Monday, April 7, 2014

A week in Jingdezhen

Hello!  I recently took a quick trip to Jingdezhen (via Shanghai) with fellow Northcote Pottery Supplies Folk.  We stayed at The Pottery Workshop -I highly recommend this place for residencies, if your work is in line with what Jingdezhen can offer  - that is - access to master mold-makers, blue and white painters, porcelain wheelers, communal reduction firing to 1320, technicians and facilitators of all sorts, beautiful meals, comfortable lodgings, and so on.  Here are a few snapshots of our adventures..
Fuel and the meals hall in the background 

We did a blue and white painting workshop 

Education Centre where we did workshops and attended a lecture.  

Wares on a cart, part way between A and B

A local artist in the moment

At a glaze shop - buy it by the pop bottle!

Random Jindezhen street scene

A blue and white painter working on a 'big tile'

A rare rainy day at the creative market at PWS

signs at the Sculpture Factory

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Terracotta Pots and Espresso Cups

Greetings.  I've been working on loosening up in an effort to have more fun/less stress in my making life. These terracotta plant pots were intentionally thrown off center and with throwing lines and various other marks of the making process left in plain sight.  No fuss.  Fun. Various sizes available at Small Pieces.

The antithesis are these new espresso cups - a mini version of my original slab built cups and saucers.  Now available in Melbourne at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ceramic Nerdery Podcast

Hellohello.  Lately I've been listening to back to back episodes of this podcast while working in the studio.  I almost feel like I'm  back at art school, eavesdropping on conversations of meaning, intention, motivation and the like.  I highly recommend it.  "And without further ado" here is the link to Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast and blog by Ben Carter  .

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tea for T & T

These are some of the results of wanting to make a tea pot for friends T & T for their wedding.  Having only made one tea pot before - this time I made six hoping to get one that worked out well.  One broke in transit on it's way to the bisque. Two have handles that cracked or separated from the pot in drying.  One I don't like the shape of and it dribbles.  One is a bit stretched out in shape and would have been more prone to damage on it's travels up to the wedding in Sydney.  And one worked out nicely!  And it pours really quite well!  (pictured front right).  The bodies and lids are thrown while the appendages are made from slabs of stained clay.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

work in progress

Fondok the studio assistant needs to learn to clean up after me. 
Experimental glazing. 
Tea pot sneak peak. 

pottery expo

This is happening on Sunday.  Northcote Pottery Supplies/SmallPieces will be there and they will be taking my work from the shop down to Fed [ square ].  

Friday, October 11, 2013


New stockist in Sydney! Rosebery as it happens.
They've got a selection of the slab built range in pink, greys, turquoise, yellow and cream.  Koskela looks like a pretty neat space complete with lots of lovely furniture, home wares, a cafe and an exhibition space (currently showing work by Beci Orpin!!).  Get amongst it!  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Craft restock..

My shelf at Craft (Vic) was looking a bit dismal for a little while.  I'm happy to say I've recently dropped off a bunch of work including platters, vases, and various slab-built vessels.  There is even a new glaze colour happening - it's a purpley-grey-glossy number.  

The types of photos that i would normally put on Instagram..

...except Insta isn't working on my current phone  - so I'll share them here.  Works in progress, a shot of my bright and compact studio + Fondok the young apprentice helping me pack orders.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Some of my wares have made it up to craftACT in Canberra, ACT.   Slab cups and saucers and Scallop plates and bowls.  Get amongst 'em.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

more colours in the slab range

New colours include Turquoise, Yellow and Recycled Grey.  Recycled Grey is the lighter of the two greys that you see here.  It is made by recycling all of the scraps/off-cuts of stained clay, and is my little way of reducing waste around the studio.  It will change slightly from batch to batch of course.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mugs for Ursa

These winter-y mugs will be available at Ursa sometime soon.....

Thursday, May 9, 2013

joining the recent obsession with plants in pots

two plant pots and saucers

wizard beard hanging planter

Friday, April 5, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

SMALLpieces featured seller

Hello!  During the month of April I will have more than the usual amount of work for sale at SMALLpieces on Weston Street in East Brunswick.  As well as scallops and slabs, there will be some new pouf-y handled lidded containers, platters, potentially a few things in the 'cheap n cheerful' category, and other gems and bits.
Also, on Friday April 12th the SMALLpieces and Northcote Pottery Supplies  will be open late (til 8pm) and there will be a few refreshments and general casual hanging out.  Everyone welcome! Come by and 'meet the artist'!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

High Tea With Mrs Woo

A variety of my wares can now be found in the delightful and newly renovated High Tea With Mrs Woo on Cook's Hill in Newcastle.  Eventually there will also be a selection of pieces at their Paddington (Sydney) shoppe.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Douglas and Bec

Hello to those in Auckland!  You can now find some of my slab built range at Douglas in Bec in St Mary's Bay.  Cups and saucers are there now, with the rest of the line arriving shortly.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

shop online!

