Tuesday, 12 January 2016

A look back at 2015

It seems I didn't post at all last year on this blog, so here is a summary of what I've been up to.
In January I exhibited 20 small items in the 'Shop within the show' at the Society of Designer Craftsmen annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. I was pleased to collect only 2 unsold items at the end of the exhibition, and I sold 3 scarves similar to this one .

March saw the end of our residency at Anteros Arts in Norwich. It was a really interesting and informative year for all of those involved and I was happy with the sales I made and all that I learnt. In June we had an exhibition there.

I entered the Bradford Textile Society competition this year, a competition we had been encouraged to enter when I was a student at Norwich University of the Arts. I did enter then, but was never very happy with my entry so I decided to have another go as an independent designer and I was really excited and proud to get two commendations.

The awards ceremony was in Saltaire in Yorkshire, but I found the journey could be done by train in a day. Tickets were bought, dog care arranged as it would be a long day, and we set off in good time (we thought)... but the traffic was horrendous and we missed the first train! After a couple of hours we decided to do something else instead and went to the Arts Centre at Kings Lynn where there was an amazing exhibition of post-war Hungarian ceramics.

I continued my ceramics class at Studio Do for most of the year and I made some casting moulds of my own so that I could easily produce small pots which I could work with and develop. I've been experimenting with smoke firing in the wood burner after the initial biscuit firing in the kiln at the studio. Initially I dug a hole in the garden, covered them in wood shavings and then lit a wood fire on top - this was fairly successful but the woodburner is definitely an easier option.

I also did a glass casting course at the Belfry Arts Centre at Overstrand with Liz Waugh Macmanus. We made our models in wax, then cast them in glass - sounds simple but it was 3 days of very hard work at the studio and several hours more at home, sanding and filing. No wonder glass work is very expensive. See my creation below.

I mentioned on an earlier blog that I had entered a tea-cosy competition (part of the Port Eliot Festival) and I am ridiculously pleased that mine was selected to be exhibited at Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly before being auctioned for charity. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get to see it but I was sent a photo.

I was part of a pre-Christmas craft fair at Norwich Castle and I made some Halloween spider gloves for this event.

There was a craft event in my local church which I took part in, and we were lucky to be able to display the beautiful knitted pergola, made by friends of John Grooms Court.

At the same event I displayed and demonstrated the methods I use in my own work.

I finished up the year by doing a craft fair at the Forum in Norwich, organised by Unik.