The kids and I were pottering in the garden, when one of our lovely neighbours, popped over to let us know that there was a sea turtle on the beach! My future marine biologist children and I dropped our gardening tools and hurried down to the beach!
About 500m along, we could see the tracks in the sand, leading up to the sickly turtle.
The sea was rather rough that day and the turtle looked exhausted. We knew not to touch it, as turtle can carry diseases, but to protect it from dogs, walkers and quad bike riders we created a visual barrier around it using driftwood. My daughter found a bucket lid, which she used to try and get some water onto its drying our shell.
I phoned the Department of Conservation hot line 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) who advised us to keep watch over it and to continue to protect it from danger. The tide was on its way in, so we hoped it would return to the sea when the water came.
DOC rangers did arrive later that day and took the turtle to Massey University where specialist veterinarians assessed the turtle. They named her Waiinu. We were told that she had pneumonia and unfortunately died the following day.
Bringing the neighbouring communities together was the goal for the Waitotara Community Market. A group of loyal locals organised the event, hosting an array of art and craft stall holders within the hall and disused Plunket building. The group hope to secure the Plunket building for community use.
I was able to utilise the St Marks church, creating an exhibition of my ceramics and photography. The church, built in 1890, is a stunning example of the influential New Zealand architect, Frederick de Jersey Clere.
The church provided a peaceful backdrop to my artwork and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be involved with such an amazing group of woman. I wish them well in their venture to create a local hub in Waitotara.
Living by the sea you cant help but become connected to the moana ocean, and when you walk it almost daily its disheartening to see the array of plastic waste that continuously get washed in with each tide change. Some people just don’t see the waste. Their eyes glaze over the brightly coloured pieces of trash tangled up with the driftwood and seaweed. But once you open your eyes, and divert your footsteps in the sand, to fetch a piece of plastic from the rubble you wont walk past another ever again.
And that change in behaviour is what I hope to create by creating a wire whales tail sculpture, commissioned by the South Taranaki Creative Community Scheme.
Utilising an old concrete water tank, I set up my potters wheel and shelves and got to work, creating as many cups and bowls my clay supply could produce. With the music cranking and the kids at school, I was in my element.
Once made, I leave the pieces to dry over night, then cut (tidy) the bottoms of each piece, add any names using stamps and then put on my potters mark of LL.
After about a week or two of drying they are ready for a bisque fire to 1140 degrees C.
Once cooled, they are ready for glazing. The bottom (base) of the piece needs to be free of glaze otherwise once fired it would stick to the shelf. I like to coat the bottom with melted wax to ensure a clean line and a glaze free base.
Now the make or break moment. I’ve stuffed up a lot of work by getting carried away with glazing, but I’m often on the search for some crazy out-there results. I have the luxury of having my own kiln, which enables me to experiment. I would not want to create a mess or blow out a shelf in a communal kiln, damaging the work of others.
This is the retro Tea Dust glaze. Currently for sale at Honest Kitchen on Ridgway Street and in Whanganui Fine Arts Gallery on Taupo Quay in Whanganui.
In need of a work space I started the dreaded google search for options and found Lumberland. Lumberland are a building supply company in Palmerston North who constructed two sheds for me made from marine ply. The sheds are under 10m2 so I didn’t need a permit for them. Super easy. That’s is until they were delivered. D Day. The first time I walked up our tree lined driveway I fell in love with our house. But now the pohutukawa trees carry scars of the dreaded delivery day. To Lumberland’s credit the sheds now sit contently in our back yard, however the driveway is in need of repair! Nevermind, I now have a studio for all my creations! Bring on summer and all the holiday makers!