Saturday, 30 June 2007

Roses & Candelabra

Iris Eichenberg: Tenement / Timelines
Brooches 2007

Wonderful new work by Iris Eichenberg via Klimt02. The links then sent me in the direction of Iris Nieuwenburg's brooches at Galerie Louise Smit which I thought Ulla would particularly like...

Iris Nieuwenburg: 'Still Lifes and Precious Things'
Brooches, 2006

Friday, 29 June 2007

sunrise and sunset

So excited, it's 9pm and the living room has bright sunlight streaming through it's west facing window! It's like a summer afternoon, so bright. I had actually forgotten that the light comes in here at all in summer, it kind of rolls down north slope of the hill always looking like it is about to disappear, but it waits till it gets to the bottom before it goes.

Last night was the first night without northern clouds so I saw the sky not being dark. It was beautiful. A bit too beautiful, I had felt so deprived of our light nights I stayed up till 3.30am gazing at it because they've say the rain will be back over the weekend (and we're still having lots of showers), drinking in the loveliness of the changing shades and intensities of blue. By 3.30 it was daylight. One night of Summer at last YEY!

They clouds are arriving as I type but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will leave a gap at the bottom so we can finally see a sunset. The sunsets we see from our windows are one of the reasons I moved here.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Hazel Lane

Still pooped after overdoing it last week at the degree show so no chat today except to say the sun shone and it has only rained twice. It's mild too, so I don't need to toast seeds in a dry skillet to warm my hands, like a wheat bag except you eat it when it cools.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Gray Skies in June

This has been the sky for most of June

I keep falling in the wet grass and looking up

A few hours of brightness last week made all the grasses burst open at once

As I lie here, tucked well under the covers, all I can hear is the pounding of the rain. It's chucking it down out there just now. There seems to be a pattern of 6 days rain and one day dry (nearly always a Tue or Wed). As a result UK has had severe flooding, particularly bad in parts of England where 3 people have died. One report said an entire month's worth of rain fell in 12 hours yesterday and 3 villages have been evacuated for fear of the local reservoir bursting and flooding the area.

One really simple step that millions of people can take to lessen the impact is as simple as a change of materials. Stop covering your gardens in plastic sheeting, concrete and tarmac. Instead use landscaping fabric or other permeable membranes which prevent weeds but still allow water to soak into the ground. Same goes for paths and driveways, make them permeable not solid and this will reduce the strain on drainage systems. There are many options for this and many of which I wrote about here on Sew Green in April.

I always prefer the options that use reclaimed materials so I liked the reused brick driveway that Greet made with the holes of hte bricks facing up to let the water through. It's not hard to find free bricks in the UK and many people would be more than happy for someone to relieve them of their piles now that it's going to cost them to dispose of them. In fact some git dumped a pile over what used to be the path to the shop, since they did that almost no-one walks there now and it's getting really overgrown. I take secateurs to cut my way through though I've not walked there all month because of the rain, the waist high grass completely drenches my clothes.

Last week the hill was visible through rain after 2 weeks of just not being there. Then on
Monday, in between showers, the whole hill was visible so I took a pic for Mr P as he had probably forgotten what it looked like...

The respite from the rain meant peoples roses could open for a day without losing their leaves, I'll try and pass by this rose with Lucy if the sun comes out today, it will look gorgeous in sunshine. Yesterday was nice through the afternoon but I couldn't walk Lucy in the field because even the 'dry' parts will suck the boots off your feet...

Perhaps boot laces would be a good idea?

The sun popped out twice while I wrote this, but was soon followed by more torrential downpours. My courgette, which is I put in a compost bag about a month ago, hasn't grown AT ALL. In fact, it's going a bit yellow, presumably the rain is leaching all the nutrients out of the compost. The herbs and salad are a little better as I grow them in covered tubs. But they are still hardly growing. Not that I want to eat salad in this weather, soup, give me soup, hot veggies, mashed potato and steamed greens.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Edinburgh Degree Show - Jewellery 2007

As promised some work from the Jewellery & Silversmithing Degree Show 2007, here are some that caught my eye. I was going to write a bit of blurb about each person but they mostly have websites so you can link straight to them to find out more. If you are in London between ...

Amy McColl: Rings

Amy McColl: Neckpiece (detail)
You can contact Amy by email- amy dot mccoll at hotmail dot co dot uk
(Amy, I've written it that way so you don't get automated spam).

