Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Diary of an Exhibitionist #9

That's it - all done and dusted, sculptures delivered and installed awaiting the opening this coming weekend of Sculpture in the Sanctuary at Southwell

Thank you for following my (erratic) progress.  It has been a steep, steep learning curve.  Given the chance, or a bit more time, I would do a few things slightly differently - but isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?

I would want the whole finished piece ready earlier, so that last minute problems could be ironed out. Luckily, there really wasn't much to worry about, the metal frame went together well and all the glass fitted in.  I managed NOT to drop anything and break it, that's always a bonus.

I love the wooden stand, but as a practical piece of work in a show, I would perhaps think about ways of fixing the panels. With the five panel standing structure, I would probably go for six, and make it a touch taller.  I like the idea of echoing the pattern in the glass into carving into the metal base.

Not a lot I can do now - and I have lots to build on.  I still love both pieces, I think they work really well, and I was fortunate to catch a bit of sunshine this afternoon between the rain clouds, which really shows the panels off to great effect.  Actually, when the sun came out, those glass houses got a liltle bit TOO warm...

Anyway, I managed to get a few pictures before we wilted away...


Monday, 18 July 2011

Diary of an Exhibitionist #8

Boy oh boy what a stressful weekend it has been!

For once in my life, I was actually ready quite early with my glass pieces (those of you that know me personally will know that it's quite unusual!) - so I have been waiting on the frame.  Mark, bless him, went in over the weekend to get that done (otherwise I might actually have had a nervous breakdown).

It's still at the factory, as it was given it's final coat of paint this afternoon, and I couldn't take a picture as I only had my phone, which isn't very clever in low light, but I can reveal it's a rather lush shade of green.

Meanwhile I made some extra panels as a back up, none-coloured, in case any of the enamel firings went wrong.  As you know, I liked them clear, so I decided to make a second piece with three clear panels, and using the skills of Ian of Leafbone in the next studio/shed to ours, to make me a beautiful wooden stand to display them in.

Here's the result:

Triple Glass Panel in Wooden Stand

I think it looks rather special, and hopefully will be able to capture it in position somewhere at the Sanctuary tomorrow.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Diary of an Exhibitionist #7

So, it's been a few days since I posted - mainly because there wasn't a lot to show since the first clear panel came out of the kiln. Of course, I could have rambled, or waffled, or downright confused you about some of the ideas going through my head.

Having seen that first panel come out, I really did like it clear.  But I kept coming back to thinking it might look a bit, well bland, if I don't add something.  I decided to carry  on firing clear panels anyway, make sure I have those first.

Meanwhile, I did a couple of Photoshop experiments to try and get some idea of what it might look like muli-coloured vs single coloured vs plain.  In a mock-up, my original idea of colours shading from one to another, like a rainbow (but not necessarily in rainbow order!) looked, well rubbish!  I much preferred one plain colour, blue or red perhaps?

I decided I was going to go with the red, to contrast with the green of the trees that will still be in the glass house. Frame in perhaps a red oxide. Yay, Dawn has made some decisions (if you know me, you'll know that isn't always my strong point!)

So, all fired up, feeling smug, I went to the studio the following day. Earlier the previous day when I'd done my mock-ups, I'd already ordered a selection of bright colours, of course they arrived, and OOOOH they're lovely!! I simply *had* to try them out. (Luckily) I only had small pieces of glass to try them out on, so I was restricted to a small sample of greens, one of blues, one of reds and a yellow on white base. I figured it was actually a very good idea to test fire them any way.

When I got the samples back out the following day there was a bit of an uh-oh moment.  Red looked great, but the moment I casually mentioned to a studio colleague that it looked a bit like blood, that was it!  And actually, we both really rather liked the shades of green.... so I have been to the studio today, and green it is, first panel in the kiln, fingers crossed that the kiln fairies are kind tonight....

(But whatever you do, don't ask me what colour the frame is going to be yet!!)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Sharing a blog post...

I've followed Robin Wood for a while now.

I saw him at work at a country fair one year; that was the first time I saw a pole lathe in action, and then a year later we go to try one at uni.  Also, when we did context studies, he came up in discussion because of his use of, and support for traditional craft practice.

We actually used his work and his blog in one of our presentations, and I was curious and amused by how he lives a fairly traditional lifestyle in some ways, and yet is very active in blogging, he even used to have a picture on the website that looked as though he was camping, and yet had apple laptop on... that made me smile.

He champions traditional craft, and is one of the founding members of the Heritage Craft Association, something that he clearly feels passionate about and works hard for.

I've just read this evening's post about Marcel Duschamp, and I think it makes for really interesting reading; he questions that (some) craft skills are becoming so rare that should they not be as highly valued, if not more so than "art"?  His point  that "fine art" is now taught to thousands in universities by comparison to the small number of skilled craftspeople was particularly resonant, given that the course (Crafts) I completed last year at Derby has seen it's final year graduate this summer.

Friday, 1 July 2011

From little acorns....

Just spent a lovely couple of hours at the open evening for the new Seed Gallery and Studio in Crich.

It's a gorgeous gallery, small but perfectly formed.  And they just happen to be stocking some of my work, along side some fabulous work by other artists and makers.

The gallery is beautifully laid out, in a beautiful building, a former reading rooms, and sits opposite "The Loaf", a lovely delicatessen where you can enjoy a nice cuppa and a slice of scrummy cake... what more reason do you need to go?

Sarah and Rachel, I wish you both the very best in your new venture, well done!!!