Monthly Archives: February 2016

Session 12 Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy

There is now a discrepancy between what I can offer to most of my students and what they expect to learn.  I understand their frustration.  Some of them have come to class with a fair amount of skills; they can … Continue reading

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The Strange Things that Come to Mind

One thought leads to another. Today, because I am unwell and sitting around doing nothing, I picked up the knitting needles.  I think one’s mind empties as one knits and leaves room for other thoughts to invade. I’m knitting a … Continue reading

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Originally posted on Translations from the English:
February And love changes us— Ripples rebuild a shadow. Winter’s surface thins.

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History Repeats, or Not

I experienced a sense of déjà vu in class last week.  A sense that my fledglings are ready to fly.  The students’ demands are increasing and there are too many mouths to feed. It has happened before but that time … Continue reading

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Dogs on Leash at the Beach

My friends Baz and Di took me to Balmoral Beach at 7:30 a.m. but it was already 25ºC and felt like midday (except it was 33ºC at midday and kept climbing).  Balmoral is my favourite beach in Sydney and that … Continue reading

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Up a Tree

Yesterday an arborist came to remove the epicormic sprouts off my jacaranda tree.  These sprouts grow upright from arching branches and block light and air circulation. They are usually weak growths that are more prone to diseases so they can be harmful to the … Continue reading

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To Teach or Not to Teach

One of my students challenged me about teaching Chinese calligraphy when I am not a practicing calligrapher.  Incidentally I’m not a certified teacher either. :) I  accept that some of my students may need a more advanced level of teaching .  As I said … Continue reading

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Perfect Imperfection

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The Odd Fruit

I have a collection of citrus trees in my urban orchard – oranges, lemons, cumquats, limes, citrons, lemonade fruit, tangelo and pomelo.  A lot of trees in a very small space.  It means they constantly cross with each other and … Continue reading

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Weekend Pottery

I spent four hours at Mosman High School today, making pottery by hand.  Our tutor asked us to make three spoons, three bowls and a platter each, after showing us how to pinch pots, how to roll a coil to … Continue reading

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It’s Easy when you Know How

Children like to ask why.  I like to ask how.  After all, when you know how, you know why because when you ask why, you are asking how come?  I keep that in mind when I am teaching Chinese Calligraphy.  People say it’s … Continue reading

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From the Scrap Heap

Don’t you hate waste?  I’m not obsessed with money but I find that making coin purses out of bits of left over yarn is quick, easy and satisfying.  Of course you can use them to hold other bits and pieces … Continue reading

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“I don’t want to learn…”says my student

It may seem bizarre but since 2007, when I started teaching Chinese Calligraphy, I’ve had students who come to class regularly without learning anything, and some of them had informed me of their intention to learn nothing from the beginning. One … Continue reading

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The Shaping of Characters

Just like human characters, the writing of Chinese characters comes in all shapes and sizes. With the first brush stroke on paper, my students decided those dimensions of every character in their piece. The first vertical line is the plump line … Continue reading

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Session 11: Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy

I’ve had a virus for a few days so I went into class today with a heavy head and little preparation.  The students were as eager as ever and when they presented their work I felt the endorphins lifting me … Continue reading

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What’s in a Name?

Three students in my Chinese Calligraphy class surprised me last week with their first draft of the poem;  John, our novice was amongst the three.  That the two most experienced calligraphers were most unhappy with their progress and failed to … Continue reading

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Bergamot luck

I was so delighted to find bergamots at the market lately, or rather they found me, making their way into my basket disguised as organic lemons. Not really paying attention, that´s what I mistook them for. Back home I realized…

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You Win Some You Lose Some

I’ve had to pick the figs a day or two before they’re fully ripened on the trees or I would end up with none.  It’s a shame as tree ripened fruit are so good but I’m no match for the … Continue reading

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