages. These are thrown in a bucket together with water until all mushy, then dried out to the right consistency and wedged together again. There are a variety of methods to do this recycling which I might show in another post. The down side of it is, that it is quite time consuming and labour intensive and sometimes there are little pockets or air bubbles that don’t get wedged out. However, it is good for saving costs and in its benefit to the environment. The couple of breakages shown in the image above are what happens if you miss a bubble – the pot blows up. Out of an entire kiln load I only had three breakages which is pretty good, but still a little bit annoying. That clay Goddess is a fickle mistress.
Well, its been a massive few months and I’ve been firing on all fronts, literally and creatively speaking that is. I’ve been concentrating for the last 10 months…that’s all of this year!!! on developing a couple of ranges of ceramic wares.
I’ve posted about the process before, but now I’m reaching the end of the development stage. I’ve had a little pop-up shop for one day and it went really well, Now I”m working on doing more selling and more making.
Above are my “Maureen Margaret Alice” range of wares inspired by my Nanna and named after her. These use doilies, ceramics and crochet in combination to create practical, decorative and nostalgic items. Other stuff I have been working on are my “Sleepy Koala” pots, my “Murmuration” series inspired by Greece featuring the swallow design and just for a bit of fun, some wheel thrown ceramic planters with text. I hope to have them all in shops locally and online on my etsy shop.
The Goddess of the kiln has smiled kindly upon me and I have finished my koala and cube pots…finally. I have been learning how to fire and use the kiln, and now I’ve successfully done that, I can go full steam ahead and fire work unsupervised. Watch out! I’ve been pretty happy with how they’ve all turned out. There are a few minor things to work on but on the whole I love going through all the processes and coming out with my own handmade things. The firing process really tests my patience though! At least when you cook in an oven you can have a peek every now and again but there is no way you can do that with the kiln. When the kiln is finished firing you still have to wait another 24 hours until you can actually unload and look at the work. Fingers crossed that when you open it, its all worked out.
Ceramic plaque with Sparrows using scraffito technique
I just started working on these wall plaques using a scraffito technique where you scratch away to reveal the white areas (grey in the picture til they are fired). These are inspired by the wall art I saw in Santorini Greece at the Ancient site of Akrotiri. The sparrows were a part of wall murals uncovered by Archeaologists. These works will be appearing at SALA Festival in South Australia in August at The Forge Creative Warehouse.
A murmuration is a display by a group of birds at dusk as part of a survival technique for nesting. It can be quite amazing to watch. I’m planning to do a wall full of these plaques grouped together, hence the title…plus its a cool word to say.
Remember last week myself and yarn-bombing.com lace bombed this statue at The Art Gallery of South Australia?
Well, the second part of the project was to run an activity day at The Gallery for the monthly kids art club. We made pom-pom’s and did tomboy stitch (or some call it French knitting). We had 550 children through!! Oh My!! No wonder we were exhausted after that!
My sister, brother-in law, nephew and niece all came along and my nephew Odin surprised me with his amazing creativity. Of course I’m not biased in any way….. but he is a little genius!
My nephew Odin deep in concentration
Yarn bombing is a serious business!
Odin decided to yarn bomb his toy bear instead of make pom-pom’s or do toyboy stitch. I was so impressed. Of course it probably helped having an Aunt who is a famous yarn bomber!
Yarn bombed bear
Odin and his yarn bombed bear
I was amazed that at four years old Odin has his own creative vision and is incredibly artistic and devoted to making and doing his own thing. I must add that he has wonderful parents who are also both very creative and foster this in both their children. Maybe I’ll have an assistant in a couple of years who can out bomb me! I can only imagine.
This time last year we were still in Turkey enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful Turkish people, cuisine and amazing architecture and arts. Above are some images of ‘The Blue Mosque’ we visited on our very last day in Turkey. It wasn’t even the height of the season and was still madness. The amount of tourists was insane. Inside, the Mosque it is divided so the those who go to pray there have one part and tourists the other. I don’t know how anyone can pray with a thousand tourists behind them, but they do. I almost felt rude being there. I always try and be respectful in places of religious significance but some tourists were disgraceful. If you go traveling try and remember that you are just a visitor and people actually live in the places where you visit.
That said, the tiles and mosaics were amazing, once you looked past all the cameras, ipads and phones talking photos, and all the tour guides trying to wrangle their groups. I’m still inspired by the colour and designs of everything I saw in Turkey.
One more thing…even if you are madly in love it’s not O.K to have a big ‘pash’ session in the one of the most significant religious buildings of Islam. (That’s for the couple we saw)
I’ve been yarnbombing a plenty this week at The Art Gallery of South Australia! Woo Hoo!! What a great gig. Myself and my lovely assistant Illy (aka yarn-bombing.com) covered the Bourdelle sculpture in the courtyard of the gallery with hoardes of collected lace doilies. The gallery is currently displaying a lace exhibition and this project references this exhibition. The yarn bombing itself was done earlier in the week and required a large scaffold be erected around the sculpture. I’ve yarnbombed quite a lot of things but never working at such a height. It was quite scary to start off with but we got used to it. Luckily, it was a beautiful day and we had great views. The sculpture is located in the rear courtyard of the gallery near the gallery cafe, so we had quite an audience of people walking by and admiring our work over their lunch break. It took most of the day to cover the sculpture and it looked fabulous at completion.
I’ve never yarnbombed anything that was figurative or that had a face. All the objects I’ve covered have been inanimate objects so this was really different in that regard. We decided to leave the faces of the sculptures showing which created a lot of comments. Some viewers thought the virgin was wearing a hijab, others thought it had a Russian flavour. I know the Russian women do amazing lace crochet. Anyway, it was all interesting to hear and to discuss with everyone. Unfortunately, It was only left in place for about four days, but with an approximate audience of about three hundred kids coming to participate in the monthly kids art club at the gallery there was a lot of viewers. Kids came and make pompoms and did tomboy stitch to add to the base of the sculpture. We went through 300 balls of wool and many, many toilet rolls and pop sticks!!
Well, this time last year I was in Greece and heading across to Turkey. Sigh… Unfortunately, no such trip is planned this year… Double sigh. I’m feeling the onset of Winter here at the moment and it doesn’t agree withe me! I need a therapeutic trip to somewhere hot in the middle of winter to look forward to. I am thinking about going to teach somewhere hot in the future but more on that later. For now I”m going to wow you with images of beautiful ceramic tiles that we saw in Istanbul, Turkey that have continued to inspire me and my ceramic work ever since.
These images are from the Harem in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. If you would like to know more about Topkapi Palace and the history of this amazing complex of buildings go to Turkey!! Failing that here is a link to Wikipedia which is somewhere for you to start.
For me the visual splendor of the place was overwhelming.
One of the Courtyards in the Topkapi Palace Harem
This is the tiled walkway into the Harem
Tile close up
Blue and White Tile Design
Turkish tiled wall in the Harem at Topkapi Palace
Turkish tiled wall in the Harem
There are so many more amazing images from this Harem Palace. It was tiled from floor to ceiling on the walls, plus the floors and ceilings themselves were also tiled. Amazing. I hope you’re inspired.