Monday, 8 October 2012

Grayson Perry's Essex Retreat

Wayhey!  Good 'ole Grayson. Giving Little Essex a mention!  He want to build a house right here in mine & his home county of Essex, dedicated to the Essex Girl 'Julie'.

Julie happens to be a resident ceramicist at my studios... I wonder if he is looking at her for inspiration?

Really looking forward to seeing this.  Dont think it will be built until 2014 or something anyway.. read more on the BBC news website..

Terry Sibson's Exhibition - Private View

What a lovely busy evening this was! Thanks everyone for coming!

By 4.25pm (we opened at 4pm) we were packed to the gunnels!  Terry's work obviously proved popular with the masses!

Here is a little bit of background info on the artist, Terry... as well as some images from the drinks reception!!

Terry Sibson is Southend born and bred.

She trained to be a teacher back in the distant past & for last 20 years has worked as a special needs coordinator.

Terry started painting 15 years ago when attending classes led by talented local painter and tutor Reg Smith -mainly as company for youngest daughter who was just embarking on a level art. Daughter stopped painting as soon as a- levels finished but Terry has been painting ever since.

Started painting journey working in oils but has recently discovered the many and varied benefits of working in acrylics. This medium suits her style which is to paint boldly and quickly ,without unnecessary detail ,yet allowing layers of colour to show through.
Subject matter is very eclectic and varies from holiday destinations, local scenes, interiors (particularly fond of cafes) to ,lately, a rather impressionist look at cows, sheep and ducks.
She has exhibited and sold works at the Beecroft Art Gallery, art fairs, cafes and other venues around Southend and the local area.

She has been constantly grateful for the wealth of guidance and support from local Leigh artist Peter Smith who she has painted with weekly for the last decade and who has been a real influence on her painting.

Amazing cakes, made by Terry and her Mum! Nom Nom Nom

You can see an example of Terry's work here :

The exhibition runs until Saturday 13th October.
During the exhibition, gallery will be open 11-5pm Monday - Saturday (closed Wednesdays, cos I work at Job number 2 then!)


Friday, 28 September 2012

Tales from the Two Puddings

My uncle Eddie has written a book about the time he was a Landlord in his pub The Two Puddings in the 1960s:

Ties in brilliantly with my work!  Alot of the photos used in my collection 'The Chewing Gum Floors' are featured in this book.  See of you can spot some of them in the video?

Later in the year I will be holding a book signing here at the gallery, so watch this space!

Pencil it in your diary for Saturday 10th November!

New Commission

For a 60th Wedding anniversary.  I was approached by the couple's son and daughter-in-law as they had seen my work before, and thought it would be a wonderful present for his
parents upcoming anniversary.

The couple were very well travelled and the son wanted to include various references to where they had married, lived and places they loved.

The supplied me with some lovely vintage photographs.  One from their wedding day, and others of which scrawled on the front was their promise of love to each other - from all those years ago!

Love doing projects like this!

approx h23cm x w11cm

Thursday, 20 September 2012


I have been working with my old university (UAL - Central Saint Martins) alongside Busaba Eathai and Brunel University creating a new type of 'barcode'

And I've just come back from the Launch held at the Old Street branch of the restaurant as part of London Design Week.

The idea is to have a code incorporated into a design, drawing or pattern  instead of a QR code - you know those square things you see on the corner of posters etc, which takes you directly to a website? Instead of one of those, which could make an item look ugly or ruin the overall look of a product.  You may understand better if you have a look at the images below.

Anyway, one of my designs was used on the press release and the invite sent out to potential sponsors and clients! Yippeeee!

Busaba "creates a tailor made dining experience triggered by smartphone recognition of decorative artwork which can be placed on objects such as tableware, menus and placemats.  Customers are enabled to explore tasks such as ordering, paying their bill, queue jumping and more"

The images above and below are my designs!  Unfortunately I had another design, but it broke coming out of the kiln (typical!) so it couldnt be used at the launch! Bummer!

Friday, 31 August 2012

Children's Workshops

Once a week during the summer holidays the gallery became a hub of excited chatter and activity as we held Children's Clay Workshops!

They proved a great success and were fully booked each week.  

Holly, Gemma & Violet getting their hands mucky!

