Posts Tagged 'beach'

Aloha Teignmouth!

Aloha Teignmouth Stained Glass Hibiscus flower Having relocated 12 miles from Exeter to South Devon last winter it is amazing to have our first summer in our seaside house!  I am finally back into a good work routine (these things are so dependant on the delicate family/ life balance) and I am preparing for a packed summer of shows and exhibitions!

stained glass hibiscus flower red and yellow paintedThe new house and my exhibition schedule have crossed over in a serendipitous way and I am making some panels which just so happen to be the right size for windows inseaside stained glass our house, so I can install them at home after they have been on tour.  Aloha Teignmouth has been designed for my kitchen door. We live in a 30’s semi with original internal doors and these doors have lovely proportions; but I cannot live with the existing frosted glass and view of the recycling boxes behind (what self respecting glass worker would) so I have made this homage to all things Hawaiian and tropical. This playful panel is intended to liven up our white and black kitchen scheme, obscure the less attractive aspects of modern life from indoors and is a great chance for me to work ‘off brief’. The view of the cliffs and beach huts in the background  of the panel is the view out of the main kitchen window; I do like it when I get to reference the settings of the windows in some way, windows after all are part of the houses architecture.

The outside world keeps on turning and Gloss Gallery summer show is already up and running, which I am pleased to be part of and as the summer holidays grow nearer I am feverishly working on my recycled sculpture for TRAIL 2014 and working towards my first Devon Open Studios in Teignmouth, I will be stained glass door panel 1930ssharing the TAAG gallery with 3 very talented artist friends and we are all working on new pieces for that.

stained glass beach huts detail

Anyway, the sun is shining and recycled washing machines do not turn themselves into sculptures, so I will head out into the Sunday sunshine.

From dawn till dusk

sunset cowparsley stained glass panel

sunrise stained glass seed headmidday teasels photographic print

The school Easter holidays are in full swing; but I being a self employed artist and a mum means my days are full of sandy children for the next couple of weeks and working life needs to be pushed to the margins. Early mornings and after kids bedtimes have become my hours of work, this is how I worked through their preschool years and I am glad I learned to juggle all of these competing demands right from the children being babies, as I can slip into it quite easily now. But it does slow me down! and I am glad to have this triptych of panels packaged up to go to their new home in Cambridgeshire, as their new owner has been most patient!

The brief for the commission was to create three 30 cm square panels, each reflecting a different part of the day from sunrise to sunset. The client provided some of her photos for me to include and wanted a version of my ever popular teasels photo in the mix too.  The three panels are to run vertically down an internal wall  in a newly remodelled kitchen and the colours go from subtle yellows and light blues at sunrise to purples and pinks for a dramatic sunset.

The panels are made by firing photographic images onto the glass in my kiln and then leading them up in the same way as any other traditional leaded stained glass panel. The photographic images are permanently attached to the glass so the panels are as durable as normal stained glass.

Anyway, off to the post office and beach, in that order to get these panels off to their new home! Enjoy the sunshine on this sunny Monday morning.

 

 

 

Sculpture Trail marks the start of the Summer Holidays

Recycled Crochet carrier bag sculpture

Recycled Crochet carrier bag sculpture

Every year I take part in TRAIL this is a sculpture trail along the sea front in Teignmouth, Devon with sculptures made entirely from recycled materials. Professional artists, community groups and local schools all take part and it is a fun and colourful display with a strong underlying environmental message.

I love taking part in this exhibition, I have exhibited yearly since 2009 and it really heralds the start of the summer holidays for me!

This year I have crocheted a giant squid out of recycled carrier bags (from supermarket recycling bins and friends cupboards), it stands 3m or so in the air suspended on the end of 2 old, broken fishing rods and has a couple of charity shop Barbie victims dangling from its tentacles, about to be eaten.

The trail is totally free and runs from 22nd July 2013 to 1st September 2013 along the beautiful Teignmouth seafront, please come and have a look if you are in the area, I am in the flower bed outside the Beachcomber cafe.

My tree has turned into a monster, but you can still add your wishes to it!

I had to go and take my Wishing Tree down today from its sea front home in Teignmouth as the TRAIL exhibition has ended . I had no idea that it would be so popular and we estimate it has around 2,500 wishes (based on the number of rags we put in the bins) I could not keep up with demand and many thanks to Liz Lockyear, the organiser of the event for endlessly filling the bin for me and to Roger Smith (founders of TAAG ) for mending my sculpture when it got so heavy with wet wishes in the rain that it fell over! TRAIL had to run without funding from anywhere this summer and it is in danger of having to stop running, which seems very sad when the public enjoy the exhibition so much.

