…And so now door and panel are in place.
And this door and window composition work well on many different levels…
Solid beautiful oak door. Simple gentle floating panel. Shiny polished leadwork complimented by burnished iron mongery!
When viewed from outside you appreciate the lovely texture of the paintwork… the speckles and streaks… the ridges and blobs. You want to reach out and stroke the feathers of the swifts and rustle the foliage at the base…
From inside, the window glows as panels always do… but what I hadn’t anticipated (ha. and this is where i should say I that i had really thought all this through!) is how well the subjects dance against the outside world. The pale blues of the sky and the wispy vapour trails work well against the white painted boards of the porch roof…
The shrubs and trees beyond distort and shimmer and sparkle in the reamy pale glassy greens and creams. It is hard to tell where my handpainted foliage ends and the outdoor foliage begins.
Awwww, it is always so rewarding to see your panel sitting so well where it belongs. (I really do like my job).
And the many colours they come in!
Remember that lovely commission I had at Brantwood. Well, I have just completed another composition, similar, but different.
It was so lovely to revisit this idea…. Similar but different. And this one is just up the road from my workshop on Beast Banks.
And then i had even more fun….!
Surely (I said to myself) blackbirds don’t just have to be black. (Mine are very rarely black!)
So I set myself the challenge (purely self indulgent) in taking my blackbird template to make three different panel.
The same but different…
I will be exhibiting these at Witherslack Art Exhibition together with some other bird sculptures.
And Ouli. Two.
Well. Never had a commission quite like this before.
My initial response was to say no, oh no, i don’t do folk. But when Laurie sent me her photos and i saw the wonderful glamour of Goldie and the gentleness of Ouli. Well, I said I would give it some thought.
This piece is to sit in a meditation corner. They are special individuals. And I have done my best to do them justice.
I am really happy. Sometimes when I finish a piece I may think, ach, I’d have done (that) a little differently. But this time. Well i think I gave it the best I got.
And how did i do it….
Laurie said red lippy and glasses… and big ears… and I’ll have nailed it. (Glad I didn’t get confused!)
So, thanks to Jo Vincent down at The Factory for her feedback and loan of her shot blast cabinet. I made Goldie using flashed glass and a hand cut stencil resist for her lippy smile and gorgeous red frock (I had two shots. It is a fine line indeed between red blush being there… and then gone!) And hand painted above. On a rainbow of amber golden tones.
Yep. Shot blasting is all about courage but knowing when to stop. And then of course you have to keep it clean through all the other messy processes. (Thanks to Jo for the tip of firing it to smooth the surface and make it bit more resistant to smears)
Ouli was hand painted too with the images united across sweeps of vintage muranese glass. All put together using traditional leadwork techniques.
And now it fly overseas…. Thank you Laurie.
Lapwings…. eggs…. feathers… landscape.
Were the elements that the customer came to me with….
I have taken my time (i usually do!) to get from doodle to cutting board.
I like the design.. the ‘thinky’ part of the process. The brain storm. The puzzle and the frown. And the fizz when you know you are on to something…
This moved from grids to exploding lines that hatch the landscape and pin it all together.
These. At the centre.
Eggs. Three firings. (A lot of work goes into a simple nest of eggs).
And the eggs; they’re the star of the show but they must not steal the show.
So interesting details and lines to lead the eye; beautiful colours careful paint.
Hatched… dotted.. leaded.. and displayed.
Well I know I know this works…
So when i got asked to do a panel to work with existing leaded lights… and i saw the colours… and i saw the classic shapes. I thought I could make it work again.
I presented my ideas to the customer and apparently a slow smile spread across Hannah’s face as it dawned on her what she was looking at. (Jamie her Dad had commissioned me to design the panel as a surprise for his daughter. I sent Hannah a drawing for Christmas. And now she has the real thing in her home).
Red and yellow goldfinches I presented. On spiky spiky teasels. And oh how these resonated with Hannah. She grew up in the cotton towns north of Manchester. Where teasels and goldfinches danced in abundance.
Here i show how this one came together….
Lovely old muranese glass and some gorgeous reamy clear (that came from somewhere!)(wish I knew where. I’d like some more) that complimented the reds and yellows of hand rolled tatra glass.
Painted in shades of sepia and tracing black.
And i loved them goldfinch so much i made a whole charming lot…
(No pretense this time…)
And finally. THIS….
I first drew bitterns years ago.
I mosaicked bitterns.
I made a sculpture that boomed.
I read Bill Baileys book… discovered collective noun for bitterns is ‘a pretense of bitterns’
I came up with a design for a present tense of bitterns to the tune of Radiohead…(see an earlier post for an exhibition at Lancaster Uni’)(sadly this design never came to fruition)
But maybe i was just waiting for this moment…
Or maybe I am not even finished yet. With bitterns.
Here. My journey. So far…
ps…. I add these… Just because.
Painted walls are beautiful.
Gosh. What a busy year 2018 was…
Here is what I got up to towards the latter end….
Sunflowers and swallows and Blackwell inspired this installation… (and lovely to get a bit of help fitting from my wee brother)
And back on the bench, these lovely commissions went out..
fox and badgers for granny’s… coots for friends… swifts for daughters… a wren that must be wee!.. oh and wiry wagers for auctions… and angels just because… oh and crazy feet on bouncy shoe stretchers…!
Yep. My first Christmas here at 11 Allhallows Lane, Kendal was rather lovely. (Thanks for all the support)
And, oh my, do I look forward to what is coming ahead…
Keep watching this space.
Lots of lovely window commissions to crack on with….