Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mary MacKillop Minature Edition

This is the minature bronze that has been cast by Fundere Fine Art Foundry as an edition of bronzes to be sold by the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide.
The bronze sculpture is 33cm tall and is presented on a wooden base with the foundry's mark on the backof the wooden base.
The artist has signed the piece and the sculpture is numbered.
Information about the sculpture can be obtained by contacting Jane Juniper at Catholic Communications on 61 8 8210 6117 or email
This is a minature of the full life sized sculpture of Mary MacKillop who will now be Australia's first saint.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Description of the new Studio

Front wall of studio showing glazing racking and front window.
Side wall showing my electric kiln in the corner with pottery trolly, wheel and portable patina table.

Back wall shows the drying cabinet, my tool cabinet, the downdraft working area and the bench for working waxes and investing waxes ready for bronze casting and the kiln in the corner.
Large tall racking for sculpture and materials. Clay is stored on the bottom shelf.The yellow trolly is a lift table, which was used for the over life sized Mary MacKillop sculpture.
The view from under the pergola. The other door is my husband's workshop.

I have finally moved into my studio, painted a few surfaces and unpacked boxes of all sorts of stuff.
No wonder I could no longer fit into my old shed, it was bursting at the seams. It was clear to me that I really was a hoarder of the worst kind. I began by trying to get the 25 kg bags of feldspar, silica, Gerstley borate (yes),
dolomite, ball clays, etc, into the shelving space that I had earmarked for glazing materials and there was no way it was going to fit.I gave some quantities to the club and to a couple of interested potters and had to get rid of at least half the quantities I had as I really only do some casual potting for now as I am working as a sculpter now.

I also had to move my 400kgs of sculpture clay and stored this also on the bottom shelf along with some bags of various clays I have.
My husband connected the kiln so on one side of the studio is kitted out with a trolly of ware boards for thrown pots. with the kiln in the corner then the trolly then my throwing wheel and I still need a wedging tableand at the end of that wall is my glaze storage shelves next to the large window at the front of the studio which looks out on the garden.
The side wall closest to the tall door houses new shelving with the clay at the bottom and will house unfinished sculptures and completed sculptures, as well as equipment for printing, glass and sculpture.
The back wall has a drying cabinet(the very old kind that was used for drying clothes, before the tumble dryer),a tool cabinet, a new downdraft working space for fetting metal sculptures and a working bench I will use for waxing and investing sculptures with my welding and investing materials below the bench. (The kiln is at the end of this wall).
I need to take some photos to show you the layout.

We had a lovely Christmas day with our family all home to open presents and then having lunch cooked for us by my daughter's family, as it was their first Christmas in their new home.
Shaun invited Tanya to stay with him over Christmas holidays and Lisa had the Teakle families join us for the meal also.
The weather was lovely and sunny and not so hot, so we were able to relax for the day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mary Mackillop to be made a Saint.

It's wonderful news

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I finally have my studio.!!!

My window was finally fitted today after being promised on Friday and after waiting all day it did not come till this morning.
We were so browned off with the constant disappointment of the window not turning up ,we went ahead with sealing the floor which 2 days to cure and when it did not arrive yesterday we put on the second coat and it was hard enough to walk on today so we put some protective rubber on the floor and the window was installed.
We really need the sealer to harden before we start shifting all the gear back in so tomorrow we will begin to move in.
Apart from the time it took to complete, it looks a great space for me to work in. I need to buy some shelving and a workbench but I will get my electric kiln installed and my pottery stuff and then measure up the bench and shelving. It will be wonderful to get back into my own space as I have been working in the house and on the verandahfor the last 5 months.
The Viewing of the miniature went well, and they have had two definite orders and three more probables. About 40 people attended the Viewing and the food nibbles they served were delicious.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Just an update on things here. The studio now has a door and a lock as well but no window yet, it was going to be Friday then today so I'm hoping tomorrowthe window will be fitted.
We still want to seal the concrete floor but it will need to have two days where it can cure so we are waiting for everything to be finished and then we can go ahead and seal it AND then we can finally move everything back again.
There is going to be a viewing of the 'Minature' tomorrow afternoon at the Archbishops Residance.
They have about 30 people attending.
Erin travelled to Canberra on Monday for gymnastic Nationals Competition and was competing with team members today. Her mother was watching and sent us her scores as she did each apparatus and she did very well in uneven bars and vault and the team managed to get to the finals in vault but missed out selection by one team in unevan bars.
They compete tomorrow in vault, and they fly back tomorrow night. She has had an exciting time and has been staying with the athletes at Australian institute of Sport. My granddaughter is only 12 and I am so proud of her.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Miniature of Mary MacKillop ready for sale.

