Winter Ceramics

by frogpondsrock on July 13, 2013

in blogging,ceramics,Distractions galore!,friendship,Fun

My studio as many of you know, is a large tin shed. It is a wonderfully chaotic place that is all mine and I adore having the space and the freedom to make as much mess as I like.

I normally let my studio get to the point where every single surface is covered with something important, like rocks, empty tim tam packets and last weeks newspapers. As I surround myself with all these very useful and necessary things my working space shrinks and I find I am working in a tiny space six inches by six inches wide.

overview of chaos

labelled chaos

Once the creative cycle of chaos is complete and the kiln has been packed for the final glaze firing, I look at the disaster zone and run away to the house and faff about on the computer or in the garden. Anything will do as a distraction from having to clean the studio. I offer to accompany my husband on a fishing trip or suggest we go out to lunch, sometimes I even fly interstate to visit friends.

Anything will do as long as I DO NOT HAVE TO CLEAN UP AFTER MYSELF.

BUT sadly I am too poor to be able to afford minions or a cleaner. Once the kiln has cooled down enough to be unpacked, I find I need some space to array all my wares so I can admire the fruits of my labour and I am forced to clean. All by myself.

This is about as tidy and organised as my studio ever gets and sometimes this level of clean can last for as long as a whole week.

clear space

So dear internets, keeping this idea of chaos firmly to the forefront of your mind, can you imagine the look of absolute horror that crossed my husbands face when I asked him to help me move a trestle table into the house?

And not just any old hidden part of the house. Oh no, I needed to move a trestle table into my kitchen.

I can hear you asking why I needed a trestle table in my kitchen.

We had a balmy start to winter this year, climate change is really working its magic down here in Tasmania. Autumn was sunny and mild and so lulled into a false sense of security by a string of 18 degree days I blithely worked on, making large pots and having a tremendous amount of fun. I flung clay around the place with gay abandon, I made a glorious mess, I was happy until…

Until winter hit with a furious icy blast.

We had a string of days that started with ridiculous temperatures of minus six that slowly crept up to 3 degrees max.


(not this much snow, this is last years snow but you get the general idea dear internets, it was bloody cold)

Harry the dog in the snow

After about a week of playing candy crush saga and whining loudly about the freezing weather I decided that direct action was needed and so I informed The Spouse of my decision. Once he stopped rolling his eyes and giving me that look, Jeff helped me set up the trestle table in the middle of my warm, warm kitchen.

The large work that I am making is on hold as it is just too cold for my arthritic hand and even though I appreciate the sentiment “suffer for my art” I am not at the stage of having lived with my arthritic wrist for long enough to be able to ignore the pain the cold causes.

don't drink the water 2

I played around with the video function on my phone as I was decorating this piece and I shall upload a short 30 second video once I have finished editing it.

Don't drink the water

The large work is in the cold, cold, COLD studio slowly drying and I am down in the warm, warm, WARM house faffing about on twitter and facebook at the same time as I am making small things and drinking cups of tea in comfort.

A public conversation with The Koori Woman on twitter had me making ceramic skull beads in lieu of voodoo dolls for her. The Koori Woman had written about her anger with Tony Abbott declaring himself to be The Aboriginal Prime Minister,  I made her some Abbott voodoo skulls using Southern Ice porcelain so they would be blindingly white and I gave them red eyes as a hat tip to Tony’s speedos. Who says faffing about on the internet at work is unproductive?

Tony Abbott Skull beads

My grandchildren came to visit and were delighted to see CLAY in THE HOUSE NANNY, there is CLAY IN THE HOUSE. There was much joyful shouting interspersed with happy making of masterpieces.


Amy and Isaac

In the photo above, the grubby clay marks on my grand daughter Amy’s jumper, makes me smile so much as it is the exact spot I get grubby when I am working.

And that is a  very condensed recap of my wintery ceramic journey.

I am linking up with this week the ever gorgeous Adriana Christianson for the Mud Colony Blog Link up


How are you going this winter? Are you cold? Does your husband roll his eyes at you at the same time as he reluctantly enables you to make a giant mess?