Well, whatever else anyone may say, for me the first day of Spring will be Sunday 23rd March!
It is the day of the Spring Salon Sale, which is taking place at the 36-Lime-St-Studios (from 10am-5pm) – and I’ll be taking part.
Memo pads – in porcelain. Pencilled scribblings can just be washed off – to start again
The idea is that everyone in the complex will be opening up their studios, each trying to exhibit a range of work that might include ideas for some unique gifts.
After all, the event comes shortly before Mother’s Day; and just weeks before Easter for that matter.
In my studio (on the complex’s third floor) I’ll have my usual range of: ceramic shelves, porcelain jewellery, porcelain furniture and homeware (including my porcelain stationery range) – but I’ve been experimenting with variations on the forms, so you’ll see twists on themes that you haven’t seen before.
Paw prints for everybody
One experiment I’m quite excited about is paw-print casts in porcelain.
Last year someone asked me for an item made of pottery which would be a permanent reminder of their pet for them… so I persuaded their dog to place a paw into some wet clay – and I made a single, beautiful tile with the impression of the paw print in its middle.
Tiles showing the paw prints of Hamish, a Lhasa Apso dog
The fact that the print came from a real creature, one that had a name and a personality, deeply appealed to me.
Anyway, I’ll have examples of some of those tiles (from different pets – including rats, dogs and cats) on display. If you too are interested in a paw-print tile, I will be on hand to explain how it can be made to happen for your pet.
I’ve also been developing my range of porcelain table-settings. I have a set of place names now which features images of animals (a tiger, bird heads, and swallows from the blue willow pattern). They are re-usable of course, as one just writes the name of the guest on the place-name setting – which can be then easily wiped off when the meal is over!
As I’m into table decoration right now, I think I’ll also display my ‘Crime Scene’-design plates, which feature silhouettes of dead animals. (It’s a vegetarian angle…)
It’s always interesting to be asked to work with a creative company, and I’ve admired the work of the Newcastle firm Folded Square Origami for a long time – and now we will collaborate.
Folded Square creates rather amazing origami papers and kits (many of them in shapes of animals).
One of Folded Square’s origami rats
I’ve also been photographing the fur of pets (ones whose paw impressions have been used to create paw-print tiles), re-interpreting the results as graphic art, and printing off the designs on to paper.
So, Folded Square will then create the same animal in origami (it could be a cat, for example) using the printed paper I supply.
This image was designed from a photo of the fur of Olive the cat – who was very patient in the photo session! I then printed it on to origami paper
Thus, side by side, the paw-print tile and the origami figure will be a form of portrait of the animal.
Folded Square will also be exhibiting for the first time. They will be putting on a display in my studio of fantastical origami insects – which I can’t wait to see!
Do you know, now I look back at what I’ve written, I realise I hadn’t been aware that such a strong animal theme was emerging in this show. I don’t know how I could have missed it.
Amazing what the subconscious can get up to…!
For more details about our Spring Salon event, nearer the time, see: 36 Lime Street Studios News