Dirty Girl Granny Skills

Dirty Girl Kitchen

 

Hello peeps,

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.

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Lovely “Maureen Margaret Alice” handmade ceramic plates with crochet – named after my Granny.

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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.

Love and Art

Sarah-Jane

Live. Grow. Flourish

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These are my Live. Grow. Flourish plant pots in small and large. Each one has different text.

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Live. Grow. Blossom and Breathe. Bloom. Flower in my two favourite colours Turquoise Blue and Red.

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An invocation to the plant and the person

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Fresh out of the kiln and still piping hot in the studio.

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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.

Love and Art

Sarah-Jane

Firing on all fronts

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Green oval tray with pinkround blue with blue

Koala planters

Swallow platesWord planters

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.

Love and Art

Sarah-Jane

The Kiln Goddess

The Open Kiln

Drum roll….The Open Kiln

Finished Glazed Koala Pots

Finished Glazed Koala Pots

Finished Glazed Cube Pots

Finished Glazed Cube Pots

Finished Koala Plant Pot with Succulent

Finished Koala Plant Pot with Succulent

Cube Plant Pots all finished and planted up

Cube Plant Pots all finished and planted up

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.

Love and Art

Sarah-Jane

Murmuration

Ceramic plaque with Sparrows using scraffito technique

Ceramic plaque with Sparrows using scraffito technique

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HI folks,

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.

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

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