Ginger was a great help packing the exhibition. He is seen here with a radio controlled model of a 1935 Flying Flea (Pou-du-Ciel) hanging above him. The model is 1/5th scale, and works well. I built it after reading a book about how to build a "real" one by Henri Mignet, the designer.
"Thinking and Dreaming" a little video showing some of my work from the last few days.
If there was a building project to be done, a wall to knock down, or a studio to reorganise, it always seemed to happen in the week following putting on an exhibition. Maybe the swing and crunch of a sledge hammer, and the rasping of a saw had therapeutic value, nature's way of preventing a tide of gloom. Such projects did not occur this time, I was just too tired!
After many exhibitions as a painter, and now as a potter, I have not developed a particularly thick skin, but I do cope with openings, and try to just get on with things if sales are slow. I have never had the pleasure of a "sell out" exhibition, such things are very, very unlikely in this part of the world, there are just not the numbers of buying public out there to allow such things to occur, except rarely.
At an exhibition, my first target is to sell... something.... After that is met, I hope to cover the costs of the opening, and advertising, and any gallery charges. If, oh joy, we get past that stage, then there is a slow accumulation of sales that reward the gallery's efforts for running the exhibition through their commission, and start to recoup my production costs, of clay, glaze materials, and firings. A really good exhibition will manage to do all those things and.... provide some money for food and a roof over the head as well!
The exhibition at Gallery on Blueskin is probably getting into the food and roof over the head territory now, and I am very thankful for friends who have bought work and supported us, and to others that I know less well, or not at all, that have fallen in love with a pot at the exhibition and have purchased it.
We were most fortunate to have a review in the Otago Daily Times. The fact that the ODT sent someone over the hill to review an exhibition at Waitati, North of the City, was really appreciated, as I know that it was a busy time for exhibitions in Dunedin when my one was on. It was so busy, in fact, that the Arts reviews by James Dignan for Thursday, 15 April, started with these words, "Dunedin has temporarily become the centre of New Zealand's ceramics world..."
The NZ Society of Potters National exhibition was on at the Otago Museum. An exhibition of Japanese potter, Takeshi Yasuda, was on at the Brett McDowell Gallery, and then there was my exhibition also. A lot of potters were in Dunedin over that period. We were fortunate to have a visit from a few of them at our studio here too. A van load of delightful potters from Tokoroa called one morning, and others from Christchurch and North of Wellington followed.
I have been trying to make new work. I want to keep the momentum going if I can, and do some more of the crystal glazed pots. I have ideas about pots in my mind that I am trying to bring to life. It is a difficult process. I am quite limited as a thrower on the wheel, and have to keep on learning the skills that will help me make the forms that I sometimes catch a glimpse of in my mind. I am tired also, so that makes learning harder. I suppose that we have are own way of developing new work. Some people would sketch out ideas on paper, others would write notes. I probably should do some drawing, and do occasionally, but there is a risk that the drawing becomes the end product, rather than all the energy going into the pot!
I don't know about you, but I sometimes "see" a pot, or part of one in my mind. It may just be the curve of the shoulder of the pot, or something about the texture of the surface. It is a tantalizing thing, as there is just enough of a glimpse to give something to work towards, but the work still has to be done, and it is all too easy to lose that first "vision" whilst grappling with technical difficulties.
It is a fascinating process though, and was much the same for me when I was painting too.
If I was sensible, I should really design a standard range of coffee cups and breakfast bowls, and make a few hundred of them (I do intend to do just that), but I do have something in me that calls me towards giving a physical form to those as yet unmade pots that I almost can see!
On 3rd March, which feels like a life time ago, my blogger friend Angie of Shozzy's Place,
kindly nominated me for a Kreative Blogger award. I really appreciated her doing so, but have been too preoccupied... and "unKreative", to do much about it. One difficulty with it was that the award required me to find 7 interesting things about myself. To be honest..I haven't been feeling all that "interesting"!
Anyway, here goes...
1) I may be loosing my hair and taking longer to stand up after sitting for a while, but I enjoy learning new things, and questioning old ones!
2) I try to earn a living by the work of my hands.
3) As a teenager I had 25 hours worth of flying lessons, and there was a risk, for a while..., that I would get my pilot's licence before my driving licence.
4) When I was a painter, I painted on location... outside, sometimes in "all weathers".. I painted watercolours when it was snowing (nice sky effects), when it was freezing (crystals formed in the painting of the sky), when it was windy (I have been known to chase a painting that had taken flight up a hill), and when it was raining hard (this was oil painting on one of those camping trips... where it rains all the time and you go slightly mad and do all the things that you intended to do on the trip anyway!).
5) I have responded to middle age...., by throwing myself into potting!
6) I am not a great cook, but I do make food that is mostly edible, and is often sustaining.... I do make good "hedge hog" potatoes, and can make sponge cakes.
7) I can use a band saw and a sewing machine.. My philosophy is that if you can use one of those, you can also use the other!
I would like to award this Kreative award to many, many other bloggers, and feel bad missing out some that I hold most dear! But.... the rules say I'm to award these to 7... so here goes! I know that all of you are busy people, and you may not find time to accept the award and pass it on, but, do please enjoy the nomination at least, as a token of my appreciation for the inspiration and help that your blog has given me.
If you wish to accept the award, please copy the award picture off here, nominate 7 other bloggs that you like, let them know that you have, provide links to their sites, and list 7 interesting things about yourself!
Barnbarroch Pottery Always worth a visit. I admire both the standard pottery range, and also the more sculptural one off work where Christine works miracles with extruded clay from her pugmill!
Rodger's Transplant Diary A brave, moving, helpful, life affirming, and sometimes humorous account of having a bone marrow transplant, and what follows next.
ang design blog I really enjoy visiting here and seeing what Ang is up to. Fun, and thoughtful. Nice use of technology here too.
Le blog de Armelle Life on a Beautiful Island off the coast of France. Lovely poetic use of photography and language. Interesting information about the history of the Island. Armelle paints, writes, and makes pots.
mudheart pottery About as far to the North of Australia that you could go. Beautiful photos of a lovely place, and lovely pottery with a real feeling for having its heart and soul in the local environment.
Tracey Broome A great person, and wonderful potter. I am a frequent visitor here!
Sofia's Dad's Pots This is a special place, Jim writes so well of his life as a potter and as a dad. Jim also writes superbly about childhood. It is a great pleasure to drop by here.
Must Dash and do some work....!
Best Wishes to you All!