2019 Manohar Lal and Asha Ram

 We began with a much less stress start to the 2019 tour as Manohar Lal and Asha Rams visas and then flights were confirmed with plenty of comfort time. Added to this was the fact that they travelled to Australia with my partner Peter, although this would be Manohars 7th trip to Australia negotiating the ever changing immigration and customs without english would be a little easier. Asha had also been to Australia in 2017 so we were all on familiar territory.

Maybe the concept of jetlag is one of language, Manohar and Asha were ready to get to the ‘bargice’ garden studio first this Monday morning to survey the scene and prepare clay for making matka for our first workshop with Kaiela and Sheppaton TAFE

A return to ArtPLay is always welcome, the enthusiastic children and supportive Artplay staff make it an engaging and rewarding 2 days.

The logistics of programming diverse activities to keep it fresh for the Crosshatched team, minimizing expenses ( staying close to home, Tallarook) and maximizing income within a limited time frame, 4 weeks sometimes means we had big days, that was the case for Tuesday the 9th of April.

Illona and Colin of Mercator Ceramic School, Abbostford Convent had generously offered their workshop space and managed bookings for two workshop sessions. A morning family session and afternoon session for individuals. For us it meant a very early start from Tallarook, the Hilux packed with wheels, clay, tools and 10 matka ( we had already left 10 there the previous week). We renewed friendships with some families who had previously done workshops and made new ones. The afternoon session was dynamic, enthusiastic participants decorating their matka and some having a go on the wheel assisted by Asha Ram. Manohar decorated a piece with traditional motifs, this is not something he usually does, it is usually the women of the family that do, but we got the idea that it is the rotating form and subtle movements of the loaded brush that dictate the outcome.

Sincere thanks to Illona and Colin providing the space and bookings and Liz for the massive task of then firing all these matka.

Next stop on Tuesday was Slowclay

for more images by Devena Fynmore