Smartphone access

I’ve been aware for some time that I needed to upgrade the  Australian Pottery at Bemboka website to make it more usable on mobile phones. This week I moved the main website pages to  a simple set of new templates using Bootstrap, a free open source HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive websites. The big task still waiting to be done  is to upgrade the online shop. The developers at Oscommerce are working on a new release of the software that incorporates Bootstrap and I will implement this when there is a stable version. In the meantime, I’m hoping that users have not yet completely abandoned their desktop machines!

15th Annual Pottery Expo @ Warrandyte

Pottery Expo at Warrandyte

The 15th annual Pottery Expo @ Warrandyte will be held on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 February 2015. Warrandyte is 30 minutes by car northeast of the Melbourne CBD. The Expo will feature 8 French and 50 Australian ceramic artists. An exhibition of French and Australian ceramics will also be held @ Manningham Art Gallery from 11 February to 14 march 2015. David and I would love to be there but we can’t leave the gallery at this time. If you have a chance to go, let us know how it went and what treasures you found.

An invitation to our opening event

Judith and David invite you to help celebrate the opening of our 6th season! Join us this Sunday 12 October from 4.00 pm onwards for drinks and light refreshments in the garden with music by Andrew and Jenny Szery.

Entry by gold coin donation.

Directions for finding us can be found on our gallery website.

We are not holding a River Music Fair this year but hope to return next year.

Card. Season 6. Back

Our new season begins!

Works by Ben Kypridakis, Pippin Drysdale, Dawn Oakford and mystery potter Beth M.

Works by Ben Kypridakis, Pippin Drysdale, Dawn Oakford and mystery potter Beth M.

Our new season opens today with a gallery full of bold and beautiful works. I’ve been working hard all week to get labels printed, last season’s works put away, workroom shelves dusted and the garden tidied. Nevertheless, we didn’t expect our first visitor to arrive at 10.05 am just after I’d come back from putting the sign back on the highway. It turns out that this wasn’t the harbinger of a busy opening weekend but a regular visitor who hadn’t realised we’d been closed for the winter and had just decided, passing by, to call in.

A stream of coffee pots

Cynthia Mitchell. Coffee pot

Cynthia Mitchell. Coffee pot.

Regular browsers of our online shop may have been bemused by the stream of coffee pots I have been listing recently. I am giving the workroom shelves their annual dust, starting with Alcove C, which is devoted mainly to drinking vessels. This is a lengthy process not helped by the cats who, as soon as they see an empty shelf, want to sit on it. I don’t know how it is but there always seems to be a small collection of pots left over on the floor when I’ve finished  rearranging a shelf.  The only thing to be done is to put them back into storage, making sure they are listed before they are packed away.

Season 6 – The Bold and the Beautiful

Monika Leone. Floor vase. 2014. 64 cm high.

Monika Leone. Floor vase. 2014. 64 cm high.

Our sixth season in Bemboka will open on Friday 3 October with “The Bold and the Beautiful”, an exhibition featuring works from our collection that show colour in action through glazes, on-glazes, lustres, tinted clays and underglazes. David came up with the title and I keep asking him “Is this bold and beautiful?” as I bring pieces out for potential inclusion. “Yes” and it goes in. “No” and it is not bold and beautiful enough! Some of our most bold and beautiful pots are mostly all black or all white so I have devoted one whole wall to these. It is starting to come together in quite a splendid way and we are looking forward to a season spent with colour.

Our soft opening on 3 October will be followed by a garden party on Sunday 12 October, 2014, starting at 5 pm and featuring the music of Andrew and Jenny Szery, with entry through gold coin donation. We will advertise this more widely shortly.

After a lot of thought, we have decided not to hold a River Music Fair this year.  The main reason for this is an exciting one. We are having a big country wedding here on 8 November. Our son James is getting married to his beloved Monique and almost everyone invited is coming!

This year’s trip to Melbourne

Su Hanna. "Turned to ash then washed away". c2013. 38 cm high.

Su Hanna, “Turned to ash then washed away”. Handbuilt ceramic form. c2013. 38 cm high.

This year we took our trip to Melbourne in the third week of August so that we could watch the Round 22 Hawthorn-Geelong match at the MCG. We headed up to Canberra and then straight down the Hume, stopping at Chiltern for the night and visiting the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) the next morning.  We were  a week too early to see the Delinquent Angel exhibition but did see six of the angels being installed while we were there. In the afternoon, we visited the woodfirer Su Hanna at Strathfieldsaye on the outskirts of Bendigo and bought the piece illustrated here for our collection. We spent the night at Castlemaine then motored leisurely into Melbourne. The football was definitely a highlight of the trip but so also was attending Skepsi’s Quiet Conservations exhibition at Montsalvat where we bought pieces by Kevin Boyd, Paul Davis, Kim-Anh Nguyen and Tania Rolland.






Season 5 wrap up

Our Season 5 exhibition, held from October 2013 to June 2014, was entitled “Beyond Design: Forged by Fire” and featured wood, smoke, salt and soda fired ceramics from the collection. We opened the season again with a River Music Fair.  This was a great day which I documented here.

Woodfire is one of our loves and we took the opportunity to augment pieces already in our collection with some significant new works to fill out the exhibition.

John Dermer. Bottle Ian Jones. Vessel Gail Nichols. Vase Zak Chalmers. Shallow bowl

Illustrated: John Dermer, Vase; Ian Jones, Vessel; Gail Nichols, Vase; Zak Chalmers, Shallow bowl

Season 5 coincided with the International Woodfire Conference – “On the Edge of the Shelf” –  held at Mystery Bay from April 28-May 20 2014. A visit by conference attendees was a highlight of our season and we also had the opportunity to see some beautiful work by Australian and international woodfirers in other exhibitions held in association with the conference.

Our online sales continued to be strong and we again made in sales just a little bit more than we spent in new acquisitions.


My website host upgraded to PHP 5.4 this week and I’ve been working hard applying numerous updates to the online shop so that it will work under this new version.   If you tried to access the website today you will have seen that I hit a few problems but it should all be working again now. I just have a few addons to restore and I’ll work on those tomorrow.