As it turns out, some of my things are available online through Craft Vic.  I'm not sure when this started or when it will end.  Get amongst it here!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Biggest (consignment) order to date!  All ready for The Design Files Open House.  This is the first time that my 'scallop' bowls and plates will be available in grey (with speckles and 'x's of coures).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Age

Hello.  As many of you dear readers would have seen, there was a wee profile of me and my work in The Age this Saturday.  I'm feeling pretty embarrassed about how it came off and I'd like to make some excuses and waffle on a bit more about some of the points.  
My main excuses for a lack of substance in the article are that I was feeling quite sick that week and wasn't on my game, and also I am really crap at thinking/doing/responding-intelligently-to-questions on the spot.  Especially when strangers are involved.  Another complication is that I am currently working on two very different 'lines' of work.  They were developed in different ways, for different reasons.  Many of the questions I was asked had more than one answer.  I think my tendency was to offer one vague or muddled answer instead. 
The writer, Megan Backhouse, seems a lovely, energetic lady, who is competent at her work, but i'm afraid I didn't give her a lot to go on. 

A few notes then:
-Links to my stockists can be found on the right hand side of the screen.  In Melbourne that's Craft Victoria, Save Yourself, Small Pieces and Ursa.  
-a small correction, I work at Northcote Pottery Supplies, as opposed to Northcote Pottery (Australasia).
-Back home I wasn't applying glaze in "layers" but using resist methods to apply glazes side by side, with, as Backhouse says, very clean lines in between.  
circa 2008 Midfire, pointed bottom cup, multiple glazes
-Before a glaze is fired onto the piece, it is a fragile powdery coating.  Transporting multiple glazed pieces to the kilns only to find they had been smudged together or chipped off became frustrating. I looked for alternate ways to incorporate colour and texture into my work. Hence stained and speckled clay (with a simple clear glaze) on the slab pieces.   
-I find my creative process relies on these sorts of restrictions.  I was without a potters wheel, so I began building with slabs.  Without a kiln, I change my work to make transport to the kilns less of a headache.  Without restrictions I would be overwhelmed with possibilities and I wouldn't know where to start.  
-"What Vachon wants out of her crockery are pieces that feel good in the hand or on the mouth and that don't have thin parts that will chip off"  There is something really embarrassing about this.  Like my main goal is that bits won't chip off.  I truely dislike chipped feet or lips.  But there obviously more to my work than sturdiness!  I just don't know how to put it into words.  
-''The form has to be intentional, even though some of my saucers are borderline on this.  (they warp during drying and firing)
''I am not into throwing a piece of clay and seeing how it lands[and calling that art].''  The 'integrity of form' and 'intention' ideas were drilled into my head at Uni.  They probably warrant another blog post sometime in the future.  
-''In an ideal world I would stop work at five and start making dinner''  Wow.  I am such a dork.  Actually in an ideal world I would have an endless amount of energy, it would always be 28 degrees, and dinner would make itself. As it happens I'm usually tired and hungry by 5:00 and dinner is on my mind.  (Also Nik works long hours too and I like to feed him.)  

Well I really need to get back out into the studio, so that's all I'll say on the matter for now.  Thanks for reading. 


Sunday, October 14, 2012


I'm excited to say that some of my work will be in this years The Design Files Open House - which is a pop-up shop that takes place in a proper house. Homewares sold from a house!  What an idea!
The following photos and words are borrowed from The Design Files.

A selection of product from The Design Files Open House 2012!  TOP LEFT – tableware by Marimekko, linen and placemats by Bonnie and Neil, TOP RIGHT – all furniture by Jardan, rug by Loom, cushion by Bonnie and Neil, artwork by Kirra Jamison, BOTTOM LEFT – hanging artworks by Kirra Jamison, artwork on floor by Esther Stewart, Flynn stool by Jardan, tote by Harvest Textiles.  BOTTOM RIGHT – table by Jardan, rug by Loom, teacup and saucers by Dawn Vachon.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, Styling – Lucy Feagins, Styling assistant – Nat Turnbull.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

current 'scallop' range - or line, if you will

Couverture and The Garbstore

My slab built pieces can now be found across seas in London!  After a very nervous week of transit I've been told that they've arrived without a scratch or a crack - phew! So if you are in the Notting Hill neck of the woods, duck into Couverture and The Garbstore and buy me these mittens.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Small Pieces / Northcote Pottery

Window Display!

Ursa Studiohouse

Now the slab series (the pink, grey and cream coloured ones) can be found on Lygon Street in East Brunswick at a lovely little shop called Ursa.  Many of the objects and artworks she stocks are made in Melbourne's inner north, with a few international additions.  It's definitely worth popping in if you're in the neighborhood.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Craft Victoria

My work is now available at the shop at Craft Victoria.  CV is a great organization and I'm really proud to have some of my work there.  It is at 31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne and the hours are Monday to Saturday from 10-5.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thanks A Plate a Day!

A Plate a Day is a great way to stock the ol' image bank on a regular basis.
These plates were made during my residency at the Incinerator Arts Complex in Moonee ponds.  They now belong to Sachiko Mardon, whose residency there has just finished up.  I wish I had a website for her to link to but unfortunately I just have this...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thanks Design*Sponge, LEIF

Turns out a couple of great blogs have posted a bit of my work.  Thanks!  If you haven't just come here from Design*Sponge or Leif, you should definitely go there now and check em out : )

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


A big thank you to the lovely ladies at The Design Files for profiling me and my work!  I've had a lot of really positive feedback.  My head is swelling up a little bit.
If you haven't already, check out the post here . Thanking you kindly.
All credit to The Design Files and Sean Fennessy for the photos n such.