Friday, 28 December 2007

Still cold here and

I am not really working very hard! It is ages since I logged in and I have had a busy few months. I am (again) reviewing my work and thinking about a few new ideas. I have spent a bit of time trying to organise myself a new website and have included my first attempt at an online shop. I am curious about the effectiveness (or otherwise) of the internet for buying and selling one-off pieces of hand crafted jewellery. I have doubts about using the web as a way of selling my work although I see a huge variety of on-line shops selling jewellery. How much do they actually sell? How often do people buy jewellery that they haven't first tried on or at least held in their own hand so that they could feel the weight, see how it would fit or hang etc?

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Pre-Christmas crash

I always seen to hit a difficult spot just before Christmas, probably something to do with the pre-Christmas rush of making work and knowing that the pressure is generally off for a while? I know this is the time for a bit of a re-appraisal of current work and a time to start thinking of and planning new directions...... but more difficult to actually apply myself, especially as the studio is so cold!
Merry Christmas anyway to everyone out there!

Friday, 11 May 2007

Exciting times

The dale today has been shrouded in rain clouds, without very much rain actually falling here, where we need it or certainly will need it later when the summer arrives. Looking out of my studio into the dale I can see a bright line along the ridge of the hill contrasted with the dark overhanging clouds giving the view a sense of drama.

I have been in the workshop all day working with a student on art clay silver projects. I just have a bit of the usual paperwork to do now before I can call it a day and go home, not that home is very far away!

Art clay silver is an exciting medium in which to create small pieces of silver jewellery. It can be modelled like clay and when fired, by a variety of methods and according to the manufacturers instructions, the binder is fired away and the silver fused together to leave the piece of jewellery. It is a very accessible way of creating jewellery and can produce very striking results. Like most creative media it does require an understanding of the ways in which the materials can be manipulated and of course practice. I offer courses in my own workshop and at various other venues in order to introduce other people to the medium and hopefully inspire and give them confidence to go on and create their own work. Teaching in this way is interesting and demanding, it brings me into contact with a wide variety of interesting people and, through their questions increases my own understanding of the medium. Having the confidence to offer courses has also added a new dimension to my own work and reduces the sense of isolation that can sometimes happen when working here on my own for long periods of time.

It has given me a much needed boost and a sense that there is a huge potential here for experimentation.......... exciting times!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Ready or not.....

Today I thought I was supposed to deliver work for an exhibition at the Pannett Gallery in Whitby. I finished the final of the three pieces yesterday and this morning carefully wrapped them ready to deliver - only to find they were not expected at the gallery until Friday. Anyway, they are there...... I can only hope they make it onto the walls now?

Monday, 30 April 2007

Why enamelling in progress....?

I began enamelling in 1998 and although I am mostly self-taught have also had the benefit of occassional classes and workshops run by other much more skilled practitioners. I have decided that I would like to share some of my thoughts on the processes I use and upon my artistic practice in general, especially in the run up to the North Yorkshire Open Studios '07.

Enamel is such a versatile medium that I will never learn all of the techniques and possibilities, but would love to share what I know, and will hopefully document some of my work and experiments through this blog.

In addition to this I am participating once again in the North Yorkshire Open Studios and associated events.

Over 100 talented artists and makers based in North Yorkshire open their studios over three weekends from 19th May until 3rd June 2007 and give visitors an opportunity to see a huge variety of original work within their respective homes, gardens and work places. More information can be found on the website

My own workshop will be open on Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th May 2007 and from Tuesday 29th May until Sunday 3rd June 2007. At various times throughout the opening I will be demonstrating enamelling techniques using a small electric kiln.

I am lucky this year to be sharing my studio with Vicki Rylands a talented ceramic artist with a special interest in raku. She will be setting up a raku firing demonstration on both weekends, subject of course to it being good weather!

I look forward to meeting all kinds of interesting people.