Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Leigh Art Trail Children's Workshops 2015

Here I am in the local press advertising the Leigh Art Trail children's workshops:

As usual, the kids loved getting their hands dirty and playing with the clay, we were making their favourite animals.  This year I decided to use air drying clay.  this way the kids can decorate with glitter and other bits and bobs eg pipe cleaners and then could take away their creations on the day.  (Last year I used normal firing clay and took their bits to be fired - no-one came to collect their masterpieces the week after so I was left with an army of Funny Faces!)

Go Gold for September - Limited Edition Plates

This September I have been involved in #gogoldforseptember - it's childhood cancer awareness month.  So, not only have I adorned my shop windows in gold, but I have produced Limited Edition plates with an inspirational quote.

The quote was chosen by Katie, Hattie's Mum (I mentioned her before here)  Hattie is a local two year old who has been diagnosed with leukaemia but is strong and is fighting this terrible disease, so the quote is incredibly apt.

They are £25 each with 20% of each sale going to Children with Cancer UK.  Please get in touch if you're interested in purchasing one of these plates - it's for a very good cause!

(Vintage ceramic plates with digital decal and gold lustre decal)

Go Gold for September

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and along with other shops along Leigh Road I decided to decorate my shop and it's window in gold #gogoldforseptember.

Hattie is a local two year old who has been diagnosed with leukaemia and is the face of the #gogold campaign to raise awareness of childhood cancer, as well as her own awareness campaign #HattiesHeroes.  Leigh on Sea has such a family orientated community that the cause has struck cords with many and most shops and businesses in the area have taken part in some way raising awareness and money

I produced some limited edition plates to sell during September (and beyond) to raise money for Children With Cancer UK with 20% from each sale, going towards the worthy cause.

I also decorated my shop windows with gold bunting, teddies with gold ribbon neck ties, as well as paintings and artwork with touches of gold and yellow and ceramics decorated with gold lustre.

To find out more please go to: www.bechildcanceraware.org

I was even in the local paper raising awareness:

Here are a few more pics of my shop window and what I had on display:

Monday, 28 September 2015

Pop Up Shops

During 2015, I decided to gut the shop every now and then and host a season of Pop Up Shops.

What is a Pop Up shop?  Well, a pop up shop, in my eyes is a space in which different artists, or retailers will move into temporarily - in my case for a week or so - and sell their goods.

The Pop Up Shops over the last couple of months consisted of a a couple of vintage shops, a children's boutique and a vintage inspired clothing range.  They were very popular, however a lot of my regular customers thought I had closed down - as the whole shop was taken over by these other retailers.

I'm still here! I'm not going anywhere!  However, I think for 2016 I may only do a 'Pop Up Corner' where artists can rent a corner of the shop for a week or so instead of the whole shop - as I've built up such a lovely customer base and also a have a reputation for being where I am and selling fine art and ceramics, and I don't want to lose that!

Take a look at some of the pics of the shops:

Love ur Look Vintage Inspired Fashion

Neliana Children's Boutique

Jaded Years Vintage

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Lacey Contemporary Gallery

I followed up a link given to me by my friend Cait, suggesting I enter some work into the Lacey Contemporary Gallery Summer Arts prize - first prize being £1,000.

I haven't done anything like this for a while, so I thought why not.  I entered two smaller ceramic vessels - 'They Grow up So Quick' along with 'When I Grow Up I Want to be a WAG' and then forgot all about it.

A couple of weeks later I received the email saying that one of my vessels had been shortlisted!  Only 50 out of 600 entrants were chosen!  I was over the moon! Can you see my vessel below (clue 2nd row on the right)

I was also invited to the Private View and it was there that the winner would be announced

Here are some pics from the night:

Unfortunately I didn't win, however it was great being involved in an exhibition in West London again.  The winner was a short film of a launderette.

I also think, in future that I will enter my bigger ceramic vessels as in a gallery the small ones can be lost - or enter them as a collection rather and individually, as they all have a narrative and are linked together.

It was also really nice wandering round the back streets on Holland Park looking at all the houses and the architecture.  It made me think about my future and where I want to be living in 10 years time!... Well I can dream can't i! 

Spring and Winter Open 2014-15

The year before last I held an open exhibition - "The Spring Open".  I advertised on Facebook as well as in the local newspaper and I had an amazing response.

Artists from far and wide submitted their work!

The show was a such a great success, I decided to hold another one - "The Winter Open".  Again, I had such a great response, from the same artists and new faces!

I did it again the next year too - another Spring Open..

... I should carry on the tradition shouldn't I.  There's such a selection of art on display, there's always something for everyone!

Next year, I'll do another Spring Open!  Gives me a bit of time to advertise!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Southend / Leigh Plate Commission

A couple of months back (.. I fear every post I write will start with this).  A couple of months back I was approached by a gentleman who wished to have 12 plates made with a unique Southend and Leigh on Sea vibe, after seeing my Leigh on Sea pub mug designs (tell you about that later)

He has a house in Italy and it is a tradition to give plates, and he wanted a reminder of 'home' on them.

I have used a mixture of illustration and photography to achieve the designs.  I really enjoyed doing these actually, as I am so used to putting designs onto cylinders, it was nice to see them 'flat'.

I am of course available for commission - have you got an idea you want on a plate?

Get in touch

Pop Up in Whitstable

At the beginning of September I took part in my very own Pop Up Shop in the lovely seaside town of Whitstable.

It's just across the estuary from me here in Leigh on Sea and its a place I have frequented quite often on little visits, as one of my friends, Imogen has a place there.

I was sharing the space with vintage lifestyle brand Love Ur Look.  Ronke, the designer had held a pop up shop in my gallery earlier in the year (more about pop up shops later) and mentioned she was doing one in Whitstable and I jumped at the chance!

I made some mugs based on the local landmarks of Whitstable - Red Sands, the historic WW2 forts out to sea, Wheelers Oyster Bar, The Fish Market in the harbour and the Old Neptune Pub along the seafront:

They went down really well and now they are being stocked at the Whitstable Improvement Trust - 34 Harbour Street, Whitstable (if anyone fancies a gander or wished to purchase one!)

I had also brought along some other artists work from my gallery in Leigh.  Julie's teacups and also artist Malcolm Perry's paintings of Whitstable:

Here are some other pics from my Week in Whitstable:

I had an incredibly nice lunch at Waltshaw's (19 Harbour Street) - a few doors down from Show Off Gallery, I had A salt beef on white bread and a sparkling elderflower.  Yummy!  Would def recommend, the lady was very friendly, and if I was into coffee I would be in heaven! And if I wasn't working, I would have had a sip of the mant craft beers they have on offer!

I found that Whitstable was very similar to my home town, perhaps that's why I like it so much?