To Kalgoorlie and back again. (part one)

by frogpondsrock on October 27, 2014

in Arty stuff..,on my travels

Thank you for helping me go to the Regional Arts Summit in Kalgoorlie it was an immensely valuable and rewarding experience for me, both professionally and personally.

The dogs have not left my side since I returned home and I have had a doggy guard of honour shadowing my every step.

Harry and Monty

I have returned home with the colours of the desert imprinted into my psyche. Such glorious reds and oranges, such fierce heat, such a powerful landscape. It will be interesting to see what happens with the work in the coming weeks. I also have a dose of post Kalgoorlie lethargy and it has been hard to get motivated.

On the Tuesday I flew into Perth with five hours between flights and felt like I had walked into a wall of heat. The gorgeous Trae who writes the fabulous blog, “Where’s My Glow” picked me up at the airport and when I mentioned that I was melting, Trae just smiled sympathetically and cranked up the air conditioning a notch. It didn’t help that I was dressed for the Tasmanian spring chill, with layers and pirate socks. It seemed quite surreal that before I left home, I had been throwing buckets of water onto the windshield of the car to remove a thick frost. After shedding my shoes and socks in the car park while Trae pretended not to notice my mismatched crocs, (though I did see her have a little shudder) we walked together in the fiery sunshine to see the Boab Tree in Kings Park. I would have liked to touch this tree, to feel its pulse, but the fence was a little bit too high for easy leaping. Plus it was far too HOT for any kind of leaping.

boab tree

Five hours is not very long when you are on a flying visit and so after a shared lunch and a quick look at Freemantle I was back at the airport.

Academically I knew that Australia was a big country but it wasn’t until I flew over Western Australia that the vastness of this land really sunk in.

I take photo after photo when I am in a plane and then I sketch/scribble like mad in my visual diary because the inspiration comes thick and fast. Imagine how fantastic it would be to create a piece of art over hectares or even over miles of land.

So many wonderful patterns in the landscape, I must try and get my hands on some aerial photos of Western Australia, especially the area around the salt lakes as the colours and textures are just so fantastic.


By the time I arrived in Kalgoorlie, I had been travelling for eighteen hours and I was starting to hallucinate a bit with tiredness. When I am really super tired I keep on getting glimpses of a black dog out of the corner of my eye and my hallucinatory black dog had been shadowing me for a few hours now.

I was absolutely amazed to see roses growing in a brick planter box in front of the airport building, bright colourful roses just seemed so out of place and not what I was expecting at all.I don’t know what I had been expecting, cacti maybe or some other dusty native? The other thing I wasn’t expecting was how nice Kalgoorlie smelled. There was a lovely perfume floating on the air that just smelled so nice, later on, through the power of instagram I found out that it was a wall full of gardenias that I could smell. Gardenia and Jasmine are two of my favourite flower fragrances so I wished I had seen the gardenias.

I literally fell out of my taxi at the hotel and the sign on the door said it all.

Rydges Kalgoorlie

I have written nearly 700 words and I have only just arrived in Kalgoorlie. If I keep on going like this, the post will be as long as a novel. So I will press publish now before the writing becomes unwieldy and I will start on part two in the morning.

Also WordPress must be really drunk because the comment form is still all wonky.


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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

Comments are currently closed on this post because WordPress is being Dicky. Once WordPress fix the bug, I will open comments again.

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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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No time for distractions. Oh look, shiny…

August 30, 2014

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 […]

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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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