Friday, 31 January 2014

End of January...

and its a dark and gloomy morning whilst I sit and write this missive. Spring is so near, yet so far as the buds appear, lambs tail dangle from the trees and the first snow drops bob their heads in the cold easterly winds.A morning for wooly jumpers and scarves wrapped tightly to keep out the chilly air. A cup of hot chilli bang bang tea sits beside me ready to warm the cockles of my heart ! After a little lull in the creative spirit my batteries have recharged and ideas are flowing. The studio is beginning to fill with little characters and quirky teapots a theme emerging from the dark that will in time blossom  ready to show the world. In the meantime  I have been cheering everyone up with photos of my tea related ceramics. Everyone who is following my journey on facebook is enthralled and delighted by the colours and embellishments so I thought I shall sit and write to you and add a collection of my memory jugs.
These jugs have been one of the first things I created since finishing my studies, patterns and glazes developed with stories evolving. They are filled with a roll that is stuffed and padded of vintage fabrics with pockets for cutlery. I have been asked why they are filled why not just make jugs but for me they are a 3D collage, a story of domesticity imagine a painting coming to life reflecting all sorts of historic objects. If I hadn't filled it it would have been incomplete and just a jug to fill with pencils, bits and bobs maybe if its lucky flowers...but I see it as part of a story the fabric enhances and makes it complete. They are vibrant, with text to suggest a past use, buttons referencing textiles,  I hope you enjoy and think soon of Spring and colour !

all photos taken by Caroline Burley

      a pink and grey jug on box drawer collage

Pink flower jug with teabag pot

Turquoise blue and brown jug with polka dots

little tea tray table and jug

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

A chilly wind blows....

and i am still cold from this mornings excursion to the local junk market! A warm mug of hot chocolate at my side I thought it was about time I sat and write some news. I am  still thrilled and excited to  be in Pretty Nostalgic Issue number 11 and although only a small snippet non the less still very exciting. I have been working at the studio and some characters are taking shape, although it is slow as I have also had to take down the Winter Wonderland display that was on in Leek over Christmas( see previous posts if you missed this !). Mice, rabbits and reindeer have been packed away, much to their disgust, as they are rather showy creatures who love nothing more than entertaining! They may be a little put out when some new characters appear to steal the limelight!
I was pondering on this cold day what to show you ...but when work is in progress not much seems to happen. The story is waiting to evolve, the venue found and characters to appear, it's almost like writers block and worrying that nothing is going to happen or take shape. A germ of an idea is, however there in my mind and I just have not to worry but allow things to take its course and time will reveal it to me. Once that happens there is no stopping as ideas flow, characters appear from the mist and objects need to be sourced. Today therefore was just an exploratory day. A day to wander round the junk market talk to all the stall holders who travel to our little town from miles away. Treasures to be discovered and relished and today was a good day. A few boxes of very old cloth buttons. Probably some of the earliest buttons made.  metal frames covered in fabric with a fabric back ready to be sewn on garments. they are lovely all in their original boxes.  next a bag of old ribbons, velvets,  gros grains and lace followed swiftly by a lovely orangey Penelope Tapestry and an old papier mache box. Finally a little bird flower vase, I have had a earning to collect these little bird flower vases after seeing a collection in a magazine that was full of little spring flowers. This bird is number one! So now you may wonder what I do with these lovely objects well apart from photograph them for you, I let the colours get under my skin, play with arranging them, think about them and just generally observe them. I love the history of the objects , the patina of age so no washing ! Occasionally I even like the smell of old fabric slightly musty, I enjoy marks and creases, faded areas all these are mark making and resemble life to wash all these out would be sacrilege. The old cardboard of the boxes will be kept , the packet of unopened buttons left closed. It is a delight in itself one wonders where it has been , who held it last. Edmund De Waal described this feeling as being given a responsibility and I do feel like that a reverence to the things I collect a need to pass them on but with due consideration... maybe they will be part of the next story

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Its now dark and the fire is lit....

a cup of tea awaits, but I need to share exciting news. Cloth eared rabbit is featuring on the "Curiosities" page of "Pretty Nostalgic magazine" . She is so excited as so far it has all been about Owl and reindeers, they have been hard to upstage but at last with the help of Catherine Dineley's photographs she has succeeded!! For all those new to my page welcome I am delighted you are reading this and I hope look at other posts to discover what else i get up to ! 

Monday, 6 January 2014

A sunny new year day and

I am about to go and do a spot of housework at the studio. A job I do not relish although it is nice to have a clean space to start a new project. Christmas was busy and a very family time with mince pies, turkey and all the trimmings, roaring log fires but no snow ! Today a bright blue sky cheers the soul after all the howling winds and rain. My Winter wonderland is still on show in Leek and I have decided to leave it for a couple of more weeks if you wish to pop along to see it. As today is all about cleaning and sweeping I was pondering what to show you and thought you might like to see close ups of all the lampshades hanging in the gallery. They have been recovered with vintage fabrics stitched with my favourite blanket stitch in lovely woolly thread, buttons attached and pompoms no expense spared !!!