Monday, 30 December 2013

a de clutter

Seasons greetings, I hope everyone has enjoyed the Christmas holidays. It is back to work now and I found myself alone in the building all day. With the wind blowing a gale, Polly was on high alert with all the rustlings, bangs and crashes when the wind caught the doors, gates and all the other rattly bits around the studios. I spent much of today sorting, throwing away and re-arranging, a perpetual but essential activity (and there are no photos for fear of embarrassment!). As ever, I thought I would be there for a couple of hours and stayed into the evening. However I am pleased with the de cluttering so far and there is more to follow over the next few days. I have a stone sculpture taking an age to complete as I can only glue I piece of perspex at a time, it is nearly there! I also sanded a small wood sculpture, no difference to show in a photo so that can wait till it is finished, put some clay out onto a bat, marked out the next move/cut on another stone piece and just got myself back into the swing of things.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Dead Mac, again

Life has been a trifle taxing recently with my Mac taking yet another nose dive into oblivion with a spectacular breakdown last week; twice in 6 months is more than a little wearing. However it has been quite liberating having more time to draw and read. I am not sure that I would recommend this method of time saving.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Free Painters and Sculptors Open at the Menier Gallery

 Teah and Bollito - small clay pieces made as part of the AA2A award
Views of my sculpture at the Menier Gallery today, an amazing exhibition with a really varied selection of work. The Free Painters and Sculptors Society haven't had an 'Open' for a long time and this is such a fab show I look forward to many more. I hope this whets your appetite to come along and for artists to apply for the next one!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Happy Chelmsford

It has been a very busy few weeks and though I have got into the studio quite a bit I haven't managed to get to Chelmsford but today I have finally got going in the workshop. It felt really good to be there, this is a sculptural sweetshop full of tools and equipment with endless possibilities. I have spent the day using the bandsaw and what was an unwieldy pile of small branches has now become an ordered pile of cut and shaped wood with cut joints, I had tea with the amazing Andy to discuss an idea and so now I have the mirror sizes measured up and we will be making another, all singing and dancing time lapse animation. The   student rep wants to help put a display of work by the AA2A artists together and I had catch up chats with several members of staff, all fab, a productive and fruitful start.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

cats and capybaras

I popped down to the studio tonight, thinking to just clean out the car ready for the MOT later in the week. With the amount of accumulated rubbish I am sure my petrol consumption is now much more efficient. I removed a bag of stuff to be recycled and found enough rubbish to fill another bag. I also took out the tent poles, a library book, Polly's bone, she was delighted to see that again,  3 camping mats, a book about making walking sticks, a tennis ball, umpteen cassette tapes……I could go on but you get the idea. There is never a time when I just 'pop in' to the studio, I always find something to do, so I set to on sanding a block of carved cedar and puzzling over what looked distinctly like a puddle of pee in the middle of the floor. I have a ground floor studio, so the likelihood of having mice is rather high, this was far too much for a mouse even if they were having a co ordinated pee party, even rats don't piddle that much. Radio 4 was on in the background and I found it quite strange that the police officer being interviewed operated a 'take your cat to work day'; I could clearly hear it and began to think there was a cat in the yard outside, distressed by fireworks perhaps. Once I finally decided to come home and the radio went off I realised that the miaowing was in the building but there was no sign. Polly was being rather too friendly for a cat to appear so she went into the car. At that point a beautiful tortoiseshell make herself known at the top of my shelves, precariously winding her way past boxes of small sculptures. How she came to be there I have no idea, she quite happily allowed a cuddle and then followed me out, seeming none the worse for wear, strolling off down the road. I feel she would have been quite affectionate to the capybara I met on a path by the Thames at Henley yesterday. Coming across an enormous 'guinea pig' sitting on the bank taking no notice of anything and quite unpeturbed by passing dogs was entirely unexpected. Living in small herds in south America, he must somewhat lonely.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


I went to the award ceremony for the East West exhibition feeling chuffed to be showing and absolutely under no pressure since I had won the sculpture prize last year. I was there tonight to cheer my fellow artists and enjoy the moment. I forgot my camera so there are no photos of the event but I went to the gallery yesterday and took these photos and my sculpture 'Fraindre' is in pride of place in the centre of the room! That is a result, so is being a prize winner again! Completely unexpected, totally delighted.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

