Where I’m at….

awaiting arms, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Hello there. I am so behind at blogging all the works in progress I have on the table at the moment, but here is one, just to let you know that I am here. I am spending alot of time in my studio these days and I am so happy to do so. Life stuff is happening. You know the kind…. head hurting, heart-aching, covered by a cloud, weight on my shoulders kind of stuff. But I shall plough through it as is my way…. it feels foggy and blurry, but finding my way through and keeping on creating are my two main goals in life at the moment.

I shall see you on the other side.

x x x

WIP wednesday

WIP wednesday, originally uploaded by gilfling.

It is as hot as a midsummers day here as we are nearing the end of September (seriously?? October already?) and I have spent the day in my studio. It is time now for me to get really focussed on making for all the shows and exhibitions I have coming up. I will be spending as much time as I can being a hermit in my top floor studio – honestly, it is my favourite place to be.

WIP wednesday

WIP wednesday, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Another little lad is taking shape and coming to life. Just a couple of coats of varnish and stringing together and he will soon be sitting on the shelf along with my other characters.

I have finally managed to edit the first part in my ‘How to prepare for craft fairs’ series and added photo’s. I have been playing around with my blog layout and added a new header but haven’t quite worked out the best place for this series to be easily found, so for now you can see it here – and also in the menu at the top of the page.

It has turned into quite the novel and it is only the first chapter! But I would be grateful for any feedback and I am of course open to making any changes should you think it needs it. I am also looking for images to use as examples of works in progress, preparations for craft fairs and actual craft fair stands so if you have any images that you would like me to consider for inclusion then please let me know – full credit will be given.

I hope you find it useful xxx

work in progress

work in progress, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Another Wednesday, another work in progress shot. I have been looking at story books from my childhood for colour inspirations and I just love the butter yellow of this new character’s jacket – although it is a little too bright for my aesthetic but a little antiquing stain will soon sort that out!

As you can also see by the note underneath him, I am a list-maker. I love the action of writing a list of ‘things-to-do’ and breaking each task into smaller tasks. I find that it helps me focus on what needs to be done and of course there is the reward of ticking each thing off once completed!

I am sure I intended on doing this before now, but as I am preparing for my upcoming art market in Holmfirth, I have been thinking of all the steps that need to be done when preparing for a show or an exhibition and that when you are first starting out how absolutely overwhelming it can be. I used to be terrible at it, leaving everything till the very last minute and ending up in a panic at 2 in the morning of the actual show, knowing that I would not get everything done. Anyway, over the last few years I have become much more organised and developed a routine that works for me. I was thinking it might be useful to write this all out for anyone who might find it useful so I have begun this wee project of putting it all on paper – soon to be on the blog! I might even include the mistakes I have made and the messes I have gotten myself into so that you know what not to do! Anyway I have made a start on this and will be sure to let you know when it is done.

I hope you have a productive and happy day!


studio shapshots

studio shapshots, originally uploaded by gilfling.

With an upcoming art market and a local craft fair in June, and an exciting exhibition commencing in July, I am trying to get into the studio as much as possible at the moment. Yesterday I was working my part-time job and had applications for other events to send off, but today is a much-anticipated studio day – where in my working life I am never more content.
I am so torn between the desire to get on with some paintings and mixed media pieces and the enjoyment that I get from working on my current clay characters. But with so many little steps to creating the characters I have decided to put the paints and paper aside for now in order to get a wee community of folks underway and on my shelves as they take the longest to make. With waiting time in between layers of paint and stain and varnish it is always so much easier to work on a few at a time and currently there are….
a pensive little fellow completely finished awaiting a decent photograph…
a rabbity chap almost complete, awaiting his hands to be varnished and attached…
a ruff collared, doe eared being awaiting his limbs to be shaped and sanded before painting and varnishing ….
a rabbity chap in much the same state….
a little lass waiting for colour and finishing and some clothing….
a worrier of a boy almost complete but for his limbs to be joined…
and a elegantly shaped sweetheart with but a head and a torso and much still to be done….
Over the next few weeks the family will grow and hopefully some new types of characters will begin to show their faces – I have so many more ideas!! I am also thinking of some interesting ways of displaying them, but as ever time may run away with me… so I shall not make any promises….
When reaching the top of the stairs and through the door to the studio this morning I decided that I could not stand the state of it any longer. As ever when I am working on a project the mountains of ‘stuff’ just grow and grow, ever threatening to topple over – I have a large space but it never fails to surprise me how quickly the mess can get out of control. I had a wee mad hour of tidying – it is but a drop in the ocean of what needs to be done to make it organised but my still delicate back and the impatience to get on with some work eventually took over. I can at least now get my legs under the table when I am working and the piles and piles of recycled packaging supplies are now a little less precarious and in a new place under my main working table but there is still a long way to go. I would be too embarrassed to show you a photo of the whole room!! Jeeves the bunny is most put out by the change around and it is entertaining watching him trying to move things to where he thinks they should be.
So back to sanding and painting and varnishing for me – step by step whilst daydreaming and humming along to my playlist.
You can see more photos here of my messy work table and works in progress.

