First of all thank you for taking time out to explore my new blog.......so why a blog and why now?
When you walk around a Craft or Makers’ fair I’m sure that you look at wonderful (and let’s be honest sometimes less than wonderful) pieces on display made of wood, glass, metal, willow, silver, ceramics etc etc etc and are in awe of their skills, and then you look at the the people behind the stalls....often tapping away on their phones texting, looking exhausted, bored or fed up....sometimes all three and I’m sure you wonder.........
“Why are you doing this?”
And they are thinking,
“Why are we doing this?”
And I very often wonder,
“Why the hell am I doing this?!!”
So, over the next 12 months I’m going to try to provide some of the answers!
When I was a Geography teacher the basis of every lesson was the ‘Three Ws’, ie What is it? Where is it? Why is it there? It seems natural therefore to answer the same questions about my glass work! The idea has grown over time as people ask me why I started creating stained glass and what inspires me and why I continue when it’s such a roller coaster!
There are lots of well worn phrases and clichés that I constantly read but to be frank the one closest to the truth that answers the ‘why’ part and explains what it was that kick started my ‘art/maker/crafter phase of life was the saying ’necessity is the mother of invention’.
I moved in 2010 into an Edwardian house in need of renovation; after sorting out the rewiring, the plumbing and the plastering (not personally I hasten to add!), I needed a pair of stained glass door panels and so I did some research. When I found out how much it was to get a professional to do the work I decided that I would do a course (far cheaper) which was devoted to stained glass and embarked on a completely different experience doing 3 hours a week for 10 weeks!
The brilliant thing was I could learn the basics and do a project of my own over the ten weeks. I think the idea was that we do a small panel as a project so the course tutor was a bit taken aback when I produced a design for two door panels! With his help and a lot of extra hours I finished my first panel and decided to do the second at home with some basic equipment. Martin McCassey, my tutor was brilliant and it was from that course and doing a second with him where I learnt the copper foiling technique and made a lamp that the basic building blocks of my stained glass skills were developed. A lot of years and hard work later I now design, make and sell large panels I design myself, work to commission for people’s homes and gardens and create small decorative objects for the home and gardens.
I decided to do an occasional blog to share some of the highs and lows of the the coming year. To show you what life is like,”on the other side of the stall’, to encourage people to talk to the makers and artists who will be very pleased if you buy their work but will be just as pleased if you show genuine interest and appreciation for their wares. We realised that times a tough at the moment and not everyone can or will want to afford to buy a piece of art or craft but we also have enthusiasm and knowledge we like to share! You may help us have more to do than look longingly at the slow hands of the clock!
To show that I have made some progress in the five years I’ve been doing my shows here’s a photo of my first stall to compare with the the latest one at the Medley event I organised at Christmas at the top of the page! Everything I write will be a personal view and not designed to create a furore on the scale of Brexit! Please feel free to contact me via my contact page if you have a question.