Archive for Guest artist

‘Homesick’ – The Blue and White Porcelain Exhibition by Huang Fei

​I had the great pleasure of meeting Huang Fei whilst in Jingdezhen during September and October 2015.  Huang Fei taught a group of us Aussie girls the art of cobalt painting, how to hold a brush and the freedom with painting on porcelain.  He was also gracious enough to invite us to his home and share his work and stories with us.  I’ll never forget the trip on the way where we had been dropped off by the taxi about 1 km short of our destination so he came to pick me up on his motorbike and on the way back, with Maggie walking swiftly behind, he taught me how to count from 6 – 10 in Chinese.  Whilst I was in Jingdezhen, Huang Fei had his own exhibition and below are samples of his works exhibited plus his words describing the meaning behind each work.  (Deanna Roberts)

I still remember the elementary school I studied at was located on a hill. When it snowed in winter, we would roll a snowball downhill. The ball became much larger at the foot of the hill, then we would make a snowman with it. The trees and their branches were covered with ice and snow, as if they had been made of the finest jade. I liked to raise up my face, enjoying their graceful dance in the wind.

There used to be a lotus pond at the backyard of our house, with a lot of snow-white egrets flying over. At summertime, the pond would be filled with full-blown, dipper-sized white flowers. Usually, I went to watch the lotus flowers after a heavy shower. The water drops in the leaves resembled shining pearls, and the flowers like they had just woken up, blossomed suddenly in great quantity. The fragrance of the flowers and leaves permeated the whole pond.

Afterwards, I visited the Mountain Huangshan, the Mountain Lushan and the snowy mountains in Canada, yet I couldn’t help thinking about the fairyland-like small hill from my childhood. I travelled around to paint lotus and even now, I can’t forget the aroma of the pond at that backyard, the calves in the wild and the egrets in the paddy field…  These are the commonest yet the most fascinating landscapes.

I used to specialize in painting Huangshan landscapes and I have been trying my best to do it, while unconsciously, I have started working at the previously mentioned subjects. Displaying a small part of the new works in my studio, staring at them, I figured out the title for this exhibition, ‘Homesick’.

(Huang Fei – October 2015)


Clara Chan – The Artisoda Dream

My dream, Artisoda, comes alive as the home of Australian handmade fashion, lifestyle products and homewares – all online.

Clara ChanHi, my name is Clara Chan and I have worked in the fast fashion industry for more than 20 years! After all these years, I decided to follow my dream to start an Australian handmade brand/shop with good design input and great craftsmanship.  I wanted to ensure all products were made in small quantities to preserve their uniqueness and specialty.

I collaborate with local designers, crafters and artists to create each and every curated collection which is part of my dream to build a unique and socially responsible brand.

Artisoda 1Like all small business owners, the road to success is long and rocky. I tumble and pick up again so many times that I feel so blessed to have seen come alive.

A special thank you to Lauren who did most of the fittings with me.  Her delightful character added so much life to the photos.

Thanks also to Deanna Roberts for giving me advice and support. Without support from an artist and entrepreneur like her, it makes the Artisoda journey impossible.

I am looking forward to sharing the ups and downs, tears and laughter in the journey of bringing Artisoda alive.


Artisoda 2Keep an eye on this blog, more stories to come soon.

Artisoda 3

Clara Chan –

Denise McDonald – Potter

Denise McDonald - Potter - Think in Pictures Events

Thank goodness I came back to live in my family home! If I hadn’t I would never have
developed my flannel flower range of ceramic tableware. You see, I am obsessed. I am completely in love with a pane of textured window glass in this Federation home. Five generations of my family have lived here, looking at this window glass.  Nobody else besides my family have lived in this 100 year old home. It knows only us. The window has an amazing pattern of flannel flowers.

I reproduce this pattern on my ceramics by using an intermediate plaster mould. I don’t know much about who originally designed the pattern or who produced it. All I know is that it has always been here. For me, this flannel flower pattern has many levels of meaning. It speaks to me about family and home, and references broader ideas of domestic life – the role of women, the relationships within family. Further, I hope it offers something to those who don’t have the personal connections to it that I do – stories about conservation of domestic architecture, the history of our native flora depicted in the decorative arts, and appreciation for the natural world.

