May is the start of the Open House season.
I have been taking part in Open houses for around 15years. I been lucky to take part in several venues within the Artists Open House group in Fiveways. Fiveways Artist group was were it all started over 30 years ago.
This year I also took part in an exhibition called ‘Breaking the Rules’ which was at the Jointure Studio in Ditchling. An historically artist community!
It is the ninth year that an art trail has taken place in Steyning. I organised the Art Trail as part of the Steyning Festival. As the festival went to a biannual event, I stepped down from this role. Steyning Arts was formed. Several years ago I joined the organising committee. I am now current Chair, and along side a committee of eight other we organise various community arts events. Our role as a society is a combination of supporting fellow artists providing them with facilities to exhibit and hopefully sell their work. Also enabling the public to gain easy access to the visual arts
I always views these events as potential selling times, but more importantly a time to meet your public, and spread the word about your work. Display standards must be maintained.
June heralds the start of open garden season. I will be taking part in Henfield Garden and Arts, West Sussex.
Also in July I will be at Parham House and Gardens, near Storrington, West Sussex, for their Garden weekend.
See you somewhere soon!
I view winter as a season to just get through! It’s a time for design and making ready for the spring.
Sales this year have followed a similar pattern, January and February are usually quiet with a few nice surprises along the way.
We haven’t had any snow here, which has disappointed the kids. I’m a fan if you have nothing better to do!
For the last few weeks I have been paddling against a tide of jobs to do. These have taken me away from my bench. I’m funding coordinator for my son’s gymnastics club. I love doing what I can to help out, however I feel pulled as I can’t always help as much as I’d like. We are currently raising money for equipment.
I’m also the new Chair of Steyning Arts, a local group that is a cooperative of local artists and makers.
My mojo was in full flow last week and I had a proper session in the studio concentrating on statement rings.
Every professional artist maker is hectic this time of year, making up orders or getting stock ready for sales, I’m no different.
The only problem for me is that my kids lives seem to go on extra busy too! So I become the juggler.
I’m currently getting all the stock sorted for:
And also Steyning Arts at Christmas
Getting ready for Christmas means that my stock design turns to making gifts, these do tend to be smaller pieces which are slightly more affordable and so slightly more available.
This year I am concentrating on helping raise money for Breast Cancer Care in memory of Jane. She was one of my students who battled with cancer for many years but lost that fight this summer.
I do love this time of year as I get to meet all my customers, who I may only see once a year. It’s fun to catch up! I enjoy making jewellery that I know is appreciated by others and bought with love!
If you would like to come an visit my studio please do get in touch.
Have a lovely festive season.
The phenomenon of Artist’s opening their houses to the public is now international.
The foundations of the Brighton Art scene, and open houses and studios was based on an idea by Ned Hoskins in the 80s.
It’s now made up of several groups covering Brighton & Hove and many outlying towns. My weekends are taken over by exhibiting at Open Houses for most of the early summer.
I started preparations in January, then finish everything off in late April. This year I’ve taken part in two Brighton Open Houses.
I am also a member of the Steyning Arts committe, we organise an art trail in Steyning every year.
This was a success this year, however we are always looking for ways to make it even better. Tweaking and refining so all the artist who take part get as many visitors and sales as possible. This is the fourth year we have held this event, people come from all over Sussex to visit. The Steyning Arts committee are organising various event to take the group out and about. We’ll be holding an exhibition at Arundel Museum in September. We are looking to take our group out to a much wider audience. Any suggestions great fully received. Part of our activities are to promote Steyning, and it’s talented artists. We are always looking for financial support to allow us to do that. Fundraising for new display equipment, lighting, promotional equipment and advertising.
This weekend is the turn of the Henfield Garden and Arts. This is a lovely was to enjoy artwork and crafts in the gorgeous settings of wonderful gardens and homes of the village of Henfield.
I love taking part in open houses, it’s a fabulous chance to get to meet your customers. After so many years the same customers come back year after year. It’s also a way of connecting with other makers and artists, sharing experiences and learning you aren’t the only one who is slogging away in a studio! We share bad experiences and good, and become part of a larger community. It can be lonely working alone all day!
Spring time for me is one of the best times of year! Everything is bursting back into life after the winter. It is also a time of great promise, the gears are set into motion for the rest of the years exhibitions. Applications processed for all the up coming shows and open houses are filled in and stocks is prepared ready.
It seems to have been a busy few months already!
