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Words and pictures and words and…

Lather rinse repeat.

It is what I do here, I write some words and then I add some pictures. As each word falls out of my brain onto the page I never quite know where these trail of letters are going to take me. I try to put them into orderly sentences, but once I am in the zone the words just flow freely of their own accord, and often I end up somewhere far away from the original idea.

Today I want to write about ceramics and link up to Adriana’s wonderful Mud Colony blog, but the words in my head have other ideas and wont let me escape into ceramic daydreams quite so easily.

It has been a huge week internet and I am only on day six.

Last Friday I took my 18 year old son down to Centrelink (social security) to be assessed for the disability payment. As we sat in the room with the medical assessor, David’s disability jumped up and smacked me in the face.

SMACK! Your children are broken.

SMACK! Their life is never going to be easy.

SMACK! You have failed as a parent!


I don’t know why I think I have failed as a mother but there is a definite illogical whiff of failure in the air.

We sat at a laminated table in a small interview room with a box of tissues within easy reach. I sat quietly as David listed all the many and varied ways that his body has failed him. The examiners eyes got wider and wider, as my spirits sunk lower and lower and I made good use of those tissues on the table.

Six days ago internet, David’s interview was six days ago and his claim has been approved already. I am stunned by the speed of the approval process and I don’t quite know how to process this yet.

Half of me, the logical practical half is pleased, because now David can go to school part time without any pressure, and we can access some services to make his life a bit easier.

But the grumpy illogical half of me is angry and bitter and sad and maybe even a bit jealous of you out there with your unbroken children who can walk and run and jump.

Oh internet sometimes it just isn’t fair.

Six days ago I returned home with my heart full of sadness and my mind full of a restless zinging energy.

And then the phone rang. It was my son in law Nathan telling me that my daughter Veronica’s waters had broken.

BAM I was instantly into baby mode and twenty minutes later David and I were at Veronica’s house, all sadness pushed aside by the impending arrival of my newest grand daughter.

Evelyn Kathleen  arrived 24 hours later weighing in at 5 lbs 2 oz.  The doctors couldn’t decide if Evelyn was six weeks early or four so it was off to The Special care unit for Miss Evelyn.

Evelyn Kathleen, one hour old.

Evelyn at two days old with a nasal gastric tube so that she doesn’t exhaust herself feeding.

Here is Evelyn at four days old.I had my first hold of my newest grand child last night internet and in those few brief minutes she has managed to make me her slave forever.


Sitting here, as I think back over the past six days it has been a huge week with towering peaks of happiness and tumbling troughs of despair. As always the sadness never lingers as I am too much of a natural optimist but it is always there internet it is always there.

Late Sunday morning I remembered that I had unfinished work in the studio.

I went in to the studio to find that the slipcast cups, that I had left draining on Friday had released from the mould.

Once I carefully removed the plaster moulds I also discovered that the cups had managed to glue themselves to the table.

Because it is winter, everything is drying very slowly, so I had to treat these cups as if they were fresh out of the mould and not three day old cups. I very carefully un-stuck them from the table, without squishing them too much.

These cups were still too wet and flexible to clean up, so I left them to dry for another day. What is a new Grand mother to do when she works for herself and the work isn’t ready? She goes down to the hospital to annoy her daughter and gaze adoringly at Evelyn of course.

In the space between working in the studio, driving into the city to visit the baby, worrying about my son and faffing about on the internet pretending to be a rockstar, I discovered Instagram.

I posted these images on Instagram on Tuesday, showing these cups being finished off.

I loved the instant conversation that was had on twitter and facebook, as I showed the work being made. I will finish up this post with the Instagram photos I shared as they are of these cups in the photos above.

I trimmed all the daggy bits off the cup rims and just generally cleaned them up, this can take anything from 5 minutes to twenty minutes per cup, depending on how I am feeling and what I want to do to the cups. I will put these away on the rack to dry, they will be bisque fired to 1000 degrees centigrade. I will glaze them with a clear glaze and fire again to 1260 degrees.Here are some similar cups from the last firing.

I am about to make some textured cups here and I have rolled out some of clay, flattened the clay out out  and used stamps to add texture.

Here I have scored the cup and then painted slip onto the clay strips as well as onto the cup.

I will spend ages fiddling with the texture on these cups until I am happy with the landscapey weathered rock effect.Once the cups have been bisque fired to 1000 degrees I then rub the texture with a Red iron oxide wash and glaze the inside with a deep blue or green gloss glaze and fire again to 1260 degrees.