Cecilia Stamp: Brooch

Cecilia Stamp: Brooch

Cecilia Stamp: Neckpiece

Hayley Mardon: Anthive (detail)

Helga Mogensen: 'Bob' ring

There were others who's work I wanted to show but I didn't manage to get permission or pictures in time for posting this, particularly Caroline Holt's 'Stranded' neckpiece and pretty much everything made by Claire McGill who's site shows much of her Fingerprint work though the photo's don't do justice to the colour and detail of the pieces in real life.

I've definitely missed out some good work, there were a lot of great pieces there but due to the heat I didn't get round them all properly, especially the ones in the raised area but you can get another chance to see these and more at New Designers next month. They will be showing at stand J16 5-8th July.

Laura Darling- Illustration, Edinburgh Degree Show 2007

For me, the absolute highlight of the Edinburgh Degree Show 2007 was the work of Laura Darling in the Illustration Department...

Laura Darling: "Eat your peas please, Leonard."
From her book 'Leonard'

Laura has written and illustrated the most wonderful, observant and highly amusing books which will be enjoyed as much by parents as by children. I cannot wait till she gets a publishing deal so I can add her books to my treasured collection. I must just say that the tiny little jpegs I am showing here simply don't do justice to the quality and feel of her illustrations. The really need to be seen on paper and in the context of her witty stories.

Laura Darling: "Don't scuff you feet please, Leonard."
From her book 'Leonard'

The first book I read was the story of 'Leonard' which had me and my mum in fits of giggles. We kept going back for another look. 'Leonard' was Highly Commended in the Macmillan Children's Picture Book Awards. It was so wonderful I had to take Mr P there the next day even though I was pretty ill, and it just got funnier the more I looked at it. Leonard, if I remember correctly, is described as 'a thoroughly deplorable fellow'. Laura's use of language is all part of the charm. Here is Leonard's response to his mum asking him not to scuff his feet. I'm sure a lot of you recognise this scene all too well!...

Laura Darling: From her book 'Leonard'

Laura Darling:
From her book 'The School Trip'

'The School Trip' is the funniest little story about the ridiculous state of affairs regarding Health and Safety these days. The children are taken on a trip to a farm where they have to wear 'special clothes' and wash their hands, a lot. The way she ties up the story on the last page is just the funniest ending I have ever read. It was really hard trying to laugh quietly in the hushed exhibition space. Luckily her stand was full of equally appreciative visitors so I don't think we were too annoying.

Laura Darling: The Jamie Oliver Effect

For anyone beyond the UK this illustration refers to the story of parents rebelling against Jamie Oliver's healthy School Dinners campaign by passing junk food to their kids through the bars of the school fence!
(sorry, that was the 1st junk food link I found and I'm pushed for time).

As well as being in the middle of her Degree Show (which ends tomorrow, Tuesday so run and see it if you can) she is also showing at D&AD New Blood in London from today 'till Wednesday (25-27 June). Next post, degree show jewellery.

Kirsty Hall - Diary Project

Kirsty Hall: Diary Project, 2007 via her Flickr site

I have a confession to make, I really really struggle to read blogs done in Livejournal. I think it's something about the layout and all that text, it freaks my eyes out the same way as a page of HTML does, hence my very short career dip into web design in the late 90's. For the record I also struggle with pale text on dark pages. Love it on a one off graphic but find it incredibly hard to read on-screen.

Kirsty Hall: Diary Project, 2007 via her Flickr site

The result of this is that I only skim some blogs occasionally, ones which I'm sure I'd spend longer in otherwise, like Kirsty's blog Fragiletender. Whenever I'm there she always has post that get me thinking, but I can't linger long cause my eyes get sore. Because of that I had never noticed the link to her Flickr site which is full of her art which I love, and her Diary Project blog (also here on Flickr), which will fill the gap left when Lisa S finished her Drawing a Day project last year. Plus it's not in Livejournal, so I can look for longer without my eyes jumping out their sockets and hiding in a cool dark place where no-one can bother them.

Kirsty Hall: Diary Project, 2007 via her Flickr site

And Kirsty, after all that I still forgot to email you my address, which was what I was popping to your site to say for in the 1st place. I'll do it tomorrow. For now, sleep, if it's possible to sleep through more rain (the joys of living in a mobile home).

