Friday, 17 June 2011

An Unlikely Matrix

close-up of aged texture
 An Unlikely Matrix. Updated photos. It looks very pale here, but it is really an antique silver colour with lots of wavy and cracked texture covered in leaf and large clusters of amethysts growing from the fissure. approx 5ft x 2 1/2 ft.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

5 Days to go

Panic has properly set in now. I'm still making one piece and willing it to dry every time I walk passed it on the dining room table (it's damp and wet outside grrrr).....this is the piece that I'm going to use the silvery metallic waves that I showed in a previous post. I've already attached a wave of large amethyst crystals and started weaving the strata around them in waves. It's going to be quite a weighty one!
I've finished my latest geode. This one has chemical patination inside and some white gold. Quite the moody broody type.

There's the largest piece of textured glass to date and I'm waiting for the moon gold to arrive so that I can gild it on the reverse side. Pictures later this week! I'm thinking coffee table top...

I finally completed the onion shaped corm - it's sprouted some pearl stalagmites and pyrite boulders.

I got quite into the textures on oyster shells and came up with this.This is the first time I've used leather on a canvas - so far I've used it for sculpture stands.. There is a good sized pearl embedded in the palladium leaf yolk.
 I did a wee canvas based on some of my stone textures and given the antique leaf treatment.


And last, but hopefully not least is a heavily textured peice. Gilded, patinated and aged with black plaster in the crevices called "Not what, but where" which I've framed with oak.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Worthing Open House event is drawing closer
This year I'm opening our house as a venue during the Worthing Arts Festival. I have two good friends and award winning artists exhibiting along with my jam tart :- Award winning photographer Gary Eastwood who is working on new creations for the exhibition as I type AND  Richard Bett who will be showing his fabulous jewellery and supplying the garden sculpture.
I have commissioned Richard to make me many pieces of awesome jewellery over 20 years and will be exercising some restraint not to keep all of peices on show for myself!!!
This extravaganza will take place at my abode - 90 Marlowe Road, Worthing BN14 8EZ. Tel:0780 3002434
over the following weekends 18th & 19th  and 25th & 26th of June and the 2nd & 3rd July.
Do come along to view the work and share a cup of tea and slice of home-made cake. Please do a sun dance for us.

Little Urchin II

I have been beavering away getting the house and garden finished for the open house ( ) as well as making more things for the show AND working of course!

Here's a few pics of Little Urchin II which has a slightly different texture than the first - plus plump overspill bits around the pyrite.

I haven't waxed this one yet which means it doesn't have the depth of colour of the previous one, but it accentuates the texture because the tiny recesses which avoided my polishing tool have stayed matt. Don't know if I'll polish it at all.....maybe I will....maybe I won't.....I'm like that!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Little Urchin

I've finished another peice inspired by the gladioli corms. I've called it Little Urchin for what I think are obvious reasons.
The exterior is textured polished plaster with an Iron Pyrite sun (also known as coal dollars) set into the top.
I'm going to make a few of these in different sizes. this one is 6 inches across. The pic below shows an uncleaned sun.
 The guys who do this for a living use Hydrocholic Acid to dissolve the coal covering them, but somehow I didn't fancy that method in my kitchen sink so I relied on good old household limescale remover and elbow grease. You can get them all clean and bright, but I liked this one as it is. I love working with natural materials as they are never the same shape, pattern or colour....these pyrite suns range from silver through gold and even rainbow metalic colours. You never know what you are going to get until it's clean and dry. In the photos you can't quite see how shiny and metallic these are.
It's a very tactile little chap.

Monday, 21 March 2011

The Light Thiefs Daughter

A smaller geode than the last with a 15cm span. Gilded inside and out with 23 3/4 carat gold. The inside has real baroque pearl "stalagmites", matt black stone slick and pyrite formations. There are also weeny pyrite crystals in the fissures on the outside
I like the idea of leaving these geodes unfixed on the base so that the viewer can turn them however they fancy.

Nearly finished Baroque Corm II

I've been beavering away at a couple of things including one of the Cormel forms and have nearly finished. I just want to add a little patination to some of the silver gilded spheres. I can't decide whether to mount it on a black shiny plinth or one of the formed leather things I like making....which do you think?