Thank goodness the hot weather is over for the moment. On Thursday, the temperature reached 43degrees c which is the hottest November day ever recorded. Usually we have nice weather with a few warm days leading up to Christmas and then the hot weather is normal in January, February and March in South Australia. To have extreme hot weather at the beginning of Summer is maybe a warning of things to come?
I am sitting at the computer writing this with the window openand cool air coming in and this is soo welcome, and there has been very light rain but only enough to wet the pavement, so I hope it will rain a little heavier soon.
I left for Melbourne very early on Tuesday and was picked up by Sean and taken to Fundere Foundry where they are casting the miniatures of Mary Mac to be sold as an edition.
There were a few minor things to be corrected, then we coloured the bronzes as the original had been coloured, although the colouring is very very subtle. Three artist proofs have been produced and stamped accordingly, one for the church to have as a piece for buyers to see, the second is mine and the third one is for the foundry to use as check against future casts so that they have a standard piece to go by. They also had the base boards stained ready for the bronzes.
The next dayI was able to see the Ricky Swallow exhibition at Federation Square which was wonderful to actually see the pieces in person. I then caught a tram out to the foundry and we waxed the pieces and let them dry and finally boxed them up for me to take the two sculptures back to Adelaide.
Each sculpture weighs 10 kg so to handle the transportation we boxed the two together and I had that as my luggage and my hand luggage included a bronze Seated dancer that the foundry also cast for me which weighed 7kg, so I was heavily weighed down for my return flight home.
The meeting with the church included a visit by the Archbiship, who was pleased with the minature.
There will be a viewing of the minature sculpture on Wednesday 2nd December 2009 for interested buyers. Please contact Jane Juniper at Catholic Communications on 08 8210 8117 or email

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The new floor to the studio was finished on Tuesday and it looks good. I really felt for the 4 men cementing as the temperature has been HOT . There were three Italians over 60 and a young labourer to help them. It was stinking hot but they lugged barrow loads of concrete from the front drive to the back and had the job finially finished by 1.oopm and they were then off to set up the next job for the next day up in the Adelaide hills.

I was amazed at their stamina and their good humour on such a hot day.

The weather here has been 39c and over and it is expected to last until Monday when it will return back to the mid 20'sc. The studio looks great with the new floor in but we will not see a resumption of the internal walls till late next week, so I am again disappointed at the delays.

I will be going over to Melbourne on Tuesday and Wednesday to the foundry to finish the patina on the minature artist proofs and will bring them back to Adelaide with me.

There has been orders for 2 so far and a third waiting to see the the finished piece.

It's good to see a few orders come in.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Photos at last.

Looking through the interior with the back wall and roof built.
View down the side of the house with the cladding
partly finished.
Interior of the new studio.

Looking through John's workshop and through my studio to the back garden of the back neighbour.

Roof being built.
View from the back of the house with the studio being built up to the new pergola.

Something changed with the way I used to make my photos ready to put on the blog and it has taken me some time to get my head around how to reduce the photo sizing for blogging. I am a hopeless person withcomputer technology, so it really throws me when they update software and I can no longer use the simple tricks that I have been shown. It makes my blood boil after trying for hours to upload photos, only to fail and not be able use the photos to illustrate my blog.Well here I go again.after trying last night for an hour to post these photos.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New studio slowly getting built.

