Sunday, June 27, 2010

Early showings...

I have some early swamp cartography pieces in a Redlands group jewellery/metal show coming up soon and also a piece selected for the Waterhouse Natural History Art prize in South Australia.

I am currently taking some time to concentrate on new work for the project. It is proving to be a difficult labour but I'm hoping for a breakthrough this week!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Growing things

Shannon is correct in saying that art like Wallum takes a long time to grow. Of course there is some that obligingly pops up like mushrooms overnight, but this is definitely not of the fungi variety. Maybe I am using the wrong fertiliser. I won't go into what makes mushrooms grow so well under commercial conditions but I'm sure you are all familiar with the substance.

I guess if these were any kind of fungi, these would be the tiny wild ones that may or may not pop up under decaying leaves and branches by their own unfathomable whim. Which leads me to suspect I have been inadvertently clever in not tidying up the rich litter layer that is my bench as it has finally produced some results.
Shannon' hands scratching back the resist to reveal beautiful leptospermum flowers drawn from photos.

These delicate little leptospermum flowers scratched into ashphaltum coated silver plate by Shannon have been sitting on my bench mocking me for months, too precious to commit to. Visitors say 'what are you going to do with those?' I mutter expletives under my breath. But now I have a much more polite answer.
I think patience is a great virtue and one that is good to have when dealing with acid. Like gloves. They were etched very slowly over days in a very weak brew of nitric acid so the detail is superb even though the etch is shallow. I'm thinking of starting the slow etch movement. I'm sure it will make my practice even more lucrative and in this age of conservation it is probably time to start dissolving precious metals alot more slowly.

So after procrastinating for ages, I cut them out, soldered posts on the back, drilled some holes and made this necklace. It is very simple. Why I couldn't do that earlier I will never understand.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wild and Secretive

Originally uploaded by shannongarson
The process of making new art takes almost as long as the process of growing a flower. This is the second generation of the leptopspermums. The surface is very intriguing as the scratchy drawing is inlaid into the surface of the form and the veil of shiny glaze raindrops overlays the form. I'm playing with the idea of the surface of a ceramic piece being so absolute. The glaze drops reflect the light drawing the surrounding environment into the form and the most satisfying interaction of all is picking up these vessels the smoothroughshinysmoothscratchy-ness.

The wallum is a wild, secretive environment, full of detail and wonder I think pieces of work that capture the wallum should try to capture this.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tips for fungi hunting.........

Tips for fungi hunting.........
Start in Autumn, after rain

Keep your knees bent and centre of gravity low (this is also a good tip for hip-hop dancing should you ever want to rap about fungi with the guys in da 'hood)
Get your "fungi eyes" on. Once you start seeing them you'll see them everywhere.
Look around the roots of trees, on rotting stumps and under ferns..fungi pop up in the strangest places.
Expect weird and unusual shapes and beautiful colours.
These fungi are all from Stradbroke Island and the process of fungi hunting became totally addictive, the variety of these wonderful organisms is fascinating. The fungi we see aboveground is often only 10% of the entire organism. Fungi have no chlorophyll and feed by producing enzymes underground that break down complex molecules found in organic matter. As they exhaust the food supply the underground mycelium move further out. The actual fungi is the fruiting body of the organism known as the sporocarp, it's purpose is to disperse the microscopic spores which get carried by the wind far and wide to produce a new web of mycelium that will erupt with a sporocarp when the conditions are right. There are so many interesting fungi facts for instance :"All fungi need existing organic matter for their food. A fungus that feeds on dead organic matter is called a saprotroph and one that feeds on living organisms is a parasite. While there are species that are always parasitic and others that are always saprotrophic there are also those which may feed on either live or dead organic matter and so change from parasitic to saprotrophic behaviour (or vice versa), depending on what food sources are available. " Read more about fungi here.