Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Oxymoron : On Top Of the World Down Under

WARNING: this blogpost contains images which contain substantial amounts of sunshine, and may offend some people back home.

G'day there! Seems a while since the last

I feel like I've changed gear recently and have found my rhythm. Now that pots are in the gallery shop, I can focus on more experimental pots. The weekend before last, I had the workshop to myself. It arrived just at the right time. Sometimes you just need space to be on your own and focus, dig in a bit, spread out, walk around, crank the music up (Paolo Nutini and Ce-Lo Green as it happens that weekend), and basically just get stuck in. No interruptions. I don't really feel I've had chance to do that until now. It was a beautiful weekend when you just feel your spirits soar. On top of the world I felt!  

I love the bush and the walks we've done. It's all starting to soak in and have an effect on my work. I find myself continually drawn to the textures and structures of the gum trees. So I've been building composite structures to develop a more vertical form. I felt very relaxed and knew I was on the right track because I felt excited. No matter how much thinking or intellectualising you do, I still think it all boils down to 'that feeling' which is the sign that this is the way to go. For me, my heart rate goes up and my spirit starts to sing. I so enjoyed those days and feel excited with the results. The pots aren't glazed yet, but here's what they look like after bisque. In fact  I quite like them like this and am reluctant to glaze them - don't want to risk spoiling them, but I also like the dry totem-like quality which reminds me of the wonderful aborigine totems in the National Gallery, Canberra.

I've had more pieces out of the kiln. It's reassuring when people tell me they can see the effects of the bush on the surfaces - that's what I'm looking for.

Lots of activity in the workshop this week .One of the events of the week was the pizza night in the pottery yard. The pizza oven had its annual stoke - a great opportunity from everyone from the pottery, wood and weaving schools, Sturt staff, students and friends to get together. (Can recommend the Notella, banana and marshmallow topping!)

It seemed a short week in the workshop as Good Friday led to a trip to Sydney and the Four Seasons Hotel at Darling Harbour. I'd heard that there was a large selection of British ceramics  bought specially from Peter Ward's Online Ceramics website.  Couldn't believe I happened to be on the same continent, let alone nearby to see them. How bizarre is that! It was amazing to see the huge selection of ceramics bought specially for the hotel from Peter Ward's Online Ceramics website. There must have been at least 150 pieces comprising British potters' work, including mine I'm very proud to say. 

Around the corner, Anish Kapoor was showing at the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art ( That's the advantage of Sydney - everything seems quite close together and easy walking distance...if you're into walking.

View from top of MCA

I spent the Easter break visiting family friends up the Northern Shore, which is only another 90 minutes on the leisurely City Rail link.  First point of call of course was Ron and Mary who I mentioned in my first post. Here we are at Palm Beach which, if you're a Home & Away fan, you might recognise some of these pictures.

Hot and humid Sydney, back to sunny, cool and autumnal Mittagong. Walking through town, I couldn't stop myself from walking past the pet shop. I'm dying to walk in and ask them how much that doggy is in the window - you know, the one with the wag-ga-ley tail!

More pots from this week...

That's all for today. Winnifred West, bush care group, woodfiring to follow.


  1. Beautiful Rachey. You're so talented. And get u, with your tan.
    You're looking great and as importantly so is your work x

  2. Thanks, Ruth. Wish you were here. If it's any consolation, the sun's gone in again. Autumn is here. Was freezing last night - blanket scale 5! x

  3. The new pots look great! Will they stay in Sturt or are they coming back with you?
    Judy Adams

  4. It depends whether they are sold I suppose. But I would also like to bring some back as evidence of the residency for people to relate to. I'm quite excited about the pots I'm making now-had some good results out today. Will post images once I get some decent photos. Hope all's well with you and your work, Judy.

  5. Looks fabulous Rach. The pots are looking amazing. x

    1. Thanks, Hilary. I'm enjoying making them.