Sunday, December 30, 2012

A New Year ahead...

"As the New Year flows in may you soar ever high, reach greater heights and find happiness in everything you do" 

- Unknown (& photographer unknown)


Lets hope 2013 brings the best of everything, for everyone everywhere...

Saturday, December 22, 2012


"May the good times and the treasures of the present

become the golden memories of tomorrow. 

Wishing you all the love, joy and happiness for Christmas"

- Unknown.

I came across these groovy corrogated iron Christmas Trees on my travels, I just had to photograph them - you will have to excuse the tardy quality - I was behind the drivers wheel hanging out of the car window to take the photo.... and yes, I was stationary at the time!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Metal scraps turn into butterflies

Yesterday as I was stacking and sorting through some new metal scraps (thanks Steve) and to make room for the steel I decided to cut up a large sheet of thin skeletonised waterjet cut sheetmetal that was kinda in the way.  I had been studying the sheet for some days on 'what' I could potentialy do with it and I was already in mind of cutting it down, there was way to much metal (negative space) cut from the piece, not really leaving much in the way of usefulness as a whole or strength for that matter. So out came the grinder!

I was laying out the off cuts bits onto the concrete when Glen walked passed and uttered 'butterfiles'.  I had to look twice.  Of course, in my mind I was seeing abstract shapes being more symbolic in nature, of course Glen was seeing through his eyes being gardening and nature, and his love for all things 'green'. Upon another look I could see clearly - Butterflies, that they were!!

The passing comment triggered an idea for a sculpture, somewhat a little off the beaten track from what I would normally make however knowing he would really love it, I decided to 'whip' it up!  ...and what a great Christmas gift to boot!

The 'cut off' shape - clearly in a photograph look like a butterfly.

Bent and shaped alittle, with small Reo discards for the body.
I went looking for some extra long lengths of reo to stake into the ground and found this reo re-inforcing stuff Glen uses for work - I'm sure he won't miss it if I pinch a bit :-) 

After welding the bodies and the wings together I welded them randomly into place on the reo frame - in situ positioned in the garden (a sadden dry garden I might add - we are so desparately awaiting some rain for our poor de-foliated plants!!!)

And of course Glen was tickled pink and loves it!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

new assemblages exhibiting

Last Friday night saw the official opening of Small Works/Small Town Exhibition at Rosebed St Gallery, in the quaint little township of Eudlo.  Recently featuring on the television show Better Homes & Gardens only a few months ago, the gallery is a hive of activity and oozing with funk!  Always a wonderfully curated show, the girls Annie Burns and Maya Carter-Malins really know how to deliver and never fail to showcase an amazing array of artworks.

Small Works/ Small Town is Rosebed St Gallery's annual summer showcase - a 'takeaway art' exhibition - its a great format where buyers can take the artwork with them instantly upon their purchase, practical and a great idea for the seasoned visitor!

I just happened to have some new small assemblages coming through in the studio and submitted an EOI and was selected to exhibit, among many other talented artists. A few images on show, (to save me time...all the finer details are all on my website :-)

 Soul Connection II
Trinity I - Sold

Trinity II

Trintiy III
...and good buddy Jo Murray has posted images from the opening night in her Picasa Web Album and on her blog if your wanting to see what fun was had!

The Small Works/ Small Town Exhibition continues until Sunday 23rd December, 2012.  Rosebed St Gallery, Eudlo. Hours: Wed-Sun 10am-4pm

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No.11 sculpture - In situ

Installation day for the commission, it was really nice to see the piece in place and how I envisioned it....



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Domestic Duties Chp.2 & Expressions Of Love - on tour

Upon reflection, this has been a big year and an exciting one for me with the development of my art career.  My focus this year has all been about 'honing in' on what and where I want to see myself and my art heading.   Bit by bit, chipping away and working hard - entering competitions, exhibiting, making art/installations, gallery proposals, upgrading my website etc., etc., while remaining focused and positive (even in the times of continual knock back and almost reaching the point of literally wanting to drop my bundle...!), I am now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and all my hardwork is starting to pay off with an array of successful outcomes coming to fruition and opportunities ahead of me.

