Horn Comb

This is a horn comb I purchased ten years ago from a little stall in the ethnically-Tibetan village of Xiahe, in Gansu province, China. At the time I was three weeks into a 3 month overland backpacking trip in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand with 4 other friends from New Zealand. It was a rite of passage as it was my first taste of freedom from sheltering parents. As you can expect from 5 twenty-year-olds, there were plenty of drama, a collection of intense firsts, and countless fond memories.

For me, hair combing is a practice of self care. Currently I have three combs and they live in different spots in the home. A wooden comb with my mother’s name engraved in Chinese characters is in a drawer in the lounge, in the bathroom a comb made of Hmong silver which is a 30th birthday gift from my parents. The horn comb lives in my bedroom.

Zhu Ohmu

Zhu Ohmu is a contemporary artist currently based in Melbourne, Australia and works primarily with ceramics to explore the resurgence of the handmade and in the age of mass production and automation. Through her delicate craftsmanship, Zhu has created a coiling technique that imitates the machine methods of 3D printing. Built through stacking, folding, and pressing, the ceramic vessels are often dictated by the weight of moist clay with forms emerging intuitively, often pushed to their structural limits. By spending time with the physical matter through play and observation, the insight into plasticity and workability allows the artist to compromise with the material. The artist’s hands are able to build forms that the present-day 3D printer cannot, and this is because humans are capable of the patience, care, and curiosity needed for an intimate relationship with clay.