Saturday, 23 November 2013

Christmas Stockists 2013

Hello!

I've just updated my stockists page so you can see where my jewellery can be purchased out there in the real world.

sea glass jewellery


In the next fortnight all will have received new work for Christmas shows so, if you are in the Scottish Borders area and would like to see my work other than on a computer screen you can do so here:


Main Street, Chirnside, TD11 3YA


17 Northgate Peebles EH45 8RX Scotland
01721 722116


Northfield Farm, St Abbs, TD14 5QF
 01890771111 
 info@numberfourgallery.co.uk 


St Ellas Place, Eyemouth, TD14 5HP
 01890 752 116  


Cruiksfield, Preston, Duns, Berwickshire TD11 3QB 
 01361 884864 


Tweedside Road, Newtown St Boswells, TD6 0PG
  01835 823473 
 tweedsidegallery@btconnect.com


The Vennel Gallery
161B Roxburgh Street,Kelso, Roxburghshire,TD5 7DU 

(01573) 22 40 03
VennelGallery@Live.co.uk


 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Stone Wall Gallery: Olivia Lomenech Gill

Last week saw the opening of a beautiful new gallery, The Stone Wall Gallery near Preston, Duns.  The opening exhibition features work by Charles Poulsen and Olivia Lomenech Gill.

I first saw Olivia Lomenech Gill's work at Charlie and Pauline's open studio in August. I don't think I've ever blogged about it yet. Rich and I have gone to Allanbank Mill Steading every year since we moved and find inspiration each time in the work exhibited and from the artists themselves.

The first encounter was War Horse. Beautiful, large scale etching in response to and for Michael Morpurgo's writing? One glance and I was entranced, even more so having had a chance to look again. Layered, textured, emotive.

  
Image courtesy of the artist and The Stone Wall Gallery website

One of my fondest memories of teaching was sitting on the windowsill at the back of my class room reading with my classes. On one occasion I was perched aloft and finishing Morpurgo's Private Peaceful  with my year 9s. In those days year 9 was all about national curriculum testing and levels. I hated that fact, they hated that fact and it was a joy to be able to share a novel with them, to explore, respond and enjoy. They were marvelous. So, reaching the final few pages of a book that has reduced me to weeping my voice wavered a little. A certain student, who was fully capable of being a challenge, raised his hand and quietly asked, 'Miss, would like me to finish reading for you?'

And now, I've had the chance to see this beautiful work and even have a selection of my rings in the same exhibition.  This makes me happy.



Friday, 8 November 2013

Number Four Gallery, St Abbs, Christmas Show

This week I've been working on new pieces for Number Four Gallery's Christmas Show. I will also be working at the gallery on the preview weekend on the 16th and 17th November so come and see all the beautiful work, have a glass and a nibble and say hello!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Rings

Good evening and happy weekend to you all!


I've been hard at work making rings and helping R sand our floor boards back. A hefty job but we are nearly, nearly orange varnish free.



And I have more rings than I did at the start of the week.

Last Friday we took a jaunt to Peebles where you can see a display of my jewellery and Rich's fine, witty and wonderful drawings at the Eastgate Theatre.  We also made it over to Moy Mackay's gallery which now has a new selection of my jewellery in its lovely cabinets of splendour!

It is Friday evening and I'm done for the day and heading for the sofa for a glass of wine and some Monty Don, good night!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Printmakers at Coldstream Gallery

Currently showing at Coldstream Gallery is a delightful Printmakers Exhibition. So much beautiful work and I have been thoroughly enchanted by Freya Cumming's screenprints

 and Kevin Peden's St Abbs prints. You can see Kevin and St Abbs in this lovely video below!

Kevin Peden - Artist from Samuels-Art on Vimeo.

The Printmakers exhibition is on now and runs until the 26th October 2013.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Learn How to Make Jewellery in the Scottish Borders

Good afternoon!

After a summer of fun jewellery making workshops my last series of 2013 are about to start.

I can hardly believe it's October already!



If you are based in the Scottish Borders or Northumberland and would be interested in learning how to make jewellery I will be teaching a seven week evening course at Allanbank Arts commencing on Wednesday 23rd October and finishing on Wednesday 4th December.

Each session starts at 7pm and finishes at 9.30pm.


You will learn about the main components and techniques in bead and wire jewellery making allowing you to resolve your own designs from initial inspirations to finished pieces. The later sessions will also include working with sheet metal.

You can sign up for the whole course for £125 (£115 if you book and pay before Wednesday 16th October) or you can pay £20 per session if you can't make them all.