One of my positive outcomes is that I was shortlisted and selected for Artslink Queensland 2013-14 Touring Exhibition Program.  A selection of my artworks from my most recent solo exhibition Domestic Duties Chp.2 and my Expressions Of Love will feature in a group exhibition (curated by Artslink Qld) entitled Teasing The Domestic alongside two other Queensland artists Corrie Wright and Kellie McEwan and the World Tea Cosy Competition, co-ordinated by Miles Regional Arts Council.

The layout image below showcases some of the artworks, which appears in the 2013-14 Catalogue.

A couple of images of the artworks selected from my Domestic Duties Chp.2 solo exhibition:
(more images and details can be seen on my website :-)

Constant Appetite Bottomless Pit

Group assemblage from left;
This Chook Is Totally Cooked, Dance To The Beat I + II, Betty Bloomers and Up The Duff.
...and from my Expressions Of Love solo exhibition:

Quilt - detail

Nancy's Challenge - detail

Doily - detail

Sunday, November 11, 2012

steel structures around home

Lately, I've been able to beautify around the home a little with some steel sheeting 'discards' (and other random shapes of steel) thanks to my new mate Steve at Caloundra Waterjet Cutting.  The steel sheeting used and cut for jobs are skeletonised leaving behind the negative space from 'what' has been cut - each sheet can vary with random and sometimes repetitive shapes, which oozes sculptural fodder!!!  Not only do they look great, it has been an interesting experiement - I was able to get the one up around the water tank before the Open Studios program and as a result received some awesome feedback.  I can see this experiement has alot of potential!

A detail showing the different shapes welded to the steel sheet.

Two sheets were placed until I liked the results, then welded together from behind and bolted to hardwood planks - each sheet is around 6mm thick.
Then this sheet of steel (below) is a whopper, 12mm thick and super heavy! This was a recent collection, I really love the random nature of each cut, even though Steve is probably working at getting the most out of the steel.  This piece slot exactly into place and I felt didn't need anymore added to it (for now anyhows) and looks rad near the other sculptures.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

commission progress - clay component

Shaping up nicely!  The clay component is labour intensive - there are so steps involved in the process, the making, the drying time, sanding each piece, bisque firing, several steps to glazing, the glaze firing etc... and then making sure you get the shrinkage rate right!!!  Thankfully after the final firing, the reward comes when opening the kiln door and seeing all is well.

In between blog posts and living with the steel structure for a bit, I've decided on some minor adjustments to the clay design - instead of making each alternate block smaller I've decided to make them all uniform and with less texture on the surface giving each block a flatter finish which sits better in the steel frame.  And slightly reducing the firing (reducing oxygen in the kiln whilst firing) to yield a richer patina in the glaze, aesthetically pleasing with the rusting steel.

A sneak peak - the clay behind the negative space looks good.

Clay process took two months in the making - various depths of clay blocks were made (estimated according to the clay's shrinkage rate). Here the kiln is all loaded and ready for bisque firing.

After the bisque, the clay blocks ready for glazing.

Glazed blocks drying and ready for loading into the kiln for the glaze firing. I've made more blocks than needed - experience has taught always have extra on hand just in case!

The anticipation of cracking open the kiln the next day..........!!!!

Assembling - a day or two of fine tuning. Detail blocks stacked within the steel frame and the clay's surface.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

guest judge

Yesterday I was one of three guest judges for Sunshine Beach State School's Art Extravaganza.  A tough call. A part from the obvious, how does one single out an artwork above another, when knowing only to well myself how important it can mean to 'win' an award. I heard myself repeat the words, "can we give another encouragement award???" Certainly things have come along way since my high school days some (eeeks!) 30yrs ago.  A credit goes out to all the students involved their work was of high standard, and certainly not forgetting the teachers for providing a nurturing environment for such creativity to flourish.  What a wonderful platform and experience for young emerging creatives to experience...

