Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

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 Celebrations!

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!


srgb said...

Nice blog Peter.
Best wishes for 2016 to you both.

gz said...

and a good new year to you all too

woodsie8 said...

Peter, I was looking back at your art and wondering if you ship to the US. I am looking for a water seal fermenting pot. I could send some pictures of what I am wanting and see if you could make me one and the cost. Thank you. Kim

smartcat said...

Where did December go? In fact how did all of 2015 slip by so quickly?
Have happy, healthy, hopeful 2016!

Peter said...

Thank you Bob, lovely to hear from you, our very best to you both too.

Good Morning Gwynneth, happy New Year, and I hope you get some sensible winter weather in your part of the world, the storms and rain in the UK that have battered things through December must have been horrendous for those affected.

Hi Kim,
Welcome to this blog, good to hear from you! Thank you for your inquiry regarding a fermenting pot, please email me at opogallery (AT) gmail (DOT) com and we can discuss what you are wanting further. Thank you for your interest.

Hi Smartcat,
Mmmmm, the increasingly rapid passing of time..., I think that this has happened since clocks went atomic! In my day, we still wound up watches, and pulled up weights on the clock in the hall, and turned the hour glass up the other way. Always plenty to do then, and I am sure time was much longer! I think we are being short changed!!! Have a Happy New Year.... All 365 Days!

Arkansas Patti said...

Happy New Year Peter and Laura. You did get to celebrate before the rest of us.
Congrats big time on your parents and their 60 years together. Impressive. Belated Happy Birthday to Laura. Wishing you both a wonderful 2016.

Peter said...

Hi Patti,
How nice to hear from you, I always enjoy seeing your smiling face in the little photo of you that comes up with the comment! Happy New Year to you too, and I'll pass on your congrats to all who celebrated birthdays and anniversaries too! Happy 2016!

Linda Starr said...

Happy New Year to you and Laura, your new pot reminds me of raku or luster, an unusual technique that I think was quite effective. Laura's paintiings continue to amaze me at the depth of her imagination. Hope the new year brings much joy and peace to you both and to all the world at large.

Armelle Léon said...

Happy New Year to you both, your new way of making crystalline pots is amazing and I love Laura's Yellow house. Nice to see Laura with her apron near your table at Waikouaiti Farmer's Market. May 2016 brings you joy and happiness.

Peter said...

Hi Linda,
Happy New Year to you too, good to hear from you, thank you for the encouragement that you have given us over the years!

Bonne année Armelle! Lovely to hear from you, and we hope 2016 is good for you too!

Anna said...

an eventful summer so far... all the best for 2016. Your vase has the look of Raku firing until you see the closeup of the crystals... nice one.

Peter said...

Hi Anna,
Good to hear from you! Happy and creative 2016 to you!

Cailey said...

Hi Peter, I stopped by your gallery on my road trip from Dunedin up to Mt Somers and bought two lovely bowls, one for my sister and one for myself. It was so nice to meet you and get to hear about your beautiful artwork; thanks for your hospitality! I'm happy to report the bowls made it home to the US in one piece, though I didn't ask you about taking care of them (dishwasher versus handwashing - any hints?). Wishing you a good start to the New Year, and hopeful that I can return to the lovely South Island before too long!

Peter said...

Hi Cailey,
It is so nice to hear from you again, I did enjoy meeting you very much when you visited our little gallery, and it is good to hear that you and the bowls made it back home to the US safely.

Regarding dish washing...., The bowls were both fired to about 2350 Fahrenheit (1287 C), and they should be quite strong and able to cope with normal domestic use. We haven't got a dishwasher here so I can never guarantee things to be "dishwasher safe" as I can't personally test this, so I can only really recommend hand washing.

I hope you have a wonderful 2016 and are soon able to plan another NZ visit!
Best Wishes, P