Sunday Ceramics 11

by frogpondsrock on March 23, 2014

in ceramics,Sunday Ceramics

Good Morning Mudslingers, it has started to chill down a bit here and as I type this with cold fingers, I think that t-shirt only mornings are now a thing of the past.

Sunday Ceramics

I haven’t actually been in the studio to make any work of substance this week, as my timetable has been full of meetings and admin to do with the Australian Ceramics Triennale 2018 which the Tasmanian Ceramics Association are hosting here in Hobart in four years time. I try and keep my online lives very separate but sometimes I wear all three hats at once and today looks like it is going to be one of those days.

Yesterday we had a fabulous day at the TCA studio in Glenorchy with a making day in preparation for a pit and raku firings later on in the year. Out of sixteen participants in our day of muddy fun, there were six new faces which is fabulous. The Tasmanian Ceramics Association is in a transitional phase at the moment, as older members retire from a ceramic life and new people are discovering the medium of clay for the first time. It is a lovely time to be involved with the association as the possibilities of world domination via clay are just endlessly wonderful.

I will have photos of the clay day once a friend emails them to me, then I will post them up onto the TCA website and link back here.

I am trying to make some ocarinas. A friend loaned me her Ocarina and so using it as a guide I set about making some of my own. I left the ocarinas to harden to leather hard so that I could make the musical holes without ruining the shape and forgot about them. Now they are too dry to work with and so back to square one I go. I have since googled a tutorial or two on Ocarinas and I am looking forward to making some more today, or maybe tomorrow. With this image you get the gist of what I am trying to do.

skull Ocarinas

I have been S.L.O.W.L.Y so so slowly, uploading more images of the work I have for sale to my ceramic shop. It is a process, but with my daughter Veronica “vigorously encouraging” me, I am actually writing descriptions about the work rather than just saying cup or spoon. I really think that as Veronica is the WRITER in the family I should employ her to write all the flowery descriptions for me and I could then pay her in pots.

rainbow cup 250 ml

rainbow cup 150 ml

I like this quote. I think it is true. I live inside my head and will forget to eat proper meals, happily existing on toasted cheese sandwiches or dumpling soup and whatever fruit is in the fruit bowl. As soon as I have left a room I have forgotten whatever I was doing in that room and it is not uncommon for me to come back and be surprised by the half finished job I had wandered away from. Case in point is the Ocarinas, I had totally forgotten about them, until I saw them all dry and lonely on the table. The Spouse gets very frustrated with my strong chaos gene, but he is finally realising after 27 years together that I am not really here at all, I am elsewhere in my head.

I am a potter

Here is the link up, can you please remember to add a link back to me in your ceramic post.

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Sunday Ceramics #10

by frogpondsrock on March 16, 2014

in ceramics,Sunday Ceramics

Sunday Ceramics

I do not really feel much like writing anything happy and clay related today, we had an election here in Tasmania yesterday and the people voted overwhelmingly for a conservative right wing government. This does not bode well for those of us concerned about the state of the environment, those of us with a larger vision that does not involve chopping everything down and ripping everything up. Long live our corporate overlords or some such nonsense was the subtext in the lead up to the election and now we shall frack all the things. The people have spoken.

SIGH, So I shall distract myself with the work and try not to think about all the things.

Look, seabirds. The clearly defined bird is the first bird I made at a workshop with the lovely and talented Eve Howard and the smaller two are experimental birds.

seabirds by kim foale

I found a rock that looked like a dinosaurs head.

dinosaur rock

There have been some interesting ceramic conversations happening over on the Virtual Clay Facebook event page the description of the event is as follows,

Join the conversation!

This is a chance for you to get involved in an NCECA panel whether you’ll be in Milwaukee or not. Virtual Realities, Material World is a panel addressing the role of social media in the professional lives of four ceramic artists. This March join Michael Kline, Ben Carter, Adam Field and Carole Epp in person or through social media in the conversation. Use #virtualclay on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to pose questions, share ideas, build community. We will be collecting your questions from now until Friday March 21st

Also I am in the process of setting up a ceramic shop. Yay me. I will have a proper launch soon but for now it is still in the early tweaking stages and you can have a sneak preview of my ceramic shop here. Your feedback is appreciated.

That is all from me for today, I am off to teach at Clay Club this morning and then going for a bit of a subdued March in March in Hobart.
jolie b studios

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Sunday Ceramics 9

by frogpondsrock on March 9, 2014

in ceramics,friendship,Sunday Ceramics

Hello and Welcome to the ninth edition of Sunday Ceramics.

Sunday Ceramics

This is “Epiphany the Elephant” I have probably  talked about Epiphany here before and so if you know her story, just skip along to the next set of photos.

epiphany the elephant

I teach a mixed class of children and adults that has evolved into Clay Club. At the end of each clay club I generally ask what the children would like to make the in the next session. My most prolific student very seriously told me that she would like to make a desert full of jungle animals.

A few days before clay club I thought I had best try my hand at making a couple of jungle animals so that I could keep up the illusion that I knew a thing or two about clay, and much to my surprise, the elephant turned out rather well. I was even more surprised with how much I enjoyed making it. At the same time as the elephant was drying out, an internet friend of mine, Lauren, who had suffered a devastating personal tragedy that is much commented on in darker corners of the web, opened up her facebook page with a thread, titled “The Elephant in the Room” Her bravery, grace and honesty, humbled and honoured me as I was named a mentor and giver of sage advice in the thread.

