What a long weekend! Two days manning the pop up exhibition at Etruria. I didn’t have much time to look at the static steam engines on display yesterday or the classic cars today. The place wasn’t buzzing but there was a constant stream of people coming in. Most of them were interested in what we were doing, what the building used to be used for, or decided to let their children make things with clay. A few people walked in took one look and walked out again. Sometimes they even asked where the tea room was.
Etruria Artists had paintings, photos, ceramics, jewellery and even painted stones on display. It was good to share the space with other artists there. I even bought a pottery frog, a mug and a whale.
So many people to talk to, to help, to explain to. I also helped a bit children with modelling clay. My friends usually do this and I just helped when they were not around. We made frogs and ladybirds, and an owl. Sadly I didn’t take any photos of the pieces as I forgot my phone.
A couple of friends visiting my exhibition at the Waiting room gallery today. I’ve spent most of the time sleep deprived because of my hubby waking me up in the middle of the night worrying about something, then the cats decided to break my favourite glass bowl. When I finally got a bit of sleep it was time to do things like running round trying to organise things including visiting the vets about our stray cat in the garden problem (has he got somewhere to live), getting organised about a performance next weekend in Newcastle-under-Lyme, visiting the shop to get snacks and drinks for my solo exhibition. (who knew no one seems to sell little bottles of beer anymore, they used to be all the rage? Then the main dual carriageway, to where the exhibition is, was coned off and closed to traffic! Got there a few minutes late feeling like a wet weekend in Whitby (which is actually beautiful before anyone asks). A few hours chatting to people about painting. Now to rest. Tomorrow is busy too!
One of the many slides I found last year of my art in the 1980s. I like playing with perspective and I used to do many more portraits than I get to do these days. Maybe selfies have taken over. But wouldn’t you want a special portrait with things that are significant to you included in it? I’m also good at amalgamating photos, so if there are three people each on a different photo who want to be together in an image I can do it – and I don’t need photo shop!
I suppose it would happen. I decided to do a self portrait….. I seem to do them once in a decade. The last one was a drawing about ten years ago.
I’m not sure if painting myself as a Green woman will work, but hopefully it will compliment the portrait of my hubby as a Green man. I’m thinking of offering to do them as portraits for people who are interested in the pagan world.
We went to a blacksmithing workshop today and bashed metal with hammers between heating it up in a forge. It took a few hours to learn how to make a coil of metal as a keyring and a letter opener.
Our tutor was Charis Jones, who runs Sculpted Steel at the Forge at Etruria Industrial museum. She patiently talked us through the many steps to turn both a bar and a strip of mild steel into the objects we chose to make. Other choices included a snail and a poker.
I don’t have the grip I used to have and trying to hold a piece of metal in a pair of tongs was very difficult. I dropped my work on the floor a few times, and you can’t just bend over and pick up red hot metal, you have to be very careful. Luckily no one got burned despite handling white hit metal.
The hardest thing is being able to hammer properly, my wrists felt weak and my arms were aching. (They still are).
You can see our efforts and what we were trying to do in the photos. They are next to the examples of how they should look. I overheated my letter opener blade and the tip broke off. Luckily Charis sorted it out (which is why it’s shorter than my hubbies work). He seemed to take to it naturally and it helped calm him down. Very good for concentration and ‘flow’.
I think having an experience like this gives you an insight into how difficult the craft of blacksmithing is. What you realise is that it may look simple, but it isn’t!
I got my paintings up at the Brampton museum and art gallery now until the 10th November. I’m part of a group exhibition with fellow artists from the Orme Art group based in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
I’m quite happy that they have hung my Mars painting upside down! After all in space there is no right way up! The art is along a corridor in the museum but they are well displayed and lit. If you are around you can always take a look. It’s at the Brampton museum and art gallery in Newcastle-under-Lyme .