Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 and all that

love life necklace at Fourseven Collective

Looking back at 2012 I have such a lot to be grateful for, the most memorable being the formation of the Fourseven Collective and the opening of our gallery and shop at Heartlands, Cornwall in April. Being part of this group means not just having a great space to sell our work, but also support and encouragement from all the other artists.

bright dream locket at Two Red Trees

Support and encouragement are high on the agenda for Anna whose online website Two Red Trees offers original creations from British designers. I was delighted to be invited to join the site early this year, and Anna's vision and hard work on our behalf has resulted in her dream being realised and successful.

My sales on Etsy have continued to improve this year; I am thrilled to have reached 129 sales. Best of all is when I receive feedback from happy customers:

"The earrings are gorgeous, definitely one of a kind and they arrived extremely quickly, and beautifully packaged."
"Gorgeous different and funky. I'm wearing it every day! Thanks so much."
"Absolutely wonderful! The delivery was really fast and the seller was very helpful.Thank you very much for everything!! Keep making this wonderful stuff!!"

Elsewhere, I am lucky enough to have my work in the fabulous Tyto boutique in Falmouth, and Avellana Crafts in Mevagissey. 

Various lampshades made from reclaimed sheet music and vintage maps have been sold to places all over the world, including France, Germany, Greece, Canada, United States, Australia and New Delhi, India.

The lampshades have been featured in several publications this year, notably The Sunday Telegraph's eco-friendly features, Pretty Nostalgic magazine, My Cornwall magazine and Cornwall Today.

Most exciting was the request to supply a number of lampshades for Channel 4's series 'Kirstie's Vintage Home', where they were used to decorate Vintage HQ.

I have been privileged to be asked to create some very special custom-made jewellery this year, and I have been touched by the emotional connection that results.

One of proudest creations is the 'dream' bracelet that I designed and made to raise money for my sister's work with young mothers and babies in Vancouver, Canada.
'Spectrum Mothers Support Society' helps these vulnerable but courageous women and I am so happy to have sold 22 bracelets since October.

Another new exciting venture has been the development of a series of pendants featuring original paintings by Theresa of Unity of Heart. The artwork is created through meditation and represents the energy centres or Chakras.

Finally, I am delighted to have been invited to join Not On The High Street amazing online site as a new seller: watch this space!

So much has happened this year, too much to include here, but I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been part of my journey so far. Happy New Year!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Fourseven Collective ... introducing our new members

Fourseven Collective is very pleased to welcome three new members: 
Holly Jackson Morris of Kelynn Pottery, Heather Frary of DogLBark workshops and gallery , and artist Graham James.

Watch this space for more about all our creatives, and don't forget when you come to the shop you will be meeting one of us in person as we share looking after the shop. 
We love to talk about all the work in the shop so please come and chat.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Let there be light ... celebrating Diwali

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Diwali Festival or Indian Festival of Lights celebrates the victory of good over evil, or light over darkness. Starting on Tues 13th November, celebrations continue for five days.

I have chosen some amazing lights and lampshades from designers in the UK and India.

This gorgeous beehive style lampshade is made in the UK using 100% wool dyed with environmentally friendly inks. Bees and honey - two of my favourites things!

I love the name and the technique used to create this lampshade. Galigali give a second chance to people whose talents remain hidden in the many galis (streets) of India.

This amazing light was designed to save bottle caps which cannot be recycled, and turning them into ambient light.You can even personalise your light with your own caps.

This has to be the favourite of my own makes, using salvaged book pages and unwanted sheet music. The soft cream colour of vintage paper soften harsh modern light bulbs.


Friday, 26 October 2012

Follow your bliss

"If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors for you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."
Joseph Campbell in Reflections in the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion

Molly at Gyllynvase Beach early morning

This photo taken one morning a couple of weeks ago sums up for me the joy of living in Cornwall - beautiful beaches and the freedom of walks with Molly. My path to the point of now has been rocky, but I count my lucky stars that I can work at home, designing and creating my poetry and music inspired jewellery and paper lampshades.

I count even more that my work is for sale here ... 

The shop opened in April this year, following the success of Studio Fourseven in Redruth, when a group of artists and makers chose to accept the opportunity and the open door offered  ...

... and through Two Red Trees original creations website

The inspiration for the name of this on-line shop is explained by the founder Anna Ward: "The name comes from a wonderful story. Whilst I was studying for my Masters degree in illustration I came across a picture book called The Red Tree by Shaun Tan. It's a beautifully illustrated tale of great things happening when you least expect them - I loved the message of hope behind it and somehow it just felt right to pay homage to this wonderful little book."

Friday, 12 October 2012

My heart must dream ... a love story

Inspired by the dreams, work and passion of an amazing woman - my sister Sally.

... only those who love can feel the pain
And only love will cause the heart to dream ...

The early 1970's and Sally is a trainee nurse at Westminster Children's Hospital in London.

Just starting her nursing career, Sally was heartbroken when the parents of twin girls took the healthy twin home, leaving their terminally sick baby, Ruth, in hospital. Ruth lived only a few short weeks, the nurses providing what love and care they could.

That day, Sally vowed that one day she would take children such as Ruth into her home so they could spend their days in a loving and caring environment.

Since then, Sally has provided respite for many babies and children, giving mothers of special needs children a much-needed break. 

