Friday, September 25

You're Fired!

I can't help myself thinking of The Apprentice each time some new clay work is fired in the kiln. You'd think I'd stop saying it after nearly two years of teaching pottery, but alas no!

Anyway these are a couple of new tiles in the shop that were fired this week. I think they look quite cute. 

I'm off to Porto with university on Sunday and am getting very excited! Today at uni we looked at our lecturers' sketchbooks that had been done whilst they travelled, reportage-style. There seems to be a big difference between making useful documents (that can inspire new work once you get back), and making pretty and complete pictures. All my favourite pages were quite rough, with bits of typography and collage which still described a lot about the place. I'm going to be on the lookout for ephemera while I'm there, and I've been concentrating on typography lately so I hope to get some good work done. All I need to do now is work out how to survive with hardly any clothes - our baggage limit is small and I want lots of art materials with me. Eeep! 

I probably won't get a chance to blog tomorrow so have a fab weekend whatever you're up to, and see you in a week and a bit! 

Saturday, September 19


My tea towel arrived in the post yesterday and I'm thrilled! It's come out so well, really crisp and clear. It's 100% linen and feels lovely - not that I've been stroking it all morning or anything ;)

I'm going to get a quote for a few more and try them in the shop. If they go well I could think about making a whole series of  collection tea towels. They'd all have to be based around my own collections of weird things to keep it nice and personal. I'd really like to do one about wooden toys, as they are mysteriously accumulating in our flat, and then maybe teacups, then milkjugs... the possibilities are endless!

Friday, September 18

A bit of magic

Just a quick post today to show some new paintings I've been working on. I want to do a whole series of different colours of crystal. I was just mesmerised at the Natural History Museum in the "Minerals" section. Aren't crystals just magic? The thing that struck me was that most of the examples in cases weren't angular and defined, many were a little lumpy and irregular but had the most delicate colours and translucence. 

Tuesday, September 15

Collecting my thoughts

I had a brainwave the other day whilst looking at the brief we were set for summer. It's funny, sometimes just re-reading the original instructions after a period of research does a world of good, the words seem to mean completely different things to only a few weeks previous. My idea? Make a tea towel instead of a poster/catalogue/book to display my collection! It totally fits in with the 'nesting' element and doubles up on the idea of my items being domestic and housewifely.

So yesterday I spent the whole day painting paper in the yummiest shades of turquoise going, drawing my objects and cutting them out of the painted paper with a scalpel. I am pretty chuffed with the result if I do say so myself.  I think the typography is the most satisfying as it's all been inspired by the turquoise books I found and from the lid of my segmented tupperware container. I've sent off the design to have it printed (only 1 of them I'm afraid though) and fingers crossed it'll arrive soon. I'd have printed it myself but the print room at uni has been bulldozed and I don't know if the new one is ready yet! 

I'm also really pleased with collage original, clearly I will be doing more scalpel work this year as it seems to keep popping up as a solution to my work, remember this

Friday, September 11

Bird brain

Right, well this didn't turn out exactly as planned but it was quite fun experimenting with the idea... 
I had been looking at animals that collect things for my collecting project and came across Bower birds which line their nests with blue objects that they find, in order to attract a mate. As it happens I already have a very nice mate, but for the sake of research I decided to line my "nest" with my collection of turquoise objects! 

What do you think, would it tempt you? Just a little bit...?

Sunday, September 6

A Sunday of Colours

Today I went to the car boot sale near our house and found these beautiful silver knives with green plastic handles. I love that they're mismatched but still belong together. This little book has some lovely 1930s folk-inspired designs for linen embroidery too but of course what initially attracted me was the yummy turquoise cover! 

I then came home and made a few new pieces for the shop. This coral design was inspired by re-stringing an old coral necklace last week, isn't that specific colour just gorgeous? It's like nothing else I can think of. I hope I've captured it well. I've also listed a new feather painting in a larger size to make a bit more of a statement. What do you think? I'm going to do a few more slightly larger pieces as I waste card by cutting them to 9x9" and think it might be nice to offer something other than tiny weeny for a change!

Anyway, hope you have a nice relaxing Sunday night all :)

Friday, September 4

A little treat

I sometimes view life as a series of challenges and rewards, like if something really crap happens, you'll probably have something good happen soon after. In fact, I often think that the way in which you try and fix things in the bad times will probably turn into the good thing you were hoping for, so being positive and hardworking will usually get you out of a hole. 

I quite like applying this challenge/reward scheme to the more mundane parts of my life too.
This last two weeks I've been heaving stuff out of my studio where I was doing picture framing. I was sharing with several other artists but could no longer afford to have the space, nor the time to do framing once term starts again. The weeks of packing, trips to the tip, taking things home and finding space in our spare room ended yesterday in the mammoth job of moving my cast iron mitre cutter. I don't quite know how, but I got it into my car single-handedly and it weighs about quarter of a ton! I can only think that it was like that story about the mother whose baby was stuck under the car and in a Hulk-like burst of adrenaline she managed to lift the car to release the babe. Something like that anyway... 

But I digress, the bit that you're probably more interested in is that I promptly went to a few local charity shops to look for a little prize for all my hard work and came away with this beautiful Ercol chair! A mere £7 was paid and it is in mint condition. I love that I will always look at this chair and remember that my hard work got stuff done and sorted, and that I seem to be freakishly strong. Go me!