The Mallee Collection
A place of stillness and scrub
An atmospheric blue canopy hangs over the lonely outback roads. Ahead the scrubland forms a scrappy line of horizon; a divider preventing the seemingly infinite skies from engulfing more of the plains below. The native eucalyptus, with their underground adaptations, endure the blazing sun as they have for millennia past. The breeze that flows through the Mallee plays an ancient score; the melodic crashing of waves that once broke over Australia's inland sea. Never feeling as far from home as we have in this desolate corner, we uncovered beauty and a stillness seldom found. And lived the lesson; that whilst you may not always arrive at the place you were aiming for, it is the journey once sought that dispels the most truth, as you venture toward a place which you may never find.
Wild Blue Horizon
The Mallee is a land of vast open skies. Skies with an atmospheric presence hung so heavy you are relieved to gaze upon the horizon line. This brave divider preventing the voluminous blue canopy from engulfing more of the wild outback below.
Stillness over the plains
An orche burnt earth punctuated by native scrub creates a landscape of beautiful desolation. This planate expanse of isolation imparting an unusual freedom amongst the surrounding stillness.
All pieces are hand thrown using an iron laden stoneware clay body fired to around 1300°C in a reduction environment. The Chun glaze used creates a beautiful structure of tiny opalescent bubbles that refracts light giving the illusion of deep sky blues. The surface of the glaze varies with the slight temperature variations of the kiln - the hottest parts are responsible for rich glassy surfaces and a deep vivid blue whilst the slightly cooler parts create a softer blue with a lovely buttery texture. Large flecks of iron are drawn through the glaze throughout the firing creating landscapes of speckles and in certain pieces leaving behind small golden crystals. Almost all of the pieces show signs where the flame has woven through the maze of tumblers in the kiln creating lovely blushing marks reminiscent of the sunburnt country that originally inspired this collection.
Echoes of an inland sea
As the wind ruffles the acacia leaves, you can hear the echo of the waves that once crashed over this ancient inland sea. Now all that remains is this dry, harsh scrubland and a stillness that dwells over the plains.
These vessels are hand thrown using an iron laden stoneware clay body fired to 1300°C in a reduction environment. The glaze used is extremely sensitive to temperature and atmosphere changes resulting in flowing gradients of rich oceanic turquoises, sky blues and eucalyptus greens with flecks of metallic iron that have been drawn out by the flames of the kiln.
After the Rain
The Spring rains claim the horizon. In a flotilla of Nimbus clouds they cover the outback sky in a vaporous palette of grey, granite and ash. Calm descends over the plains once the rain has ceased and the floodwaters quietly gush. The rivers swell and the sunburnt earth is temporarily submerged as the water begins to re-sculpt the landscape.
All of our After the Rain pieces are hand thrown using an iron laden stoneware clay body fired to around 1300°C in a reduction environment. Some have been slipped with wild clay collected during our time in the outback. The grey tones form during the change the clay forgoes in the reduction atmosphere and resonate through the clear and slightly crackled glaze. The glaze surface appears soft and buttery through to glassy with the variation in crackling flowing throughout the inside of the vessel. Large flecks of iron are drawn through the glaze throughout the firing creating a landscape of speckled earth and grey skies.
Peering through the Wattle
Bursts of yellow break up the endless bush hues of khaki, ecru and outback green. These botanical sunbeams of the Mallee shower their golden pom poms, in celebration for the oncoming spring.
Embers in the Twilight
As dusk fades and night falls, the local frog life begins its recital. This nocturnal cacophony rises as a gentle breeze picks up, sending campfire-flies spiraling throughout the Mallee darkness.
All pieces are hand thrown using an iron laden stoneware clay body fired to around 1300°C in a reduction environment. This iron based glaze breaks around the rim of the tumbler as the kiln reaches its highest temperature, creating a delicate gradient of desert browns through to bush greens where the glaze thickens and begins to pool. The dusky blue of our Embers tumbler is created by the black slip that lies underneath the glaze. As the tumbler cools, magnesium calcium crystals sprout over its glazed surface like wattle or embers floating in the breeze.
Breakfast in the Scrub
The early morning sun warms the scrub as the Mallee awakens. Two bowls of porridge, coffee and a single campfire charred croissant gently steam and smoke in the soft dewy light.
A Picnic under the Mallee Gums
A long scrappy patchwork of shade is cast by the Mallee Gums in the late afternoon sun. Gazing upward, the dark green leaves flutter in a moving tessellation against the vast blue skies.
Fired to 1300°C degrees in a reduction environment, these hand thrown vessels are made from an iron-heavy clay. This deep green crackling celadon glaze uses varying amounts of Australian iron oxide to create Scrub greens to the deeper tone of Gumtree green whilst still maintaining a subtle transparency. This allows layers of iron flecks to form a speckled landscape from within the glaze reminding us of the scrub and large eucalyptus that made up the Mallee scenery.
Stillness and Scrub
A meditation on the smallness felt standing amidst the Mallee’s wild blue yonder and the realisation that the sky was there long before our existence and will remain long after we pass.
Giclee prints on rice paper, sewn together using 100% cotton thread (59cm x 41.5cm)