works in progress

works in progress , originally uploaded by gilfling.

Making progress, every so slowly. I seem to have been working on these wee figures forever and a day but the sun has been shining (endlessly for weeks…), I have been pottering about in the garden whenever I can and I have been laid up with a crooked back and a hacking cough – both are slowly getting better thank goodness.

We have had two glorious bank holiday weekends here, smack bang in the middle of England and our plans of days out had to be put off for another time due to my back trouble but it was lovely to stay at home and eat lovely food and just chill out, watching movies and playing board games.

Although I had a hospital appointment at exactly the same time as the Royal Wedding Ceremony, I did manage to catch up on some of it afterwards and it was wonderful! So exciting to see so many people coming together to celebrate outside Westminster and Buckingham Palace and the bride and groom looked splendid indeed. It made me think of those huge celebrations of times gone by such as VE day and the Queen’s coronation (both way before my time obviously) but in my post as Reminiscence Worker I do get to hear stories and memories of those days and how proud people felt of their country and their monarchy.

Speaking of my Reminiscence work, after a few months off whilst recovering from my treatment and a few weeks getting back into things slowly I am now back to work 2 days a week and looking forward to new projects and new challenges. I have enjoyed the luxury of having all the time in the world to concentrate on my own work though and hope to keep up the momentum whilst maintaining balance and good health! Life finally feels as if it is getting back to normal.

I do hope to get these characters finished soon! x

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Continuing to sculpt, sculpt, sculpt away at these new characters. A learning curve but an enjoyable one. I am hoping to start painting the first one today. They are so labour intensive!

Incidentally I don’t know why so many of my characters – drawn, painted and sculpted have these strange, twisted hands but I like the contrast of the odd with the whimsical. The slightly unnerving with the endearing.

I have also been working on more original drawings for my shop update on Friday!

Have a great day. x

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday, originally uploaded by gilfling.

A new material for me with some familiar faces appearing. These little chaps are in progress and although the faces and bodies are coming along nicely, their limbs are proving to be a little more challenging. They are based on my recent sketches and although I am trying to let the materials do the work and go with the flow, I also have a picture in my mind’s eye of the characters that are being formed. We shall see how these progress…..

I had been thinking about trying to create some of my characters in clay for a while but had been procrastinating. I was inspired by the work of Cathy Cullis and the new project that she is working on making a tiny clay head a day. Procrastination is banished from my vocabulary and thinking this year (and hopefully all the years to come) – fear of failure is being replaced with the mindset of ‘just get on and do it and see what happens’. I am a lot happier and more creative because of it!

I am having a more restful day today after a busy day yesterday taking work to a gallery and then out to see a theatre comedy performance of Hamlet last night. It had been postponed from Christmas time after the crazy weather so it was lovely to go out last night and be entertained for an evening. Today though I am sitting sculpting, seeking solutions and listening to music. Tomorrow I hope to get back to painting.

Many thanks for visiting this wee space! If anyone has any experience with air-drying clay, I have a couple of questions if you would like to share. Do you use an armature and what do you use? Do you have problems with cracks and are they repairable or is it just best to start afresh? I have been trawling the internet for information of which there is a lot but it is always useful to learn direct from those that have been there.

Also thank you so much if you bought something from my etsy sale. I am so grateful to anyone who see’s something in my work that makes them want to take a piece of it home with them. All orders will be shipped by Friday.

WIP Wednesday

I have many little fragments of things on the go at the moment – lots of threads of ideas that will hopefully start forming into finished pieces. I am trying not to rush the process, but instead I am enjoying it for what it is. A flurry of thoughts, a little of this drawing here, this stitching there. Returning to previous incomplete work that I did not pursue for one reason or another, but that perhaps I am now wishing to return to.

It feels jumbled, it feels random, it feels good.

I feel more inspired than I have for a long time.