Thursday, 29 March 2012

Crafts Council - Firing Up Scheme

I have been delivering workshops at Blessed Thomas Holford School in Altrincham for the last couple of months. Its all part of the Crafts Council 'Firing Up' scheme, which is a project to get school children fired up about clay. I have been working with 24 of their year 11 art students on ceramic projects. I was given the theme of ceramic heads and we have been making portraits in clay, shrunken heads and large life size clay heads. They have worked fantastically well on all the projects and here are some of the results of the shrunken heads inspired work. A Big thank you to Lucy Harvey for all her assistance with the project and her jewellery making skills for the shrunken heads today!!!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Manchester Antique Textile Fair

I always seem to busy when this event is held, but yesterday I finally got to go and wow what an amazing event! 100 exhibitors selling everything from antique lace, clothes, fabrics, bags, shoes, amazing buttons, jewellery and much more. An absolute fabulous 2 hours was spent rummaging through fusty old boxes of lace and piles and piles of fabrics!! It was an expensive trip though!! I bought some gorgeous pieces of lace, it seems wicked to now destroy them by pressing them into clay!! Info about the textile fair can be found on;

I also found some beautiful Chinese batik fabric; long strips of blue and white decorated fabric that were actually part of a large skirts (I would have loved to have seem them as skirts). I really loved the indigo colour in contrast with the white patterns and would really like to get this shade of blue on my cups.

I have always loved wrapping, placing or just displaying my ceramic pieces on beautiful fabrics. Partly because of a Yuzen dying workshop I took part in whilst at MMU. I had the opportunity to paint a piece of silk in the traditional way of Yuzen, under the instruction of Japanese Master Kimono dyer, Nasu San. It was truly a fantastic and inspirational workshop that has stayed with me. I experienced a eureka moment with the piece of silk when I placed one of my slip-cast porcelain cups on the fabric, they just looked perfect together and ever since then I have loved the contrast of ceramic with fabric.

Original piece of Yuzen dyed silk from Nasu San's workshop;

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Terrible Blogger!!

I am a terrible blogger and very embarrassed to say that the last entry was in Nov last year!! But in my defense it has been a busy time, after Gifted I delivered some twilight sessions for local art teachers at Manchester School of Art. Part of the Crafts Council scheme; 'Firing Up'. The project is 18 months into its 3 year plan to get the school kilns, teachers, pupils and parents fired up about clay;

The twilight sessions were delivered by Penny Bately, Steve Dixon and myself and they went really well. The teachers had a great time and learnt lots of ceramics skills to share with their students. Have a look at some of the sessions on the Crafts Council CAN site (and if you're a maker join up to the site);

So, after the twilight sessions come the school workshops, Penny and myself are now delivering clay workshops to selected pupils from 5 local schools. I will get some images from the sessions up soon, but I just love this one showing the kids eagerness at getting their hands on the clay!

I have also been working with Ruthin school children on a similar project whereby selected pupils get to experience varied workshops at Manchester School of Art and Ruthin Craft Centre in metal, ceramics, glass and design, the work made by the pupils will be exhibited at Ruthin Craft Centre later in the year.

In January I was selected to take part in the Sale Waterside Gallery 'Open' Exhibition and I installed nearly 300 hundred butterflies (which took over 6 hours!). When I arrived at the gallery to see the space I had been given it was a bit daunting but I worked with the space and hopefully created a good installation of butterflies;

I am very pleased to say I will be taking part in The Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey Tracey on 15th-17th June 2012, to find out more details and to see who else will be exhibiting take a look at the website;

And finally, you can now buy my work online at;

Well that was a very brief update of what I have been up to, I will hopefully keep on top of my blogging in future!