Rusty ceramic planters

Just took these hanging ceramic planters out of the kiln this morning. It is a tin blue brush on glaze. I gave them two coats instead of three, so instead of blue bowls with brown edges, they are a rusty brown with blue splotches and look similar to the corrugated iron of my studio walls. I like them, they would look nice with grey blue succulents in them.

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Last of the waratahs

We live on a flower farm and the last of our Australian native waratahs have just finished. Today I made two dishes for friends using the white and red waratah as a decorative feature. I copy the waratahs as a botanical artist copies flowers. I need the flower in front of me and can’t work from a photo, so as they have just finished flowering I realised I needed to make these pieces quickly. They are yet to be fired or glazed, so will look quite different when fired.
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We have a native Australian flower farm. We are now in our peak Waratah season, so while they are flowering I thought to decorate some new raku clay hanging plant pots with their design. studio 013 (960x1280) I made the pots first by making pinch pots. You can see the hay bales in the background, that I share my studio with!studio 005 (960x1280)Then I paint white stoneware slip studio 019 (1280x960) Then I engrave the Waratah flower using techniques that I use when teaching botanical drawing to my students during art classes. studio 024 (960x1280) Now waiting to dry then 029 (1280x960)

Some new work which is actually old work!!

I just took some photos of the organic shaped dishes and plates that I made earlier this year, that were printed with the gum leaf Cinerea. We have many of these trees, as we also run a native cut flower business. I usually just sell these dishes at my market stall, but thought I should put them onto my etsy shop for sale as well.
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Banksia and Hakea side plates

Just fired these cute little side plates and took shots for my Etsy store. I used my Native garden as inspiration using an assortment of Banksia and a Pinwheel Hakea. The plates are made by hand using a stoneware raku clay fired to cone 10. They have a rough surface and feel like a stone but I like think they are nice.
Hakea side plateHeath BanksiaSwamp BanksiaCut leaf Banksia

end of Autumn….. nests and new plates.

Nearly all the leaves have fallen off the deciduous  trees in our yard. The Magnolia has only a few left. Walking past today I spied this cute little empty nest just attached with the most delicate of twine. Probably a little honeyeater or wrens nest from last spring.

little bird nest

There are tiny little blue strands of bailing twine in the nest from our hay bales. My mums nests at her house have pink and blue baling twine woven in!

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I also made some new plates yesterday out of Stoneware Raku clay.  I didn’t know what to do with them, so I painted on some white slip, and decorated them using sgraffito, with native Australian plants as inspiration. This one is a Hakea.

Hakea plate unfired

This is a Candlestick Banksia. The brown raku clay will fire to a creamy speckled appearance. I don’t know if the iron specks in the clay will come through the white slip? I will wait and see.

Banksia unfired plate

This is another Banksia, front on.

banksia unfired plate

Melanzane Sotto Olio

This year has been our first year where we have had a bumper crop of eggplants. Must have something to do with the warmer weather! So I have had eggplant in nearly every dish lately, but the one I wanted more than anything was Melanzane Sotto Olio that I ate in Napoli while staying there in 1996-97. My travelling companion’s Zia, gave it to us regularly for lunch with chewy Naples bread – delicious. So I contacted my friend and he found out the recipe. I hope it tastes as good as his Zia’s. When we were leaving Napoli to fly home to Australia, she gave us two bottles, and said take them home, its ok!! But we knew we couldn’t take them on the plane so had to reluctantly give them away to the pension owner that we were staying with in Rome. Photo is a bit blurry…