January has been my big chance to get lots of "bread and butter" work made.
It has been a delight to have spent much of this month in the studio focused on my own work.
Due to a major kiln disruption at the end of last year classes have been postponed for 2018 until July
when my new kiln should be up and running.
( I am missing my students BIG TIME!)
However, given the circumstance,
I have had a chance to change my focus to making production ware
rather than preparing for teaching and firing.
This has its advantages.
My days have been spent creating work to fill my on line store,
making stock for my Open Studio which will happen much later in the year and
making pieces for Station Street Store ( which is the only retail outlet that sells my work ).
It is great to catch up on this aspect of my work.
and which will be most in demand so I have been trying to cover a lot of ground
in forms and various clay types.
I have been pumping out mugs, cups, bowls, vases, all in a variety of sizes, colours and shapes.
These always seem to be popular.
A weekend workshop with Sandy Lockwood at her Balmoral Studio
was a great chance to get some teapots and jugs made.
Teapots have so many components
that I like to know I have a few uninterrupted days to work on them.
Our hot Australian Summer makes it quite a juggle
when attaching spouts, strainers, handles and finishing lids.
Timing is crucial when judging just the right moment of clay dampness.
This workshop at Sandy's was a "handles workshop" over 3 days
so a perfect time for me to sit and make complex forms
while catching up with my dear friends
I start back at uni, ANU, in February/March
and my focus will turn to more sculptural work
so best to get my functional work done and dusted
ready for the next few months before I start back.
While I am not teaching I will try to
knock over a good slab of study on my Masters.
It is a good chance to use my time to practise practise practise.
There is always so much room for improvement
I need to keep my skills up as both a maker and a teacher.
I find that when I am teaching I focus on my students
and I am more concerned about looking after their work progress
than my own. So it is good to be able to give myself this time.
I have finally started the process
of getting my little Steve Harrison relocatable wood kiln
to fire with gas as well as wood.
Thank goodness Steve has been helping me with this
as I would have made some BIG mistakes without his guidance.
Thanks Steve, I am so lucky to have you and Janine to talk to about such things.
Exciting times !
I am very much looking forward to what comes next .
To finish off this post for January,
here is my favourite insightful reading link for this month
Is exhibiting important to you?
The Art of being an Artist
"Art is a Verb not a Noun"
check out this link to read more about this quote
While I am not working on an exhibition at the moment it is always on my mind.
Thought for the month....
I am not sure which famous artist said
Don't worry about WHAT you are....
as describing yourself as a noun like
"I am a painter", "I am a potter", "I am a photographer" etc
will restrict your practice
instead use a verb like
"I like to paint",
"I love making pots sometimes",
"I have an interest in photography"
This leaves all creative options and influences
open to you and your practice
rather than being simply restricted to one.
I like to think that being creative is expansive,
evolving and active.
And now a little inspirational clip to watch
Toshiba Takaezu : Portrait of an Artist