2011 begins as a new year but really, ideas dont start and end with the calendar. At the end of 2010 i was looking back over my brief study on Russian agit prop porcelain and although it inspires me and gets me all excited, i realized that the work i actually created didn’t connect alotto the ideas of really making Porcelain political, and so i resolved to spend the rest of my working life, to making that happen. Here are two pieces, titled “which way home” that worked quite nicely and they’re all about the experience of not knowing where you are or how to get to where you want to be, physically, which refers to the migrant experience and psychologically, referring to how we do one thing but would rather do another.

The second photo is work that i will never cease to make and that is the images of houses; how we confine and define ourselves by the houses we live in, how walls define our selves or confine ourselves really interests me. The roof top really stands as a symbol of secrets held and mystery. The plans that define our spaces also define our lives. These are interesting thoughts and there is a great book i’m reading called “why architecture matters” by Paul Goldberger.

Now i begin the year with the incentive to make Porcelain political!! I am starting with the refugee disaster that occured on Christmas Island in December last year, where 70 or more people drowned when the boat they were fleeing in crashed. I am also thinking, researching  immigration and how we have walls around us that either let others in or keep them out. Our land is a physical border but our prejidices and beliefs are another.

My father came to australia when he was 18 and i think the experience of coming to a new land and moving home has relevance to me on a personal level and political relevance to the land i live in-australia. The functional shapes i make also has a reference to migration, in that they also have walls to keep things in or seperate from and by pouring one thing in to another, there is displacement.

 A good friend of mine Christopher Sanders took this photo of me earlier this year. I am hoping to be in the German Ceramic magazine called Neue Keramics next month and the only photo i had of me was an old one, so I’ve updated myself here instead!

the new kiln

here’s the new kiln, sitting pretty and ready to go.

i’ve done a few bisques and a glaze firing to 1300,only one, to be honest, it makes me abit nervous but i do love a gas kiln!

here’s one set of pieces which has absolutely no text, just the bare branches of trees and huge numbers and road lines over the top. One day i was driving home from drop off and i saw the bare autumn branches of huge oak trees and i wondered and thought about how similar they looked to the map lines on a page.oh, they do have a title, “look the other way”.i wondered how it is that we find our way, how do we get from one place to another, how do we make our journey’s? do we follow the path -the map lines- or do we follow and notice the things along the way, and do we get there faster or better or easier when we take a different path? mmmm i think alot in my little studio!!

here are some photos i’ve taken, around the place this winter, of the shadows, overlapping the roads.

teapots without the spouts!

It’s now October 2010 and I’m back to work. The studio is a big mess and I’m drawing every day, which is heaven! Ideas are coming thick and fast but my challenge is great as my mind has made a slight shift. All the maps and houses that are my usual narrative have had a little shift. I’ve been very interested, delighted and intrigued with the events of our political parties and election and i’m beginning to think that maybe, things aren’t as different as they seem. The fact that the election result was so close made me think that our differences aren’t so great or that we have more cross over in ideas than we thought. I do find this hard to swallow actually, as a strong believer in Labor i feel the philosophical differences are huge, but the election was interesting to see nevertheless. After the final solution of the election i started to draw my houses with alot of blurred edges, with the edges of the houses crossing over the top of each other, ignoring the walls that divide. As a consequence, i’m thinking alot about how the maps we follow in our lives show us many roads, and although two people may take two different paths, they may end up at the same destination, just from different starting points. Choices are important.

I also completed my grant application for a study trip to St.Petersburg, so thinking about Australian politics is interesting, while hoping to one day study the Russian politics of 1914 and the porcelain that was created then…could i make something that talks to us about our political times in porcelain??!!!!

looking from above-aerial view

_ESC4666As of mid last year I have been working constantly on a commission form Form Gallery in Perth. It has been an amazing experience, professionally and personally and physically as well! I first received an order for 200 and then another order!! so this March I will be finishing the final order and then, i will get back to making something other than my little cups for Form! The work i have posted here is a largish bowl (for me) that was sitting in the studio for a while. Chris Sanders told me to prepare the studio, ready for the commission and that meant cleaning up and sorting things out on the shelves. So, i drew and fired and this bowl just came alive!! I have to say it is one of my favorites and I kept it at home on my bookshelves so I could see it every morning. But, there comes a time when you need to get the work out of the studio and the house and sell it!! Also, there is a very good reason to do that, and that is, to share my ideas so the work can mean more than just something to me, they can contribute to a dialogue and have a life of their own in the world.
This peice will go to a new shop opening up in Albert Park, in mid-March, so I will keep you posted!!

Decals Decals Decals

lots of pots in boxes 09

Just wanted to Post a photo of the latest 100 pots that are ready to go for the Form Gallery in Perth. They are ready to jump in the kiln! And I have to say, I won’t be dissappointed not looking at yellow for a while either! The Decal process is a little bit like those tattoos you can buy from the $2 shops. Remember how you wet them, then your arm and you squeeze them onto your skin and get all the moisture out?And they never come off for weeks! But, no, really, decals on pots aren’t quite like that, it does take a particular skill to be able to visualize images on a 3 dimensional shape and using decals doesn’t make it any easier because you are limited to the lines you have in front of you. However, I am really happy that I’ve found a way to put my own drawings onto the decals and not something manufactured and tacky. So now, to the kiln!!

My next stage

next 100!!
next 100!!
Here’s a photo of some upside down pots! Upside down because they’ve travelled in the car from the huge gas kiln in Port Melbourne Gasworks studios. I had a firing last week, and I quite like the blue glaze! I sound quite surprised because it’s always a guess on the amount of colour I add to my glaze, I never test. Probably shouldn’t admit that fact! So this week I will be sanding the bases of alumina and cutting out all the decal sheets, ready to decal these pots. I’ll post another photo when this process starts, hope fully in a few days.
At the same time, I’m trying to save some teapots for the January show at Narek Galleries………………….Lids warped!!!!