Sunday, June 03, 2012

No new thing under the sun

On a spectacular sunny Sunday afternoon a gathering of creative individuals found the time between eating and drinking, while taking in a fabulous view, to discuss some interesting topics. Some very interesting topics . . .  . However, there was one in particular that I felt required some serious consideration.  During the conversation we decided that it is with regular monotony that we see works that are regurgitations of something previously created, covered or discusses. Painting mimicking a formula that is acceptable or sells. Not that we think selling is bad. NO! We love $$$$$, but is selling the main thing. 

I came away with a feeling of, I want new, I want original . . . . . 

With this in mind, I have been trying to come up with some new idea, something worth exploring, a creative response and technique that is not already out there. 

However, it is Not an easy ask. . . . .task . . . .thing to do.  . . .  this new. 
It appears that many creative thoughts are not NEW . . . .  so I decided to investigate to see why people felt it was acceptable to borrow their inspiration from elsewhere/other.
Now I am not one to be considered religious, but I do on occasion feel that there is some really good advice and some wonderful gems to be found in that there old book.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. ( The Holy Bible: King James)
Does that mean  . . . .there is no new thing under the sun . . . . . . .? NOTHING ??

In this excellent talk from The Economist‘s Human Potential Summit, titled Steal Like an Artist, Kleon makes an articulate and compelling case for combinatorial creativity and the role of remix in the idea economy. 

So, . . . . . if there is nothing new, then I am behove to steal . . . . mmmmmmmmm. Last week I had John Cleese tell me to sleep and Hibernate and now I have Kleon telling me I may go forth and STEAL mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! (I am so confused the  !!'s are propagating beyond control )

So,(I can use SO again, because I stole it!!!!) with my wonderful new studio space almost complete, I am preparing myself to partake of  . . . .a stealing.  I have investigated . . . .I have viewed numerous blogs, you tube video, books, galleries and read many interesting tomes . . . . I feel I am almost ready to venture forth to STEAL something. . . . .YEP! almost ready . . . .. .dah de dah da . . . . .

Anyone have any ideas?
I am more than willing for you to forward me something to STEAL . . . . . . . Please!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Creative writing mmmmmmmm

Anyone who knows me well, knows I have difficulty with the written word. We are not talking about the pronunciation, (which is a subject with more horror in a single word- than what there is in an entire Buffy movie) I am talking about that which appears on the white of a single page/computer screen or in a book.
The spelling . . . a nightmare
The grammar . . . . what the ? I still don't get the comma ( , ) Or the ( ! ) I see it everywhere and think of it as making the word louder and more in ya face. . . . .but it's real purpose. Nup! don't really know.

So why bother worrying about this stuff you may ask. Ha . . .now does that get a !, or NOT? . . .  ..  Well as an artist you would be suprised, serprized,  . . . .wait, wait I think I got it . . . . surprised - (Ha! No red line so it must be right)  how much we have to use the written word. 
Artists statements.
Grant proposals.
Gallery proposals.
Exhibition briefs.
Residency proposals. . . . . .  the list goes on and on.

I never really appreciated the need to speak to an audiance, ordianze, ordieance, ordeeance . . .  . audience ( whiewwwwieeeee)  until I had to give talks at Gallery openings, exhibitions and workshops. . . . I have learnt through the baptism of fire and now know that most people don't know I am sh . . . ng myself  . . . . and I just get on with it. So far no one has spat, shot or sh . . .t on me. So all is well. . . .okay . . . fine . .. OK!

I thought reading was a pure joy that I embraced wholeheartedly, as often as possible.

But! . . . . writing was something I avoided. I think it was all those red lines all through my work at school, that put me off. Why the F.... were people so obcesed, obseced, obcezed  . . . obsessive  about how we spell things. It just held back the creative flow and made the flow of words harder. To me their . . . there seamed . . .seemed to be a lot of rules that did not make and sence.  .sense. 

Soooooooooooooo . . .when I recieved,  (ok!, I remember -  I  before c except after e ) . . . received a reject letter ( that must have been viewed by a barren, loveless, bored individual with far too much time on their hands) .. . .  from a residency stating, I should re-do and re-submit my proposal for consideration, as the ideas were worthy of consideration, however the language left a lot to be desired . . . .  I asked?, who has the time to make all those red marks and corrections? . . . . ( what? Yah I know one two many ?'s )  

But, after due consideration and thinking about all the art I could be doing, if I was hanging out at the beach playing with sand . . . . I re-visited the subject. 

