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A collection of beautiful things by stunning artistic types!

21 May

Just felt like doing a treasury of my favourite things on etsy – enjoy!


Masterclass with Kate McKinnon

31 Mar

Ah!! Where do I begin? I bought Kate’s book Sculptural Clay a while back, and it totally changed the way I deal with my stuff. I was just so blown away by the information, that when I came across a picture online I followed the link to her blog and sent her a mail thanking her for the information. To my complete surprise she wrote back immediately! I went on to read some of her blog and discovered that she was going to be doing a masterclass about 150 miles from where I live. Even more surprising there was still a space on the course. I then (as I do) ummed and ahhed and decided I just could not justify the cost. Wrote and told all involved. Got a lovely message back saying I could come for a shorter period for a cheaper rate. Still in my head had decided against it, working out how many tools and books and supplies I could buy for the equivalent. Slept on it, woke up and apparently in my sleep had decided to go!!

The lovely BF suggested we make a weekend of it.

Saturday morning: Hadn’t been able to make the get to know you meal the night before so made sure I was well early so as not to be the last ‘billy no mates’ to arrive. Was very pleased BF came with me as the directions said turn left at the substation. I had no idea what a substation was!!

Anyway, I was the first to arrive and met Kate. Exactly how I imagined her. Also a tall lady (which I really liked), funny, warm, generous. We had name places round the most wonderul studio, and I was sat right next to her. She had brought us each a double DVD of hers as well as a few little items that she knew we weren’t able to get hold of easily in this country.

So, it started at 10, and I sat there totally enthralled for 3 hours while she demonstrated the things she thinks are most important. Then we went for a wonderul lunch, again I was sat next to her and again she was just the greatest company. You know what it’s like when you meet someone and think ‘yep – I really like you’!

Back in the studio in the afternoon and again she demonstrated more bits, components to make, different ways to use the clay and I think if I was going to pick out just a couple of things I have really taken on board, (since reading the book) it would be the way to cut and dry without leading to all that bloody sanding. I had always questionned the sanding thing and the logic of breathing it in, and here was someone saying, just don’t do it, get it right and you won’t need to.

I had tried putting her techniques into practise from watching her DVD but when you actually see someone do them it just all falls into place.

What I love about the clay, is the full firing, and now I just adore hammering the silver into oblivion – I mean submission – sorry I mean into a nice solid strong piece. The same way that you get with sterling. I am finally proud again instead of being slightly worried that I was taking an easy way out, that is just not true, I am working with a very pure material, that when treated properly is every bit as good, if not better than sterling with bits of copper and nickle in it.!!

Am I rambling? mmm

So, eventually we got down to making. Now to be honest, that was the bit I wasn’t really looking forward to, I am not someone who can do things like that in front of others, I just become all fingers and thumbs, and hey presto I made the most rediculous mistakes 😉

Lovely BF was supposed to collect me at 5, but the class continued and continued and eventually I made my apologies and left an hour and a half later.

I had the best experience, I have no funny stories to tell, I was just enthralled all day, and that isn’t really that amusing!

(The only amusing thing actually was that in that gorgeous part of the world, in the village / town we were staying on a Saturday night, the BF went hungry, all we could find to eat were two packets of crisps!! – amusing for me maybe not so much for him).

This is my proud attempt at a rivet spinning ring – I have no idea what it is actually called, but it’s a beast and I love it!

Tania Cavenecia Torres: Featured Artisan ~ Sue Hodgson

1 Feb

Tania Cavenecia Torres: Featured Artisan ~ Sue Hodgson: “Sue Hodgson is a wonderful jewelry artisan from the UK. Her designs have a beautiful organic feel to them and I especially lo…”

Art – JLNilsson at Artfire

17 Aug



When I came across Jenn’s page I just grinned – how lovely to have that affect on people with your art!
“I am a small town girl who grew up with dreams and notions of colorful, fantastical places, much bigger and more adventuresome than the farmlands that surrounded my neighborhood…
… I still live in that same small town, and while it has grown into the busy little place that I call “home”, my imagination still journeys to magical realms beyond our own! …
Much of the artwork I create is created in watercolor paints, colored pencils, or a combination of both. …My work has been collected and displayed worldwide and is licensed with several companies, with more soon to come.
To me, the MOST important part of it all is leaving the viewer with a sMiLe!”
You did that for me Jenn and I’m sure anyone else who sees your stuff.