I have been asked to exhibit in two Open Houses in Brighton this year and have been heavily involved with the organisation of the Steyning Arts Art trail.
I will also be taking part in Henfield garden and arts event in June. This sees the conclusion of my eight weeks with no weekend breaks! It’s hard work but a necessary evil when you work for yourself! I love meeting the people who buy my work, it’s the closure of the circle for me, it’s weird not knowing your client.
Today I’m off up to London to take my work up to the annual exhibition for The Society of Botanical Artist, I have been a member for a few years now and am one of only a few non painter members. The exhibition is always brimming with gorgeous images of botanical life, a highlight on my calendar!
Santa Fe is a town in North America, it’s high up in the Rockies mountain range making it a curious place. The sun seems to be always shining, the air is clear, it is dessert like and dry with pinyon and cacti growing. However, the ground can be covered in snow from November to April.
Unlike some other parts of North Amerca, New Mexico is steeped in culture. Santa Fe has a huge artists community, with creatives and actors in a huge abundance. There is rich diversity with a huge Hispanic/Mexican influence in feast day celebrations and customs. On Christmas Eve we visited Canyon Road in Santa Fe to experience the farolitos and luminaries. A tradition in New Mexico, initially these small bonfires were lit to light the way for people to go to mass on Christmas Eve. More recently children would carry farolitos as they reenact end the Las Posados. Now people use the lights to decorate there path to there door and to out line there roofline. People visit from miles around. Some say there is ever more spiritualism with thing this custome, as the lights also guide the spirits. It’s a time to reflect and remember too.
Also, however, Native Americans stand assertively within this mixed.
Yesterday, my family went to visit Cochiti Pueblo near Albuquerque
it was an amazing experience, we gained a small insight in to a completely different way of life. One that has deep routed beliefs in tradition and ritual but has been touched on by modern day American life. The dancers and drummers learnt a routine, steeped in meaning, orally as history is past down that way. The dancing went on for hours, many subtle meanings were completely lost on us as outsiders.
Our Christmas Day was peppered with traditions coming from all around the world, we had stockings for the children, a Christmas tree, we cooked and ate a turkey roast followed by a British trifle, New Zealand Kiwi pavlova and a chocolate log. We then lit the kiva outside in a adobe walled patio.
Since the busy summer I have taken a look at life! Getting divorced is part of this but also the intricacies of just juggling every day life. My autumn resolution is to do more exercise.
Part of this has involved sticking to my Zumba classes with Clare in Steyning on a Monday and Thursday night, but I have upped the anti by also taking a walk for an hour or so three times a week. Some days are harder than others.
However, it has meant that I’m exploring the country side, trying to go on a different walk at least once a week. Walking in the fresh air is great. I also love taking photos whilst there.
Above are some of my favourites.
I have also started to look more, just to slow down a bit and actually see things. We are all very good at rushing from A to B without actually seeing the world around us. Rain drops and dew drops are a new fad for me! Just wondering if I can replicate this in my jewellery!!!!
Generally between January and April is a quiet work time for me. I continue to teach my Jewellery making workshops but use the rest of the working week to source new outlets to sell my jewellery, apply to exhibitions like Made- Brighton 2013 and to generally promote my work. I have been a little hammpered by the weather this year which has meant that I have had to put off trips to galleries and cancel some classes, but all in all I’m happy with the progress I’ve made this year so far.
I have too new outlets, The Tollhouse in Lindfield and Whispers in Steyning and continued having my work in Created in Chesterfield, Heart Gallery in Hebdon Bridge and Julian Stephens in Brighton.
I have had my work accepted for the Society of Botanical Artists Annual Exhibition in Central Hall, I am a member of the Society, but still have to have the work selected to take part in this fantastic Flowery Exhibition in the heart of London!!
Beautiful Moonstone Studs £48
Green Pearl Bracelet with Ivy Charm
Mixing it up a bit with this garnet set pendant which I have strung onto a two strand mixed bead necklace £130
Lace imprinted Heart Studs £25
Bangle with Ivy Charm £70
A very snowy studio stopped play for a few days earlier in the year!!!
Ivy leaf ear studs £48
All laid out, the basic shapes for a few pairs of earrings
Ivy necklace with triple pearl necklace in green £150
Two pairs of heart studs £25 each
Double bangle with Oak leaf charm and peacock pearl
Small Heart necklaces ideal for wedding jewellery shown in white and black pearls but could be made in any colour pearl