Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Whipstick forest yesterday, was bliss.

A short walk from home.
This walk through the Whipstick forest yesterday was bliss.
I wish I could attach sound & smell. The sound: crickets, cicadas, wattle birds and the occasional Australian magpie. Smell: Eucalyptus and Acacia. The weather at the moment is a just right 25°C blue sky with a few clouds.

Friday, December 18, 2009

John Perceval: Romulus and Remus with wolf mother.

"Sculpture by John Perceval: Romulus and Remus with wolf mother, earthernware, handbuilt with sang-de-boeuf type glaze, 1961. This work is part of a series on the theme of angels, drawing on the work of Italian artists of the 1500s and angel devil figures in Perceval's paintings."

Collection of: Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
For further information on "John Perceval: Romulus and Remus with wolf mother" from Powerhouse Museum' website, click here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Road trip.

There's something to be said for taking the long way.
I'd forgotten what a big old country town was like. Big old dusty roads, with wide wrought iron verandahs.
The best chocolate molted milkshakes and hamburgers with a crust.
I've almost convinced myself to go on a long drive to find more of these wonderful old Victorian era buildings and parks.

Photo 1. Benalla, VIC. Photos 2 and 3. Victory Memorial Gardens,Wagga Wagga, NSW, Photo 4. Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation "Winjeel" c. 1955, Wagga Wagga, NSW,Photo 5. Goulburn Court House, NSW.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A plate a day.

left to right: Jane Sawyer, Andrew Widdis (me) and Yasha Butler.

A plate a day is holding a


Click here for a link to the site, and more info.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Penguin pourers Mark III.

It's interesting how you can think you've made something that's as good as it's going to get. Then the next lot make them look daggy. It almost makes me think I should just make them for myself. I am still haunted by some of the first ceramics I made. I gave them to family and friends. I was proud of them at the time, but, with good intention, they come out at social events and horrify me. I had the pleasure of finding some of these early pieces in my Brothers kitchen in Copenhagen; what must those style conscious Danes think of my tentative early pieces?
I'm puzzled by the realisation that I will look back at these little penguin pourers and think them daggy too.
I'm hopeful that perhaps this time it might take a little longer. I really like these ones.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A gum tree and a few insects.

Well it was a funny old day. Quite warm, dark clouds and the sound of rain, only it wasn't rain, it was the caps off the gum nuts dropping on a parched ground by the thousands.


insect is about 8mm long

I've got these amazing little insects buzzing around the Indig. Acacias outside my study window. They have this amazing ability to hover in a fixed pos. then with instant speed move in a straight line, then they instantly stop again, hovering in a fixed position.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

SMALLpieces online.

SMALLpieces (Northcote Pottery) in Melbourne are now selling online. Click here to go to their online shop.

Suggestion: Christmas is coming, buy online; stay home and avoid the madness.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Finally listed something on Etsy. Should be interesting to see if I can sell something in Australia to O/S. I haven't put a postage cost on top, so am selling from a level playing field.
Looking forward to helping the balance of trade.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Penguins and vessels.

Rolled clay.

It's correct term "slab-work" really seems to take away from the beauty of the finished work. So, I think "rolled clay; hand assembled" is more fitting and, I think a more accurate description. I have a new potters mark, a simple round circle. It's more prominent, stands out from the surface further, and thus allows me to wipe the glaze back to show it in contrast. I'm still considering whether to use it on the pourers, as they're smaller, I think the mark might over power.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Altered porcelain.

It's been a while since I've manipulated thin porcelain vessels. It's risky, push it too far and it cracks. When it works though, to me, it's stunning.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cross your fingers for me.

I fired a kiln o/night. It was at 1200 deg. c. when I checked it in the morning. The next time I checked it (about two hours later) it was at 950 deg. c. with the alarm going (meaning it had failed to reach temp) It has taken me the rest of today to get it to 1290 deg. c. (cone 10). The elements are getting old and it seems reluctant to do it's job these days. it's a tedious job replacing elements, but I guess it's time. Hopefully it didn't get too close to temp. the first time. It will be an anxious wait to open it. Added 16/10/2009

Well, I think the kiln must have got V close to cone 10 (1290 deg. C.) the first time, it definately got to cone 10 the second time. The coloured slip I placed on the rim has run twice as much as usual. You can see a dribble near the foot (it looks like it's not attached to the foot, but, it is)another few mm. and it would have stuck the bowl to the kiln shelf. This effect is quite beautiful, but very risky. I think I'll keep this one for my collection.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sophie Cook.

photo by Ian Hill

Probably my favourite pieces. They are a joy to look at and they glow in the sunlight, casting the most interesting shadows. Porcelain is a hard clay to throw with and these bottles are just simply showing off.
A signature range by Sophie Cook.

