Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Inspirational days in the Lakes at Easter

Well back to school this week with two days done already. Enchanted forests with Year 2s yesterday and today a fun day introducing Ancient Egypt to Year 3s. All good fun with pics to follow. I know most people have a three day week this week with weddings and street parties to look forward to but a self employed artists job is never done and I am flinging open the doors to my studio this weekend to celebrate the Craft and Design Magazines Craft Month with Ceramics being the starting week. So if you are at a loose end this weekend I am opening 11 til 4 Saturday and Sunday at Higherford Mill, Gisburn Road, Barrowford, Lancashire, BB9 6JH. There could be some bargains to be had as I am tidying and organise my studio tomorrow in preparation.

new work on show

The first Bluebells
So this weekend the weather was lovely and it was too nice to stay inside especially as I will be in the cold studios all weekend so I though an inspirational few days in the Lakes would be a perfect antidote.

Buzzards nest 
Speckled Wood Butterfly I think with a 14 spotted ladybird  

Windermere a perfect spot for a picnic

Scout Scar a perfect panoramic view of the lakes and Lancashire fells.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Inspiration in the garden - sketchbook pages

Well it's been a busy week but I am not sure what I have been doing to be honest. Lots of prep work and tidying up after BCTF, paperwork and I was actually in a school, probably the only one in the whole of Pennine Lancashire but hey it was a good day playing with clay for Y5/6s. I will share some photos later they are now drying waiting for a kiln firing so all good. I was actually inspired by a friend Hannah Kidds blog to write on mine about showing my workings out. She talked about how we get children in schools to show their workings out and how as adults it is quite a scary thing to do so I thought I would show you some of my thought processes here and how I get to draw the things I do and this week I have been out in the sunshine in the garden.....

It's my first attempt at planting veggies for a complete season and I was given some seeds for my birthday and some last year for sowing in winter but I never got round to it so I have radishes and broad beans starting to grown in my not so finely tilled soil but it's a start. I love gardening and use it as inspiration and a resource in my work as you can see here

We had a blackbirds nest fall out of the ivy last week with an egg and unfotunately a dead chick but hopefully she has time to make another nest.

sketchbook pages  

I was also looking at drawing some different flowers for my vases and also for the table centres for a friends wedding so I have gone back to straight observational drawing to get back into the swing of it before turning it into a more stylised version that I feel comfotable to work with.

Queen if the Night tulips planted by me.

We shall see, there is still a lot more to explore as the garden is coming to life and as I have inherited a really nice spot I am still discovering what spring bulbs are exploding into life and colour.

Don't panic the foxgloves haven't flowered just yet I was just showing you what's to come am hoping they are white ones too.

And last but not least Hannah has just got back from her hols she has brought me a present. Her future husband wasn't too impressed to be honest that she picked it up whilst walking the fells of Cumbria but is an amazing find and I love it though I am sure you may find it a bit gruesome but I can add it to my collection that I have picked up along the way. Right off to fire a kiln, hope this is a little insight into what goes on in an artists head or explain some of the finished pieces you can see in my studio etc. Hmmm maybe not.......

Monday, 11 April 2011

Open Studios, Shows and more

So I have just updated my events page on my website so I thought I would put the new dates etc on here too. 

I will start the season with an open studios event which I have collated with members from Northern Potters and friends in conjunction with Craft and Design Magazines National Crafts Month. My studio will be open on Saturday 30th April to Sunday 1st May 11 - 4 and then through the week where possible or by appointment. There is a pdf I can send out to you if you would like to follow the trail across Lancashire.
In June Higherford Mill Artists presents their annual Open Studios Event for the Bowland Arts Festival 2011
Higherford Mill artists will once again open their studios for visitors on the weekend of 4th and 5th June 10am - 4pm but please note I will only be open on the Saturday.

On the 5th June  the Sunday I am going to be exhibiting at Holmfirth Art Market for the first time. It opens at 
10am to 4pm at Holmfirth indoor market, HD9 3JU with a £2 entry on the door which included free entry to their fantastic Art Raffle. There are over 80 selected artists and designer-makers all coming together over two weeks in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire to show their most recent work.  Come along and "meet the makers", talk to the artists, find about about them and their work, buy and commission direct.
The week after I will be at Potfest Scotland from the 10th - 12th June. Which returns to
the Perth area for its 14th year in Scotland. This years show is Potfest at the Palace, in the wonderful grounds of Scone Palace, the home of the Stone of Destiny, the crowning site of former Scottish kings. This years show has a slightly different format, being held in 5 marquees on the lawns in front of the Palace. Entry to the show also includes entry to the Palace grounds and gardens, open 10am - 5pm daily

And then on to July where I have again been selected to exhibit at Potfest in the Park 29th, 30th, 31st July 2011.
Over 100 exhibitors invited from all over Europe and beyond....all with very distinctive individual styles ....all passionate about working with clay. The venue, Hutton-in-the-Forest, is a cultural destination in itself with it's walled garden, topiary terraces and woodland walks. The ceramics festival takes place in and around marquees in front of the castle, with the potters competition pieces on the lawn, juxtaposing ancient architecture and modern ceramics. Hutton-in-the-Forest lies 5 miles northwest of Penrith, Cumbria
(M6 junction 41) - on the edge of the stunningly beautiful Lake District National Park
(Postcode CA11 9TH for sat navs )
Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday ...10am - 5pm daily
Adults £6. (includes admission to gardens)
Accompanied children free
. Free parking. Refreshments on site

The last show I think I will be exhibiting at will be Nostalgia Meets Design if I get selected so cross fingers for that one I just need to get my new decals ordered for the photos of childhood memories. Watch this space for more details.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tired now but I have survived BCTF 2011 woo hoo

Well its all over and I am very tired. It was amazing seeing old and new friends and I really enjoyed myself. I am really really tired though so this is a snap shot of those who I shared a room with, drunk g&ts with and who made it a pleasure to be there. Apologies if I have missed people off there are a few but I didn't take pics so maybe next year!

Red Currant Glass

the lovely Stevie

Kate Durdy

Dylans mum
My work.......

My new work was very well received and I was very pleased with the positive feedback from all. Thank you x

Friday, 1 April 2011

Who booked three schools for the week leading up to BCTF?????

Chembakolli village with Y3s
Well it's been an experience not to be repeated this week, work wise. As well as helping to create a village and a street scene from India with Year 3s and an 'Under the Water' scene with Y1s, I spent today felt making reflections in water with Y5/6 unfortunately forgetting to take some shots of their amazing work and am now completely exhausted!

errrr.....I'll not repeat what I actually said!

On top of that it is the British Craft Trade Fair at Harrogate starting tomorrow so I need to get organised for that too. First time in 6 years! Next time, if there is a next time, I may take the week before off! I have change my whole making process and even changed my clay so it's been an uphill struggle to master the materials with my wrists and also to achieve the finish I aspire to. Any how I have dropped more than my fair share this week! Five finished pieces fell off the edge of the table in the dining room and then the handle broke on my final show pieces, the big ones too, as I was transporting them to the kiln! So on to Plan B with the decals but they were still in the post! They eventually arrived today and I have got my final kiln on for the show, cross everything! Please!

So a sneak preview and I am now going to finish my price list and show info for the press wish me luck!


New in my Etsy shop

I am currently uploading work into my Etsy shop as my laptop has died after water damage and I can't access the back end of my website...