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Monday, March 28, 2011

Bring the noise

There's something very exciting about loud repetitive noise - especially when heard in common with a large group of like-minded people. Like this

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Earth, Fire and Water"

I found this quote on a pottery blog: "We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet."- W. B. Yeats, "Earth, Fire and Water" from The Celtic Twilight.

I started throwing on my new wheel yesterday. I'd dug the clay some years ago and had done some prep work on it. It felt workable but as I tried to centre it I felt that it had lots of sand in it. The amount of water I needed to keep it moving dissolved the body. I had developed a technique for removing the outer layers of skin from my palms. I've put the clay aside for more contemplation.

Old brickmakers used to fire a test load of bricks probably in a clamp kiln and only when they'd cooled would know whether they'd "answered". Experience would tell them whether a clay was likely to answer but there was always uncertainty.

I think I'm asking this clay the wrong question.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rivers of mercury

I've been playing with the idea of fish chasing their tails, or their shadows - in a pool of mercury. The fish is drawn from a Sukothai fish bowl that is here:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More on the wheel

I've done three coats of the red waterproofing in the tray and given the moving parts a brush down. I was going to brush the metal with fish oil but when I read the instructions I was so frightened by the precautions that I changed my mind. Anything that has touched the oil when applying it can spontaneously burst into flame at any time. It must be drenched with water immediately and disposed of in a sealed water-filled container.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Waterproofing the tray

I've started waterproofing the tray. It's plywood and has many splits in it. Limited colour choices resulted in an initially startling appearance which I'm hoping use will soften.

I've also reattached the footrest. All the wood seems to be appreciating the beeswax I'm slathering on. It's been a long time between drinks.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wheel head

The wheel had been stored without being cleaned after its last use. I've managed to get the head cleaner although there is some pitting where the old clay was the thickest. I've also been working on the wood which is very dry. I had to reattach the foot rest as it'd been broken off when it was moved readying it for listing on eBay.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tossing and turning

I bought this Leach kick wheel yesterday. It travelled 17km on the roof of a friend's car to get here but now will have a more dignified future as I clean it up and learn how to use it. It has "5 76" stamped under the seat and a makers sticker from J H Wilson, Punchbowl.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hidden faults

I listened to Hamish Keith interviewing Martin Edmond about Philip Clairmont here:

and naturally there's so much more to it than a 12 word intro can describe. It's about art, life, death, shifts in international curatorial stances. In this photo taken while the video was playing on my ridiculously large pc monitor Martin is being menaced by his shadow. Throughout the interview shadows threaten, ghosts of people passed and conflicts past.

Possibly what looms largest is the space left when Philip Clairmont died. The paintings unpainted, the exhibitions not held and the books not published.

Lately I've been encouraged to think about shadows and the relationship we have with the shadow within. I've got a vague and simplistic understanding of Jungian concepts concerning this dynamic and am not sure whether I want this clarified at all.

Throughout the interview there are moments when I was forced to stop and scuttle off into the google world for more information and images. Basically it's two articulate, intelligent, well-informed and generous men talking about things that are important to them.

A nice contrast with the many petty squabbles involved in having a property developer operating on and too often over our boundary.