River Muse II

09.03.12, 17:12


Fly My Pretty

First month has been very bitsy, what with two extended trips back to Auckland during the month.  When I first came down, just to get my hands working, I started another ‘exposure’ piece; lots of ideas buzzing round my head as to the finishing and the possible interior landscape for it.

The feet are starting to come easier as I have made lots of them now; the hands are still a challenge.

It took my ages and several stabs at it as time allowed.  It usually takes me a couple of days to complete an Exposure, but this took me all month!  In the end I was very happy with it, I titled it Fly My Pretty.

Ah, but pride comes before a fall.  I’ve renamed it Splat My Pretty.  Shall use it as an experiment in rehydration and patching with paper clay.  It now moves from the catagory of ‘ideas’ to ‘process’.

River Muse I


What and when inspires?  I love sitting at cafes doodling on napkins, or sitting by water, especially rivers.  Hamilton, of course, provides one almighty muse in the form of the Waikato River.   Finally found my way down to its shores on Wednesday.  What a treat seeing just how much it was being used.  Many of the Waikato Rowers Club members were out training, people were out walking their dogs along the path.  The Waikato isn’t good for swimming though, bit too fast and unreliable and the runoff from surrounding countryside mightn’t be the nicest.  However, an hour exploring its banks proved refreshing and inspiring.  Be interested to see if it shows up in my work at all.


Been haunting the central library and thinking of ways to get a handle on Hamilton.  Looking for ideas for the big firing at the end of the year.

The train has just chugged past the studio.  Love it.  The sound is so evocative, like a plane flying overhead at night.  I always wonder where it’s off to and who’s on board.

Hamilton is an agricultural town.  Maybe a ceramic cow?  Or horse, like the ones they make in the Indian village of Pudukottai for the deity Ayyanaar, who sits on his horse to protect the village.

Hamilton also has beautiful bridges; fairly old, one of white concrete arches with a Victorian feel; another one like mechano set.  Might be difficult to make a bridge kiln though.

Perhaps another person – Prometheus – this time would be pertinent?

Also have a mixed media installation idea brewing; been looking at Clare Twomey‘s work.  I so admire it.  Trophy; Monument; Temporary; Conscience/Consciousness.  (Clare is guest speaker at the Australian Ceramic Triennale, Adelaide, this September).  Can feel something brewing but so far the only image in my head is an empty gallery space!  Maybe in a couple of months I’ll be clearer about what to fill it with.

Did a little writing exercise “If I was Clare Twomey, what would drive my interest; what do I get the urge to investigate?”   Maybe…” Fragility of clay and it’s place in today’s world”?.

And me?  Think I’m more  ” …the new…the engager…building new audiences”.   Seems that I tend to not want to comment on what’s happening in the transition of ceramic arts today, but get people involved in the hope that it’ll generate some soft spot, or hot spot, in them about the potential of clay and ceramic expression.

My Studio

Been here two weeks.  Well, one week technically because I have just returned from 5 days back in Auckland on various bits of business.  I’ve shuffled the furniture around in my cute studio apartment and, thankfully, love it.  The garden it over looks, is peaceful and the place is clean, fresh and refreshing to be in.  Very important that, liking the house you live in.

Luckily I love my studio at Waikato Studio Potters too!  I’ve managed to complete one sculpture, and that even though I’ve taken time to meet the members who drop by for classes or using the kilns.  There are 3 potters in residence – Yasmin Davis, Kathryn Mason and myself – seven classes a week, plus the Otago Polytech Ceramic Arts diploma class on Fridays.

Here’s a little photo tour of the WSP premises (the photos in the slide show should scroll through on their own).   The lunch room is inside the main doors and my studio just beyond that.   The teaching studio is to my left and the kiln & ware rack room to my right (will be nice and warm during winter).

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