In the same week I was visited by another sweet friend, who accidentally broke one of Epiphany’s tusks off as she was drying out. My poor friend Carol, was devastated by the broken tusk and try as I might I could not convince her that the break was unimportant.

Is still unimportant.

As the fact that I had made the elephant was much more important than whether the elephant survived or not. Epiphany the elephant was a catalyst for a rather critical realisation, that I can make things purely for fun, that I do not need to have context, or a point of reference. This was quite a big leap for me to make in my head as sometimes my Aspie brain makes me think along ever narrower straight lines.

As potters we understand the transience of the objects we make, the all or nothing toss of the die as we fire our kilns, the knowledge that disaster is possibly just around the corner and the relief when we finally crack the kilns for a quick peek, that everything has worked as it should.

The breaking of the tusk was a gift and an integral part of the journey that Ephinany and I are on together. Trying to make Carol feel better I dabbed a tiny bit of red underglaze on the break and made some flippant comment about poaching, that made Carol groan again.

Once Epiphany had survived the bisque, the red underglaze on the tusk was like a beacon telling me that more colour was needed. I had been thinking about Lauren quite a bit, so I gave Epiphany rainbow socks and a trunk warmer in her honour and also because I think an elephant in Tasmania would be a bit chilly. I wrote a blog post later that week about Elephants in Rooms and didn’t think much more about anything until a few months later.

When this happened.

Angel of rainbow Jumbos

A ceramic gift from my friend Dawn Oakford, “The Angel of Jumbos in Socks” I do not think I have the words to explain how happy this angel makes me.

Ephinany and Angel

From one small elephant comes so much joy.


I had more photos and things to share but I think that is quite enough words for one morning.

If you would like to join in with this weeks Sunday Ceramics


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Protest Tampons

by frogpondsrock on March 4, 2014

in arseholiness,ceramics,politics,real life,social justice

I first wrote about the Protest Tampons here on the blog on the 16th of January in a post titled Stop The Tampons.

Refugee advocacy groups have been telling us, the general public, that refugee women do not have free and easy access to sanitary products, to nappies for their babies, that toilet paper and water is rationed. This message has been slow to filter out into the mainstream. RISE first raised this matter in 2011. Advocacy groups have been telling us of the inhumane treatment of refugees and we are not listening. This article published in the Green Left  titled, “Life in Detention a Daily Shame” Shames me. Locking up refugees has now become big business and there is a lot of money to be made in cruelty.

The Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison responded to Destroy the Joint’s call for women to protest the Goverment’s cruel asylum policy, with assurances that of course refugee women have all the tampons they will ever want, buckets of tampons, free tampons,

There’s open access and continued access on demand, female welfare officers, all of those sorts of things…”

I don’t know about you but when a government minister assures me that things are OKAY whilst rigidly controlling the information flow to the media, I start to worry that maybe things are not as okay as we are led to believe.

I have finished making my Protest Tampons and The Spouse made me a barbed wire bowl to hold them.

Tampons in barbed wire bowl

Protest Tampons in barbed wire bowl Kim Foale

Protest Tampons Kim Foale


Now that I have finished the work, I don’t actually have any idea what to do with them, other than some vague ideas of plonking them in a window somewhere in town so that people can see them. I was going to send them to the Ministers office but I decided that was a sure fire way to bury them forever.

I am sure with your help internet, we will have a bright idea and the Protest Tampons will find a new home.

I also hope with all my heart that the refugees will also find a new home, here in Australia with all the rest of us who are descended from boat people.


Sunday Ceramics 8

by frogpondsrock on March 2, 2014

in ceramics,Sunday Ceramics

Sunday Ceramics

Hello Mudslingers and general populace of the internet, I am home safe and well from my interstate jaunt. Melbourne was its usual glorious self, Ballan was sweet, St Andrews market was lovely and Warrandyte was fun. From my trip away I have learned that I am not a market person as watching Truly Southurst set up and take down her market stall was a bit of an eye opener. All that packing and unpacking every weekend would do my head in and I would end up giving all my work away to avoid carrying it home again.

I salute you brave marketeers.

I haven’t done much this week as I am on the downward side of a making cycle and the studio is full of work fresh from the kiln that all needs to have their bottoms sanded.

I was walking down my driveway swinging a string of skulls to and fro, when a driver of a passing ute goggled his eyes at me and I realised it looked like I was walking down the driveway swinging a dead snake.  Ha. My Legend is growing by the minute.

I lay the skulls down in the gravel and took a photo. Then I channelled Johnny Cash for the rest of the afternoon humming, “Don’t take your skulls to town son, leave your skulls at home.”

skull train Kim Foale

This morning I am off very soon to host Clay Club at the Tasmanian Ceramics Associations studio in Glenorchy. It looks like I will have a full house with four children and three adults all busily playing in the mud making glorious creations.

I am sorry about the broken link thing last week, it was working perfectly when I pre-wrote the post and saved it in drafts but somewhere between saving and pressing publish, the code vanished. pffft  just like that.

I will cross everything that the link works today and I shall come and visit your blogs this afternoon when I get home from Clay Club.

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