Monday, April 20, 2009

On a brighter note...

Aaaah, the long awaited-for chill is in the air! Every year I look forward to this change of season, the crisp coolness in the air that heralds the beginning of the beautiful Brisbane winter.  The sky is bluer, the sun loses its summer harshness and the humidity starts dropping nice and low. Unlike summer, when my energy flags and the humidity makes me feel sluggish and slow, winter puts a bounce in my step and clears my head.  I’ve been waiting for this! Cups of tea in the morning taste nicer and seem more ceremonial as the wisps of steam curl up and my hands are warmed from the (Kirsten Coehlo) cup.  And it seems that whenever this time of year comes around I am drawn to blue and yellow in my work.  It’s the blue blue skies and the softer sun I think. 

I’m working on another group of homeing pigeons for an upcoming show and they are all in yellow. So I’ve spent the last few weeks scouring op shops, flea markets and antique stores for just the right plates.  Despite the rather disappointing closure of my favourite (Sandgate) antique store and my most yielding op shop (Lutwyche) I’ve still managed to score a few most excellent finds that should do the trick! 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Not-so-good Friday

I get very excited about public holidays as they are rare times when I get to work in the studio for longer than an hour and a half at a time! So excited was I last (Good) Friday about having the Engineer home on a week day to look after the little lady that I had stayed up late the night before just to get everything in my studio ready for a big glaze-off. Benches cleaned, oodles of pots awaiting, containers of water, sponges, underglaze pencils and brushes laid out, glazes sieved and ready to rock. 

Down I went and glazed and glazed and glazed and glazed. It’s a fiddly job and I'm very particular about it. My patchwork range of beakers in particular have detailed little squares that get painted in by hand in a couple of different glazes, tiny little holes that need to be filled in so light can get through but liquid can’t get out.  Its probably the most finicky and tedious process of all, and it’s a job I just like to get out of the way really.

So how good did I feel when I resurfaced after a good few hours with shelves full of perfectly glazed pieces ready to pack into the kiln? Pretty damn good! That is until I glanced down at my glaze bucket as I was hanging up my apron and realised I had glazed EVERYTHING in the wrong glaze. 

Oh MY there were a LOT of four letter expletives tumbling out of my mouth let me tell you! My precious precious studio time so horribly wasted! I almost cried! I sat with my head in my hands and then slowly placed each and every piece into buckets full of water to soak the glaze off so I could start ALL OVER AGAIN!!! Groan. 

Not-so-good Friday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cressida and I

Cressida Campbell, Bowls, 2001

I spent Monday afternoon installing my work at the QUT Art Museum where a selection of pieces will be on display for the next two months.  QUT is one of my favourite Brisbane galleries.  They always have such interesting shows and cut a perfect balance between the contemporary and the historical.  Their team of curators are really on the ball and also have their antennaes finely tuned to craft and design. We like that. 

The gallery itself was closed for the day for installation, so I had the
Cressida Campbell show all to myself. Blown away is putting it mildly. As I wandered from room to room my jaw dropped lower and lower until by the third room and the work Eucalyptus Forest it really did hit the floor. Her woodblock prints of the interiors of houses, still lifes, urban Sydney and Australian landscapes are so skillfully and beautifully executed - the exquisite details in each print, the mottled colours, the texture of the prints, ever so slightly raised but giving the pieces such depth, the way she carves subtly into the surface of the plywood she prints on, the adaptation of a typical Japanese technique to truly Australian circumstances and subject matter...oh I could go on and on and on!! Its been a long time since i've been so affected by an exhibition.  I had to take a quick nap on the couch to recover before resuming the installation. 

Cressida Campbell, Nasturtiums, 2002, woodblock

A show not to be missed. It finishes April 19th. And you may as well have a gander at my work while you're in there! It's up until May 31st.