Saturday, September 28, 2013

compass.

I'm thrilled that this new scoop has flown out of my online store
I've been drawing compasses since I came home. A dear friend gave me a silver compass ring before I left Australia and I've worn it nearly every day since!
They symbolise the journey from there to here. A reminder that I'll always go the right way, even when I don't know where that is. 



Thursday, September 26, 2013

okay.

The test pots are fired!
You may remember, on Sunday I posted an anxious post full of 'what ifs'. Thankfully these test pots have calmed my mind regarding 'What if the test glazes don't fit the clays?'.
It's okay Mitchell. The glazes fired nicely, as pre-mixed recipes should. 
(I should note here: in Australia I mixed my own glaze, but now without a local supplier and using different materials, it seems like the safest bet to use a pre-mix in the short term. I won't like it, but it's practical for the time being.)
Now I have the slightly annoying task of choosing between 2 almost identical stoneware clays! 
The porcelain mix is beautiful, but cracked easily and of course, is pricey. 
Wait here, I'll get back to you.

online.

About time: my online store (thanks to Etsy) is updated and shiny. 
I'll look after it properly this time, promise.




Sunday, September 22, 2013

worry.

The immediate consolation of leaving Australia in March was: I have enough time to set up a new studio and make a new collection in time for Christmas. 
It took me 2 and half months to find that studio.
As with all reburb projects, it is taking longer than anyone expected.
I'm watching the days slipping by and worry is building in my mind.
When will I actually move in? Will it happen?
What if the test glazes don't fit the clays?
Will I spend months finding a good match?
What if the kiln isn't as easy to fire as everyone says it is?
Will I have time to make enough stock for Christmas, for shops and markets and a studio sale? That seems increasingly unlikely. 
[Yeah, yeah, I know, I can't control everything.]
I didn't want to come home, but I've embraced it and I've worked hard to create a happy existence on the island. I admit, I'm ambitious: at the beginning of 2013, before I knew I had to leave Australia, I had big plans and I knew that I could fulfil them. But somehow, maybe the 'traa dy liaoor' mindset of this funny little piece of land, every goal I've set myself since coming home has been consistently reduced to something average. 
In Australia, there was ample space to grow. Here, I can't quite tell. 
I've seen it in the flight of birds IV - 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

snug.

It is absolutely Autumn. I had hopes for an Indian Summer, but gale force winds and rain have blown in.
I'm snuggled up in a tiny cottage in the north of the island this week, cat-sitting for a friend. I might complain about the colder temps, but it sure is nice to light the wood burner!

I've been spending days messing about with my website, PayPal, Big Cartel and html in an attempt to create an online store that I'm genuinely happy with. It hasn't worked. I don't have enough coding knowledge, I don't have room in my 'start up' budget to pay a programmer and frankly I need to prioritise MAKING as soon as I get access to the new studio.

So, after running in circles I've decided to settle with Etsy for the short term. I like a lot of Etsy features, especially the ease and speed with which products can be listed. It concerns me that there is a lot of low quality products available on the platform, but I'm reassured that there are 'big' names still using Etsy; Rae Dunn, Whitney Smith and Linda Fahey to name a few.
Give me a week or so and I should have it up and running nicely. I have to say, it's great to be dealing with more affordable postage rates!! Take note Australia Post...
These earthenware spoons came out of the Craftworks kiln over the weekend - I'm rather in love with them! Especially the stumpy fat on on the left hand side. They'll go into the online store too.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

scoop.

In the absence of a wheel, I've been making a lot of hand pinched spoons in the last 5 months. The spoons are now evolving into scoop-like things, which I'm rather fond of. 







Monday, September 09, 2013

fuchsia.

It's officially Autumn. The nights are cold and we're all lighting fires. Thankfully the island is still alight with wild flowers, a sweet reminder of the best summer in years. A typical late summer/autumn flower is the Fuchsia - it lines roads and lanes EVERYWHERE on the island and the bright red petals never fail to make me smile. Fuchsias are much loved here and as such it only makes sense that I've been painting them. 
 These little pieces are hand pinched/built in earthenware clay. Just little tests for the future!



Sunday, September 08, 2013

lori.

A long overdue job done: documenting the remnants of my rainbow lorikeet feather collection.
I'll be moving on from these designs when I begin making in my new studio next month, but if you ask nicely I can make select pieces on order. 
See them all on my website.
Big thanks to Ruth for lending me her shiny new camera!
[ramekin :: 5 cm high 10.5 cm wide]

[cup :: 10 cm high 8 cm wide]

[plate :: 2 cm high 16 cm wide]

[plate :: detail]

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

fede.

At some point in researching claddagh rings and lovespoons, I came across 'fede rings'.
The name "fede" derives from the Italian phrase mani in fede ("hands [joined] in faith" or "hands [joined] in loyalty") and thus they are cast in the form of two clasped hands, symbolizing faith, trust, or "plighted troth".
I want one.
(silver please, if you're buying.)
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love / spoon

I can finally share something special with you: a Love Spoon!
It arrived in Darwin, Australia just today as a belated wedding gift to my friends Karin & Alister.
Inspired by Welsh, Irish and Swedish traditions and imagery ~ a hand for friendship, a heart for love, the crown for loyalty and a compass so they will always know the way.
Originally carved in wood by lovestruck young men as gifts for the objects of their affection, some people say that the lovespoon was presented by the carver as a gift in hopes that a relationship could be started, whilst others say that it was given as a proposal of marriage. Sadly lovespoons are rarely given for their original purpose (but how cool would it be if they were?! I'd totally want to date a guy that made a spoon for me.), they are now given at engagements, weddings and anniversaries.
[more lovespoon experiments.]
The illustrations are an extension of the Ebb Tide collection referencing the Irish Claddagh ring, which represents love, loyalty, and friendship and was traditionally given as an engagement or wedding ring. I've loved the design for years and have 2 silver versions that I wear on different fingers!