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For the past 4 years I have entered this fun exhibition which I love being a part of. The local accountant sponsors the acquisitive prize money of $1,000 and creates the theme each year based on accountancy terms. This year was 'Aim High' and I struggled with ideas for months and considered not applying- I found it tricky. But then decided on climbing a mountain to get to the top where the rewards lie for your hard work. I've title my entry 'The climb is a challenge- but the rewards are there'. So the little men tell the story of the effort in the climb and inside the 'bowl' of the tree is the celebration of getting there- some samples of the types of rewards you may get and a wonderful rich metallic glaze inside the bowl. Opening night tomorrow night for the High Country Festival, my exhibition is all set up and I can relax  

 
 
I have been so busy over the past months creating work for the high Country Festival in Mansfield. I am very slow, only being able to create when my back is being kind to me and I felt like I wasnt making progress. All this started in March and for some one working full time is probably only a months work. Looking at it all on the table tonight I am pleased with the outcome. My favourite is the river rocks in polished porcelain, they feel beautiful to hold and the inspiring text make them very special. Hopefully the people who look at my work enjoy it.
 
 
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Well I'm certainly catching up with getting all my work and stories up here. I took a look at this blogs stats last night and there are people out there reading this :) although I havnt had any comments. One day last week I had 80 views. Without any feedback I am feeling like I'm talking to myself but I want to create a story of this journey of mine in clay, even if it's only for myself. To those who are reading along the way, thank you :)
This body cast was made last year only a month before the little babe was born. It's had a great exhibition experience having been in 4 to date.
This image was taken by Karen Pirie who kindly delivered my work with hers.
The exhibition is at Wangaratta Art Gallery until the end of September in a show called 'Creating Our Tomorrow'. There were 120 entries accepted in a range of mediums.
It's great to see your work in a different setting other than the studio. It takes on a different personality in a gallery setting.


 
 
I'm very excited this year to be exhibiting again in Spring Arts as part of the High Country Festival in my home town of Mansfield. This year though is a little bit different, I am part of a shared exhibition with 2 other artists whose work I admire immensely. Karen Pirie who does fabulous mixed media work using upcycled items. She is also a skilled weaver, ceramic artsist and printmaker! Jenny Gibney is a well recognized artist who paints, sculpts in clay and wire and makes beautiful jewellery. So, for me a little intimidating! Wonderful friends. We have shared a conversation about a theme and are all working on a title we chose of 'paddock vs wild'. We hope to each interpret this with our own style and have not discussed with each other what we are creating. The title references the 'taming' of whats inside the boundaries of our home fences compared with the natural untamed wilderness. As usual I have jumped around with the items I'm making, so I hope when it's displayed it looks cohesive and not a jumble. 
My first idea was to make containers/vessels that can be functional and/or sculptural but that 'hold' influences of the high country region for me. The biggest change in our area recently has been the wonderful gift of rain! We now have swollen rivers, dams and weirs all around us, where not too long ago was worrying dusty bowls.
So my first item made are water jugs. I have thrown them in terracotta, which to me references river mud, and have applied 3D river pebbles, trout and weeds. I have used a tin glaze and under glazes for colour which I think gives the surface a 
'ripple' look with the throwing lines. This is one of those jugs, with 5 more in the series. I will upload them all when finished.
The little domed forms are containers for the flowers that children pick from the garden or paddock that always come home with no stalk and never sit comfortably in a vase without falling out. There is a fun teal blue glaze inside them that you can just see in the holes for the flowers. The other pots are also flower pots with painted 'weeds' on the surface for the wild flowers that come home from walks. The 3 holes along the middle will be threaded as if they are sewn bags.
The last image is of one of the 'quilts' I have made to hang on the wall. These are my reference to the sewing done 'in the home paddock'- but each of the sections has a textured surface that references this lovely environment we live in. The green area on the right is the orderly marking of paddock boundaries, the blue ripples of water and the growth of plant life underwater in the last section. Each 'quilt' is different patterns, surfaces and glazes. I think there will be 10 in all and again I will  put photos up when they're are ready.
Exciting stuff getting ready for an exhibition but I still get butterflies all the way up to the opening night with doubts about my work, will any one enjoy it, does it look right etc etc ..........
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I wonder if you can see that the trouts tale is flipping out from the pot? Next time I will put up a clearer image. Once all the others are done I will put some pearl lustre over the fish to get some shimmer happening.

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