Thursday, December 18, 2008

cord pot

This pot is one of the results of a recent pottery class at the local pottery workshop. I like it and am glad that it survived the attentions of the tutor who tried stamping it while wet with prefabricated manufactured stamps (you know the type I mean!). Have you ever encountered a tutor who tries to be really hands on with your work? It was my first time and I was so surprised! David had the same experience at the same workshop and I thought he was exaggerating but it was true - people really do come over and put their hands on your work and try to manipulate the clay on your behalf. When I came to pick up my pots a few weeks after the course I even discovered that someone (no doubt with the kindest of intentions) had glazed the pots which I hadn't had time to do. It was a huge contrast to other workshops I've potted at and it felt All Wrong. Now that I know how things can operate there I'm going to become more assertive. It's a really lovely place to do pottery and the people are great so I do need to find a way of making sure that I don't feel my work is being interfered with.

Friday, September 19, 2008

masks for the fair & trousers & flowers

hello again!
I've been pretty slack in updating this blog but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy! The school that runs Vincent's play group - Motueka Rudolf Steiner School - is holding a spring fair this weekend so all the parents were asked to make 10 things to be sold for $2 each at the fair. I initially had a million ideas, but didn't get very far with any of them (except the Lamp Fish - but I only made two of those before I had a crisis - ran out of glue and couldn't seem to remember to buy any more whenever I ventured into town). In the end I got a bunch of books out of the library, thinking that I would make origami animals which I would turn into mobiles ... but instead, after many very disheartening attempts to fold bits of paper into animals (is it really possible?? perhaps paper is just supposed to be paper and animals are just supposed to be animals - after all, who would try making paper out of animals, hmmmm?), I made these masks:

Clearly, there aren't 10 of them, but I think we'll just ignore that point for now. But that's not all! I recently acquired a most magnificent sewing machine (a Bernina 830). I've always wanted a sewing machine, and now I have one, so the pressure is on to actually use it! So, I made these trousers for Vincent:

It's the first time I've ever made an item of clothing that hasn't immediately fallen apart, so I'm quite chuffed. They're made of a lovely wool and I lined them with cotton to stop them from being scratchy on Vincent's legs. They're warm as toast and seem to be able to endure all manner of toddler hi-jinks. Even better, the wool fabric I used is the 'wrapping paper' that David used to wrap up all my birthday presents on the year that we got together. So the fabric has history, and that makes me even happier.

Lastly, because this blog is in part an attempt to capture the transitory, here are some photos of a couple of the Spring flowers blooming around our home. These two are my favourite flowers - kowhai and magnolia. Yay for Spring!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

alphabet soup

Hello again! Finally I finished it! I've been brewing up a quilt for months and finally it is done, packaged and posted. Not only that, but I managed to actually take some photos of it before sending it off - amazing! So here it is, Ryco Drawbridge's Welcome to the World Alphabet Quilt ... mostly hand stitched (until I managed to get my hot little hands on a beautiful Bernina 830 and then the pace really picked up). See if you can figure out each creature/creation representation of the alphabet! Some are obscured by Vincent's head so you might have to guess what I stitched for WXYZ.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

brown spot pot

As you may be starting to gather from my pottery explorations, I'm not a very exact kind of potter! David came home with a few of his new pottery creations last night and I was amazed by how perfect they were - the attention to detail was incredible. I tend to just throw things together. In the time it takes David to make one thing, I may have made three or four things. This pot was made about two years ago in Wellington. I spent ages applying the glaze, thinking that every colour spot I made would stay where it was when I fired it ... but they didn't! And I ended up with this blurry, faded, version of what I had imagined. But I still liked it, and David liked it even more, so I gave it to him. When I was building this pot I was thinking of this enormous hand-built pot I saw in a pottery book (damn, I just went and had a look for the picture, but it's hiding). It was huge! It was maybe 5 feet tall and all hand coiled. My pot is tiny, and was never going to be tall, but the thought of that other pot is somewhere imbued in it's essence.

These days the brown spot pot sits in the kitchen filled with: two sets of keys, several coloured pencils (blue, red, orange, and green), a one dollar coin, a green ribbon, two plastic pegs (one yellow, one white), a plastic container of sewing pins, a silver bracelet, several nails, a needle, an Allen key, and an I love Hackney badge.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

the many faces of david

When I first met David (great love, father of my child, man of many faces) I painted this picture of him. Later, I found this collection of passport photos and added them - the evolution of my love! When I painted the picture, that was how he looked, but he has changed since. He went through a big phase of experimenting with his facial hair. It lasted weeks. First he shaved off part of his beard so that he had a goatee. That wasn't too bad. Then he shaved off the hair on his chin so he had one of those incredible handle-bar moustaches (which was pretty awful - but attractive in a very quirky kind of way). It was during this period that we held a performance party where he dressed up as a German farm boy; and earlier on in the evening as a geisha - a geisha with a handle-bar moustache. Beautiful!

But then he shaved off the bits that descended down past his lips towards his chin and he was left with a Hitler moustache. Even despite the associations (impossible actually to dispense with), it was Hideous with a capital aitch. I refused to kiss him that week. The awful tickly pricklish patch on his lip seemed to have a life of it's own. But as you can see, David has always been preoccupied with his hair-do.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

seafloor pot

Hello! Welcome to my burgeoning little blog! I've been planning on doing this for ages - somehow capturing all the things I create before they disappear into the hands of loved-ones, near and far - and here we are! So, to get the ball rolling, here is a pot I made ... I don't know ... ages ago! Probably about four years ago. It's amazing that it has survived this long because over the past four years I've moved house at least eight times. It's a seafloor pot. At the time that I made it I was swimming in the sea every day. I lived on a hill and if I walked along my hillside road and then walked down some very teetering and narrow precarious steps, I would arrive at a lovely little pebbly beach where I would swim. Naturally enough, spending so much time in the sea one starts to notice all the things around ... like the clouds changing, growing and disappearing in the sky (when you're floating on your back) .... and the sand, stones, fish, weeds, and other mysteriously sea-smelly things beneath your feet when you're wading through the water. So this is the result of those sea-swimming days.

When I moved from this sea-swimming place (to another sea-swimming place!) I would walk on the beach every morning before catching my train to work and pick up a shell ... usually a cats-eye ... to deposit in my seafloor pot and now there are many, many shells living in this pottery seafloor home. As you can see, there is also a seahorse living in this pot ... a gift from a friend who loves seahorses and wanted to give me a special gift ... and here she resides! Among the shells in the seafloor.

And that's all for this first, exciting post. More things of a handmade and slightly peculiar nature to follow!