I realised that it’s been a while since I posted and that I’d forgotten to add my exciting news about having two of my pieces selected for the permanent collection of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Art Museum in Washington, USA! They are now currently part of the exhibition at the Renwick called ‘This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World and will be on show until 2nd April 2023.
At the end of 2020 I was contacted by wood collectors Judy Chernoff and Jeffrey Bernstein. They told me that having lived and loved their collection for many years they had decided they would like to donate some of their pieces to the Renwick’s permanent collection. After several years of discussion with multiple curators, the current Renwick curators, Mary Savig and Nora Atkinson, were given the green light by the Smithsonian to begin the process of selecting objects from their collection, and two of my pieces were chosen – Radiolaria Vessel VII (2004) and Cinachyra Box (2000). As well as being very honoured that I was now part of such an important collection of craft, I was really happy and relieved that the pieces chosen were ones that I was still proud of. I was also very surprised as I had no idea who had bought these pieces when they were first exhibited in the USA. When you put your heart and soul into your pieces you always hope that they will go to a good home!
Unfortunately I was not able to make it to the opening but perhaps I will get a chance to visit them before the exhibition closes next year… At least I now have a copy of the beautiful catalogue that accompanied the show.
It’s the last day today of the 2021 Wizardry in Wood exhibition, normally held every four years by the Worshipful Company of Turners. I thought that I would be able to take part this year after it had been postponed from last year because of Covid but sadly I had to withdraw.
Like so many women I have been suffering with various symptoms that going through the menopause brings. It’s a very unpleasant time which throws up many challenges – particularly when it comes to trying to maintain your work levels. Not only have my energy levels and general mojo been down, my immune system has also been thrown out of wack and with Covid still very much with us I did not feel that it was a wise idea to travel to London and be at a show (hopefully) filled with people!
I did make a couple of sets of salt and pepper mills to send to the show which the organisers were kind enough to exhibit on their Bursary stand.
The pink and black mills were inspired by the beautiful Japanese magnolia trees, Magnolia Liliiflora. They began on a visit that I made to Bodnant Gardens in North Wales. This beautiful National Trust property is famous for its collections of plants from all around the world and among them are more than 500 magnolias. I love their large dramatic flowers graduating from a deep pink to white and so I used this as inspiration on the deeply carved sycamore base and top.
I also love the process of Shou Sugi Ban – the particularly striking method of preserving wood by charring which originated in Japan in the 18th century. Burning wood gives it a different softer black to colouring it with paints or dyes and accentuates the grain. So for the other mill base and top I scorched the surface of the turned elm and wire brushed it to bring out the beautiful three dimensional grain texture.
There is also a wonderful sunken pool surrounded by plants of all different purple hues which is one of my favourite parts of the garden. One of them is Osteospermum Purple Sun, with stunning flowers graduating out from purple to pink to yellow. The photos that I took of them led to this new second set of mills that I made for Wizardry in Wood. The bases of the mills are turned and carved before being airbrushed to match these vibrant colours, and the tops have a ‘blobbed’ texture to represent the centre of the flower.
I hope that all the other makers had a great show!
The National Eisteddfod of Wales will soon begin in Llanrwst, North Wales on the 2nd August 2019. I have been having fun collaborating with paper artist Chloe Augusta Needham on some new Moth lamps and we were thrilled that these were selected to be exhibited at the Y Lle Celf – the Eisteddfod’s visual arts gallery. It’s a great place to exhibit as it attracts 40,000 visitors during the course of the week!
Below are some work in progress photos of the new lamps – Moth II and Moth III that we have been working on that you will be able to see on show.
The WIT (Women in Turning) organised ‘Turnabout – Women at the Lathe’ exhibition is now about to open at Arrowmont School of the Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA on August the 10th 2018. It will run until October 10th giving people another chance to see this diverse selection of work.
The image above is from this months American Woodturner Aug 2018 vol 33, no 4.
This is my latest salt and pepper mill design – a set inspired by the wonderful hand tinted botanical lithographs of the nineteenth century. They also pay homage to the exotic and extravagant interior of Brighton Pavillion, the seaside residence of King George IV.
I was making a piece for the upcoming all-woman show ‘Turnabout: Women at the Lathe’ organised by the WIT (Women In Turning) branch of the American Woodturners Association. I have made of lot of salt and pepper mills over the years, but never exhibited them in any exhibitions in the USA so I thought it was time that I made a special set for this interesting exhibition.
I was really pleased with how they came out, with the pyrographed artichoke leaves and new purple texture on the tops to represent the flowers, and so I went on to also use the inspiration to make a new coleopteran pendant too!
The show will travel to three venues:
Appalachian Center for Craft (ACC), Smithville, TN, January 15- March 12, 2018
AAW Gallery of Wood Art, St. Paul, MN, June 3-July 29, 2018
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN, August 10-October 10, 2018 (exact dates to be finalized.)
I will be exhibiting in London from the 12th-15th Oct 2016 at Wizardry in Wood – organised by the Worshipful Company of Turners, and only held every 4 years. You can find out more and buy tickets at https://wizardryinwood.com/
One of the oldest Livery Companies in the City of London, the Turners’ Company was already a guild in the 12th Century. Some 200 years later, Edward III decreed that ‘wooden measures, as well for wine as for ale’ should be made only by ‘turnours’ with marks of their own – and the medieval turners established the English ‘pint’ as an official measure. In 1604 the Company received its Royal Charter from James I.
This year their one of competitions is commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London and I have made a special piece inspired by the start of the fire at the bakery at Pudding Lane which will be exhibited at the show.
Beautiful and amazing original works by over 70 of the world’s greatest contemporary woodturners
I’m very happy to be showing again at Louise Darby’s beautiful studio again this weekend 5th-8thJune 2015. I hope the weather improves as she has a lovely garden and it would be better enjoyed in sunshine! I’ll be showing some of my new Coleoptera boxes as well as my kitchen range of mills etc. I just hope I manage to finish some of the mills I’ve got in production at the moment as I think I caught a cold from my niece Hannah who was up visiting last weekend with my sister Judith and nephew Joe. We had a great weekend and even made it up Snowdon for the first time with the help of my partner Mark, but the cold brings on my asthma which doesn’t mix very well with sawdust! Anyway, I digress…
Its not long now before I will be exhibiting at MADE LONDON, the Design and Craft Fair, 25th-27th October 2013. Further details are available from the Made London website.
MADE LONDON was held for the first time in October last year to great acclaim from visitors and exhibitors. They aimed to present an enjoyable event showcasing the very best and most original makers in this country and beyond exhibiting the highest quality contemporary craft and design. Visitors to their first show were bowled over by the variety, high quality and originality of the craft and design work on show; loved exploring each four levels of the dramatic and beautiful building and loved the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the show.
MADE LONDON takes place at One Marylebone, using all 4 floors of this stunning Sir John Soane Church in central London. Directly opposite Great Portland Street tube station and next door to Regents Park. There will be a cafe serving drinks and light meals in the double height crypt.