Where has the year gone? Since my last post I have been in London for London Craft Week, run an Open Studios event at The Custard Factory in Birmingham, helped run a workshop for the Glass Biennale and oh yes am now part of a pop up Art School. Life has been busy and I am a little tired out so have had to rest (Dr's orders).
So where to start the month of May has been designated Craft and Design Month for a few years now with many makers opening their studios and inviting people in to see the process and also the resulting products. This year saw the first London Craft Week and it was a great success, all across London there were talks, demonstrations and a huge celebration of Craft. Now don't get me wrong we are not experiencing a renaissance in making, that has still being happening I think it is more that we are experiencing and renaissance in interest. I was exhibiting and demonstrating at Craft Central, it is always a great place to catch up with old friends and also to check out what is new. Cockpit Arts were also open and I cannot wait to get in touch with Beat Woven and see whether there is room for patterns made from music to cross over into stitch. Looking forward to next year when I hope to be taking part again.
Custard Factory in Birmingham is a hive of activity, full of makers, artists, illustrators, digital businesses not to mention the fantastic ground floor retailers. Having run Open Studio events before I decided to rally the troops this year and run an event on a Saturday (we have previously opened on Friday nights). A fantastic set of Artists opened their doors, the Custard Factory is large and a bit maze like so we had to run guided tours which whilst not ideal gave people a taster of all that we do. In the winter we will be running another event and hoping that people can come and go as they please - our thinking caps are on! Take a look at the great artists and makers that were part of the event here Custard Factory.
Phew! On to Cannon Hill Art School, which is just one of the best projects I have been involved in for a very long time. I am a student going to Art School, I've got a lanyard and everything. Taking it's lead from Black Mountain College, Trevor Pitt from A3 Projects has somehow created an Art School run out of the MAC in Birmingham that has embraced all comers and will ultimately lead to an exhibi.tion in the MAC. Our tutors are all practicing artists at the top of their game mine is Philip Duckworth of Juneau Projects check them out - brilliant. We have had lectures from Cornelia Parker, Gavin Wade and Peter Jenkinson. We have seen behind the world of a contemporary art exhibtion by hearing from Kathrin Bohm and we will get to be involved in our own show at the Mac in July. I have met some great people and am really looking forward to staying in touch with them and putting on shows real soon.
One of the people I have met at Art School is Robyn Smith her work in glass is astounding and as part of the Glass Biennale she was exhibiting her work in St Johns Church in Stourbridge. Robyn was running upcyling workshops as part of the exhibition, I rolled my sleeves up and got stuck in!
So busy, busy, busy! The Christmas designs are coming on but before that I will be inviting you to come to the first every Jewellery Quarter Festival here in Birmingham! There will be Open Studios aplenty (including me!) where you will be able to see sandblasting, corset making, stone cutting, glass fusing, 3d printing and so much more!
Hope to see you soon but in the meantime check out the lovely article that Sew magazine published in their July issue!