Here are a few of my favourites from the first session.  We started out using terracotta, but found out this made the children quite dirty! I think we have some potters in the making here!

Check out the stance of Finlay's cat!  Couldnt have captured it more brilliantly!  Well impressed!

 George (4) made this T.Rex (with a little help from his Dad)

This fencer was inspired by the Olympics, Faith (10) had seen a match on the TV the day before - how inspiring?

After the inital making, some children came back and painted their pieces.  Typically you will glaze ceramics, but we thought this would be a bit dangerous for the little'uns (as we only have a spray booth)  Also paints provide instant and vivid colours.  Perfect for the workshops

Esme's Rainbow Cat

 Harry's Lion and Cat.  

It was really great fun.  You can see each child has their own individual style.

We are hoping to run some more workshops over the October Half Term and Christmas Holidays.


Monday, 2 July 2012

Leigh Art Trail 'Hands'

Forgot to mention this before... To promote the Art Trail Kirsty McHattie & Stuart DeVoil, both contributors to the art trail visited each artist in their studios and photographed them working.  The images were then 'fly posted' around Leigh on Sea for the duration of the trail.

I love this idea of fly posting or the whole guerrilla art vibe... Ive dabbled in this area before and really enjoyed it. putting art up stealth-ily in the dead of night.  Infact, some of my pieces can still be seen in the City of London & Westcliff...  Sooo.. Leigh on Sea.. watch this space!.. I think you're in need of a miss annabel dee*make over....

Danny taking a look at my Hands...

I thought that his was a brilliant idea!  Every time I passed the posters there were people gathered around, trying to guess which hands belonged to which artist!  I hope they stay up for a while, as any publicity is good pulicity!  Here are some of the other 'Hands that make Leigh Art Trail 2012"

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Village Green 2012

There will be a stand representing the gallery & studios at this year's Village Green (or click here for the facebook event) at Chalkwell Park this Saturday.  

Village Green is a mini festival in Leigh on Sea, arranged by Metal.  There will be music and comedy and stands selling arty farty stuff.  It's one of the best cultural things going on it Southend.. And I'm gonna miss it!

You may remember I participated a few years ago with Southend Young Creatives and before that my old art studios Syncro, but this year I have a wedding to attend on this date! So I dont really mind not going, but it would have been a nice day out!

Soooo... representing the gallery is Julie of Material Pleasures.  She will be selling her new collection of handmade ceramic tea sets as well as a few brooches & magnets from the gallery.

Monday, 25 June 2012

A Private Commission #2

Last year, or maybe it was even two years ago, my mum's best friend's daughter commissioned me to create a wedding present for her dear friends Sarah & Ian.

After weeks, months, years of working on the piece on and off, it is FINALLY ready.

The couple visited me many months ago after their wedding AND their honeymoon to discuss what they wanted the subject of the vessel to be.  I was thinking it would be a 'Wedding' piece to commemorate their Big Day, perhaps with images of the happy couple, the bridesmaids, the car, vows etc, but once the couple arrived and we had had a little chat, we decided to create a vessel to commemorate their Honeymoon, which is a much more subtle way of celebrating their marriage, as it is something they can look at and reminise about, but its still not an obvious 'Wedding' gift.

Sarah & Ian honeymooned in Rio, Brazil!  They sent me some of their favourite holiday pictures and also told me what they really loved about the place and I have created a unique vessel which illustrated their Honeymoon.

Below are some quick snaps.  Again, what do you think?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Downing Street... AGAIN...

So this was my 4th visit to No10 Downing Street.  This time with my Dad! Hurrah! We were invited by Janice Blackburn to go and have a look at my work 'in situ' and to go on a tour of the other artworks situated at No10 - Old and New!

As I'd been there 4 times already, it was like I knew the place like the back of my hand - The Tracy Emin? of course, its upstairs just outside the room they do the press conferences in! the Henry Moore? just down the coridoor! haha! Only joking!  Everytime I go I am awestruck!  I just cant believe I'm there!  It has been such a privelidge to be able to show my work there amongst great artists,

Take a look at this newspaper article from the Observer a couple of months ago.  This explains it all, how my work came about being displayed there.

Me & Dad - Dad in "Proud Dad' mode
The two vessels displayed at No10. "If That Door Could Talk" & "No10"

Children's Clay Workshops

Setting Up
During the Leigh Art Trail we held some children's clay workshops - which proved quite popular!

