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 agility with the ball in the outfield, is going blind.

Cataracts.

We probably have twelve months until his sight goes, happy twelfth birthday Harry, have some light and shade instead of those pesky clear bits and jangly sharp lines.

The day I took this photo, I was smiling to myself at Harry’s resigned air of eternal suffering, “A bed, you bought the puppy a bed, I never had a puppy bed?” was the doggy thought that came most sharply to me. He looked at me conveying all kinds of woe and with a studied sulkiness climbed in with Monty. It was on this day that I knew everything was going to be okay between Harry and Monty the interloper.

Harry and Monty

This photo was taken six years ago when Harry was in his prime. A glorious Red dog who looks like his collie mother but has a good mix of his heeler father in there as well. harry

I bred Harry myself because we needed a fielder. David my son was nine years old when Harry was born and backyard cricket was often on the agenda. There is a story to Harry, there is always a story and Harry’s story is the culmination of all my other dog’s stories.

I had a beautiful Retriever/Hound/Spaniel who I named, Stay at home Mildred, Milly for short or Milly Ponting when we were playing cricket because she was very, very good in the field. Milly’s predecessor had been a red heeler bitch with the unfortunate name Gypsy, sadly she was true to her gypsy name and came to a bad end. I could often be heard, yelling at shadows, as I was chasing Gyspy down the road, “I should have bloody well called you, Stay at Home Mildred.”

Milly came to us when she was five weeks old and she grew into the best fielder in the world, especially when I was batting. Milly would only ever bring the ball back to me and I could always manage to sneak in an extra run or two. At four years old, just as Milly was coming right, she was run over deliberately by a drunken acquaintance, while she was out walking with Veronica and a friend, and sadly Milly died in my arms on the road.

I was furiously devastated and swore to never get another dog again.

In the background of our various dog adventures there was Tippy our border collie cross, our best girl, who The Spouse and I rescued as a pup pre-children. Tippy was equally devastated by the loss of Milly as the Tipster was totally deaf by this stage and Milly had been her ears.

Three weeks after Milly died I came home with another abandoned puppy, the universe often conspires against me when I say no to things, and so quite by chance I was given a little half starved collie cross. We called her Lady because she was very much a lady, and in hindsight Lady would have been the perfect companion for an elderly pensioner. Tippy at this stage was completely over dogs as she was coming up to fifteen and was far too old for any puppy nonsense, Tippy ignored Lady for the rest of her life.

Lady’s cricketing name was Lady Bloody Gilchrist, because if you threw the ball to her she would look at it and pointedly ignore it, and so of course the other fielders would have to chase the ball. Having a wicket keeper for a dog is unworkable when there is a small boy in the house who just wants to slog balls all over the place. When Lady was about eighteen months old I introduced her to a slightly insane but very handsome blue heeler down the road with the idea of breeding a proper fielder, Harry was the result of this whirlwind romance

The thing that was to be her eventual downfall, was Lady’s herding instinct, she mostly herded chickens, she was a collie after all and she spent a lot of time making sure my free range chickens stayed in neat little circles, bunched up like feathery sheep, barely able to free range because a loose chicken made Lady twitchy.

This twitchiness was Lady’s undoing and when she decided to move on from herding my chickens to herding the neighbour’s sheep, Lady had to go. Harry was four months old at this stage. Tippy had died of old age the previous winter and for the first time we were a one dog family.

But, when that one dog is a busy Heeler cross, one dog is plenty.

Harry the dog.

This tree always lost the apples on its lower branches and for a while I was blaming the wallabies. Until…

Harry thinks that balls grow on trees.

Harry has been my shadow for the past eleven years. He is slightly insane in a good way and if there were ever any shouty arguments in the family he would growl at whoever was doing the shouting, he also bites whoever is seen to be the aggressor in a punch up, he is very fair that way.

Harry the red heeler, collie cross.

These days, Harry has arthritis in his hip and doesn’t beg for a game of ball as insistently as he used to. After three or four throws, with the flinger thing, he is happy to settle down in the sunshine and just chew up the ball.  Harry also spends a lot of time sleeping in the sun outside my studio while I am working or underneath the table if the weather is bad. He is often asleep with his head on my foot when I am writing, or asleep next to my chair as I am faffing about watching telly and doing internetty things.

Harry asleep in the sun

BUT this idyllic life of spending hours doing nothing, a life of ease and leisure, a life of artfully making a pretty pot or two. This peaceful life came to a spectacular crashing halt the day that The Spouse and I decided to introduce Monty into the mix.

Oh my word, Peace and Quiet is now but a dim memory and Harry and I are run off our feet, even the cat has lost weight.

We have always had busy active dogs, but nothing prepared me for the special kind of busy that Monty brings to our previously sedentary lifestyle. I have had to puppy proof my house, I have even HAD to do housework.

Housework! Of all the things that puppy makes me do, housework is the worst bit. Honestly, how do you people manage to do this housework stuff? I was quite proud of the fact that I hadn’t vacuumed since 2008 and now I have vacuumed three times in the past three months. It is EXHAUSTING.

