fragments of nature – wildflowers #1

Hello there! Well it is a wee bit cooler here in the UK, which suits me just fine as a scottish lass who does not cope with the kind of heat we were ‘blessed’ with at the weekend.

I have a day at my part time reminiscence job today but just thought I would show off the new additions to my ‘fragments of nature’ collection – these hand painted brooches of which there are currently two – one circle and one oval. I am really happy with these and feel that I have finally found my way with making accessories that tie in with the rest of my creations. This is a painted design that I have used on my character sculptures too……..see here and here….

I was having a fun conversation with a friend at a craft fair at the weekend and just had one of those revelatory (is that a word!!??) moments where we were bouncing ideas off each other and there were a few ‘light-bulb’ moments where I could really see a clear path for where my work can go and how I can develop my creations further. So exciting and I can’t wait to sketch and make these dreams reality!

Anyway I have a few new brooches listed in my shop which I am pleased to say is looking less and less barren as time goes on – the brooch above will be listed tonight at some point. I have a lovely evening ahead of me with a bunch of lovely girls visiting a flea market and then a session of bunting making for an iminent wedding (not mine – that comes later this year!)

Take care! x

Studio feature

my studio – the order, originally uploaded by gilfling.

hello there!

I just wanted to let you know that my studio has been featured by the lovely peeps over at the ukhandmade blog. I have been meaning to write a post about my studio for ages and now it is done! So you can read about it here and see more photos here should you so wish.

The ukhandmade website and blog really is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in handmade with regular artists features, delicious recipes, info on up and coming events and an online magazine – so much to see and read!! Make it a regular part of your week!

Shop re-opened!

hand embroidered brooch #5, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Hello there! Well the weather is lovely here and I have had a busy week so far with my part time job as reminiscence worker. Now comes the rest of the week to make and create!

I had a wonderful time at the Southwell Minster Spring Craft Fair last saturday and my new ‘Fragments’ brooches were wonderfully received with a few sales and lots of lovely comments.

I have listed the remaining 3 in my etsy shop till the weekend and am currently making more as I will have a stall at Ladybay Arts Trail this coming saturday and sunday so I am hoping for good weather!

It has been a while since I have had some new items in my etsy shop but I am hoping to be adding new items from time to time. Incidentally – does anyone else find it a challenge to balance selling in real life and in galleries with selling on-line? I find it such a struggle to make enough to keep all 3 going but want to challenge myself to do better in the future!

Okay off to more handstitching and a chance to catch up with a some relaxing tv.

Fragments of nature

Fragments of nature – detail, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Well I have been busy creating some new work – finally! I have had the stirrings of these pieces in my mind for what seems like forever and an age and finally got down to creating them. My particular way of creating is that I have a wee notion of an idea and it bumbles around in my thoughts for such a long time, spinning around, developing and growing over a long period of time until I can’t leave it any longer and have to get to making.

It has been apparent to me for a wee while that my character sculptures have developed into a number of themes – nature – both painted and embroidered; oceon – lighthouses/ships/sea monsters; costumes and a sort of miscelaneous collection of birdcages/windmills etc. I have occassionally worked on a collection of remnants inspired by my reminiscence work with older people and now I find myself making these ‘fragments’.

Although I am still very much the early stages of making these pieces, they will be fragments of the themes that occur within my character sculptures and I am very excited about where they will take me. I have many more ideas for them and am hoping to very much make them a focus of my work along with the character sculptures in the coming months. So far we have this wee collection of embroidered brooches and am looking forward to working on the next set of images.

These will be first shown at the Southwell Minster Spring Craft Fair tomorrow which should be fun! You can see more images on my flickr page here.

Something unique

leatherwork closeup, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Today is a ‘mosying’ about kind of a day. Catching up on little computer jobs that have been residing on the ‘to do list’ for a little longer than they should; drinking mugs of coffee whilst they are still hot; sitting with feet up and doors to the outside world open. The sun is shining and the spring coolness just means an extra cardy to allow me to enjoy the air.

The photo above is a recently completed commission with a very specific brief. A hand carved book cover with field mouse and poppies and the final piece to look like it has been re-discovered after decades sitting on a hidden shelf. I do struggle with commissions as often my nerves get the best of me and the self imposed pressure to make the perfect item for the customer can be paralysing (does anyone else suffer from this?) It is however also a challenge that is good to go through as quite often it means I am working on something which is outside my comfort zone and normal way of working.

So here after many sketches I came up with this design and tooled the leather, hand-dying it to create an uneven aged patina with a bit of extra ‘weathering’ applied to the edges to add extra character. One of the most difficult parts was to remove the cover of the original book as I have only previously bound books from scratch and have not had the experience of working on an old book before. With the aging of the leather and the end papers now a lovely hand made paper the book takes on a different character and I am pleased (and relieved) with the final piece.

I love the tactile nature of working with leather and it is something that I do not get to do that often, but the process of recovering this book has made me wonder about incorporating these skills into my own more personal work – we shall see….

More images can be seen on my flickr page…

So we have a ‘homely’ weekend to look forward with two new members to the household – Jeeves and Wooster, our rescue bunnies who are settling in nicely. I shall be trying not to be too much of an over-clucky mother hen and weather permitting enjoy some time in the garden. Have a great weekend!