ceramic bowls

To the land of OZ

 I haven't announce here, or anywhere really, just whisperings, but come December 24th, my family and I will be heading home to the land of OZ. We've spent 2 1/2 years here in Queenstown NZ - there is too much to say so I'm going to say it in pictures but that will be a post for another day.

Ceramic mantra bowls by Galia Alena

In the meantime today I sent out the last of the custom made bowls until I set my family up again and find access to a new kiln. I'm really hoping there will be one in my future. This was such a special batch to make and a privilege to make for such soulful women, filled with love for family or gifts for sisters. 

Ceramic mantra bowls by Galia Alena

By Monday I will be putting my Etsy shop into holiday mode for a few months while all my beloved art supplies bob there way across the ocean. I'm hoping to re-open it as soon as I can with new creations. In the meantime, if there is something calling you then you have until Monday to put your name on- there are still a few bowls left.
Then I will be taking in some of this exquisite place while I still can- in between walks up the mountain and around the lake my daughter is dragging me to fear factory and there will be a girls road trip down to the bottom of the island to visit the dolphins. Trying to breath it all in while I can. I am going to miss the mountains and the lake but am looking forward to the heady sweetness of Gardenias and trays of mangoes and my friends!! Looking forward to my friends. Xx

Ceramic mantra bowls by Galia Alena

From the Fires of the Earth

Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
Finally made myself a blessing bowl for my own altar and I'm so excited, totally in love with how it turned out. We were lucky enough to do a pit fire this weekend with cuttings from the local pinot noir grapes and they turned out just beautifully. I'm totally in love with the alchemical fire markings in black and "pinot" wine colour, and specklings. I had to restrain myself from including too many close up shots because the texture is exquisite. Only wish I had had more time to make pieces for the firing but I am keen to try this again and soon. so delicious
Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
 On the back is a Rumi quote "When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you a joy."
Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
 All perfect, reflecting the work done in Woman as River- exploring money mythology, through second chakra work around flow. Below is a journal page I did inspired by an artwork shared in the group (artist unknown). Pixie's next Woman as River starts next Monday, details here: Woman as River
Galia Alena mixed media journal page inspired by unknown artist

Galia Alena ceramic wip pit fire
 This piece is still a work in progress, she needs her hand dyed lace and feathers but the pit firing has turned out better than I could have imagined on her, although the earth did seem to taken an offering of her snake and a flower or two. She might be awhile before she's finished but I'll share when she is.

Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire

Last Call

Galia Alena mixed media art and ceramics

Shortly I will be losing access to my current kiln. I've loved being a member of the local pottery club and even stepped up to be president of it for about 5 minutes but that time is ending. So last week I put a call out on facebook for the last custom made orders of my blessing and offering bowls. These bowls hold peoples intentions at the cross road of the elements and sit on many beautiful altars around the world. It has been an absolute pleasure to make these, I worked with a friend across the oceans this week to clarify her intentions on a particular issue and tears were shed by both of us as the bowls cracks let the light in and out of the wound.

The reception of facebook was so overwhelming  that I didn't get a chance to announce it here. A scramble was made as I ran out of clay and the joys of living on a small island in a small country at the bottom of the world was felt as I couldn't source anymore. Today, though, I found a friend who had some that she didn't need and I can offer them here too. So if you are feeling the call to have one of these hold your intentions on your altar or in your sacred space I am taking orders for a few more over the next few days only: https://www.etsy.com/listing/155790114/custom-offering-bowl-perfect-for-your?ref=shop_home_activeGalia Alena mixed media art and ceramics
 I am holding close to my heart the intention that there is another kiln in my not to distant future because I love making these and I love working with the clay. There is both an organic element and an alchemical element to these that I really love. That joy of not really knowing what you are going to get until you open the kiln reminds me so much of my early love affair with old skool photography when you never really knew what you were going to get in the darkroom- a slight bit of mystery, serendipity and magic...

Homemade Manuka Honey Granola

Manuka Honey Granola Recipe, Galia Alena Photography

I love a decadent granola, a little bit of lush treat that is on the wholesome side, but those tiny designer bags with their designer price tags just don't work for me. Then I discovered just how simple it is to whip some up myself and have it on hand in the pantry for whenever the children want to graze on something sweet and crunchy (and it disappears by the handful) or when I want a special yet healthy breakfast I have it under yogurt and fruit. Delicious
And, of course, the bonus of making it yourself is you get to load it with your own favourite nuts and fruit (and you can go organic and local if you wish).

3 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup of wholewheat flour
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
Handful of crushed nuts of your choice (almonds, pistachio, brazil for example)
Handful of seeds (sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (so about a teaspoon of each)
Sprinkling of sea salt
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of manuka honey (or maple syrup but I am in the land of manuka honey)

This recipe is super easy. First mix all your dry ingredients together.
Melt honey and coconut oil (I melt in a bowl over boiling water).
Mix into the dry ingredients until they are all incorporated.
Layout the mixture onto a tray (I like to use a silicon nonstick reusable liner), pressing firmly down (the more you press it down the better clumps and clusters you get).
Bake at about 150 deg for about 40 mins, turning half way.
Allow to cool in the tray and then toss in some dried fruit and more nuts (I love dried papaya, and cranberries, and more nuts).

Tip: Double the batch- not sure what happened to this batch I made a couple of days ago but it seems to have vanished.

(The original inspiration, which I've adapted to my taste, comes from Beauty that moves, my kids also love her rolled oats and banana pancakes. I'm thinking that I might play around with the recipe some more and see if I can come up with a raw version in the dehydrator).

From the Earth and the Fires

It's been a long while since I've paid my Etsy shop any attention, but I reopened it two days ago with a few original paintings and some of my blessing bowls (including custom made ones). And I'm loving how well my bowls are being received. They are perfect to sit on your sacred altar holding your sacred herbs or flowers or just your intentions.

Blessing bowl by Galia Alena ceramics pottery sacred altar

Working with the clay, the wait while things dry, or go through the kiln, the mystery and alchemy of glazes doing their magic in the fiery darkness, the christmas morning feeling when you finally get to remove them from their final firing. It reminds me so much of when I first started photography. The mystery of images lying dormant and mysterious until you processed them then magically coming to life on the film or paper with the blending of alchemy- predictable yet mysterious and magical.

Blessing bowl by Galia Alena ceramics pottery sacred altar

This week I look forward to shaping some more clay, marking with sacred symbols and mantras. Each bowl takes a few weeks to complete and I can only do a couple at a time but the muses have been whispering to me so marks must be made. When I went to the states, I made some personalised bowls as gifts, intuiting what to put on for each individual and I loved how they turned out and am really looking forward to seeing what people might like on their own bowls.
Galia Alena mixed media painting
 I've also added in a few original paintings. These are acrylic, ink and pastels on plaster and fabric. Each would look fabulous in a shadow box frame or hung raw to give a rustic look. It is the first time I have put any originals up for sale, and it kind of comes with a bitter sweet sensation, sending my babies out into the world. I'm sure they will find good homes.
Galia Alena mixed media painting
 I would love to hear what you would like to see me put in my Etsy shop next. I'm also working on my next e-course and would love to hear what you would like to see included in that. I've had many request to do a journaling course so I'm working on that- what would you like to see included?
Galia Alena mixed media painting of an angel and a mary oliver quote