Thursday, 20 March 2014

Talking to the next generation of creative makers

It's five years since I left De Montfort university and I feel I have acheived so much is such a short time.  One of the tutors there asked me if I would be come along and do a talk to the students as a visiting artist.  This is a part of my practice I enjoy, giving back to the next generation of creative people.

Quite a lot has changed since I left. The road outside the Fletcher building is now a predestrian way, which caused me a minor hiccupp as I hadn't accounted for that when I drove in to the campus to park. The building which housed the ceramics, paint spraying and plaster is now raised to the ground, it looked like the aftermath of a war, just a layer of rumble left where a building used to stand. The Design Crafts course also has had some changes.  There is a new course leader, but there are still many of the tutors that were there when I was attending.

I shared my experience as a maker, bringing in my roots, how I got into making, things I have discovered since leaving DMU and advise on marketing and promotion.   In the auditorium, the faces looked at me seemingly eager to hear what I had to share.  Had I covered enough, was it too long?  I'm not sure.  However, when I invited the students to come and explore my work the place erupted into a hive of activity as they passed this book sculputure and that one to each other.

Next year I hope to go in and combine a talk and an interactive skills workshop.

Monday, 17 March 2014

News for March

Over the next couple of months I will be involved with a number of events which I thought I'd share with you.


UNFOLD - Exploring the process of collaboration
5th April - 18th May
Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne

I'm delighted that my collaborative piece worked with Sharyn Dunn and Samantha Robinson will be seen again.  It was first aired last year at 'Synchronize' at the National Centre for Craft & Design.  I worked with these lovely ladies for about 6 months and I really learnt a lot.

Bilston Gallery, Wolverhampton 
12th April to 14th June

Think of all the things that conjures up the Great British seaside holiday; bracing winds, sand castles, deck chairs, windmills and a fish and chips supper.

These have inspired many an artist and maker to create beautiful and quirky work.

Samantha Robinson and myself decided that our 'Wish You Were Here' collaborative collection would be perfect for this exhibition and were fortunate enough to have our work selected.


Bottle Top Workshop,  
Wednesday 16th March, 11.00am - 4.00pm
The Guildhall Arts Centre, St Peter's Hill, Grantham

Come along to this free event, bring along an old magazine or comic and go away with a little bit of bottle top jewellery.  This is a good opportunity to learn how to re-use disguarded items and turn them into something more desirable.

National Centre for Crafts and Design, Sleaford
Tuesday 8th April 2014, 10.00am to 12.00pm

I will be demonstrating the lost art of Lace Tatting, from flip to ring and there will be the opportunity to have a go yourself.  If you prefer to attend a workshop then please visit my website for future listings.


BCTF (British Craft Trade Fair)
6th - 8th April
Stand 412
Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate

This will be my fourth year at this show.  It is a fantastic event.  Visitor levels are always good and the people on the other stands are always very friendly.  If you are thinking about doing a trade fair, this is a lovely starting point as the organizer is very helpful and supportive to new starts.

Well, that's all the upcoming events for this month.

Donkey rides and rock pooling, windbreaks and deck chairs, buckets and spades, 99's and sandcastles... experience all that the seaside has to offer without travelling to the coast, with this fun exhibition for all the family! Beside the Sea is full of craft inspired by British beaches, life on the coast and seaside holidays.
Included in the exhibition are Ian McKay's quirky automata boating scenes made from British hard woods and found objects, and charming seaside scenes in textiles and ceramics by Flossy Teacake. Discover more about the British coastline and how makers are inspired by it through lots of hands-on interactives.
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