Friday, August 29, 2014

Urban fantasy mould making

The Canberra glass works had lots of school groups doing the tour today. Always fun to see such enthusiasm from the young ones, and amusing the attitude of indifference from the teens.

Amongst chatting to tours I made another piece and then made moulds. I love seeing the positive and negative space together.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Urban fantasy series and new clay

As well as trying out a new clay, which I like (thank you Ede Horton), I'm starting a new series of cast glass sculptures based on the genre fiction of 'urban fantasy'. Urban fantasy is a sub genre of fantasy fiction, where instead of magical lands in far away places, the enchantment occurs in contemporary, real-world, suburbs and cities. Some of my favourite authors in this genre are Charles de Lint, Kim Wilkins and Helene Wecker. The 1990's TV series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' is a good example, though a different format.

Today I have been shaping the 'location' aspect, fragments of urban landscapes. The front of the pieces will have different mythical beasties in silhouette sandblasted on the front.  These are for a group exhibition in Melbourne, called Silhouettes.
for this piece I imagine a Griffin

A jackalope for this one
and a pegasus for this one

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kate Forsyth 'spotlights' my art

Kate Forsyth is one of my favourite writers. Author of the Witches of Eileanan series, 'Bitter Greens', 'The Wild Girl' and most recently 'Dancing on Knives'. Kate's novels are inspired by myth, folklore and fairytale and she writes for adults and children. I loved the 'Witches of Eileanan', a full on fantasy tale on a different world. Full of faery creatures and dragons, enchantment, love, betrayal and magic.

My other favourite is 'Bitter Greens', a retelling of the Rapunzel tale. 'Bitter Greens' cleverly braids together 3 stories. I love the complexity of the storytelling. There are for me 3 levels of reality / realism / fiction:
One strand is historical romance, a real woman by the name of Charlotte Rose de la Force, we follow the events of her scandalous life in the court of Louis 14th that lead up to her writing "Persinette' the forerunner to the Grimms' Rapunzel. Another strand is the retelling of the Rapunzel tale, a fully rendered version of Charlotte Rose's literary fairy tale. Not real, but a tale already living in our popular culture consciousness. The third strand is pure imagination and tells us the story of the Sorceress who imprisons our Rapunzel. All the stories entwine naturally to create a rich, immersive read.

Kate has also recently published a book called 'Two Selkie tales from Scotland' with illustrator Fiona McDonald. How perfect!

So take a look at Kate's 'Spotlight' on my work here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Look what arrived in this morning's post...

A signed copy of Jack Zipes' latest book The Golden Age of Folk and Fairy Tales arrived in my letter box this morning. As you can see I have a fair collection of his work already. Very happy to have another to add to my bookshelf.

Heidi of the wonderful Surlalune website comments that "Jack Zipes is currently the most prolific editor and author in fairy tale and folklore studies".

and from Five, an interview discussing Fairy Tales and Zipes' top 5 books informing his view on the relevance of Fairytales.

Jack Zipes is Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota and is very happily retired from the corporate university. He was the co-founder of New German Critique, a journal of interdisciplinary studies and was editor-in-chief of The Oxford Companion to Fairy TalesThe Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature and The Oxford Encyclopaedia of Children’s Literature. He was also the founder of Neighborhood Bridges, a storytelling/creative drama programme in the elementary schools of the Twin Cities and is the editor of the Princeton University Press series, Oddly Modern Fairy Tales.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Depths & Shallows Artist floor talk

Our exhibition is winding to a close tomorrow, but before it ends we (Spike Deane, Emilie Patteson and Alexandra Frasersmith) are having an artist floor talk today at 2pm. M16 Artspace.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Plasmodesmata commission and cat

Working on the design offerings for a commission based on plasmodesmata. Thistle doesn't care.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Brazil, Cuiaba. Game 1

We are in Cuiaba now for the Australia v Chile game. You know I said to Dougie, shall I pack some tea bags and he scoffed at me, though also there are no kettles in rooms any way. I have learnt how to say hot tea, (sha Kent e) as when Dougie ordered..."HOT TEA" he got a hot cheese sandwich!
Warmer here and not very wheelchair friendly streets, lots of broken crumbling pavements. Last night there were police and the armed forces out all over the place (big guns / rifels) Not sure if that is normal or a one off. Had dinner (Jantar) by choosing from the menu by pictures and guesses. Managed to get all vegetarian from a fairly meaty menu.
The breakfasts here are included in the hotel prices, lots of fruit and allsorts, I had a coconut rice condensed milk sort of thing in Rio. Dougie took my word for its flavour.
Anyway almost time to get Dougie up, due to the hour time difference in Cuiaba I got up to assemble the shower chair too early. The sun is now up, very bright. They have a pool here, which I shall check out soon. This is the swishest place in Cuiaba and of all the hotels we are staying in, we were lucky to get anywhere in Cuiaba.
We haven't killed each other yet, but it's been close (especially for me)

Monday, June 2, 2014


The inaugral Kirra Illuminated Light Awards (KIGA) opens this Tuesday 2nd June at 6pm. I can't attend as I'm off overseas soon and need to concentrate on getting thngs ready before I go. Kirra have produced a catalogue and one on line here. There are some really fabulous pieces. One of my favourites is Jeremy Lepisto's The Aquisition, have a look at his work and blog here.

Midnight grove (2014) Cast Glass, reclaimed Cedar, Gold leaf, Copper and LED fixture.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Fire polish ALL the things

This is a test for how sand effects the texture of the glass while firepolishing. Everything else in there is along for the ride.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Selkie bits

At the end of the week I have almost all my selkie 'bits' sculpted. Making moulds tomorrow.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Selkie sculpting

More selkie feet.

Tree panels

Tall tree panels out of the kiln.

Glass puddle

The glass I was thinning is cooled. The next slab I do, I will take the temperature up to 840 and hold it a bit longer to get more bubbles out and it could do with being a bit thinner.