Stag attack

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Did he come in from the countryside? Race across the garden centre. Stand at bay in the middle of the mahonias and fatsia plants? Did he knock them like skittles across the patio? Did he roar a challenge to the bamboo ducks sitting on the bridge? A woman walks past and does not hear his challenge. A cat, out of shot, creeps past incase he disturbs the scene. Agapanthus are ready to grow. Perennials are sprouting. This metallic majesty sparkles in the sun. Windswept and tangled in plants he stands up head high, massive antlers shaking in the windy April air.

Photos of Warhorse

I wrote about going to see Warhorse last week, but I did a drawing because we were not allowed to take photos.

Then I found these photos on line. I think they are publicity shots which are allowed to be shared. If they suddenly disappear you will know why.

They just show the beauty and also horror of the play. Such strong sculptural images.

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Sculpted Steel

Charis Jones is a blacksmith and sculptor who runs Sculpted Steel at the Etruria Forge in Etruria Stoke-on-Trent. She is based in the Forge and can be contacted to commission sculptural work. She created a large cat sculpture for our garden.

This weekend she was demonstrating her skills during a steaming weekend at The Etruria Industrial Museum. Home of Jessie Shirley’s bone and flint mill.

The beam engine that powers the flint grinding pans is steamed about once a month.

As with other places in the potteries this is one of those hidden gems that people don’t know about but which are fascinating to visit

Photos courtesy my friend Lorraine.

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Cat sculpture

My cat sculpture that I bought from a local blacksmith has moved since we had the shed put up. You can rest a plant pot on its tail. I love the glass eyes that she put in.

I would love to do a blacksmith workshop and learn how to do some basic twirls and twiddle.

I was so impressed by the skill of my friend. She has also got the ability to translate a 2d sketch that I did to a 3d sculpture.

Copper horse

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I took this photo a few months ago with the intention of doing a painting. It struck me that the copper beech behind it shows off the verdigris of the horse really well and the wooden plinth it is on mimics the tree trunk behind it. Trentham lake is in the distance. I’m not sure if it’s significance but I do like it. I’m guessing it could be based on a Greco-Roman or Celtic design? I could try and find out, but I just like it as it is.

Fairies

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I saw lits of fairies made of wire at a place called Trentham Gardens recently.

I was intrigued by them so when I saw a wire weaving kit to make a small one I decided to get it. I opened the box to find a small mackette of a figure and three thickness of wire together with some pliers.

I’m nervous of even starting! There are apparently YouTube videos to help but I’m not sure what I will end up making. I’m better at painting in two dimensions than creating in three. Wish me luck!

Icy

You know it’s cold when the ice that was put in the sink on Friday night is still frozen in the sink on Sunday.

This is what had happened at the “an, exhibition of Blue”, which I was helping invigilate yesterday.

The exhibition space is in part of the old Spode Factory which has been converted into artists studios. The building used to be full of pottery machinery and pottery kilns. I imagine they did not need much insulation in those days. Now, however, thin walls and single glazed windows together with thick concrete ceilings high up which allow all the heat to rise make for icebox conditions in the winter.

We also did not know where the switch was for the space heater that sits next to the lift. So guests and artists alike stood next to or inside the kitchen where a small electric fan heater was trying to defrost the ice in the sink! People tried to sit on the couches to keep their feet off the freezing concrete floors. I’d been there three hours before one of the other artists at Spode found the heater switch in a cupboard! I did feel foolish for not looking.

Even though it was cold we got a good turn out. The exhibition will be coming down soon but it may be possible to get one of the exhibitors to show you round if you are interested.