Round Robin

21 December, 2014

Elaine_Bolt_IMG_1819I was a tad busy this Autumn/Winter. If I try to put it all down I realise it looks a bit like a Christmas round robin letter – a lengthy listing of what I’ve been up to, regardless of the audience! So, no obligation – feel free to enjoy only the pictures and skip the rest! I won’t be offended.

exhibiting at Made London and Made Brighton –  I exhibited my work at two big shows this Autumn/Winter – Made London and Made Brighton. I spoke to so many lovely people and sold some of my favourite wall pieces and objects. It was a bit hard sometimes to see some of them go, but the people who bought them really seemed to connect with the ideas behind the work. Again it was great to meet up with some fantastic makers such as fellow ceramicists Carys Davies, Paul Wearing, Silvia K, Alice Walton, Hilary Mayo; plus Annemarie O’Sullivan (basket/willow artist), Emily Kidson (jewellery), and the members of the 2014 Hothouse alumni group amongst many others.

It was lovely to then take my work to Silvia K’s beautiful open house in Hove. She had curated a wonderful selection of work by talented artists and crafts people.

Silvia K's open house

visits to museums and other places

Uppark House –

I’m interested in how installations and ‘interventions’ by makers in craft disciplines respond to the themes and aesthetics of a particular place. In October, I visited Uppark House to see the work of several artists as part of the ‘Unravelled‘ installation. There were some fascinating responses to the house and its history by a number of makers in different materials. The regular displays in the house also offered an opportunity to consider how museum houses present the story of their domestic history. The kitchens and ‘below stairs’ spaces are, I often find, the most fascinating spaces. I particularly liked the silverware and kitchen utensils laid out in rows, as if mid-polish. The house also offered a thoughtful reflection on the fire that had destroyed much of the building in the 1980s.

Steven Follen - 'Trade' at Uppark HouseUppark House kitchen

Craft Interventions in Domestic Spaces –

Shortly after that visit, I attended a one day seminar event organised by the Crafts Council on ‘Craft Interventions in Domestic Spaces‘. It offered a useful insight into past projects and collaborations between museums, houses and makers. I came away still feeling intrigued about the directions my work might take, if presented with such opportunities. But it was also enlightening as to the challenges that can be faced.

Pitt Rivers Museum –

In November, I went to Oxford to go to one of my favourite museums the Pitt Rivers. I’ve been a few times and love the slightly gloomy setting and the seemingly endless exhibits crammed into countless cabinets. There’s always so much to see, both on display and in drawers you can pull out, that you’ll always see something new. It’s easy to see how many makers have been inspired by its collections.

Pitt Rivers museum - display

Institute of Making –

In December I went to a special event held at the Institute of Making. The day long session was organised by the Institute and R&A Collaborations. They brought together 38 makers from many craft disciplines for an opportunity to learn about the facilities and collection; to discover the materials held there; and to experiment with different making processes, materials and ideas. I loved trying out pewter casting, working with willow and creating objects with various plastics. These were all materials I hadn’t really ever worked with before and may well filter through into future ideas for my own work. It was also a great opportunity to properly meet some makers that I had only ever ‘met’ on Twitter and Instagram! Photos from R&A Collaborations can be seen on Facebook.

Elaine Bolt - Pewter casting at the Institute of Making

being captured on film – 

My final ceramics adventure for 2014 was to be filmed by the dynamic duo that is Richard and Arron of R&A Collaborations. I could say a lot about this challenging/amazing experience, but I’ll post more about it in the new year, when the film is ready.

Richard and Arron - capturing images in the studio

And finally… 

Thank you all for visiting my blog in 2014 It’s always worth it for me to put these things down in writing. I hope it’s sometimes worth the read! Merry Christmas and Best wishes for 2015!

Pitt Rivers Museum eskimo and polar bear

Crafts Council Hothouse logo

My adventure on the Crafts Council’s Hothouse 2014 programme has almost finished. Thirty-eight emerging makers, including myself, were selected to take part in an intensive programme of business and craft development. We’ve participated in a series of workshops and events designed to bring on our craft businesses and help us formulate the beginnings of a career in the sector.

It’s been a lot of hard work, including trying to get to grips with tax and finances (there have been a lot of spreadsheets) as well as working on our presentation skills (some drama and roll play did occur!).

e334a22f00f24b0

Hanne Mannheimer

Alongside the workshops we were each assigned a ‘buddy’ and a ‘mentor’ – professionals already working in our field of practice, to help and guide us along the way. My ‘buddy’ is Hanne Mannheimer who makes beautiful vessels as well as site specific work. My ‘mentor’ is Katharine Morling who creates fascinating objects in porcelain forming ‘three dimensional drawings’. Both have been extremely helpful and supportive.

Matches -KATHARINE MORLING 300

Katharine Morling

 

 

Aspects of the programme have acted as a kind of continuation of university studies in a way – supplying a feeling similar to having that collective experience and group of peers around you.

As a kind of finale to the programme, a selected number of Hothouse participants are now showing their work at the New Ashgate gallery in Farnham. The work on show illustrates just a small amount of the fantastic range of crafts in the programme, but the pieces on show also compliment each other really well. The show is on to the end of July, but I hope to continue existing friendships and supportive networks as well as establishing new ones to help carry on the dialogue.

Here are some images from the New Ashgate Gallery show.

Elaine_Bolt_stand

I’m currently working away in my studio getting ready to being part of The Contemporary Craft Festival at Bovey Tracey from 6 June to 8 June 2014.

The festival is the largest craft fair in the South West and one of the finest in the UK. The show features over 190 selected makers selling directly to the public.

I’m hoping to be showcasing some new work and new ideas (some of which are still a little bit under wraps!) so it will be exciting to share them with the visiting public. If you’re planning on going, do pop by my stand, it will be great to chat.

I will be taking my work there for the first time, as part of their Crafts Council Hothouse marquee. I will be exhibiting alongside other top emerging makers in a variety of craft disciplines including Alex McCarthy, Anna Brimley, Anna Gravelle, Angie Parker, Brittany Delaney, Cristina Zani, Hilary Mayo, Jenny Ayrton, Julia Jowett, Marie Canning, Radiance Furniture Design, Stephanie Tudor, Theo Wright and Katy Luxton.

Hothouse is a programme of support from the Crafts Council for emerging makers. Click on the logos below to find out more about the programme, the exhibitors and the rest of the festival at Bovey Tracey.

Contemporary Craft Festival logo

a9fbef30aa6b2052-hothouseban

Hothouse 2014

25 November, 2013

crafts council hothouse banner

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.

I will be part of the South East cohort which the Crafts Council will run in collaboration with its partners Making Space, the Craft Study Centre, and New Ashgate Gallery.

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.

Hothouse 2014 Pintrest Screen shot 2

You can also follow the selected makers using the Craft Council’s Twitter list. twitter-bird-white-on-blue