However, I was VERY VERY scared!  I'd never done anything like this before and didnt really know what to excpect!  What if they hated me? What if I dont know what to say or do!?...
For the first session we only had one little boy, who was a little bit shy!  He didn't want to get out of his pram, so Mummy had to do the workshop with us until he finally plucked up the courage to come to the table.  Good job he did, because he created some great quirky little clay faces - a whole family of them.  He really got involved pushing string into the clay for their hair and squishing round balls for noses and eyes.  Very creative! 

The second group was much bigger, but after the morning's session I had relaxed a bit, and realised it's just meant to be a bit of fun to encourage the children to play and use their hands!

We had SEVEN in the second group! Yes, SEVEN!  Looking back I think that was probably too many for the space, but I live and learn.  The age range was very big too - 3 1/2 through to 10/11 year olds.  Ive learnt again, to perhaps do a smaller age range - 4-7 and 8-12 or something...

Anyway, had a really lovely time showing the kids how to make some little animals, bowls, plaques and generally just messing around with the clay.  Kids can be incredibly imaginative!

Here are some snaps of the little'uns work.  We were thinking about showing them in the gallery at some point - a little claim to fame for the kids, I'm sure they'd love to see their handiwork displayed on a plinth!?

We are hoping to hold more of these due to the great response, perhaps over the summer holidays.  Interested?  Get in touch!

A Private Commission #1

So, I've been working on a private commission for a present for quite some time and now finally the gift has been given and I can tell you all about it!

A good client of mine wanted to commission a vessel for some dear friends of his who had recently hosted a holiday at their home in Barbados.

I met with the couple earlier this year and discussed the holiday - memorable moments, running jokes - that type of thing and also collected some of their holiday snaps.

I took these away with me and 'worked my magic' combining illustrations with photographs and pen and ink drawings to produce a memorable piece for the couple to enjoy.

Below are a few snaps, I wanted to create a colourful fun piece which would remind the couple of their home in sunny carefree Barbados.  What do you all think?

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Leigh Art Trail 2012

So thats it folks!  Leigh Art Trail is done and dusted!  It's been a busy week with lots of people coming into the shop for the first time to see my own, and also visiting artist, Matt Swain's work!

I only met Matt just before the art trail when he was allocated my gallery for his venue!  It was all a bit hectic trying to get stuff glazed and printed on time, but we did it and I think the result was quite successful!

The venue had a mixture of our work, and I think they complimented each other quite well.  Matt's work is all drawn digitally on the computer with a graphics tablet, and each time you look at it you can find something else you hadn't noticed before and my work kinda goes along with that same theme, although our work couldn't be different!

I launched a new collection during the art trail - "Publand - Leigh on Sea".  These are an extension of my previous vessels based on the Pubs of London.  I have taken the three most famous pubs seeped in history in Leigh on Sea and captured their facades alongside some humourous illustrations on the surface of my ceramic pots.  

They are available to order - each pub on each size vessel - Small £60, Medium £80 or Large £100 and will be ready for with within 3(ish) weeks. Pop in to the gallery or contact me directly by email :

The opening Saturday was a success.  Here's us (myself and Matt, toasting to the trail!)

 Looking forward to next years trail already.  I think im going to get involved a bit more as now I know whats in store.  I think that maybe there needs to be more artists up THIS end of Leigh (Leigh Road) rather than them all concentrated down along the Broadway!

We have some lovely quirky shops down here and it would be great to see them involved! (watch this space!*)

One more thing.  Matt's prints proved quite popular here at the gallery so I will be continuing to stock them.  Please pop in for prices or commissions

Friday, 15 June 2012

Leigh Art Trail 2012 Set up

So, last year I was accepted to the Leigh Art Trail! .... How time flies as the Leigh Art Trail is about to start!

The trail runs from Saturday 16th June through to Saturday 23rd June 2012. 

Hope to see you all there!

Yikes! Just keep painting plinths.. it'll be alright on the night!

A little sneak peek of the work which will be on display...

Also, a nice little piece appeared in the local Yellow Advertiser about the Art Trail... there I am on the left hand side, and there my 'Banana King' is, bang in the middle! Woosh!