Just over a month ago, Laura and I had a precious and enjoyable time visiting the Dunedin Botanic Gardens and also visiting Gallery on Blueskin at Waitati where we both had work in the Christmas Exhibition. We are delighted to see that Gallery on Blueskin is open longer hours and appears to be full of hope and life again. The gallery has enormous potential for displaying a wide variety of art, as it has two separate gallery spaces, and a large attractive out door area that is ideal for showing sculpture. Waitati is only a 15 minute drive from Dunedin City, and I do hope that city people that like to visit galleries include it on their circuit! .... And, wait, there is more ... a drive of a further 15 minutes could take gallery visitors to our studio and gallery at Waikouaiti Old Post Office too!!
These sculptural ceramic "seed pods" are by Josephine Waring, they are hand built from coils of clay, I like the toasty look that firing in a kiln with "real flame" has given them!
My own "offering" at this exhibition was this crystalline glazed vase that was displayed on a lovely old desk.
I will give you a close look at the vase, as it was a bit different from what I have done with crystalline glazes in the past.
I gave the vase a textured surface, by covering it in a clay slip (or engobe) not long after it was made on the potter's wheel and scraping the surface with a wire loop tool. I also added little coils of clay to make tiny raised spirals.
The glaze is a crystalline one, but I have used it to give an overall pattern of small crystals, rather than growing larger individual ones.
I was rather pleased by the result, the pot doesn't scream "Crystalline", but texture, form and glaze are integrated.
"Party Hat", Laura had this painting at the exhibition, it is acrylic on wood.
Here is another of Laura's paintings (not at the exhibition), called "Yellow House", it is a lovely, dreamy work. Technically it is somewhere in that wonderful territory between drawing and painting, she has used coloured pencils over acrylic washes, and protected everything with clear acrylic varnish.
Waikouaiti Farmer's Market.
Some brave people have been trying to get a Farmer's Market established in Waikouaiti every Saturday morning. For a market to be viable, there has to be a good selection of exciting, useful, yummy, and interesting produce on sale... but there also have to be people willing to support it and buy what is on offer. It is not an easy task getting something like that going in a small town. Someone once said that "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen", and I think that you need an act of Faith to start a market, especially on a windy or wet day!
Laura has been having a table at the market nearly every Saturday morning through the summer months, and our sales have ranged from $2.40 to just over $100. The day that the above photo was taken, Laura sold just $26 worth of her hand made Christmas decorations, but no pottery, but she kept smiling! Sometimes what seemed like a "poor" day for us at the market has led to sales later in the week at our own gallery, so having a presence there has been useful advertising for us.
December of 2015 disappeared without waiting for me to record it on my blog, time really doesn't stand still! Some very noteworthy events did occur in December, my mum and dad celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary midway through December and it was a very happy occasion!
And.... Laura had a birthday to celebrate early in December....
Here she is with a cake and one candle glowing brightly!
With the various ups and downs of 2015, it was really wonderful that we were still all together to celebrate these special occasions in December! And now we have a New Year to make the most of!
Happy New Year!