Saturday, March 20, 2010
Laura and Laura, wearable art and pottery
Waikouaiti is a small town of probably less than 1200 people, most of whom are honest, hard working, and friendly, in a warm but cautious way; and we make our own entertainment! On January the first we have a horse race. There is a dog barking championship at the local hotel, which, on one momentous occasion, was reported as far away as the Naper Valley Register in California. Sometimes sheep are shorn competitively to raise money for one cause or another. For the last few years a hardy group of volunteers has organised a fashion show, well, to be more correct..., the delightful and ever energetic, Thelma Hoskin, has mustered a hardy group of volunteers.
Laura decided to take part..., by wearing some of her art! Laura would freely admit that she is a very reluctant person when it comes to constructing things with needle and thread. If truth be told, I am more likely to dig out the sewing machine from its lair under a pile of clothes in the bottom of our wardrobe if a hem needs doing or a trouser leg shortening, and Laura is more likely to vanish into the garden, rather with the tragic and heroic air of the late Mr Oats of the doomed Antarctic Scott expedition "I'm just stepping out for a while, I may be some time!"
With only a few days to go, Laura bravely attacked some brightly coloured material, ribbons, tape, and, other colourful stuff, and managed to make a beautiful apron, and modify a red jacket. She attached some of her artwork onto these, and also made a mask, and a fish handbag. It all looked great, and it was nice to see her surrounded by new work in progress with a happy smile on her face.
On the night of the fashion show, I joined the throng of excited locals that flowed into the town hall. It has to be said that very few men attended (they were probably over the other side of the road at the pub), but they missed out on seeing the other half of the village all dressed up, brushed and pampered and looking lovely!
What happens at these things?? Well (for the benefit of the men who didn't attend), women and men of all shapes, ages, and sizes paraded up and down the catwalk, dressed in casual and formal attire. The models (or "walkers" as they were called) were mostly local people, and the clothing included some outfits by local designers, as well as some by the bigger manufacturers.
I enjoyed the wearable art section the most, the exuberance of the wearable art entries was very cheering, and these days I like to be cheered.
Some art of the wearable kind demands rather a lot of the model, this piece looked at its best when whirled around madly.
Here was a dramatic black and silver rendition of the night sky, all stars and moons.
This butterfly was very beautiful, wings and antenna bounced and swayed alluringly, and the colour was dramatically different front and back.
There was an audible "Ahhhh" from the crowd when the butterfly made its first pirouette on the catwalk.
Laura's own contribution was hugely original, and the mask added both beauty and pathos.
In her case it really was wearable art, in that some of what she had sewed on her costume was from her studio wall.
There were no prizes for taking part in this show, it was, as I have said, the community making its own entertainment, but it has been a stimulating experience getting the work done for the show, and..... who knows what may be entered by members of this studio next year!!
In the Wonderful World of Potting...
An Exhibition is Close!
I have been glazing some crystal glazed pots, and I fired them through last night in the electric kiln, starting at 8pm and finishing 11.30am today. I will be having an exhibition of new crystal glazed pots at Gallery On Blueskin after Easter. The exhibition opens on Thursday 8 April at 6pm. The Gallery is at Waitati, right beside the sea, about 15 minutes North of Dunedin. The new pots for the exhibition are so new that they are still to be glaze fired, and I will be doing back to back firings right up to the exhibition opening!
Laura from Kakanui is making great progress with her potting.
I don't usually take pupils, as I really don't have sufficient time or studio space, but I am enjoying having Laura work in the studio.
She has been learning on my kick wheel, and got the hang of operating the wheel and trying to make a pot at the same time quite quickly.
We have been working on cylinders, and are starting to do some coffee mug type shapes as she gains in confidence. It is good to see her joy in a job well done, it makes it all worth while!
My health has been less than perfect over the last little while which is one of the reasons why I am a bit slow getting new posts to the blog as often as I would normally do. The tooth saga stretched on a bit, with an infection following the extraction (I think mostly because I was so run down), but it seems to be reasonably good there now. I feel really silly that I still haven't done part 2 of my series on glazing as yet. I have just had to content myself with doing the most pressing things, such as keeping the crystal glazed pots going as I work towards the exhibition. There really hasn't been much energy left for extra stuff.
Several posts ago, I mentioned having a look at some lovely old cars that were taking part in the Dunedin to Brighton rally. I have included a little video of the oldest car that was at the rally. 1903 vintage...!