INSPIRATION ….

I now feel settled within my niche of working with found objects.  But how did I get to this point?  An early influence was Cas Holmes who creates wonderful textiles using found and recycled materials either directly or as tools (I well remember her printing with a malted milk biscuit!) and it seemed to make sense to me to re-use as much as possible in one’s creation.  Later I came across the beautiful work of Alice Fox and very much enjoyed a course with her at Studio 11 in Eastbourne.  We started each day with a walk along the shoreline collecting items that we could use – in this instance we were particularly looking for items with which we could rust-dye.  Before the class started, I was away walking along the beach each morning – there was something about the absorbing way I searched which allowed my eyes to see but my mind to wander in a creative meander.  I have never stopped!

Beachcombing Day 1.jpg
Beachcombing Day 1 at Studio 11 Eastbourne in 2016

Alice suggested that we lay out our finds so that we could take in what we had and how the pieces might work.  She also introduced us to the work of a silversmith by the name of Stuart Cairns.  Whilst I do not have the ability to make the beautiful objects that Stuart makes, he inspired me to continue to work with the found.  I do not seek to copy his work (I do not have the skill!) but I greatly admire it and so jumped at the chance to see his current exhibition which runs at “Make”, Hauser at Wirth in Bruton, Somerset until Saturday.

SC - Bound and left vessel 2 - silver, stainless stell wire, linen thread, driftwood, rose thorn and washerSC Wetlands Vessel - iron wire, driftwood, oxidised silver, bobby pin, fishhookSC Traces & Fragments vessel 2 - silver, stainless steel wire, beach pebble, found sardine canSC 5SC 3

If I had to sum up Stuart’s work in three words they would be: beautiful, delicate, fragile.  Each piece is so perfectly judged – just the right amount of detail, just the right balance between found and made.  Do have a look at his website but the objects really do need to be seen to be appreciated in full.

I would also just like to mention the work of ceramicist Elaine Bolt.  Elaine also appreciates Stuart’s work and has been supportive of me in the past.  I think you will see that same sense of balance in her pieces and the apparent simplicity of the work.  I say apparent because of course none of these artists produce their work with ease or without a great deal of hard work and study.  I tried working with porcelain with Elaine once – an unmitigated disaster!

So, I will continue to work in my own way but always admiring these various artists and makers.  They continue to inspire me and hope that you will gain something from looking at their work too.

 

Little Beauties

Earlier this year, my husband and I had a wonderful two weeks in beautiful Northumbria. It was our first visit and won’t be our last.  Three things summed it up for us – glorious unspoilt beaches, warm and friendly people, and excellent well priced food!  What more could you want?  The weather was fantastic and, apart from the day that Storm Ali came and blew my husband’s prescription glasses into the North Sea, but that’s another story!

Due to the kindness of a couple of folk on my favourite Facebook Page – “Beachcombing, British Coastline), I found my way to a great spot near Seahouses and also to Seaham in County Durham.  Here I found not the plentiful sea glass, pottery or limpets in plentiful supply elsewhere, but my sort of found objects:

When I got home, I had a lovely time putting together mini assemblages from these and other bits and pieces