My earliest influences started as a young child spending time in the garden drawing with pencils whilst watching my grandfather tend his small but highly productive garden. I didn't realise at the time how much I had learnt from childhood observation would be applied when my own gardens were being tended. The garden I have now is nearly an acre, with a creek as the back boundary, and we have planted a wide range of fruit and have large productive vegie beds.
But back to the 'why' story...... I spent hours drawing things from the garden, the bugs and insects as well as the trees and flowers. At night I would draw from the fashion pages of the daily newspaper. My fav subject at school was art and I was blessed to have an amazing teacher who created exciting, thought provoking lessons. Once I left school (and home at the age of 16) I took my hand to every craft possible. I considered these things as just part of home making- knitting, macrame, cooking, gardening, buying second hand and upcycling and furniture restoration, they were all done just to make my home the way I wanted it. But I also experienced a huge amount of satisfaction knowing I had created these things myself..... and that was the start of my passion for creativity.
In the mid 70's I visited Bendigo Pottery and Potters Cottage in Warrendyte, and was instantly in love with clay and pottery. I made a promise to myself that one day I would learn more about how it was made. It all sounded so mysterious and science based, and rightly so I now realise! But from then on I bought a huge range of pottery for myself from markets, galleries and directly from potters. If I came across a potter at a wheel I would sit mesmerised and watch the process for hours. In the 90's handmade pottery fell out of fashion but I continued to buy, love and use it. To this day my most prized pieces are a full dinner set for 8 people, which includes casseroles and serving dishes, with over 70 pieces in the set, bought from a potter on the Mornington Peninsula 35 years ago. To use items that have been designed and made by a craftsperson is a pleasure and each piece has individual nuances from the makers hand.
So when I was forced to retire from teaching because of a back injury I decided to learn more about clay. At first I attended a few 1 day workshops, but the more I learnt the more I wanted to know, the topic and skills are infinite. In 2007 I enrolled at La Trobe University- Bendigo and dedicated 4.5 years to study, graduating with a Bachelor Visual Art (Honours) major ceramics- most enjoyable years, and a far more positive way to deal with the injury than therapy. I created a website and diary blog detailing my study journey, it has lots of information on my processes and images of past work -you can visit it here.
My passion in life is my arts practice, without creativity in my life I am not content. I am constantly immersed in thinking about what I am currently creating and what my next project/s will be. My life is lived simply, with a great love for my family, gardening and growing food, cooking exciting food that sits within the seasons. I have lived in semi rural properties since the 80's and love the sense of openness, surrounded by farms, open skies, beautiful sunsets and star packed skies. My beliefs extend to making a minimal footprint on the earth- buy locally, preferably organic, recycle when ever I can whilst living in a solar powered studio and home.