I was lucky enough to spend some time this week with my old and dear friends, the Artist and the Artisan, partners in life and in so many varied creative activities.
The Artist can turn her hand to anything artistic, but ceramics feature strongly in her work. The Artisan can build anything – from a house to a kiln to a chook pen, and is a pretty mean chook handler to boot!
They inhabit what could only be described as an idyllic retreat in the Southern Highlands. Five acres of beautiful parkland, complete with its own Hansel and Gretel forest, as well as manicured lawns, lush flower and vegetable gardens, and abundant fruit trees, make you wonder whether you have entered a fairytale country from some distant northern land. The surrounding open spaces and view of Mt Alexandra and the bush remind us that we are indeed still in rural NSW.
Nestled in these gardens is the house, early 20th century, quaint and idiosyncratic, once a residential institution, and now owned and under loving restoration by the Artist and the Artisan.
Behind the old house is the gem of the property: a large and light filled studio, home to many of the Artist’s own works and those of her creative friends, as well as works of other established artists, and a wonderful place for communal entertaining.
On this occasion the Artist had invited some friends who are keen potters to spend the day glazing their works and firing them in the kiln which resides in the back garden.
I was there to enjoy the day, the beautiful repast and to photograph my latest baking creation, Blueberry and Cumquat Cake with Sugared Pecans.
I also got to glaze my own ceramic pot – my very first foray into the world of ceramics – I think I’m hooked! A fabulous day all round!