Turkish Blue

Worshippers at The Blue Mosque

Praying at The Blue Mosque

Tourist Madness at The Blue Mosque

Tourist Madness at The Blue Mosque

Ceiling in The Blue Mosque

Ceiling in The Blue Mosque

Tile Detail in The Blue Mosque

Tile Detail in The Blue Mosque

 

Turkish Tile Detail

Turkish Tile Detail

Turkish Tile Detail

Turkish Tile Detail

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)

Love and art (and respect)

Sarah-Jane

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The Virgin Awaits

My lovely assistant Illy (aka yarnbomb.com)

My lovely assistant Illy (aka yarn-bombing.com)

View through the gallery window

View through the gallery window

Yarn bombing at a height

Yarn bombing at a height

Detail of the Virgin

Detail of the Virgin

At the beginning

At the beginning

Lace bombed Virgin

Lace bombed Virgin

 

Howdy folks,
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!!

A great project to be involved with.

Love and Art
Sarah-Jane

 

Turkish Tile Flashback

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.

Istanbul Architecture

One of the Courtyards in the Topkapi Palace Harem

Tiled courtyard

This is the tiled walkway into the Harem

Turkish Tile designs

Tile close up

Turkish Tile design

Blue and White Tile Design

Ceramic Wall Tile

Turkish tiled wall in the Harem at Topkapi Palace

Ceramic tiled wall

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.

Love and Art

Sarah-Jane

Bombing the Virgin

Virgin of the Offering Sculpture by  Émile-Antoine Bourdelle

Virgin of the Offering Sculpture by Émile-Antoine Bourdelle

Yarn bombed tractor

Rear view of tractor

Yarn bombed tree stump

Yarn bombed tree stump

Yarn bombed tricycle

Yarn bombed tricycle

Lipson Street, Port Adelaide

Lipson Street, Port Adelaide

Yarnbombed bike in my front yard

Yarnbombed bike in my front yard

 

Well, I’ve yarn bombed a few things in my time but this will be the first time I’ll be bombing a sculpture in the Art Gallery of South Australia by invitation!! Not a bad gig to get I must say! This is actually a beautiful sculpture called Virgin of the Offering by Émile-Antoine Bourdelle in the collection of the gallery. I hope the artist wouldn’t mind me altering it for one day.

This project is inspired by a lace exhibition which is about to open at the gallery and I’m going to attempt to use white lacy things to yarn bomb this sculpture in keeping with the lace theme. All my other projects have been done using a myriad of bright colours but this one will be a little different. I think it will look good keeping with the lace theme and be sympathetic to the original sculpture.

In conjunction with this yarn bombing I will be facilitating the making of about 300 pompoms with kids to get them involved in looking at the textiles in the gallery, the lace exhibition and in making some thing themselves.

The sculpture doesn’t look that big in the picture but it is at least life size if not a bit bigger and is on a large stone plinth in the courtyard of the gallery so it’s a big undertaking. We will need a scaffold to reach the top and although I’m not afraid of heights it’s not my favourite place to work. I’m hoping we can do a little stop motion video of the process, to post here for you all to see.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Love and Art
Sarah-Jane

You win some, you lose some.

Well I opened up the kiln with excitement and found a few problems unfortunately.

 

My cracked platter

My cracked platter

My big platter with Akrotiri inspired sparrows on it has a crack in it and I’m not sure I can do anything about it. Any suggestions??

 

Streaky underglaze

Streaky underglaze

I also found that an underglaze  I bought cheap at the clay supply store was cheap for a reason. It fired all streaky and uneven. I’m just wondering if I can apply a different underglaze on top now it’s been bisque fired and then clear glaze and fire it again to cover it up. Does anyone know?

 

See in the middle of this plate a white mark and also a bit of a ring where another pot was sitting on top of it in the kiln

See in the middle of this plate a white mark and also a bit of a ring where another pot was sitting on top of it in the kiln

Lastly, one of my favourite patterned plates has a white mark in the centre where the underglaze rubbed off. Can I add a new coat of coloured underglaze and clear glaze and then fire it again? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Koala pot yay!!

Koala pot yay!!

Pony brooches Yay!

Pony brooches Yay!

 

Finally, there were some winners. Two koala pots came out well, a couple of bowls and five little horse brooches I made, plus half a kiln load of kids work from classes I’ve taught came out fine so there will be no tears from the children at least. Only from me.

Love and Art
Sarah-Jane

Kiln Killin Time

Ceramic Vases

Vases in Fairy Floss, Baby Blue and Mint.

cermaic vase

Small vase

Ceramic Platter

Detail of a large textured platter in Fairy Floss Pink

Ceramic Vases

Two sizes of vases in Baby Blue

 

Howdy folks,

Yesterday I had a busy and creative day teaching in the morning and then doing my own ceramic work in the afternoon. I’m still on my learner’s permit with firing the kiln,so I loaded it last week and got one of the more experienced ceramicists to start off the firing for me while I was teaching. I went to the studio and kept an eye on the kiln til it finished. While I was waiting for the firing to finish I underglazed the works above.

These are from my still developing range I’ve named Maureen Margaret Alice after my Nanna. They have a vintage aesthetic and I’m going to add a secret addition to them all after firing which will bring together lots of different aspects of my creative practice. I’ve stuck to three different colours under the ‘less is more’ philosophy, which was a bit of a struggle, as I’m a bit of a ‘more is more’ kind of girl. I’m happy with these so far and hope they turn out amazingly when fired. I’m off to open the kiln now from yesterday’s firing. Fingers’ crossed it all fired successfully.

Love and Art
Sarah-Jane

 

Raw

Quilt blocks

Quilt blocks cut out and ready to sew

Quilt blocks

Pink Overload

Quilt block

Raw edges are it!

Quilting

Finished raw edged quilt number one

 

It’s winter here…well not officially but it feels like it. I’ve been quilting up a storm. I’ve decided my fabric hoard needs reducing or I’m going to suffocate in fabric one day. I’ve been making quilts. As my partner says “How many quilts do we need?” yes, well, they’re not all for us. I’m making them for friends and family. I’m not the kind of person that makes fiddly, particular and perfect quilts so I’ve been making raw edged quilts at the moment. The last two images above are of a square block quilt I’ve just finished for my cousin’s son Jasper. If you want the details on how to make it check out this bloglink www.goodhomesdesign.com

The first two images are for Jasper’s two sisters Scarlett and Elodie. What is it with girls and pink???? O.M.G!! It’s so full on I can hardly stand it. Every little girl is obsessed with it. I wonder if it’s just marketing or if it’s something else. If you go to any toy shop and look for the girls aisle you can see it glowing neon pink from afar. I’m not overly happy with this conditioning for girls and as an adult I had a real abhorrence for pink. I think because I was scarred from all the pink stuff from my childhood. My parents even went out of their way to not condition us based on gender and I still somehow picked up that pink ‘was a girls colour’ and blue was for boys. Actually, my favourite  colour has been blue for a long time. Anyway, regardless of the reason the girls favourite colour is pink so I’ve gone with total pink on pink for Scarlett and blue on pink for Elodie. I’m just finished the cutting out stage of these two quilts which I am going to make smaller than Jasper’s. For all the information on how to make these raw edged circle quilts check out this link to Bijoulovelydesigns.com where she explains how to do it better than I ever could.

Love and art

Sarah-Jane