Mixed Media

This category contains 25 posts

Eco Dyeing Experiments

I haven’t posted anything on the blog for ages and ages – mostly because of the business I began two years ago with my partner …. yes we have just had our 2nd birthday! The business is called ClayMotion, and we run art and craft classes and sell art supplies. I teach pottery, mosaics, acrylic pouring, drawing, and eco dyeing, so as you can imagine it is pretty hectic.

I do, however, want to try to dedicate some time to revitalising this blog for my own artwork and hope to post at least once a week …. so I will begin with Eco Dyeing.

I live on 10 acres in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia and have lots of trees and flowers on the property, and always have some sort of gorgeous foliage at my fingertips …. so I decided to try some eco dyeing, something I had been reading alot about, and watching YouTube videos, for quite some time – it was on the gunna list.

So, I have completed a few experiments now with some gorgeous results, and have a few videos up on my You Tube channel – something else I am going to be trying to pay more attention to moving forward!

A video is below the following photo gallery of the most recent workshop I have taught. You can also see more videos on the Eco Dyeing Playlist I have created which I will continue adding videos to as I do more experiments – well play, actually!

Scroll down, watch and enjoy – and I will see you next week 🙂


Sunday Studio Visit – exploring new jewellery making techniques

Readers may know I have been a bit absent from this blog lately, as per my last BLOG POST, so I haven’t offered a Sunday studio visit for a while.

Readers may also know that I love sustainability, recycling and upcycling, as illustrated by lots of past jewellery POSTS, and of course the PRESERVING frenzy I go into during the growing season! So with the recent giant iceberg break away from the ice shelf in Antarctica, and all the other crazy occurrences in the world at the moment, my mind has been drawn toward new ways of using synthetic products our society has created and can’t be recycled – such as CDs which are now largely obsolete!

I don’t know about you but I have hundreds of CDs…. from kids games, to movies to data storage, and I have never thrown them out because i just couldn’t bring myself to adding to the city dump!!

So, after a bit of research and refinement I have made a few jewellery pieces using cut up CDs with the addition – in some – of acrylic paints.

I will be making more of these pendants soon as I have heaps of CDs and enjoy the process, so the next time I do some making I will take some process shots for a tutorial.

In the meantime I have actually listed my first piece in my ETSY shop! Happy weekend and see you next time 🙂

DeeDeeDeesigns white handmade necklace

Sunday Studio Visit – new sculpture

Today in the studio I am creating a new sculpture. It’s been a while since I created new sculpture – not sure why, it seems so many other things get in the way!

So why am I creating a new sculpture – some motivation, I guess!! Recently I was invited to create a work for a micro exhibition for the Lorne Sculpture Biennale in response to the bushfires that occurred on Christmas Day in the Wye River area. The brief was positivity and regeneration.

I was really pleased to be asked, as only a month before I had experienced a large scale bushfire near my home where some close friends had been affected, but thankfully had kept their house and business, though unfortunately many other homes were lost! And three years ago the mount I live at the base of had been on fire. So, in a way, making a sculpture for the Wye River bushfire also allowed me to communicate the emotions I had felt in response to the other two fires.

Photo: Dawn Whitehand

Mount Warrenheip fire 2013 Photo: Dawn Whitehand – View from my backyard

Photo : Dawn Whitehand Scotsburn Bushfires 2015

Photo : Dawn Whitehand Scotsburn Bushfires 2015

So with these thoughts in my head as a starting point I started out in the studio with a pre conceived concept, but – of course – ended up with something completely different.

Now, this above thought is not be taken lightly, and I am intending to write a post about this in the future Why was I able to change my concept/design on the run? I believe the arts cultivates dynamic thinking which can drive innovation and be flexible upon need…. this is why STEM needs to be STEAM in our education system (*see below).

But back to my sculpture… I am not going to post a completed picture of the work, that will come at the opening or after, however, I will post some progress pics from the studio today …. cheers 🙂

*STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
*STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS, Mathematics


Sunday Studio Visit – celebrating sales

It has been ten days since my last post, and I have been unable to write Sunday Studio Visits – sorry about that! I promise to get back into routine…

Sundays have been a bit problematic for me recently as I have been travelling to Melbourne most Sundays over the past few weeks as my mum has been sick, had surgery, was in hospital, and all that that involves. She is out of hospital now and recovering at home, so hopefully life will become less stressful & hectic!

Today’s Sunday studio visit, though, is not in the studio, as I did still go to Melbourne to visit my mum – but I also wanted to visit the Victorian Contemporary Art Societies Brooch Exhibition, as I had three brooches in the show. The exhibition travelled over two locations: Toorak & Fitzroy. I couldn’t get to the Toorak opening, due to the above issues, so went to the Fitzroy opening.