I am slowly seeing my new studio come to life . The builders will finish the outside cladding tomorrow. We need to get the electrical wiring in and the concrete floor down as well. We have been waiting for someone to turn up since last Friday and finally someone came this afternoon and took measurements and will ring back a quote tomorrow, but said they were busy till next weekand and couldn't fit it into their work schedule till then, so either way I am left with my studio partly built.
Once the electrical and concrete work is finished the builders will come back and fit out the interior walls and someone will make the doors and window .
We will also need to have the paving relaid around the outside of the walls and we want to add a watertank as well so it will take a while before all these jobs are done.
On another note, I rang the foundry and they will be ready in 2 weeks for me to fly to Melbourne, to finish the artist proofs of Mary Mackillop minature, ready to take back to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church are producing an Edition of bronze minatures of Mary MacKillop.
I also finished another bronze for a client in Queensland and they received it this week and were very happy with it.
I also received an invitation to exhibit with Artistic License Gallery next July so I will need to get some new work on the go.
Cheers for now, I will try and post some photos with thisblog although I didn't get to post the last lot of photos.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Still waiting

Still waiting , very impatiently for my studio to begin. With the wild windy wet weather we have had this week, it has been hard to work outdoors even with the new pergola.
I have been finishing a sculpture and was looking for my chemicals for patination and had forgotten just exactly where I had packed them and to be out in the wind whilst I heated up the bronze to apply the patinas made it hard work. I am feeling quite annoyed that it has taken this long to have it built.I seem to have stuff littered all over the place trying to fond a nook that is wind protected.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thanks Doug

Thanks Doug for the lovely bowl. I finally called round to Ang's place on Monday and she gave me your bowl.
So great to actually hold someones pot from another country and she showed me the pieces she made at your place , including the Cardew slumped platter.I also got to hold some mugs from Ron Philbeck so it was wonderful to hear how she went, including seeing Lincoln Kirby Bell.
Thanks so much for showing her things that she can show us in Australia.
I hurridly took some photos of the Minatures before I gave them to the foundry to mould but they are rather dark and hard to see details.
My husband also found a piece on Mary MacKillop made for canadian Tv and there were a couple of shots of the sculpture beside the Cathedral, which was interesting to see, although they did not name me as the sculptor.

Friday, October 2, 2009

latest news, a new agreement signed today.

I have been keeping my latest work under wraps until I signed the agreement today.
I have been working on a minature of of the Mary MacKillop sculpturein wax and completed it yesterday and signed an agreement with the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide for them to produce an edition of minature bronzes for collectors to buy.
The work has been done over a period of 3 months whilst getting an agreement written to licence the Catholic church to reproduce the the original sculpture as an edition of minature bronzes.
I have now finished the waxes, working the last week on the details through a magnifying lamp.The foundry picked up the waxes and are transporting them back to the foundry where they will take a month to make the moulds and make an artist proof in bronze which will then be signed off by myself before they begin production of the minature bronze for collectors and anyone interested in owning a minature in bronze of Blessed Mary MacKillop.
We hope people will be interested in owning this sculpture as it will be used as a fundraiser for the Adelaide Archdiocese.
We are also hoping that Mary MacKillop will be made Australia's first Saint on the coming year. She is such an extraordinary early pioneer in the late 1800s, and many Australians are waiting for her to be made a saint.

Meanwhile, I have been impatiently waiting for my new studio to be built but as the land available does not have a single right angle to each corner, the builders are having to get everything custom ordered,so I will still need to wait another week before the studio has all the bits made ready for building.

My daughter and her family are now feeling happy to be in their new home. It takes 15 minutes to drive from our house to their's and we have been going every day to see what they have unpacked and put in order.
Young Erin travelled to Port Pirie for an invitational Gymnastic competition about 3 hours away by car last weekend. She placed 2nd overall in individual competition and placed first on the uneven bars adding a 1 and half giant circle to her routine and placed 2nd in vault beam and floor in level 5 A.She was the only gymnast to attempt a giant circle amongst the level 5 and 6 competators and had the spectators very quiet whilst she performed her routine on the uneven bars.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

After heavy rain yesterday, the site of my new studio.

Working on the sculpture of resting dancer

Erin and
team at
Championships Gymnastics Level 5

The last week's news

Havn't been blogging lately as there is not much news about the new studio. The builders took measurements last Monday, so now we are waiting on the steel to be measured and powder coated.
This week has brought awful weather to work in but lots of good rain and windy conditions.
I went to my son's place a couple of times to use his mig welder in his shed and cleaned up a gas blow in the bronze on top of the sculptures head. I also sat out under the new pergola to do some metal work on this bronze I have a commission for . I set up a table and stool and worked for an afternoon on it but it still needs some work with the air grinder and that is tucked away at the back of the loads of stuff from my shed.

Good news is that my daughter, Lisa and her family have just received the keys to their newly built home, so yesterday Lisa and I began packing up most of the kitchen and managed 2 trips to the new house with a trailer load of boxes and managed to unpack most of it.