I took out the proposal and had to agree it was amazingly dizmall, dicmel, dysmal, dismal.

So. What to do about it? How do you re-write, when you don't really know why it is wrong?

I turned to my trusty computer . . .an amazing tool that I do not even try to fathom . . . .but use whoelheartidly, holeheartidly, wholeheartedly. I FOUND the Queensland writers Centre. WOW! Why does no one tell us of this fantastic tool ( OH! I have used fantastic already? Ok how about COOL tool ? )   they have a  plythora, plethora of courses disigned, dezigned, designed  to help . .. .  I saw MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS, but did not like the sub text, Exploring the supernatural . I am trying hard to explore this life and have no inclination to try for one that has super in front of it. 

I then saw, TOOL KIT FOR WRITERS . . . yep! I understood the need for kits and I love tools and I BELIEVE YOU SHOULD ALWAYS DO THINGS YOU LOVE.

Now, equipped, with the know how of where to go I needed support. My adorable, long suffering husband was once again included in my latest endevor, endeavor, endeveer, endevear,  endeavour. With the promise of coffee and cake at the gallery book shop prior to the torture and a resteraunt, resteront, resterunt, restaurant
(that cannot be right? Sounds like you want to arrest my aunt) meal of his choice afterwards. We booked, then equipped with pens and paper, we set off.

From the 9th May through to the 30th, we have explored  - character, plot, theme, setting, the power of three, the episodic plot, implicit characterisation and the example of voice.  

We discovered amazing people like IRA GLASS   - who talk about the WRITING process. . . . 

It was awsome, awesome and a . . .an advent  . ..event . . THING, we will do again. Show don't tell is looking promising or Narrative structure . . . I even think I have Cam on board, though I do feel the cake and variety of meals has helped sway his enthusiasm. I enjoyed meeting other people and hearing why they feel the need to write. I embraced being out and about in Southbank and West end of an evening (something that we did for years, on a regular basis, but have neglected of late)

So I still do not know the ins and outs of writing. I do not know grammar, structure, spelling or any of the other necessary techniques needed to write a decent short story . . .but as Ira said . . . just DO IT . . . and ask your friends to correct it later. So FRIENDS, you know who you are and you now have fair warning . . .  some , no, LOTS of red pens will soon be required.

Now I need to try and understand, Third Person Omniscient, Third Person Limited and First Person. . . .I think i am okay with Point of view . . . . . but then maybe there is more than one?

But and this is a b . . .dy BIG  BUT. I still do not know where the comma should be and I still am unable to SPELL.

So, as usual with all the things we embrace in our travels through this life, it has answered a few questions, however, it has opened a can of worms and disclosed rather a few doors that we now feel we may want to open.
NOT a Bad thing at all!!!!!!! ( there, I have used all of my allocate  !  and shall no more use a single one again! oooops)

So now with the advice from JOHN CLEESE I am going to hibernate and sleep

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Another layer

Cam, Bri and I have been attending pottery Classes at the the Logan Artists Association , at 27 Coral St Loganlea, on a Monday evening from 6pm - 9pm weekly. Yep! We are dragging Cam there and giving him lots of encouragement and numerous timtams, so he can try his hand at something outside his usual 'doings' . . . . .  so far he is being a good sport and has produced some rather amazing pottery, with the supportive guidance of our tutor Ray.

 Ray Outteridge  began potting in Cairns in 1972 under the tutelage of Master Potter Ray Harrison and continued until 1974 when he undertook professional training at the Cairns College of Further Education (now the James Cook University) graduating with Honors in 1977.
Ray is also experienced at designing and building salt, raku, gas, oil and wood fired kilns. His work has been exhibited widely and is represented in local and international collections.

During his professional life as an artist/potter Ray has endeavored to pass on his accumulated knowledge and skills, encouraging all to practice, have an open mind and keep alert for the happy accident. 

We have found that Ray is more than willing to share his wide range of knowledge with enthusiasm and a good open sense of humour, that makes the evenings both  informative and enjoyable. 

The facilities are generous and classes are small -  so you can learn a lot in a very short time.

Bri and I are learning to throw pots on the wheel, which is both challenging and rewarding.

while Cameron is currently learning to do hand building. . . .

