Monday, 6 December 2010

'the future belongs to those
who believe in the beauty of their dreams'

Eleanor Roosevelt

recent creation in silver

cuff links - lost wax cast shells

coat pin
this design was influenced by Kirsten Gavler and Scandinavian design

pendant - lost wax cast
I'm planning to hang some potato pearls and some glass beads alongside this silver shell

pendant - collaged silver and granules

a bit of collage!

I've been playing with paint and paper.... came up with this...

...onto an initial drawing of the vessels, I cut paper to fit around the objects, above and below. The pots are painted in water-colour and the swirls and blots are in acrylic. I may add more to this... I want the finished thing to look really meaty.

I wanted the feel of this to be Naive and for the emphasis to be on texture and materials rather than seeking to achieve perfection in representation.

The bird jug in this image was a gift to me from an x-student. It is created by the ceramicist Laurence McGowan, these a link below to his website.

Laurence McGowan

Another ceramicist who is a favorite of mine and creates vessels with representations of birds on their surface is Kevin Warren, see his work at the Bircham Gallery Kevin Warren

Monday, 8 November 2010

kahlil gibran

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Saturday, 9 October 2010


"To accomplish great things,
we must not only act,
but also dream;
not only plan,
but also believe."

anatole france

Monday, 4 October 2010

He stopped the truck and we got out onto a windswept, grassy headland.
At our feet, high cliffs fell away and beneath us the mighty ocean waves restlessly churned and crashed against un-impressionable icy rocks.
"I've brought you to see the ocean, it's the Atlantic Ocean," he said.

I have always known that this ocean existed, ever since I became conscious of my own thoughts and mind, I knew this ocean. And long before then I had seen it, viewed it from my mother's arms, but as this man quietly stated to me, with slow deliberate words, that this was "perhaps, not the world's oldest, but it's second oldest ocean".... this expanse of sea before me took on a new reality.

As I breathed in the wet, salty air, this recognition was a fresh heady cocktail, it's strength seeping into my veins, relaxing my limbs and causing my head to swirl.
The freedom of this understanding, the re-birth of this simple truth was crystalising deep within and drawing with it a desire to re-define every other fact that my conscious mind held as true.

"Do you see the horizon? Do you see the horizon?" his voice roused me from far away.
"No, no, I don't ... it's misty, or is it my eyes... it's unclear where the sea ends and the sky begins!... Do you see it?" but as I heard my voice ask the question, I knew it would have no answer. He wasn't talking about what we were seeing before us.  He did not need an answer.
Turning to look at him there was a distance in his eyes. I need not have asked the question, he need not reply, not merely because this world knew no answer, but this man required no answers.  In this moment 'keeping the conversation going' seemed to be a misnomer from the modern world, to which we no longer had any connection.   Standing here by his side I was conscious of a peace, a oneness, a closeness, a silent communion.... time passed as a blissful eternity.  It felt like hours fleeting by and I wished that it would last forever, even as the dull light ebbed away.
In my head I was clinging, finger and nail, to this moment and questioning myself,
'so if this is the Atlantic Ocean, what of all the other places I have been and of those horizons? We never see our own horizon, never know where our reality meets our dreams.'

In the same moment that I desired to re-discover all I had ever known before, I also yearned to stand still in time and to comprehend all that lay before me.

 written in Dreamtime
 'Thank God for the sight of all that you have never yet been.'
oswald chambers

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

from an old sketchbook....

I'm really into hand rendered type...

It seems to be much more prevalent in design than it was some years back. This is a page from an 'ideas' book of mine. The poem is by Edvard Munch from a book that I borrowed whilst at college and I have not been able to track down any of his poetry since.

Handwritten - Expressive Lettering in the digital age - lots of contemporary examples of Graphic design using handwritten Typography.

Monday, 9 August 2010

... I like it, but do I want it?

as I was growing up, one of the comments my mother made to me when we were out shopping was "you can't 'have' everything!"