East west

Fraindre is safely delivered to La galleria, Pall Mall, not far from the National Gallery. Driving over  the sleeping policemen in London is scary with a delicate sculpture in the back of the car and I had it propped on all the pillows and bubble wrap that I have. I also had to make an emergency stop to avoid tourists stepping out into the road without looking, or rather being more concerned with taking photos, so I was amazed to get to the gallery with Fraindre unscathed. It is on show until Sunday as part of the East West Award exhibition, hurrah. Open from Tuesday 22nd until Saturday 26th October, 11am till 6pm daily but Saturday closes at 1pm. The award ceremony is on Thursday .....I won the sculpture award last year and I am delighted to be back again

Monday, 14 October 2013

View from my studio

 Apprentice Polly tackling her own carving

Postcard show at Acme Project Space  "View from my studio", my yellow paper piece alongside a Kendra Haste drawing. She makes the most remarkable wire animals and is responsible for the 'zoo' at the Tower of London, we were studio neighbours years ago, it is nice to be  showing next to her.

All Acme tenants were given an A5 postcard and asked to create a work with reference to the studio, all those returned were displayed and will then go into the Acme archive. The variety of work was superb, drawings, paintings, stitched, photo.... everything and since I have been an Acme tenant for much of time since I left art school it was great to catch up with old friends from other studios at the private view. My current studio is the best yet, Polly and I are getting some good work done. This is aided by using the brilliant facilities back at Chelmsford College. 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Snoozing apprentice

I planned a fine day in the studio but was thwarted by traffic, I have spent 7 hours in London hold ups when I should have been working. This is a lot of radio 4 even for me.  I just cannot carry some sculpture on the bus and a simple car trip back from Battersea took 4 hours for a 15 mile journey and I thought the smoke I could see from my studio before I set out for home was an early bonfire party but actually turned out to be a car on fire. So even the trip home, normally straightforward was again frustratingly slow. So not much progress on 3 small - and for once I really do mean small - sculptures. Polly the apprentice, below, was raring to go before we had to undertake the mammoth trek across  the metropolis, she slept all the way and is asleep again at my feet now, power napping to be ready for tomorrow.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Kyoto beckons

Not sure whether I shall be able to get there or not yet but I shall have three small sculptures in Kyoto, Japan next March. This is all through the East West Award happening later this year in Pall Mall. Small is requested so the one below at just 5'' might be winging its way.

Friday, 6 September 2013

All good

I have been taking the air in Broadstairs and Whitby, taking a much needed break after a busy year. I am feeling invigorated, though I am not sure how long that will last! I spent my time listening to some amazing music, singing Christmas carols (indeed, even in August with everyone sweltering in a heat wave), watching porpoise and walking. In Whitby it seems that anywhere you go is always 'up'. I return to London
to start a new term in my now permanent position as sculpture co-ordinator at the City Lit and an email informing me that once again I am shortlisted for the East West Award - YES!!!!

Monday, 22 July 2013

more photos

More photos.......clay sculpture made in Chelmsford as part of the AA2A


At last - photos of the Vermont stone sculpture

Monday, 15 July 2013

too hot

I blame the heat ! Despite the studio actually being quite cool for much of the day, walking into the yard in the mid afternoon and the heat really hits you. I spilt a whole flask of coffee in the car this morning, good news, the car actually smells nicer, though in truth that probably isn't too difficult. I have been busy spraying colour onto some fired clay pieces but somehow manage to use completely the wrong colour on the other side of one set, can't think of any good news there. I had ordered a small slab of granite earlier in the week so I called in as arranged to pick it up on the way in to the studio,  good news the dog got an extra walk while I waited for them to do the job, bad news, I stuck it on the wrong way round, it really was the heat - honestly!  Two sculptures submitted to an exhibition have been lost, a very upset gallery!! Good news is that the AA turned up really quickly to fix the flat tyre. I know I should have been able to do it myself but the nuts were on so tight, the local pub had a bet as to who amongst them had enough muscle to undo them and they all lost!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

red carpet? humph!!

Well well, 100 posts on, something of a milestone and it would be nice to have a red carpet and a bit of a fanfare. Instead of announcements proclaiming sculpture prizes, awards, 4th plinth or a major solo show I can show you a couple of photos of works in progress. The studio is wonderfully cool despite the heat outside and I am enjoying a few days of concentrated studio time.