"sophie cook graduated from camberwell school of arts in the late nineties and has established her career since then, selling and exhibiting worldwide. her work also features in permanent museum collections ranging from the geoffrye museum in london to recently involvment in the denver art museum's euro design exhibition.

sophie also works on commissions, which have included pieces for babington house and an installation for the rama restaurant in the private members club, 50 st james.

celebrities that have bought her work include georgio armani, elton john and jennifer anniston.

sophie works out of her studio at home in dulwich, london where you can visit by appointment or during the dulwich festival in may. studio sales take place in june and december at cockpit arts deptford."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ah Xian 'Concrete Forest'.

Ah Xian is the winner of the last ever Clemenger (triennial) Contemporary Art Award ; Established in 1991 by Joan and Peter Clemenger, and organised by the National Gallery of Victoria. Ah Xian's work consists of 36 foliage-impressed concrete busts. It is hoped that a new Contemporary Art Award will be sponsored in the future.
Below are worthwhile links to further reading:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Klytie Pate.

Klytie pate was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1912. In the 1930's she attended the National Gallery School and studied drawing. Following this she attended the Melbourne technical College (now RMIT University) and studied Sculpture and modelling for five years. From 1937 - 1945 she was a pottery instructor at the College. Following 1945 she became a full-time professional potter.
Klytie Pate exhibited regularly until her last exhibition at Distelfink Gallery, Armadale, VIC.
Source: NGV.

Some of Klytie' work is on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

John Perceval.

John Perceval
Australia 1923-2000
"Two Angels"
1961 Murrumbeena, Melbourne.

Primarily a painter, Perceval also threw and modelled clay. Starting with gnome and elfin figures, culminating with his "angel" series. These are amongst the last, finishing in 1961.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Wedgwood, Jasper body.

Glenys Barton - Designer

I thoroughly enjoyed the NGV, Wedgwood talks over the last two Saturday's. Apparently it's not just blue Jasper ware.
Josiah Wedgwood established Wedgwood in 1759. So this year celebrates its 250th anniversary. To commemorate that milestone, the National Gallery of Victoria is displaying over 70 works from its own Wedgwood holdings; one of the world's best collections of Wedgwood.

Where: NGV International
Date: 1 Sep 2009-30 Sep 2010
Cost: Free

NGV International' website, click here.

Wikipedia article on Wedgwood, click here.

The Wedgwood Museum website, click here.

The "Officicial Wedgwood store" website, click (don't mind at all if you want to buy something for me) here.
Also at the wedgwood website:

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I've been in Melbourne, but missed the Footy. It's the best time of year to get around town and see things. Although not the best Melbourne Spring weather yesterday, the fact that almost everyone was either in front of a TV or at the "G" meant getting around was a breeze. Melbourne was almost like a ghost town from 2PM Then at about 4, I made my dash for the Calder Freeway and home, before the mob took over town again. On the horizon in the direction of home were some very heavy rain clouds. Could not think of anything worse than 2 hours driving in rain with Commodores constantly overtaking and throwing more water on the windscreen. That was my trip down on Friday.

Pictured above is Eureka tower an intriguing building, different from every angle, Some really ugly some stunning. I think I found my favourite angle the other week. From Southbank you can view it between two buildings at it's narrowest. Though it's too close for my 50mm lens to capture. I'll take my little Canon Ixus next time, That fits in almost everything (though the downside is the lines get distorted)

Friday, September 18, 2009

NGV Talks: The Wedgwood 250th Anniversary.

Lecture Series: The Wedgwood 250th Anniversary
Sat 19 & 26 Sep, 10.30am–12pm NGV International

"This year we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the ceramic firm of Wedgwood by Josiah Wedgwood. The NGV has a substantial holding of Wedgwood ceramics and celebrates with a seminar over two weekends."

Sat 19 Sep Wedgwood in the Early 20th Century: Keith Murray, Eric Ravillious & Arnold Machin
Speaker Amanda Dunsmore, Curator, International Antiquities & Decorative Arts, NGV
From Pottery to Porcelain – An 18th Century Transition Speaker Dr Matthew Martin, Assistant Curator, International Antiquities & Decorative Art, NGV

Sat 26 Sep Beyond Neo-Classical-Style & Design
Speaker Robyn Ives, Wedgwood Society of Australia, Melbourne
Wedgwood at the International Exhibitions Speaker Dr Robert Wilson, Program Coordinator, NGV
Cost per morning $20 Adult / $14 NGV Member / $16 Concession / $12 Student

Venue: Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International

Click here for link and scroll down page.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bruce Armstrong & Geoffrey Bartlett.

Bruce Armstrong & Geoffrey Bartlett.
Constellation 1997
Geoffrey Bartlett and Bruce Armstrong
timber, copper, stainless steel
five elements, each approx 500 x 250 x 400 cm
collection of City of Melbourne, Yarra Turning Basin.