There are a few places to fill, so if you are interested come along  - it is FUN and very Creative.

All aspects of Studio Pottery will be undertaken. Cost will be $25 for members and $30 for non members.
For further information please ring Ray on 0418673404 or 55467398 any time or

There is going to be another fantastic RAKU firing soon, but if you want something interesting to see this Friday night . . . . .  .
A DVD Movie and Slide Night.
• The Leach Pottery 1952”
• “The Sleeping Pot” (The Firing of a large Anagama Kiln at River Falls, Wisconsin)
• Other  selected  short pottery videos
• Works made at the LAA
Where: The LAA Studio
When: Friday Night 11th May 2012
Time: 6 pm.
Cost: Members $5.00 and non Members $10.00
Bring your own refreshments and a friend. All Welcome.

RAKU Firing
On the 31st of March an excited group of potters met for the
first official firing day of the Raku kiln. Workshop participants
soon arrived and we prepared for the firing by filling drums with
sawdust and making sure we all had protective gear ready
which included masks, long sleeved shirts/pants and protective
footwear. Ray then advised on how to glaze the pots, and next
the kiln was loaded for the first firing. We then received further
advice on how to operate the kiln and the kiln God was placed
on top of the kiln for the first time. It will take us a few times to
learn some of the nuances of Raku firing.
Finally, we could hear the roar of the gas burner and watch the
pyrometer (temperature gauge) creep up. All the time Ray kept
the information going and we observed the pots becoming red
hot and the glazes changing from matt to glossy.
With the temperature achieved the exciting stages began. As the
kiln was lifted, the red hot pots became exposed and Ray quickly
placed them in our drums with tongs, where sawdust or paper
was tipped over each pot. This completed the post reduction
process of the glazes reaching the desired effects. After that,
the still very hot pots were removed and placed into water, once
sufficiently cooled an eager team took to scrubbing off the ash like clockwork, while the rest of us organised pots and helped Ray reload the kiln.
This process went on for 7 – 8 firings, finishing in the dark – which made it all so more visually spectacular, with the glow of the red hot pots, smoke, flames and steam. Overall it was an excellent day, where good results were achieved with many pieces.
We all anticipate the next time with relish,

Monday, April 30, 2012

Soon to be revealed

We are all waiting for May 14th  . . . This is when the selected works will be on display, leading up to the vote . . . and winner of the Tip Shop competition.

I do not know what a lot of the entrants have done with their pieces, but of the ones we know about I am impressed with the variety of techniques used, along with huge doses of imagination.

I have heard reports about the decapitation of soft, cuddly children's toys and the mounting of their heads. . . . Yes! I did say children's toys . . 
Yep! I too am waiting to see what their function will be ????  
I am truly dying to see them!! 
I feel that is a new in  UP-CYCLING
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Yes! I am intrigued.
Trevor Moore and Jennifer Hamilton
A couple of the pieces I do know about are the entry from Jennifer Hamilton and Trevor Moore who combined their artistic skills to transform a daggy set of draws into a highly original piece. . . 

I love the waves of black oil slick on the top and the black wavy draw handles. . . . which contrast beautifully with the Bright, vibrant draw lining.

I want one too . . . .

Nancy Brown and Co-workers  -   I adore that edge!

Nancy Brown and her Co-workers have also contributed an interesting work that will also develope further past the time of the competition.

They aim to add layers of screen printing to the surface over an extended period.

Cam, Bri and Me - we all LOVE a bit of  RED
I forgot to take pics of ours toward the end of the process . . .  .so this one is the last I have . . . . with Cam half in it, adding the light fittings . . . . 

We added layers of pictures on the outside and kept it innocent, clean . . . .  & Oh! So WHITE

 However, on the inside it is all shelves for drinks, glasses, Gold leaf, red crushed velvet and lighting for the necessary bling effect . . .  . Oh! SOOOOOO LUSCIOUS!

Always fascinates me how a bit of paint and some IMAGINATION can transform a piece of the ordinary into something rather extraordinary  YUM!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tip me over and . . . . . .

