This tag is associated with 16 posts

Sunday Studio Visit : a miscellanous day

I’m not working on anything specific this Sunday so today’s visit is a bit more general, looking at the day to day stuff that I do in the studio.

As some readers may know I also teach classes and workshops from my studio ( I also visit schools and businesses for workshops), so today I unloaded the kiln from a firing I did a couple of days ago and reloaded it with a bisque firing, which I then fired. A bisque firing is the first firing in the ceramic process, which hardens the clay body so that is able to be glazed – it is less porous and easier to handle without breaking.

Most of the work in the kiln was students, though I did put in some terracotta beads and marbled pendants I recently made, plus the “Made by Nature” series, which was the subject of a Sunday Studio Visit post a couple of weeks ago.

I also did a bit of marketing – Facebook, Twitter & Google+ – it can be so time consuming when you are self employed!

I also have a poetry and drawing blog …. so today I wrote a poem for that and began a drawing… the drawing began its life as a ‘join the dots’ from a previous drawing I did in my journal, which is made of handmade paper. The previous drawing was created using permanent ink pens, which are kind of like ‘posh’ textas which can bleed on unsized paper. So some of the marks from the previous drawing bled through to the next page, which I then used as a starting point for todays drawing….

Apart from that it has been a gorgeous weekend here in Dunnstown with the amount of birdlife being mindblowing…. Parrots, Kookaburras, New Holland Honeyeaters, Wattle Birds, Blue Wrens (& a koala) and the family of magpies currently living on our property – two parents and three babies!! They are so amazing to watch and come up really close without worrying about us at all, which I love that they don’t see us as a danger, not even Eddy (the rescue dog) …AND so cute to see that alot of the bird life is drinking from the water feature we installed in the garden two years ago – yes, handmade by me!!


Pit Firing Workshop in Ballarat

My last Sunday Studio Visit post gave readers the heads up that I was conducting a pit firing workshop on the weekend… and it was great! Living in Australia means that I have to co-ordinate my pit firings between fire ban seasons, and living in Ballarat -cold and rainy (it is pouring as I speak)- means that scheduling a pit firing in the ‘not’ fire ban season can be risky…. I could wake up and the ground could be frozen…. well, maybe very soggy! However, the weather was perfect!! Not raining, not freezing cold, not windy….ideal! Student works had been low bisque fired in the lead up to the workshop so we were all set to go…. Saturday involved preparing the pots with seaweed, gum leaves, lemon leaves, copper wire, string, chicken wire and anything else handy; preparing the pit; loading the pit; and throwing in a match (the best bit). After a few hours of stoking corrugated iron was placed over the pit to allow for a slow overnight simmer. Sunday afternoon we explored the results – hot work!! OH&S: wear gloves!! We then cleaned and polished the works and admired the results – lots of photos and Facebook uploading!! There will be more pit firing workshops to come and you can sign up to information about upcoming events by subscribing to this blog, or I can put you on a mailing list – just contact me (link at top right hand of website). Meanwhile here are some pics of the weekend 🙂


Hello Fellow Bloggers!! Apologies for being so absent lately, it has been a hectic few months!! (and yes there is a reason besides Christmas which will be announced soon). I have been missing in action both in posts and visiting other blogs and I am hoping to get my act together soon! In the meantime I am running some school holiday workshops – via my ClayMotion business from my studio in Ballarat.

Ballarat is a wonderfully central location for people to visit from Melbourne or other Central Highlands regions – and if the kids do a morning class you have the afternoon to explore other stuff in Ballarat such as Sovereign Hill, the Gold Museum, the MADE Museum or  junk shops and cafes – or stay the weekend and explore everything!!

But in the meantime here is the information about the children’s classes I am offering this January 🙂

Feel free to share with creative kids – or kids that don’t realise they are creative as yet!!


ClayMotion classes and workshops for children are designed to encourage individual creativity, fine motor skills and tactile development, all of which are important skills to hone in our current modern fast paced technological world. Being able to relax in the environment of creativity is an important factor to maintain balance in a “results” based modern society – especially for children.

Clay Thong - image from

Clay Thong – image from


Wednesday 15th January 10-12noon $30.00 including materials and firing.

This project is a tactile project encouraging the children to ‘squelch’ their feet in the clay to make imprints for a set of clay thongs.

Children will roll out clay, imprint their feet into the soft clay, cut out the shape of their feet, and make their imprints into thongs.
The thongs will be decorated using brightly coloured slips.

Parents will be contacted when the thongs are fired and ready to pick up.


Herb Houses: Image from

Herb Houses: Image from


Wedneasday 22 january 10-12noon $30.00 including materials and firing.

This project is great for children who like to grow things – herbs, cactus or even the old fashioned onion tops!

Children will make clay houses from rolled out slabs of clay which will have no roof so that herbs or cactus can be planted into the house.

Houses will be painted with coloured slip.

Parents will be contacted when the thongs are fired and ready to pick up.


Team Building Workshop with Mars Confectionery Employees

Teambuilding programs are a great way to build upon employee communication skills, company morale and overall productivity.

CREATIVE teambuilding is an even better way to generate listening skills, empathetic skills and thinking skills.

Todays creative teambuilding workshop with Mars employees was a great example of this concept. Though small (5) , they were a group used to working with each other, being in a research and design team. Sometimes  however, such closeness can germinate negative elements such as  familiarity and complacency.  Creative teambuilding can help to overcome these workplace issues through fostering an environment of listening and co-operating. By describing and communicating an individuals vision of what a project – in this case a coffee cup – should look like, participants are encouraged to  increase their awareness of another  individuals personal preferences – this develops a number  of skills in the group participants  such as listening, empathy and  bonding. The project must be completed in a certain time frame which also focuses on time management skills within a studio environment and enables a team member to put themselves in another’s place, and developing workplace skills that include direct one-on-one discussion of aesthetic preferences.  The general group communication is in an informal relaxed environment, enabling  team members to realise their visions which helps to extend and consolidate understandings of fellow workmates, which in turn creates a more thorough understanding of workplace communications and networkings by increasing abilities to listen, and be considerate to other’s needs within the team.