It seems the longer that I work with this pattern, the more I see in it and the more intriguing it is to me. I don’t really want to know all the details about the history of its original manufacture, that would somehow damage the fascination for me. So I continue to apply my craft with a simple aim; to give this window a new way to exist – a new way to be appreciated and interact with the world. Nothing pleases me more than when I can introduce a new person to this 100 year old flannel flower pattern through my ceramic art.

The Flannel Flower Range
Denise McDonald
DM Pottery

Michelle Potter – Visionary Artist

In early 2013 I was introduced to soft pastel.  At my very first class the teacher asked why I was there and what I wanted to learn. My response was simple ‘can’t draw people or animals’.  Over the coming months I practiced weekly, reserving my fun messy pastels to my Wednesday morning class.  I finally decided to set up a permanent corner in my living room so I could paint every day.  I have never been known for my patience and the fact that I can take a picture and create something beautiful in a short space of time really appeals to me.  I get excited at the prospect of starting another piece, so the sparkle of my inner child continues to feed my motivation.

When I am doing any piece of artwork I am totally in the moment.  Through personal experience I know nothing brings you back into your body quicker than pain or immersing yourself in your passion, and I know which one I would rather experience! To me, art is so much more than visual.  Being in that creative space gives my life balance and an opportunity to stop and just be. I am evolving from the inside out and it reflects not only in my work but throughout my life.  This medium has allowed me to explore acrylic paints and pencils in a way I never thought was possible, and guess what? I can draw people and animals, I just needed the right guidance and lots of practice.


Time Lapse video of Oreo the Cavoodle


Michelle Potter



Vicki Irvine – Potter

I had wanted to delve into pottery for a long time and only after closing down my own business relating to airbrushing did I find the time, and what a great time it has been.

I feel like a little child in a candy store, running from place to place, not knowing what to do. Sometimes, I do envy those that have found the niche that most excites them and enable them to build up wonderful businesses.

On the first day of my class, the instructor asked whether I wanted to learn hand or wheel first …… no questions …… wheel please.  For those of you having problems “becoming one with the wheel” and centering, you will be happy to know I feel your pain, but it has been fun.

Please keep your first piece, no matter what, make sure you finish off with the fire and glaze. Once you improve, you will laugh at yourself. I know I thought it was absolutely perfect.  I was too frightened to make it any thinner!

Just as I was becoming “one with the whool” I injured myself and am unable to use the wheel for about 12 months.  Sad, but now I can do some of the hand building I have been dying to do.

I have been looking through Pinterest for hours on end, looking at completed work for ideas and inspirations and there is just so much.  I have made my own private boards under different categories and pinned works that interest me.

Don’t just search for ‘pottery’ or ‘ceramics’, try ‘cake decorating’, ‘drawing’, ‘watercolours’, plus specific items, such as ‘angels’, ‘birdbath’ for great ideas and inspiration.

Since my injury I have made a platter using sgraffito (so much fun, you have to try it), slip amongst others and having a great play around.  I’m currently working on a birdbath which I hope all the locals will love to use.

Enjoy your art, look everywhere for ideas. Just imagine it and make it (sounds so simple).

Vicki Irvine

Vicki Irvine on Pinterest

Tracey Roberts – Artist

I am a visual and performing artist and a music-colour synesthete which means I see colours and shapes when I hear or create music.  Music is even more beautiful and colourful this way – and I use it to create my musically themed artwork.

I’ve always had synesthesia – I remember many incidences as a little girl but it is as natural and unremarkable as breathing so I never thought about talking about it or using it as a means to create art.  Up until the last 8 years I was primarily a musician, mostly drawing for fun and only ever in black and white.

When I discovered the word ‘synesthesia’, it meant I could research it and start to articulate what had been going on in my head.  For most of my life, I didn’t really know what to do with colour.  I found it a little confusing really and then suddenly, creating artwork in a really vibrant and colourful way started to make sense because I could relate it to music.  Now the relationship between my music and artwork feels complete with vibrant and richly saturated colours encompassing musically-themed imagery and my synesthesia ties everything together.  It’s all been a bit of an epiphany really and immensely satisfying.

I also do commissioned artwork called Your Story in Art, which has proven to be very successful and wonderful for many clients, both here and overseas – see

Art exhibition / music concert – Wyreena, 13-23 Hull Rd, Croydon 13 -29 August (concert 28 August)
Tix: $30 (includes supper and show)
Bookings essential: 9294 5590

Solo exhibition – Brunswick Street Gallery  13-26 November