I will be posting the schedule next week with an outline of what will be happening each week.

To book your place you can email info@allanbankarts.co.uk
or phone Gill on 07702811374 or Liz on 01890 818459 / 07899903429



Saturday, 5 October 2013

Crossing Borders Art Trail 2013

A massive thank you to all who came out to Allanbank Arts to visit, purchase and join in on the Crossing Borders Art Trail! We had a fabulous weekend meeting you all!







For more photos pop on over to my facebook page.

I had a particularly fun time with those who came along for taster jewellery making workshops and was delighted that one participant thanked me and said that she was so happy she could now mend her own broken bits of jewellery, exactly! 

Tomorrow, I will be teaching a one day workshop over at Allanbank Arts and later this month sees the start of a jewellery making evening course: from Wednesday 23rd October for 7 weeks, 7.30pm - 9.30pm. Email me on laurajjohnson@btinternet.com if you would like further information or to book your place.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

New Jewellery





Work in progress for the upcoming Art Trail! Lots more on the go! These photos all resulted from having to take a thumb break before carrying on making, shaping, filing, sanding... Always seems to be my poor left thumb gets a battering, although I did stab my middle finger with my new, very shap file the other day, right under the nail, ouch.




Sunday, 25 August 2013

Crossing Borders Art Trail 2013

The Crossing Borders annual open studio event, the Art Trail, is nearly upon us!

Split over two weekends to allow visitors to explore a large area, artists across the borders will fling open their doors for you to come and see their work, chat, get involved and have a good day out!

If you haven't picked up your guide yet you can download a digital copy and pick up a paper copy at your first venue.

Dates for the Art Trail for 2013 are:-
  • West - FRIDAY 30th August to SUNDAY 1st September
  • East - FRIDAY 6th to SUNDAY 8th September



Rich and I will both be at Allanbank Arts with Gill Walton, Hannah Longmuir and Richard Oldale on the 6th, 7th and 8th of September. The venue will be open 10am to 5pm each day and I am running a morning 10am-12pm and afternoon 2pm-4pm drop in workshop each day. For just £5, to cover the cost of materials, you can try your hand at wire wrapping your beach finds to create a necklace or earrings.  It takes about half an hour to create a piece of jewellery and you are welcome to drop in for a workshop between 10am and 2pm or 2pm to 4pm. I have arranged it into two sessions after finding that I didn't get much chance to talk to other visitors when I ran workshops all day, not to mention failing to eat lunch or go for a wee!

Having gone on the trail as a visitor and participated as an artist last year I can highly recommend an arty jaunt around the borders! Do take a few minutes to plan your route, look out for the artists you are particularly interested in meeting or find out where you can do workshops. All the information is in the guide, including contact details for each artist if you need to ask anything beforehand.

I hope to see you on the trail!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Happenings

Well oh well, it is all very exciting over here as we prepare for the Art Trail. We have visited exhibitions...


Photographed and celebrated a joyous wedding...

 We had a visit from a lovely friend, celebrated Rich's birthday and in a delightful turn of events I will now be working at both number four gallery in St Abbs and Coldstream Gallery. Splendid! I have been thoroughly enjoying the galleries and will be bringing you a selection of my favourite pieces at the moment, I warn you, it may be a long list!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Sea Glass Pendants and Sumer Jobs

Hello, hello!

How are you all?

Things are rolling along well here working away on new pieces for the Crossing Borders Art Trail including a host of bezel set pendants like these ones which are in various stages of completion:

The blue on the top left is going to be oxidized so the texture on the copper stands out. I did a repair on a bracelet last week and forgot how much I love the blackened, textured look when you oxidize silver so there will be more.


The bracelet to be repaired was a very pretty Macintosh inspired piece and the roses were originally oxidized, however, after soldering and pickling as part of the repair the whole surface was back to silver. With a bit of liver of sulphur (pongs!) followed by polishing the bracelet was returned to its owner.  I dotted the liver of sulphur onto the roses directly(that's what you can see in the picture above) and then put the whole piece in warm water. This meant the whole bracelet became patinated, however it was more concentrated within the lines of the rose and then easy to buff off where the patina wasn't wanted.

So, yes, more textured, patinated work is on the way.

In other news I have a summer job! I will be working at the beautiful Number Four Gallery in St Abbs on Wednesdays so do come and say hello!  If you are longing for the sea and are on fb, following the gallery page might help with some beautiful pictures of St Abbs and the fabulous Art work too!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

An Arty Day to Edinburgh. In the Rain.