Anyway, it really doesn’t look like a tree any more; more like a Fraggle Rock monster! But it is now safely erected in my garden, wishes intact and you are cordially invited to add your own wish to my tree/monster during Devon Open Studios which runs from the 8th – 23rd September.

recycled bath and glass sculpture My Kaleidoboat sculpture (which won TRAIL in 2010) will also be on display and I have moved it to my front garden so people can easily find my house!

The slide show takes you through the wishing tree from the start till now, who knows what will happen to it next!

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An awful lot of wishes

public sculpture on Teignmouth sea front 3 weeks have passed since I erected my sculpture on Teignmouth sea front and look how it has changed!!! I had no idea if anyone would want to join in with my interactive piece, but it turns out that they really, really have! Today’s photo is on the left, 3 weeks ago on the right. See my previous post to see how and why I made it.

Literally hundreds of wishes have been tied to my tree, at least 4 pairs of curtains, an old double duvet cover and goodness knows what else; I am really chuffed that now people have started bringing their own strange trinkets and special bits to add to the tree. Thanks to unknown members of the public who have refilled the bin with scraps of material in between my visits!

There is still plenty of time to add your own wish to my tree, it will be on the sea front till September and if it is still in good shape, back at mine for Open Studios in September.

This sculpture is part of the TRAIL recycled sculpture trail on Teignmouth sea front. We also have an indoor gallery at TAAG in Teignmouth town centre.

2 months is a long time in blog land!

recycled bottle top brooches by Amy McCarthy Wow, my last post was 2 months ago! Where has the time gone?

Some of it has been taken up with joining the writing team at UKHandmade where I am now writing the craft profiles section, which is proving to be great fun, though I hope my outpourings wont be too sporadic for them!

I have also taken on another voluntary role, by joining the board of the Devon Artist Network and its great to be involved with an organisation

kiln fused recycled boat mobiles which has helped me so much in the last couple of years (I received a bursary from them last year).

Things in the world of glass have been moving on nicely too! I have been furiously making boat mobiles and my other recycled seaside wares for Inspirations in Salcombe and Atelier in Barnstaple, who have put in their big summer orders. Summer is a really busy time for me as so much of my work is in galleries by the sea and the summer holidays are galloping towards us now!

A gorgeous local chain of shops Insideout  came to see me and I am working towards a launch type event with them at the end of the month, including some new designs just for them!

All my plans and activity stopped last weekend, our eldest daughter had a virus which made her very poorly and she ended up in hospital, thankfully only for a day. This experience made me especially glad that my work is part of the Devon Artist Network’s  Art and Health Programme at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital . This initiative allows artists to display work to brighten up the corridors and waiting rooms of the stained glass panel, seaside landscape local hospital, hopefully bringing a small distraction to the time spent waiting for appointments or news of loved ones.

Baby bird is recovering well and thankfully self employment means I could drop everything to be with my children….but if you dont work you dont get paid! So I have been doing what I can in the house whilst she sleeps and the younger monkey is at nursery and thankfully I managed to deliver all my planned pieces today (which really was the last minute) for  Gloss Gallery Summer Show: Coast and Country which opens Thursday 19th July. Phew!

Now its onto the next project, my submission for the annual recycled sculpture trail in Teignmouth which starts next week, but I have only just started constructing! I was lucky enough to win this a couple of years ago and its a highlight of my working year;  so I have been assembling junk to turn into my new sculpture….more on that soon but for now I need to get back to making it!

New experiments: stained glass and kiln fired photo transfers

There are many things I should have been doing today, making hearts  (I have sent most of them off to various galleries), writing my first article for UKHandmade  (very excited about this new project) and photographing and listing my work on my website  (always a chore). Instead, I have been turning some of my photos into new glass pieces; I have had these photos mind for ages and I am glad to finally get round to putting idea to glass.

  This is not just reckless experimentation, I have a piece to make for OrganicARTS Open Studios Art Trail in September and I am hoping to do some collaborative photographic/glass designs with local photographer Martin Sharpe. In short, I want to be really on top of the technique before the summer.

My first respectable panel using photo transfer paper sold on its first trip to a craft fair, but if I am honest there have been more failed pieces than successes so far. The first problem being the paper fires to a sepia colour which clashes badly with most greens (learned this the hard way, but it also gives a lovely vintage feel with the right colours) and it needs to be fired at fuse cycle temperature not a painting firing, as I learned to the last panel’s cost (wrong programme on the kiln, Doh!)

Cost is the key word in all glass art experimentation, all the materials I use are expensive, some have quadrupled in price since I started working with glass and this makes the explorations and experiments vital to developing new ideas costly, which can be quite a frustration!  Fabulous glass artist Peter Gilles  talks about cost v.s experimenting very well on his excellent blog and I took heart from his musings.

