I joined the Hakatere Ceramics and Pottery Club at the beginning of the year and I entered six pieces in their exhibition as well as creating and donating a tile for the group project.
You are here, Tile
My, You are here, tile is a reasonably accurate hand drawn scale map of the Ashburton District featuring State Highway 1 (red), State Highway 77 and State Highway 79 (yellow) as well as the major roads and rivers. It was created from a slab of Whitestone clay with the features inscribed and painted with oxides and underglazes and then fired with a clear glaze.
I squeezed clay through a cookie press to create fine coils and formed them into a nest shaped vessel. Colored with red, blue and yellow underglazes and fired with a clear glaze this pot won the Best Novice Hand Work in the exhibition.
My first attempt at creating a vessel on the wheel, this simple pot has a turquoise glaze.
House of neglect
A slab work tower resembling a ruin decorated with black glaze.
A slab work hexagon shaped vase with oxides on the exterior and black glaze interior.
Flying pig money box
A functional sculpture of a hollow flying pig with a slot to accept coins. Coins can be retrieved through a hole on the underside covered with a ceramic stopper.
A fleur-de-lis extruded from a cookie press and joined to a coil of clay formed this large wearable ring fired with a black glaze.
The Hakatere Ceramics and Pottery Club’s exhibition “From the Earth” is at the Ashburton Art Gallery from 18 October to 19 November 2023.
Creating the hand shapes representing the traditional Rock, Paper, Scissors game with paper and scissors was fairly straight forward, but carving the Rock and Scissors from rock was much more challenging and time consuming. The soft limestone Paper rock was deliberately used to give the softer look for Paper, but I sourced a couple of harder rocks from the river and chiselled away at them for Rock and Scissors.
Early in the carving process of rock Rock and Scissors
The rock Rock, Paper and Scissors are carved on all sides
Rock, Paper, Scissors was entered in the Ashburton Society of Arts’ 59th Annual Exhibition and was available for sale at the Ashburton Art Gallery from 4-28 July 2023.
Did you know there was once a $20 million game of Rock, Paper, Scissors?
In 2005, a Japanese Corporation decided to auction their artworks and had the famous art auction houses compete for the privilege with a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. You can read about it on Artsy or listen to a podcast about it on 99% Invisible.
This year, I joined Hakatere Ceramics and Pottery Ashburton to learn more skills and make art with clay.
Pocket is a handwork piece that I formed after the noticing the canvas pattern left from rolling the clay. I carved the stitching and added clay for the stud features and after drying, I bisque fired the piece.
The club held a Raku Firing day and so I glazed Pocket with a copper glaze on the studs and another glaze I have forgotten the name of. Raku Firing is exciting. The work is heated to over 1000 ºC and then quickly removed from the hot kiln and placed into a combustible material and starved of oxygen to produce a myriad of colors in the glazes and black where the clay was unglazed. The results are often unexpected.
Pocket has been entered in the Ashburton Society of Arts’ 59th Annual Exhibition and is available for sale at the Ashburton Art Gallery from 4-28 July 2023.
The feijoa is one of my favorite fruits and the feijoa plant has attractive red flowers. We have four young feijoa plants in our garden and they are starting to produce large fruit.
This diptych of the flowering feijoa plant and a large feijoa fruit has been entered in the Ashburton Society of Arts’ 59th Annual Exhibition and is available for sale at the Ashburton Art Gallery from 4-28 July 2023.
Constructed from the frame of an old microwave, pallet offcuts, a roasting dish and the rubber from an electrical cable the mailbox not only saves in the cost of new parts, but also saves these items from the landfill. The PVC tube is round on the front and rectangular on the back and was sculpted into this unique shape with heat. Painted postbox red, the mailbox is attached to the fence at the Art Society’s Gallery and Studio at 53 Short St, Ashburton.
I’ve been helping artists get their art online since 1998. To help local artists get online, I ran a workshop at the Ashburton Art Society studio on 29 October.