Well life is moving quickly and it is nearly time to present our finished works for the endeavour TIP SHOP competition.
The aim of the shop is to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfill while also offering the public a chance to grab fantastic bargains and support people with a disability.
Endeavour Foundation Industries (EFI), which provides employment and training opportunities for people with a disability, will operate the West Acacia Ridge site.
The Council will supply products from its four waste transfer stations.
EFI staff and volunteers will receive, sort, and prepare the goods for sale at the Brisbane Tip Shop.
All proceeds will go toward supporting people with a disability.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the public to not only have access to affordable goods, but to know they are directly helping people with a disability,” said Endeavour Foundation CEO David Barbagallo.
“Not to mention the obvious benefits to the environment, in saving thousands of tonnes of re-useable goods from ending up in landfill every year.”

The Brisbane Tip Shop is located at 46 Colebard Street, West Acacia Ridge open to the public every weekend from Saturday May 15.
Opening times will be 8am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.
Back to the comp . . .  . We have fierce competition . . .though to date they are all friendly . . . .

Step by step . . . .transforming an un-loved brown cupboard

           Piece by piece . . . a bit here and a bit there . . . .

  I could not resist adding some red . . .  .yep! RED

One of the other people/group competiting is the talented Nancy Brown. I will be very interested to see what they do with their BIG BLACK TABLE . . . all will be revealed this Friday.

Porcelain piercing Workshop with Julie Shepherd

What a weekend !
I have just had the most enjoyable time with Julie Shepherd doing a week end workshop for porcelain piercing . . . . though it covered much, much more.

You do not need to have any previous experience . .   Julie will explain it all - very clearly.
There will be another one for the Mothers Day weekend in MAY 2012.
Julie Shepherd    Mob 0417620229

specializes in fine polished porcelain with pierced or translucent decoration using bowl and sculptural forms.  
Her porcelain work has become an expression of her femininity because of the strong linkage with traditional female textile crafts.
She started using translucent porcelain to express the fragility of the natural environment due to human impact.

The piercing resulted from looking at electron microscope illustrations of the lacy structures within nature. 

The workshop was over two days and covered a HUGe variety of techniques . . . . explained clearly and concisely.

Throughout the weekend, I felt there was a genuine sharing of ample knowledge. We started with mould making, pouring, and creating our forms to pierce and decorate. 

(The process of piercing is very similar to using a needle while sewing) The outward appearance of the porcelain is of fragility, however the work has immense inner strength and durability.

I would highly recommend doing this weekend workshop for the sheer enjoyment of the process.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

No unecessary destruction or waste

Inspired by the luscious growth of the last garden we developed, we felt the time was right to work on another project!!

After much thought, we decided the on going saga of the NEW STUDIO needed re-invigoration.

Way back in 2009, we were advised to clear an area near the existing shed & house, as the existing trees posed a serious fire hazard. ( remember we were still suffering the affects of a difficult drought period, which meant our property was as dry as a bone. Also, around this time there had been horrendous fires, where people had died, resulting in 'bushland near homes', being an issue on all our minds, especially those of the local fire brigade.

I was loathed to clear too much, but understood the necessity of being responsible.
We thought it through carefully and decided, if we had to remove the trees we might as well utilize the now cleared area to build something . ..

Oh! You could feel the full blast of the gleam in my eye, for miles. I had an idea and it was a beauty . . .. to have a new studio installed. Ha! it sounded so simple.
We eventually contacted the tree lopper who did the necessary, but very sad deed of felling the beautiful trees. . . . .Which of course presented us with a new dilemma . .. what to do with the trunks of the trees. I would not allow them to be burnt or wasted, which would have added insult to injury.
So WHAT to do with them ?
After serious discussion We decided to use the felled tree logs to build a new veranda along North wall.

Using the logs for the supports of the new North facing veranda

The process took approx 4 months of our available weekends to construct, and only then with the valuable help of various, generous individuals amongst family and friends . . .thankyou once again!

So! finally having finished that project we presumed we could quickly move onto the next . . .the building of the new studio.
No!! now we found ourselves ruminating over the question of, the stumps!
What will we do with all the glorious stumps? I imagined roots that would be worth exposing and thus be gorgeous . . . we hoped! So what will we do with them all . . . . if we were un willing to just burn them out of existence?
Cut them up for Fire wood? . .. No!! what a waste !
Make tables out of the roots? . . . No!! already too much furniture & not enough time,
What to do ???? We looked, thought, discussed . . . and looked again.
Cameron & and I thought we'd get them out and then think further, at a later date. . . . .

