Can you use ahoy in relation to an inland adventure?

Today is my final day in cooldom. I am sitting here with the sunshine streaming in through the window with the heater next to me. It is going to be a nice day but it is chilly this morning.

This is the forecast for Hobart for the next seven days.

Hobart Weather

I will be leaving the nice cool rainy Tasmanian weather and diving HEADLONG INTO THE FURNACE that is Kalgoorlie in Springtime.



kalgoorlie weather

A good friend had offered me the use of his caravan in Boulder, that generous offer was part of the reason I decided to try and go on this crazy adventure. Once I had decided to really have a crack at getting to Kalgoorlie, I set up the pozible and you dear people overwhelmed me with your support. I mean who funds a pozible in less than five hours? You are amazing and I am very lucky.

I am even luckier in that Rydges Kalgoorlie Resort and Spa, offered to sponsor me.


I will be able to retreat to the comfort of an air conditioned room, with a spa.

A SPA. (deserves all caps)

I haven’t had a spa since I was a kid and I am looking forward to the bubbly bliss that is a spa.

This might well be what I look like before I splash into the spa.

Antony Gormley Sculpture

And this might well be my smiley relaxed post spa face.

Kim (4)

Or maybe I will look like this. Because I am still panicking over the 37 DEGREE FIERY HEAT.

saint lisa

What ever face I am wearing I am super grateful to have this opportunity and I really can’t thank you all enough. Both for helping me to go and also for your patience in waiting until I return from Kalgoorlie to finish glazing your rewards.

The rainbow cups are done, the dessert bowls are done, though I am worrying that the bowls might be a bit small for both cake and ice cream together. The texture is pretty though and I have been having fun with underglaze colours on the undersides of the bowls. The platters are made but not decorated, as two of you wanted me to decorate the platters with the Kalgoorlie experience fresh in my mind. So there will probably be lots of red on those platters and maybe a small doom inscribed somewhere.

I will be posting photos to my instagram account, using the hashtags #raasummit #rydgeskalgoorlie and #deathraysofdoom You can find my instagram here => @frogpondsrock

I will only be taking my phone and small digital point and shoot with me because I am travelling light, so I won’t be blogging while I am away.

I will be posting onto my Kim Foale Ceramics Facebook page.

As well as tweeting all the things on my @frogpondsrock twitter account.

Now I am off to pack my bag, while I try not to think about the death rays of doom.



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Well, there is a plan B really.

BUT what sort of a dramatic title would that be?

Plan B mostly consists  of begging, moaning, wailing and excessive use of hyperbole.

I published an update on my Pozible page a few days ago but because I do not have access to the back end of the pozible page, I can not see the traffic stats or whether the emails are opened or not SO LET THE ANXIETY TRIPLE.

These three photos show ALL of your pozible rewards packed nicely in the kiln in their raw clay state.

kiln pack bisque fire

cups in bisque pack

bowls in bisque pack

I fired the kiln to bisque (1020) and the work is sitting inside the kiln waiting for me to unpack it and begin the next stage of making, the decorating and glazing.

If I set a cracking pace, I can have the work all fired and done, ready to be posted off on Monday (the day before I fly out to Kalgoorlie)

But I honestly can’t see it happening because I like to linger over the decoration of the work and decorating the sclerophyll cups is especially nice as the micro landscapes in the cups send me off on arty daydreams. It is all a process, my dear internets, of decorate and daydream, fill my visual diary with cryptic notes and squiggles, rescue things from inquisitive puppies and all the while there is the work there inspiring me to make more work.

I will get the work fired this week, probably on the Monday before I go and so I shall post the work off to you in the last week of October.

This test piece came out of the last glaze firing. I was experimenting with combining underglazes with the iron wash I like to use on the work, I was thinking about Kalgoorlie as I was adding the colour and I am quietly pleased with the results. I also learned that the red underglaze I am currently using will develop a nice shine when it is applied thickly.

