To hatch an idea..

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.


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A charm of red and yellow

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….

IMG_3772 2IMG_3768IMG_3782

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…




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Hung, drawn and coloured

(No pretense this time…)

From this…IMG_3967

To this….IMG_3950

To this….


and this.


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…


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It’s 2019 – Happy New Year

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….

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Year of the swift

The year my eyes turned to the skies and urban bird, the swift…


They scream around the streets of Kendal i was told.  So in the spring i eagerly awaited their arrival. They’ll come. Said the locals.


And they did. Circling the towers, spires, alleys and ginnels of my new home town.

After flying all the way from Africa they find a high place to build their nests and the eaves of my new neighbourhood, Fellside, prove perfect.

I found them quite captivating.

So much so i created a swoop of swifts..

A frenzy of swifts…

and now a completion of swifts…

They left too soon but this will remain. A lasting reminder of how they circle the roofs above old Kendal town.


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A gorgeous gorging of goldfinch

“How did I get the idea”… a friend asked.


Katherine and Iain are art lovers. Their home is filled with beautiful colours and textures, I had previously captured their woodland garden in glass and now it was time for the flower garden and the view from a different aspect. A place where goldfinch feast on the evening primrose…

We want your paint this time..and can it be abstract they asked…

It seemed simple to me. I envisioned flashes of vibrant red and yellow amidst the chaotic hedgerow and soaring seed heads.

Small birds. Big space. So I broke the panel down into chunks fielded by the vertical lines of the cow parsley’s and evening primrose with the sweeping curves at the bottom to mimic the dark dark undergrowth.

Every ‘chunk’ I planned to do differently. Same subject different paint application. Fun fun fun with the paintbrush. And then side by side the jumbled pieces come together and make the eyes dart around the picture that is punctuated with splashes of the red and yellow. goldfinch.IMG_3323IMG_3025

Your eyes settle. And then move on. I was really satisfied by how this panel turned out.

Gentle and yet chaotically busy.

Vibrant and yet sludgily (beautifully) subdued.


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It’s a place… it’s probably an ale.

Did you know it is also a sheep!

A prized specimen. Farmers pluck their flocks to get the perfect eyes!

Hope the farmer in question likes this one….. (?) (yikes)

Here is how I built it… (Honestly, the scaffolding behind this one. My job is never easy! ha)

So, the piece of wood. Found on a local ramble many moons ago. Awaiting the perfect head to peer above it.

The paint.  A blend of tracing black and bistre brown. Manipulated and moved around on the glass for dense soft fur and scratched into for that gentle furry face.

Lovely. I really enjoyed this one too…..

But ummm, now… better go sort out my brows… ha (baaaaaaaaah!)


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