Another busy day

Its another busy day here at Hawkesdale. Finishing up with the creation of some plaster masks. Students designed the masks after looking at the meanings and potential for subversion while wearing a mask. The construction is simple push moulds with modroc as the positive. Messy business but loads of fun.

3D Printing!

I recently had the opportunity to visit Quantum Victoria, (at LaTrobe University) to learn how to use a 3D printer. The technology is mind boggling and has many applications.  Its uses are expanding at an alarming rate. It really is only limited by imagination. The school now has a 3D printer set up in the library office and is awaiting its first task.  It appears to be particularly useful for Systems Engineering  or Design and Technology students. I am going to set some tasks for my Senior Visual Communications students and see what they can come up with. Its use requires a basic understanding of CAD and technical drawing but it can also be used with ‘script’ and downloaded ‘meshes’.  This rather blobby snail was created using finger painting on a iPad app. It gave the option to download a ‘mesh’ which was then picked up by the operating software and then set to print after some adjustments. The operating software adds things like an external ‘raft’ to support the item while it prints and supporting structures for extremities.


Up The Creek (again)

The Advance Program Canoe Camp happened again last week. For three days the Advance students paddle their canoes up the Glenelg river. A wonderful time was had by all and although I have a few sore muscles Im sure it was worth it. The weather was a perfect 22 -25 degrees and there was no wind at all, making paddling easy. A bit of a shower (for about 8 hours) tested the tents out on Thursday night and no one seemed to have a leaky tent.
I returned home on Friday night tired but happy, knowing that on Saturday I had the Corangamite Relay for Life to walk. The Relay for Life raises funds for cancer research. Teams are formed, and basically you just walk around an oval (in this case the Leura Oval)…. for 18 hours. It is a huge and well organised event with plenty of fun and frivolity for every one. There is a serious side however and friends and loved ones lost to Cancer and those that survived are remembered all the way through. A solemn candle lighting ceremony lit by hundreds of lanterns is a fitting tribute to those people. Over 1500 people were signed up in teams and over 89,000 dollars was raised on this occasion.

Music Arts

One of our Year 10 students recently had the chance to participate in a songwriting workshop, as part of the famous and massive Port Fairy Folk Festival. (
Tom Richardson is performing at Port Fairy for the weekend and spent time developing both the music and the song with our student. I am lucky enough to be sitting in the room next door and the quality of the song and music is FANTASTIC. Our student is performing the song with Tom at the festival, I for one, cant wait to hear it happen in that arena. (Tom’s music is available to download on iTunes)


Last year I made a contact through Twitter to Quinn McDonald ( in America. She was kind enough to involve our school Year 7 class in her traveling journal project. Quinn sent us some beautiful, tough and durable paper which was given to the students to decorate and make into a journal page. The pages will be sent back to Quinn and she will then bind them into a journal. This journal will be used to foster a connection to the students in a local school nearby her home. They in turn will be making a journal to send to us. Below is one of the beautiful pages made by one of my students to be sent to Quinn. How beautiful is it?

I’m back after quite a while….

Here I am back in the blogosphere after a long time away. This year has been quite nutty and extremely busy with two VCE classes to teach. I am still using Flickr and analogue photography as my main source of artistic expression but this has been quietened down to a trickle. I have a few projects to show you in the next few weeks including the completely awesome Picasso Cows, the fantastic collaboration of journals with year 7 students and Quinn MacDonald in the USA, another photo challenge workshop, as well as the always great year 6 and 7 artworks. Phew. updates with photos to follow in the next few days.

Photo Challenge update




The year 7’s have recently completed their photo challenges! The exciting thing is; they have been asked to participate in two new projects involving photography. The first involves a school in England  and some baby photos! (more about that later). The second is with the South West Climate Change Forum. The SWCCF supplied disposable cameras and the students had to use the cameras to photograph what climate change means to them.  A big ask, but they were all very well versed about climate change and had little difficulty finding subject matter. So now we have to  wait until the photos go on exhibition early next year.

Art inspired by China

The Year 7’s recently got inspired by the Olympic games host nation China, to create some very interesting artwork. Based on the Peking Opera, the masks are colourful and lightweight.

Using their hands, the sculpture compound was made damp and squeezed to the right consistency. It was then pushed into the mould in a thin layer, and popped out when dry. It was given a base coat of paint and the colour layers were built up one after the other.