Anyway nuff moaning; how does this fire-able photo transfer business work? Firstly, I choose my photo and manipulate it to have a very high black/white contrast (you can also do any kind of photoshop magic at this stage too), then print the image onto the special transfer paper using a black and white only photocopier, then cut you glass to size and float the image off the backing paper in warm water (it makes a satisfying hissing noise when it hits the water). Next float the transfer over the glass, make sure its on straight and get rid of all the air bubbles by smoothing with a damp cloth.  Allow 24 hours to set and then fire in the kiln to the temperature on the instructions.  These ones are setting and look great… but now we need to see how they turn out after they have been fired. Creases and air bubbles are always a danger and there is always the possibility of the glass failing or the transfer not taking properly….we shall see!

The images are from my recent travels and include a ruined wind pump, (from a trip back to my home of Norfolk), an image of people on the beach and a view across the Teign estuary (a view I keep coming back to in my work at the minute).

Results after firing to follow soon………..

First finished photographic printed stained glass panel!

After much experimenting with a special printable transfer paper on which I print out photographic images I have finished this piece, Sunset, Teasels and sea. The transfers are carefully floated onto the cut glass pieces and heated to a high temperature in the kiln to bond with the glass and then I lead the panel together as usual. The glass is given a grainy, slightly mat side from contact with the kiln shelf at high temperatures and the sepia of the printed image combine to give a really nice retro, old photograph atmosphere. There will be more of this kind of thing soon, but for now its for sale in my Folksy shop

The photograph used here I took on Branscombe Beach, Devon at sunset looking out to sea and the panel is framed in a specially made recycled wooden frame.

 

3 different endings, all starting with the sea

Oh dear, I totally gave up on my blog a day! whoops. But that is because I have been double busy the last few weeks. Open Studios ended well with over 100 visitors, but now its over its straight into the pre Christmas frantic stock making! I have however, finished some bigger pieces and this is what today’s post is about!

I finished the children’s mermaid panel, which has proved difficult to photograph well cos its so long, but I am really pleased with the finished piece and the reflections all the painted and etched fishy details throw on the floor.

I am also really pleased with my new exhibition panel, based on teasels on the sea front at Branscombe beach in Devon. The painted details have come out really well as has the unconventional pebble shaped border.

Finally, I installed an abstract panel this evening in a bathroom/hallway internal window space. The design brief was to create a piece inspired by images of the patterns of rocks on a beach in North Devon. I devised an abstract panel following the lines of the rocks patterns and incorporating lots of sea glass (broken glass tumbled by the sea and picked up on local beaches. I mixed this glass with baroque glass and water glass to give some texture to the piece and some wonderfully delicate antique green salvaged glass with wonderful bubbles and slight variations. The finished piece is quite subtle and the colours match the interior decoration well. I think it has been very successful, I left the new owners gazing at it in the hallway, so I think they are happy too!




Under the Weather

Spent a blustery afternoon on Teignmouth Sea Front today putting up my entry into the annual TRAIL sculpture exhibition. Open to anyone TRAIL has one main rule- your sculpture has to be at least 70% from recycled materials and have some kind of environmental message. Unfortunately we did not receive any funding this year, to the usual grand opening, winners prizes, posters and postcards are absent, but there are still over 30 sculptures to be enjoyed on a free TRAIL from Shaldon Botanical Gardens to Dawlish via Teignmouth sea front.

Every year I make use of my scrap waste glass (a by product of my stained glass business) and this year was no exception, I pieced hundreds of pieces of waste glass (too small to do anything else with) together into rain drop shapes and fused them in my kiln. I have made around 140 in total and these were all strung from a frame made of old office shelving brackets my dad found for me with an old chicken wire cloud filled with empty paint pots and flower pots from a local decorator. I hope my piece symbolises how the weather is affected by our actions on the ground and how much waste we produce. The weather is always awful on the day I put my sculpture up and at least today it wasn’t raining………but gale force winds forecast for tomorrow, so fingers crossed it will still be there!

More of my raindrops will be hung over the river at Dawlish in the week and after the exhibition finishes all of the raindrops will be sold off individually for The Helen Foundation, a local charity working to encourage and enable young people to participate in the arts. Lets just hope the weather, seagulls and passers by are kind to it! I will also have lots of work on exhibition in the TRAIL Inside indoor exhibition at the TAAG Gallery, Teignmouth from August to September 2011

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I am a stained glass artist working in Exeter and a busy mum of 2; trying to carve a path through the tide of washing and children's toys that stands between me and making beautiful things.

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