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...!


Joseph said...

There is actually a girl who is a third year here at the University of Central Lancashire, who makes wearable ceramics, unfortunately I don't know of any pictures of her work online as she is still trying to keep it under wraps to stop anyone from copying until after the degree show.

Our joint degree show is going to be very different at UCLAN, there are about ten of us working and we are all doing completely different things and hope to display everything in a very different way to pervious years.

Angie said...

Wow ...what a great post ...sorry you have been unwell though ... maybe you need a holiday or a few days break and some building up with vitimins and /or hearty food.

That show was brilliant ... that butterfly costume was beautiful and Laura's mask was amazing ... sort of an Aztec influence?.I bet the show was hard work for all.

Your pupil looks a nice lady and she certainly is doing well ...admit it must be fun teaching her ...and a boost to the ego lol

Loved the clip of the car.
Take Care xx

Linda Starr said...

wow, Laura's art looks great, love the mask and the purse she is carrying; great butterfly, what a great fashion show that was. Laura's mask reminds me of traditional Japanese dance, would love to have been there.

I'd be interested to see the wearable ceramics Joseph mentioned above.

Is that a mullein flower popping up in the center of the pink flowers?

I have to come back to see the videos cause if I wake Gary up he will be madder than a hornet.

take er easy Peter, health is everything. wonder if you can get the Wellness Forumla over there, it is a mixture of herbs and vitamins and gives a great boost the immune system.

back later for the videos.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Thank you for the visit, Peter. It was lovely to hear from you so quickly after I came back on line.

The participants in the style show did a marvelous job; your community is full of folk with fantastic creativity!

Sorry to hear that your tooth extraction left you with some problems. Not fun, I know. I hope you will quickly be on the mend and regain your energy. Take care, friend!

Judy Shreve said...

Love the fashion show - and the whole idea of it! Laura's costume was so creative -- love the mask & her jacket (back & front!). You do seem to live among some wildly creative folks.

I sure hope you get to feeling better -- about a year ago I had some dental problems - extraction, infection, too many antibiotics & it took me months to get to feeling 100% - hope you are on the mend!

Armelle said...


Wish you better health, perhaps a break would be fine, without any work and any computer ? Great post, lovely wearable art, a lot of creativity, I enjoy Laura's costume and the butterfly is nice too, and of course I laught with the video.
Dont worry with part 2 serie of glazing, raw material seem so different through the world.

Take enought rest

Arkansas Patti said...

Gosh, I am so sorry you have been so puny and hope you are well on the mend now. Do take better care fellow.
Loved the fashion show. I voted for Laura as first and butterfly as second. Hope my vote wasn't too late.
I enjoyed seeing folks having such a good time and raising money to boot.
Barking dog contest??? Even for a dog lover like me, that might be a stretch to listen to.
Be well Peter and eat lots of garlic(natures antibotic).
What a cool car.
Best to Laura and Ginger.

Peter said...

Hello Joseph,
So good to hear from you, welcome to my blog. A ceramic wearable art costume would be really interesting. Laura and I did briefly consider a ceramic wearable art piece, but time was not there this time round. It could be fun for next year though. I have been hopping over to your site since seeing your comment here, and will add a link to it from mine. It is good to see what you are doing on your university ceramics course, and I am most impressed with your work.

Hi Angie,
Good to hear from you. Local community shows are always fun, people make a big effort, and it is amazing how things come together without rehearsals or big budgets! Laura (potting pupil) is doing really well, and is good company too. It is nice to be able to help get someone else started in potting too.
Glad you liked the old car, it ran along very well.

Hi Linda,
Lovely to hear from you, I almost got a comment away to you yesterday, as I see that you have found a place to live, but got carried away looking up the town on Google Earth and ran out of time!! I'll ask Laura what the flower was in the photo. Not sure if Wellness formula available here. Probably need a little holiday really.

Hello Pat,
It was good to see you back on line, I had been worried about you. So am rejoicing greatly to see you up and about again in the blog world!

Hi Judy,
Lovely to hear from you. I think Laura did marvellously well with her costume. Now she has had the courage to take part this time, who knows what she will come up with next!!! Sorry that you also had a tooth saga. Antibiotics are wonderful when they work, but I guess that most of us have had too much of them over the years, both as medicine and in food, so they don't always help as they should.

Hi Armelle,
Glad that you were able to laugh with the video, it is nice to think that humour can travel across the world, even if language is difficult to understand sometimes! As you have seen from my next post..., I'm still not taking enough rest!
Best Wishes.... P.

Hi Patti,

I quite like being 6 foot tall and "puny", I could be a "before" model for those body building adverts that used to be around in the 1950s and 60s.."I was a 7 stone weakling and men through sand in my face!" Anyway, I'll make sure your special vote from Arkansas gets through to the judges! The barking dog contest is one that I have stayed away from so far, but I really must attend the next one and record it for my blog and share it with the world! I will make sure that garlic is a regular part of my day, it is great stuff and certainly does help.
Glad you liked the car.
I've passed on your salutations to Laura and Ginger, the latter of whom has collapsed in a snoring contented heap on my right arm... making typing rather difficult!