Thursday, 27 January 2011

Do What You Love Retreat

I have some very exciting news to share. I have been invited to be a quest speaker on this wonderful retreat in the Yorkshire Dales in May. This is the first 'Do What You Love, Art and creative enterprise retreat' and I am really honoured to have been invited to attend. Beth Nicholls (very inspiring adventurer and entrepreneur) has had a creative dream to inspire people to do what they love for life and she is in a mission to do just that. I first came across Beth when she wrote a Leeds Guide for the Design Sponge blog a while back. It was so surprising to find a guide to my hometown on this big U.S blog that I just had to leave a comment...that's when Beth found out about what I did and so the creative network grew a few more branches....(oh the wonderful world wide web) and this has led to my invitation.

I will be taking part in one of the creative enterprise sessions and answering questions about my art and business.

I was planning a research trip to ICFF in New York to work on the book BUT I have to say I cannot resist the pull of a warm friendly artistic community staying in glass fronted cabins in beautiful countryside (i mean LOOK at the accommodation), doing art workshops, eating in this gorgeous teepee and watching the badgers and deer outside whilst helping to inspire people to do what they really really love with their lives creatively. NYC will have to wait!

Here is Beth's Do What You Love For Live website and blog and you can see the retreat details here. Of course I'll be blogging about the whole experience upon my return!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Frosty Morning Walk

It was a beautiful, sunny, crispy, crunchy, frosty walk this morning. We went up through the woods past Hell Hole Rocks and up to Heptonstall and over the fields. When you live in this deep valley it's lovely to get out of the shadows and up into the sun. We love our new Friday morning walk routine.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Spirit Collection Revisited

Me and Robert have just had a very lovely trip to London. As well as needing to visit Top Drawer and meet with my book editor (very inspiring and I'm all fired up) we still had some time to go and play! Back in the Summer I went to the Zoology Spirit Collection at the National History Museum and loved it but didn't have my camera (I only had a notebook and made some drawings). This time I went back to take some photos. It was great. Look at these amazing creatures, look at the jars, look at the dates on the jars! That Sea Urchin has been in that jar since 1890!

We also went to the V&A to see the Catching Shadows exhibition about camera-less photography. Five artists showed their work and it was SO interesting to see their techniques. Some of it I didn't get at first as the effects were so bizarre but after watching their videos and studying the work more deeply I understood it and was very inspired. This daguerreotype by Adam Fuss I loved the most. It had such depth to it and I really wanted to take it home with me! If you get the chance to go and visit I would highly recommend it. It's on until the 20th of February.

Going to London is great and always fills me up with ideas and so many things that I want to try! do I do it all????

(Here are some more pictures of the Spirit Collection if you're interested).

Friday, 14 January 2011

Friday Walkies - First signs of Spring

Well when I was lying in bed at 7 this morning listening to the sound of the rain rain rain on the road I thought our Friday walk was scuppered but by the time we were ready to go it was dry and fresh and quite lovely.

There are lots of great silhouettes about. Lots of catkins and berries. I'm very happy that Spring is on the way!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Lovely Feature in Making Magazine

Today I got Making Magazine sent to me because I had a lamp featured in their 'Light Edition'. I had never seen this magazine before, I think it's fairy new and I found it really lovely. It's full of beautiful craft projects and interviews with artists and makers. I felt very at home as I recognised many people in there. Jane Blease had an interview in there and Helen Rawlinson, all people who I stock at Radiance. My lamp is happily nestled amongst Wendy Jungs heart nightlight, Inke's birdbox light from Radiance and Ose Designs knitted shade. Think I'll have to make friends with Rebecca Wilson too as I've not 'met' her before!

Have a closer look here.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Friday Morning Walk

I have a New Years Resolution to have a walk on a Friday morning. I used to often have a morning walk before starting work but last year I was always so pushed for time in the morning that I haven't been going and I have been missing it. There are so many beautiful walks, short and long around Hebden Bridge. You can go in any direction you fancy and end up somewhere beautiful and I want to make the most of that again. Fiona came with me today and it was nice to introduce her to some of my familiar territory. There was a light covering of snow and it was very very pretty. Fiona spotted this snowy fern (shame my photo is not in sharp focus).

We walked back along the canal which turned out to be crazy as the tow path was covered in black ice. I fell over. I'm glad Fiona was with me. I was trying to save my camera and she was trying to save me! My camera is ok butI have hurt my hand. My RIGHT hand. Hope it's going to be ok. I have a lot to do today!!!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

What a lucky girl!

Hello and Happy New Year!!!

I've had the loveliest week of rest after the busiest Christmas time ever ever ever (note, no blogging since the 6th of December...that's a long time for me to not reach the computer) ! It's been lovely having time to see family and friends and time to just hang out at home being cosy and have some time to think after not really being able to catch my breath for quite some time!

During this time as well as Christmas I have had a birthday (38 goodness me) and thought I'd share some of my artsy crafty gifts that I have been lucky enough to receive....and I'll share some big news.

Natalie gave me a set of Rob Ryan plates which are truly delightful. I think this one is my favourite but there are three others in the set which are all gorgeous.

Robert gave me the lovely cacti pincushions by &made. I have coveted some of these for ages. He got them from the lovely Ed at Snug Gallery here in Hebden Bridge but the designer/maker Andrea Lord (a Hebden Bridge lass herself who remembers when Radiance used to be her dentist as a child) has a unit at The Manchester Craft Centre where there are lots of her gorgeous wares to choose from. I think I'll have to start a collection.

..and I am now the proud owner of three of Dee Beales prints. Blue Hares, Snowy Owls and Sleeping Foxes. My Mum and Dad got me the first two and I bought the other with my Grandads birthday money (it was his 89th Christmas this year...imagine that!).

My kids got me this book all about Batch made Craft and Design. It's written by designer Andrew Tanner and showcases many designers and makers across many mediums and tells the stories of how they came to be designers. It's really interesting and good inspiration for me...

...and here's where I drop my big news. I am writing a book too. At the GNCCF this year I was approached by an editor for A&C Black Publishers and she was looking for someone in the field to write a book on Contemporary Craft Lighting. Obviously, being very passionate about the subject I jumped at the chance! It's going to be hard not to give too much away but I will have to keep quiet about it all until it's ready to read. I'll just tell you this. It will look at the work of many lighting designers from across the globe across many mediums - ceramics, glass, plastics, paper, print, textiles, metal and wood. Work is underway and there are some great people involved so far. It's very exciting. I have until November to write it and then it will be another year until publication. So, Christmas 2012 it might be on your coffee table ;)
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