Thursday, 24 June 2010

Colourful days

I have had a couple of amazing and colourful days this week.  On Tuesday I went over the Bradford to take part in a workshop about using traditional dyes at Cartwright Hall.  It was a workshop linked to the museum's Precious Cargo project and was great fun.  We learned quite a bit about using different plant based dyes to dye a variety of threads including wool, silk and linen.
These are not actually my samples but those of my neighbour, I somehow forgot to photograph my own so will have to take a picture and add it to the post later on.  My samples are now lying on the workbench in my studio drying out.  Our teacher was Debbie The Mulberry Dyer who was very enthusiastic and informative.

Today, Thursday, I have been down in Stoke on Trent with a small group from the Guild of Enamellers looking around the factory of W G Ball Limited.  It was fascinating to learn a little about the making of enamel and to see the two batches of enamel poured out of the crucible.  I have used enamel for years now without really knowing anything about how it is made so this was a fantastic opportunity to add a little more to my knowledge.  Apart from anything else I now know that Budgerigar green is still available.  I was given a small amount of this beautiful colour some years ago and have nearly used it up.  Now I can order myself some more!  Thanks to John Ball and his team for sharing such a fantastic amount of information and for continuing to help and inspire enamellers at all levels.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The final day of North Yorkshire Open Studios 2010

Tomorrow will be final day of the Open Studios event this year.  It has been lovely meeting new people and old friends and welcoming them to look around my studio, especially as being out in this fairly remote location I rarely get casual visitors.  Here are a couple of pictures of my studio as it looks at the moment.  Of course I have to move things around to make it safe for visitors to look without being able to do themselves harm on various bits of tools and equipment.  The picture below is a selection of small leaf pendants and earrings that I have been enamelling during quiet spells today, they are part of an order for a gallery and I will hopefully finish them in the next couple of days.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

More open studios

My studio will be open again this coming weekend as part of the North Yorkshire Open Studios.  The introduction on the Open studios website says 'artists and makers across the whole of North Yorkshire will invite the public into a host of intriguing spaces. From hidden locations on the North Yorkshire Moors and harbourside huts in Whitby and Scarborough to suburban living rooms in Harrogate and beautiful back gardens in the remote Yorkshire Dales.'  I maybe am in the category of 'hidden locations on the North Yorkshire Moors' but it is always lovely to meet people who have managed to find their way here.  I hope the weather stays nice so that they can also see the stunning views, at their best.  It is absolutely glorious here at the moment, reminding me of why I love living and working here.
Here are some Iris in flower in my garden at the moment

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Bright bird

I am still in the process of getting the studio ready for open studios starting tomorrow but did make time to finish my Bright Bird Brooch as an example for the enamelling workshop at the Art Clay UK Guild Conference in September.  I will be teaching an enamelling workshop alongside my good friend Joy Funnell so this piece uses both my paper textures technique and the 'enamel accents' technique that she developed.

I still need to make some more samples but am going to wear my bird brooch for the exhibition preview in Harrogate this evening.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

North Yorkshire Open Studios '10

 I am now trying to sort the studio out and make it possible for visitors to have a 'safe' look around while still seeing what really does go on.  I am taking part in North Yorkshire Open Studios 2010 over the next two weekends.  There will be a huge range of artists taking part and a really interesting variety of venues.  Part of me wishes I could actually get out and visit a few of the other artists but I always enjoy welcoming visitors and trying to give them an insight into some of the techniques and materials used in my work.

As well as having work on display and for sale in my own studio I also have a number of pieces included in the exhibition Jewellery: Materials and Making at Whitby Museum.  The exhibition was due to close on 20th June but has been extended now and will remain open daily, Tuesday to Sunday, until July 11th.

There will also be a number of pieces in the Inspired by Heritage exhibition at the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate.  The exhibition is open from 11th June until 18th July, Tuesday to Saturday 10am until 5pm and Sundays 2pm until 5pm.  The Mercer Art Gallery is on Swan Road, Harrogate, HG1 2SA.

Friday, 4 June 2010

A chance to enamel

It seems like ages since I actually did any enamelling myself.  This week I have been trying to enamel samples ready for the Art Clay UK Guild conference in September.  Here is the first piece, a feather.   Although it looks very plain in the photograph I had used four different enamels, so am not that thrilled that my photo doesn't show all the detail!