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Principles of Good Design

Indigo Wash plate

I am so pleased to think that I may just have demonstrated principle #2 of the esteemed industrial designer Dieter Rams' 10 Principles of Good Design, namely, that Good Design Makes a Product Useful! 

I recently delivered some new ceramic pieces to Nells, setting them up for display on a lovely old table where they looked happy and quite at home... then returned a couple of days later to find one of the scrumptious dishes from the cafe poised on one of the plates! It was actually quite an ah-ha moment, seeing something that I had rolled, cut, slumped, shaped, smoothed, coloured and glazed suddenly transformed into an object of perfect usefulness, not to mention all the more aesthetically pleasing with the marrying of its complementary orange colours. My immediate reaction was to take the dish down from the counter and outside to the white-washed table and photograph it!(having asked first of course).


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Using underglaze and the right dilution (trial and error) to achieve flow, rhythm, contrasts of transparency and solidity with the overall aim (flying by the seat of my pants) of creating an image that works.


Mind you it's not about achieving perfection. Mistakes and awkwardness can lend an air of spontaneity and surprise. 


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Luckily, I think, art offers all those aspects in abundance!



A lull in the proceedings

Lull ...

a temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity. "for two days there had been a lull in the fighting" synonyms:pause, respite, interval, break, hiatus, suspension, cessation, interlude, intermission, breathing space, moratorium, lacuna


sleeping woman [after Matisse]



What a lovely word - lull! It's a perfect choice for describing how things are at the moment. I feel like sleeping ... shutting down ... pausing the proceedings. And so it might appear that not much is happening. Actually though, there's a lot going on since touching home base [temporarily]. Planning things, looking through the accumulation of drawings, revisiting ideas, reflecting, pondering.







Images from the little black travelling drawing book


Where to next ...?




Coming up ... Artists' Open House Fremantle [November 13-15] and Fremantle Arts Centre Bazaar [December 4-6] 

Doing the research

I am constantly amazed and humbled by the level of sophistication, not to mention dedication, inherent in the artisan traditions here in Bali. I know so little (I'm rather embarrassed to say) however I do know that I appreciate them very much! This is a place where it is the norm, rather than the exception, to spend one's time in making things by hand. 


indigo dyeing(before)


Recently I did some research on the use of natural dyeing in Bali (online, of course and from the comfort of my small but perfectly comfortable villa nestled in the rice fields ... nothing hard about this kind of research!) and discovered Tarum Natural Dye in Gianyar.




black dye vat


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