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!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

A visit to Pulse 2012

Pulse is the summers largest design focused retail gift, homeware and lifestyle show held at Earls Court 2, London each June.

I have exhibited here 2 or 3 before, under the umbrella of CSM Selected - part of my old university Central Saint Martins showcasing up and coming talent (if you've been following me for some time you will remember me setting up two years ago! if not here is the link to the post)

I wanted to visit for a few reasons - to get back on the, exuse the pun 'pulse' of design and homeware, and check out some up and coming talent to showcase and stock at the gallery, but also to catch up with some old friends who were also exhibiting here.

Julie Spurgeon, a resident artist/ceramicist at miss annabel dee* gallery & studios was exhibiting her newest collection of 'Material Pleasures' for the first time and introducing her wares to UK and International buyers, so I really wanted to go and give her some support!

As I was walking through the doors I came across this, literally the first thing I saw:

Material Pleasure's was part of the TREND display! The Teapot on the top stand!  This is amazing! I am so happy for Julie! I hope this brings in lots and lots of orders! The colours are so lovely - pastel tiffany greens and blues! Good enough to eat!

I also caught up with Lok Ming Fung who was in the same year at uni as Julie - We have agreed to stock some of her jewellery and other pieces later in the year at the gallery so watch this space! Excited!

Here are some images of a selection of exhibitors I liked and perhaps I may stock in the gallery at some point - what do you lot think?

Cute ceramic jewellery made by mememe ceramics

Graphic prints and greeting cards by Rosie Wonders

Shaped Mirrors by Haidee Drew

Cute Illustrated homeware and textiles by Martha Mitchell Design

Amazing embroidered seaside and London Cushions etc by Lara Sparks

Embroidered prints by Emma Cowlan

Two fellow CSM Students from the CSM Stands:

Giuseppe Fasano - Greeting Cards... unfortunately no images of these, but they were proper wicked graphic cards!

Black & White (AND glitter) Graphic drawings - Available as greeting cards by Emma Kalkoven for i.e. (in other words)

And finally as I was walking away from Launch Pad, one final exhibitor caught my eye, I <3 SP Design:

I think it must be 'cos i use alot of 'line' drawing and illustration that I'm drawn towards others who have the same styles?