Monday, 30 July 2012

early monday................................

today its not so sunny a day of showers but at least the dahlias will like it! let me introduce you to little bird..






Little bird is perched on the top of the dresser from No Peas for Jane.  She has landed on a plinth ? a pot with handle ? or a branch ? Its referencing those crazy historic ceramics where palm trees can become vases. The top of the dresser is stitched with wool and the actual dresser wears a frock with buttons down the back.




have I shown you this already ? never mind I think the little cupboard works well. It was originally a bird box and they would put a male and female in the box close the door so that the birds could mate in private hence my love birds box!


to make up for showing you an image you hopefully have already seen here is a close up of a flower clock and some memory jugs. The jugs are filled with a fabric roll, all padded and stuffed.buttoned so it actually wont unroll. A pocket stitched on for cutlery. I have been asked why the jugs are full but I see my work as purely decorative , a 3D collage referencing all the things that inspire me. If we display a jug at home it usually gets filled with flowers so for me one of my jugs without the textiles is like half the story. It needs the textiles to tell the full story.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

where has the week gone ..........

i cant believe it is nearly Friday again. This week has been busy i have been making ceramics , visiting the junk market and now have builders working on the house so it is all good fun!




 this is Mr Obediah..he is a really grumpy haughty cat he lives in his beach hut and watches the world go by. Unfortunately when you are so haughty you do get teased and the mice take great delight in raiding Mr Obediah's food supplies ( especially cheese) and generally being a bit of a pest. Mr Obediah has yet to catch them but you could say its a game of cat and mouse!



this  is some of the work teapots Clock memory jugs that was also on display at the Form Gallery,  similar can be found at Porthminster Gallery St Ives. You can just about see the top of Mr Obediah's house

Thursday, 19 July 2012

nearly friday.............................

they promised better weather but somehow it didnt happen today! This week has been a busy week, lots of making in the studio and really that is where I feel I should be right now. It does you good though to take a breather and gather your thoughts. I have been tidying my textile room at home and trying to get things together for the new work. I have a little stack of suet pans ready for drilling and an old metal funnel...ummm intriguing I am just going to tempt you !!!!




Ok let me introduce you to Betty.
Betty is one of three sisters she was part of Through the wardrobe exhibition she stands on an old sewing box which was the starting point for the exhibition. I discovered in the junk market and old wooden sewing box , it is quite crudely made but never the less appealed to my sense of craft and homemade. The man on the market showed me that in actual fact there were three sewing boxes and all came from the same house. Each box was slightly different and he offered me all three at a job lot price. My first thought was why do I want three boxes and what am I going to do with them. Initially I thought I might fill them with bits and pieces for  friends as Christmas presents. I hummed and haa..d but there was something that tugged at my heart strings and so a deal was done and all three came home....

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

today believe it or not it isnt raining...I went to the junk market however today was not too successful only one item to home so I will take photos of finds and post them.........today i thought I would introduce an animal from Through the wardrobe.......




 this is Yeehaa he is actually a donkey but has ideas above his station he thinks or dreams of being a wild west pony chasing Indians and driving cattle to the Rodeo. He wears his rosette with immense pride. In the cart is a clock and on the side of the cart is a sign to say 'go slow', as we know donkeys do go slow but sometimes so can a clock so its  for you to interpret .......




I found another picture for you of HMS Minifred this shows the shape of the original stool meccano wheels have been attached so she can set sail. the sails were made from vintage fabrics and attached with old buttons enjoy..........

Monday, 16 July 2012

a rainy afternoon.............

little yellow chair
 anyone for tea this rainy afternoon ? ok i have a low battery on my mouse and my dog even though it is raining still wants to go out! so this may appear very brief...
this little chair with her pretty frock was part of Freddie's exhibition however as I mentioned before I had the whole of Sean's shop to fill I created a small set to display the chair a  little tea table on wheels should she wish to move it around. The table top has a textile top which has been stitched into place with my favourite stitch, blanket stitch. the fabrics I use add to the story of the piece from kitsch fifties to soft floral french checks and spots. the rug is half tapestry, embroidery with needle still in place. I like to create the impression that someone has just left and will be back soon so we are just glimpsing  a room or set....

