Its official…I’m off to Denmark for my first international artist-in-residence

After a nail biting wait (well it was only 9 weeks…but who’s counting) my application to the International Ceramic Research Centre (ICRC) was accepted.  I’m off to Denmark to immerse myself in the world of ceramics for 6 weeks and can’t wait!  Its a wonderful opportunity as this will be my first international artist in residence following up from my first Australian residency at Canberra Potters Society.  The Centre is located in a beautiful rural setting near the fishing village of Skælskør. I’ve been there before in 2011 when Adam and I went to Europe and while he was working in Rome I flew to Denmark to visit my dear friend Amanda who was working at the Centre at the time.
Up until this week, I actually had no idea where the village was located in relation to Copenhagen until I read the faithful Lonely Planet’s Denmark and was surprised at how geographically Denmark is made up of a series of Islands linked by bridges. Skælskør is located roughly where Zeland is just south-west of Copenhagen (red star).








The Centre also known as Guldagergaard is located in an old apple orchard where the main house contains the admin room, a library, dining room and the bedrooms in which artists reside. Nearby are the old stables which have been turned into ceramic studios/kilns.  Here is a peek (remember this is summertime….I’m going in the dead of winter….brrrrr).  So watch this space as I update how my plans are going for making work while at the Centre.  I plan to go 2 January – 13 February 2013 – which is only 4 and 1/2 months away!  Not much time for researching and practicing ceramics as well as and preparing myself for a lot less sunlight.  I’ve heard anything from 1-4hrs sunshine and its dark for the rest of the day….geez, makes you realise how lucky we are in Canberra where in Winter our sunshine on average is 5-6 hours.  Still, I’m sure the snow, fairy lights and gløgg (mulled wine) will make Denmark a top experience!
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Finding my mark…

Potters marks are a unique identification mark which are found on the base, side or front of ceramic works.

The following marks belong to: Australian artists Greg Daly, Janet DeBoos and American artist Nicholas Bivens:






As you can see each has a unique way of painting, writing or stamping their name/initials.

While I was studying at uni it never dawned on me to write my name on the bottom of my works.  I suppose I was in research mode and the last thing I could think about was signing my works.  In fact, it was difficult to sign my pendants as they were very fragile in the early stages of producing.  I was so worried about the design holding up in my wash/wipe method that I feared breakage was miniscule millimeters away…let alone trying to sign on the back!  It wasn’t till I met Xanthe from X Gallery that she came up with a round sterling silver disc to put on the back of my fired pendant and stamp my initials on the back.  I was so excited that I could finally make a mark. Well temporarily on my body adornment work…

This year, I’ve been experimenting and making new forms – small bowls and tiles.  When I laid eyes on an edition of Australian Ceramics I came across the Potters Marks page – there wwas a series of photos showcasing potters and their marks.  From initials, to hand written signatures to stamps and drawings I realised I could do anything. I doodled away in my scrap book hoping to come up with something…it took a while and then eventually I played with my initials AM and then thought PM as in potters mark.  Then I thought mmmm AM PM…as in the time….twee?? Well, as I’m a lover of words I realised that all I ever do is think about ceramics – almost 24hrs.  I moved the initials around and hubby (in his eagerness to be right as always) suggested:


Hey presto, I liked it…now all I needed was the letters and lucky for me, hubby had a set of beautiful old steel letter stamps in a neat blue box which had been handed down to him.  I loved it!  Something old but breathing new life not only for my work but a real potters mark. So here is my attempt:






Its rough but its early days and I’ll get lots of practice over the coming months.  I’m rather excited at having a potters mark.  I feel privileged to join the many artists around the world that have made their mark whether it be ceramics, glass painting, sculpture, textiles, print making, or photography (just to list a few). BTW – if there are any potters out there that can help Judith in “our new project to make the marks used by Australian potters easy to find on the Internet” visit her blog at Australian potters’ marks.

My first publication!

Issue 51/2 July 2012 of The Journal of Australian Ceramics appeared in my letterbox a little while ago and imagine my surprise when I went to the Education Focus section to see my work included on page 56.  I couldn’t believe it and was thrilled to see my work next to ceramic friends from the ANU Canberra School  of Art – Amy, Ashley, Michelle and Linda.  We all look pretty swish.  Then, when I looked at the poster I nearly fell over…there was my work again!  I was so excited and did a mini woop woop dance in the lounge room while Adam looked on grinning from ear to ear.  The article National Education Pictorial Survey 2012 features a wide range of educational institutes and showcases graduate ceramic work.  A big thank you to the team at the Journal of Australian Ceramics for providing this wonderful and valuable opportunity.

This poster was published in Issue 51/2 of The Journal of Australian Ceramics, July 2012.
Permission has been given to make it available on this website.
© The Australian Ceramics Association 2012


Support your local businesses

This little promo appeared on my face book page yesterday courtesy of  We Love Indepedents and I went yes!  We so need a marketing campaign in Canberra encouraging people to spend local, think local and realise that there are small business owners out there in your local suburb that need your support.  As the ad says “It takes YOU to start the trend” – so I thought okay…I’ve got a blog and can let you know my experience of working for a local business.

I work for a local chic boutique – Style Emporium – located at Ginninderra Village on the Barton Highway, Canberra – for map see Visit Canberra.  Now, I can hear a groan or two as you might think “Oh! isn’t that some old tourist attraction?”. Yes, it does have tourist attractions but it also has some much needed shops that give you that fabulous feeling after devouring a lemon curd cupcake Cherry Seed, a BLT toasted in the oven Sweet Copper, touching beautiful materials and all things art & craft (Mimosa Interiors), gleefully holding miniatures, gifts and all things nice Thumbelina and generally experiencing a more relaxing way to browse, shop, and feel good about supporting your local businesses. The local ACT Government announced in June this year a Four-year $20 million investment to support Canberra businesses.  I hope they stay true to funding”… A social media ‘Buy Local’ campaign, encouraging consumers to support local businesses, $20,000 over two years…”.

So next time, take the time to see what’s in your area, let your friends, family and colleagues know and start a worthwhile trend!