Hi its been a while ...

We've had a stunning old fashioned summer, camping at the beach and trips to the river. When its to hot to work, the only way to cool down is total body immersion... release your inner eel !

I'm doing a stint at Aratoi for Sea week.
Come and watch me make a hinaki (eel trap) from clay, the kids can be an art sleuth for the day whilst you check out the other exhibits ! Here's the link : www.aratoi.org.nz

Last week it was a huge weather event beginning in the Pacific connecting us to the sea and on any other given day its the migration of our own long finned native eel, Manaaki Tuna.

With that in mind I'm is treating today's drop in temperature and increased humidity as another gift from the sea, its makes the clay easier to work into my iconic eels.

Project WAI and a Huge Thank you

First off a massive thank you to every one that got behind the Boosted Campaign, your efforts has moved Project WAI from a concept to an emerging reality. Its taking shape before our very eyes.

That "boosted effect" has been felt in so many ways, from the nervous anxiety on the day it was launched to feeling deeply humbled, one month later, by the support from whanau, friends and the wider community for Project WAI.

When the campaign closed I was floored by the stats ..over 90 of you gave an average of $95 each.
This is enough for me to work for 16 weeks solely on Project WAI and still look after the family.
Follow the project on our Facebook Project WAI page.

If you'd like a quick refresher on Why Project WAI ..here's a short and engaging film by Erin Kavanaugh-Hall.

...and the creativity keeps flowing !

Sam would also like to extend his thanks and acknowledge the support of the good people at Creative NZ for their Quick Response Grant and Masterton Arts Grant for their grant towards Project Wai.
This funding allows Sam to get out on the water, to observe the eels and other precious native species in their habitat. This informs his work back in the studio. Much more on this next time.

Creative Liaisons

Dirty Fingers has been very fortunate to have Lisa Donaldson join Sam in the pottery. Lisa is an accomplished potter, creating beautiful ceramic tableware, pendants and much more ..check out her work here and be sure to have the credit card handy ... lisadonaldson.co.nz

We are benefiting from Lisa's strong scientific background, problem solving nature and amazing glazes.

Back in October Sam and Lisa joined the Kokomai Festival, hosting workshops and studio open days and creating the gorgeous limited edition Kokomai cups.

Designed exclusively for the festival, inspired by the Huia bird and reflecting the spirit of collaboration they combine art and functional creativity in one very cool cup.

The 10th Biannual Wairarapa Review

The year closed on a massive high with both Sam and Lisa having work selected from 86 entries to be part of the Review.

and the top prize goes to....

Sam with "Cumec Unit" Rosewood Premier Award Winner

Judge Mark Amery says
" A whirl of tuna, a wheel of eels! The work has such muscular energy, a collective weave,which feels emblematic of the Wairarapa. Our need to care for our rivers, our environment and each other. Its fierce too, aggressive almost industrial churning energy that asks for change. Ludden has become known for his tuna sculpture but here collectively in this thrashing turning basket of whipping heads and tails, they have become something sculpturally powerful"

From 23rd Feb - 11th March Wairarapa Art Review award winning pieces will be at Ventana Creative Collective in Martinborough. So you can experience the beauty and strength of Cumec Unit first hand.

Little wonder that eels are firmly the focus for Sam as we really get into 2018......
But what about those beautiful Ruru .. you ask ?

Well, Ventana have two gorgeous specimens on display and for sale. Pop into the gallery if you are heading to Martinborough Fair or come and see whose hanging out here at Dirty Fingers Pottery, we are open by appointment : )

Sam's been developing a slip cast technique that allows these owls to dry evenly ahead of their trip to the kiln.

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