Posts Tagged 'landscape'



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!

I find finishing stained glass panels harder than starting them!

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This morning it was very cold in my studio, very cold indeed! It was one of those mornings when I really had to force myself to walk the 3 metres to my studio! Had I been working on new pieces this probably wouldn’t have been the case, I would have bounded out to start experimenting and getting on with what I do best: STARTING THINGS!

I LOVE starting things, cutting a new piece of glass, turning my ideas into physical objects.

I am not such a fan of finishing things, this reticence begins at a particular point of my artistic process, the cementing stage. Once I have cut the glass, done the fancy effects to the glass surface and leaded the piece up, (read more about cementing here) it essentially looks like a stained glass panel. BUT you still have lots of time consuming work to do; namely cementing. This involves filling all the gaps in the lead chanels that surround the glass (and hold it in place) with a liquidy mixture of ground up lead and linseed oil. Once the gaps are filled whiting (plaster of Paris essentially) is used to soak up the wetness of the cement and help dry out the panel. Then it all has to be cleaned off the glass and the lead work, its dusty and messy. On top of that it is toxic, I wear a mask and vacuum regularly as lead dust is poisonous and I get RSI from too much cementing in my right hand….generally its not my favourite thing!

HOWEVER it is totally essential to creating a watertight panel and it does something magical to the design, its hard to say exactly what, it makes it more solid, gets rid of all the gaps and spaces and the black of the cement gives it more physicality somehow.

So when I dragged myself out to the workshop and got on with the cementing the result was well worth doing a grotty task for; my finished pieces are starting to take shape and it reminds me, like it always does of the delicious little thrill of finishing a piece of work.  Now I just have to patina acid wash them and polish the lead with stove black……pfffff…….I’m sure I have some pressing new work to start on!

The gallery below is a peep at some of the work which will be finished soon, my first digital transfer work and some cool new Dartmoor pieces, all cemented today.

First in a new series, inspired by my children

I am working on some new themes for this year’s work, one of which is a series of panels inspired by my children, trying to capture how they view the world and the tales that capture their imagination. The seed of this was planted in the summer when I made them a mermaid window for their room, read about that here The first finished piece is called ‘The Fox and The Moon’ and expresses the excitement and wonder my girls enjoy in our garden at night. When the familiar becomes other worldly and the local wildlife come out to play! Amazingly we also have a hedgehog, bats and slow worms in our city centre garden, much to their delight! The panel itself is composed of bright primary colours and every piece of glass has been altered in some way; kiln formed glass  textures of the moon and the tree, lino cut printed houses and fox (which have then been fired in the kiln) and acid etched details of grass and stars. It should be framed soon, ready for sale on my website or gallery exhibit, not sure which yet!

Capturing other people’s memories of long summers by the sea

Just lately its been all about craft fairs and exhibitions, which means making lots of the things that I know sell well, which can make me feel like more of a machine than an artist! But bubbling away in the background I have been working on a series of panels for a customer who has previously brought large exhibition pieces and now wanted something special to her family to give as Christmas presents.

The design brief was to capture their childhood summers in Devon sailing around the coast and walking the coast paths picking blackberries in the late summer with the sea and the cliffs in the background and here are the resulting 3 sizes of panels, the largest will be housed in a bespoke wooden frame tomorrow (the glue is still drying in the local carpenters workshop), the medium panel is edged with sea glass and both have kiln fired painted details.  The yellow boat is cut from lovely mouth blown glass as the family boat was very important to their holiday’s. The contours of the cliffs are picked out in swirly cinnamon baroque glass which adds texture and the sea and grass are from water glass which mimics the ripples of water, especially when the sunshines through it and creates shimmery water reflections. The opaque glass used for the sails adds a good contrast to the transparent glass and leads the eye to the centre of the panel.  The smallest panel is a simpler version of the big ones with acid etched berries and leaves.

The colours and simplified forms of the design give the panel a retro feel; its wonderful being involved in creating such special Christmas gifts and I am really pleased with the results, I hope they are too!

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!





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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