Posts Tagged 'Devon Open Studios'

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.

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Sculpture at the Edge

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My main Open Studios event is taking place at Yarner Wood this summer, but somehow I have also managed to produce 4 pieces to add to the fabulous and very well regarded Heathercombe Edge sculpture trail. Deep in Dartmoor this woodland sculpture trail is well worth the windy country lanes and the Faerie Woods are packed with amazing sculptures, the tea rooms are second to none and the kids crafts are fabulous!

My additions to the trail are made using the remaining wood from my Yarner sculptures and take their inspiration from the children’s nonsense poem

‘The Man in the Wilderness’

wondering at the moonThe man in the wilderness said to me
How many stars in the sky? said he.
I stare at the moon till it makes me shiver
And wonder and wonder, who made Forever?

 

Directions etc available on their website, opening times etc below

Saturday 7th – Sunday 29th September

Open daily 11am – 5.30pm except Mondays

Adults: £5 Child: £2.50 Concessions £3

 

The big reveal!

looking up at Mountain Ash in situThis year for Devon Open Studios I decided to have a change of scene and participate in a couple of sculpture trails. As a result, Yarner Wood has been the main focus of my work for a while now, its a English Nature reserve outside Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor and is being restored to a Western Oak Wood. The theme of the trail is man’s relationship with the environment and I have taken the history of the wood as inspiration for my pieces which combine cross sections of tree trunk from Yarner Wood (48ish year old Douglas Fir) with fused and mosaic glass. Speaking to the staff at the woods gave me the idea of the wood being at the heart of all the human activity in the woods and in turn human activity having shaped the woods use and appearance. This is turn led The bomb that saved the wood, detailto the idea of taking the core, or heart out of the discs of wood and fill them with glass pieces; the juxtaposition of the natural wood and the very modern man made glass is very appealing to me. There are 10 artists exhibiting on this fabulous trail from conceptual to sound artists and everything in between and I am very excited to be part of such an interesting project.

I picked the tree trunk up in 3 and 6 inch cross sections, with quite a lot of wild life attached and I must confess it was a bit daunting….but then my ever useful Dad arrived and looking up at Mountain Ash 2cut all the central cores out of the slabs of wood, many thanks to him, I would never get any sculptures made without his patience! Each of the sculptures is cast to the size of the individual holes and are made from recycled waste glass. This series of sculptures is my largest series of sculptures to date and I am very pleased with the results.

green man 2The first piece on the trail is my take on the age old Green Man ‘Welcome to the Woods’, it is right at the start of the trail and is there to welcome people to the woods, reflecting man’s symbiotic relationship with nature and the timeless cycle of life.  The first firing of this piece cast all the scraps of clear, green and yellow glass into a disc shape, then I painted the design on and fired it again.

Becoming Autumn is the second piece on the trail. Again I used recycled waste glass (this time Spectrum 96 series), and depicted oak leaves changing Becoming Autumn in situcolour as the season changes. The trail starts at the beginning of autumn and it seemed like a great reflection of human enjoyment of nature for leisure, a very modern use of the natural environment!

My third piece on the trail is also inspired by the modern use of woodland for peace and reflection. ‘ Looking up at Mountain Ash’ takes inspiration from the wonderful Rowan trees in the wood and the simple pleasure of looking up at the shapes and light of the woodland. As with the previous piece this one is fused with small scraps of Spectrum 96 glass. While I was installing this piece I had a fabulous interaction with a young male deer (whose antlers were still small and fuzzy) who came bounding through the wood, regarded me and then turned and bounded on through the undergrowth.

copper blue in situThe wood has not always been a tranquil retreat from the pressures of modern life and 150 years ago a very active copper mine was on the site, lots of charcoal burning and the lord of the manor owned the area and exercised his horses on the wood. The next piece ‘Copper Blue’ riffs on this history, the blue glass is copper bearing and the cast disc has copper sheet inclusions and is hung between two fence posts, a prolific sign of how humans have shaped the wood!

In World War II the wood was earmarked to be cut down to assist with timber for the war effort, however, when a German bomber discharged his last bombs after a raid on Plymouth (in order to get home faster) the wood was hit and many of the trees then grew twisted and damaged, no good for timber manufacturing. This has inspired the next piece ‘The Bomb that Saved the Wood’.  Here 2 pieces hang one above the other. The top one has 2 discs of glass bang! detailwithin it to give a sense of depth and fire and the one below has a fun Pop Art feel with the word BANG painted across it.

The trail now turns a corner and the piece of the woodland really encompasses you, this is where I have placed my last hollowed wood piece, ‘Tranquil’. Tranquil cast acorns detailI have used various pieces of blue and sea green scrap glass to create the disc and then cast a separate acorns and oak leaves from crushed cast glass which have then be attached to the disc.

I continued with cast glass objects for the next piece, ‘Which came first?’. Here I have mosaic waste white and cream scraps of glass to the shape of the central core of the wood, which is happily egg shaped and then attached my cast glass bird. I am very pleased with both my cast pieces and this is a skill I am very much still learning this complicated area of glass art! which came first

cogs in situMy final serious sculpture on the trail is ‘Cogs’ made to express how we are all part of the great machine of life I have taken 3 of the cores my Dad removed from the wood and created different coloured bands which match up with the tree rings below.