PS My post on the Degree is coming soon, just waiting on a few last images and being in the right frame of mind to get all the links correct, I keep muddling them all up while my hormones are bouncing around.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Simple things

Picked by the bus stop 2 weeks ago (click to enlarge)

I think the bottom one is from a snowberry bush. When I was a kid we had a huge snowberry bush in the garden. I used to love popping the berries with the tip of my shoes. Tapping it just enough to pop it without having to squash it. You could hear the pop. You could feel the pop. Very satisfying. A bit like if you are hitting a tennis ball and sometimes it hits the mesh in a way where you can tell it's just perfect, direct on, no friction. It has a particular boing that feels really good.

BTW- Sebastian is selling 7 rings on his site.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Cecilia Levy & Sara Lechner

I couldn't sleep last night, crampy crampy crampy. I've been up for hours trying to distract myself with Flickr and chanced upon this beautiful collaboration between Cecilia Levy and textile artist Sara Lechner...

Cecilia Levy and Sara Lachner collaboration 2007

It led me to the work of Cecilia which somehow I have never come across before though judging by her flickr comments a lot of you know her work, thank god for cramps eh! Here are a couple of her illustrations...

Cecilia Levy: Tree Book detail, 2007

Cecilia Levy: 'Musing' 11x11cm
Pencil and acrylic on board 2006

See more of her birds here. I was especially moved by the sad story and illustration of her cat Kalle.

I love the layering, paleness and texture of this mixed media textile piece by Sara...

Sara Lechner: Detail, mixed media 2006

St Kilda Opera - Vertical Dance

For anyone who missed the stunning live webcast of St Kilda - A European Opera, Echo of the Birds you can view a You Tube clip. The stunning dance was performed hanging from the cliff face of the remote Scottish Island by the French vertical dance company Retouramont. It is truly beautiful.

Photo by Brian Hall via BBC website article

I love this Retouramont clip from a dance in Paris, they are wearing red and it looks wonderful.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Summer Solstice

Took my camera (and my teapot) round my neighbouring gardens in a rare dry moment last week to remind myself what June looks like outside. It's been so cloudy for so long we didn't see the top of the hill for 2 weeks and haven't had any long light nights so I was completely surprised that it was the summer solstice last night.

The sun came out yesterday for a good few hours, showing the hill top at last, and in a rush of excitement and madness I went back to the degree show. I really wanted Mr P to see someone's work that I will be blogging about at the weekend. It was his last day of teaching (college holidays) so we decided to finally go to Bell's Diner for the meal that I couldn't go to cause I was ill on his birthday in May. Actually it turns out he still has quite a bit of work to do, but he's been working flat out for months now getting through the bulk of it that a meal out was still deserved and needed.

On the way there we popped into Habitat to get a tealight holder for his room (out of stock, shame) only to discover a full party atmosphere, crowds of people, DJ, drinks and nibbles. I felt like I was on holiday somewhere. It was so nice, especially as I've not been in town much this year at all.

In typical Cally fashion I was to be found UNDER one of the tables (sober, and I got permission 1st) dragging out all the skinny red Pimms & Lemonade cans from the bin and filling a Habitat bag with them. Hate to see perfectly good materials going to waste and it's so rare that I get cans with red on them as I don't buy a lot of fizzy drinks, except occasionally Purdeys or Good Earth Sparkling Elderflower, love them on a hot day sitting in long grass in a field.

Actually, I had a long grass moment in a field today when I took Lucy out at lunchtime. I took a dizzy turn and fell over, but it all seemed very slow motion and I was quite happy finding myself lying on the grass in the mist (the sun hadn't broken through yet) listening to the skylarks and other birds while Lucy happily snuffled around and ate grass. All the grasses had flowered the previous day during another burst of sun so they were with heavy with muted pink and orange pollen laden tops which sent out little burst of pollen mist each time a fly landed or Lucy's tail brushed by.

Ok, more bed required, I've ridiculously overdone it today and yesterday, but I do so much love to see the shows.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Edinburgh Degree Show + Sebastian Buescher

I made it!
I made it to the degree show and though I got pretty overheated (hot lights, bad ventilation) it was well worth it as there were some lovely things to see. I didn't manage a full visit but managed to squeeze some

As always the main people/pieces catching my attention were in jewellery, illustration and textiles. I have been/will be in touch with some of them for images to blog here soon. Many of them will be appearing at New Designers in London so some of you still have a chance to see the work up close.
Jewellery, Textiles & Ceramics will be there for Part 1 from 5-8th July, Illustration is in Part 2 from 12-15th July.

