One thing I have realised -is this past year, I have not been as regular with blogging as in prior years.
I still spend time as often as I can in my beautiful studio, although some days it may only be an hour. My body is my main blocker of me being in there more, but I am so grateful that I actually have the space to disappear into. It is definitely my heavenly space!
Having a partner who loves his shed/s as much as I love mine, we spend a lot of time there.
The problem is 'how much' floor space is fair to each of us. The new shed has a one third/two third split, with me having the smaller section. And then there is another shed (equivalent to a 3 car garage) that he 'needs' to store gardening gear, tools, Christmas decs etc. I've been begging for a slice of that space as I am squished and bursting at the seams in the studio.
YAY I've been donated a cupboard in the 'work shed', and a bigger cabinet for the verandah/kiln area. Whew, the chosen one has helped moving things about and I now have shelves for new work.
I've also been reading some Feng Shui books and have fiddled about with some strategies of placement of objects in the studio and energy feels great, fresher and inspiring.
Now, I am never one to run out of ideas, as some artists call the void 'artists block', it doesnt seem to strike me. I definitely have days when I'm not in the mood for creating something new, but as I usually have many projects on the go at once, those days I will just choose another activity. There are lots of 'stages' in clay making- first the actual building phase, then drying time, adding detail, firing, glazing, then another fire and then polishing. My studio always has a few pieces in each of these phases, so I can choose something I'm in the mood for, and immerse myself in that. Then usually whilst I'm in the zone, ideas will starting popping into my mind for the next project. I might sketch a quick drawing to remind me when I'm ready, or just pop the idea into the back of my head and pull it up when its needed.
I havn't entered any exhibitions for many years, but saw an opportunity on Facebook that intrigued me- a call out to make a pouring vessel, that can hold 750mls, to use for wine. Now I LOVE any botanical, so decided to incorporate this love into making the jug with grape leaves. It was a little technical, having to calculate clay shrinkage to get the end result to hold the required volume of liquid, but it was also lots of fun and I love the end result. It may not get chosen to be in the exhibition, but thats ok, I can use it for another show in autumn this year. Here are some images of it.
A friend commented on Facebook today that her studio is like a time vortex- I smiled because I can relate.
I go into mine planning to do one hour in there and emerge 3 hours later! Does these mean I manage my time badly? I dont think so. Firstly I work better in a clean and organised space, so I use my first 15 mins in there tidying up, doing paperwork, making a drink and getting my fav music playing. Its how I get into the groove of the mindset of making.
It also slows me down, which is important. You cant be truelly creative with a busy mind thats thinking about all the other 'stuff' in life. You also cannot rush clay. It has to be done in stages and it demands focus.
Its very much a mediative state. So I am not frustrated if Ive spent longer in there than I had hoped. Because I know its forced my mind and body to slow down. Maybe we all need a studio ☺️
or a good book or whatever it takes to make us feel 'switched off'
Quite a few people have asked about my logo- what does it mean or how was it created?
So I will share the story.
I had a business for 17yrs called 'The Studio'- from which I taught visual arts, painting, drawing, mosaics, textiles and 3D sculpture. Either from my home based studio, or by invitation in schools, community centres, Registered Training Organisations, tourism venues and for people with disabilities.
Then there was a life changer- health reasons forced me to retire from teaching and we moved to a larger regional town. I quickly became restless, so returned to study and completed my Bachelor of Visual Art- with Honours at LaTrobe University.
We built a new studio, not dedicated to teaching, just a creative space for me.
I wanted the 'the studio' to live on, but included my passion in the business name 'handmade'. I ❤️❤️❤️ everything made by hand- where the creator and maker leaves their personality and skill within the object. Where you can visualise each movement, imprint, stitch or quirk as the item was lovingly teased into life. The factory made object is clinical, devoid of individual uniqueness, it speaks of sameness which is predictable and boring.
So my namesake was born.
The tiny house represents more than the fact I work from home. It speaks to me of where so many handcrafted skills were born, and at this time are lovingly enjoying a rebirth. People are tired of sameness and the throw away way of life.
We want to feel the joy of the quietness of making, the feel of an artisan handmade mug in our hands, a hand knitted jumper warming us in the cold, the taste of real home grown food and meals made from scratch.
The little house refers to my whole lifestyle- yes I grow our veg, compost our waste, have solar power, make our food from simple ingredients. But I also design and create unique ceramics from mud as my passion of creativity.
When you see this little house- the acronym 'tsh' is 'the studio handmade' and that product was made from scratch by my hands with love and joy ❤️
I am SO excited about my new range of jewellery made with white Australian porcelain. I add colour to some of the clay using stains then impress the surface with a piece of antique lace. I cut the shape, drill the tiny holes with a needle and then dry them carefully for a week. They are then fired to 1280c.
The window provides the perfect gallery to showcase some textile art, using crochet, weaving, knitting or embroidery, they all look stunning.
Whenever I wear mine I get beautiful compliments that make my day shine. You can order these ready to wear in the shapes and colours of your choice or ready for you to add your own textile art. Email me for details
Life has been silly busy lately and my time in the studio has been slim. Plus I had 3 weeks that flattened me with bronchitis.
I was so excited to get back in there last week that in my haste I made 2 silly errors- neither of which I have ever done before! Such a good lesson in slowing down, respecting the material and process and thinking clearly!
Firstly I put a low fire clay in high fire kiln load 😱😱😱- a clay that should go to 1100c was pushed to 1280c. Look what happened to one of my newest shelves
Then I created a lovely bird bath to be fired in my new very second hand kiln that I havn't used yet. First rule- know the measurements of your kiln!! 😜😜😜 The bowl doesn't fit! I don't want to ditch it so am hoping I can find a kiln at uni that will fit it and I will fire it there.
Steep learning curve week.
I won't make those mistakes again 😊
Great to see these pieces with their new cords, all have extension chains and silver clasps.
Available for purchase- email me for prices and measurements
This unusual fruit bowl has been fun to create, but Im not happy with the glaze outcome. Easily fixed with a new layer and a refire.
Cutting the circles made lovely discs of clay I didnt want to throw in the recycle bin- so theyve been textured and glazed and added to the collection of tiles being made for the studio sink spashback.
After 3 weeks out of the studio because of a horrid super bug Im back there today. Going to finish my chook 🐓 going to make 3 hens and a rooster for my garden- am hoping it will calm my dreams of having a real hen flock ❤️
Im looking forward to a little workshop coming up in August. We will be making handles for crochet hooks from oven baked clay. A fun way to introduce people to handling clay- then porcelain jewellery with a crochet feature. Dates coming soon
I am a certified creative addict- having played with arty methods constantly since childhood. Now I work mostly in clay, painting and textiles - always designing and making new objects.