Wednesday, 26 February 2014

From the studio...

I feel like I haven't made anything new for ages! Even though my lampshades are a new-ish product they were professionally made, not made by me. So I'm excited to be making again and thought I'd share a sneak peek of work-in-progress... I won't tell you what they are yet because I want to reveal them once they're done by way of showing them in situ in a lovely photo shoot. They still have some work before they're done. As usual am working on a few projects at once and will have some lovely things to share with you all very soon.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

My business banner...

Although not such a great photo due to not such a great space to take photographs of larger items and not such great lighting... I'm still excited about sharing my Pinch River banner with you! (The banner measures approximately 140cmW x 160cmH). It has been digitally printed on pure linen and it's for a little project coming up in March that I'll be back to share once it's all underway.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The art of making and doing - part 2

Images courtesy of:

Images courtesy of:
In episode 3 (series 2) of Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home he gathers bits of pipe and cable to melt down in an improvised field furnace to make ridge tiles for the observation tower roof. The tower roof is by far my favourite result of the projects he undertakes in this series... the roof tiles are a thing of beauty and the accompanying narrative resonates with me too:
'You'd think, wouldn't you, that working with scrap and waste would limit what you can achieve but designing the world when you're using recycled stuff, it's no more limited and it's no less rich, in fact it's much more exciting.'

Starting the process of melting the metal he says:
'So then what we've got is really kind of ugly, it's been used, it's been thrown out, it's been discarded, it's waste... and it's grimy and old and pattinated and what we're gonna do is renew it.'

Once the tiles are created they need to beaten into a v-shape to sit on the ridge and of this process he says:
'It's very labour-intensive, it's very sweaty. It's really helpful to do because you understand how difficult it is to make something like this by hand. Wiring, oh yes chuck it away; box of scrap, oh just chuck it away, oh just give it out to the recycling they'll deal with it - you know, which is just chucking it away really.
We've lost touch, completely, with the value of made things.
When you know the story of things, you know, when you know where they've come from, what went in to them, how they were made, then objects take on a completely different meaning and there's a whole wonderful value that you just don't normally associate with made things.
... and this roof, it has a history, it has an amazing story, so that makes this entire roof immensely valuable, immensely powerful...even more beautiful.'

I love this, it speaks to me because I believe it and it is what drives me to do what I do... to be a maker, to work and live slowly where I am connected to the earth that supports me and to tread as lightly on it as I can, always wishing I could tread even more lightly...

But I believe in the value of made things and even though, ultimately we do buy and consume I prefer to buy and consume things of value, things that have a story... that have been made by a maker and not a machine. When we spend more on handmade items we are less likely to throw them away, they are treasured and timeless and valued.

The art of making and doing - part 1

Image courtesy of - The Shed being moved from the field to the coast
I've been watching the charismatic and entertaining Kevin McCloud in series 2 of Man Made Home and have thoroughly enjoyed it. In part because of his narrative and the whole idea that underpinned the project... 'which is that it is better to make and to do and create things than it is simply to buy them, consume them and throw them away... and along with that, the experience of making things is a really enriching one, it's powerful, it's pleasurable. Especially, actually, when that thing is in some way beautiful. There is, in making things, enormous pleasure, intrinsic to the process and afterwards a fantastic sense of satisfaction.'

He starts episode one by saying: 'I'm a maker, that's what's driven me all my life. Making stuff, creating it from raw materials, is a really pleasurable activity. It can be stressful but actually, ultimately incredibly rewarding if you use something beautiful. It's a bit slow but in a world where everything is so fast, slowness is really valuable. It's really special.'

I believe his mission was also to find out if doing, collaborating and sharing can make you that little bit happier... and I believe the answer is yes!