I have had to move all my important things like last weeks newspapers and interesting bits of bark and curious rocks, up out of puppy height. This is like those vaguely remembered days of toddler proofing but on fast forward because the puppy is growing so quickly.

sitting high

Gone are the days of me working quietly in my studio with Harry asleep on his bit of mattress under my table, the bit of mattress that Monty is slowly chewing to pieces, because foam.

Here is Monty, stealing my mask.

monty stealing things

Here is Monty killing my mask, in the rain and the mud.

monty with my mask

Here is Monty deciding that my lap is the best place to sit.

lap dog

Here is Monty looking regal and HUGE.

Monty

Here are the dogs filling up my house, with their post walk nap.

dogs asleep

Here I am, trying to have a snooze on the couch. Notice there is only one of us snoozing?

kim and monty

My poor neglected blog is also very neglected because sitting still is no longer done in this house.

WORK sounds suspiciously like WALK and if I say I am working, Monty will bound up to me with his lead in his mouth. He will SIT so enthusiastically, quivering with pent up excitement that there is nothing for it but to go and walk.

No work gets done whilst walking.

On the upside my dear internets, I managed to walk up ten flights of stairs the other day and I did not die, so there is that.

You might have noticed the tone of this blog post changed from start to finish, that is because it has taken me three days to write this post. I have come to terms with Harry’s impending blindness and we will cross that bridge when we come to it. For now we shall enjoy the chaos that Monty brings to our lives and we shall snooze when we can.

Finally after three months of chaos, this week I have found a routine that works, The Spouse takes over Monty duties at 12 noon and Harry and I go up to the studio all by ourselves for a minimum of two hours (inspired by Ang Walford’s, three hours in the studio) Harry sleeps peacefully by my side and I get some much needed time at work, not walk.

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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 thankful and grateful I am is proving to be trickier than I thought though. I have the Paul Kelly song, “From Little Things Big Things Grow” playing as an earworm inside my head, as this has grown into a rather big thing.

So many of you helped me by pledging for rewards that I am now able to add in an extra flight and fly into Kalgoorlie from Perth a day earlier than planned. This then gives me a FULL free day to organise a tour of Lake Ballard to see The Gormley installation.

Thanks to mutual friends and the power of Social Media Rydges Kalgoorlie Resort and Spa are also sponsoring me and helping out with my accommodation while I am in Kalgoorlie attending the Regional Arts Summit.

I am sure this lovely pool will soothe my delicate Tasmanian skin after I have fried in the name of art at Lake Ballard trying to get just the right photo of just one more sculpture. I am also sure that the glare from my Tasmanian complexion will guarantee me a nice bit of poolside space.

Rydges Kalgoorlie resort and spa

So now, the work begins, as you have all played your parts magnificently and made me feel very valued, it is now my turn to make some art and post it off to you.

Stay tuned. I will post some photos of the studio chaos soon, complete with evidence of Monty the puppy helper (he has already nibbled one small rainbow cup)

Once again

THANKYOU

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Sunday Ceramics 21

by frogpondsrock on July 13, 2014

in ceramics,Sunday Ceramics

Good morning viewers, today it is my absolute pleasure to welcome you to episode 21 of Sunday Ceramics.

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 is a leaping, chewing, pooping, bundle of enthusiastic mischief. Thanks to Monty’s endless shenanigans, I was able to walk up ten flights of stairs the other day without dying, though I did need to collapse into a conveniently placed chair and puff madly for a minute or two.

Monty sitting on the road

My pozible is now closed and for once in my life I am a bit lost for words.

You, my dear people of the internet, have enabled me to go on a FABULOUS adventure to Kalgoorlie in October. I will endeavour to post all the photos before I die of sunstroke at the foot of a Gormley sculpture in a salt lake.

We just need to work out a properly dramatic hashtag for instagram, so you can all follow along.

Speaking of properly dramatic, I have finally stopped hyperventilating at the thought of THE LONG GALLERY, this is mostly due to the fact that my friends just roll their eyes at my theatrics and also because I have started to make all the work.

Making the work always calms me down a bit.

My friend Carolyn gave me a plastic hand mould and I have been having the most fabulous fun with it.

First, I rolled out a thin slab of clay and tried to press the clay gently into the mould, so that I had a thin shell of a hand. But patience and delicacy are not my strengths and before you could say, “slow down Kimmy”, the clay had ripped in a number of places.

I pressed the ripped up remnants of the slab, back into the mould to form a rough patchwork. For good measure I threw all the crumbs in as well and shook them about a bit.

Then I packed in some handbuilding clay and waited impatiently for hours and hours and hours for the clay to be dry enough to fall out of the mould. In the end I gave up and went to bed.

hand in mould

All that patient sleeping didn’t do me any good as I tore the fingers getting the hand out of the mould anyway. I could have easily repaired the fingers but the sight of the broken fingers sent me off on a tangent.

