Posts Tagged 'TRAIL'

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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Beautiful day for installing a wishing tree!

Installed my entry to this year’s TRAIL sculpture trail along the Teignmouth sea front in South Devon today. My children have helped me with it from the start and we have had great time making it from old chicken wire (a recycled previous sculpture), used wine corks, old material and jewellery recycled from  unsaleable donations to local charity shops. Many thanks to my friends and their families who have been saving me wine corks for months!

The idea behind the tree came from a real tree I saw whilst on honeymoon in Cyprus that was festooned with ribbons, rags, trinkets and tiny paper prayers which had been hung on the tree as prayers for the dead and sick.  The tree was striking, otherworldly and a bit magical and the image stayed with me and has finally bubbled out as a sculpture!

I invite passers by to come and collect a ribbon of material from the supply on the site and tie them to a tree whilst making a wish for someone or recycled sculpturethe future. I like the idea of the public being able to be involved with and to alter the sculpture, hopefully lots of them will want to join in! Lots of people got involved this morning while we were putting it up, I hope people enjoy it. Its in the shape of a palm tree as the local landmark tree is the Torquay Palm.

TRAIL is a free recycled sculpture trail that runs along Teignmouth Seafront for the summer holidays and the rule is that it must be made from recycled materials. All kinds of people take part from international artists to local schools and disabled groups. This may well be the last year of TRAIL as it has not received any funding this year and as it is a free walking trail there is no revenue unfortunately! My next post will be all about the other artists work, but its been a long day, so for now so long!

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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!

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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Empty paint pot appeal!

Its the time of year when I start panicking about what to make for the TRAIL (Teignmouth Recycled ART In Landscape), which runs over the summer holidays from Shaldon to Dawlish. The exhibition is wonderfully inclusive, with submissions from local schools (pictured Sid the Seagull by Hazeldown School) and community groups to well known local artists and even international exhibits.

This year I am making a piece for which I need around 30 empty paint pots (or if its white or black paint they can still have paint in, I can use it on the sculpture)…keeping my idea under wraps for now so as to keep you all guessing what I am going to make (I bet you cant!). So if you are local and have some hanging about PLEASE contact me and I will

take them off your hands!

I was luck enough to win TRAIL last year with my boat sculpture and unfortunately I am the last winner to receive a prize as we have lost our funding this year, which is a shame. But the exhibition will go ahead anyway, thanks in so small part to the hard work and dedication of organiser, Liz Lockyear! Providing a wonderful free activity to get locals and holiday makers thinking about art and the environment in a fun way. Please come and have a look if you are in the area in the summer holidays.

The exhibition also uses the TAAG gallery for the indoor part of the exhibition, where the work changes from fun on the seafront to more serious art and some amazing pieces are available for sale, from small items of jewellery to large sculptures. It it not too late to submit a sculpture proposal to TRAIL, its a very friendly exhibition and you don’t have to be a professional artist to join in. Just click on the link to find out more

I have won an award!

My boat sculpture has been up in Teignmouth for a month or so now and last night was judgment night when we all found out who had won the awards for the public vote, the community prize and the South West Water artist prize.  The kids were being being a bit troublesome and I have lots of work on, so I nearly didnt go, but go I did and I was very glad I did as (to my total amazement) I came 3rd in the public vote and I won the artist prize! I now have a wonderful award sculpted by the talented artist Julia Vella and a £500 prize!

None of this has quite sunk in yet, but I am very, very chuffed to say the least! TRAIL has been extended till the 19th September 2010 to coincide with the Tour of Britain bike race, which ends in Teignmouth, so there is still plenty of time to see the sculptures if you are in Devon this month.

Here are images of the other winners:

winner of the Public vote, Sid the Sea Gull

Fiona Campbell's amazing spider, 2nd in the Public voteJoint winner of the community vote, The Future is Bright being made!

Hoolocombe Arts vertical garden, the initial drawings

One of the best things about being part of the TRAIL collective is the fabulous inclusive nature of the exhibition and I am proud to have my work exhibited along side community groups who have overcome all sorts of physical and social challenges to make works of art that are every bit as well conceived and relevent as those of the established professional artists. I cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with next year!

Thanks to all the artists and participants and the sponsors for everyones hard work

A sorry sight

I have just picked up my new restoration commission, an old Alter box, which has really seen better days! I have ordered some lead and I am working on matching the colours, but as the owner informed me, “..anything will be better than whats there at the minute..” and I cant help but agree!

I will start getting down to work on it in a couple of weeks, hopefully there will be less daylight showing through when I have finished!

I have also finished, sold and sent this piece of Heacham beach for a wedding present, it is engraved with L & B and the date of their wedding.

I have also made and sold a large leaf window hanging, with 5 strings of 5 leaves, going from light green through to dark red. This is a 40th birthday present and I really hope she likes it, especially as the other part of her present is a stained glass lesson with me in my studio! I have started teaching now, more news of this to come later!

Last but not least, I am trying to list an item a day for the rest of the month on Folksy. There is a group on Folksy called the July Jesters who have been doing this all month and I have been inspired to join in, lets hope I can keep up!

I am hopefully having a stall at Torquay Carnival this weekend, on the Sunday (yet to be confirmed) in the marque, so look for me there if you are around. To which end, I need to get making more stock! I took lots more stock to Otterton Mill this week so that they can give me a larger display in the upstairs gallery. Which is lovely, but it has left me a bit low on stock! Right enough chatting, back to the workshop! OH, one last thing, the boat sculpture is still there! It has weathered its first week of high winds and rain, thank goodness!

Launched my boat!

Despite a wild night I got my sculpture up last night, in its spot, just to the left of Teignmouth Pier. It was a truly wild night for weather, lashing rain and gales and I had to really battle with the elements. However, it was still there when I went to finish it off today and I have got the Kaleidoscope in place too, so I really have completely installed it! The clouds broke for a brief moment for me to take a couple of photos……….more bad weather on the way tonight, fingers crossed it lasts the summer!

My sculpture is part of the TRAIL summer exhibition, this is a free sculpture trail running from Teignmouth to Dawlish (South Devon) seafront for the whole summer! All the sculptures are made of at least 70% recycled materials and it is a great day out for all the family, especially keeping the kids walking with interesting things to look at!  You can also vote for your favourite installation and there is a a prize for the public vote!

Lets just hope no one tries to take it for its virgin trip, it is very heavy and has 2 wholes in the bottom and is totally rudderless! I got some very strange looks from the surfers riding the massive waves last night and even stranger ones from the elderly people walking their dogs this morning!

My house is full of milk cartons…….but I have finished my boat


I have 310 2 ltr milk cartons stuck together in groups of 3 wide and 5 long and I have stuck together the tricky bits of the letter K and M for my milk sculpture. There are literally bottles everywhere and if you try and move them before the glue is totally dry they fall apart, its a nightmare! But I have made good headway, I have made all the parts of the letters and tomorrow I will stick all the parts of the letters together. I then need to spray paint them and fashion a cow head and tail out of the remaining few milk cartons………..I have till the 27th July and it looks like it is going up in the Taunton Branch of Morrisons,  I know nothing more!

Really got down to work this week and in every available second I was sticking glass on my boat sculpture, grouting it and then doing it all again to the sails. Its a large structure and it took bloomin ages! But I think it is going to look fab. I now just need to make the kaleidoscope that you look through to have a fun view of the boat, mmmmmmmmmmm it has to be installed by Saturday this week, better get on with it. Oh, and you cant see the whole thing till it goes up at the weekend, on the left is the sails being  under way and me  grouting the bath tub.


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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