Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chunky shino.

This shino stands up so well. Have a look at the lump on the rim. I'm going to have some fun with this glaze.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Reduction fired porcelain.

My new favourite!
Look carefully, left and right sides you might just make out some circles.

Friday, November 28, 2008


This is a test bowl with a fancy rolled rim, but that's not what I love about it! It's the new shino glaze that's working a treat that I love. The shino glaze is the circular pattern. Over a glaze it doesn't do it's fancy shino orange effect, but when it's only on the clay body, and thin, it gives a wonderfull orange flash.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


400mm x 81mm

I occasionally make a big platter. This one is for my Uncle; He likes to cook up a storm.
I'll be in town this weekend Bill. Mixing bowls are coming soon, I promise.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Porcelain bowl with oxide.

It's cold this morning. It's been raining for the last couple of days and the hint of summer (a few days of +30 deg. C) seems to have washed away. Don't get me wrong, love the rain, we certainly need it.
A coffee and a few hours should fix the temp. and it can rain all day; love the sound of rain on a tin roof.
Today some little bowls are on the "to make list"; and maybe a Sake set. I was arranging a little bowl and bud vase, and the thought of a Sake set came to mind. They look nice together; you can have the Sake though.

Now for that coffee!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Altered porcelain vessel.

Bud vase.

A little bud vase on my desk is full to the brim with little paper daisies and billy buttons. Those paper daisies go on for weeks without any sign of deteriorating. You should get some. Sure to brighten up the day.

Altered porcelain .

It's not easy firing thin porcelain to a near state of melting, but the translucency and vitreous nature make it all worth the occasional loss. My last firing was just over cone ten (over 1280 deg. Celsius) not good, only two successful pieces from a whole kiln load. Cross fingers for the next firing.
I think my elements in the electric kiln are getting tired/old. The Harco kiln sitter chucks a wobbly at 1240 deg. So from then on it's up by only about 25 deg. an hour. And a vigilant watch through the spy hole with my welders goggles to watch the cone fall over. I've got a collection of bent cones now. I think they'd make a wonderful "African" wild animal tooth necklace. Any takers?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Clay delivered with a bulldozer.

Axedale clay.

This clay pile looks very dark. It's because it's wet. The little white patch to the left of the bulldozer is where he has scrapped the top off to get some dry clay. So it won't clag up in the crusher.

The pink clay to the right is more like McKenzie’s clay. More iron oxide and perhaps titanium.

It was overcast on the day. All the photos came back so flat. I had a fiddle with them. Now they're a touch on the contrasty side, and with a slight cyan cast. I'll have a fiddle with the RAW files later.

Come back again, I'm sorry.
I wanted to post them though. I think they are fascinating, regardless of the cast. I do realize they could be totally boring to most people too.

I went to Axedale (potters heaven)for some stoneware clay. The stoneware I've been using also comes from Axedale, but the other side of the creek, it's known as McKenzie's clay. I've been continuously getting "S" cracks with McKenzie's clay. I've tried everything to solve the problem, but now have given up! The Axedale clay is whiter, but does not (supposedly) have an issue with "S" cracks. I can always add a bit of iron oxide to the body for my Shino and Celedon glazes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Rough and ready Shino one day. Soft subtle porcelain the next.
I love them both!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


A great selection of AUSTRALIAN STUDIO CERAMICS 1930–1990 is up for auction.
You can have a look at the catalogue online click here.
Auction is on:
162 Queen Street
Woollahra NSW 2025 Australia
Gallery hours Mon–Fri 9am–5pm, Sat 11am–5pm
Ph: (612) 9326 1588
Fax: (612) 9326 1305

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Red enamel.

I've been having fun with red enamel. I've discovered that if you over fire it it can split like it has in these photos. And I love it! But, if you don't do it right, it runs all over the place, and that looks horrible. Too horrible to put on my blog spot. Just think of lots of dribbling red and you've got it. It also doesn't do a lot of good to your kiln shelves. So, if you want to give it a burl, I suggest putting your pieces on throw away bits of shelf.

Ferris wheels and wind turbines.

There are a lot of Ferris wheels and wind turbines going up these days. Not enough wind turbines, but far too many Ferris wheels.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Red enamel illustrations.

I rarely draw ideas prior to working on the actual form. I'm not much of a drawer, wish I was. So, I'm usually none the wiser after a doodle; tend to work it through in my head. But, with the red enamel that I've been applying to some finished pieces, it has been helpful to place the lines on illustrations.
The pieces cooling down in the kiln have had the lines placed a third of the way up (the golden mean), but after these illustrations I will place some lines in the middle.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Environment as influence.

Ever since a bowl I made (landscape bowl) earlier in the year, I've wondered how much the environment has an influence on my work. I've always known it has an influence to some degree. In the first year of my first tertiary education in photography, we were all told "everything you ever see in art is a copy from nature" bold statement one would think, but if you look around (especially wall paper and grandma's couch) much of that is true.
I moved from Melbourne to central Victoria just over two years ago. Not long after moving, I started using local stoneware clay. More of a physical influence than a visual one, but that has caused a visual influence on my glaze and decoration. To both the stoneware and porcelain. I suppose the need to dress up the stoneware has made me look for new glazes and decoration. And that together with walks through a local forest has helped influence my colour palette. The first glaze I worked on was a blue
celadon, quite vivid/striking. I then moved to a subtle grey blue celadon on the stoneware; it comes out as a pale green on the porcelain. To this I've added iron oxide and shino horizontal brushwork. I would suggest that those choices have been influenced by the local forest.
Central Victoria looks like extending its twelve year drought. It was looking hopeful during winter. The rainfall was just below average. I almost got tired of it. I certainly learnt how to use an umbrella again! It took me a few days to find it though. When I lived in Melbourne I had a whole extended family of umbrella's. But, here in Central Victoria it has not rained properly for months, plants are dying again. So I guess iron oxide and shino glazes will remain part of my glaze list.
I had to add this photo as there are some wonderful flowers in the Whistick State forest. Against the conditions of a harsh environment they survive. Really I don't know how some of these plants do it. I dug up a little Acacia I planted in my own garden at the start of winter. It was still standing proud after weeks of hot sun and little attention from my watering can. The soil it was in was almost aqua phobic. It's in a big pot now and watered every day, it must be wondering what the heck happened.
*This photo of power lines and pole is a reference/homage to Sophie Milne and her observation of the environment as influence.
Once there pointed out; dang things are everywhere now.