Vancouver Canada designer creating whatever she wants.

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Like I Made it for Kerry’s New Living Room!

My dear friend Kerry just re-did her living room, from wonderful to sleek and stylish. Nice work K! What a delightful surprise when I arrived to find one of my carafe/vases fitting in perfect with her new colour scheme, as if I had done it one purpose. So I just had to share the pic with you…

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Damn Nagging Birds!

Once upon a time I created this monstrosity of a bird feeder, it truly was an engineering obsessive disaster. I wish I could tell you that all my creations are amazing but… well not so much. But I put it out onto the balcony off my bedroom, the one with no door (to the balcony, not the bedroom). Don’t ask me why there’s no door – it was the 60’s & the builder was doubtlessly imbibing  some of B.C.’s bud.

I had decided since I had a cat, she could have the big balcony and the birds the small one since it was unlikely they would need a door. They were very kind and didn’t hold the ugliness that held their seeds against me and would gorge with abandon. The problem was I needed a door to get out and clean up their mess as well as refill the feeder. This meant climbing over my worktable and out the window. Needless to say this got old quick, especially in the winter with gale force winds trying to suck me off the balcony.

I just realized this has developed into quite a long story, sorry. But there is a reason, which is that even though there has only been seed out there intermittently over the last 10 years those damn birds have generational memory and sit out there chirping their wee little hearts out causing much guilt for me and distraction for the cats. Normally I could tune them out especially if it was sunny and warm and there would be a kajillion things that needed doing outside and away from clay. Sadly there is to be no sun this summer and really instead of bird feeders I should be building an ark but that’s not going happen, so the birds win. I am now thinking, dreaming, and fussing about the feeder designs – again. This time I am going as simple as humanly possible, really. Ok maybe a little somethin/somethin goin’ on, like wind chimes? Do birds like wind chimes? Colour, what colours do they like… hmmmm google time!

Do you have a fav bird feeder? Share pics and stories…

Bird Feeders in the Making!

You can just see the door-less balcony in the background, so you can see how daunting that would be!


Public ( & not so public) VanCity Art

When the rabble babble on about “no fun city” or us not being a “world class” city I get twisted cause it usually comes from someone who thinks they should be able to either drink liquor 24 hours a day, anywhere they want or sell it 24 hours a day, anywhere they want. Then there is the group that thinks that the only good public art would be WalmArt. Yeah I’m sure you can guess how I feel about THEM! ugh.

Anyway

I believe the best sign a city is fun and world class is the amount of public art that is available to it’s citizens & visitors and that includes gorilla type spontaneous creative combustion art. The dialogue that it can produce is stimulating and watching people as they see it and their minds start moving instead of their thumbs, what a rush! So I collect VanCity public art and I thought I would start sharing it during those times where my work is not being particularly wordpress-worthy.

Today I was cycling around the south False Creek sea wall, which is developing into quite a nice little neighbourhood I must say. Very cool sunbathing beds that look like sculptures, native plantings & lots of room for peds & wheelies. This is the area that the world got to see as the Athlete Village during the Olympics and we see it as a money pit. Whatever, at least it is a very cool money pit that the well to do will be able to enjoy. Us too of course.

South False Creek Bird Sculpture

South False Creek Bird Sculpture

I Just gotta love this woman’s office, eh?

 

South False Creek Bird Sculpture

 

 

This next one is just so awesome on so many different levels. It was made from recycled Olympic Games materials, mostly 1,000 wheat board panels.

“Exposed to weather, soil, and the passing of time, the wheat board construction will give way to a process of gradual decomposition, its form providing fodder for new growth. Transitioning slowly from sculpture to plant nursery, the project’s bounty will be offered for transplanting throughout the future development.”       Art Base

Cardboard Bulldozer Sculpture

Cardboard Bulldozer Sculpture

 


Is It a Kiln or a Lawn Ornament?

I was delivering parcels over in East Van, along that gorgeous section of Wall St., looking towards the North Shore Mountains and the Vancouver Harbour. There was an area of heritage homes where I had to literally crawl up freaking mini-mountains but I didn’t mind (mostly) cause when I got up there WOW! Stunning. So I’m almost on my hands and knees through this garden at a 90 degree slant distracted by all the evidence that an artist obviously lived there because of all those darn artsy art-i-facts we are so well known for littered up this goat trail when I came upon a kiln, the like I have never seen before, in life or in print. Using it as an excuse to stop for a breather it did look like it could be a weird ass bird house and that may well be what it is now. I continued climbing hoping that the owner would be home so I could drill him/her. No such luck. I have been left to ponder its story. Thought I would share with you and see if we can’t dig something up about it. Yes I know I could just go back but what fun would that be when we can look at it like a treasure hunt! (And I’m not sure I could find it again.)

