Wade Gallery and Fisher Gallery Summer Exhibitions

wade-e1565358236717.jpg

However, if you want to see my work there are several pieces at the Wade Gallery in Elie, as shown above. The Wade Gallery opens at weekends until August 18th.

Jan and Richard at the Fisher Gallery have re-opened for the Pittenweem Arts Festival and have several pieces of mine in a silver copper alloy and in iron.

So although I’m not at showing at Pittenweem Arts Festival this year there is an opportunity to see and buy my work in the East Neuk over the festival period.

Keny, Fraser and Nicola are also at other venues this year.

Advertisements

East Neuk Open Studios 2019

2019’s open studios has been and gone. The weather was lovely and lots of people visited; and several people bought pieces or commissioned new work.

flower

Commissions included a charm bracelet as a gift for a niece in Canada, which included a dolphin from the Firth of Forth; and a neck piece using an piece of carved peat that was a brooch from my childhood. I’ll show progress on this piece in a later post.

bronzeseabowlA sea water patinated bowl went to a new home as did a sea drift necklace.

sea drift 3

It’s always good to show people my work and studio and I particularly like new commissions.

Clachtoll broch proposed iron piece

Finally I got a weather window to start work on the second piece of my residency.

linteltent1We got a tent erected near to the broch, in the lee of the stones from the rockfall in the broch that the restoration project removed in season one. It was surprisingly easy to heave the stone lintel into the tent on Day 1 and surprisingly uncomfortable working in and out the tent. A lot of climbing in and out bent double and kneeling on uneven rocks was involved over the week. Some days were sunny and some grey and cold, nearly all were windy, with the wind battering the tent onto you as you worked.

tentStoer

So the process was:- firstly brush the bits off, then a layer of oil, which with hindsight was a bad idea; followed by a thin mix of silicon to pick up the details – because of the low temperatures and maybe insufficient mixing of the catalyst this seemed determined to follow gravity onto the groundsheet. However there was no choice but to continue, this time with a silicon layer with thickener. By then it was time to call it an end to Day 2. Although there were plans to return that night it was Day 3 that was spent putting on the third and final silicon layer with thickener. There was now a mighty fine silicon mould, but no way of knowing whether layer 1 had worked out.

siliconlayer

Day 4 was onto the plaster and jute mother mould. I had a long and supportive conversation with the super helpful guy from Special Plasters before starting out. The first layer again seemed determined to make a mould of the ground sheet, but then we discovered that it was going off in the plaster puddles and this mix was perfect for the jute layers. I was paranoid that I’d make a plaster mould that couldn’t be removed, or carried out over the beach cobbles, so I designed a 6 part mould. I made little clay walls for each section and we filled them with three layers of plaster soaked jute with support straps.

lintelplaster1poolWhen I removed the clay wall on each piece I oiled the surface and designed a wedge to ease the separation of the sections. After the third section there was a mishap with the scales and we swapped for a different set. This seemed to hugely improve the consistency of the plaster from there on; and the job speeded up because there was no need to wait for the pools on the groundsheet to go off. The number of sections meant that the work went on into Day 5.

siliconremoveHowever the plaster mould came off in sections as planned. Then the moment of truth, would the silicon mould have laminated, would the first layer have been successful? It was an anti climax, but a very welcome one, when it just lifted off and there it was, the first phase of a long process successfully completed. Perseverance paid off and I came away with a silicon mould that nestles in a plaster mother-mould.

Clachtoll Broch residency

I went back to Assynt for a week in May; and the weather was kind, so lots of work was done.

With the invaluable help of Nigel Goldie, we got the Community Bronzes installed in the bedrock around the Clachtoll broch. A lot of lugging in and out of generators, drills, glue and the bronzes themselves was involved. I had agreed which rocks were outside the historic area, but on land where we had permission, and Nigel did the drilling and glueing.

bronesClachtoll1I’m hoping that they will weather and patinate over the years, I started the patination process with sea water and beeswax resist. They are mainly on the Stoer approach, but there are a few on the Clachtoll side. So if you are on the site do try and find all forty four of them.

The main group of thirty-five include all the ones designed and carved in beeswax by the Clachtoll school pupils at a workshop in the Glen Canisp art studio. They also did pewter casting in sand, the same process as Iron Age casters would have used, and which I used for these bronzes (although in updated materials). Please refer to earlier posts for more on the bronzes.

Thirty five is the estimated size of the extended family group who lived in the broch at any one time. The design choices reflect the range of ages and interests of the people involved, a local community working together.

bronzecombCan you find the bone comb? Maybe a plan of the broch? A panda or a Pod?

It’s a great collection of designs and styles and I hope it’ll give visitors to the broch pleasure, stimulate ideas and trigger narratives; celebrating the local community and the people who have been involved in the broch project.

Perhaps some people will think of the metalwork and how the broch residents will have traded for cast bronze products, even if they didn’t smelt and cast bronze themselves.

bronzebee

Work in progress

I’ve started test pieces for the glass poppy petals that I want for a commissioned piece commemorating Dunkirk.

Keny Drew at East Neuk Glass let me try out some different moulds, colours of glass and different glass thicknesses.

IMG_2899

I now need to try thinner glass and make my own irregular moulds because these are too chunky and symmetrical; but the process has started and thinner glass will be easier to cut.

Thanks Keny

 

sea drift necklace v

sea driftv

julia cowie

This silver frame-ring, Sea-drift necklace has a blue, lapis lazuli drop, a solid silver heart and a witch stone. The belcher chain and the ring and bar fastening are also silver. The reverse of the frame ring is textured using a beach stone and the necklace can be worn  either way.

sea drift iv

sea driftiv

julia cowie

This penultimate necklace in the sea-drift ring series (for now at least) has a brass, domed, corroded washer from the beach in Cellardyke, a hollow silver bead and silver charm. It has a silver belcher chain, silver frame-ring which is textured using a stone from the beach and my ring and bar fastening.