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,