So pass this link onto all your potty friends and see what happens. I am also interested in theories, those are always good for a giggle.

Kiln or Garden Art?

You can see, kind of, how freaking steep this property is. Wish I could have watched them get this puppy up there. Or maybe they built it there?

Detail of Lawn Ornament/Kiln


Haiku Plates

My name is Donnae and I am addicted to writing Haiku. I feel such a release by disciplining my whirling dervish mind into choosing the exact right 5/7/5 syllables to express a thought/feeling/scene. It can take a min. (rarely), days or even months. I often do it riding my bike to work, sometimes forced to stop suddenly to scribble a line or word down so I don’t forget it.

Now I prefer square plates, love how they fit into the square cupboards all tidy like and since I needed more I decided to start producing some. In a flash of inspiration I saw my Haiku along the edge of the plates. WooHoo! It might not be a world shifting as winning the Stanley but I’m pretty proud of how they turned out. So last spring at the Maple Ridge Open Studio Tour I introduced them and they were a huge success. This was good and bad. The good because, well it is always good when public demand meets creative endeavour – the sweet spot, if you will. The bad because I had created them me. So having sold out I decided to make more but I still don’t have any plates for me. Guess I need to make more, eh?

I’d love to know what you think of them…

Haiku Plates


Distractions

Doesn’t life has a way of hip checking you out of the game, (like the little hockey reference there? Sooo Canadian, eh?) the good stuff as well as the bad.

The good is obviously the sun, summer is doing its best to burst through and the ground is gushing forth with colour and life.

Birds greeting the sun at Sandoval Lake, Peru.

I feel like these birds, face to the sun and sucking in all that glorious warmth. Ahhhh. My creativity is pulled outside to my little balcony garden and I am enchanted with all the wonderful gardens on my route. It is like I am shoring up the sights, smells and touch for my next clay days. What inspires all you creative types? The gardeners, the cooks, the decorators, the crafters – you know who you are. Share and maybe I’ll discover a new one to check out.

The bad, of course, is the postal job action of which I am a part of. Both sides have taken their positions to the court of the media and the public. It is so stressful dealing with the various fallouts, the unknown not being the least of them. I’m finding myself distracted and deleted by the fear and haven’t figured out a way of using it to fuel my creativity. Have any of you? Please share cause I could use some help on this one.

My poor abandoned work table.


I Admit It, I Hate Glazing!

I just spent 5 hours toiling with glaze – on a beautiful sunny (mostly) day instead of, well just about anything else. Helping Kerry weed would have been way more fun. At least I got to set up under the overhang so I was sort of outside and I got to chat to Kerry as she beetled around trying to make up for lost time in the garden.

Glazing is such an issue with potters, the traditionalist say that any serious potter should make their own glazes. I have resisted such blatant intimidation techniques and insist on using commercial glazes and I am so

a serious potter except when I am giggling about something. Lord I feel like I’m at an AA meeting. “My name is Donnae and I use commercial glazes” It’s just that I realized quite early on that I love to make things in my head and then in clay and that any time I spent learning to and mixing glazes would be time away from what I love.

commercial glazes

When I discovered commercial glazes I was delighted. Of course they cost the world but worth it if I didn’t have to make them. One of the problems is that there are so many choices and often I can resemble a kid in a candy store. The result is I have a fortune in a multitude of colours.

While I have the making of it taken care of I still have to get the stuff on my pieces and it is pure drudgery since it means at least 2 coats of brushing on the glaze, letting each dry before proceeding. For some reason I can’t sit to do it sitting so that is 5 hours straight on my feet on concrete. Bah!

So on my list of what I would do when I win the lottery is hire someone to do my glazing for me, right behind hiring a housekeeper. I need to remember to buy that lottery ticket.

I found an interesting post about another potter’s reaction to commercial glazes:  http://potteryclasstoday.com/http:/potteryclasstoday.com/pottery-how-to/the-cost-of-convenience-pre-mixed-glaze/