22 February, 2014
The next show I’m gearing up for is at the fantastic Bircham Gallery in Holt, Norfolk. They are holding a ‘Newcomers’ exhibition “showcasing new artists and makers at Bircham Gallery taken on during their anniversary year“. Exhibitors in the show include:
Paintings: Stephanie Lambourne, Sally Tyrie, Stephen Robson, Helen Terry.
Ceramics: Katharina Klugg, Lowri Davies, Sarah Jenkins, Patricia Shone, Elaine Bolt, Alison Graham, Vicky Shaw.
Jewellery: Mariko Sumioka, Emma Goward, Stacey Bentley
Textiles/Paper: Matthew Harris
The show runs from the 8th March to the 2nd April 2014. More info on opening hours and directions can be found on their facebook event page.
I’m delivering the work there next week as I’ve created a few new utensil pieces and these are always a delicate affair. The delivery also gives me an opportunity for a mini ceramics road-trip to Holt via a few museums and galleries, including hopefully the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, at UEA.
11 February, 2014
I have just opened the kiln to inspect my first reduction firing of 2014. I had been very nervously waiting for the kiln to cool down because the firing itself hadn’t seemed to go particularly smoothly. So this morning, when it was cool enough to open, I inspected the results and found there were some winners and some losers in there, as can often be the case in any firing.
In this case, the terracotta pieces came out the best. The reduction process transforms the soft orange of the bisque fired terracotta to a dark purple-brown-black, without the addition of a glaze or engobe, just using the iron in the clay body itself. The temperature I fire to also pushes the clay to its limit, creating small bubbles on the surface in the process. I enjoy the texture it gives to the vessels and like the way it enhances the ‘metalic’ quality of the pieces. Here is a ‘before and after’ shot of some of the pieces in Sunday’s firing.
I also put some stoneware tests in the kiln. I’m exploring some new ideas with different clay bodies. It’s very early days yet, but I like how some of the results look so far, particularly how they look in combination with the dark terracotta.
7 February, 2014
There’s something a bit fascinating about spoons. Their pleasing shape can be played with and distorted to create at once familiar and yet subtly altered objects. For a little while now I’ve been making a range of delicate willowy handled spoons like the ones below, in porcelain, stoneware and terracotta, and grouped together in clusters and sets.
The people at the excellent Craft Finder website, smitten with romance, have run a lovely feature on spoons this week, including my pieces along with beautiful silver and glass, spoons; all offering up their charms in tiny doses.
2 February, 2014
On the weekend of the 15th and 16th of February I will be exhibiting at Aspex Gallery, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth as part of their Contemporary Makers Fair 2014. I’ll have a range of my work there for sale, including some new designs fresh out of the kiln. The event will be open from 11-5 on both days and will showcase a selection of designer makers from the South East including fellow Crafts Council Hothouse participant Jelka Quintelier. Aspex will also be running workshops for children and adults across the weekend.
30 December, 2013
So 2013 has been an exciting year for developing and exhibiting my work. My first full year of business since completing my MA has been a pretty busy one. I got back in the studio today after a short break and am busy working on some new ideas and pieces. There’s lots to look forward to in 2014 and it’s starting well, with the first Crafts Council Hothouse event next week and a fantastic show in London starting soon after.
I will have a selection of my work available at the Designer Crafts 2014, ’Shop within the Show’, organised by the Society of Designer Craftsmen. Come to the Mall Gallery from the 10th January to see ceramics, furniture, glass, jewellery, metal, mixed media, textiles and wood by both established, and emerging, designer-makers.
My pieces will include a selection of celadon vessels and some rather cute sets of tiny pots and spoons.
The show will be at The Mall, London SW1 and runs from Friday 10th to Sunday 19th January 10am to 5pm (closing at 4pm on the 19th).
25 November, 2013
I am delighted to have been selected for the UK Crafts Council’s Hothouse 2014 scheme.
The Crafts Council have selected thirty-eight makers from across the UK to take part in this prestigious scheme. The makers are from a range of craft disciplines, all within the first two years of setting up their business.
The programme, which will start in January 2014, will provide makers with a tailor-made six-month programme of business and creative support. The scheme will provide group sessions on developing business skills, market knowledge and creativity; a series of networking events bringing together all Hothouse 4 cohorts; support from a peer buddy; and 1:1 sessions with a mentor from the sector.
Needless to say, this is exciting stuff and I feel very honoured to have been selected to be part of it all. It’s going to be a very busy six months, by all accounts, with lots of tasks and activities to get stuck into. But I can’t wait to meet all the other participants and make the most of everything this exciting programme has to offer.
