Sunday, 13 May 2012

Banks Square Arts Market

In Tavistock a town on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon there are now monthly artist markets on the first Saturday of the month.  The markets are held in Banks Square just off the main high street, the next one is 2nd June, and it is a great chance to come along and meet some of your local artists and craftspeople. 

I’ve been exhibiting at most of these markets since they started last year and it has been wonderful meeting some of my customers, and seeing everyone’s work.

There is now a website for the arts markets and a Facebook page which you can access through my Facebook page.

The last market was really fun, it was held outside the town hall for a change and we enjoyed live music all morning from flutists to a brass band, it kept everything lively and fun!!  So why not come along to the next market and meet us!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Co-operative Shops & Workshops

In today’s busy world when if you’re anything like me you’re chasing your tail just to keep up, is a co-operative shop the way to go for getting your work out in front of the public? 

Well to tell you the truth I don’t have an answer to this question just a few thoughts.  Whether it’s a shop or workshop by being part of a co-op your costs are reduced as the burden is shared between all of you, also you don’t have to be at the shop every day as you can share this between you all as well. In this modern world where we are all so busy having a ‘time share’ in such a co-op could be the perfect fit for you as with the shorter hours in the shop due to the sharing of such time amongst you all it means you have more time for your other commitments.

In my recent trip to London I saw this in action at Gabriel’s Wharf & OXO Wharf, where groups of crafts people & artist were getting together so they could show their work to the general public and it seemed to be working! 

Of course finding a group of people who can work well together may not be easy but if you can find such a group it may well be worth it in the long run, and exposure to the public is I would think good for business. 

Also everyone’s work and art is different and of course our work isn’t to everyone’s tastes even if we wish it were!  So each person’s work will draw different people into the shop and with any luck you’ll sell more because of this, as someone sees that item they just can’t live without that they wouldn’t have found if not drawn into the shop by the work of another artist in the window.
So if you find yourself with the opportunity to become part of such a co-op then give it some thought as it might just be able to fit into your already hectic life.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Flying Saucer metamorphoses

So I’ve been busy once again with college work, funny how that can take over everything turning it into a moment of college madness.  It’s amazing that I’m halfway through a 3 year degree course now; where has the time gone? I know behind me as usual!

So between assessments and work I’ve found some more time to play with my flying saucers design.  Now it’s morphed into a nebula design and I’d thought as I’ve been so quiet the last few weeks I’d give you a peek at what I’ve been up to, and using some recycled materials too, see my attempts to save the planet haven’t stopped yet.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Resin from Nature! Helping the Bees & Butterflies

So I’ve been watching the BBC programme Bees, Butterflies & Blooms and how it is believed the decline in our wild flowers is causing the decline in out pollinating insects.  Personally I love wild flowers and the fact my less than tidy garden allows wild flowers to grow in the garden is just perfect, well in my considered opinion!

So today I read about a new sort of resin made from a natural ingredient base (ecopoxycraftresin) including beans & peanuts – makes it sound like a curry! It is a wonderful step forward in making resin jewellery as it is a move towards a renewable source of resin even if it does sound a bit like a recipe for tonight’s tea. Plus with these being plant material bases it just means we’re going to have to help those pollinating insects by encouraging wild flowers for them!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Dog Ate my Homework, Oops no My Phone Charger!

Some day’s life just takes you back to the way things used to be, well this week it was the dog that took me back by chewing my phone charger into some very small unusable and un-saveable bits.  Don’t you just love them!!  At this stage I think I named him well, Conan as in the destroyer because he did just love to chew as a puppy, and I have my suspicions about who finished the almonds too, who ever heard of a dog with a thing for nuts?

But I digress!! So without a phone the last 3 days it’s reminded me how relaxing it can be to have your own space and time in which people can’t get hold of you.   Working quietly away in my workshop undisturbed all day has been wonderful, and now I plan to leave my phone anywhere but in the workshop when I really want to get down to some serious making and designing, I’ll just check my phone in my tea breaks if I remember ;-)  I’d say I’m sorry for all the missed calls but I won’t be. I’m just adopting the philosophy of the area I live in, I’ll get to it directly.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Wood for the Trees – reduce, reuse, recycle

These days we’re all encouraged to reduce, reuse, recycle; in fact you could almost say that’s becoming a mantra for us all to live by.  I’ve just seen a huge pile of wood being incinerated instead of being used as fire wood to warm someone’s home at this chilly time of year. So in this age of increasing recycling why then do people forget about the wood for the trees? 
It brings home to me just how important recycling is and not least of all us artists.   It’s great that we can now get some fair trade beads & stones, recycle gold, but so much is still missing like recycled silver is so hard to find unless you make your own, and should you really be melting down your grandmother’s best silver goblet to turn it into jewellery, I suspect her answer’s no!
So next I’m off to the recycling yard to find some scrap metal to turn into something wonderful in my bid to save the planet, and not get myself in trouble by melting down the family silver.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Flying Saucer Goes to London

In a major operation I made this flying saucer pendant over the weekend, and shipped it off to London for the Craftsmanship & Design Awards 2012. 
I must be mad I reckon to make this pendant so quickly, whilst the techniques are simple, the finishing and attention to detail are what takes the time. 

This design came from a challenging idea I had about how to set spherical stones or objects into jewellery without a hole needing to be drilled through them.  Sometimes I think my head is strange place to live!

So being me I started playing with marbles, you see that childhood obsession with marbles has just come back to haunt me now, never did get over it apparently!  I never had enough marbles as a kid and now here I am turning them into jewellery! Which is fun I must admit and talk about playing slightly with people perceptions, perhaps I should be naming the pendant after Peter Pan characters as they loved their marbles too...  But at the end of the day at least I haven’t lost all of mine just yet as I have some other designs to play with and I need those marbles, now what happens when I run out? lol