Tomorrow is the last bush walk I'll have on this trip. I feel upset just thinking about it. I can't describe how significant these walks have been and how supportive, friendly and welcoming my friendly bunch of fellow bush walkers have been. Every week they said I was a typical Pom - no hat! (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_the_Australian_slang_word_pom_mean) I've been on walks most weeks with the 'Tuesday Group' .When I arrived at Sturt, I realised that the quality of my experience here would be as much about my experiences outside of the workshop as those within. Otherwise what's the point of coming all this way? It's been truly inspirational!
Cedar Vale private retreat in a rainforest on the way to Kangaroo Valley
Scribble gum bark
I could fill this post with even more photos of bush, but maybe save that for another time. A little variety is perhaps what you want to see. I had a real treat a couple of weeks ago when a student's husband took me up in his 2-seater light aircraft. I did say I was going to say Yes. Amazing! A couple of things - I did wonder where my parachute was, didn't dare wriggle in my seat, wondered why a red light kept going on and off, and hoped we wouldn't go over the sea. It was fantastic, and with a pilot with 20 years flying experience, I knew I was in safe hands. We flew low over Mittagong, Bowral, Moss Vale, Robertson (where they filmed 'Babe'), the breathtaking gorge and over to Wollongong by the coast. It took about 3/4 hour.
Back in the workshop, it's been like getting ready for a show - an imminent deadline looming and in full flow. I started this residency with a plan, whilst trying to stay open-minded at the same time. The aim was to see what effect the local environment/landscape would have on my pots whilst living and working here. I couldn't have anticipated how influential the bush has been. I kept working right to the last minute as far as drying time would allow. Last pots out of kiln this weekend. That's it - no more. These are some of the latest. I'm thrilled with them - what I think are the best pots I've ever made.
I went to Jervis Bay down the south coast last weekend. I saw some kangaroos (hoorah!) in a garden on a recent visit to Sanctuary Point community hall where a local ceramics group had their weekly class.
Talking of animals , good old Geoff saved me a funnel web spider he'd found in his tool box in the garage. In this jam jar, it looks similar to those I find in my bath at home. Out of the jam jar, it's a killer, one of the deadliest. (The Huntsman still gives me the creeps, even though it's supposed to be harmless).
Only 4 more days at Sturt. 7 more days in Australia. Gulp!