Well I said White Cliffs deserved a post of its own and indeed it does. Here it is! It is not the place you’d expect a gaggle of sari clad waitresses but hey, that’s White Cliffs…full of the unexpected.
White Cliffs is three hours from Broken Hill…we are talking really remote. It is a small town that gets so hot in Summer that most of the population live underground in cave like homes called dugouts. But these are much classier than your average cave dwelling and they remain beautifully cool all year around. As they say there, one hundred million rabbits can’t be wrong. Read about day to day life in White Cliff here. In the photo, Graeme is showing us the size of the pineapple opal he’d like to find.
Some live there for the isolation and the simplicity of life. And the stark beauty of the landscape. The sunsets are beautiful beyond description and I have never seen such densely star drenched night skies. The much touted big Aussie sky is truly at its most obvious here.
Many White Cliffs locals mine for the beautiful opals that can be found there. Tourists regularly try their luck and there are stories of those who turn up an opal carelessly as they flick over something on the ground. But the reality is much harder work. The pineapple opal pictured is extremely rare, found only in White Cliffs and in the collection of the Dowton family. Read more about Pineapple Opals here.
Early September was the Underground Art Festival – the theme being Body and Soul. It was a great event and so much fun to be a part of. I was there to casually discover an opal by flicking over something on the ground, prevail on the hospitality of the wonderful Barbara and Doug, run a workshop and wrap saris. Oh well, three out of four ain’t bad.
I had a small display of my work and Sacha at Red Earth was selling some Samunnat products. We ran the workshop in the large front room of the cafe which was ideal for such an activity and, gosh, if I was Sacha, I’d be inviting polymer artists from Broken Hill there again.
The workshop was subsidised in part by the CWA, a magnificent organisation and an iconic institution in rural Australia. The local president is in the white shirt wearing her gorgeous pendant! All that desert must inspire creativity because each person made simply stunning pieces, all unique and reflecting the inner dugout dweller perhaps? Here are some samples of their art. Some even wore their pendants to the Gala Event that night. Ah, the joys of polymer clay…