Sunday, May 11, 2014

Post 'Mud' Post

Well it didn't explode or crumble into ash and shards.

Instead it resembles a large slab of fettucine in an invisible bowl. 
 You will note the silver Saltwater sandals in the lower right corner. The Saltwater shop near us is shutting down so they were all marked way down. They only had silver ones left. What else could I do? They needed a home.

Meanwhile, back at the fettucine slab... having never worked with oxides before, I had a little play and slopped a wash of cobalt carbonate over the whole thing. Then I wiped it back and put it in the kiln overnight to see what would happen.

The best thing about doing these experiments is the sheer unknown of the alchemy of it all. 
Now what do I do with it? It may end up in the garden with the ceramic skulls and busts and masks. One day in a millennium or so the eclectic midden will be unearthed and they'll wonder what on earth it was all for.

 This one was a little experiment with leftover bits of clay...

that turned into quite a handy Mothers' Day gift for the best little Mother in Law in the West-ern suburbs.

Another one was dubbed a salt pig and spoon for my own marvellous Mum. She used it for the Mothers' Day "counting" where we all convened to eat, reminisce and recover from Eurovision.

The fish was for the birthday brother who likes fishing, of course.

This Mom song was played for us at Shorty's prep Mother's Day gala girls' night out. (Last week was quite the busy one.)

It never gets old and makes me laugh out loud and every word of it is true.

Happy Mothers' Day to all who mother!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


You know that feeling where you just have a crazy little buzz and everything feels a bit too hectic. That's when I start gnawing nails, or culling or rearranging rooms . Sometimes it an avoidance strategy to avoid an unpleasant task (e.g. laundry) or thinking about something of a looming nature (e.g. surgery) . It keeps me awake some nights and wakes me from sleep on others. Yesterday it crept into my happy place at work...

so I played with mud.

There is a great deal to be said for the joy of mud which is probably why children are so drawn to it. I've had mine swimming it from when they were little but I doubt they'd deign to undertake such a thing nowadays- except if there's a ball involved to disguise the primal joy of mud wallowing. 

So I got some mud- clean, pretty, white porcelain  mud  that had gone hard in the bottom of a bucket.
It needed a swish around with some water and a big potato masher type of thing.

There was a ridiculous amount of shredded paper packed around some ink that came the other day. I knew it would come in handy.  A generous nest of it was immersed and squished around in the mud. (Yes, of course, it was clay slip but for therapeutic reasons I prefer to call it mud today.)

The whole gooey mess was quickly slopped into a big bowl shaped mould and gently coaxed into a convex shape.

Then, after a deep and satisfying sigh, I left it to dry. It was worth doing just to see the faces of the boys walking past. A lot of them do NOT like getting dirty.
I'll fire it when it dries and see if it becomes something or whether it was just a cathartic bit of fun.
The paper should all burn out leaving the exoskeleton of the clay. A bit of alchemy, a dash of mystery. Good times!

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