Saturday, October 30, 2010

Beach dreaming...

What a gorgeous day and the opportunity of hitting the beach, via delivering my Beach themed miniature sculptures to Studio 4 Gallery - so fitting and too hard to refuse!
Literally only minutes from the gallery and short stroll on the boardwall, beyond all the shrubbery and sand dunes lies this beautiful sandy beach...
A true beachcomber from way back forms the inspiration for my miniatures titled 'Beach Dreaming'. Living close to the beach and from my beachcombing days my collection consists of many fragments of shells, fish bone, crabshell, corals etc...
'Beach Dreaming' - Stoneware clay and driftwood

ALaw techniques for NOPQ

I've just about got to the pointy end of the stick for the most common techniques, so now time to deviate and explore...
N - Carving negative
I used the carving technique with 'A' and created a positive, this time trying for a negative at the leatherhard stage I carved the clay inside the letter rather than on the outer.
O - Resist with shellac & red slip
With the letter 'I' shellac and sponged back into the clay with water created a raised 3 dimensional letter. Here with 'O' shellac is used to resist the red porcelain slip. Theorically what I am trying to achieve is, in the bisque firing the shellac will burn out resulting an O and border clean of slip.
P - dots
No guessing where this idea came from... getting to the pointy end of the techniques! Very simple really and I like the look.

Q - underglaze washed back

One would ask! Why apply black underglaze to wipe back with a wet sponge on a white bodied porcelain when wanting to create a pure white ground as the final result? I asked myself the same question half way through. Q - proven to be the most challenging one in this set of letters I won't know my verdict until the final firing...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Promotional material

Its an interesting process trying to sit me at a desk and sort out the paperwork side of things...when all I'm wanting is to get my hands dirty and play!
Fine tuning the promotional side of my work, so far to date, a flip side DL flyer - showcasing both my ceramics and assemblage works.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Red fungi

CHECK THIS OUT! The wild weather this weekend has created some freaky wild looking fungi in my garden...


JKLM - Techniques...

J - Sgrafitto - burnished red porcelain slip
K - Stamping - foam and underglaze
L - Stamping - foam and porcleain slip
M - Underglaze - brushed on

ALaW - M

M - Underglaze - brushed on
Firstly, I transfered an imprint of the letter M onto the clay tile and using a very fine brush and a steady hand I've applied three coats of black underglaze. Three coats are necessary to achieve an even colour, if the application is not even a washed out look can result after the final firing which is not a good look.
Finished off with a solid colour border, it was easier to do three coats solid rather than attempting a fine line!
Sanded and ready for bisque.

Monday, October 11, 2010

ALaW - K L

K - Stamping - with foam and underglaze

Wanting to carve into foam I cut a square with a hacksaw blade. I first tried the dremel to shape a K, not to successful I might add! It just tore and grabbed at the foam. My second and successful attempt I used a hot soldering iron to melt away the foam.
After a few test runs and getting the correct consistency with the underglaze, I felt confident enough to stamp the K. The foam is pressed very lightly into the container of underglaze, a gentle hand is needed in both soaking up the colour to stamp and when stamping, so it doesn't go into the negative space and leave behind a blotchy letter.
Phew! All good, I had to hold my breath while doing this one!

L - Stamping - with foam and porcleain slip
Once again the letter is burnt out in the foam using a hot soldering iron (...carefully and not inhaling the toxic fumes!)* and is cut to make a square.

Reverse to the K tile, a thick and smooth porcelain slip is brushed onto the clay tile first. The foam sponge is gently pressed onto the tile to soak up the excess slip creating a nice texture surrounding and the letter is left smooth and slightly three dimensional. Extremely hard to see in this photo, a close look you can see the shiny bit being smooth.

Almost finished K & L, I intend to sharpen the lines on K with black underglaze in a fine nib bottle and outline the L (now bone dry is almost impossible to see).

*Hot soldering iron and foam is not really an ideal technique and I wouldn't use it again or recommend anyone to use it. As this is an exercise in experiementation was the only reason for attempting. I found it to be very challenging not to over melt the foam and toxic.

Friday, October 8, 2010

misty morning

I'm so blessed to work from home, I wake up and wonder down to my studio...then nature turns it on just to remind me it's great to be alive and the simple things in life is what its all about.

Looking off my deck this morning...

Looking out from my studio last week...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dragon head, all done!

The paper mache' dragon head all ready....
- Festuri Multicultural Festival
- art4place - 6 artists
- children's workshops all ages during 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm
-'The Stockland Village', Kings Beach, Caloundra
- this coming sunday

Monday, October 4, 2010

Festuri 2010

FESTURI - is an annual event held on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. A multicultural celebration of food stalls - free performances - children's activities - workshops - storytelling - community information stalls & displays - parade - roving entertainment.
Among the many activities at Festuri, a group of 6 artists myself included from Art4place & Arts Connect Inc., (Barry Smith, Christine Elcoate, Fiona Dempster, Jim Cox, Noela Mills) are conducting interactive children's workshops with a dragon theme, on Sunday 10th October all ages during 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm.
Activities include; moveable dragon puppet, dragon collage, Colouring dragon scales for pinning onto a long calico train suspended from a paper mache' dragon head.
The image of the dragon below is taken from the internet and forms my input and inspiration in creating the paper mache' head with partner in crime, Christine Elcoate.

I thought I better get a head start before my partner in crime lends a hand, seeing we've only got one week to get it done!


The ole' lawnmower catcher is used as a form to get the basic shape, making sure to fill all the undercuts. Now you see it.... you don't! Mowercatcher in disguise, paper mache'd and drying.
Three days later....
Christine arrives like a whirlwind, box in one hand and egg cartons in the other, we've only got a couple of hours then she's off to another meeting! We discuss the best possible way to tackle the prepared shell and to transform it into the dragon's head.
Ya gotta love it, the ole serendipity once again came into play. I found the exact shape box for reinforcing the inside and that box even had reinforcing within the walls - yipee extra strength little effort.
Christine's egg cartons were just perfect for the eyes, nostrils, eyebrows, mouth & teeth. Her last minute decision to grab that particular box as she passed on her way out, ended up being perfect design for everything....after cutting the mouth the offcuts were two perfect eyebrows dragon style!
Fangs and all, the mouth is made separate and when the rest is dry I will attach it with wire.
It's not really visible in this photo but the mouth does have a moving action to it and will be clearer once it is attached. Hopefully it'll even have a hole in the centre of it so as to peek through from the inside.

Festuri - is staged at 'The Stockland Village', Kings Beach, Caloundra, and is in conjunction with Caloundra Music Festival (9 - 10th Oct).