The end/ the beginning

December 18, 2011

Technically, today is the last day of residency at Sturt. People keep asking me if I’ve had a good time here, if it’s been worth it. I always reply that I need time to reflect and digest. Which is true, I do. I’ve met some great people and seen some cool things (thanks to those great people) and made some work. But like everything, it wasn’t all roses. But it was mostly great.
The powers that be were very kind to let me stay an extra couple of days, giving me some extra time to get organized and see some more things. So many things to see. I just can’t fit it all in. On Tuesday, I will head for the Blue Mountains, just outside of Sydney, to do some hiking and chilling out. I’m looking forward to getting moving, heading north, finding some real heat. Hopefully, I will be better at photographing and posting for the rest of journey.
Anyway, here are a few pics from the last kiln load.

Sturt – most recent

November 24, 2011

Hmmm… what to say. Self explanatory, I hope.

Sturt music (Triple J)

November 24, 2011

I’m editing some images as we speak, so will probably follow this post with a post of some new work. Music is such an integral part of my studio practice. Here are 4 songs that will always remind me of working here at Sturt and listening to Triple J, the indie radio station in Australia.

Lana Del Ray – Videogames

Alpine – Hands

Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know

Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks

for now…

November 2, 2011


I really wish I had access to a scanner here. To make a few more posts a little more interesting. But I don’t.

I went to see the Fred Williams retrospective at the National Gallery in Canberra on Sunday. It was so beautiful. His landscapes, the colours, the movement. I’m so glad I got to see it in person before it closes this week. The photos don’t do it justice at all, but here are a couple of examples of his work.

On friday, I will load a bisque kiln and on Tuesday, a glaze. The gallery here has given me a deadline, so I will try to meet that. It does mean that next time I’ll have pics of new work. But for now, I wil leave you with a quote from Sergei Isupov in an essay in The Penland Book of Ceramics.

“Art builds me; I don’t build art. I see that each work is a small world, yet once it’s done, it’s over. My relationship with it is over, and I start a new work. I have a relationship with the work only in the process, which is made up of so many logical steps. So this is the truth: in building work, it’s a small world. In life, it’s the same thing, only over a longer period of time. And being in the studio is like being God. All artists are egocentric, because you yourself are the artist, the director, the worker – everything. Maybe this is not something that is popular to say, yet it is my privilege to see the world this way.”

cone 6 oxidation test tiles round 1


some nice cups from the wood kiln

bicyicle trip commemorated

mountain lovers



and a few not so nice things. karen says i need to grow a new aesthetic. a wood fired aesthetic. i say too much brown. though i do like the orange blushing.

city scape

i went to sydney…

October 20, 2011

so, the weather is finally nice enough to be outside and wonder around and wear shorts and sandals. i went in to Sydney the other day and hit up The Art Gallery of NSW, The Powerhouse Museum to see the Love Lace exhibit, which was magical, and the opening of 10 Girls.10 Colours. an exhibition of contemporary jewellery and objects put on by tenmoregirls at the Sallerno Gallery in Glebe. I did a lot of walking and took lots of inside pictures, but not really any outside pictures, so I’ll do that on my next excursion.

The work that I got out of the wood fire kiln was so-so. A few nice cups. Today, I will open up the test kiln to stare at the 1st batch of glaze tests I’ve done. Over 60 tiles to gawk at this round. Anyway, here are some faves from the Love Lace show.

                                                                  Lenka Suchanek are we made of lace? bobbin lace using enamelled copper wire on acrylic panels

Marita Macklin aspergillus free motion machine embroidery, bush dye and hand embroidery on a variety of materials

Shona Wilson heirloom natural found materials ( bones, seeds, sticks) and found plastic

Masashi Tsukada wrapping stone ground glass fragments wrapped in braiding

Jane Theau marraine's memories tarlatan fabric, ink, wire, machine sewn cotton thread

Jenny Pollack a brief history of time hand cut archival paper, office paper

Helen Pynor untitled (uterus urinary) hand knit human hair

Waltraud Janzen tree hand and machine embroidery using nylon net and polyester thread

Karen Richards secret forrest machine lace set and animation

Michelle Eastwood shadows of memory close-knit calico laser cut into silhouettes

Alice Vokac first day wonder bobbin lace in cotton and silk threads

Andrea Eimke third space II bark cloth (tapa), cotton gauze, interfacing, soluble stabilizer

Alice Vokac first day wonder bobbin lace in cotton and silk threads

Andrea Eimke third space II bark cloth (tapa), cotton gauze, interfacing, soluble stabilizer



” Are you the Canuck?”

September 19, 2011

Here I am, at Sturt, finally. It’s beautiful here. And so far, everyone is super wonderful. I started making some new templates for bowls today, though, in my jetlagged haze, I didn’t last long in the studio. But I did wander around the village of Mittagong for a while. And I accomplished figuring out how to get money out of my Canadian bank account and finding an adapter for the plug for my computer, two very important things. But tomorrow I will get to serious work in the studio with Karen, who’s a total riot. She’ll be firing a two chamber wood kiln is a couple weeks, so I’ve got to get things ready for that. The guys in the wood studio are gonna make some pizzas in the outdoor pizza oven, she says.A 40ish hour firing. It should be a pretty good time.

This morning, there were these beautiful parrots just outside my room. Scarlet and blue. David told me what they were called, but now I forget. He’s teaching a class in the woodworking area. I share a kitchen/ living room with he and his partner, H, and they’re both really lovely and have been super helpful already.

Sturt has beautiful gardens all around, so it smells great.David and H have been telling me about the possums and wambats and kangaroos, things I haven’t seen yet, but hope to run into.  I’ll start posting pictures soon. Once I’ve got my body back on some kind of routine. It’s an early morning tomorrow so that Karen can give me a rundown of the gas kiln. It’s only 9 o’clock, but it’s definitely time for bed.