At last my kiln is full of glazed goodies ready to fire on Saturday when I return from Melbourne. I havn't glaze fired since before Christmas so I'm looking forward to it.
A few busy days ahead - tomorrow I head down to my youngest daughters for a catch up and one of her yummy dinners and a sleep over. I will take my sewing machine to repair clothing while I'm there- knee holes, hems etc. 
Friday morning i will head off to Potters Equipment to collect some Southern Ice porcelain- it has been out of stock for way too long and I'm really looking forward to getting my hands in it again. Then a drive to Bentleigh to the home studio of Vipoo Srivilasa for a workshop in his blue and white printing technique. I'm very excited about this, I havnt done any workshops for ages and I love Vipoo's work.
Then I head off to my eldest daughters to catch up with her and my gorgeous 2 grandsons. Another sleep over but this time in a bright red wooden sports car bed!! One of them donates his bed to me whilst he sleeps on the floor next to me - I never know who gets more excited me or them :)    Saturday will be busy as a group of us help them move out of their house. I dont have any lifting skills anymore but will keep the kids busy and keep the drinks coming and make the lunches for the team.
Then a long 2 hour drive home to Mansfield to flop into bed - way too much driving all up for me, but I've built in the sleep overs to break it up and I can recover Sunday and Monday.
Before sleep though I will flick the switch on the kiln for an overnight soak to cycle through on Sunday. I'm keen to see the outcome of this firing - some new things in there, coloured porcelain bracelets and rings.
I'm looking forward to a quiet day Sunday where I will check in on the other Mud Colony artsits to see what they have been to.
Take a look http://www.mudcolony.blogspot.com.au
 
 
Without making this a 'complaining' entry............... I want to write about what I've been up to. Those who know me realise I have a severe back injury that affects my life in a big way- very limited mobility and daily high pain levels. Now mostly I stay positive and avoid at all costs involving myself in daily conversations about 'how's your back?'. i'm a big believer in the thoughts and words we use each day affect our well being and to have a constant stream of 'it's been awful, my life is over, I've been stuck at home, I cant deal with this any more' etc etc would make me a miserable person to talk to and I'd be feeding the negativity.
In theory, for the most part, I just get on with it- but the past 3 weeks have been a challenge. Not going to go into details but its been tough.
So this little clay journey has been my 'therapy' for 3 years now- cheaper than counselling :) and keeps my brain busy. I've been making the past 3 years for my studies and gifts, and have never really sold anything, maybe one day. For the moment I'm just happy making gifts and special requests as good practise. 
So a fruit bowl for my daughter, some bracelets for my sons girlfriend, bowls for another daughter and bits and pieces for fun or to use as barter. Been so hard to get motivated because of pain but I thought an hour a day in the studio for brain therapy and just lets see what happens. Well it took me a month! lol but today I loaded the kiln for a bisque and I've managed to fill it! A big achievement for me-yippee. Others probably do a kiln a week lol
Any way here is a pic of my months work. The porcelain bowls with the wiggly slip are my current fav's
A reminder that the awesome ceramicist Adrianna Christenson has developed an on line sharing group called Mud Colony. A great place to see others work and to share studio stories, please visit there as well here - http://mudcolony.blogspot.com.au/
 
 
After a very restful Christmas & New Year holiday I'm back into my studio. A few too many days were spent day dreaming and wondering where to start, so this week I used my fail proof inspiration starter- clean up!! So into drawers and shelves I sorted, dusted, threw out and cleaned. It worked, I'm now brain ready to get creative again.
Last year I created a facebook page dedicated to my ceramics life, if you would like a peek go to  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lyn-Cole-Ceramics-The-Studio/287759157930228
I've spent a lot of time playing in there, searching for other creative types and it is fun to connect world wide with others and hook up to strong reference sites.
Next month I'm enrolled to do my Honours year and I'm not feeling very physically capable at the moment, so I'm really not sure if my body will see it through to the end. For the moment playing in my home studio is suiting me. Firstly to wake up my throwing skills- I discovered very quickly they were stale- so a few bowls went into the scrap bin. But things are getting back to normal there so I've intentions to persist and build up inventory. 
Very low key to many, but within my limits. I'm excited about Fed Square- Expo in December 2012. Sounds for ever away, but I'll need all that time to see whether its possible for me to create a body of work.
I'm making a set of slab formed and impressed tapa's plates for Scholars Wine Bar in North Melbourne where my son is head chef, - here is a pic of one drying.
I've had an order for some porcelain bracelets, so yesterday I had a play with them. Coloured porcelain first formed into a loaf then rolled into straps, impressed very lightly with some wooden stamps and a group of white hearts for the 3 women they are intended for (each with their initial).
Last image is some new cookie cutters to play with- i'm sure the lady at the kitchen shop thinks I'm a baking diva!!! I have bought so many of these- I just love all the cute shapes for clay.
ps: please take a look here  http://www.mudcolony.blogspot.com/    a great fledgling community of clay artists started by Adriana Christianson, lets add more numbers to the group :)
 
 
This week I had pleasure delivering a very special set of tiles to my grandsons kinder. I visited the kids about 6 weeks ago- I'd prepared soft clay slabs and supplied a basket of objects that they could impress texture into the slabs. Six 30cm square tiles and 75 kids later i bought them home to underglaze and fire. So back to kinder with the tiles and a proud grandson and happy teacher who plans to install them in the out door play area, and I forgot to take photos!! How annoying, but I will visit when they're installed and get some images then. I glued and grouted them on to a concrete slab so the plan is to set them on sand in a hole in the garden cut to size so the surface is level. The kids loved touching the tactile surfaces.
After that, and lots of normal family stuff, I needed to catch up with uni work. I've been demobilised with pain so things are very slow around here but my last glaze fire is in the kiln now.
Items I had made for the High Country Festival sold really well so I am pleased with that, its paid for a portion of my clay budget. I was soooo excited to see red dots on my work!

The tea pots are part of my final subject of throwing at uni- hooray I graduate next month!! The 'fun' tea pot is an investigation that will be ongoing. All the body componants are thrown on the wheel and cut and altered then re-assembled. I really want to play more with proportions and the 'add ons' on the handles. I had to submit cups to match and had previously done a set with a wiggle wire base on a wiggle saucer but was very unhappy with the saucers. This time I played around with introducing the 'wave' texture on the exterior wall, so hand carved and piped slip to mimic the base.
Obviously these are just bisque fired at the moment but are in the kiln now ready for their glaze firing. I've chosen some fun colours of lime green and aqua which I hope suit the form. Last time I used a commercial opalene glaze hoping it broke on the texture to enhance it- which it did but it was a very bland old fashioned blue and killed the design, I'm keen to open the kiln Friday to see how the new choice looks.
Today I have completed my application proposal to an Honours year of study next year. Part of me knows I'm crazy because my body is slowing down, but I also know if I stop study I will not push myself and will end up despondant and thinking about how much of my life has been stolen with this injury. So roll on study to keep my brain cells active! That if I get invited back :)
 
 
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.
 
 
I love these tea light latterns and will have to upload a night image they throw beautiful patterns.
The 3 bowls with lids have been good to decide final 'knob' & form shapes, colour & slip pattern- now I can create a series.