I finally found somewhere to get my beloved lovely lens fixed up in Edinburgh so we combined a visit to drop the lens off with a bit of gallery prowling.

First up, the skies were immense and the city drenched.

We found the camera repair shop (JP Camera Repair Company) and struggled not to gawp at the array of cameras and bits stacked on shelves all around! JP himself put my lens doom fears at ease and declared it fixable; utter relief and very reasonably priced.

After a swift dash through the rain we went to the Man Ray exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. This was my first visit to the gallery and I will certainly be back, there is so much to see. We managed the Man Ray exhibition, which was great, personal favourites being the portraits of Picasso and Lee Miller.

We accidentally glanced the painting that gives Rich the fear, and another which I'm sure must also be by ken Currie seen through a lift shaft on an, as yet, unvisited floor.


Lunch, thanks to my Mum and Dad's paper anniversary gift to us, was at the gorgeous Henderson's before heading to the National Gallery.


The children's Art competition winners were displayed and we were utterly struck by the talent and imagination in each and every age category. The work is on display until October and I urge you to go see and enjoy. Although I warn you, the monster section will blow your mind, the winner is the one cut off on the top left, you need to see it!

 

 Lastly, The Kiss. Stunning.

I have to pick my lens up in the next week so I may well get to look at another floor at the National Portrait Gallery. Edinburgh is brilliant.

 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Beach Finds Jewellery Workshop

Last week as part of Berwick Arts and Crafts Festival I ran a beach finds jewellery making workshop teaching two main techniques for creating wire wrapped glass, pottery or pebble charms.  These charms can be used to make earrings or pendants or bracelets and there was a full range on Friday.



A special mention to two participants who managed to complete the workshop, one with a migraine and one with a broken thumb! Dedication!

If you would like to arrange a workshop just get in touch; the next one will be part of the Crossing Borders Art Trail on the 6th, 7th and 8th September when I will be at Allanbank Arts near Allanton.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Berwick Arts and Crafts Festival

Hello, well, wasn't that a rather swift and busy month!

So, here I am for the first time in weeks back to my own work, hooray!

There is lots happening which you might be interested in; first up for anybody in the Borders/ North Northumberland area is the Berwick Arts and Crafts Festival on Friday 26th to Monday 29th July.

Mainly based in the Granary, this year's festival has taken recycling and upcycling as its theme and there will be workshops, demonstrations, activities, open studios and stalls throughout the weekend.

For a full list of happenings see the Berwick Arts and Crafts festival website and facebook page.

I will be teaching a beach finds workshop on Friday 26th July between 10am and 12pm where you can learn wire wrapping skills to produce pretty and wearable jewellery from sea glass, pottery or pebbles.


There are only two places left on this workshop and you can book directly with Berwick Arts and Crafts Group on 07501 863 065.

If you are interested in arranging your own jewellery making workshop do get in touch to discuss your requirements. 

There is loads going on over the weekend including two great open studio opportunities:

Tower House Pottery (Friday and Saturday, 10am -4pm) 
Foldyard with painting and printmaking demonstrations from Dave Watson and Morag Eaton ( Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm)

Enjoy!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

6th June 2013

The 6th of June 2013 was our very first ever wedding anniversary! It brought blooms from the garden (growing your own wedding flowers for the win!), a big fat luxurious feast courtesy of unspent wedding gift vouchers, some glorious handmade paper from R, greetings and a splendid gig.





The gig was actually a few weeks ago but it was our 'paper' (tickets, yes, stay with me) gift. We went down to Hexham to see Karine Polwart, accompanied by the fabulous Inge Thomson and Rachel Newton. We felt like utter stalkers when Karine Polwart darted into the gallery at the Arts Centre to bag a piece of work she'd had her eye on as we were looking around before taking our seats, there might have been a bit of goldfish mouth and pointing from us! The shame!

So, what can I say; I love Karine Polwart!

I am fully inspired and reinvigorated and... going full time self employed again! 

All sorts of inspiration has been thankfully heading my way and, with the set starting with The Good Years I had to laugh to myself; it is a wonderful song and often seems to play when I am doing soldering work and has become a bit of a workroom joke changing the lyrics to "soldering fire" rather than "smoldering far". So, more of that to come and thank you muchly beautiful ladies for a beautiful, inspiring evening.  

And, happy anniversary love to R!

Ahh, sure if you can't go a wee bit melodramatic on your wedding pics, when can you?! Beautiful St Abbs!