Ha !!! Easier said than done. Poor Cam found himself suffering because of my latest whim. Stumps & roots.
All those weekends of digging exposed a net work of roots worthy of saving . . .So I thought. I think Cameron could happily have see them go up in a quick burst of hungry and all consuming flames . . . . it had been a lot of hot and hard work and they were being stubbornly strong to the last root, which eventually had to be severed by a series of small controlled burns.
Another reason for us to be thankful for the rain . . .
and the result was this gorgeous creation . . . . However, Now where to store it and all it's brothers & sisters ??

We decided to make it ( along with it's siblings ) features in the garden, until their eventual purpose is revealed and we have time to do something about it.

They have proved their worth just as pieces that generate interest and discussion. Many have voted for the addition of eyes or other anatomical features . . . . I have so far resisted the urge to make the suggested 'improvements'.

So, a big Thank you to all the generous individuals who lugged rocks, dug soil and helped mulch the new garden. With the rain it is growing beautifully . . . .though the wallabies have taken a shine to the new hibiscus plants, which has resulted in the new wire works, being constructed to protect the numerous plants . . . .

Without any further obstacles to hinder the advancement of the new studio, we are back on the path to construction . . . . Now the important questions need to be addressed;
How many windows,
Which way do we face the glass doors,
How many glass doors,
How many sky lights,
Cement or wooden floor,
Insulated & lined walls,
What configuration ?????
I have sought and received some valuable advice and information, however any useful suggestions are appreciated . . .. I have looked forward to having my 'very own studio' for awhile, so I do want to get it right
... and of course I look forward to sharing many hours of creative process with quite a few of you, when it is completed.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

PAPER Cut out - recycled - re-newed

OLD Books

Pre- Loved


 . . . .. . . DISCARDED

What a WASTE !

Wall paper Glue


. . . . . . TIME

IMAGINATION . . .. . Altered . . . NEW from OLD


Tip Shop People’s choice Competition - continued

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to recycle. I hate the unnecessary purchasing of the NEW. If there is something I need and I can find it in a condition I can 'MAKE NEW', I am a very Happy lady. So for me this invitation to enter the Tip Shop competition is more about highlighting the unecessary WASTE of things that are thrown out . . . .  and the ability to RE-NEW or RE-INVENT, than about the winning . . . . though that would be a nice BONUS.

The main criteria for entry into the Tip Shop competition was, to choose a piece of furniture or bric-a-brac, which we had to transform into an interesting piece of FUNCTIONAL art.

We selected a cupboard. A BROWN uninteresting OLD TV cabinate, that someone had discarded.  . . .that was made of good strong wood.

        ·         First we had to decide what we wanted to use the cupboard for ?  FUNCTION

·         We had to decide what was it going to look like ?  CREATIVETY/ ART

We decided, rather than painting our own design or using mosaic on the cupboard; we wanted to use some of the many pre loved books, available in the Shop,  in a form of Collage.
All BOOKS at the TIP SHOP are sold for $0.50 cents each, so we were able to find quite a few amongst the MANY that would not be wasted when we cut them up.  We deliberately chose books that had been loved to the point of being obviously damaged, or those altered with artistic additions of crayon and pencil by previous owners, or ones that we felt were out of fashion.

We thought WHITE outside . . . .  . .RED inside, with GOLDLEAF & crushed velvet.

We decided we wanted the cupboard to look like a CHILDRENS TOY CUPBOARD on the outside,
while serving the function of a DRINKS CABINATE on the inside.
I looked on Google to find information regarding the practicals processes of fixing holes, sanding, painting etc.. . . . .

We decided it needed the addition of a few shelves for glasses and Bottles.


Paint.   White, 3 in one for outside.

 RED paint for inside

PVA glue for adhesion of goldleaf

Material to line inside.

Rollers for paint

Brushes for glue and paint

Drop sheet to prevent mess


Glue.  Wallpaper paste for collaging

Scissors to cut out images

Extra wood to construct shelves

Wood beading,  to support shelves and frame collages

Hinges for doors

 Let the WORK begin . . . .

With our Cupboard from the TIP SHOP and purchases from BUNNINGS  - we got started . . .  .

#     Washing the cupboard to remove the dirt

#         Sanding to remove the old varnish and then washing again to ensure surface was clean to paint.
#       PAINTING, painting and more painting.

It is starting to LOOK like a VERY FINE piece of FURNITURE.

Stay tuned . . . .