Notice the white spots?  As this piece is not glazed I used it to hold a couple of hundred skull beads in the firing and the spots are where some of the beads stuck to the bowl.


The skulls on the rim of the bowl deserve further investigation.

skulls on rim

This week in between exhibition openings and the normal goings on of my household, I will glaze and decorate your rewards and I will post updates on my progress.

Last Thursday I posted the skull beads and the tea scoop/spoons off to you my lovely and generous supporters. I also delivered a workshop as a birthday party on the 13th of September, that was by all accounts the  BEST POZIBLE REWARD EVER (as voted by 8 year olds)

On Wednesday night the Tasmanian Ceramics Association annual exhibition opens at 7pm. You are all invited to attend the opening and it promises to be a fabulous show with a diverse selection of high quality ceramics.

Invitation 6


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Only White Food Please.

by frogpondsrock on September 27, 2014

in Autism,ceramics,Family,Uncategorized

For the past few months I have been seeing a psychologist, the lovely Miriam, who normally works with children with Autism. Luckily for me Miriam found room for me and we have been having some very nice chats indeed.

Based on observations, clinical interview, questionnairre data and corroborative information from Kim’s daughter Veronica, I am on the opinion that Kim does meet DSM5 criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Miriam has been able to answer some questions that I have, actually Miriam answers lots of questions. It is nice to be able to admit that people mostly baffle me and that I find interacting with people exceedingly difficult and exhausting. I enjoy people and I adore being the centre of attention, opening TCA shows and giving Presidential speeches, organising book chats and open days. But it is very hard work mentally and that is why I spend so much time alone up here in the hills with my hermit husband. I need the time alone to recover, to give my brain a rest, to relax and just be my own quirky self. All by myself.

The process of acceptance, of understanding my own Autism has been a slow one. I have mostly been prodded along by the gentle nagging of my daughter and by observing my first grandchild Amy, who could be a perfect behavioural clone of me, except obviously Ames is the better Mark 2 clone version. Watching as Veronica struggles with Amy’s perfect defiance and glorious wilfullness, makes us both miss Mum with a sharp longing. As Mum would surely see the glaring similarities between Amy and I and Mum would be the perfect sympathetic ear that Veronica needs. I quietly revel in my grand daughters misbehaviours as I see exactly where she is coming from and I am not very sympathetic at all, even though I try. I do try very hard to do sympathy.

The Spouse did not want me to write about my autism here on the blog, he was concerned about his family’s reaction to my diagnosis. I just rolled my eyes at him as I walked away composing sentences in my head. Well actually, to be truthful, I might have also muttered something profane about his sisters opinions being the least of my concerns.

Bitter Rose Sings the Blues copy

It has been interesting talking with Miriam, as her questions have helped me to order some of my thoughts into a cohesive pattern. It is also nice to be able to ask someone all the Why’s I have. Why did I forget a sexual assault that happened when I was seven or eight? Why do people deny disability exists? Why are some people so stupid?

This quote resonated with Veronica and I a few years ago and I am slowly coming to the realisation that I am not responsible for the actions of others and that some people are just naturally arseholes and that is their problem not mine.

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” Anne Lamott

bitter rose is bitter copy


Another thing that Miriam does, is question my flippancy. I made a flippant comment halfway through a session that I would happily go home and just eat white food, I was hungry and thinking about a chicken and cheese toastie. It was a throwaway line that Miriam didn’t let me throw away. I didn’t even realise the significance of the subject of white food until I began to talk about it and then think about it on the long drive home.

Hey you guys, I would happily just eat white food.

I like red food and green food as well, as long as the red and green foods are crunchy, but on close examination my diet is mostly white food.

I remember that mealtimes as a child were fraught, my father was of the school of thought that you ate what was on your plate OR ELSE, there was a lot of OR ELSE-ING in my home around mealtimes.