Shaun has flown back to New Guinea for work, he says for a rest, as he helped quite a bit with Lisa's fences and helped us pull down the rest of the shed and jackhammer the concrete floors and helped us get the scrap steel off the property.
We even went to the movies twice with him which was a nice change.

Erin was in the State Championships for Level 5 National stream Gymnastics, and although it took an hour to get over the other side of the city and over 5 hours at the competition, Erin received top placing in the State for Vault and came 4th in Uneven Bars and their club placed 1st in teams and Erin placed 6th overall in individual scores.
She has a competition this weekend at Port Pirie, and in November will go with teammates from her club to compete in the Nationals at Canberra. I would love to go this weekend to watch her, but have work to finish to give to the foundry as they are over here next week and are picking up new wax peices for casting back in Melbourne.

I am longing to get my new studio up and running, as I am trying to work in the family room with a towel on the floor to catch the fallen wax, not always sucessfully.
will post images tonight from this post.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Such a mess

White Strilitzia almst cut down, It was leaning on the back fence

Part demolition of my shed to put up new pergola.

Pergola completed and sheds demolished with concrete partly removed.

View of shed demolished in pile

View of cleared area that will be my new Sculpture studio, can't wait to get this mess into order again

Monday the boys got to work demolishing the rest of the sheds and jackhammered the concrete so there was clear space to measure up the new studio for me and a garden shed come workshop for my husband. The place is quite a mess with stuff from the sheds everywhere under tarps and under available cover.

They measured up the available land today and we will have drawings back in a couple of days. It will yake about a month still before it is ready to move back in.

I caught up briefly with Angela on Sunday as both our family and hers were celebrating a Father's day breakfast in the local Italian Cafe. I am on my way to the TTG Potters Club today so I may catch up with Ang there.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gas Kiln Bricks go to a new home

Belinda came today and removed all the bricks from my gas kiln They will be lovingly reshaped into a permanent pit firing kiln and also a Pizza Wood oven.
Thanks Belinda for the box of goodies from your garden.
The pergola is finished but now the rest of the shed has to be pulled down on Monday to be measured up for the new studio, plus all the cement and floor bricks that i have swapped pots for in exchange are to be pulled up and removed by Shaun and Jai on Monday.
Happy Father's day to all dads tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Big Mess

Pergola mess

Back yard mess

White tree strilitzia needs to be moved.

Not a good photo of glass from David's class.

With David Reekie and my glass from the last firing.

Electric kiln
Gas kiln empty

back of shed with gas flue

Front of shed

Pergola with stuff from shed.

I'm not sure I should have started this!

I have been working on clearing out my studio/shed for the last three weeks now and I have ended up with 3 pallets stacked full of gear covered with a tarp and loads of other stuff under the pergola. The garden has been shifted back against the a metre from the fence so a pillar can be put in to hold up the lawn side of the back yard. Actually 2 pillars went in amid the downpours of rain today.
The builder is going to build the new pergola against the back of the house whilst we clear the two sheds and pull all the concrete and brick floor up, as the back of our block isn't squareand we are building up against the boundary and it is a job to get the angle correct whilst the sheds are standing.
We need to pull down the old gas kiln and move the electric kiln out of the sheds but the rain hasn't stopped for a few days,and we need some help with shifting the heavy gear.
I hate the mess the yard is in but I will have to be patient until my new studio can be built so I can regain my space again.
Hope Ang is having a great time in the UK.
David Reekie will have left to go back to the UK also.
Well that's all for this post except to say I unloaded a whole kiln full of bisqued pots that had been stored in the gas kiln and I found some were dated 1989, and also found a mother and baby possum living in the kiln chimney having made a sleeping area on the damper bricks.I found them when I tried to pull out the damper and found it heavy to shift.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New studio to be built and the old one removed

I haven't had a chance to take some photos of the glass that came out of the kiln but i have done some basic cleaning of the pieces. The second piece isn't exactly how I planned it to look as the head was supposed to be milky white but the colour has gone into the head and I should find out on Sunday as the class group are having a BBQ and I should see what every one else has done.
We were invited to The Lord Mayors evening last night and I caught up with a few old lecturers that I had back in the 70' and 80' so it ended up being a pleasant evening.
My husband John and I went out to dinner seeing we were dressed up.
I have been in the garden today as we have to get sone tree stumps grubbed out ready to have a pergola built as well as pulling down the shed which has been my workshop since the 80's and now needs to be redesigned to be able to do some taller sculpture. It used to be my pottery and I won't be throwing out all my potting gear but it needs a major overhaul and with the pergola also being built there is a lot of cleaning up to do as well as sorting out the old shed.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

