A month ago, well known story teller and historian Rob Caskie approached Fran and myself to use the Kiln to present talks. We naturally thought that this was a great idea and Rob presented his first talk on Tuesday night. The talk was on Rorkes Drift, one of the great Anglo Zulu battles and was a fantastic success. Rob’s next talk is completely different and the focus is on the great continent of Antarctica. The first quarter of the 1900’s saw great expeditions. Some successful, others not. Successful expeditions generally saw heros come home. Unsuccessful ones saw heros remain entombed in the ice. Very occationally you saw unsuccessful expeditions return home. Rob’s next talk on Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton demonstrates this very well. Scott raced Amundsen to the South Pole, Amundsen won, Scott remains there. Shackleton was caught in the ice, his ship was crushed and his story is epic. His entire crew rowed to Elephant Island afterwhich he took a small whaler and travelled to South Georgia. He returned and rescued the entire crew from Elephant Island. The trip has been recorded as a great feat of mountaineering, leadership at the highest level and the greatest exhibition of navigation skills ever. The talk is on the 17th April 2012 at the Kiln.
I am not going to go through Rob’s resume again as he is very well known. All I wish to add is that he has recently addressed the Royal Geographic Society and was flown to the continent of Antarctica to present the talk he will at the Kiln.
Future talks include the battle if Isandlwana amd other great African stories….
And now a photo or two..
Rob and Fran at the Kiln
Rob on the ice. Who on this great lump of rock would talk in shorts on the ice pack ?(except Rob C of course)
A few weeks ago University of Natal art student, Sharon Weaving, approached Fran to use the Kiln at the Karkloof Farmers Market as a venue for the examination of her work. So, for the next week the Kiln is hers and her examiners. Next Saturday we will be back in and her work will be on view along with ours.
So, before I post photographs a short blurb on Sharon….
“I have always been passionate about art and craft. Whether ceramics, beadwork or knitting I find that creating with my hands is exciting, fulfilling and therapeutic. My passion stems from my Mom’s love for all handcrafts and the enjoyment she derives from experiencing a new craft and passing on her knowledge. I am excited to hear about the activities of new craft movements currently on the go. These are worldwide initiatives motivated by like-minded artists / crafters, young and old, encouraging people to appreciate all that is handmade. I think this is wonderful as these movements promote the ‘funky’ aspects of craft, and how contemporary art and craft can be used in development, activism and therapy. I believe that art and craft are such an important part of life and should be promoted as such.
I was first introduced to ceramics by attending underglaze painting classes which later progressed to running a ‘ceramic-painting’ studio from home. My passion for ceramics continued and I decided to study a BA (Visual Art) at UKZN, followed by Honours and Masters majoring in Ceramics. I started hand-building with porcelain in my Honours year, demonstrating an exploration of texture and translucency in my work. My ideas progressed further with the piercing of the vessel surface to create shadows.
The casting of shadows continued into the body of work that I now present. I started making geometric structural forms which were dipped in paper porcelain and fired to 1200˚C. The fired structure assumed a soft, organic quality in its slumped state which I found appealing, and continued to play with this element of ‘chance outcome’. Whilst working with these forms I discovered that I wanted to achieve a greater organic quality of form and decided to make the frames myself to have more command over the final product.
Countless test pieces later I discovered the composition of material, process and clay body suitable to create my recent works. Each piece is individually crocheted, dipped into an ‘engobe’ and dried over a mould. Once dry, the pieces are fired to 1200˚C, burning away the crochet cotton , leaving a hollow, fragile, porcelain structure each of which casts its own unique delicate shadow. I am very excited to have been able to use an age-old craft such as crochet in an unconventional manner thus illustrating that there is a place for time-honoured crafts in contemporary ceramics and other art forms.“