Can’t even give it away …

trade me oct 14 012Totally off the track of mosaics today, but something I feel compelled to write about. We are bombarded in the media about hungry kids in New Zealand, organisations rallying to find breakfast and lunch to feed the poor. On a very small scale, I’ve advertised a couple of times to give away some of the excess produce from my organic vegetable garden with one taker to date. I cant help thinking that were I offering free McDonalds or Carls Junior or KFC I would be inundated with requests. The funny thing is .. these fast food outlets seem to be constantly busy in all suburbs of differing levels of wealth. I cant afford to eat takeaways but I can afford to grow vegetables which I much prefer to eat. These vegetables are grown organically and can be picked and eaten fresh daily. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and is more convenient than jumping into my car and queuing up at the drive through. Am I just being cynical about child hunger in New Zealand? Rather than handing out food parcels should we not be handing out education on self sustaining methods of feeding our families? I know there are programmes in some schools which are growing fruit and vegetables. This needs to be extended to the wider community.What is that saying (forgive me if I get it wrong) but its something like “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day… teach a man how to fish and he can feed himself for life.” Rant over. The silver beet is going to seed and must be picked this week…


Woollen Treasures

With temperatures being colder than usual in Auckland this winter, I haven’t been so inspired to create mosaics in my studio. I turned my attention to a different kind of mosaic … knitting assorted random Peggy squares and crocheting them together to make a cosy retro inspired blanket just like your Nana or Grandma might once have made. What makes this really special is the inclusion of  home spun fleece that my partner Robert and his Mum had formed into yarn many years ago. Another lost art that I think needs a renaissance. So while my thoughts continue to arrange fragments of vintage china , my hands are itching to create further woollen treasures.iphone 037


Original artwork SOLD!

mosaics 010
This cute little guy has been sold down at East West Gallery. He’s a one off original like all of the fabulous Planet j9 mosaics.
Do check out East West Organics in Portage Road New Lynn Auckland, where you will find some more great mosaics. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and the website for new original art works.

Cute or Creepy?

asksharegivejun 003

Somebody’s loved one immortalised on China. Is it s gesture of love? Or slightly creepy? I found this heart shaped plate in a box of old china and antiques I was given recently. The picture on the plate startled me and then I wondered about it. Was this a trend or fad I had missed years ago? Would I like my face immortalised in china? Was this guy cool with having his face stamped on to a heart shaped plate? Where was it displayed and why did it end up dumped in my pile of rejects? The hearts would suggest he was much loved at one time.. it made me think about hearts and loved ones and how we can sometimes all too easily dump people and things that at one time may have been dear to us.

The way you make me feel ….

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” said Juliet in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It doesn’t matter what it’s called … it’s more about what it is. And so it is, with this piece that I’m struggling to name… the title would never convey for me what it means or what it feels. Antique china rose, pastel pinks, delicate vintage jewellery. It’s all about capturing the essence of femininity & that delicious light feeling of all that is pink rose and pearl trinkets, light hearted love and girliness … Rose by any other name 005

Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts

My interpretation of the Queen of Hearts… but who is she really? She’s one of the four Queens in a deck of cards and there are various theories who she may be .. Catherine of Aragon wife of Henry VIII? Elizabeth Tudor consort of Henry VII? According to the Tarot, she is the Queen of Cups, a loving mother and a loyal friend. She appears in a well known nursery rhyme, baking tarts which a cheeky Knave steals. In the Alice in Wonderland version, she doesn’t suffer fools and utters her famous “off with their heads”. There have been songs written about her & movies made bearing her name.


This little guy I nicknamed “Bugalugs”. He was created for local exhibition of art made from recycled materials.
“Bugalugs” is Australian slang which loosely refers to either a mischievous young child or a mate.
mosaics 010

Mellow Yellow

Finding more yellow pieces of antique china to put aside for the new project …

The yellow bowl is Crown Ducal.

Crown Ducal was a brand name for AG Richardson & Co Stoke on Trent, manufactured sometime between 1915 and 1934

The small dish is Carlton Ware, a famous Stoke on Trent based pottery manufacturer. The company is best remembered for its often rather garish tableware, often in the form of highly decorated leaves or fruit, and the ceramic toucans it made as promotional items for Guinness.  It reached its artistic high-point with superb hand-painted domestic pottery in high art deco styles during the 1920s and 1930. (Source Wikipedia)

sunflowers 004

Sunflowers make me happy :)

This beautiful sunflower design plate is going to be dismantled and rebuilt in my next project. What is it about the sunflower that makes us feel so happy? Is it the bold colour, the fact that they stand tall and proud in the garden always looking upward to the sun? I love them.

This plate was hand painted in the Philippines for Andrew Hawley Ltd.

Andrew Hawley Limited is a family owned business. The company was established in New Zealand in 1947, after Andrew returned from war service. The family connections with the tableware industry date back to the 1720’s in Yorkshire, England ref Andrew Hawley Ltd

sunflowers 001

Time to get busy .. the holiday is over!

Planet j9 has been very quiet over the holiday period, enjoying the sun sea and summer time fun.

Now it’s time to get back into the studio and get creative again!

mosaicart 003