I couldn't quite understand what she was talking about, then I realised that everytime I said "Oh, I like that!" my mother assumed that I wanted to buy it!
but 'no'.... it's my eyes you see, I live through my eyes!
and when I 'see' things my brain asks internal questions, my brain measures what it is seeing, my brain decides if it likes or it doesn't like it 'visually' and quite often it saves the visual information for a later date. Needless to say I am dyslexic and cannot remember dates, numbers or facts or anything else that a standard western education deems 'useful' and measurable!....
but hey! I can carry a colour around in my head for months and then colour match it at any later date and I can remember where to find an image, going back for years.

This is what I am good at... visual stuff!
Maybe, now I have internalized that conversation that says 'Oh, I like that!' so as not to confuse others and mothers!!!!

....look what I just found whilst blogging... (
"Oh, I like that!"

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

all that glisters is not gold..... it could be silver!

My latest creations from the evening class I attend in Silver-smithing....

I'm still working on the pendant and earring above, hope to have them finished so that I can submit them for assessment.

And a twisty, twirly fold of copper...

Sunday, 13 June 2010


I've spent a couple of hours today making drawings of foxgloves. I love drawing! ahhhhh... it's like some kind of meditation to me. Totally absorbing, deliciously relaxing and enjoyable, exhausting.... but totally fulfilling.
The drawing is going to be used for an etching.... possibly life size, if I can solve the problems of placing an aquatint onto a plate size 1000mm x 500mm, getting it into a bath of mordant and then printing it in my press..... (I'll solve these mere trifles!!!! um! did someone mention trifle.... I'm off to find a bowl of Rhubarb with real Dairy Ice Cream - we're watching 'Julie & Julia'... it's making me hungry!)

Mistle Thrush in the Rhubarb

progress with the print...

I've cut the second layer and had a quick go at printing them separately and then together. I printed the second layer before allowing the first to dry at all, which I know you shouldn't do (I was snatching time as usual!) .... but I really like the effect!
In the areas where there is none of the pale ink the Dark Bronze Blue ink retains that very dark hue but in the areas where it is printing onto wet ink a third hue is created. Now, I have a dilemma! do I print them in the correct manner ie, after allowing the first layer to dry.... or do I throw caution and tradition to the wind and do my own thing.... um!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us. To create means to relate. The root meaning of the word art is “to fit together” and we all do this every day. Not all of us are painters but we are all artists. Each time we fit things together we are creating – whether it is to make a loaf of bread, a child, a day. ~ Corita Kent

recent designs...

I haven't blogged for ages....

so here it is. I've spent the weekend transferring a design that I produced last week onto a lino. Although I have the design laid out, I've been planning the marks for cutting it out as I have been going along. I'm hoping to finish it so that I can print it on Tuesday morning. I'll blog a picture of the print when it is complete. It's called 'Mistle Thrush amongst the Rhubarb'. Looking at it now on the screen I can see certain elements in the composition that I would like to modify but I'll complete this one first before contemplating Mark II.

I also have another design that I want to produce as an Etching. The page on the left is a layout design for the Chine Colle that will be incorporated with the image on the right, which I'll print as an Etching. I'm still deciding whether to do it as a Hard or Soft ground etc....

Friday, 2 April 2010

thank you

Yesterday I received my surprise parcel from PPP.....

Thank you so much... I was like a small child on Christmas morning!
The envelope contains a selection of treasures and a packet of Purple Podded Peas, which is great because I had a look for them when I was buying my vegetable seeds the other day and they didn't have PPPs
... and I love the imagery in your prints and designs, the chickens 'with bells on', the hare leaping and the snuggled hare beneath the copse of trees under the starry sky!

(this photo is a little blurry as I wanted to take it with the flash off and it has been such a grey day today)

Monday, 29 March 2010

Panic stricken gardener!

I've just had a wander around my small garden to assess the damage that a very severe winter, preceded by several years of wanton neglect on my part, have wrought to my garden.

I am now in a severe state of denial brought on by a light shower of rain, you can see already that the crux of the problem is that gardening is not really in my blood. After all what true gardener is rained off by a spring shower.

