It’s Officially Spring

Thistil-gold-ShowcaseIt was the Vernal Equinox on Tuesday and despite all the wintery and bitterly cold wind (a short visit from Mini-beast last week, the cousin of the Beast from the East) it is officially spring and just a little bit warmer today. And, furthermore, with impeccable timing the UK Handmade Spring Showcase went live on Tuesday too.

UKHandmade-Spring-Showcase

I have been lucky enough to be selected for this showcase and two of my scarves have been featured.

Tudor-Bows-Blue-bannerI think the two photos chosen are bright and colourful –Β  hopefully capturing that optimism associated with spring. Who doesn’t need some bright cheeriness after the winter?

Tudor-bows-blue-tied-11-InstaTudor Bows Blue – hand painted, long silk twill scarf.

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Are we in tune?

Sometimes you feel totally out of step and then suddenly with one extra long stride you’re right back in time and notice that you’re also in tune and on trend. That’s how I felt when scanning through lines of photographs from the recent round of fashion shows.

Much to my surprise and pleasure there were pictures of large bows. A bit like . . . . .

agnes-ashe-agatha-pink-model-wordpress

Agatha Pink as featured recently in the Autumn 2016 UK Handmade Showcase!

And here are a few shots of the Agatha Pink scarf being painted.

Autumn UKHandmade Showcase feature

dark-green-leaves-scarf-autumnThe English autumn has yet to turn chilly and most of my garden is still verdant with the heavy, dark green leaves of late summer, but autumn it is and the light is changing. Last week’s photoshoot certainly underscored this change for me. The full sunlight was less harsh than summer sunshine and it cast longer shadows.Β Happily, I have bagged some interesting modelled product photos for my new Fenella series.

And, additionally, a couple of photographs have been featured in this month’s UKHandmade Autumn ShowcaseΒ pages 18 and 19 (not the ones shown above).

Now, it’s time to get working on a new design. Lines and shapes first then paint the initial background wash.

paintbrush

 

Shopping globally, inspired locally

UKHandmade-showcase-front-pageDon’t you just love our flexible outlook on life? Most of us have that strange ability to hold two totally opposing views at the same time. Here on Planet Earth we happily buy and sell to each other all round the globe, but at the same time we applaud the idea of ‘buying locally’. Luckily for me my scarves when boxed up are small and light so earlier this year shipping to Singapore was as easy as shipping down the road to the next county. On Monday of this week my work was chosen to appear in the current UKHandmade Showcase ‘Textiles’.

double page spread silk scarves UK handmade showcase
Inside double-page spread.
(Mildred pink uses motifs from the medieval rood screen at St Helen’s Church, Ranworth, Norfolk.)

I guess we like the idea of shopping locally as we feel connected to our town, region or even broadly our country. Sometimes, and I think this is particularly so with handmade craft pieces, there is often a reflection or essence of place in an artisan made object. Designer-makers, along with fine artists frequently cite their environment as a major source of inspiration. There can’t be a finer example of the importance of place as inspiration than the magnificent Maggi Hambling work ‘Scallop’ a tribute to Suffolk composer Benjamin Britten. The Suffolk coast was, of course, the inspiration for Britten’s ‘Sea Interludes’ and Suffolk born Hambling says of her work

“An important part of my concept is that at the centre of the sculpture, where the sound of the waves and the winds are focused, a visitor may sit and contemplate the mysterious power of the sea.”

scallop aldeburgh Maggi Hambling
‘Scallop’ Maggi Hambling
2003, Aldeburgh beach, Suffolk.
This 4 metres tall, steel sculpture is a tribute to Benjamin Britten.
The words “I hear those voices that will not be drowned” from Peter Grimes are cut into the steel.
Made by Aldeburgh craftsmen Sam & Dennis Pegg.

Double feature, double exposure – no wait, triple!

Agnes-|Ashe-Featured-UKHandmade-2014We have an expression here in England, I used to say it a lot when I lived in London “You wait half an hour for a bus and then three come along at once!”. Well, in this case three pieces of my work have just been featured in three different publications.

I applied to be in the UKHandmade Showcase for jewellery and accessories, and they chose this scarf to fit in with the overall muted colours of their spread. (First bus)

Over the weekend I was checking out the UKHandmade site and looked at the latest edition of their magazine – UKHandmade Magazine Autumn 2014 and, surprise, another of my scarves has been included on the inside front cover. (Second bus)

And, finally, arriving in the post this morning, was the Guild of Silk Painters Year Book 2014 with another pleasant surprise – another scarf, another photo. (Third bus).

Oh, yes and then there are the real London buses!

London-buses

Selected for Valentine Showcase

pink silk scarf hand painted
There is a paradox at the heart of selling your work online, it feels personal and local and yet it is actually global. I am not sure whether this aspect of exhibiting and trading has prompted the setting up of ‘supporting/sharing’ platforms such as ukhandmade and the like, or just added fuel to the fire. But here in the UK as in many different countries there is now quite a movement to promote a region’s handmade, locally created products. This year (2014) ukhandmade have decided to produce a Valentine Show Case and I am delighted to broadcast that one of my scarves has been selected for their promotion (that’s the bottom one here).

pink and black painted silk scarf

square silk scarf in pink and black