I have the wonderful Paul coming in next week to take some decent shots

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Mostly un named new visions

Some views of the small show on at Chelmsford College marking the end of my first year. I know that I am still working through the ideas I have and utilise with my carvings but I can see that there is just possibly a small chance that people might just see a slight difference in my usual output. I have worked through a number of ideas successfully in clay and I plan to return to Chelmsford in the autumn to transfer these visions into wood and stone........exciting times ahead!! All the above are currently un named apart from the orange 'Lledr', fired and painted clay tied with wire.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

tum te tum te dum te dah and filing

 A fab day in the studio! There hasn't been much to show for my time recently, I have created small conical piles of white dust (is there a market for this?) while I have been filing down the oblong space above. The slot will house a piece of granite and I want this to sit flush. This has taken many hours of listening to radio 4 but finally I think I have got there. Having said that, when I am next in the studio I shall no doubt see a small piece that needs shaving and spend more time filing and still look as though I am no further forward after another day. The piece below might also be finished bar minor adjustments. It is in a strange position while the glue dries.
I gave myself and the apprentice Polly a good walk over Hackney Marshes on the way home. We avoided all courting couples and picnickers, a major accomplishment. I think most people avoided me as I was looking rather ghostly in my dusty jeans. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

massachusetts yippee

Brilliant ! Back to the states this time to the CIA in Massachusetts for a stone symposium.  I met Viktor and Yin Peet when I was at Andres Institute. They have an amazing quarry and they have created 'container man' a 'must be seen to be believed' music from bicycles and typewriters and the like, I think Viktor must have almost moved in to the local dump for a while. The performance I saw was astounding, Viktor represented Hungary at the Venice biennale in 1993 with something similar. This will be a diversion from a day of carving, they have invited me out there for August 2014 for a stone symposium.

Friday, 10 May 2013


Having spent the day in the studio I took Polly for a walk over Hackney Marshes.... I feel a song coming on......and she had a great time, I was a little more stressed..... A Polish lady fell in love with Polly offering her treats and cuddles so it was tricky extricating the exuberant P who was by this time, lost in an ample eastern european bosom.  Eventually tearing ourselves away,  I wanted to avoid the many picnickers so we found ourselves following a well trodden path through some blackberry bushes. I should have stayed with the food option, the tiny path led between 2 train lines and came to a secluded enclosure. Polly is a very friendly pooch and did her best to say hello to all the sunbathing couples, I say sunbathing, they were wearing not a lot and were stretched out  in the bushes and I only realised they were there by the squeals and I don't think they were squeals of delight, I somehow had the impression that a cold wet spaniel nose, however friendly, is not quite the thing for an amorous encounter. I called the P and hastened on only to find that there was no exit and we had to make our way back through all the previous encounters, picnics are a far easier option, even with a spaniel

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A peek at Espacio

A quick peek at the Free Painters and Sculptors show opening tomorrow night 9th May at the Espacio Gallery. There is some stunning work on show, a real mix of paper based work. I am showing the coloured paper sculpture that I have been busy spraying over the last few days and I am so chuffed with the results.

Monday, 6 May 2013

spray can RSI

I think I have RSI from spending today shaking spray cans and then holding down the nozzle and with hindsight I probably should have gone down to the graffiti chaps on the Southbank to get them to help. Below is a small heap of coloured paper sculpture upside down drying in the sunshine. All done now for the Espacio Gallery on Thursday, see you there folks

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

In colour

So this is what my sculpture looks like in colour, many thanks to Adams Puryear for his ideas.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

you tube  really will take you to a very short animation piece this time, the link didn't work before. Looking forward to trying again before the end of term. Thanks to the fabulous Andy for being so helpful.

Friday, 19 April 2013

More Chelmsford

Well this is another fine time. I had the privilege of being selected for an arts fellowship in Chelmsford for this year, the AA2A award gives artists access to space, equipment and materials that they need to do a project. I have had a ball working with clay and using the forge, I now have several boxes of work waiting to be put together. I planned to use the time to create several sculptures that I could finish back in my studio at the end of the Fellowship. Only there isn't an end just yet, I have been asked to stay on for another year!! Result!!!

 these have been fired and are now bright blue 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


After my technological meltdown in America, no computer for a while and a camera that has now given up the ghost, there have been some suspicions about whether I was ever in America at all. How cruel!! Reasons cited are mostly based around my terror of climbing a step ladder, let alone getting on a 'plane, blathering on about the cold and the snow which the UK had in bucket loads and absolutely no photographic evidence at all. So was I holed up in my east London studio the whole time, keeping out of the way and working ? Or did I really go to Vermont, have a great time making sculpture?


Brilliant, I have 6 paper sculptures selected for the Free Painters and Sculptors exhibition 'Works on Paper' at the Espacio Gallery, London,  May 16th-May 21st with the private view on Thursday 9th May. These are sculptures created in paper, which for me is a fast method of trying out ideas, a very versatile medium.   159 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 7DG