The Road to Sticciano – My Tuscan Story
About 20 odd years ago when I became fed up with the corporate jungle in Sydney, I took off for southern Spain to stay for a year…which turned into 15. On a whim one day I heard about a woman who did pottery classes out in the campo (bush to us Aussies) and so I thought I’d give it a shot. Little did I know that this would become a lifelong addiction!
Since then I’ve worked out of many studios and had many tutors but it’s only been in the last 18 months that I’ve finally been able to build a dedicated workshop complete with wheel, kiln and everything else that goes with it. The learning curve went from a gentle one to an exceedingly steep one. All good, keeps the grey cells going – along with sleepless nights thinking of glazes and blending them and ‘what if’ on this or that clay body, etc. You get the idea.
So I thought, I need to fast forward this a tad at my st(age) in life. Enter Italy. I won’t go into detail about how I ended up at Sticciano, a stunning Agri Turismo deep in the stunning Tuscan countryside because that’s another story on its own. But end up there I did and for a wonderful 5 weeks during March/April 2017.
The ‘Sticciano Tuscan Collection’ of Japanese Tea Bowls you see now were created there and most lovingly carried by hand through Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark and back here to Noosa. Probably some of the most well-travelled Tea Bowls around!
These are totally unique, as indeed are most ceramic pieces anywhere, and I cannot replicate them due to may various reasons. I can – and have begun – however, to recreate using some of the same principles since I returned home a month ago.
The ‘Sticciano Tuscan Collection’ were created from stoneware and fired in gas reduction and salt kilns. They were painted first with coloured slip on the greenware (pre any firing) and then with glaze after the first bisque firing. A second glaze firing resulted in what you see here.
You can use them for coffee, tea, nut bowls – whatever you like! People collect these and in Europe and ceramic artists swap with each other. My tutor, Terry Davis (a very accomplished UK potter living in Tuscany) has a cupboard full and when you go there for coffee, you get to choose which Teal Bowl you want.
Love and blessings
Glen (0459 343 828)
My passion for travel I blame (or should I more correctly I am inspired by) my father! And I’ve told him that too. When he sees pictures of me in various corners of the world he just smiles and says to his girlfriend (of an impressive 83, ten years younger than his even more impressive 93) “I wonder where she got that from?”
For as long as I can remember I’ve had the ‘travel bug’. And before that when I wasn’t old enough to decide, Dad did. He was a ‘nomad’, as was his father when folks back then didn’t even travel, at least not very far, far being places like Turkey from Denmark when they barely had cars.
So it was inevitable that I would get that insatiable thirst and restless feet syndrome. I know that many of my buddies are similar. Travel broadens our horizons and puts us in touch with different types of people, cultures, architecture, landscape, animals and a myriad of other things. It challenges us, pushes us beyond our self imposed limits.
It makes us live a REAL life instead of a virtual one. For me, I’ve come to realise (only over the last years) that I need travel – it feeds and nourishes my soul, it fulfils my sense of adventure and getting new experiences. That is why I’ve gone into the travel business – enter GlenergyTravel. I’m getting paid to travel (as can you) – YAY!
To top it off I’m combining my other passion of Mentor Coaching – both supporting, encouraging and boosting my team that I’m building, as well as my usual one2one mentoring. How lucky am I?
My travel team and I are going places whilst having fun (loads of it) and adventure (more loads of it) and self imposed excitement! I show them how to reduce and eliminate stress around finance and get out of a ‘stuck in a rut’ type job.
One condition though, you have to LOVE travel. Want to know more? Just reply to this email.
Love and blessings Glen
PS: Keep an open mind – “things are never what they seem” (they’re usually heaps better).
VolunTourism and Orphanage Tourism are NOT OK!
This is an excerpt of a blog I wrote last year when I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia whilst working for founder Billy Gorter of This Life Cambodia.
Thanks to Billy and his integrity, passionate and deep knowledge of orphans and children in Cambodia, I learnt so much. The biggest and most important is about the Voluntourism and Orphan ‘industries’ that are sweeping third world countries with a front of ‘helping’. I see it as a licence to print money these days.
Not all of them are bad of course but sadly, many are not kosher.
YOU can help by educating yourself and learning what the difference is so you can share and spread your knowledge and in the process, help save some children’s lives. Remember…
Children are NOT tourist attractions!
Voluntourism and Orphanages
There are 1000’s of charities or NGO’s in Siem Reap alone, never mind the rest of Cambodia. I’ve learnt a lot these past 4 months being here and in Viet Nam, that just because it’s a charity doesn’t mean it’s good. Not all NGO’s are kosher sadly. Children have become a commodity in the growing Voluntourism industry.
Over 70% of children in orphanages in Cambodia are NOT ORPHANS!
If you’re reading this and considering paying some company to volunteer, ESPECIALLY if it’s a so-called orphanage or children’s shelter, PLEASE RECONSIDER.
Because of the rising number of people in the world wanting to help and make a difference, just like I did when I began this journey, children are being put at risk. Distressingly, many orphanages are keeping children who are not orphans and have a parent alive, ensuring they look scruffy and dirty, even teaching them to beg or perform for tourists just to get more money (not necessarily money that’s used within the charities or for the good of the children). This has lead to the horribly growing industry of Voluntourism.
There are several previous NGO heads now in jail in various parts of the world for paedophilia. Children who were given up by their parents thinking they’d have a better life in a shelter, now can’t get them back – and so it goes on.
I’m not going to bang on about it, there are some responsible and ethical links below that tell it how it is so educate yourself and please, please for the sake of the children, share and spread this.
The BEST place for children whether orphaned or ortherwise is in a family environment and getting an education.
Read rest of the blog here
With love and blessings Glen