I wanted to do some personal ceramic work on Thursday (Jan 11), so I danced down to my studio, aka the garage, dodged past half a million daddy long legs the size of dogs to get to the power switch, turned everything on and sat at my pottery wheel. I started the machine up and …
Well, that’s not a good sound, I thought to myself. That sounds almost exactly like the drive head hitting straight into the metal of the wheel drive without the rubber tyre to stop it from abrading.
Maybe I didn’t think that, but the sound wasn’t good. I checked the inside of my wheel and yup, the drive tyre was lying broken on the floor like a sad, failed condom.
My wheel was broken.
My pottery wheel just broke.
— Becky Hunt (@SnailProphet) January 11, 2018
So the next thing I needed to do was find a replacement part. After calling and emailing half the country on January 11, I found that the entire pottery community of New Zealand was still on holiday. I eventually discovered that Wellington Potters Supplies were up and running and they had the part that I needed. Hallelujah! The part was ordered and I sat by my door and waited.
When the part eventually arrived Isaac and I hurried to get downstairs to repair the wheel. Holy hell it was hard to get on. Our neighbours probably thought we were giving birth we made so much noise.
But eventually we got the bloody thing on, I adjusted my wheel and it was working again.
I then, get this, went back to hand building pots.
While I was waiting for my part to arrive, I acquired a rather beautiful banding wheel and began to handbuild my pots. I hand build all the time of course but this is the first time I’ve used a banding wheel and what a difference it makes! I’ve been so in love with it, I’ve continued hand building my pots after my wheel was fixed. Yes, I am a bad person.
I started to really fall in love with these little pots.
— Littlelifeworkshop (@Littlelifewkshp) February 5, 2018
I’m finally bringing some more of my illustration back into my pots. The reason I’ve abstained from really painting my pots in the past is that I felt I really needed to improve my ceramic making abilities before I spent hours painting a piece. It has taken me years but I finally feel that my ability has improved enough for me to invest in my work and illustrate them. This is my first illustrated pot and oh gosh, I’m so in love.
Purirri moths, thyme and mushrooms. All of my favourite things on a pot.
The reason I’m wearing a mask in the above photo is to protect my lungs from clay dust. The technique I’m using is called Scraffito, the dust produced from scratching back through my illustrations will turn back into clay if it comes into contact with water. Something you really don’t want in your nice moist lungs!
If you ever get into making pottery, please protect yourself from clay dust! It really is very harmful and a lot of workshops and classes I’ve been to in the past fail to mention this to their students. If you’re working with any sort of dust, clay, glaze or otherwise, please wear a mask. If possible, one with a HEPA filter which is certified for dust particles. My mask was about $40 for Mitre 10. And bonus, it looks hella cute!
So my wheel is fixed, (I’ve used it exactly once since then) and my classes are starting this week. I’m excited to get back to Hungry Creek, work with some awesome potters and hopefully pump out some more work. I’ve got a whole bunch of these little moth pots in the works so at some point they’ll be making their way onto the website! Fingers crossed!
I’ve also have a commision to finish which has had some heartbreaking catastrophic failures so far. I’m praying that the kiln is gentle with me this term so I can get it finished, so many broken platters last term! All going well I can share that journey with you all by the end of April.
We arrived in Wellington midday on Thursday and the sky could not have been bluer. Upon arriving we pulled our luggage out of the overhead lockers, I turned to Isaac as I donned my straw hat, “I wonder how long it will take for me to lose this to the winds of Wellington.” We then disembarked onto the tarmac and my hat was immediately whipped off my head by the aforementioned winds and took off down the runway. I was both amused and mortified to see my bonnet roll off like a tumbleweed on speed towards another parked airplane, the staff member standing with us on the tarmac was equaling amused as she spoke into her walkie-talkie. As we watched, Isaac laughed while I wanted to melt into the concrete of guilt, a highlighter yellow four-wheel-drive chased my shame. A man jumped out of the vehicle and chased it that final 10 meters as the treacherous hat was making one last concerted effort to escape. He brought it back to us in his bright yellow car. I have rarely been more embarrassed.