David Reekie's Masterclass in Cast Glass

10 artists spent 4 days with David Reekie learning his particular techniques of casting glass and his techniques for colouring and firing the work.
We had a great time and David was a great tutor. We worked continuously and ended up with a piece of work out of the kiln Saturday, and our second peice will be ready to take out of the kiln on Friday.
We had two glass artists from Canberra, Kirsty Rea and Maggie Hickey, and the rest of us from South Australia, including Tim Shaw and Kris Carter.
we also had some wine tastings from Ian Charlton's vinyard and lunch provided for us on Saturday and Sunday and a dinner Saturday night in town after class.
We also attended Gabriella Bissetto's group exhibition opening at Flinders University City Gallery called "Not Absolutely".in Adelaide.
Gabriella is the head of the Glass Department at UNISA and with the assistance of Helpmann and Bullseye Glass we were treated to a great Master-class workshop.
Shaun also arrived home from Turkey, Friday morning, so we met up with him after I came home from the Exhibition.
Our granddaughter was also competing at the Invitational Gymnastics on Saturday so I missed out seeing her come 3rd overall in Level 5 National stream Gymnastics. Her team came 1st in the team event as well.
And to top off a busy weekend, we watched a couple of hours of live TV on Tour de France so all in all it was a very exhausting 4 days.
It was great to have Shaun back home after his grand adventure but he is leaving for PNG tomorrow, to go back to work.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Postcards 5.30pm 2 August, tv channel 9

I haven't been blogging of late.
Our presentation of our Expression of Inrerest workshop went very well and although our presentation did not win the adjudicaters vote, the other groups voted our design the one they would most likely to see placed in the park.
Shaun is at the end of his journey as he has to be back in New Guinea for work next week.He left Lucas and the car in Bangladesh and flew back to Turkey for a few day's holiday before flying home on 24th July to Adelaide.
I will be attending David Reekie's Masterclass in Glass casting for 4 days, Thursday to Sunday.
It will be a great workshop and I went into Uni SA to meet him last week.
We also went to the club's quiz night and our table managed to get the highest score although I was hardly a help, but it was an enjoyable evening.
I am going to go on a Mary Mackillop Tour early next month to see some of the places she lived in Adelaide and also Mary's feast day is on the 8th August and there will be a mass said in the cathedral that I will be going to also.
Postcards on Channel 9 TV Sunday 2nd August, will feature the sculpture of Mary Mackillop. at 5.30 pm.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Working at the computer

I have been busy with the workshop I am involved with and it is chewing up all my time, as I come to grips with it.I have also sent in an Expression of Interest, for a memorial to the Forgotten Australians. The entries closed yesterday so I will wait and see if they select my EOI to go further with a design.
We have also been in contact via skype with Shaun. They are in Bangladesh at Dakor, trying to get a travel visa to go through Burma and on to Singapore. They are being helped by a well connected family to try to get their visas. They were also waiting for a bracket for Lucas' car .I have to finish my model for the workshop so I had better finish this blog and get back to work.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shaun the Adventurer,read the blog

This is a painting I did of Shaun, maybe 10 years ago.

Shaun, a photo of him this year. He usually works in Papua New Guinea for a month and then back home in Adelaide for a month, but he and his friend Lucas from Switzerland are trying to drive his friend's old Volvo car from Switzerland to Singapore and then ship it to Australia and Lucas will then attempt to travel around Australian coastline. Shaun has leave from work till the end of July, so he has to return to work and leave Lucas to finish the journey.
They left Switzerland late March and made their way down to Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal, India and tried to get through to Burma but can't get a visa so they are in India at the moment, and are trying to get to Bangladesh . The reports of their journey are posted on Lucas's blog and make enjoyable reading as well as their photos. Follow them on
We make contact with them when they can get on the internet, and they have had some wonderful experiences that are worth reading, and have managed to see local life while they are travelling and have made many friends.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mother and Child

Sleeping Baby


Erin Reading