I began gardening when I lived in a small bedroom at home and always had a selection of pot plants which were cared for with 'prima-donna' -ish importance, their existence was rather like the rose in 'The Little Prince'.

I then moved on to living alone. Several blissful years in a second floor flat and would spend idle moments in the evenings tending a small collection of potted plants that lived on a small flat roof next to my front door. I should have realised that this was my plateau, I had reached the pinnacle of my gardening abilities. (I did not, foolishly I moved on!)

I then moved into a cottage which as its name suggests, Marsh Cottage, has a garden with 'bog like' characteristics. In blissful ignorance I got stuck in, totally inexperienced but brimming with enthusiasm and spurred on by other 'experienced' gardeners of my acquaintance. I created and planted two large herbaceous borders and a vegetable patch.
And they bloomed and were beautiful for a season.
My mother told me that herbaceous borders could be hard work. And I thought, as only a daughter can of her mothers advice, 'what on earth was she talking about!' ... it was all so easy, like falling off a.... wheelbarrow!
The following year I decided to start a part-time MA, as well as already working full-time, and then decided it was also the perfect time to have a baby. Along with all this we were trying to restore the cottage... with such 'mod cons' as central heating, a new electricity supply, a working kitchen and a clean white bathroom.... etc

So here I sit..... procrastinating....
In the post this morning I received a book that I'd recently ordered.... 'Organise Yourself' by John Caunt.... (good surname! oh, but you can and you will) . And that quote springs to mind...

'If at first you don't succeed
......try to hide your astonishment'

It is little wonder that what lies outside my door is a riot of weeds and dis-organisation... and what I fear most is about to happen, the sun will come out, it will cast its warmth and light over the terrain and every plant, whether it be planted there by intention or planted there at its own predestination, will begin to grow as if its life depended on it!!!!!

Gardens, I realize now, take a lot of time, dedicated commitment, hard and un-glamorous work, money... and a 'gardener'! (I also realize, along with the fact that I am not a natural gardener, that I am also not Superwoman! but I do quite like the outfit!!!)

I am going to make a coffee, sit down and then come up with a plan.
There will be submission involved.... I will win this battle! There will be a garden again!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

photographed this weekend,
March 2010 in Cornwall

this is the sign that Winter is over and Spring is on its way!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


pebbles, seashore, flotsam and jetsam, sand, water, rock, stone....

washed out colour, sea worn, wind torn...

seeds that take the shape of pebbles....

throwing pebbles
splashes and sploshes
skimming stones
casting out to sea, memories
throwing to the waves, messages
homely, familiar shapes
hard, permanent rock worn away by water, pebbles and time
patterns, veins and marble threads, colour
everyday jewels

Sunday, 28 February 2010


this is an etching that one of my students made a few years ago. She used soft ground and there were some flaws in the ground meaning that the acid has fouled the plate in many areas but I love it and think that it is the flaws that make it enchanting... unfortunately the student didn't share my opinion.....
in our youth imperfection is a flaw, as we grow old it is the irregularities of life that we relish, the worn patina that provide the character of life!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

'Stocks' - Hard and Soft Ground Etching with aquatint

I've been having a bit of a sort out of images of my portfolio, recording images etc and thought I could pop a few on here for anyone who is interested to see.

'mugs and jugs' Oil on canvas (incomplete)

'There is a silence where hath been no sound' - Collagraph with silver leaf

Saturday, 2 January 2010

happy new year

in 2010 i challenge myself.... and everyone who reads this to start..... ..

"if we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin"

last years mantra was...

"use the talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang the best."
Henry Van Dyke

Friday, 1 January 2010

'Bees in Amber'

over christmas I was looking through a few old treasures that my mum has hidden away and one of them is this book 'Bees in Amber' by John Oxenham. It contains poems and verses that have a liturgical quality to them: devout, wordy and earnest but exquisitely presented.

I love the illustrations of bees all over the inlay papers and the book itself appears to be printed with metal type, there is a very slight indent visible in the letter-forms.