Monday, April 14, 2014

Day 43

Yesterday did my talk at Canberra Potters.

Small room, but filled up after the AGM.

Blacking out the windows made all the difference. You could actually see the images properly and all the videos and audio worked perfectly.

Christine and Mark came to the talk and we then went to Strathnairn Homestead for lunch, where Sue Scobie has been on a residency and saw her conclusion exhibition.

I am a fan anyway but there were interesting new variations of rectangular rather than round openings.

Not entirely sure why but this body of work felt very Australian, whereas I always feel her work is evocative of the NZ landscape.

Maybe the colours of the clays? But also maybe the isolation of Strathnairn (populated it seemed with endless persistent hoards of flies). Even though it is only around 10 mins drive from ANU, it is on the very rural edge of town, like another outback world you cross over in a time warp.

I am sure that had some deep effect on her work.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Day 42

Looks good on first sight, but on closer inspection there are some duds.

Quality control pro-action taken.

So the work I have to choose from are these, bearing in mind everything is 90° out visually because all the rings and cones will be displayed on the wall or projecting out from it

I am getting near the end of my residency here at ANU and I have been looking at the stats of my blog.

Apart from the obvious friends from New Zealand and Australia there have been hits from the United States, Brazil, China, UK, Germany, Canada, Hong Kong and the Dominican Republic.

I am interested in how you found my blog?

If you have the time please email me on

and thanks for following and being part of my process,


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 41

Up at 5 to watch the cones go down for the last time.

Then to the Farmer's Market with Christine and Mark

(not my photo)

Then to pick up packing boxes left from their move last week.

Playing the waiting game for the kiln to cool and worked more on my talk tomorrow around 11am  after the Canberra Potter's AGM. Going early to black out the room properly.

Using Keynote now after the PowerPoint ceasing to work debacle for my student talk. It is so much better, but doesn't handle adding audio in specific areas as well as PowerPoint did. Managed to work out how to use video soundtrack behind a still image by pasting the still image on top of the video. Obvious really, but it cunningly works.

Kiln is just outside the door to the ceramics flat.

So near yet so far.

"tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow......"

Friday, April 11, 2014

Day 40

Up at 5.15 waiting to be picked up by Jackie to go to the sunrise experience in the James Turrell WITHIN WITHOUT (2010) sculpture.

Had seen it during the day with Christine and the two Marks, but inside the dome at 5.30 was a subtle light show with the black sky as a black dot.

Then your eyes began to play spacial tricks and the black dot appeared to be a 3D sphere floating out from a back-lit dome

I kept comparing what I was seeing to what my camera caught and they were totally different

Then as day broke the sphere became a cloudy planet

Entrance to the dome

 Entrance to the sculpture

 Breakfast at Jackie's new apartment and talked about renovations.

A perfect spiritual beginning to the day, which was slightly sad with a few good-byes.

Last lunch with the Archaeologists, Wal, Jean and Ian.

Didn't need to take my cut bowls home and as there were 6 and 6 in Greg's Masterclass so they drew numbers to draw one each.

Had pizza with them and talked about PhD and lunch conversation and was totally knocked out by Joan suddenly opening up about her past as an archaeologist and the problems of humanising artefacts by interpreting them with our values.

Greg dropped me out at Watson Art Centre for Jane's farewell and I discovered that the Thomastown Irish Potter's conference is before the IAC so I will be able to do both. YES.

Last firing turned on.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 39

Up at 4am to be there with plenty of time, calculated from 120 degree per hour climb.

But the kiln was only on 1142°C at 4.30am

Kiln went off at 5.55am with Cone 6 over and 1222°C on the pyrometer, which is exactly the temperature for Cone 6.

Kiln 11 varies quite bit from cone to pyrometer, but this firing was packed right up to the roof with 6 or 7 shelves so the heat work might have been more efficient?

Took Greg and John to CBD Noodle Bar. Excellent again. 

A quick peep back home, but it is still too hot  to open. Looks promising

Sleep. Now playing the waiting game until tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 38

The test for the breaking blue/turquoise was very disappointing and I blamed differing raw material sources

but I went for broke and glazed some whole pieces and it worked well even on the reclaimed groggy clay.

Surprised me. Shows how little you can actually tell from a small test other than how it melts.

You have to commit it to a real piece.

Interesting to put a single coloured piece amongst the Black Fired work

Also more alkaline chrome tests.  Some promising.

Went to see THE LEGO MOVIE in 3D with Michael Keighery and Jackie Lallemand.
Cool movie with believe it or not an engaging story. Not for 4 year olds as Franz thought. 

Great 3D, we were trying to work out if it was stop-motion models or CGI made to look like stop motion models. I particularly liked how the waves and ocean movement was treated in Lego blocks. 

Best line was the Batman builder character asking around if anyone had and spare black blocks. He said "I only ever build with black blocks, or sometimes a very dark grey." 

I guess you had to be there. 

"Middle Zealand" was a cute gag reference along with confusing Gandalf with Dumbledore and there is a lot of adult humour, like the TV Sit-com Where's my Pants and the bare-arse photocopying. And a bare Lego arse looks just like you would imagine a bare Lego arse to look like. Obvious. Clever.

Dinner at CBD Dumpling House. Excellent.

Started kiln #11 at 4.50pm. Need to get up at 4.30am to watch the cones bend. 

Lots of rings at stake in this firing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 37

"At last my arm is complete" as Sondheim was know to write.

Cloning the new hard drive seems to have worked, including the Virtual Machine part. Accounting programme works.

So much relief and another 535G to fill up. So I can put my iTunes back and not have to always plug in another hard drive to play anything.

Kiln went off at 10.15. Watched the 5 and 6 cones go down from 1185 to 1212 on pyrometer. Last time it went to 1223 for the same cone bend with a similar pack. That's kilns I guess?

Can't really do any more glazing til I get this firing out tomorrow, but will easily get another glaze on then.

An early morning visitor

And another one bearing gifts
Michael Keighery bringing Mao to the Mountain

Turned the cones I made yesterday with the last of the MFQ clay. They will dry on top of the kiln this afternoon and I can get a bisque on tonight with some of Cathy's pieces.