 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

4th June 1913

Today I was part of a local primary school's centenary celebrations. An exciting day of celebration, fun and learning what life was like in 1913.

In preparation I discovered that today also marks the very day suffragette Emily Davison stepped in front of the King's horse tragically dying on the 8th of June 1913.



We dressed in costumes with Emily Davison very much in our thoughts. 

It was an important connection for the children to think about our responsibility to use our vote and, of course, to reflect on the idea of 'deeds not words'. You may know I am a big fan of words but sometimes you do just have to do.


Thursday, 30 May 2013

Drilling Sea Glass

Good afternoon!

I have been doing a bit if experimenting with drilling sea glass as a way of using some beautiful finds that are do not have smooth edges.

With the larger drill bits and extra vibrations I was having trouble holding the shards still. So, my ingenious father in law made me a clamping device complete with reservoir to keep the shard submerged in water while drilling.

Yesterday was the first go with it and it was successful! Next up is further tidying up of the little glass rounds and making new jewellery with them. It will be two pendants and a ring first I think.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Making Memories in the Chaos

Tomorrow, we will be running a new 'five senses' session at Paxton House on request of a local nursery. There are so many possible activities to do around the topic and I'm hoping to make it a regular visit option for early years out of school education.

I really wanted to make some scented play dough and thanks to a school friend, Karen, I have been working away on getting a stack ready. Karen writes a facebook page called Making Memories in the Chaos which is jam packed with wonderful ideas for activities to do with children.  Karen introduces herself as:

A stay at home mum sharing some of the mayhem from life with 3 kiddies under 3 years old :-) Before becoming a mum I was a P1 teacher, KS1 co - ordinator and Creative Arts Co -Ordinator. So, a lot of the stuff we do stems from then!

Her ideas are creative, fun and designed to support a child's development. If you have kids I highly recommend a look for some inspiration! I particularly like the ideas for Starting the Day in a Happy Way and Rhymers are Readers!

Now, back to the play dough kneading for me!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Green Sea Glass Earrings

New in the shop! Pretty deep green sea glass and recycled sea glass earrings.



I love green. Even though I spent my formative teenage years forced to wear a bottle green uniform to school I ended up loving the school and green! It is on my list to make a pair of sea glass earrings fro myself and I might go green. Also on the list is to make a weeny stacker ring to wear with my wedding ring when I feel like being a bit fancy but which colour of glass. Hmm, I'll see which find takes my eye! R and I are having a road trip down the coast this weekend and I'm hoping for some interesting finds.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Love for my Sister

It is my beautiful sister's birthday today and sadly I can't be with her as she is all the way in Kurdistan.  This is the only picture of us together on the day I married Rich; I am so grateful to our good friend and photographer Rich Spencer for capturing this as in all the bustle of the day we never got the chance for a cheesy pose together!


I adore this photo; Lynne did so much to help us get ready for our wedding right down to tying my shoes for me! I love that woman and really hope she is having a happy birthday all those many miles away!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Blue Sea Glass Jewellery

Hello!

I have been listing a number of blue sea glass jewellery pieces in my shop including

 A blue sea glass and recycled sterling silver bangle


 and this pendant which features a deep blue piece of sea glass set in recycled sterling silver. It's one of my favourites of late, probably because I don't often find such well smoothed blue sea glass. I created a circular hole in the back of the silver setting so the light shines through showing the depth of the blue colour.

Lastly my large blue sea glass and recycled sterling silver ring sold in the week and I'm very happy it's gone off to its new home. Am also slightly relieved by an online sale meaning that after all the tinkering things are working, phew!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Number 6 Photography

Rich and I have been doing some wedding, event and lifestyle photography over the last few years and have set up a facebook page to share our work.  We are Number 6 Photography!


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Rich Johnson, Art at Ancrum


A quick shot of some or Rich's work at Art at Ancrum. He is teaching for a term at the moment and the weekend was the first chance he'd had to do any drawing for ages. He loved it and produced another Salty Dog which has a new home already!



I love his drawings and this one especially because of the serendipitous 'surly' on the sea chart just above his right shoulder, splendid!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Art at Ancrum 2013

This weekend sees the first Art at Ancrum event from Friday 3rd May until Monday 6th May featuring work from a host of local professional artists and crafts people.


There are quite a few Crossing Borders artists involved including Mr Johnson with new paintings and drawings. 



Rich will be there on the Saturday and Sunday if you would like to meet him and have a chat about his work; he'll probably be the one with a sketchbook and pencil!

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