luscious little cushions
for all those who love textiles this is a close up sot of the pile of cushions they vary in size with a mixture of fabrics enjoy... I am off to walk my dog put new batteries in my mouse. tomorrow they reckon it isnt going to rain and there may be a junk market. I will photograph any finds so you can see what I purchase.... bye bye.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

a little bit more




a little bit more..........................

today has been a busy day, I have been in the studio creating new work so I am going to be brief. This is a close up of the window at Sean Hirst's shop . It is all set for afternoon tea but for whom ? the cloth is on (could almost be a skirt) the cushions are piled on the chair, the cupboard on the wall is filled with treasures whilst a lovely lampshade dangles from the ceiling.......

this is  the other window which shows the dresses full of pots a stool in front of the sink (a step to stand on maybe?) and round the kitchen sink a curtain parted so you can just peep underneath

Monday, 9 July 2012

 

Monday afternoon after the Archers.........

  ......this is the shop front for Sean Hirst shop in Eccleshall

the exhibition was No peas for Jane and that's me standing on the doorstep. Sean emptied the shop and both windows for me to create the exhibition. On one side is the tea table and little chair all piled with cushions on the other side is the sink on a stand and a small dresser. The title for the exhibition and details from it should sort of illustrate where the ideas came from,  but it was very much intended that the audience should be encouraged to imagine and reflect to create their own stories. I always like to hear ohhs and ahhs and my granny had that or that reminds me of... People have purchased my work because it reminds them of something from childhood from their past so it becomes a keep sake with lots of memories attached.

Friday, 6 July 2012

its a wet friday morning.....

  1. ....as its a very wet morning and I nearly got washed away when out walking my lovely dog Lola I thought I would introduce you to HMS Minifred and Lizza. This piece was created as part of the exhibition for the Form Gallery. I was wandering around the junk market one day when I spied the boat. It was actually a little homemade stool, it was a funny shape and had a lid which formed the seat. As soon as i lifted the seat it turned into a boat. This became HMS Minifred named in honor of my grandmother . Lizza was already in my ceramics studio she has a slight tilt to her and I realised she was blown by the wind as she sails out across the lake. In her hand she holds her maps and her scarf flows in the breeze. The exhibition was all about the love of homemade items particularly wooden items. My grandfather was a carpenter and I remember many happy hours playing with wood shavings and nailing them onto pieces of wood to pretend they were dolls. This love of wood and seeing my grandfather making little tables has obviously stayed with me and I am drawn to the handmade. the exhibition started from some very homemade items but more of that later.The boat just appeared and was a very funny shaped stool I love the fact that these things have been made with love and although not expertly made they have been treasured I hope by saving them they remain treasured and have a new story to tell......

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

a little bit of this and that

a little bit of this and that.......

ok  I am just filling you in on bits of this and that, that I have made for exhibitions and galleries to date. For those of you who have already been following my work I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me. I am developing new pieces and  this blog is leading me up to introducing my new work. I hope that you enjoy following my journey and see the connections within work past and present.Today's photo is of work created for an exhibition at Sean Hirst's florist and interiors shop. Sean has a beautiful shop in Eccleshall (near Stafford) not only does he sell lovely flowers but items for the home. I approached Sean to see if he would be up for letting me make a window display. I hadn't realised that Sean had actually purchased some of my work already and it turned out he was quite keen. I went away with brain buzzing and had lots of ideas. I had already had a display in a gallery called Painted Blue in Leek( sadly no longer ) called 'Tea with Freddie' . The story for Sean's needed to be the next step and so evolved 'No Peas for Jane'. When confirming with Sean that we were actually going to do this he surprised me by saying yes and I am going to clear out the shop and let you fill the shop! Well this hadn't been the plan but I had the furniture I had made for 'Tea with Freddie' and so always up for a challenge I set too. I filled shelves with teapots , clocks tea caddies . Sean found this little cupboard and challenged me to do something with it... hence it became the first bird box. The curvy bit at the top I have added referencing dresser tops . It has been constructed from papier mache and I have stitched with blanket stitch. The exhibition was a big risk for Sean and a terrifying adventure for me. I did not want to let Sean down he had invested so much in me . Fortunately it was a huge success, well attended and the feedback to my work was lovely. I met a photographer called Caroline Burley who loved my work so much she just came and took loads of photos and sent me a copy totally free so thank you Caroline!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

tuesday afternoon

tuesday afternoon

its is mixed weather today and the dog is waiting to go out so I shall be brief.....