Art Brooches : Upcycled materials, including buttons, guitar strings, seed beads, beads and jewellery wire


An annual exhibition, this year the show had over 200 art brooches including works from the USA and Belgium! The works were displayed in wall mounted perspex boxes and looked great.

The openings were also an opportunity for visitors to “try and buy”, a great idea. Upon arriving at the Fitzroy opening I was pleasantly surprised with two of my brooches having being sold! Sold brooches are still on ‘show’, though, through the substitution of images – another great idea!

The Art Brooch Show is an annual event held by the group and this is the first time I have entered, so was chuffed to make sales.

To reward myself there was a little retail therapy – who can go past a 50% off sale in Brunswick Street – a couple of wines at Naked Satan, a bar in Brunswick Street, and a yummy Vietnamese meal for dinner: there goes the earnings from the brooch sales! Oh well, easy come, easy go…

You can check out more of the brooches in the show on the Victorian Contemporary Art Societies website (I’m numbers 228, 229, 230).


Check in again next Sunday for another studio visit – or visit before that for some other interesting art stuff!

Birds, Beasts & Blossoms – My Latest Group Exhibition in Ballarat

Birds Beasts and Blossoms: Group Exhibition at Backspace Gallery, Ballarat

Birds Beasts & Blossoms called for entries that responded to the title – birds, beasts an blossoms – whether real or imaginary…. and the entries certainly addressed the theme robustly!

The group exhibition included approximately sixteen visual artists who’s artworks ranged from realist watercolor to underwater macro photography to sculpture to abstract media works – the range of interpretation was fantastic!

My interpretation translated into some handmade paper pieces with flower inclusions with mixed media additions such as feathers and embroidery. ideally I would have liked my works to be framed to highlight their true potential – but, what artist can afford framing!!?? Yikes…. I try to rely on the art buyers imagination – good idea?? who knows!!

The exhibition finished last weekend – but I have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to post it on the blog till now. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter or Google plus you would have heard about it – but my blog was neglected :-((

However, without further ado here are some pics of the opening which was jam packed and wonderful!!

Exhibition Opening: Human Gridlock – New Solo Exhibition

Opening of Human Gridlock – New Solo Exhibition in Ballarat

It was a chilly day for the launch of my solo exhibition, Human Gridlock, at Mt Blowhard, on the outskirts of Ballarat…. but thanks to those that braved the conditions, rugged up, and enjoyed some wine and cheese with myself and other art die-hards!!

The exhibition is being held in the Ballarat City Council Public Art Space ContainArt – a council initiative featuring both local and non local artists in a converted container which tours the surrounds of the Central Highlands district in Victoria – a mobile gallery delivering art to people who may not usually have access to it – either because they don’t frequent formal galleries or due to where they live, IE rural areas.

This is a great concept because it brings art TO the people, rather than people having to go TO the art!

The concept gallery was launched back in March with a group show, and has been touring solo shows since, with great success.

My exhibition remains in Blowhard until the 13th August and then tours to Napoleans until 26th September.

The exhibition features hand built ceramic spheres and mixed media collages representing memories and associated attachments which can shape our everyday lives – following is the Artist Statement which accompanies the exhibition:

“Human Gridlock explores the complex relationship between humans and their immediate surroundings, including the natural landscape, domestic environments and the manufactured backgrounds of our lives. Our understandings of these environments are often defined by memories which subliminally shape our dreams and aspirations.

By juxtaposing shapes, surfaces and textures visual associations are triggered in the viewer – past and present – prompting a reassessment of the many and layered connections to the often fleeting, yet momentarily important, events that shape our earthly existence.  The vast array of fragmented memories conjured by this visual composition offers an alternative narrative to the everyday, challenging the viewer to reconsider their priorities of ‘being’ in our modern transient world.”

Following are some images of the opening and the show – all artworks are for sale, and if you like what you see click on individual images for prices. If you would like to enquire  further (including custom sculpture requirements) send me a message – easy!

New Solo Exhibition : Human Gridlock

New Solo Exhibition In Ballarat by Dawn Whitehand

Dawn Whitehand InvitationIf you are in or around the Ballarat or Melbourne area this weekend be adventurous & rug up to join me for the opening of my solo exhibition – Human Gridlock – this Saturday afternoon 26th July between 2-4pm. The exhibition is being held in ContainArt, and begins in Blowhard running till Mid August when it will then travel to Napoleons.