Participants in the South East cohort include: me - Elaine Bolt (ceramics, East Sussex), Charlotte Brown (mixed media, London), Jessica Coleman (textiles, London), Adam Collins (furniture, Herts),Silvia Kamodyova (ceramics, East Sussex), Beatrice Larkin (textiles, London), Imogen Noble (ceramics, Kent), Paula Ortega (jewellery, London), Izzy Parker(jewellery & objects, London), Jelka Quintelier, (jewellery & objects, London).
Images from all the participants can be found on the Hothouse 4 Pinterest board.
You can also follow the selected makers using the Craft Council’s Twitter list.
19 November, 2013
I’ve just got home and am trying to quickly recharge my batteries after a stint of showing and selling my work. In fact, it was two shows and the work of many hands that became the focus of the past two weeks for me.
It was also fantastic to get a chance, albeit brief, to leave my stand and see the work of other makers and artists at the shows. For example, another potter at Handmade, Jane Sarre, who has written a great piece on her blog with tips for setting up and running a stand.
It’s hard to single out makers from so many who made beautiful and interesting things at the shows. But some of the ones I chatted to, and admired the work of, included silver by EJ Mahoney; wood pieces by Mark Hanvey; ceramics by Richard Heeley; lighting by Felix Proctor amongst so many more.
I also met and talked to many visitors who were makers themselves, over the two weekends, and it was great to have their support and interest. Makers who visited included jewellery designer Emily Kidson, potter Juliet Macleod, UCA ceramics student Hajnalka Rezes, and fellow future Hothouse participant Imogen Noble (more on Hothouse next). Thanks to you all for visiting and keeping my spirits up on long days. They were both great shows and great experiences in very different ways. But I could do with a rest now!
3 November, 2013
This week I’m packing up all my best pieces, and heading off to show my work at two fantastic events:
I have some new ideas to share as well as my range of vessels and other objects. Here are some images of pieces for the shows, fresh out of the kiln.
See below for details of both shows, including venue location, opening times, and tickets.
I hope to see you there!
Handmade in Britain - 8th-10th November
The show features over 100 exhibitors in all disciplines including furniture, jewellery, textiles, ceramics and glass – all with a focus on quality and craftsmanship.
I will be exhibiting as part of their ‘New Graduate Showcase’ a celebration of new talent in a dedicated gallery within the show.
As well as my work, the showcase will feature 4 other emerging makers and designers in the field of contemporary crafts. These include textile designer Amanda Gibbs; jeweller Anna Byers, glass artist Peter Kucerik and interior accessories designer Felix Proctor.
A pdf of the flier with location and contact details can be viewed by clicking here: HandmadeinBritaineflyer
Venue: Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, London, SW3 5EE
Opening Times: 11:00 – 19:00 Friday 8th; 11:00 – 18:00 Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th November
Admission Prices: One day: £7, Concessions: £5. There is an online early bird offer of £5
Art in Clay Farnham - 16th-17th Nov.
Art in Clay at Farnahm Maltings is a dedicated ceramics fair, showcasing some of the finest ceramics currently being made by individual makers in the UK and Europe.
Venue: The Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham Surrey, GU9 7QR
Opening Times: 10am – 5pm Saturday 16th; 10am – 4.30pm Sunday 17th November
Admission: Adult £5 Concession £4.50 Children 15yrs and under go free
29 September, 2013
I’ve been focusing on compositions recently, bringing together individual elements that together form a single piece or create a ‘set’ There’s something about composing these elements that fascinates me. It also seems to satisfy my ideas about how my work can be displayed: contrasting porcelain with the dark terracotta.
The idea for the ‘grounds’ (the thrown terracotta bases) used in these pieces, is influenced by every day items as utilitarian as a tray or a placemat ready for dinner. For some pieces though they might also suggest an extended ‘shadow’ for the pots placed on it, or simply offer a visual boundary for grouped items.
Selected compositions, including those pictured, along with a range of my other pieces, have just been sent off to the very lovely Bils and Rye Gallery in Yorkshire.
14 August, 2013
I’ve recently been finding lots of things that appeal to me in the colour blue, mainly around the home. And, almost by accident I’ve also been re-discovering lines. I rather like objects and groupings that combine rounded forms with straight lines so this may be why I’m particularly drawn to the image of the blue circle of paint on lined wooden decking.
The lines in the wood reminded me of the throwing lines I make in my terracotta ‘grounds’. When I throw vessels I often smooth these away, and sometimes incise other lines during the making process. But when throwing lines are left alone, they can provide a subtle surface feature, reminding us of its hand-made nature.
I’ve also been finding inspiration at the beach. I recently went to Birling Gap (not far from where I live) and found myself drawn again to the flint lines in the chalk cliff face, as well as the debris on the beach. Here a pile of rope and twisted coils of fishing wire sits, guarding the entrance to a white walled cave.