With winter well and truely settled in and our wood ash supply for glazes running very low, we decided to split from our cosy studio and head north to Indian Head campground in Crowdy Bay National Park.
We had heard many stories from our parent's generations of their holidays along this beautiful coastline but like many other places in those stories we had never gotten around to going ourselves. Living in a vast wild country with endless nature, it’s hard to imagine that we both grew up exploring very little of our home soil - dreaming instead of overseas sojourns in distant lands.
Now though it feels like we are trying to make up for this every chance we get. Whenever we have a little window of time freed up from the mountain of ceramic work that constantly surrounds us, we open up a map and scour it for new places to explore. The only restriction then is the amount of time we have before we need to get back to our clay and the kilns.
Our departure to Indian Head was delayed by a few extra chores around the studio, so by the time we had completed the 4.5 hour drive and arrived at camp, the sun had long since disappeared below the horizon and the soft pastels of another cloudless sunset dreamily morphed into a wash of dusk purples and blues. The waning moon still shone bright, flooding everything in a soft light.
Eager to stretch our legs from the drive, we set out on a hike around the headland and peered down towards the sea to dramatic rocky installations of columns, clefts and arches weathered down by the eternal tides. From atop these cliffs we watched the stars flicker into position and Mars emerge, glowing as a bright red dot, hovering above the calm ocean. Feeling happy to be outside, we made our way back to camp to spend time poking sticks at our small fire, enjoying this activity with some leftover wine.
Lately we have been trying to make more of an effort to wake before the sun and spend a little time finding somewhere nice to watch it rise. Winter is always easy for this as the sun rises late, but to take advantage you still have to climb out of that warm sleeping bag. Following the same trail as we walked the night before, we headed down to the Natural Arch and scampered around like kids on the rocks trying to keep warm as we waited for sun to finally show itself. When it eventually appeared it lit up the cliff faces in a palette of dramatic oranges. Above us sea eagles began to hunt for breakfast and pods of whales could be seen breaching not too far out in the South Pacific Ocean, migrating north in search of warmer climes much like we had just done.
Winter may be short lived in Australia, but this one has been exceptionally dry and we knew our time for enjoying campfires may be over all too soon as the risk of bushfires begins to increase again. Utilising the ashy remnants from our campfire adventures within our glazes is one of our favourite ways to distill our memories into our ceramics. All too often we overlook how necessary it is to take some time away from work and enjoy a night with nothing else to distract you except for keeping a fire alight and trying to prevent any overly friendly kangaroos from snuggling their way into your tent.