Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Porcelain Playing

Over the last few weeks I have been playing around with some porcelain clay for fun.  I even tried using the wheel for the very first time, which was a bit scary but also quite good fun.  It's so difficult!  I watched a few Youtube clips and had a go.  There were quite a few disasters, but I made two pieces which I kept - the yellow plate (this was in regular clay) and the small white porcelain bowl.  As you can see from the photographs, I like yellow....I like yellow a lot!

For most of the porcelain (everything except the decorations) I glazed with a clear glaze.  I am planning to give these out as little Christmas gifts this year, but I might also keep one or two things for me.

These are my Christmas decorations this year!  I decided to stick to only hearts.  This year I invested in a few new doilies for rolling and pressing into the surfaces....

All strung up and ready to be hung....

I also had a go at making some spoons in the porcelain.  They are very wonky but I have realised that I rather like spoons lately.  I am always drawn to spoons and markets and in shops.  Don't know why, but I just like them.  

This is one of the smaller dishes that I made.  They are most definitely not perfect, but kind of cute in my opinion....

This is my first attempt on the wheel.  It has a VERY heavy base, but I am thinking I could use it for dips/olives/salt or something pretty.

You can see all the different doily patterns here....

Here are some making shots....

For the bowls, I slumped them onto metal cooking dishes when air drying...

I also stamped in my surname onto the bottom of some, with a stamp kit...I kind of like this!

Bow Ties...For My Dog!

A few months ago I made Gracie, our beagle a little bow-tie, following the instructions here.  After looking to buy one, I decided that I could and should probably have a go at making one myself.  The first one I made is pictured here - the pink and red polka dots.  

Gracie looked so cute with a bow-tie that I decided to make her a special Christmas, tartan bow-tie.  There are a few other dogs in the family so I am making a few extra for those lucky pups as well!  I just started making these today, so watch this space for the finished results.

The black and white fabric will perhaps be her New Year's Eve bow-tie?!

Partridge Christmas Cards

Here are some photos of my 2013 Christmas cards!  They are based on the 12 Days of Christmas song, and the line 'A partridge in a pear tree!' A few years ago, I decided that I should always make our Christmas cards and this is this year's design.  I am rather happy with them!

I printed onto a creamy-oatmeal paper with a forrest green ink.  The lino cutting took about 4 hours and the printing took about another 4 or 5 hours, which made around 50 cards.  Each card measures 15 x 15cm when folded and 15 x 30cm when flat.  I packaged each card in a nice brown envelope, which I found from a seller in Glen Waverley, Melbourne for a bargain!

These little cards are currently flying all over the globe to friends and family, and some are still to be written.  

The lino....in reverse from the final print of course!

I like the envelopes, am so happy I found them! 

Christmas Fabric Wreath

Now that I am on holidays I have had some time to make some crafty projects for Christmas.  I like making stuff (as you may know) and Christmas is a perfect excuse in my opinion.  

I found instructions for my fabric wreath here, and I found the fabric at Lincraft.  I opted for funky, non-traditional Christmas colours.  I also decided to use chicken wire that we had lying in our shed, purely because I didn't have a metal coat hanger, however, after completion, I think the 3 dimensional shape of the chicken wire gives the wreath a 'fuller' look in the end.

The wreath certainly brightens up our rather ugly fly screen on our front door.  It looks quite funny I think - like a shaggy, colourful dog....or something!

Pre-cutting and knotting.  I bought half a meter in each fabric and ripped them into roughly 3cm wide strips, of about 20 length.  It doesn't need to be accurate - just go with whatever shape and size your fabric is.  

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Hi everyone.  As you know, this month's Art Club theme was 'Device Vice'.  I have to be honest - I struggled to think of what to do this month.  Somehow I got onto the idea of Axe Murderers - the device being an 'axe' and the vice being 'murder'.  A long shot I know, however, this idea lead me to find out about Henry Lee Moore who was an American serial killer in the early 20th century.  He was rather viscious with an axe, and killed his very own mother and grandmother, along with an entire family.  You can read more about him here.  Out of all of the axe murderers that I could find online, Henry Lee Moore had the most interesting face and hair!  This recent interest in axe murders combined with another recent urge to try painting a 'pocket friend' on stones lead me to making a pocket murderer.  My submission this month is a very miniature artwork.....hope you like!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Pocket Friends

Last night I had a go at making some of these Pocket Friends! I think they are very cute and will make a nice little gift for friends. 

I saw the idea on Etsy and couldn't resist having a go myself!   Ill spray them with clear varnish to seal the paint.

Working on a small scale like this isn't usually my preference, however, I really enjoyed it. 

Sunday, 21 July 2013


This Saturday I was lucky to be able to attend a fantastic workshop at Melbourne's Kimono House.  The workshop was run by a very charming and knowledgable lady called Colleen Weste who knows many things about fabrics, Japanese shibori methods and indigo dyeing.  

I decided to attend the workshop as I have long loved traditional Japanese dye methods and the fantastic indigo colour.  In particular I was keen to learn about the 'itajime' dye method whereby you use shapes and clamp them onto fabric as the resist.  This year I have been teaching year 9 and 10 students how to make kimonos, including dyeing their own fabric.  I can't wait to try some of these dye methods with the students!

Here are some of my before and after photos from the day.  I loved it all and I will definitely be trying out some more fabric pieces.

Stitching the silk pre-dye...

Clamping with all sorts for 'Itajime'...

Pegs leave interesting marks...

I trialled wrapping a variety of items into this cotton piece of fabric including screws and champagne corks...

Itajime sample one....

Itajime sample two...

 Itajime sample two...

Itajime sample three...

Itajime sample two...Gracie likes it too!

Thursday, 4 April 2013


I spent a day making pillow covers yesterday and practiced sewing a zip!  After a few dodgy pillows, I feel that I have got the hang of it!  

I screen printed this design onto 100% linen...

At Spotlight I found a really groovy, fluro pink polka dot cotton for the back of the pillow...I love it!

I also made a cover for my friend Claire who loves horses, but I liked hers so much that I made one for myself!  I also love this mustard polka dot.  I think the fabrics come from Japan somewhere.  I think I need more of this fabric!!!


In March I have been attending an etching night course at the Australian Print Workshop in Melbourne as part of a follow up session from an earlier 3 day workshop that I attending in January this year.  The course has really consolidated my understanding of copper etching and I also trialled aquatint for the first time.  One really nice thing about participating in the two courses is that I can really appreciate etching in greater depth now because I can understand some of the processes.  

I am hoping to lead some copper etching in senior art classes at work and hopefully I can play around a bit more myself.  

Oh,  and I also invested in some 'Oriental Blue' printing ink for the last week of class - I love it, well and truly!  That's why all of these prints are in blue.  It is a lovely shade of blue.

This etching is titled 'Melbourne' and the original drawing was created when I was on a school excursion recently at  Skydeck in Melbourne.  

This etching is the same image that I trialled in lino earlier this month for a lino print as part of Art Club, see here for the post.  I was curious to compare the two different printmaking techniques and how they would work with each image.  After trialling both techniques I have decided that I like both etching and lino printmaking but for different reasons.

This was the artwork in lino....

I later applied an aquatint on top of the original copper etching.  I like this image, but it is really just a trial to see how aquatinting worked.  I would like to play around with it some more I think....