My social media channels were full of news about the missing Sri Lankan refugees and I thought the broken hand was a metaphor of sorts for our governments appalling behaviour.

153 Anglican Parish of Gosford

first hand

I made a second patchwork hand using a JB1 porcelain. I quite like this JB1 porcelain so far, as it isn’t as pernickety as Southern Ice to work with, but I wont make my final decision until I have fired it as I do like the look of Southern Ice.

hand

I had been thinking about making fingerbones for an installation last year, but gave up when they proved a bit harder to make than I thought. And once I looked at the fingers closely when I was editing the photos, I began to daydream about the fingerbone installation again.

fingers

So, working normally, disregarding all pretense at patience. I rolled out lots of porcelain sausages and quickly and roughly pressed them into the mould and made about twenty or so fingers in an hour.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

All these photos (except the puppy) are taken inside the house with my phone camera, it is a bit too chilly to work in the studio at the moment.

The only downside to working inside is that Monty can jump up and steal any fingers that are close to the edge of the table. You think that this finger stealing would make me be more organised, HA, NO! I just spend a bit of time retrieving soggy clay fingers from nibbling puppy jaws. I am sure Monty thinks he is helping me by adding his own artistic touches.

That has been my week.

How has yours been?

Here is the link, you know what do do.

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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 sculptural thoughts and political pokings, that my normal line of work is left far far behind.

So this, my lovelies is your last chance to buy some of my ‘prettier’ work before I become completely submerged in social commentary.

 

Kim Pozible

 

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Sunday Ceramics 20

by frogpondsrock on June 29, 2014

in blogging,ceramics,Sunday Ceramics

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.

Sunday Ceramics

Today I want to talk a bit about FEAR.

I was talking on twitter to a young writer the other day and he was pondering whether to set up a support group in his local area. His inner voice was telling him to stop being so silly and so I stepped in and told him that if I listened to my inner voice I would never do anything.  As I walked away from twitter I wondered if I should send him some skull beads as encouragement BUT my inner voice told me NO, that it could be read as a bit creepy. I got two steps further away before I realised that my inner voice was winning, oh the irony. I hopped back online and offered him some skull beads and he was THRILLED because apparently he really likes my work.

My biggest fear is being “seen to be stupid” as most fears go, it does not have any basis in my current reality and is a pretty stupid fear. Nonetheless it is there,  and my inner voice sounds a lot like my father telling me how stupid and useless I am. And as that old bastard died over thirty years ago I only have myself to fight.

So I ignore that voice, I ignore my fear and I keep on doing incredibly amazing things that terrify me, for the split seconds that I allow myself to think about them.

This is a photo of the Long Gallery in Salamanca Arts Centre.

Long Gallery

 

This is a tweet, by “Award Winning Cartoonist” Jon Kudelka.

So mudslingers, here I am trying not to hyperventilate at the thought of an exhibition in the Long Gallery, next year.

I think the excitement will beat the terror, eventually.

Monty has been helping me work, He likes to steal all the sub par pieces of work in progress and run away with them.

Monty is a bit cheeky and a terrible critic.

monty clay nose

Today I will be away all day blowing things up and playing with fire and generally being a nuisance.

I am NOT in charge of the Tasmanian Ceramics Association’s Raku and Pit firing, that is on today.

Responsible, sensible, EXPERIENCED people are in charge.

It will be a fabulous day and I will “TRY” to instagram all the things, using the hashtag  #TASRAKU

*UPDATED. The Pit firing and Raku day has been POSTPONED.

Until then.

Here is the link, you know what to do.

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Photographing Fungi

June 20, 2014

I joined a fungi group on facebook and the members post the most beautiful photographs of Tasmanian Fungi. On my walks with the dogs, Monty and Harry I am noticing more and more fungi. Today I escaped from the puppy and went for a walk across the road on my own. I can not photograph […]

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Sunday Ceramics 19

June 15, 2014

Hello fellow mud bunnies how are you all this fine Sunday morning? I am surrounded by frolicking puppies, who are determined that I play puppy games with them and I am missing a shoe, but mostly I am very well. Thank you. This week in the studio, I have been cleaning. CLEANING. *collapses* I am […]

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Send Kim To Kalgoorlie, Pozible. It worked.

June 9, 2014

When I am not swanning around the internet pretending to be a zombie whispering former princess, I am plotting world domination through the medium of clay. I say plotting world domination only semi flippantly, as I am passionate about community engagement via the medium of making and I believe that any arts based organisation has […]

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Sunday Ceramics 18

June 1, 2014

I have been too grumpy to write anything on the blog lately. Grumpy and busy. Having a puppy is rather a lot more work than I remembered, probably because the last time I introduced a puppy into our household I also had children at home. I had thought I could just take Monty into the […]

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My Response to the Budget

May 15, 2014

I was chairing a meeting on Tuesday night as Hockey was handing down his horrible budget. As I was suggesting ways to facilitate world domination via clay, the LNP government was implementing ways to make Australia a most terrible place to live. If you are young, disabled, on an aged pension, unemployed, indigenous or you […]

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