And that that how we started our Wellington adventure.
(the hat of shame was not worn again for the duration of our trip)
On friday we caught up with Pepper Raccoon for lunch at Origami on Cuba street. I say “caught up” but really we were meeting for the first time in person as we’d only chatted online previously. It’s interesting when you meet someone for the first time after only ever chatting via Twitter and then Facebook, just before we had lunch Isaac expressed that he was worried Pepper and her husband wouldn’t like us. I was a little worried myself until I remembered that my twitter cover image is a giant squished snail face, I think it gives a good first impression along the lines of ‘I’m lovely and equal parts strange.’
Pepper and Pete are so wonderful, we had a great time chatting them and eating all of the sushi. So much sushi. Pepper is the mastermind behind Pepper Raccoon and designs enamel pins, patches, and apparel for individuals with flair. She’s a badass babe who is a hugely talented illustrator, designer and is just simply the loveliest person. Check out her website; www.pepperraccoon.com, find her on twitter; @pepperracoon, and buy her stuff, she is one kiwi artist worth supporting!
We have been talking about potentially doing a collab project sometime early next year. No promises yet, but I think working with Pepper will be a lot of fun!
After having lunch with Pepper and Pete, we were invited back to their car to do a shady carpark pin swap. While we were chatting, a dude was manhandling his car and swearing quietly to himself directly behind us. He felt it necessary to explain to us what he was doing, we felt that was a good time to say our goodbyes and leave weird man to his car.
That evening we got to spend the evening with Rachel Lynch, also known as Sock Review! We spent the evening eating a ridiculous amount of fish and chips (was that necessary considering our large lunch? Probably not) shooting the shit together and we put Isaac to work stapling Rach’s zines ready for Zinefest. We were there for the conception of Rach’s new zine, the Lemon Zine. A proud zine parent moment for us.
Wellington Zinefest was awesome, we met so many cool people. We also sold out of one of our prints for the first time. I had several people buy my ceramics through various methods, I even managed to send a paypal invoice so someone could buy a couple of necklaces. That was a hilarious ten minutes trying to quickly write an invoice while ignoring everyone else at the booth. It was a good day.
I’m now at risk of making this post too long so I’ll do some quick highlights. The Wellington Zinefest after party was great, performances from Scarlet Lashes and Nat Attack left us in tears it was so funny. At one point my husband and I found ourselves clutching each other, crying/laughing on the floor of the Pyramid Club in the middle of their song, “I Only Fucked You As A Joke”. Scarlet Lashes was followed by Gold Medal Famous, who were also friggen awesome.
Rach bought a ceramic pin, then Becky from the Zinefest committee bought a pin, then ALL of the staff at Unity books, seeing Rach and Becky’s pins, bought all my fox pins. Rach, Becky, I want you to be my agents.
We pretty much spent the rest of our trip in Wellington at the heals of Rachel, who showed us the town. We went to the Wellington City Art Gallery, the home of Garage Project and ate way too much fish and chips. It was awesome.
Needless to say we came home with a new respect for the awesome people of Wellington and Rach and I are already planning a summer road trip. It’s going to be the best summer ever!
Thank you to all the people who came and said hello to us at Zinefest, thanks for liking, buying and supporting our work. Thanks Rach for showing us Wellington and introducing us to all your awesome friends. Girl, you have the hook ups!
Until next time
I’m super excited to announce that one of my illustrations has been printed in the November issue of M2 Magazine along side an article written by my husband, Isaac. We were super lucky to be able to get our hands on a Wacom Cintiq Pro 16″, it has completely changed how we draw.
I’m quoted at the end of the article, “It’s the digital version of eating really good russian fudge; melt in your mouth good.” It has turned drawing into something smooth and natural again, I really can’t stop talking about this piece of tech. Below I’ve put a couple examples of our art since drawing with the cintiq. The first is a drawing of Isaac’s, his backgrounds are getting richer and full of life. The next example is from one of my comics, Boots the cat getting a better line treatment now that we have the Cintiq.
