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.














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Sturt – most recent

November 24, 2011

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

” 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.

‘Life Means This To Me’

December 11, 2010


“……Then there are circles to which we are linked through our intellects and imagination.  The wider the circle the less apparent the bond; but there is a bond, invisible and insubstantial, but indissoluble.  This vast and varied world is a whole of which we are an integral part.  Two world wars should have taught us that……


With all our improvement in material standards of living, we may succeed in building a Utopia without a soul, producing robots instead of men, and a technical civilisation, which cannot last because it has not the roots of life in it.  Machinery has already deprived man of his creative impulses and opportunities.  The urge to do creative work is inherent in man.  One of the most satisfying experiences in life comes from making beautiful things for use.  There is a sense of fulfillment in such work well done……”

Winifred West, founder of Sturt Contemporary Craft Centre, speaking on 7th December, 1944 to ABC Radio