The workshop covered using social media and websites to share and sell art online. We started by looking at what online presence the artists already had and how to increase their online presence.
We then looked at creating content and sharing this via social media as well as joining art communities online so more people could view their art.
As a result of the workshop, the artists now all have Facebook pages (or improved Facebook pages) and are exploring other ways to share their art online. They have had a month to post content so explore their art and encourage them by following them here:
Myths and legends tell the story of a flat earth traveling through the heavens supported on the backs of elephants and a turtle. Same here, but with a roundish earth.
There are some conspiracy theories floating around suggesting that the Earth is flat. I have traveled around the world and observed that it is in fact round. Well, roundish.
Hindu mythology has the earth supported by elephants or a tortoise/turtle or both or a snake. North America has a legend of a ‘Great Turtle’, which upholds the Earth.
Combining the facts with the legends, I have recreated this model of the Earth. A Non-flat Earth is based on Non-flat Earth Unpainted, but with a hand made globe, in a different medium – papier-mâché, and painted this time.
The book of Job in the Bible says the Earth is suspended over nothing.
He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.
Job 26:7. NIV
While this lines up with the science, my globe has to rely on the backs of elephants and a turtle for support.
Non-flat Earth was entered in the Ashburton Society of Arts 58th Annual Exhibition and could be viewed (and purchased $900) at the Ashburton Art Gallery from 5-29 July 2022.
Inspired by a postage stamp found in a pencil box purchased from a second hand store, Stamp is one of my first successes in wood block printing. The wading bird seemed out of place on the stamp so my print has it standing in and on an imagined environment.
The signature follows the theme and is stamped from a set of alphabet stamps also acquired from a second hand store.
I enjoy the challenge of working reflectively and inversely to produce an the printed image.
Stamp was entered in the Ashburton Society of Arts 58th Annual Exhibition and could be viewed (and purchased $190) at the Ashburton Art Gallery from 5-29 July 2022.
With the recent pandemic and lockdowns travel globally has been limited. This has been hard on Kiwis who love to travel the globe and occasionally bump someone they know from home. They establish their common connections and exclaim “Small World!”.
And also during some of the travels of my life, I have met people who have not travelled very far from where they were born. Sometimes you hear of people who have spent their entire lives living and working on a bridge in a European or Asian city, or had never left the small village they were born in. Their worldview is often small.
These globes are for the travel-challenged.
Small World North, Small World South and Small World Stewart were entered in the Ashburton Society of Arts 58th Annual Exhibition and could be viewed (and purchased) at the Ashburton Art Gallery from 5-29 July 2022.
When I was a child, our grandparents would travel eight hours to visit us at Christmas time. Nana was a caterer and she would bring a load of sweet treats like her peanut brownies and melting moments so soft they would melt in your mouth. Poppa was a real life Santa Claus – him and Nana would often give presents to Birthright kids. So when we heard they were coming for Christmas we got super excited. Mum tried to get us to clean the house, but we would spend more time looking out the window and trying to be the first kid to see them coming down the road.
I have often thought that God is like that with us. Jesus told the parable of the lost (prodigal) son, which is really about a forgiving father. In Middle Eastern culture it is undignified to run, especially to greet someone who has dishonored the family, yet this father runs to meet his lost son.
Perhaps you are like Sarah who laughed in disbelief when she got the promise of a son in her old age, or like Hannah fervently waiting for a child. Maybe you are like Anna and Simeon waiting to see the promised Messiah. Or Mary or Martha. The lyrics are deliberately ambiguous as to who is singing to who – perhaps God is waiting at the window for you to return to him or to meet with him again. Perhaps he is like the grandparents coming with presents and good things to meet with you.
G D Em C
When I heard you were coming I could hardly believe it I was so excited I had trouble sleeping
The house was a mess Floor needed sweeping But my nose was at the window Looking for you
You were bearing gifts But the treasure I was seeking The greatest gift of all To be in your Presence
The news of your advent Had me joyful weeping Overwhelming hope of spending Time with you