I haven't been to Lake Ferry since the 8 January, a month ago in fact. The weather has been so hot and with the black "sand" I am sure it gets very hot close to the ground. The last time I went MM took off back to the car as soon as I looked like returning and waited in the shade under a ute.
So going today I was really interested to see what had happened to the beach.
As I drive down towards the car park I can see white capes on Lake Onoke and then when I get out of the car the sea is big and the wind is strong. I haven't seen it like this for a long time. Taking off my shoes and putting on my gumboots and staying upright is a bit of a mission.
The wind is blowing from the south onto the beach and pushing the rising tide through the cut and into the lake.
When I walk down to the beach I look across the cutting to Onoke Spit and see the water rushing along the side of the spit and cutting into the sand.
As I walk closer to the beach, the sea gets louder and the waves batter against each other like drunk fighters in a bar room brawl.
Down by the sea the wind batters my ears and I can image that my ears are heavy cloth sails flapping against my head. Suddenly I nearly lose my hat.
Further along the beach I watch the patterns and lines made by the sea as the waves throw themselves against the shore and rush up the beach and then retreat.
Then I remember I had brought some of my pots from the sawdust kiln to photograph among the grey gravel/sand of the beach. So I head for the middle section of the beach where the driftwood is dumped by the tides.
When I made these containers I was mindful of the colours at Lake Ferry and then so excited when I emptied the kiln. I think I will get a selfie stick to see if I can photograph closer to the ground. Getting down and lying on the sand could be maybe a goal. All my pinch bowls just show the upper surface but there are some lovely patterns and marks on the sides.
Debbie Lyddon always photographs her finished work in the relevant environment and this was something I learnt at her workshop in Switzerland. We all took our work down into the paddocks that had inspired it and photographed it there.
When I get back to the car I collect my plastic milk bottle and take it down to Lake Onoke to collect some water to take home to do some dyeing with seaweed on silk and maybe linen. As I take the lid of the bottle off, the wind catches in the mouth of the bottle and vibrates. I twist and turn the bottle in the wind and imagine I am part of a sea orchestra.
When I was walking along the beach I found this piece of kelp tied to a length of nylon fishing line. I wondered what it was for - a pretend kite, a pretend fish? What do you imagine it could have been for?
This year one of my goals was to start using a "desk journal" or sketchbook to document what I am doing. I have tried to do this before but have never felt successful. Lisa Call in her blog "Make Big Art" has been running a very interesting series about artists and their sketchbooks and I have been following that.
Some artist have lots of different books for different activities, I tried that and it didn't last. I just spread lots of books everywhere and I could never find the one I wanted. So I knew I really needed to function with just one book. And I discovered I needed to call it my "Desk Journal" - now it stays on my desk which I try to tidy at the end of each day. And I have a system for that now as well.
I started by organising my page with a panel to make notes in and I stuck actual samples into my book. Ideas that I really liked.
And I printed photographs that I particularly liked and related to particular work. That was actually a hassle because I went uptown to get the photos printed and it held up my actions.
My "Desk Journal" kept on going - woohoo. It never had before.
I used it to make a potential daily plan and to make notes about waterproof pencils that look like fun to work with.
I photographed my papier mache bowl and printed it A5 size and put in in my journal, added my notes about the work and what I will do differently next time and I have a working "Desk Journal".
There are some things I will change as I go along, ie I will make my pictures smaller but for now this is great. I love that it is sequential, that everything is there and I only have one book.