Everyone would have left the table except for my father and I and the battle of wills would begin. Dad would crack a bottle of beer and sit at the end of the table, drinking and smoking and glaring at me. I would be crying into my cold dinner and frantically trying to flick spoonfuls of food under the table as far away from my place as possible. The longer this farce went on, the angrier my father became and I would invariably end up with a belting.

I copped a lot of beltings growing up and it took me over thirty years to lay the ghost of my father to rest.

Watching my Amy, I can see myself so clearly in that child and I can understand my fathers frustrations with me.

To any parents of autistic children out there, a preference for white food isn’t the end of the world. Your child’s palate will develop over time and they might even introduce some loathed foods into their diets. Eventually.

Realising that a preference for white foods isn’t entirely “normal” was the first step in accepting my own Autism.

Kim Selfie 1

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Gorgeous Luxury Soap.

by frogpondsrock on September 17, 2014

in Family,real life,Veronica

Each Birthday, Christmas, or Mothers day I tell anyone who will listen, to buy me handmade soap. I do not want things or chocolate I always want handmade soap. Or good quality incense, I am always searching for a good Sandalwood or Amber incense.

Now I have no idea what to ask for as gifts anymore because my daughter, Veronica, has launched her own business, Veronica Foale Essentials and quite frankly internet I am in soap heaven.

DO NOT EAT THIS SOAP, even though it looks good enough to eat. You MUST resist the temptation to have a bit of a nibble because it is soap. Gorgeously delicious soap, but still soapy tasting soap.

Oatmeal Milk Honey

I willingly put up my hand to be Veronica’s crash test dummy and said, YES I WILL TEST ALL THE THINGS.

In my bathroom there are fourteen bars of soap in current use. FOURTEEN.

I was forced to make a special soap holder.

soap dish

I have been able to exercise my HYPER CRITICAL SKILLS without Veronica getting grumpy with me.

I take my role of soap tester very seriously and I am enjoying Veronica’s soap making very much.

I have vigorously tested all the soaps and offered lots of advice. Veronica even listened to some of it.

I am sure those of you who know me know how helpful and honest I have been with my feedback.


Lemon Blush


I have enlisted The Spouse’s help as a tester as Jeff has super sensitive EDSY skin and he breaks out in eczema at the drop of a hat. The Spouse has worked out a system where instead of having yet another shower with yet another new soap, he now just rubs the soap on the inside of his arm and waits to see what happens. Honestly internet, his skin is that sensitive that he will rash up in a matter of minutes and Veronica quickly discarded the early smells that made her father itch.

He is like a very tall and useful laboratory bunny.

A very helpful bunny.

With opinions.

And useful skin.


Orange Blossom Calendula (1)

I have been surprised at the smells that The Spouse likes when he is shaving, as I do not shave my own magnificent moustache I hadn’t actually thought about the smell of soap on my face at all.

This next soap is my absolute favourite. Cardamom Sandalwood, and it is to die for. So rich and cardamommy and sandalwoody and it holds its scent all the way through to the end.

Cardamom Sandalwood

I love the smell of this soap so much that after Veronica found me rubbing the soap on my shirt so I could keep on smelling it, she made me a little pot of cardamom sandalwood perfume.

CARDAMOM SANDALWOOD PERFUME deserves all caps it is so nice.

I am sure that Veronica will make you your own pots of perfume if you ask her.

Bergamot Tobacco

So if you like soap and wish to support a young emerging soap maker you can go over to Veronica Foale Essentials and have a look.

Trust me, the soap is very very nice.

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Winter is never the best time in the studio, it is cold and the work dries very, very slowly. My slipcasting moulds take longer to dry out and everything slows down exponentially. Also, working through the Tasmanian winter makes my fingers feel like they are going to fall off. I am counting down the days until I leave for Kalgoorlie (45) which means I have about four weeks to finish making all the rewards for my pozible supporters.

Now is not the time for distractions or panic.

Which is why there are dinosaurs in my studio.


