PERCIVAL GUILD HOUSE COURSE

Due to start on 15 September at The Percival Guild House, St Matthews Street, Rugby, Cv21 3BY, 01788 542467

Crafts with Textiles and Paper 10 – 12noon

6 meetings, £42.20, £21.60 concessions

Small craft projects in a friendly relaxed group.  A chance to mix traditional and contemporary skills on a variety of projects.  Produce functional pieces, gifts for Christmas, or just play with techniques, using a variety of materials from threads and fabrics to papers and wires, recycled materials mixed with new.  Small charge for materials payable to tutor.

Newsletter completed!

So only 10 days behind schedule, and I have actually sent out my first e-newsletter….  ridiculously pleased!  For anyone wanting to do the same, Mailchimp has been great.  I can’t say its been straight forward the whole way, but I think thats more of a reflection on my skills, than anything else.

Now I have just a few mini love tokens left, which have been aimed at Valentines day, but I quite fancy having them around all the time, and this afternoon I am going on a course at the fabulous Ruth Singers workshop in Leicester, focussing on Publishing Opportunities, and I am really looking forward to it!  I’m wondering about a fiction/recycled materials/ character synopsis/ coffee table/ inspiration affair.  Think this may need refining….red glitter heart

Valentines Mini Domes and Marketing

Taking a break from making loads of mini domes for Valentines (also thinking they could be themed, and personalised for weddings, babies, need to pursue this idea, thanks to the amazing Vicki Dean for this!) to be pro active in my blog, all fired up from a Design Factory workshop….

Being part of the fabulous Design Factory is one of the best things for being freelance and spending loads of time in my studio.  The opportunities for professional development, the sense of being part of a community of like minded and focussed individuals is all part of what keeps my momentum going sometimes.  The networking opportunities alone, and my awareness of other makers, which keeps growing through Twitter, Facebook and workshops feeds directly into my practice.

Last week I was lucky enough to attend a marketing workshop with the inspiring Pete Moseley, part of the Design Factory Thrive programme at the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford.   Loads of ideas, some I had thought of, loads I hadn’t.  Group discussions with a fab bunch of makers at all stages of their careers, great to hear of the differing approaches depending on product and practice.  This was a definate push to apply the tools I’d been thinking of, I picked up some new ideas, and  I am trying hard to adopt a more strategic approach to my marketing!

Things I remember –

  • The more places you have a profile on the internet, the higher google will promote you
  • A monthly newsletter to my mailing list is a realistic goal, and not too pushy (how English!)
  • Tags are important
  • What is your STORY- this is part of your practice, integral to your work
  • Market yourself for all learning styles- See, Say, Think, Hear
  • There is so much help out there: apps to co-ordinate your tweeting, mailing apps, blogging support forums, and help for website development/maintenance through loads of lower cost avenues- eg. uni students
  • Video my making process!!!

Newsletter is now in the making.  My goal is for that to be out before the end of January – If i publish that comment….. it has to happen!

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2014

Can’t quite believe its been October since i last posted. So this is a bit of an underline to last year and a slightly belated welcome to 2014.

Last year I met some amazing people who were so inspiring and kind with ideas and advice.  Some of you were visitors to shows and fairs, and left comments in books and on cards, loads of you have been fellow makers and artists, so ace with feedback and advice (Judy, Heather, Vicki, Ruth to name too few) others have been more vocal!  The amazingly talented photographer Fiona Murray, and artist and furniture maker Steve Handley have made huge impressions though!   Steve’s workshop is a must visit this year, although my ordered chaos will be pushed to the extreme i suspect!  Car booting is even more exciting with Fiona….

Today I found out that Nerys Seeks Peace has sold in the Rugby Open, so a very fond farewell to her, she kept me calm. Others who moved onto pastures new included Pippas Bunny Ears, Annas Always Waiting, Stella Shocks, Marigold Always Touches and Felicity Favours Men, amongst, happily (and with a touch of yearning) many others.

Marigold Always TouchesPippas Bunny Earsannals Always WaitingNerys Seeks Peace

I also started a new range of more abstract and floral pieces which I sold at both Lustre and  at 8Artists@The Lewis for Warwickshire Open Studios.

Carousel Dream BouquetAmi

Another new range is my miniatures, which were fab for christmas, and I am now working on a selection I can make all year.IMG_3035 IMG_2997

How do I find this entry so difficult from a technology perspective- I’m not admitting to how long its taken me just to add these few words and images, I’m sure its supposed to be quicker than this!  Sketchbook guilt is pulling me, 3 and a half hours until the kids are home, so characters to create – donated objects , tradition, religion, greek orthodox shrines, are the starting points.

