Bright

Colourful patterns swirling round and merging. It could be alien or insect. Maybe a design for fabric or a stained glass window. I like complexity, I don’t know if something like this would be a good idea for printing onto a note card?

I have talked about doing this before but have never been organised enough to do it. I have lots of ideas but I think I need some expert advice. Which are the best sites to get things printed at? I need quality prints, but not too expensive. I found a shop that might do it but I haven’t got the money to do it yet…

Today’s exhibition

Two boards I had paintings on today. I also had a table with small paintings, jewellery and prints. I sold a few pieces which was good and I think I got a good reception from people. Overall most people in the group seemed to have a good day. It was quite busy all day from when we opened to the last few minutes. It was also good chatting with artists and finding out bit more about their work. I’m tired but happy.

Potteries

Burslem, Tunstall, Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent, Fenton, Longton.

Six towns United as one city. Stoke-on-Trent.

I remember seeing this print and taking a photo of it, but I cannot remember where it’s from. So apologies for using the image and if I’m infringing copyright let me know and I will remove it. I like the style of the illustration. It’s almost grecian in style. The Potter is throwing a pot on a foot treadled wheel. The background looks a bit like a Minton tile. I did Google it and found some very similar images.

Pottery is such a wonderful craft. The things you can make out of clay. From tableware to ceramic insulators. Sanitaryware (bathrooms) to delicate ornaments. The Potteries has a great history. It’s fame is world wide. I’m proud to live here.

Another papercut

Sunburst

I think this came out quite well. I started with straight lines then added the curves. It’s meant to be a bit asymmetric. I think it has a 1930’s feel? I could imagine it as a stencil. It needs some tissue paper behind it, perhaps red or orange. The craft knife was so sharp it actually cut slivers of plastic off the ruler. A couple more to do but I’ve really enjoyed learning a new skill.

Pendants

I was so pleased to get these yesterday. My friend had got them before the pandemic but because of her work we could not see each other for months. Now each fused glass cabochon has a smart wire weave bale and chain.

I tried to get good photos of them although the light in our house isn’t good, perhaps I should get a light box? I think they work really well together.

Button bowl

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I got this last year. Its a bowl constructed of buttons stuck together with PVA adhesive. It was made by a friend who used a bowl as a form to make its shape. The only thing is that it has deformed slightly because it was pushed into by another object.

I like her choice of colours and the way you can see the gaps between the buttons. I don’t think it will last forever. Perhaps it will turn into a forlorn heap of buttons, but it’s OK for now.

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Sewing kit

I decided to try and make a badge from a craft kit that I bought last year off Belinda Latimer Designs to take my mind off things….

An hour later I’ve got a star made of vintage cloth, a couple of buttons and some felt and colourful threads. The kit also comes with a clip to sew on the back so I can wear it. The original patterns are a heart, a butterfly shape and a little bird shape, but I fancied doing a star. The only trouble was the vintage cotton which did fray, but I think I conquered it. Not perfect but relaxing. X

Today’s 1″challenge

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Day 16…only 15 to go. I’ve enjoyed doing these so far. I’m even drawing them early! Last year I kept adding pictures late.

The glass should be fired in the next couple of days, then I shall haveĀ  pieces I can turn into smaller necklaces. I loved being able to do it, but the lady who runs the workshops is moving away. I shall have to find someone else who does it, or the pieces I did today will be my last experiment in this craft.

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Lots of pictures

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Yes, these are all paintings I did over the last few days. Some are tiny, some are small and some medium sized. These are for my craft stall for tomorrow at the Hotel on Spode Site. I hope people come in and enjoy what will be on display and for sale. There are a lot of quality crafts and art which will be there.

I guess I had better get back to work and finish off what I’m doing.

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Blacksmithing

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!

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