Saturday, 26 February 2011

Sarah Dunstan

I came across Sarah Dunstan's wonderful ceramics when I was on holiday in Cornwall last year.  They were in a gallery that was, unfortunately, closing down ... a sad reflection of our current economic woes. However, the pieces shown here are for sale through the Glass House Gallery which is in Penzance. She is based in the Gaolyard Studios in St Ives, Cornwall and her personal statement reads:

I collect images, such as the shape of the railing in a hidden doorway in St.Ives or writing on an antique glass bottle. I use my sketchbook to draw and paint these impressions but also as a scrapbook. Feathers, fabric and packaging are glued in next to photos. These photos are fragmented memories of places I've visited, a close up detail of a Greek sign perhaps, or advertising on a French café wall.
I decorate a rolled out sheet of clay by using various techniques including painting and printing with coloured slips. The pieces are then put together using paper templates to create the final form - similar to the patterns that my mother used as a dressmaker when I was a child. I am fascinated by collections of objects: from the very small and personal –scent bottles, the mundane – sardine tins, to large architectural forms such as Gaudi buildings.

I think her work appeals to me because it reflects domesticity and decoration in a very elegant form.  

Friday, 25 February 2011

Laurie Poast

These beautiful little ceramic sculptures are made by Laurie Poast, an American artist living in Holland.  They have a wonderful evocative sensibility - even more so when worn as a necklace!

Monday, 21 February 2011


Labokoff is a French artist working with photography digitally mixed with paint.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Something Bright ....

Today is an extremely dull, grey and cold day and i feel i really need something bright and happy to lighten my mood.  When I saw these on Etsy I instantly felt happier.  They are being sold by Sushipot Parts and are part of an ecletic, kitsch and interesting collection.

They bring out the inner child in me!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Frances Priest

Frances Priest makes beautiful, joyful and elegant ceramics.  The first images are from an exhibition in 2009 entitled 'Objects of Touch and Travel..."

I first came across Frances work when reading about a residency she was undertaking in Fife exploring the coastal path. The work was based on a Scottish tradition of carpet bowls (i had never heard of these!) and she worked with local residents to create wonderful sets of bowls.  You can read about the project on Frances' website and at Fife Coastal Path Residencies

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Something i love ... Bompas and Parr

As it is valentine's day tomorrow i feel the need to post about something that I love.  I don't really want to go the hearts and flowers route .. although I do expect to get that from home ... but turned my mind to food.  I love everything about food .. reading about it, cooking, tasting, smell, memories, memories to be made, textures and ... equally important .. whether it attracts me visually.  I am sensitive to dairy products so tend not to eat desserts very often (just can't help myself sometimes!).  However, one pudding I have always loved and still eat regularly is JELLY!  I adore the rich jewel type colours you can achieve with jelly and the wonderful kitsch moulds you can get...
The new masters of jelly over the past few years have got to be Bompas and Parr who are the mad Willy Wonka geniuses of jellyworld!  Sam Bompas and Harry Parr create unique and bespoke jelly events .. as well as creating events such as a pop up chewing gum factory, a brandy punch bowl you can sail across and smell and sniff food scratch cards. They are like Heston Blumenthal's little brothers! They have really embraced the fun element of food coupled with a keen intelligence and great artistic creativity. I highly recommend you visit their website to look at the events they put on .. I only wish I could get to one.... now that would be a great valentine's gift!!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Fenella Elms

Fenella Elms is an artist creating wonderfully luminous ceramic sculptures.  

"I first discovered working with clay when I was taught to throw with a school teacher who enthusiastically took the class out to see a Lucy Rie exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum in 1981. I sought out workshops and classes over the years until I was given a wheel in 2004 and began the more intensive teaching that college offered.
Aspects of my past career in mental health continue to influence my work with clay: the subconscious approach, a sense of rhythm, attention to detail and difference. I don’t seek to put my experiences into the clay, but marvel at how they emerge."

Some of Fenella's work is wall mounted and appear to have a real sense of movement.  I love her colour palette and the obsessional  attention to detail that is reflected in her pieces. 

She talks about her working approach to clay:

"Clay transforms in the kiln: an irreversible process from mud to sharp edges, vibrant colour and translucency. I am drawn to develop this transforming quality in the work itself; making pieces that alter in pattern or give an allusion of movement and depth by using clay’s potential for creating surface texture and building sculptural dimensions".

Sara Olmos

I came across Sara's wonderful illustrations on Etsy (teconlene).  They have a clean, innocent and witty feel to them and certainly make me smile.

On her website she states:

I am dedicated to what I like best: playing with images and ideas to engage and form small visual puzzles. I'ma graphic designer and so I face my work, looking for each project the response that best fits. A few years ago also started to look through a camera and discovered that environment allowed me to immediately, communicate my vision of the world, where objects and small come alive to watch me so it is impossible to deny a picture .
Recently I also started my career as an illustrator, where I let fantasy rule and try to explore new ways of expression.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

HAPP & STAHNS 1842 Rosa Alba

Happ & Stahns is the perfume devised for and sold by Anthropologie. The smell is lovely - very feminine ... and the packaging is absolutely gorgeous!!  The test tube bottles are really pretty (they are called Tear Catchers!) and the main bottle with pins is a definite "WANT/NEED"! 

Unfortunately, I couldn't justify spending £50 on the bottle for myself but bought one of the lovely little scented sachets ... 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Save Our Libraries Day

Today has been a day of protest throughout the UK to 'save our libraries'. The Government and local authorities are planning to cut 450 library services in the near future. Unfortunately I was unable to get to any of them but i can't imagine a society that does not have access to a library system and the cultural vacuum that will create in the Britain of tomorrow.
I spent many happy hours in libraries as a child and being an avid reader would come home with a big bundle of books to feed my curiousity each week. I also then took my own children to the library... most of them have wonderful children's corners. As a longtime bookclub member we are members of our local library that allows you to take out multiple copies of the same title, or a box of the same 'genre' so each member reads a different book and then we introduce and discuss them at the meeting.
The Government line is that due to the access to information on the internet and the rise of ebooks, libraries are becoming redundant. What rubbish.  Although I love surfing the internet and am a user of ebooks, there is still nothing quite like the thrill of picking up a book for the first time, flipping through the pages and finding a sentence or paragraph to capture your imagination. The excitement of discovering a new author/story is equally strong for children and adults and the access to that experience will be seriously threatened for people if these cuts go ahead.
Also ... at university we are specifically told not just to use information found on the internet and are expected to do most of our research through books in the library. With the rise of university fees in the near future and the severe cutbacks in education I expect a lot of university libraries will also be at risk.
I loved the protest in Sheffield where protestors took out a maximum of 15 books per ticket ... from the viewpoint that you cannot close down a library that has a lot of its books out on loan.
We all need to be proactive ... so try and visit your library this week!
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