One such creative (for me) was a stand out - young Guy Lobwein (Yr.11) only 16yrs. I had an opportunity to chat briefly with Guy on his motivations of his subject, his exstensive research into the history of war reflects the maturity seen through his work.  Not alone in this notion, Guy picked up the Acquisitive and the People's Choice Awards.

Below, for me, this was my favourite and stand out piece in the whole exhibition, an installation with a projection of footage from the war.  I'm not normally drawn to works of this nature, but something resonated within me and I found myself really drawn to it!  This piece didn't pick up an award but was certainly a powerful piece with an even powerful message...

Mask of Expression - Installation
The following images are really only quick grab / snap shots and are not comprehensive of all the winning pieces, by the time I went to take the photos both rooms were way too crowded (...and apologies for the tardy compositions!).
Award Winner:  Acquisitive Award - Guy Lobwein (yr.11) for Fodder pen on paper.  The detail in this piece is truely incredible!

Award Winner: Traditional 2D media (including painting, print making & drawing) - Blair Crisdale (yr.12)for his Seven Deadly Sins - paint & marker. Blair was also the winner of this years logo design for the Art Extravaganza Catalogue and T- Shirt (last image below).

Award Winner: Multi-media (digital art, mixed media, installation) - Asha Tregear (yr.12) for her piece Seven Deadly Sins - multi-media, as seen in the top row of artworks. 
Award Winner: 3-D Works (sculpture, ceramics) - Cody Hincks (yr.11) for his piece Neglect - clay and metallic glaze.  A thought provoking piece...

Encouragement Award: 3-D works - went to Amber Caynes (yr.12) for her piece Steampunk Warrior - sculpture. Being an assembler of the found object myself, this piece was another favourite of mine. I happend to met Amber last night too, and we talked about our recent discovery of Steampunk Art. 
The annual Sunshine Beach SHS Art Extravaganza is not only a visual art exhibition, the gala evening, showcases a smorgsboard of talent with performance art, drama and music.
The winning logo (mentioned above) designed by Blair...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

commission progress

Things are coming along nicely with the commission - the steel structure is ready and awaiting the clay component.  A few photographs to show how it's looking...

The two spirals are welded at points where the steel meets at the top and then reinforced with a steel plate welded to the base (lid) inbetween the spirals for strength.  This serves as the lid and bolts on either side to lock it all together - the clay blocks* are built up in the centre to the top and will highlight the house number No.11.

* (the clay blocks will be the dry Cream Glaze as the totem sculpture with the three shell spirals in my previous post)

A few minor changes to my design - angle steel replaces the reo for added strength and to protect the clay edges. Four brackets instead of two, to secure at the base.  The bolts on the lid had to be reconsidered and put to the side so the internal plates for securing were not in the way of the clay being placed within.  Overall the sculpture is shaping up like my design (which of course was not to scale, I might add).


Behind view...

Next post will be on the clay component - so I best get into the studio and get on with it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

back into sculpting!

I've been working with a plethora of material this year, however, as much as its been fun, I feel it's time to settle back into my chosen materials of steel, clay and found objects for a bit!

To get back into the saddle, I've silently been working away on a commission. Taking on commissions are a great way to push the boundaries and of course they help pay the bills!

My scratchings on paper helped when discussing my ideas with my clients. A few minor changes were made but by and large, we were all happy with the concept design.

Below, some works that inspired my clients - the stacked block concept, spirals and rough textured clay.  These earlier works grace our gardens and are also incorporated into our landscape designs for Enviro Scapes (landscape garden business).

You'll notice the steel component incorporated into my design above - which is really where my focus now lies in the combination of steel, clay and found materials, much like my recent totemic forms below...however this particular commission is a little more conservative.

I'll marry these ideas together to form the basis of the sculpture (the design above) with an addition of most recent discovery and technique Waterjet cutting. Below; spirals and 'No.11' cut in mild steel by Steve at Caloundra Waterjet Cutting

Experimenting with placement...