Saturday, October 13, 2018


So, lately I have been working non-stop on my exhibition pieces as well as trying to keep my little business afloat. Running a one woman show does take its toll and I feel a tad tired from it all. Anyway, I have taken a forced day off today to clean my house (well over-due) and to put my feet up.

Apart from feeling tired, I am mostly pleased with what I am making, it certainly hasn't been an easy road to get here, I have to say I was a little 'creatively constipated' early on and now I am in a nice groove.

Starting with a dot, a speck, a tiny detail repeated over and over, this idea ties all of this new work together. I am also trying to bring some movement to the pieces, either deliberately applying articulation or imbuing a sense of flow; aspects of nature that I am drawn to.

My making is referencing my early days, I am doing things I used to do years ago, things I would put in my scrap pile cause I just couldn't do them well enough. Not wanting to sound like I'm up-myself, but now I can make these things and make them well, experience does count for something I guess.

The photos above are just some bits and pieces of unfinished work.

Now, back to being a couch potato...

Friday, August 31, 2018


So, I have been making lots of pots that will form the base for my jewellery pieces to be shown at the JamFactory at the end of the year. These pots are slip cast porcelain that I have made markings on.  I am always looking on the ground, looking for details, tiny specks, microcosms of life under my feet. This picture was taken a long time ago, but has given me some inspiration for decorating the porcelain. I was on a morning walk, nearly home and the sunlight revealed a shimmery, silvery trail on the footpath. The trail resembles perfect links on a necklace, a jewel on a concrete path. 

Working on the pots has been so rewarding, I have allowed myself to make marks with little thought, working intuitively, feeling the work and processes rather than calculating at every turn. I am finding as I mature as a maker, the less I plan, the more the work is a genuine reflection of my experiences and wanderings. All the pots are in a friends kiln now, ready to be adorned when they come out, fingers crossed they emerge unscathed. 

See in the hedgerow
Mark of angel's feet,
Epics in each pebble
Underneath our feet.

- C. Kingsley

Sunday, May 27, 2018


Recently, I have felt like I have been giving too much of myself to help others, as a teacher, a friend, a has taken a big toll on my physical and mental health. Saying yes is probably the easiest thing to do, but saying no to someone makes me feel like I am letting them down. I have realised that I have been in essence, letting myself down, not giving myself time to nurture, to rest, to just be. So as of now, I am getting the old Sylvia back, with a few new and improved bits. 

Blogging is so 'old school', not hip and happening for the young crowd, but I remember how much I enjoyed sharing poetry, photographs of the natural world and what I'm working on, so this 'old bird' is going back to something that makes her happy, not trying to keep up with the rest of the world. 

So, I will be documenting over the next 5-6 months what I am getting up to in regards to making new work for an exhibition I'm in at the JamFactory in November. The show is called 'Neath Blue Skies, work inspired by poetry from a book of the same name. I have had this book for over 20 years, I "borrowed" it from my sister's coffee table and kind of forgot about it, I picked it up at the beginning of the year and just knew this was my muse for new work. I am excited about making new work that is inspired by poetry, nature and the human condition.

Here's a taster of a poem that I love...

Pure Joy
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea with music in its roar.
- Byron

So that's all for now. The picture above is my work bench at the beginning of the year. It's not so tidy at the moment, but that's what happens when I am in the throws of working. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016


The other day I took a drive, with a friend, to the Australian Arid Lands Botanical Gardens in Port Augusta, South Australia. It was an early start, leaving Adelaide at around 6.30am, but so worth the bleary-eyes. The sun was out and the sky was as blue as blue, as you can see from the pictures, a super Winter's day. I go a bit mad taking photos of Australian natives, I do miss living in the country sometimes. I used to live on 5 acres, with gorgeous native gardens and huge eucalyptus trees. I love how on a tree there are so many stages of growth, from the closed pods to spent flowers, mother nature does it every time, she's resilient, strong and giving. 

The pictures below are wattle, flowering gum, Hakea, paper daisies and a couple of Eremophilas. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Hi there dear reader, I hope this blog post finds you well. It's amazing I am writing another blog post, two in one week is unheard of for me, it must be the fact that I don't have a television to distract me. I quite like not having one where I am staying, I listen to music, read and have lots of the much needed catch up sleep I have been missing out on.

Today I spent the day in Auckland, I ventured over to the Art Gallery, Fingers Gallery and the Museum. My absolute favourite part of the day hands down was the 3 hours I spent in the Museum. I am drawn to the decorative arts and traditional crafts practices and needed my fix, I wasn't disappointed. This museum is filled with so much rich Maori and pacific islander artefacts its overwhelming (in a good way). I took a plethora of photos and only wish I had packed my camera today, unfortunately I only had my phone, so please excuse the quality of the images below, they are a little rough. 

This time away is proving to be the medicine I needed to inspire new work, just taking the time out and allowing my focus to be distracted by my surroundings has made it so much easier to formulate new ideas and step outside an old way of thinking. So here's some of the things that distracted me today. 


Neckpiece - Morobe, Papua New Guinea
Orchard stems, cuscus claws

Armour - Dirana Village Irian Jaya

'Civaonovono' Breast plate - Fiji
Whales tooth

Detail of breast plate above

Whales tooth breast plate - Fiji

Child's feather headdress - Papua New Guinea

Carved comb

Neckpiece - Papua New Guinea

Neckpiece - Solomon Islands

Waistband - Solomon Islands

Beaded loin cloth - Manus Island Papua New Guinea

Bilum Bag - Guap Island, Papua New Guinea

Detail from above

Bilum Bag - West Sepik Coast, Papua New Guinea

Detail from above

Ear ornaments - Solomon Islands

Neckpiece - Solomon Islands

Neckpiece - New Guinea

Leg Rattle (detail) - Hawaii

Tuluma, Fishing box - Maori Tokelau community


Detail of carving

Carved Kauri Gum


Scrimshaw, Whales Tooth

Shell Trumpet - Maori

Sunday, May 22, 2016


It certainly has been a while since I have written anything on this blog and I thought it about time that I did. I am currently in the land of the long white cloud doing something for myself, which I have to say has been a long time coming.

Why do we wait until...?

I think I have been doing that my entire life, waiting until I finish that job, until I can get my health in check, until that someone asks me out, until I've helped everyone else out, until the bloody cows come home! This year I have been trying out something new, finding the guts to just do those things I have dreamt of doing, jumping in and seeing what happens. Mind you, work still gets in the way, it's hard for it not to when you run your own business. It does become all consuming, I have let it be this way for so long that it takes a real conscious effort to turn off at the end of each day. 

I'm not sure if you are aware of this dear reader, but we are not going to be here forever. Just thought I'd mention that in case you had forgotten. I do sometimes, I get carried away with all the bullshit, the constant worry about finances, the drudgery of day to day life, when it shouldn't be drudgery at all. I'm learning to have faith in 'the someone or something helping me along in my life' that they have my back and it will all work out in the end.

So I choose to live my small life, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time if need be. With all it's shortcomings and wonderful bits, everyday is not going to smell like roses, if you think that, you're delusional, but I certainly want to find some joy and spend time doing the things that make me grin and be around the people that I love.

Today I took a trip to Waiheke Island, the photos below are from Onetangi Beach, the sun hung around for a while and on the ferry ride back it disappeared; metaphors anyone....