I will be opening my studio in Keighley on Tuesday 25th November and Saturday 6th December between 11am and 4pm. I will have some of the Tide Marks work up in our ‘gallery’ space and you will be able to see current work in progress. Directions should be viewable here. Email me if you want any further information about visiting.
I suddenly have some space to start exploring new ideas, or rather ideas that I’ve been having over the last year but not had the time to engage with. The book I’ve been writing is now finished, or at least delivered to the publishers. There will be editing and tweaking to do but the majority of it is complete. The last year has been pretty much focussed on the book and touring Tide Marks, alongside a fairly hectic workshop teaching schedule. Apart from finishing off my report to Arts Council England for Tide Marks, that is now complete too. So, what is next? I have a number of projects to be getting on with. There are various group exhibitions next year that I will be making work for, so what follows is a period of development of new work. This is exciting and daunting. Where to start is always an issue. The best things is to get in the studio and see where things get to. So often we are forced (by time constraints) to commit to an end point before we’ve hardly started. It is a challenge to allow things the space and time to develop without knowing what that end point is going to be.
This is a section of my studio wall at the moment. I’m really enjoying the routine of working in the studio and at home. My diary is relatively sensible at the moment so I’m making the most of it. I’m working on a number of small projects, although they are all linked in some way (perhaps the link is me!) and some may grow to be much bigger: one thing really does lead on to the next idea. I enjoy the experimenting stage of any project, probably more than making the final work, which can be daunting for various reasons. Sometimes I can’t keep up with the ideas and all the things I want to try – the sketchbook becomes incredibly precious as a repository for thoughts and ideas. These are some of the things going on at the moment:
I’ve moved studios. I now have a space in a studio community in Keighley, a town not far from where I live. I’ve spent a couple of days unpacking and settling in and I think I’m going to be very happy working there. I have a window! The building we’re in is an old mill (textile I assume) and there is no heating, so layers of clothing are a must but that doesn’t bother me. In that respect it’s a bit reminiscent of working in the dis-used lighthouse at Spurn (but the view isn’t as good) with a few more home comforts – that really was basic.
We’re holding the last of our Open Studios events this Sunday between 11 and 4. As well as my studio (full of a range of finished work and work in progress) there will be ceramics, painting, bookbinding, letter press printing, coffee, tea and scrummy home-made cake – all are welcome.
I will be moving studios in the next week or so to a different space in a nearby town. So after tomorrow I will be packing everything up ready to move to the new place.
The last few days having given me some significant studio time for the first time in weeks. I’ve only scratched the surface of what I wanted to do before the kids break up for the summer but it has been good all the same. I’ve woven, stitched, dyed, rolled, torn, embossed, arranged, undone…
It’s probably about time I introduced you to my new studio. I moved in a few weeks ago and it has taken a little time to get things straight and organised but now I feel quite at home there. It’s great to have a dedicated space where I can focus just on work and not be distracted by putting the washing out or checking my email (!) I’m in a building with various other creative businesses, which feels good. The final bits to move in were some wonderful metal shelves from my Dad’s garage. They are at least two generations old and we constructed them with a screw driver that belonged to my great grandfather, so it was quite a multi-generational affair. They are rusty in parts and it was tempting to use bits of them for rust prints rather than actually construct and put things on them so if I’m ever at a loose end I know what to do…
Bradford Open For Art or Open Studios is well under way now with just one more day of events. Yesterday saw pretty dismal weather but today the sun shone and that seemed to make all the difference to the numbers knocking on the door. I will be open again tomorrow between 11 and 5 at 28 Highfield Terrace, Shipley. There is a cluster of other venues nearby so plenty to look at.
There is finished work to see, work in progress (on the kitchen table – see below) and my studio in the basement is available for a poke around. There is cake made and a kettle on the boil…
In a couple of weeks I’m going to be involved in Bradford’s first city-wide open studios event. This takes place over the extended jubilee bank holiday weekend and sees all sorts of different exhibitions and open studios during the 4 days.
My house and studio will be open to visitors on Sunday 3rd to Tuesday 5th June from 11am – 5pm. There are various other venues nearby, including Hannah, Hugh and Claire showing just in the next street.
I’ve written a blog post about what a rewarding experience open studios can be here.
You’ve really got to prepare if you’re going to be spontaneous
I’m preparing to print but there is a lot to get ready before I can. I’ve cut card for collagraph bases; made a registration sheet to go on the print bed; trimmed my press blankets to size; covered the bed in plastic so it is wipeable; made a board for weighing down damp paper; cut down my A2 paper to A4…
Before I can print I need to: buy some meths to dilute the shellac in; finish making and seal my first batch of collagraph plates; mix up some inks; soak and blot some paper…
Meanwhile, I’m gathering together recent stitched paper samples and experimenting a little with stitches on the prints I made a few months ago.
The weather is all over the place: yesterday it rained persistently for a few hours, then felt very spring like and I dried washing outside and took photos while there was sunshine streaming into the house, then I walked in the woods in wind and hail. In my studio I now have daylight bulbs so at least the light is a bit more consistent in there.