 






i think maybe I should introduce you all to some previous work. This is a dresser I made for Through the Wardrobe exhibition at the Form Gallery. It was the second dresser I had made and  houses the ceramics I have made. these include allsorts of tea ephemera, from teacups to tea caddies and cake stand. they are all non functional and purely decorative way of telling a story. The jugs are filled with textiles that also have a pocket for essential cutlery. Teapots sometime give instructions for the making of a good cuppa. They all relate to a time when taking tea was a ritual a special event. There is a sign hanging from the bottom of the dresser which says chickens for sale. The chickens live underneath the dresser but are already  in a truck making a bid for freedom! but more of that later.........

Monday, 2 July 2012

a few more bits and pieces

a few more bits and pieces


words appeal  to me , as a child I used to loose myself in story books. I loved Little Women always dreaming of being Jo, and The Lion the with and the wardrobe where just the idea of walking into a wardrobe and being transported to another world was magical. The Ladybird book all about Things to Make I can connect to as I consider myself a maker, and Penelope tapestry wool...


these little glass animals were another junk market find,  they relate to that idea of the ridiculousness of objects. There is an elephant, a dog, a giraffe and a kangaroo all made from glass, there was also a cat but she has gone to live on the mantel piece at a friends house. So what to do with them ? I created a little world for them to live in with a tapestry tree and blue fluffy clouds scudding across the sky, the little bird couldn't quite settle and has flown outside for a breathe of fresh air! maybe it was too crowded for her.

can you make out the photo at the top ? its a Victorian photo of a child sitting in a small cart being pulled by a goat. I liked the fact the proportions of the carriage were child size. Old photos are quite sad as they have often been discarded by family.  No one knows who the people are or what the occasion is anymore however it does allow you to be creative and conjure up your own story ....hence the creation of Yeehaa the donkey who thinks he is a wild west pony!

After lunch


bits and pieces

I am an avid collector of stuff, sometimes I cant explain why an item holds so much appeal it may be just its aged colour, the fold marks on a lovely old linen or the fact it has been made with love. Part of the exhibition at Form gallery was based on the idea of a cabinet of curiosities. It was a sample of things from my studio that I have collected that inspire me, some were so small I collaged them into their own boxed frames. I loved the photo of the little boy standing proudly beside a small boat, this eventually led to HMS Minniefred with Liza setting sail.

this jolly little chap was so sad when I found him at a local junk market he had no jumper so i made him a floral top and maybe he is in touch with his feminine side as he dons a bit of vintage bling! In the frame are three little ceramic pigs all are band members,  a musical trio. It appeals to my sense of the ridiculous objects that were made from ceramics,  just because they could. In the V&A they have a wonderful new ceramics case, all glass and I could spend hours gazing in wonder and drawing some of the crazy objects. I think they had great fun and pleasure in discovering all the things they could make from clay, I feel we have forgotten how to have such fun with things. Children never question why you can't or shouldn't make a teapot dinosaur they would just embrace the sheer joy of it.  That sheer joy is something I try and capture in the creation of these objects its not just the story they might inhabit but that letting go of adult seriousness.

day one

Today is the first day of my blog so hello to everyone! If you haven't seen my work already here is a quick introduction.

runaway mice

 The runaway mice were part of an exhibition I created for  Form Gallery Blaenavon in 2011. The exhibition was called Through the wardrobe with love from Noah it was the story of childhood and everything homemade, imagination  and allowing yourself to get lost in another world were crucial.  The mice  lived under the dresser, so why are they running away you ask?  Well Obediah the cat is up to his usual tricks fishing for mice with a lump of cheese. He sits in his beech hut awaiting a mouse to succumb  to temptation and take the bait!

these mice are tempted but maybe they just haven't grabbed their wheels to make a getaway!
I will post more later but its time for lunch..........