Wednesday, May 23, 2012

ON THE TABLE



On the table ....
or on the shelf ....
or any surface ....
preferably scrubbed wood
in a kitchen ...
in the studio ....
in the homes of artists.



Catherine White's blog held me captive for days and nobody could get any sense out of me until I had finished reading it from one end to the other. I love the way Catherine writes and thinks. I love her ceramics and the way she photographs pieces against hand painted backdrops. And I love her choice of poetry and excerpts from the books she reads.

"Sometimes when asked how I chose to make pots I jokingly say that in a household of artists the only space left to express myself was the table. The family dinner table was the place of sit down meals, jokes, shaggy dog stories, limericks. Grandfather White's round robin letters were read aloud and our day-to-day adventures recounted. While conversations whirled around me, I studied the flowers, the pitcher, the sugar pot and the coffee cup, often imagining them with cartoonish variations." - Catherine White



"My dream, was to make an evocative setting of plates, some cups and a teapot to nourish my friends and to fill the table with pottery" - Catherine White



Link to my Pinterest board, On The Table, here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'LL KEEP IT SHORT .............. ISH


We have just returned from a wonderful holiday on the Wild Coast (Eastern Cape, South Africa). It is with out doubt the most stunning place I have ever been to on the coast.


This is the view that met us as we came over the rise after a tiring 8 hour trip through mist and potholes. We have spent many holidays on the Wild Coast and this is the first time we have stayed in a hotel, which meant that I didn't have to cook. Yay!


I'll try not to bore you with too many details but to set the scene, here is the view from our bungalow. Looking to the left....



from our patio, straight up the river at low tide....




... and to the sea on the right.



The black horse was always waiting like a guardian angel.... horse. When I woke early in the morning or after a nap ..... there was the black horse watching me through the window. A tri-daily scratch had nothing to do with it ;-)

We rowed across the estuary every day. I took brisk 10km walks along the beach while M fished.

Most of the anglers practice "catch and release".....



... and this Lesser Sand Shark was returned unharmed to the sea.

I practiced a little "catch and release" myself with the shells I found..... though I kept the precious cowrie.


Those who've been reading my blog for a while may remember that my family regard cowries as messages from our departed loved ones and especially from my daughter who loved cowries. We scoured the beach for days and found not even a shard, but on my birthday I sent up a little prayer ... "Listen Bron, I know this is a tall order since this is clearly not a cowrie beach.... ". Low and behold, a perfect pink cowrie rolled up the pristine sands with the next wave. My day was complete.



We threw left-over chokka (squid) for the gulls and like magic hundreds of sea snails popped out of the sand and made a beeline for the bait.



Fishing in the mist .....
We often watched a pair of Crested Cranes dancing on the sand bank to the right. Definitely one of the highlights of our holiday. 200 Cranes once flocked to this beach but they have dwindled to 2 after being poisoned by treated corn. Apparently the corn is treated for beetle before planting and the cranes eat the newly planted pits. It breaks my heart.

The vintage car club leaving after spending a few days at the hotel. We quailed at the thought of these beautiful cars driving over really rough dirt roads, but they seemed to make it without much consequence.

All photos are mine except for the second one which is credited to Wavecrest Hotel.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

DIARY OF A BLOCKED CREATIVE




Monday 16th April:
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working" - Pablo Picasso

Tuesday 17th:
I've kept up with my 10 minute collages as a warm up exercise and really look forward to doing one each day. I have no inclination to carve but on Friday M leaves at dawn for a weekend fishing trip in Pondoland. No more excuses about distractions getting in the way of work and I'll be seriously disappointed in myself if I don't make use of this quiet time.


Wednesday 18th:
Re-read Anahata's Five Stages of Creative Expansion ( here). I also started filling my Twyla Box with elements for my "new" project. In her book The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp recommends filling a box with ideas, sketches, notes, objects etc. for a particular project as it helps one to focus. I've made this a habit since reading the book several years ago. It works! The only problem is I have many Twyla Boxes lying about collecting dust after the project is completed.

Thursday 19th:
New ideas for my wood quilt have been brewing. I started this idea about 2 years ago (blogged here) but with all the other projects on the go I haven't had a chance to get back to it.

Now is the time! I have no idea how big I want it to be but there are so many possibilities.


Friday 20th:
Just begin I said.... and I did!

Saturday 21st:
Inspired by a hat made in the Cameroon....

.... which led to this.

Sunday 22nd:
Inspired by my 10 minute collage ....

... and created this.

Monday 23rd:
M is back with fresh fish for a week's worth of suppers. I feel I've created enough momentum to keep me going when life get's back to normal.

"Each piece is defined by the time, space and materials in which it was created. the process feels like being present and unified with the world in a balanced way. When I notice resistance, I pause and do my best to step out of the way and let the momentum continue forward." - Kristen Balouch (see Kristen's work here)