Monday, 29 June 2009

Back to normal

Well, it was the final day of North Yorkshire Open Studios '09 yesterday and when the last visitors had gone I made a brief attempt to return my studio to a normal working layout, removing a few of the display cases and the large acrylic screen from in front of the kilns and demonstration area and moving the tables back into the centre of the room. I have had a fantastic time meeting people; talking about techniques used to make different pieces of work and, on occassion catching up with old friends. I feel a bit deflated now it is over so think I will probably have a day off before I go back and tackle the next project.

I am going into Whitby Museum on Wednesday and already looking forward to my first peek at the herbarium!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Another day of Open Studios

Well this is the fourth day of North Yorkshire Open Studios '09 and I have woken up to a blanket of fog. It was foggy yesterday from around lunchtime and will be a severe test for visitors finding their way out here (and will probably put a number of them off altogether). I can't even see the road in front of my house and studio let alone the lovely view of the valley. Anyway, I am all set up and ready to go. I have some ideas for a new piece of work that I need to get started on and there is a batch of beads to take out of the kiln..... so plenty to keep me busy, but still need visitors and of course, customers!

The picture is a necklace I finished off yesterday.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Sunday and Open Studios

The morning here was very quiet, but I am definately off the beaten track and visitors do have to make quite an effort to find me. I spent part of the morning making a few beads in art clay silver and set the kiln going just as things started to liven up. My good friend Margaret came over to help this afternoon and had a great time making little butterflies out of copper shim and enamelling them to demonstrate one enamelling technique to visitors - I will try and photograph one of the butterflies tomorrow and add a picture. We had quite a few visitors throughout the afternoon and it is fantastic being able to explain to people how different pieces are designed and constructed, just giving them a bit on an insight into what is my normal working day really. Their comments on my workshop and its surrounding landscape also serve to remind me just how lucky I am to be here, working for myself at something I love passionately and in such a beautiful location. I think I need to stop and look at the view more often! It is also a fantastic opportunity to sell my work - even if this occasionally takes me by surprise.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

North Yorkshire Open Studios '09

Today has been the first day of North Yorkshire Open Studios '09. This is such a fantastic event to be involved in. Quite apart from the beautiful brochure design and produced by Art Connections it gives me a sense of being connected to other artists out there rather than just working away here in isolation. Of course, being a part of the open studio trail means I can't actually get out and visit any of the other artists, but I do somehow feel part of a larger community.

It means I get to actually meet people; interesting people; people who are interested in looking and interested in the process of making. I also get to catch up with people who have visited before and find out how they are; what they are up to and let them see some new little idea I am working on...... or my current obsession? It is also a fantastic way of getting a bit of feedback. As a maker working in this kind of rural isolation it is really easy to feel you might just be working your way into some kind of strange sidetrack so having visitors look at ideas under development can be very useful.

Anyway, thanks to all of those people who made it over here today and hope to see you again, soon!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Wire Bird Workshop in Whitby Museum

Yesterday I ran my second Wire bird workshop at the Museum. I wasn't on my best form but the students were very enthusiastic and managed to produce a lovely selection of brooches based on sketches they had done of birds taken from objects in the museum collection. I have added them to the slide show of the earlier bird brooch workshop.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Workshop at Whitby Museum

I am just setting off for another day at the museum. I am due to run a workshop making wire birds but not sure whether anyone has booked? I am struggling a bit as have had a re-currence of an old slipped disc problem which is making moving around very difficult and affecting my concentration. I am still looking forward to my day at the museum though, it will help take my mind off things a bit and hopefully also reinvigorate a few of my ideas.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Preparation for Open Studios

I am now beginning to prepare for North Yorkshire Open Studios '09. This means a bit of a shift around of some of the furniture and equipment so that I can safely demonstrate and continue to work throughout the duration of the event without visitors being able to touch any of the hot or dangerous bits of equipment. Of course I am a long way from ready but there is still plenty of time. I just thought I would post a few pictures of the studio as it is. As you can see the clearing up hasn't included the dog who is happily sitting in front of the fire (which is lit of course) and is ignoring all that is going on around him.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

New large holed beads

A couple of days ago I began a batch of large holed beads in bright colours for the summer.  This is part of my preparation for North Yorkshire Open Studios '09.  I need to finish off some new bracelets ready to sell to the crowds of visitors I am hoping will appear over the five days my studio is going to be open.  Here are the finished beads, threaded temporarily onto a bead mandrel so that i could photograph them.  I also ordered more glass rods in different colours (as if I didn't have enough already) so am looking forward to trying some of them out.  Anyway, very short entry today and back to the studio to try some of those colours ....

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Back to work

After a busy couple of weeks I took Monday off and went to the beach.  It was lovely wandering around Whitby in the sunshine and I picked up a bit of softly rounded beach glass, a small shell and a pebble with a stripe down the centre as well as buying some exotic seashells in one of the tourist shops.  Today I have been back at the torch making some brightly coloured large holed beads in preparation for Open Studios later in the month.  North Yorkshire Open Studios is a fantastic event and takes place over June 21st, 22nd and 26th, 27th, 28th.  102 artists and makers will be opening their studios to the public and showing work as varied as painting, print making, sculpture, textiles, ceramics and of course jewellery.  I really look forward to taking part but it does mean I don't get to visit any of these inspiring artists myself.  There is a beautiful brochure available by request from the website (see above link).