In other news, Isaac and I are flying down to Wellington at the end of this week for Wellington Zinefest. We’re super excited to be in Welly again, this will only be my second trip to our capital city! So excited to be back, it’s such an amazing city.
We’ll be on a table for IZS selling zines, prints and pins, but I also plan to sneak a few of my ceramics on the table so if you’re a fan, make sure you check it out.
I’d just like to gush about the Zinefest scene in New Zealand for a quick moment. Since we’ve started attending them, we’ve met the coolest collection of people and made some really awesome friends. At every Zinefest I’ve been to there has been such an awesome vibe and such an appreciation for all artforms, from stall holders and festival goers alike. Being native to Auckland, this will be our first time going to Wellington Zinefest and I simply can’t wait, it’s going to be a fantastic event. I’m really looking forward to meeting new people, catch up with friends and hopefully put some faces to the names I see on twitter every day. If you know us from our comics or my ceramics, or if you’ve seen us loitering on Twitter, please come say ‘hello’. My husband and I would love to meet you!
I hope you all have a lovely week
Peace out babes
I’ve always seen myself as a traditional artist, I’ve always loved drawing and painting by hand instead of using a computer and a tablet to draw. But there are obvious limitations to traditional and sharing your art with the world (aka internet). You would either need to A) own a decent scanner and draw/paint everything smaller than A4 or B) photograph your work and thus own a decent camera. So for years I would arduously scan all my work, tweak it in photoshop and then post it to my blog which all of eight people would read. In 2013 I worked on a maths app called the Math Machine for the iPad painting water colour machine parts which would get scanned, processed in photoshop, cut into pieces and then used in the application. By this point I had a wacom tablet which I used for this process but used for little else, so when Isaac decided that I would draw a weekly comic, digitally, for Izak Smells…I’d used the thing rarely.
This is one of my first comics
And these are two of my most recent comics for comparison.
Although there is a charm to the first comic, I’m so glad I’ve improved! I only noticed it while going back through old comics. Going through old sketchbooks is much the same, there are a lot of drawing that never made it to the internet for the reasons mentioned earlier. The most frustrating thing when looking through sketchbooks is not knowing when the drawings were drawn. Always date your work!
Once a week I draw a comic for Izak Smells, a web comic that was started by my fiancé in August 2015. After a couple of months watching jealously over his shoulder, telling him occasionally that I couldn’t possibly commit to drawing a weekly comic, he eventually forced me to draw one for the website.
Isaac then declared that I would be drawing the Wednesday comic henceforth! And thus, I became a illustrator for Izak Smells. We were shortly joined by Kristof Haines, our good friend and a very talented writer. Izak Smells was then a trio and we’ve been collaborating ever since.
This month a book written by Zenobia Southcombe is being released called “I Am A Writer” which will feature the Izak Smells crew. We had a lot of fun collaborating with Zenobia for this project. The book will be celebrated with a writers’ panel discussion on Sat March 4th at 2pm the central Auckland library which Kristof will be at, representing the IZS Crew.
This week I drew a comic called Hope, which is about a robot and a kitten. It’s one of my favourite comics at the moment so I thought I’d share the sketches and final comic with you. The script, written by Kristof, was so beautiful I had to draw it, even though Isaac is probably more suited to drawing robots.
A hulking, rust-pitted robot sits sad and alone in an arid land. Clouds roil overhead – a storm is coming.
An adorably mangy kitten pokes its head out of a chink in the iron midsection, looking up at the robot with a mraow. The robot is surprised and delighted – it scratches the kitten’s head. Raindrops are just beginning to fall to earth.
There is a sequel to this comic so stay tuned!
*Edit. The sequel:
my fiancé and I have been working hard to make this website come to life. It’s definately getting close to where I want it to be! In the meantime I’ve decided to start putting some blog posts up to make the website as rich as possible. I’ve had a few blogs in the past, my first was called Feels Like Fiction and I think I did a grand total of three posts on it. My favourite post was that of Mr Giant Spider.