Naturally I can't leave you with nothing to look at so this is the perfect opportunity for some more intriguing work by Sebastian Buescher.
I posted about his work last May so he emailed recently to say he's now got his own blog Life Inside The Well, and a mighty fine blog it is too.

Sebastian Buescher, Rings: untitled 2006
copper, resin

Sebastian Buescher, Brooch: Untitled 2007
ceramic, coral, silver, plastic, agate, galvanised steel

He has the gift of discussing things which I would love to blog on but get too irrate about, like how jewellery is shown/sold and how makers are treated in many UK galleries (one of the biggest reasons I stopped exhibiting/selling). He hits the nail on the head when he talks about the recent news story on electromagnetic radiation (or in my words, fry your brain for the sake of neatness). But back to his work, these are all pieces from his updated page on Klimt02...

Sebastian Buescher, Brooch: The Widow Maker 2007
ceramic, black widow spider egg cases, silver, poison, cork

And finally, do you remember me talking about how I like to make jewellery (and other things) from rabbit and sheep droppings? I assured you it was nicer than you might think. So I was pleased to see Sebastion also has 'crap' jewellery, see his brilliantly titled neckpiece 'Holy Shit' from 2006.

Anne Griffiths

A very aquatic looking paper and textiles piece by Anne Griffiths found here and available to buy as a postcard. I never seem to get arty postcards anymore, now that we all have email, but I still send some, when I'm organised enough to correspond.

I'm hoping to make it to the Degree Show in Edinburgh and pick up some cards by new makers... but it depends on how lovely Lucy is doing. We've had torrential rain, it's even flooded the bypass, so walking her with her sore paw is a bit of a trial. I've been doing make-shift waterproof bandaging until she gets to the vet, I did the final layer with black electrical tape - now she looks like Mistress Lucy, bondage pooch!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Akiko Tamai

Lace Rings from Akiko Tamai Beads Works available in white, grey and black...

The north wind has stopped so it's warmer, but still wet and grey, too grey to take pictures which is a shame cause I've been really wanting to show you some delights that Liz gave me for my birthday. Such delights. Apparently we won't have sun 'till next week so no pics for a while.

Lucy has a limp, she's hurt her back paw. Poor thing, she's still getting over an ear infection and was supposed to be meeting my parents dogs today, at last. Hoping she can meet them tomorrow but my plans may be thwarted if her paw is bad as I don't want to take her far from home (which would be a double shame as she's also due to visit Liz for some cuddling).

Monday, 18 June 2007

Christina Lyon

I liked this and thought Gracia and Julie might also...

Bird and Berries print by Christina Lyon

Available for $7 in the Studio Lyon ETSY shop this is a 5x7 print of one of an original collage & ink illustration. SHe also has a blue patterned teapot illustration that reminded me of my pattern doodling when I was supposed to be paying attention in classes.

My work + Nathalie Miquel

*sorry, I've tried 3 times but Blogger refuses to post all my text the same size and I can't face re-writing, so get your magnifying glass out for the middle section...

The Garden Opening went well, only very light showers and even some sun. I was too tired to visit the other 10 gardens but, based on previous visits to the others, I can honestly say I like my parents garden best. It's cottagey and relaxed with lots of bits to discover. Too tired to type so here's an old post that's been sitting around...

Drawing (detail) of ceramic & glass amphora 1991 or '92
Pen, ink & tea on cartrige paper with teabags & tissue paper

Much of my artwork incorporates found pieces and the amphora above is s drawing of (or for, I forget which came 1st) a ceramic piece I made to fit around a piece of broken beach glass. The glass was the broken neck of a very small bottle, maybe a perfume bottle, so I chose an amphora shape as the new body. The final piece was white ceramic/blue glass and I think the glass was held in place with silver plated coper phone wire, the really thin stuff.

It's strange looking back at such old drawing of my work and seeing how my love of text in images has lasted all these years. I always loved to work with tissue paper and teabag paper because you get such lovely show-through of the words and images beneath. After nearly 20 years I still love it when people have text in their work, especially handwriting such as this work by
Nathalie Miquel which I spotted recently.

Artwork by Nathalie Miquel

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