Making now for the shop at National Centre for Craft and Design and SOCK14 with other applications underway… and a break from this keyboard…

Summer Holidays

Can’t believe its already over a week since Warwickshire Open Studios, what a fab fortnight! As usual, my only gripe is that I was so busy, I didn’t get to visit other studios, but luckily, I caught up with, and met so many new friends, it worked out ok.

I absolutely loved exhibiting with others. The last year I have been almost solely in the studio, working, and it has become so lonely, and I have just had the greatest fix of company, chat, networking (a little gossip!), and just general human contact, I am raring to get back in there. However, school holiday have another idea…

Having Archie and Hats at home is ace, particularly when we can enjoy things outside, compared to last year, but I think I’m going to have to initiate some creative projects with them, so I can get some making started at the same time. Its a busy period coming up, with workshops, teaching, The Big Draw, Lustre, Gifted… a lot of pieces to create. Happy, happy, happy.

Just to also mention some friends who are getting acquainted with new homes, Valerie, Margarita, and Elsie, not to mention the others, Good Luck in the future!

•Lives to dance •Married to Jason - who has two left feet •Owns a bakery – her cream puffs are award winning •	Has danced with Diego for years, but stays ever faithful to Jason •	Occasionally sleep dances
Valerie Does The Foxtrot• Lives to dance
• Married to Jason – who has two left feet
• Owns a bakery – her cream puffs are award winning
• Has danced with Diego for years, but stays ever faithful to Jason
• Occasionally sleep dances
•Loves animals •Always takes in strays and lost causes •Has fed orangutan’s in Asia •	Has swam with dolphins •	Was once bitten by a scorpion •	Believes she could fly when she was very young
Margarita Never Can Say No  • Loves animals
• Always takes in strays and lost causes
• Has fed orangutan’s in Asia
• Has swam with dolphins
• Was once bitten by a scorpion
• Believes she could fly when she was very young
•Elsie is a Great Auntie to 17 •Nurturing •A widow  •	Always has visitors •	Loves Belgian chocolate •	Finds it hard to get up the stairs sometimes
Elsie Dressed Up to Play   • Elsie is a Great Auntie to 17
• Nurturing
• A widow
• Always has visitors
• Loves Belgian chocolate
• Finds it hard to get up the stairs sometimes

8 Artists @ the Lewis – Preview and work

IMG_1630 IMG_1632 IMG_1634 IMG_1654 IMG_1692

Finally, the works all up, the hard work done, and its time to man the exhibition and hope for a positive reaction… which so far it has been.  Exhibiting with 7 others, some of whom I didn’t know too well, could have been quite tense, I guess, but it was all relatively smooth!

There’s a huge range of work, yet it all seems to work as a joint exhibition really easily – not really sure of the reason for this.  I knew Judy (Haslam Jones) and I had a love of pattern, detail, eccentricities and colour, in common, but wasn’t quite so sure of the work of co-exhibitors.

(In fact, Judy has just gifted me a selection of gorgeous bits and bobs, soon to be utilised in a new creation.. I love ‘multiples’- at which my husband just looks at me non-plussed, but Judy has my wavelength!).  

IMG_1702

Judys work, and Bridget Aldridge, actually, 2 of the ceramicists, is so eclectic.  From Indian inspired textiles porcelain bags and slippers, to bugs, exterior frost-free forms, and memory bowls.  Bridget has the most beautiful glazes on some of her pieces, again, creating amazing red vessels, torsos, textural studies and delicate cream forms.   Continue reading

A proper sunny day and a smash!

So, final day of prep before set up tomorrow at the Lewis Gallery.  Several things against me at the mo – namely

  1. Sick in the middle of the night, and wandering around like a dizzy thing this morning.
  2. SKY!!!  So annoying intermittent broadband connection- all these last posts are being posted on the wrong days- the Show starts on Monday 8th July- in 2 days time- ignore any timeline!
  3. Butter fingers, clumsy, slapdash, it’ll-be-fine… ME… One piece down and broken!

Why did I decide to use glass?!

Marigold Always Touches….maybe it was her…Image

3 Days Until Preview!

So hang this, still making, objects drying in the oven and thankfully dry garden, naming of sculptures tumbling round my head, labels, pricing, layout, all still being considered… and breathe.

Realistically i just need to calm down, most of the above IS sorted from previous shows, pricing structures, and knowledge of work.  Its just timings that I need to organise , and ignore the ever present temptation to bully myself with- ooh, I could just do an extra…. something.

Actually, working on the finishing touches for two pieces I’m really happy with at the moment, and focusing on that would be a good focus, as well as calming.  Deadlines are coming to an end for month (August and children at home usually equal no work, especially if it rains- a dry summer, and there may be potential!) Work is installed for the Rugby Festival of Culture, The Lewis Gallery show is almost there, and then the Open Studio at Clewes Garden Studio is next weekend.  Image