Monday, 7 March 2011

New work on the go

Like so many peoples my home is ever in a state of evolvement or in other words covered in dust thanks to my latest building project.
The first thing I did when we moved into our present home was knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to give us a much bigger kitchen (I do love the cooking) and a dining space so that when we do have the luxury of guests for dinner I'm not stuck in another room for most of the night. Three years later and I've finally boxed in the support beam.
However, being me I can't just paint it - no, I have to come up with a textured finish to run up the wall and along the beam. Then I thought, well I can't just have that because it will look disjointed so I'm going to do a large piece for the chimney breast in the dining area to go with it.
I really fancied something in a rippled antique silver and spent hours on the net looking for inspiration. I came across some beautiful ceramic mosaic tiles with an antique silver texture. Naturally they are well expensive so I started playing with texture pastes and metal leaf to get the feel.
I'm thinking of a great sweeping fracture running through this texture with amethyst and pyrite crystals errupting out of the vein. Around 1.4 x 1.4 meters square

Friday, 4 March 2011

Finished Baroque cormel 1

Finally - the finished cormel.
I plumped for nickel/zinc wire used for electronics. It may be a little finer than I envisaged, but it crumpled into naturalistic tendrils really nicely.
Now I'm mulling over what kind of plinth to mount it on....maybe  20mm toughened glass.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Works in progress

Autumn - After much googling and debate with myself I went out and lifted my gladioli corms. I'd never done this before so didn't expect them to look to much different to when I planted them in the spring. As I carefully loosened the dirt and started to lift them out I was very excited to see hundreds of little "pearls" growing around the bottoms (apparently they are called cormels). I took some pics for reference before storing them.
Then I got to thinking about how to recreate them and with what materials and how to get the textures I want........I can spend a lot of time musing over this stuff - when I should be trying to sleep, as soon as I wake up, when I should be listening to important things being related to me by my patient boyfriend.....
  so now I have 4 different bulb type forms with black polished plaster applied in slightly different ways on each of them.

I built up some texture and the one on the right erupted. Then I oil gilded them with moon gold, my favourite leaf, which is a 22ct mix of gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

Next I set about building up the adornment using baroque pearls using larger white flared shape, smaller balls were gilded on the surface, glass dribbles with apearlized finish and some weeny seed pearls in lovely gunmetal and oil colours.

Now I'm searching to find the right gauge of wire for the tendrils.

This is the most abstract one of the bunch (for the moment).........

Monday, 14 February 2011

How I found my mojo

From an early age all I wanted to do was draw, paint, bake with my nana and create stuff. Dolls and cuddly toys stayed on the shelves collecting dust - although I do recall a brief friendship with a Pippa doll and having at least one tea party using a zingy plastic tea set to serve a bunch of inanimate toys for whome the cups were vastly disproportionate to their appetites.
No - it was Spirograph which jolted my imagination into gear.....until it ended up too close to a radiator and all of the parts warped. I had a cupboard full of paints, pencils, felt tips, Playdough (which I found very tasty) and a wondrous machine called a paint spinner.
It was no surprise that by the end of secondary school I had chosen a creative path, but exactly what form that would take was still beyond me. I found A'level Art, Design, Ceramics and Fashion very interesting and accumulated a wealth of technical information, but was also left with the over-whelming feeling that I didn't have anything new to say and certainly wasn't going to be the next shining star of any art scene. Lacking the self-confidence needed to create original art I went off to study restoration and conservation which lead into a career as a specialist decorator working around the world on some amazing jobs ranging from architectural restoration to high end fashion flagship stores like Donna Karan and Louis Vuitton on Bond St in London.
The Donna Karan job was a major turning point for me. Armourcoat, the worlds leading suppliers of Italian polished plaster were working with architect Peter Marino to supply huge walls in black and white super-glossy plaster, but they also wanted huge feature walls in antique textured gold metal leaf and I was the lucky person to receive their call.  As someone who had serious canvas fear those big walls were quite daunting, but there really wasn't time for brooding and with the designers words filling me with confidence...... "just think of these walls as your canvas and go for it".....I did.
However, it wasn't until about 6 years ago that I finally started to think I want to do this to hang on walls - not just as a backdrop or created on the surface of a wall to be painted over or left behind when the owner moves house.
  My inspiration comes from textures found in the natural world- in rock formations,  chemical patinations, crystal growth..... the beautiful jewellery designed by scandinavian artists such as Bjorn Weckstrom, Matti Hyvarinen , Juhls Tundra jewellery......I have a love for the mid-century modern.
My chosen materials are metal leaf - gold, white gold, silver, palladium, brass, alluminium
which are applied using traditonal oil and water-gilding techniques over bole, gypsum plaster, venetian plaster.
The finishing touches come from chemical patination, baroque pearls, antique glazes, metal flakes and crystaline forms
I also work on the reverse of glass sheets - my take on contemporary vere eglomise.