The dinosaurs make me smile and keep me from panicking.

dinosaurs 3

They also give me a chance to defrost my fingers as I daydream about ceramic dinosaurs and fossilised bits and pieces.

dinosaurs 2

I work best t0 a deadline.

A deadline gives me a clear timeline for my tried and true work schedule.

Which is procrastinate, procrastinate, daydream, daydream, panic, work furiously, then collapse.

I am planning on collapsing dramatically at the foot of a Gormley sculpture in the middle of the outback, so I still have plenty of time now to work furiously.

Here is some detail of one of the Sclerophyll cups I am making for seven of my kind supporters. Notice the dinosaur in the background helping to keep me focused?

urban decay

Here is the raw Urban Decay cup, one of two I have made for my supporters as well.

urban decay 2

The slightly tricky thing with the kind of work I make, is that a lot of it breaks as I am making it.

making the urban decay cup.

Some of my processes are a bit vigorous for the materials I use, there is potential for disaster in every step, so in order to balance out the disasters, I make much more work than I will need. Hence my forward scheduling of my previously mentioned collapse in Kalgoorlie, where I shall be able to recover nicely afterwards in a SPA in the lovely room provided by my generous sponsors Rydges Kalgoorlie Resort and SPA.

broken work

From disaster, comes opportunity and as I stuffed all the bits back into the broken cup, a new idea popped into my head, so ever the creative opportunist, I tidied up the jaggedy bits and put the broken cup aside to be fired.

broken work 2

Today I shall make the rest of the sclerophyll cups, after I have walked the bouncing bundle of chewy mischief that is Monty.

The other day I wondered why Monty was being so quiet.

A quiet puppy is as bad as a quiet toddler.

I peered through the bedroom door into The Spouse’s shed and lo, what did I spy?

monty on the bench

Monty likes to be up high it must be a Kelpie thing.

He likes to look out the window.

Here Monty is not looking out the window, Monty is pretending to be invisible.

He needs to work on his invisibility skills.

The Spouse puts his boots up on the bench to discourage puppy nibbling.

The Spouse needs to find a safer spot for his boots.

monty on the bench 2


This is where I am at, my dearest internets, completely surrounded by dinosaurs, puppies and work.

How are you all going?


Stop It, Or You Will Go Blind. A Story About The Dogs I have loved.

August 7, 2014

This phrase was going around inside my head while I was sleeping, muddying up my dreams and rolling around as an earworm when I woke. The diagnosis from the vet had obviously seeped into my unconscious. My darling elder dog Harry, our champion fielder, the instigator of new cricket rules to cater for his exceptional […]

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From Little Things Big Things Grow.

July 15, 2014

My pozible is now closed and thanks to you I am able to have a fabulous adventure. Also by a stoke of accidental genius your payments came through over two financial years and so I wont have to try to explain crowdsourcing to the tax office this year. Sitting here trying to write down how […]

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Sunday Ceramics 21

July 13, 2014

Good morning viewers, today it is my absolute pleasure to welcome you to episode 21 of Sunday Ceramics. Today, Sunday Ceramics has been slightly delayed by the LEAPING and BOUNDING of an enthusiastic puppy who needed a walk. Do NOT be fooled by this serene image of a well trained puppy sitting nicely. HA! Monty […]

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Three days to go

July 9, 2014

My Pozible is only open for three more days. Then it is done and I am done as well. Once I have finished making all the work offered as rewards on my pozible I will be free to focus fully on my upcoming joint exhibition at the Long Gallery. Already my head is full of […]

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Sunday Ceramics 20

June 29, 2014

Hello Mudslingers, we have reached the milestone of TWENTY fabulous episodes of Sunday Ceramics. In TV terms that is a bit over two seasons. YAY! We are potentially the G.O.T of the clay world. We are probably famous somewhere. Today I want to talk a bit about FEAR. I was talking on twitter to a […]

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