Thursday, 24 February 2011

Andy Goldsworthy

In the midst of getting ready for this Saturday's fair at the wonderful St Abbs Wool Festival we realised it was nearly the end of the Andy Goldsworthy 'Lost Landscapes' exhibition at Peter Potter Gallery, Haddington. Goldsworthy has been one of my favourite artists ever since I was introduced to his work by my high school Art teacher and his work never fails to entrance me, so I really didn't want to miss the chance to see images of his work on a large scale. Goldsworthy works with nature and the environment around him to create sculptures resonating with ephemeral beauty as it responds to natural forces of light and dark, time, the seasons, growth and decay.

Yesterday, we took a break and tootled up the A1 to Haddington and enjoyed our visit to the exhibition. I felt a bit greedy because I wanted to see more work
by Goldsworthy and just as I was thinking that a browse through one of the books on display revealed the Midsummer Snowball works which I had never seen before!

From the Amazon blurb:

Just after midnight on 21 June 2000 - midsummer's day - Andy Goldsworthy supervised the unloading of 13 huge snowballs from refrigerated trucks parked by Smithfield Market in the City of London. Each snowball was several feet in diameter and weighed about a ton. Over the next few hours, they were carefully manoeuvred into predetermined sites on the streets of the City to be released from their plastic wrappings at dawn so that they were there to greet the workers in London's financial district as they streamed off buses and out of tube stations on their way to their offices. The snowballs were then left to melt - a process that, even in the warmth of summer, took anything up to six days. All this amazed, delighted and sometimes affronted the passers-by, and a rich element of "Midsummer Snowballs" is the public's responses: gazing, touching, smiling, laughing, or simply walking by and pretending to ignore the enormous mass of snow on the pavement. These reactions are covered in spontaneous photographs taken by a team of photographers who worked around the clock. The introduction by Judith Collins places the snowballs in the context not just of Goldsworthy's work but in that of earlier painters and sculptors. The story of the snowballs is told by Goldsworthy himself, and chronicled in the colour photographs.

The narrative of these giant snowballs revealing their various mysteries to passers by greatly intrigued me and this book is firmly on my really, really want list!

Trailer from the fantastic Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Workroom Wednesday

Remember last week's delivery of scruffy and squashed copper tubing? Well, it's cleaning up a treat! The piece on the left is still sharp and mucky and the piece on the right has been filed and sanded to a gleaming piece of loveliness! These two pieces are going to become a pair of earrings by this afternoon, probably with a beaten texture I think.

I spent a lot of frustrating time experimenting last week and have found it very difficult to solder copper; even after cleaning, pickling, cleaning, pickling, fluxing, fluxing, fluxing and using my torch as hot as it goes I have only had two soldering successes. Hmph. Looking around the internet for advice it seems I can't get the copper hot enough quickly enough before oxidation prevents the solder from flowing. Any advice on this would be very welcome.

Until I fathom it I will be sticking to cold connections with the copper. The two pieces of copper are resting on my new super gadget tool which led to me being serenaded* in Aldi this morning! It is a very handy table vice which has already improved my working conditions / posture as I could file away at a higher level preventing the usual sore neck and shoulders. It also holds little fiddly bits of metal nice and tight so I don't have to hold it with my left hand and get sore digits! Oh, Aldi the joy you bring!

In other experimenting-when-I-should-be-getting-ready-for-the-next-fair news I have had the resin out again. In 2009 I had a go with resin and though it was fabulous stuff but was never very happy with the results I achieved; mainly the bubbles and the lack of a high shine finish. Recently I thought the bubbles would go really well with the sea glass and so have cast a bangle and some bottle cap rock pools. The bangle is again causing me frustrations as every time I get one section re-coated for a shiny finish I have to sand a wee drip away meaning I have to re-coat that bit and the sand away another drip and so on and so forth. This is using epoxy resin and I am very tempted to try out a different kind to see if I can get the finish I'm hoping for. We shall see.

For now I must get back to work!

* replace Edelweiss with Table Vice and you'll get what R sang the whole way round the shop this morning!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Popular Crafts

pages from Popular Crafts Magazine

Thanks to a twitter chat with editor Kerry Wilkonson, of Penny Dog Jewellery, my RedBubble site has been included in Popular Crafts' Painting, Printing and Stamping edition. The article looks at various ways to sell prints and products featuring your art work.

It's an interesting area and something I might pursue more in the future. Red Bubble is centrally focused on prints and greetings cards of your work, however, if you are interested in printing a greater range of items you should check out The Useful Art Company who "are happy to talk to artists about publishing your work" and offer a huge range of printed products from cards to mugs and canvas bags.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Workroom Wednesday

Last week's silver bubbles have become this ring! I have given each bubble a hammered texture to twinkle in the light. It is nearly finished and will be lovely and shiny after tumbling.
This afternoon the postman brought all sorts of goodies for work including a whole jiffy bag of copper tubing which has been squashed flat. It is a bit mucky at the moment but once I've cleaned it up I will be working on new recycled copper jewellery.

Once I see how I get on with this lot I've got a huge copper ballcock to try and flatten and I'm not entirely sure how to do it . . .

Sparrow Hawk

Yesterday we had a visitor in the garden. I'd just gone upstairs to the work room and glancing out the window I spotted a large brown lump on the grass. I was without my spectaculars but could tell it was a bird. Knowing the 'run/fly away if you see anybody with a camera' rule strictly adhered to by all wildlife, I thought it was still faster to grab the nearest camera, whack a big lens on and have another look than it would be to run down and get my glasses.

Fortunately, this lady was so focused on the potential meals fluttering about our garden she gave me time to catch a few shots.
The images are a bit ropey as they were taken through an upstairs window but still, it's a sparrow hawk!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Blue and White Sea Pottery Earrings

Three pairs of blue and white patterned sea pottery earrings all nearly finished! The pottery is a combination of pieces we've picked up and pieces from the recent box of joy - thanks again Lynda! I've put in a few orders to top up my workroom supplies and tools and am waiting on the arrival of a new cup bur to smooth the ends of the earwires before a hammer, a tumble and a polish for these pretties.

It's just three weeks to the first fair of the year and I'm really looking forward to a day out in St Abbs! Both R and I will have some exciting new work with the introduction of recycled copper to mine and impressionist squares to his.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Workroom Wednesday

Silver bubbles soldered together and very ready for a pickle and a polish! Any ideas what this set is going to be?!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Sea Foam Earrings

New for 2011 is my Sea Foam range all featuring handcrafted silver bubbles and sea glass collected locally.

The bubbles are created by soldering together loops of silver wire and gently hammering to create a lovely light reflecting surface reminiscent of the shimmering surface of the sea.

This pair are currently available at Crown Studio Rothbury and new pieces will be coming to my website soon.

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