Wednesday, 29 December 2010

And out in Derbyshire

Lots of snowy misty walks this xmas break, and a chance to stop and take photos of the countryside near where I live. These were taken near Matlock Bath.

Friday, 17 December 2010


Working from my dining room table is not ideal really, but the studio has been so cold that I couldn't face working there, but.... I have a burner! made from a calor gas cannister, turned upside down, it even has a plate so I can heat a kettle on it for cups of tea. I'll be lighting it in the garden at the weekend so the paint can enamel onto it and burn any fumes off, then it can be fitted, luckily a trip to my dads yard in Anglesey last week, found me a cast iron downpipe to fit as a stackpipe. I'm looking forward to the warmth and being able to eat at a table again!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Power Of Language

The power of language, not something we usually think about, but it surrounds our world and society. The words we speak do not necessarily get heard and interpreted in the way we mean. Miscommunication can occur purely because we may speak the same language but our interpretation of the words we speak can be incredibly varied. Used intelligently we can discover and uncover amazing things about the people we speak with. Needless to say, I went on a fascinating course yesterday on this subject, which crammed in the some useful tools using NLP techniques and Meta Models.

It was a fascinating and enlightening day of self discovery, peoples behaviour and the meanings behind how we speak. And to quote the deliverer of the course - 'The meaning of your communication is the response you get'

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Recipe for Frustration

This recipe is ideal for early December 2010:-


A foot of snow.
A studio that thinks it's a victorian ice cellar.
A burner on order. (put aside for later when the snow clears and it can be picked up)
8 miles of distance between materials and studio.
Several sheets of ice on a hilly roadside.
Pinch of school closures.

Mix all ingredients together to ensure full frustration is acheived, you can also add in the worry about picking children up from other locations as a bit of garnish. To complete the frustration cake, having a clear view of how things would be better if only the burner had been fitted before the snow and the materials brought back to the studio, so when you got stranded there, at least you could have worked.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Other recently finished work

My mood definately affects my artwork, this angel was made during a darker period and was rejected by the lady who commissioned it, so a fortnight later and in a better headspace I made the lighter, prettier version. But I still know which one I prefer...

And this morning

A very snowy path out to the shed, as my burner is on order and not yet installed, I will be mostly working in the house today, in front of the fire, on my computer!

And the countryside outside my own house is rather beautiful at the moment. A good excuse for taking photographs into the sun.

Memory Box Book

I've recently has a go at making a book out of a little cupboard, it was to celebrate a 50th Wedding Anniversary and I really enjoyed making it. I had limited photos to work with so the book was a bit short of pages really, I could have added pages with writing, but didn't feel that it worked on this occasion. I do want to have another go at something else though, to refine it. But for this occassion, it was recieved gratefully as a unique gift.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Aesthetics of Africa

My work is being installed at Pickfords House in Derby today. The exhibition is a response to the African collection of Derby Museum and I concentrated on one piece, The Ibeji Figure. The Ibeji Figure is made to remember and honour the death of a twin, and as I have twins this resonanted on a personal level. I found myself thinking about the void that loosing a twin (or any child) would leave in your life. I'm not sure if the pieces convey that, as usual the my work is fairly ambiguous and I leave a lot of interpretation for the viewer.

Friday, 24 September 2010


And just so I can sit down and do something that is fun and not just me hidden away in the studio, I make some monster to keep me company...

They will be for sale at various fairs in the run up to christmas, I'll let you know when I've got some definite dates confirmed.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

A very quiet time...

A very quiet time creatively due to the school summer holidays, a festival, and two new commissions. Normal service will resume on the 8th September when structure returns to my day! sigh.... back into the garden to read my book and watch children squabble over the hose pipe...

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The Flow

When I listened to the TED talk last week by Martin Seligman, he talked about levels of happiness. He talked about three levels that can lead to a happy life. The Pleasant Life - where you get as many pleasures as you can get from external sources, the hedonistic lifestyle. The Good Life - where he talks about stepping into the flow, you become absorbed in what you do and time stops and you become unaware of your feelings. The ultimate is of course the Meaningful Life, where you know your strengths and you use in the service of something higher than you are.

I have definitely have been in the Good Life today, time stopped and I became thoroughly absorbed in my art making, music was playing and I stopped worrying about what I was or wasn't feeling.

So I have come out of my studio at half six on a Sunday evening having been lost in the flow all day, and it feels like a very good life.

Bee House Plaque

I recently finished this commission, the brief was to design a house plaque with 13 bees on it, I really enjoyed making it and am really pleased with the results. I used glass, mosaic tiles, beads, and handmade dichroic glass for the bee bodies, made by Dee from Ju-San.

Friday, 13 August 2010

A tiring week...

I've had one of those weeks where you don't really feel as though you've done anything, but actually have done lots of little things, but they only appear big when you add them up into one big job.

But at least we had a lovely walk on Wednesday which ended in a real ale pub called The Smithfield in Derby, rather run down and neglected, but lovely beer.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Been very very busy...

I've been really busy this week, I had a meeting with the council about funding for the Abandoned Projects and the feedback was really positive. I've got a meeting with Business Link in two weeks to build up Corridor Arts as a social enterprise and am going to a business networking thingy next week. It suddenly feels like things are progressing! I've also applied for a residency with an arts organisation that I'd love to get, but will have to wait and see.
I've written an editorial this morning, made 5 small sculptures this week for the Pickfords House exhibition and started the Equestrienne Mosaic. Its amazing how much you can fit into one week when there is just me to look after!
So heres the first image of the mosaic as it builds up to a finished piece.

Thursday, 5 August 2010


Just a sneaky peek at some of the detail on the first sculpture for the Aesthetics of Africa exhibition at Pickfords House in October, It's a good start but still lots to do in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Martin Seligman on positive psychology | Video on

Martin Seligman on positive psychology | Video on

Natalie Merchant Equestrienne Music Video HD

And this is the song that inspired the drawing below.


This is my latest design, I like to draw the image that I want to produce, then loosely follow it to develop in a different medium. I may make this in mosaic or a textile piece, I'm not sure yet which way it'll go. A friend has kindly pointed out that the legs look wrong so they may be in a different position.

The image is inspired by Natalie Merchants Song Equestrienne.


In June we visited a friends farm and got some drawing done, Morgan (aged 6) and I drew the same view...

The third is an image impossible to capture, a moving child...

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Mixed Media Mosaics

The Three Hares
Hares have become a bit of an obsession with me, the mythology surrounding them and the beauty in their shape. They are an archetypal image found across Europe and Asia. The hares share their ears in a triangular shape and each have two ears each. The medieval text is taken from the song So Spricht Das Leben by the Mediaeval Babes.


Welcome to my new blog, this is going to be a space to post pictures of my latest work, ideas and inspirations.