Thursday, 31 May 2012

Knitted ceramic cups

In my time to get organised post recently I teased you with the image below.... alluding to what I had planned to do with my knitted twine objects

Knitted twine objects

Well, Ive been using the knitted objects as press moulds to make vessels in ceramics.

Ceramic vessels using different knitted moulds and clay bodies (before firing)
And yesterday some of my glazed experiments were unpacked from the kiln.

Left cup glazed with Copper Red glaze, right up unglazed porcelain
 It was most exciting to see the end results.

Left cup glazed inside with Chun, right cup with Celadon glaze.
I am still on the quest for the perfect coffee cup... these ones, were the right size when I started, shrunk considerably after firing - looks like Ill have to watch some more TV to justify knitting some bigger moulds :)

PS - In that same post I promised not to start any more new projects until I had finished the ones I had started.... well Ive managed to finish the pink/brown jumper (although Im still not 100% convinced that its what I want, but Im reluctant to knit it for a 5th time!)

Friday, 25 May 2012

The Queens Diamond Jubilee - new designs

The Queen is a topic of debate here in Australia. Some would like to see a republic, whilst others prefer the status quo. I quite like having a Queen and all the associated history, tradition and links to Britain (where I spent 6 years living and working in London and I consider it my second home).

We have a long weekend in June coming up, the Queens Birthday, and to celebrate I have designed and printed tea towels, cushions and t-shirts which will be available online and at selected outlets. I have wanted to explore this image for a while, so its pretty exciting to see it realised from the pages of a sketch book I kept whilst in London.

The Queen Stamp (design measures 26 x 30cm), on linen tea towel.
Royal Male (design measures 28 x 22cm) on cotton tshirt
This year we also celebrate 60 years as the Monarch of the Commonwealth. During her reign the Queen has seen six decades of enormous social change and development including the first man in space, JFK's assassination, the peace movement of the 60's, the fall of the Berlin wall,  and the cloning of Dolly the sheep. A website which celebrates the Queen's Diamond Jubilee can be found at which contains all this and more about the Queen. 

Whilst I was looking around the site I discovered the complete collection of Queen Victoria's journals from the Royal Archives.  Queen Victoria was a keen artist and she captured people and places throughout her life. Below are some of her sketches, to see the entire collection visit

Water colour by Queen Victoria 6 June 1845.
Image from 

3 November 1853 
18 April 1862

Its pretty cool to be able to see Queen Victoria's sketches and read her diary (if you have the patience to decipher her spidery writing)!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Time to get organised

I dont know about you,  but I seem to have lots of unfinished projects floating around in the craft courner in the lounge room. As I look around I can see many things in a half finished state: recycled plastic bags crocheted into baskets, knitted twine objects for ceramic experiments (another post will be dedicated to this) two lots of wool waiting to be unravelled and knitted into another project.

Baskets made from recycled plastic bags
All these half finished projects are lying around as a visual reminder to finish them. Im getting sick of the clutter so I have decided that rather than work on them all at once, I will finish one and then move onto the next with the hope of cleaning up the craft corner.... or at least getting it under control!

Knitted twine objects
So Im currently working on a pink brown wool that has been knitted about four times because I havent found the right pattern for the wool. Its gorgeous but because its varigated, knits up with ugly 'tiger stripes'. I have finally found the perfect pattern, which I am kinda making up as I go along (with the aid of some of Mum's fabulous 1980's knitting patterns as reference). 

Its garter stitch and I have introduced a dark brown solid colour which lessens the varigated stripe effect. Knitted on the round the yoke shows of the variation of the colour without being too much.

Theres also an ever growing pile of books to read, and magazines for inspiration which contains things like Vogue Living, Craft International (fabulous mag from the UK), ceramic books – mostly about glazes at the moment, and for art theory I've been meaning to read the complete works of Oscar Wilde and Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory and Dante's Devine Comedy...

Thank goodness for these long dark winter evenings – they're perfect for sitting in front of the gas fire and reading or knitting, under the pretext of getting organised x

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Still Life captured by Instgram

Well I have succumbed to the Instagram craze....

I couldnt resist!

So this morning I thought I would capture some things that make me happy at home

Kochira sun baking

Ceramic made by moi, with cockatoo feather

I love this lamp, collected in my travels through Turkey


Spinning wheel given to me by my Aunt.
Its almost the perfect weather to start practicing...
all I need is an open fire

Splashes of colour
Green plastic bags with pink wool =
two different projects

Love love love this mirror
and the old kitchen sink
with mis-matching taps
and a gurgling drain

cute cute cute!
I love this chair so much.
It has a twin
and they feature in my prints and ceramics
I love my pink anodised teapot
and its special cosy by Jenny

How much fun! Different boarders, unfocused edges, and hues within the images.

For those who already know Instagram, Im loving the 1977 setting, but I already have so many real photos like that (yes, I feature in a few) Im not sure Im ready to go there so soon :)


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Non Toxic Etching

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating in a non-toxic, environmentally friendly etching class run by printmaking sisters Annie Day and Robyn Erza.

Set in the beautiful grounds of the Bowral District Art Society a group of us learnt how to create etchings over a weekend using aluminium plate and products available from the local hardware store (water based bitumen used for sealing roofs as the resist, and a copper sulphate solution to etch the aluminium plates)

Bowral District Art Society workshop behind the gallery

Transfering image from sketchbook to aluminium plate
Along with the large presses available in the workshop, Annie and Robyn brought along their own mini-presses (in the foreground below). A fabulous idea and I now aspire to have a mini-press in my studio too!

Creating images on the plate was simple, using an etching needle to draw the lines, and a brush to apply the bitumen. Annie and Robyn supplied VCA (Vegetable Cleaning Agent) which is a safer alternative to turps.
Aluminium plate with bitumen resist (dark areas)
The plate in copper sulphate solution etching bath
Continuing to explore imagery from my cottage I created the following images: 

The Lounge Room 8 x 10 cm
Mantle Piece 8 x 10 cm
The Kitchen Chair 8 x 10 cm
The Kitchen 10 x 13 cm
I had such a lovely time, and the results were fantastic. Best of all they were non toxic, environmentally friendly and you could continue to create the plates from home or your own studio. 

I look forward to creating some more images which will be exhibited later this year at M16 in Canberra in a joint exhibition with photographer Jocelyn Rosen (exhibition will run from 13 - 31 September 2012).

A big thank you to Annie and Robyn for such a wonderfully creative weekend x


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