My recent move has taken me much closer to the wonderful Yorkshire coast and, even though it’s the middle of winter, I have had some lovely walks with Lucy, my dog. The way on to the beach at Hunmanby gap has some small gabions at the top of the beach. I think these are to break and filter the power of the sea, but they seem a little small to my inexpert eye. They do provide a little inspiration and I may produce a small series of pieces related to coastal protection. At this point in the year, after recent record rainfalls, there is more chance of coastal erosion especially along the clay cliffs here locally, the rain running rapidly off the land is constantly washing down chunks of cliff.
I have had a very exciting few weeks. It has involved moving house and studio. Moving house was relatively simple but packing and unpacking my studio felt like a major undertaking. I am happy to say everything is now in its new place and i have begun work on a few new ideas. I will miss the moors but am now very close to the beautiful beach of Filey bay. I am so looking forward to welcoming students to my new studio and ready to begin teaching again in the new year. Best wishes for 2016 everyone!
I don’t know where the beginning of the year has disappeared to, it seems to have absolutely flown past. I have been busy experimenting with the New Mokume Gane techniques and thinking of creating a new range of jewellery.
Last weekend I was at the Guild of Enamellers annual conference which this year was held in Leicester. It is always fantastic to spend a weekend with such a creative group of people. I have had some lovely classes teaching ring making; enamelling and jewellery making using art clay silver. I have done a little bit of enamelling in the round, one of my own personal challenges; creating some new enamelled silver beads. These will be available to purchase during North Yorkshire Open Studios in June as well as other new work including enamelled wall panels and jewellery.
If you are interested in learning to enamel then please contact me to arrange a date. It is a fantastic thing to learn and very addictive. I will be adding more classes to my website throughout the summer but also arrange them on a one-to-one basis on dates to suit – just let me know what dates would suit you?
I still have one or two available dates for couples who wish to make each other wedding rings but as weekends book up quite quickly I would advise you get in touch to discuss this as soon as possible, if you are considering this. It does add an extra special touch to you wedding preparations. Here are Liz and Tom at the end of their day. Their wedding rings are both on a mandrel in front of them but have since been sent off to the assay office and hallmarked ready for their wedding day.
As part of my programme for 2014 I am going to be teaching the New Mokume Gane techniques using Art Clay Silver and Art Clay Copper. I am at present the only instructor in the UK who has taken this course devised by Aida Corporation in Japan so this is a unique opportunity to learn some of these fabulous techniques. Only those with the full Art Clay diploma will be eligible to apply for certification but I am happy to teach projects and familiarisation courses for those who would like to begin their journey. I also teach the art clay diploma courses by arrangement so please use the comment form if you would be interested in doing any of these. More details about the New Mokume Gane course can be found on my website
I really enjoy this time of year. Not only can I look forward to Christmas but the busy period is behind me, any galleries I supply need their new stock around mid-October. The garden and the moorland around my studio still have quite a lot of vivid autumn colour at the moment and my favourite Japanese flowering cherry is coming into flower, although it’s only just dropped this year’s leaves. It has done this some previous years and I love that it flowers over such an extended period.
I have spent some time last week emptying my display cabinets, partly because I was having a popup shop in Whitby last Thursday evening. It gave me the opportunity to review my work and make a few decisions about directions for next year.
I have reorganised my display so that all the plant based designs are now together. These include some pieces of crochet in wire, some cloisonné enamels and some of the pieces pierced from silver sheet inspired by my year as artist in residence at Whitby Museum.
These two pendants are all that remain of a collection of floral cloisonné enamels I made many years ago and I intend to do more of this in 2014, including teaching cloisonné enamelling techniques on a regular basis throughout the year. I am looking forward to building up a new collection before the autumn in time for an exhibition by members of the Guild of Enamellers at the Pannett Art Gallery next October.
Enamelling has been my passion for many years and I haven’t quite got over being awarded honorary membership of the Guild at the conference last April, which I think must have been one of the highlights of 2013 for me.
Here I am being presented with my certificate by the then Chair Jane Ball. I have also had three rings included in the ‘Heart of the Heat’ exhibition of enamelling in Birmingham and two enamelled beads selected for the book 1000 Beads due to be published next May by Lark Books (one of which will be on the cover). The emphasis of classes for 2014 will be very much on enamelling including enamelling on copper; enamelling on silver and on art clay silver and enamelling ‘in the round’ or onto curved surfaces.
I have been having a big tidy up in my studio, emptied all the display cabinets and gave everything a thorough clean. I have redisplayed some of my work and now have a whole cabinet and plant and flower inspired jewellery. These are two pieces, the first made from sterling silver sheet was inspired by Victorian pressed plants in Whitby museum and the other is crocheted in wire and is a much earlier piece of textile related jewellery.
I am in the process of planning my teaching schedule for 2014 and it will include plenty of opportunities to learn to enamel, both on silver and copper, as well as classes in the New Mokume Gane techniques – including the four day certification course developed by Aida Corporation, the manufacturers of Art Clay products. If you would be interested in taking a class then just use the comments box to contact me (I won’t publish your details). I look forward to seeing some of you in the new year!
21st & 22nd September 2013 Enamel painting with Tilly Wilkinson
Learn this traditional technique of enamel painting with Tilly Wlkinson. A former Chair of the Guild of Enamellers and skilled artist and teacher Tilly will introduce you to this beautiful and delicate process, creating detailed and many layered small works of art.
During this 2 day class you will learn how to create your own miniature piece of enamel painting. We will cover how to press form and prepare a suitable base from copper shim, how to apply a suitable enamel layer on which to paint and how to fire it. In addition we will look at techniques for transferring your chosen design onto the fired enamel surface prior to painting. Using finely ground enamel pigments you will be shown how to prepare them for your palette and how to apply them to your prepared base.
Apply now using the contact form (limited places available)
Enamel painting is suitable for representing a range of imagery from representational portraits to abstract designs. This class would be most suitable for those who already have a reasonable level of ability in either oil or watercolour painting and some enamelling experience.
It is £325 for the two days, including some basic materials – some extras can be purchased in class.