Art and Photography – Rachel at Artfire and Flickr

16 Aug

Rachel is a homegrown talent – I’m particularly pleased to show her work here 😉

“I was born and raised in Chelsea, London. Growing up surrounded by the diversity of London’s cultural and ethnic mix nurtured my passion for experimentation and my constant need to push traditional creative boundaries. Frequent travel took me across Europe where I was further exposed to different art, cultures and traditions, finding particular inspiration in the works of Gaudi in Barcelona.

Now living high on the ranges of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, my work continues to be an ongoing journey of self expression and experimentation. … I most enjoy combining media in new and often challenging ways. “

Click the title to go to her flickr space or click here to go to her artfire shop.

Art – Julieclarkart at artfire

14 Aug



I saw Julie’s art of artfire and was really attracted to the variety and colour;

“Firm in the belief anyone can create, I continue to experiment with different media, from pencil to paint to fiber, trying several media in an effort to find what fits. Just recently, I finally relaxed enough to explore letting go of the hardwired habit of being exact as possible in my paintings. In other words, taking on the attitude: Create, not replicate. The result gave me the wind I needed to coax me forward, as the resulting pieces are a truer reflection of what suits me.
And, as you will see whenever you stop by my studio, eclectic suits me well.
Another love of mine is fabric and thread. As much as my painted pieces may fall more on the impressionistic, or even abstract line, classical quilting does draw me in. Quilty pieces, as I refer to them, range from classic wall hangings and useful table mats, to fabric art pieces. I love them all. And, like so many modern day quilters, I learned by largely teaching myself the craft, wanting to make something for my new baby. Before I knew it, I was hooked. “

Click on the title to see more of her lovely stuff!

Art – Tastesorangey at Etsy

30 Jul



I saw Clares beautiful pictures on the front page of Etsy, and asked if I could feature her here. The piece I fell in love with at firt sold instantly – I wasn’t the only one to fall in love with it. But then I looked at the rest of her shop and just adore the dreamy like quality to her art. she says;

“Hi, my name is Clare Elsaesser and I live and work in a really neat house overlooking the bay. I have a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston which I have been figuring out how to put to use for the last six (whoa I feel old) years.

I love painting pillows, people with wild hair, and things found during countless hours browsing the expansive resources of the internet. “

Art – Aimeewhite at Artfire

24 Jul


I don’t have much imformation about Aimee but love her naive art and use of colour;

“I am a Houston native that has always enjoyed creating in a variety of mediums. At the moment I am really loving my sewing sewing machine. I like to use lots of color when in my creative mode. “

Sculpture – Claire

9 Jul



I recently joined a lovely group of people the ‘craftbrittania’ group, and here I saw Claires work. Now the mad thing is that Claire is passionate about felting, and does it beautifully, but way down on her lovely blog, there are a few scultures. I asked her about them and she is so modest and says she’s not sure etc etc and that’s why I want ot put them here, I truly believe this kind of talent shouldn’t go to waste. Get on and do more Claire, they are stunning!!

Glass – BethSingleton at Artfire

3 Jul



I love what Beth says and relate to so much of how she feels about her beads;

“My journey into bead making began in 2001 when I purchased a beginner’s beadmaking kit online. I taught myself using books and any information I could find online. Once my skills improved I upgraded my equipment. As time went on and I became more obsessed with the craft my work station was moved from a little corner in the garage to my own little studio at home.

I can’t always find the time that I would like to make beads but when I do it’s always a thrill! I am most productive at night out in my little studio. It’s my great escape! Out in my studio I can watch what I want on the TV while I make my beads. No sportsman or hunting shows out there! It’s always a joy to check the kiln in the morning. I love pulling the beads from the kiln to see how my beadmaking session the night before turned out. Making beads just never gets old.”