All this serious art work is all well and good, but we all need a bit of fun and to add this to my trail I have made a child side bird house from recycled marine ply, which I got from the fabulous Bristol Wood Recycling Project. Permanent markers will be available for visitors to decorate the bird house as the pass it and lots of colourful material will be inside for children to make their own birds nest.

The trail opens on Saturday 7th September and is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the 22nd September, refreshments are available in the woodland centre and the trail is free and only 2.5 km, so a child friendly distance! click on the link for more details http://www.artecology.co.uk/page2.php

Our preview is Saturday 7th September and all the artists will be on hand to talk about their work and show people round the trail.

 

 

Open Studios ends with a deluge of rain!

What a weekend of contrasts it has been! Saturday was fresh and chilly, but a pleasant day and my studio was busy with visits from people in the locality. I am glad to say I met some really nice and very interesting people and caught up with some of my neighbours.

I emptied a colourful kiln full of flowers on Saturday morning, they have come out very well and as well as making up swags of flowers for sale in Insideout I am also going to keep some back to make an applique glass panel, I think they will lend themselves well to this.

I prepared lots of fusing tester panels on Saturday afternoon to be fired on Sunday. Sunday morning I loaded up the kiln and paid close attention to the cycled and the rapid cooling phase of fusing glass as I have been suffering from devitrification problems when fusing with recycled glass (where the glass crystalises when it is cooling, creating a matt granulated appearance to the back side of the fused piece). Hopefully I got it right today, we shall see tomorrow!

Today has been relentlessly rainy, I had to empty my gazebo gallery early as everything was getting soggy and windswept! I only had one visitor on my last day of Devon Open Studios,  she stayed for quite along time as it was raining SO hard she would have got drenched and so we had a great chat! But I would not have wanted to go anywhere myself today and as the gazebo was out of action it was probably for the best. But I got lots of panels cemented and got to watch a film with my kids as well, which is the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon anyway!

My studio can go back to being my own private little space again now for another year! Thanks for everyone who helped me advertise my event, handed out leaflets and put up posters at their work. Thanks also to everyone who came to visit me its been fun.

Finished pieces, new commissions and small rewards

Did I say I was going to update this everyday of Devon Open Studios? Ha, ha! how over ambitious! Well, first things first, my frit experiment mentioned in the last post came out well, as you can see, and I am going to use this effect to represent the sunrise bouncing off the mountainside of my next commission.

My acid etched Islamic inspired panel is leaded up and waiting to be cemented and I have cut the glass for a new fish geometric panel, they are coming on nicely.

I have made a full size cartoon of my next mountain commission and I am just trying to position the sunrise so that is looks right AND allows me to cut the sky from one continuous piece of glass.

The customers came to collect their glamorous Art Deco door panel (hopefully it will fit into their front door like a glove) and no sooner had that panel left the studio than my next clients came in to discuss the design for the first panel for their new build home, the front door panel (then hopefully 4 window panels to follow).

I have had lots of other visitors, fellow glass artists, stained glass students, neighbours and friends. I have swapped some bunting and a bird cage for a  new hair do from my hairdresser friend and drank tea with ceramicist friend Cresta Glass and it has been a good few days.

I had a resident artist with me today, who coloured me a lovely picture of my studio!

I filled the kiln with painted pieces of glass for flower garlands and bird cage panels to be sold at InsideOut and they will be fired tomorrow.

Oh and last, but not least, when I turned on the computer this morning I had a great email from stained glass news informing me I had won their panel of the month with my Boats on the River Teign Panel, which is was a lovely surprise and a great bit of advertising for my business, thank you very much!

There is still Friday and the weekend to come and see me, as you can tell, its a busy studio and a great chance to see an artist at work. Opening Times/directions   

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experimenting with recycled glass frit

Open Studios again today and amongst other visitors was a customer I have been working on a design for and we chose the glass and the effects we want today.

This led me to put a recycled frit tester panel in the kiln with some experimental pendants today, both use recycled waste glass which has been smashed up with a hammer into small pieces and dust and its busy cooking in the kiln……….we will see what comes out tomorrow

There is still lots of time to come and visit me at Open Studios, please click here for dates and times.

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Cementing and Soldering Stained Glass

Open studios rumbles along and I have spent my day cementing and soldering.

acid etching stained glassMy big glamorous Art Deco door panel is now cemented to make it weather proof and we have to wait a couple of days for that to harden off now…

My acid etched panel is coming on nicely, the patterns have come out very well.

I have almost finished a birthday commission Love Bird piece

Oh and I have a new panel with fused bird inclusions and lino cut prints ready to be framed now! 

Strange fact of the day = ALL  my visitors today for Open Studios do glass as a hobby or are students of glass (as we all are of course!)

There is still lots of time to come and see me, click here for details of opening times and so on.

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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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