Work in Progress

This category contains 20 posts

Busy in the Studio

This afternoon in the studio I have been packing up work for transport to the All Hands exhibition being held at the Convent Gallery in Daylesford. This exhibition is an annual event for the Daylesford Region Ceramics Co-operative which¬†coincides with Artober. The opening is this Friday at 6pm and all are welcome ūüôā


I also began making some custom wholesale orders this afternoon Рrings and Christmas decorations for a local retail space in Ballarat.


And tonight I taught an adults class in the studio from 7-9pm, so it has turned into quite a busy Tuesday!


Well, time to kick back with a wine….have a great week everyone ūüôā


Ritual Object : a new sculptural work in progress…

I live on a rural property in regional Victoria, Australia, and am surrounded by trees, wildlife, an amazing creek and views of Mt Buninyong and Mt Warrenheip Рsleeping volcanoes! A few months ago, while walking around my 10 acre property I found a stone that reminded me of the shape of an axe due to its shape and that one edge was

particularly sharp. The find inspired me to think about tribal ‘objects’ and their demystification through¬†colonialism, museology and ‘collecting’ (these were issues I explored in my PhD, so this artwork is a further exploration of this theme). These images are of a work in progress… I have attached the

axe-like stone I found to a stick of eucalyptus using natural jute. Traditionally this would have been attached using reeds, bark, animal skin, etc, and secured in place using sap, honey or tree resin as a glue. I then covered most of the stone with Australian Queen Elizabeth stamps from 1953 (I will need to double check that date, but they are pre decimal currency stamps which was introduced to Australia in 1966). The stamps symbolize the hijacking of dominate cultures over tribal/ethnic cultures and their associated artefacts.

The entire form has then been ‘decoupaged’ with a layer of PVA. I may do more layers of PVA as this gives the form a hard and plastic-like appearance, thus reverberating the objectification of such artefacts.

At this stage I would like to ‘display’ the ‘axe’ on a stand or in¬†perspex box¬†heightening the cultural ‘acquisition’ statement of the artwork.

While this work is an early experiment on the theme, I am happy with how it is evolving and would like to explore making a series of works along this theme.

Pit Firing: Finally!!

Finally¬†got the pit firing underway today (Friday: 2 weeks late due to finger injury)…. the pressure is now on for installing artwork in the gallery on Monday.. but such is life!! Lots of pain killers should see me through! I think the pit firing went well. I seemed to achieve¬†enough¬†temperature for a good body of coals¬†within¬†the pit and after covering with¬†corrugated iron¬†a nice smouldering seemed to be take place. All I can do know is keep my fingers crossed, as ironic as that may seem!! Pics to come of the results tomorrow (if they’re good!!)

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Latest from the studio: Exhibition update

Slow but steady with the injured finger. So these works¬†are still “works in progress” but with doing a balance construction rig-up I can now see them beginning to take shape, at last!!… So now that I think the¬†assemblages¬†will work I can now fix them ¬†permanently. The exhibition is due to open next Monday, opening night next¬†Wednesday, installation this¬†Saturday… today is Thursday!! … hmmmmm. Still have the pit firing to do which began this whole finger injury¬†debacle, which I am planning to do tomorrow (even though the stitches are still in: have no¬†choice!). ¬†So the time line is cut very finely!! However, I do feel a bit more confidetn now that it will all fall into place… the firings have gone well, so that’s half the battle…

Will post photos of completed works, and other works in progress, as they evolve in the next two days (yikes!)…

New Textures from the Studio…

I think I have already¬†mentioned¬†my “finger accident” a couple of posts ago…. went to the docs¬†today¬†& the stitches still have to stay in for ¬†another 3-4¬†days… so as an artist preparing for an¬†exhibition¬†within a weeks time¬†this¬†is very¬†difficult!! ¬†Without harping the ¬†exhibition opens on Monday 7/11, with opening drinks 9/11, so the¬†pressure¬†is on!! However, am happy with the textures I¬†achieved¬†from my last firing & am firing another kiln load tomorrow… fingers crossed.

The main challenge now is assembling the¬†components¬†of the¬†sculptural¬†works… if you check out previous works in progress posts you will see what I mean. I thought I would have more time to do this, but lost 2 weeks with my finger,…. anywYZZZ!!!

On a brighter note (hopefully) will be doing the pit firing I did not complete last Sunday ( two Sundays ago) due to what we now call the “finger incident” this Thursday, weather¬†prevailing… so hopefully it will all work out & there will be lots of pics to come…¬†hopefully¬†successfull posts!

Sawdust Black Firing: Results

Following are images of the sawdust black firing I did yesterday, luckily I squeezed it in between rain downpours. The rain began again about 2 hours after I unloaded the pit. I am happy with the results, and hopefully the pit firing will go equally as well, as the top part of these sculptures are the pit fired components, which you can check out in the Works in Progress category.
Also loaded the kiln for a glaze firing tomorrow, also works for the exhibition, so fingers crossed.

Sawdust Black Firing: Slideshow

Today is Thursday… Last Sunday I was preparing to do a pit firing which included works for an upcoming exhibition to be held in 1 1/2 weeks. As part of my preparations I ¬†wrap some¬†works¬†in scourer wire. I was pulling apart some scourer wire, using a fair bit of strength… my gloves were on the workbench, not on my hands… when I found out just how sharp these fine wires¬†actually¬†are!! I garroted my finger and thank goodness for the bone getting in the way of¬†the¬†wire and saving my finger from being¬†completely¬†cut off!!

Within minutes I was in the car on the way to the hospital… blood pouring everywhere. Triage rushed me straight through emergency, and as it turned out I had cut an artery, hence all the gushing gore.

Because I had been in the process of doing a pit firing, I happened to have my camera around my shoulders for documentary purposes. Once I cut my finger the camera remained as grabbed my finger and would not let go! Once the doctor pried my hand free my partner commandeered the camera and began taking happy snaps.  I will spare you those photos, although the ones taken once the finger had been torniqued are not too gorey!

Anyway 6 stitches later, and quite a few pain killers, cut to today:

Garroted finger or not, the show must go on, meaning the exhibition in 1.5 weeks!! So following is a slideshow of the sawdust firing I did today. The results will not be known until tomorrow, although there was lots of smoke billowing from the pit, which is a good sign. The idea is to obtain black smoked surfaces on the bases of ¬†some of the sculptures which you can check out in the “works in progress” category… enjoy!!

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Another finished clay sculpture

Almost have enough greenware to fire the kiln: if only it would hurry up and dry!!

New Work in Progess: just needs firing & glazing!!

Completed today & am happy: A ball within a ball on a pedestal… what will I call the final artwork?? The¬†possibilities¬†are endless: I am thinking so many social/economic/political/personal/ analogies here!!! Well, will post when I figure it out I guess… after firing & glazing & more firing…

New Ideas

Some new ideas I’ve been toying with this morning… now to hit the studio and see how they translate to 3D… pics to some

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