And that internet was my week in words and pictures, I am back off into the hospital via the Kawasemi tea rooms in Moonah, to grab some takeaway sushi and sashimi for my girl Veronica.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Pixie August 2, 2012, 12:38 pm

    I’m glad you were able to get some help for David
    I’m sorry it made you cry

    Your work is fabulous and I love my cups!

    Evelyn is just divine and I with I could smoosh those sweet cheeks


    • frogpondsrock August 3, 2012, 7:42 am

      I am pleased you like your cups, I had been thinking about that only recently. Evelyn is simply adorable, just adorable.
      And as for David, normally I very deliberately don’t think about the Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and how much it actually affects their day to day lives. Until I am forced to think about it like the other week when I had to relocate David’s hip for him and I was nearly physically ill at the feel of bone grinding against bone underneath my hand. Then I come here to the blog and go INERNET HOLD MY HAND. and you always do and I always feel better.

  • Sif August 2, 2012, 3:04 pm

    These cups ar wonderful! I especially like the textured cups and can imagine the feel of them as I clasp a hot coffee – delightful! My mum used to be a potter, I’ll send her along to you blog for a looksee!

    • frogpondsrock August 3, 2012, 7:43 am

      ooh yes send your mum over. I am always keen to chat with potters :).

  • Elephant's Child August 2, 2012, 5:13 pm

    I am so glad that David has some of the support he needs. It should make life a tad easier for him and for you. I love the picture of your newest grandchild and am not at all surprised she has already wound you around those tiny fingers.

    I am in awe, as always, looking at your amazing work.

    Failure – as a parent? Failure – as a person? Failure – as an artist? Not in this universe.

    • frogpondsrock August 3, 2012, 7:44 am

      Aah thank you lovely, I have missed you but I have also not been over to your blog to look for you. Time slips through my fingers EC and weeks vanish in the blink of an eye.

  • Denyse Whelan August 2, 2012, 8:42 pm

    I am relieved for you that David is getting some financial and other assistance. My dear Kim: failure is not an option. You and hub have had two children whose genetic make-up is one of the life lottery groups we may not want to win. But they have you- warrior mum and protective grandmother. Love you lots
    Denyse xx

    • frogpondsrock August 3, 2012, 7:45 am

      Thank you Denyse you always make me smile. xxx

  • river August 2, 2012, 9:06 pm

    You’ve certainly had a busy week Kim.
    I’m really glad that support for David was granted quickly, it will take the pressure off and he can concentrate on schooling and stuff.
    It’s interesting watching the cup making process, I’m always in awe of people who can do these things.
    Evelyn is so beautiful!

    • frogpondsrock August 3, 2012, 7:46 am

      I wish you lived closer River, I would teach you how to make your own cup. But I will just have to bring you up a couple when I come to Adelaide 🙂

  • Marita August 3, 2012, 7:24 am

    A real roller coaster of a week, Evelyn is beautiful.

    I’m grateful for you and David that he has been given the help he needs, although it sucks mightily that he needs it in the first place.

    • frogpondsrock August 3, 2012, 7:48 am

      Yes it does suck, but at least now he wont be exhausting himself trying to go to school five days a week. His school has been wonderful and now Dave just needs to go in and make his study load part time official.

  • olive @ceramic knives set August 3, 2012, 5:48 pm

    you have an amazing eye.. these cups are just beautiful! the blue just pops. thank you for sharing your great talent with us all.

    -olive <3

  • Andrea @ From The Sol August 3, 2012, 11:33 pm

    What a beautiful granddaughter … I can see how she would wash away the sorrow you were feeling for your son. Sometimes we have to find the good in the bad that has been handed us. Your son will be stronger (as will you), in many ways, than most people who never have to deal with challenges. He is young and I am guessing you will see him blossom into a very special young adult who will be be proud and successful. I know that feeling of indignation when someone brags about their “perfect” children … I, too, have a child who was dealt a bad hand, but she has taught my husband and me all we know about courage and inner strength. Life is not fair, but you rise above it … you have steered your anger and pain into promising, productive effort and you make others happy. Where is the “failure’ in that? Feel what you feel, but don’t forget to give yourself credit … you have done well for both of your children and life does go on 🙂

    Andrea @ From the Sol

  • Jebaru August 5, 2012, 8:07 pm

    Hard to comment without laptop 🙁 Can’t see! But we beat ourselves up as parents. It’s what we do. So many of us DO damage our children but how can you even begin to think you are responsible for this? Silly billy. You’re so obviously in complete love with your family. They’re blessed. As are you.

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