Teambuilding sessions are held at the ClayMotion studio which is situated 10km from Ballarat and 100 km from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The studio sits on a peaceful 10 acre property providing a serene getaway for creative development.

Teambuilding sessions with ClayMotion can be booked online at the website or by phoning 0438382522

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Adults and Children’s Pottery Classes with ClayMotion: Term One 2013

Was you New Years Resolution to find a new hobby or to relax more or learn a new skill or get more “arty”? Enrolling in a ceramics/pottery course could be the perfect solution! And if that wasn’t your New Years Resolution, it would be fun to do anyway!

Clay is a highly tactile medium, so it is a great way to express feelings, de-stress and be creative – it also has far reaching therapeutic outcomes both psychologically and physically. Classes are available for adults and children which run with the school terms – dates and times can be found on the ClayMotion website.

Classes are suitable for beginners through to advanced, and wheelthrowing, handbuilding and sculptural techniques are taught. Outcomes include set projects and self initiated.

Student works: wheelthrown bowls

Student works: wheelthrown bowls

Student work: handbuilt vase

Student work: handbuilt vase

Student work: sculpture

Student work: sculpture

TERM ONE is only one weeks away and I have had lots of enquiries over the summer break, so don’t miss out!

BOOK ONLINE NOW to secure your place in classes or workshops.

Workshops, corporate teambuilding, mothers group sessions and family workshops are also available at the ClayMotion studios – see all the information on the website.

Children's Class

Children’s Class

Children’s Pottery Birthday Parties at ClayMotion

The latest birthday party to be celebrated at ClayMotion studios was for a 7yr old and a group of friends. The girls made ceramic treasure boxes by hollowing out a block of clay and painting them in coloured slips. Balloons, cakes and presents are all part of the fun.

If you live in the Ballarat area or surrounds this is a great alternative to McDonalds parties and other venues that offer junk food and not much else.

The kids have a wonderful time, and have something lasting they can take away with them and feel proud about.

You can check out the details about children’s parties via the ClayMotion website, as well as booking and contact information.

ClayMotion also offer adults and children’s ceramic classes, creative teambuilding workshops, professional development workshops and Mums and Bubs sessions. All details can be found on the website.

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Mums and Bubs Pottery Workshop

These mums and bubs had a great time last Monday at the ClayMotion studio… do you know any mums groups that would like to do something different? Feel free to share this with them….

ClayMotion offers two hour ceramic sessions to Mothers Groups, where mums and babies can relax in a creative environment. Mums makes a bowl, plate or cup for baby, and baby decorates with his/her handprints or footprints, creating a unique keepsake to treasure into the future.
Afternoon tea or morning tea is provided.
$25.00 per mum and baby. Maximum of 12 pairs, minimum of 6 pairs.
Price includes materials (clay, glaze, etc), kiln firing, and morning or afternoon tea.

Visit the website for details on how to book your session.

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Plate & Bowl Creating Workshop

Saturday 9th June 2-4pm $50.00 all inclusive

Participants will learn a range of handbuilding methods, including slabs, moulds and tearing, to make plates and bowls. Greenware decoration methods will then be explored, using a variety of methods, including imprinting, carving, scraffito, slip decoration and underglazing.

Cost is $50.00 per person and includes all materials and firing.

Numbers are limited, so book early!!

**Remember if you would like to give  this workshop as a gift you can purchase a gift certificate**

Visit the ClayMotion website for enrolment information and payment options.

Student Works

Great results from today’s student stoneware firing unloading.

Ceramic works include children and adult’s creations, wheelthrown and handbuilt works, functional and sculptural, underglazed and glaze – all displaying a great variety of skills, techniques and inspirations!!

Ceramic Classes – Term 2, 2012

Term 2 is fast approaching…. this term I am offering classes at my ClayMotion studio in Dunnstown, Ballarat AND Jewellery Making Workshops at the Ballarat Nth Community Centre and the Dayelsford Neighbourhood House.

Enrolment for the ClayMotion classes can be made online at the ClayMotion website.

Enrolment for the Jewellery Making Workshops MUST be made through the community centres – phone numbers are below.

Classes are filling fast, so be sure to enrol as soon as possible 🙂

ClayMotion Classes
Adults Classes
26th April—27th June, Wednesday 10am-12noon or Thursday 7-9pm
Beginners to advanced, Wheelthrowing and handbuilding, Set projects or self initiated
$150.00 per term (materials and glazing not included: these costs will vary dependent on what a student makes)

Mums Classes: Time Out Sessions
26th April—27th June, Tuesday 1pm-3pm
Beginners to advanced, Wheelthrowing and handbuilding, Set projects or self initiated
$150.00 per term (materials and glazing not included: these costs will vary dependent on what a student makes)

Childrens Classes
2nd May—20th June, Wednesday 4-5.30pm
Set projects are explored using a range of handbuilding techniques.
$90.00 per term (materials and glazing not included: these costs will vary dependent on what a student makes)

Jewellery Making Workshops

ENROLMENTS MUST BE MADE THROUGH THE CENTRES: phone numbers below. $60.00 including all materials, firing and jewellery findings.

Daylesford Neighbourhood House : 5348 3569
3rd-24th May, Thursday 10am-Noon OR 6th-27th June, Wednesday 7pm-9pm

Ballarat North Community House : 5329 1101
15th May 5th June, Tuesday 10am-Noon

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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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