Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Simple Harmonic Motion

Having branched into the world of design rather late in life meant that I already had 40 years experience in what, some would say, was a diametrically opposite world - physics. Today I received a link to this Harvard website from the son of a close friend who knew that I had shown my students something similar. I strongly recommend that you take a look at the video clip of these beautiful rhythms and you will realise that the two worlds aren't really that far apart.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

On friday a group of friends from college (Bev, Colleen, Joy, Jackie and myself) met up and travelled to Manchester for the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. Having visited it last year we knew that we would be in for a treat and we weren't disappointed. The contributors are selected by a prestigeous panel of experts from gallery curators, lecturers andcreative directors. The categories include ceramics, textiles, glass, jewellery, lighting, metal and wood.
Because of our degree course we were probably more interested in the textile products but certainly not exclusively so.

This young artist Yu-Ping Lin produces textiles and jewellery inspired by Origami and was very happy to let me handle and turn her amazing 3D constructions.

Another young jeweller working with gros grain ribbon, under the name Maneggi   produces an incredible selection of affordable pieces. Jackie and I were delighted with our purchases, especially as it means I have now officially started my Christmas shopping.
Rosie's Armoire have a collection of french vintage inspired accessories but I was particularly inspired by her brooch collection as I'm just getting geared up to produce some myself based on my own drawings of all things natural.

I also liked the way Anna Wales combined little felt balls with precious metals to produce some exquisite jewellery.

Jackie and I had a lovely chat to the textile artist Caroline Kirton who has recently featured in Embroidery magazine. She told us that her work is inspired by observing her teenage daughters and their friends. I was taken with her use of text, also inspired by teenagers.

Clare Lane was exhibiting some huge canvases incorporating printed, stitched and mixed media inspired by the urban landscape. I was a bit aghast when I realised that the two designs, based on the Transporter Bridge and the Angel of the North, that I had been commissioned to do for a client in Abu Dhabi and had just sent off for printing, were as bit as Clare's biggest ones!

We also enjoyed a long chat to the artist behind &Made who had some simple but beautiful cushion made with quality materials. She told us about her studio in the Design Centre in the northern quarter of the city centre, so when we had completed visiting all of the GNCCF stands we took ourselves off there. It was well worth the visit so next time you are in Manchester pop in. We can recommend the little cafe in there where we stopped for a welcome cuppa and slice of cake.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Design Event Mart

Following in our recent tradition of making Fridays special, by trying to include something cultured or arty in to our day, Paul and I set off for Gateshead to visit the Design Event Mart at the Baltic.
We thought that we would first pop to the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle as I wanted to show him the Emerson Mayes drypoint etchings of birds, with the view to purchasing one of a Redwing that I had admired on an earlier visit. Sadly that particular one was no longer there but we did meet up with my friend Jackie and her daughter Amelia for a lovely bite of lunch.

                                    International print biennale

International Print Biennale brings museums and galleries across the north east together to celebrate printmaking from around the world. Find out about exhibitions, special events and classes from 17 September to 19 November 2011.

Being so close to Northern Print we decided to walk down Stepnie Bank to take a look at some more prints from the "international printbiannale" as we had seen some already at Bowes Museum. It was only a small but interesting collection and we met a lovely bloke, Allan Barnfather, who is a sculptor and printer. He showed us some of his work which he sells at Northern Print. During our chat he recommended that we visit an exhibition, also part of the Biannale, entitled "Good Times, Bad Times, All Times Get Over".
Curated for the Queen’s Hall Gallery by Jonathan Watkins (Director, IKON Gallery Birmingham) and presented as part of the International Print Biennale, Good Times, Bad Times, All Times Get Over is a rare opportunity to see prints by the extraordinary nineteenth century wood engraver and ornithologist Thomas Bewick and contemporary responses to his work by artists Graham Gussin, Lutz and Guggisberg, and Bedwyr Williams.
Thomas Bewick vignette
That sounds like another friday sorted as I love the beautiful town of Hexham anyway.

Our next stop was back over the Tyne to the Baltic and Design Event Mart. Once again Claire Baker had a stand selling her amazing military memorabilia collection.

I was also pleased to see another former CCAD student, Ayme Fitzgerald, selling her colourful cushions from a nearby stand.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

I was delighted to hear that photographer Sally Thurell had been selected to feature one of her wedding shoots on the Whimsical Wonderland Weddings blog and that she chose our son's wedding to Lynsey as the wedding to feature.
They have included dozens of photographs.Take a look but scroll down to the bottom for a detailed account by Lynsey of the proposal, preparations and how the day went - it's so sweet. She has acknowledged all the people who helped make the day so magical and it was lovely to see Katy Howieson's name high on the list as I taught Katy physics and was then a fellow student with her on our degree course at CCAD. She graduated a year ahead of me and her blog was recommended by our Professional Practice tutor, Claire Baker, as an excellent way to promote your own business and it certainly seems to be working for Katy. She now has a new website so take a look.

Lynsey's hair piece
by Katy Howieson

Katy's bird cake toppers

Carrie's hair piece also by Katy

I already knew that our son was a bit of a romantic but when I read more details of the proposal I was very proud of him.
Sally captured them on the very spot where
they first danced together at Trevelyan
College over 10 years ago.