The exhibition features ceramic and mixed media installations, which are still being constructed as we speak!! Talk about cutting it fine…

Check out the invite or join the Facebook event page here:

The Facebook event page also features sneak peeks of works in progress for the exhibition and other updates.

For more information about the ContainArt project check out an earlier blog post I published about the launch of the project 🙂

Meanwhile here is the Artist Statement for the exhibition followed by some ‘work in progress’ pics – hope to see you there 🙂

ContainArt: Ballarat’s Newest Mobile Gallery

ContainArt inviteThe latest public art initiative to emerge from Ballarat City Council is ContainArt, a mobile gallery that will house changing exhibitions and tour around Ballarat and the surrounds bringing art to people who may not usually have access to it – either because they don’t frequent formal galleries or due to where they live, IE rural areas.

This is a great idea because it brings art TO the people, rather than people having to go TO the art! This was proven correct this afternoon as, while taking the photos for this post, I witnessed many people stopping, looking, walking around the container, pointing and talking to whomever they were with.

I was lucky enough to be selected as an exhibiting artist in ContainArt’s inaugural show, and yesterday was install day. There are also five other artists exhibiting, including my (new) hubby Strobe – he took the photo of his art piece while we were on our three day honeymoon – the mini-moon!.

The gallery itself is an old shipping container fitted out on the inside with display boxes that face outward and solar electricity for lighting. The display boxes are quite large providing artists with lots of scope to exhibit multiple pieces or just one large piece – which is what I did!

My artwork is a mixed media piece using found objects, both organic and manufactured, and ceramic shards. Entitled Scattered Urban Memories, it is the largest work I have ever made (approx 1 x 2 metres), and therefore was challenging yet satisfying.

Yay.... a passer by is looking at my artwork!!

Yay…. a passer by is looking at my artwork!!

I spend lots of time collecting things from heavy clunky railway studs through to light delicate feathers – and both of these objects found their way into the work along with many others.

While making the work during the past week I did post a couple of sneak peeks on Facebook and Twitter– following me on these networks is a great way to stay updated on the daily going ons of my art making, sometimes crazy, world.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

The other artworks in the show include painting, ceramic sculpture, foam sculpture, recycled works and photography – this mix of materials and perspectives combine to produce an interesting and fun show.

The show is currently at Lake Wendouree until the 18th March, then will move to MADE (Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka) where the official launch of ContainArt will take place on the 21st March. The exhibition will remain at MADE until the 3rd April… and then it will be a new round of artists at a set of destinations!

It was difficult taking photos of the exhibit due to reflection factors, however I’m sure you get the gist. So, without further ado… here is a slideshow of images from the exhibition… enjoy 🙂

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All Images © Dawn Whitehand

New Exhibition: Sculptural Handmade Paper

Some of you may know that recently I have been making handmade paper and experimenting with adding lots of different inclusions to the basic paper pulp. I have been really happy with the results I’ve been achieving, and have had good responses from people to whom I have shown the completed papers. So when, a few months ago, an invitation for Expressions of Interest was put out for a local public art gallery where I live I submitted a proposal based on my handmade papers. The exhibition space is made up of several wall mounted perspex boxes, which I thought perfect to display the papers.

The gallery is in a laneway in Ballarat, and is part of council’s public art program. The laneway walls are fitted with the boxes which are locked and lit for 24/7 display – a great way to enliven otherwise dank laneways.

I was lucky enough to be successful in my proposal, and the exhibition was installed and opened on 7th November. This being a reasonably new medium for me I was really happy with the way the exhibition looked, and even sold a work on opening night! Hopefully that is an omen for the remainder of the exhibition.

Textured Landscape: Eucalyptus Pulp and Jute

SOLD – Textured Landscape: Eucalyptus Pulp and Jute

Even though this is a new medium it does tie in with the underlying environmental and organic themes of most of my work – so I am excited to be exploring a new way to communicate these ideas to a potentially wider audience.

The photos for this post were difficult to take given the narrowness of the laneway and the reflective surface of the perspex. So when the works are uninstalled – in six weeks – time, I will rephotograph the works when the perspex is removed, and put them in a new blog post.

So without further ado, here are some images of the installation of the show and the finished exhibition 🙂

Evolving: Mixed Media on Canvas

This painting is being entered into the Art Is… Gallery in Geelong 12 x 12 canvas exhibition, which opens this Friday 6th September.

Entitled Evolving it is a mixed media piece built up with string, kitchen plastic wrap, onion bag netting and wood, finished with several layers of acrylic paint.

I am really happy with the built up tones in this painting and really enjoyed making this piece, so plan to make more art using this method.

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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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