In 2007 she founded the Spectrum Support Group in Vancouver, Canada, a non-profit agency that is committed to provide respite and support for women who are courageously caring for their children in difficult and challenging situations. The group became a Charitable Organisation in March 2010.

Fund-raising for Spectrum is a family activity as Sally's adopted daughter Devon (age 6) has designed and drawn a series of art cards to sell.

Creative Artworks Cards by Devon Livingstone.

These cards are now available at Fourseven Collective shop, Heartlands Cornwall.

I am proud and delighted to know that the sale of each bracelet will help fund the caregivers and mentors who are making a difference in the lives of the families they support.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Image and Imagination ... meet the artists Part two

Colours ... memories ... connections in the evocative images of Betty in Motion.

One of the benefits of belonging to a collective, such as Fourseven Collective, is that you have a group of like-minded friends to support and encourage you when challenges arise, celebrate and share success as it occurs, and inspire and delight you with their work.

Another gorgeous work by the talented Anne Boo Whetter.

Delicate imaginative porcelain work by Alison Van Natta.

The lovely form of cowparsley interpreted in Textile Art and Stitch by Brenda Fox.

Karen Fox  of Pebblecraft  uses pebbles, gems and slate to create mirrors and more.

It's where you feel a sense of belonging, where you can be yourself and be accepted.
There's no place like home ... ruby red shoes by Anne Boo Whetter ... 'HOME' by Naturally Heartfelt ... tiles by Humble Cottage.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Fourseven Collective ... meet the artists Part One

Based at No 2, Artists Terrace, Heartlands Cornwall, the shop is staffed by members of Fourseven Collective and sells only our original work which includes paintings, prints, photographs, jewellery, ceramics, textile art, cards, stained glass, mosaics and other unique pieces.

Mosaic artist Lorraine Cave of Artichoke Mosaics finds inspiration in the landscape around Heartlands for some of her pieces, as well as creating beautiful mirrors, hearts and more from vintage china, stained and tempered glass, beads and tesserae.

Clare Wainright's Stained and Fused Glass Art is wonderfully enhanced by the light shining through - here displayed with the Totem Circle in the background.

Landscapes, boats and feathers are among the subjects of paintings and prints by Louise Gale Artist and Illustrator 

You are sure to be enticed by the creations of Keri Valentine: her Humble Cottage gorgeous vintage inspired tiles, plates, original prints and photos.

Naturally Heartfelt's feathered paper lampshades include 'Home Sweet Home' with vintage music paper, and 'Rhythm & Read' with reclaimed book pages and sheet music.

These lampshades created with vintage maps are featured in the Sept/Oct edition of Pretty Nostalgic magazine's A-Z of Handmade Maps.

More artists to meet later on ...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Heartlands: Ready, Steady, Go!!

Once upon a time there was an artist called Louise who had a dream of opening a gallery to show and sell her own work and that of other artists. In 2011 she and Peter opened Studiofourseven in Redruth with this ethos:

We love art. Absolutely adore it. And so we wanted to create a fantastic environment for artists to display their work and for people who love art as much as us to come and buy some.
So, after much thought and a fair amount of hard work, Studiofourseven was born.

The gallery was an immediate success, with an eclectic mix of arts including lino prints, textiles, ceramics, paintings, photography, jewellery and mosaics. 

Fast forward to January 2012 and Louise had a new dream - to form a collective of 16 artists from Studiofourseven who would take the gallery to a new level at the brand new project that is Heartlands. 

So, after much thought and a huge amount of very hard work, Fourseven Collective was born:

A Collective of 16 artists offering Art, Paintings, Print Making, Photography, Ceramics, Glass, Jewellery and much more all under one roof at number 2 Artist's Terrace, Heartlands - the new regeneration on the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site centred around the old Robinson Shaft at Pool, Cornwall.

At the heart of the collective and the gallery at Heartlands is the same ethos that made Studiofourseven gallery so great to be part of as an artist, and for the customers who came to the shop: a love of art.

On Friday 20th April Heartlands and the Fourseven Collective gallery and shop opened with three days of celebrations following.

So come and visit - you'll be sure of a very warm welcome:)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Poetry for the soul ~ National Poetry Month

Poetry is good for the soul: it's a well known medical fact, and April is National Poetry Month, the UK book trade's annual celebration of poetry.

The nature of this celebration is to experiment, take risks, collaborate and find exciting ways to introduce a general readership to our national art.

National Poetry Month was introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry, and the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture.

My take on this is to use poetry text in the jewellery that I make, matching it with vintage and reclaimed materials, so that the words become an integral part of the piece.

Words, both written and spoken, are sound energy, and as such have meaning beyond the immediate word. In poetry, this effect is intensified by the poet's art. My intention is that my work captures some essence of the original poem.

The Japanese haiku is a poetic form that paints a picture in the reader's mind:


And Sylvia Plath's poetry is sublime:

Thursday, 29 March 2012

All the small things

There's something about this lovely Spring weather that makes me think about all the small things, and I find myself noticing tiny creatures and of course delicate new flowers.

The weather has been glorious here this week and I've been enjoying early walks with Molly looking out for more small spring beauties. The wild violet is one of my favourites.

These star shaped wild garlic flowers are found everywhere in the woods. Wild garlic has a very similar taste to domestic garlic, yet slightly milder. The leaves are delicious raw or cooked and work well in salads and soups.

The Red Campion is apparently not so common as it used to be, but we see lots around here.