‘Lucky Beads’ – On Artists, Art and Intangible Connections

A box of ‘treasure’ – found objects, ceramic and glass work received from Alison Bournes   I am a subscriber to ‘Kolaj’ magazine – published in Canada and dedicated to the art of collage.  It is a fascinating periodical, full of interesting images, articles and comment. In the current issue (23), Ric Kasini Kadour has written an editorial entitled ‘Lucky Beads’.  It … Read More

Instagram – Contacts and Creative Inspiration

Paperclay shoes from an installation entitled  ‘Not all things go to plan’  by Alison Bournes. Some months ago I gained a new follower on Instagram.  This artist had started making shoes from porcelain paperclay and I assumed that, rather than being a coincidence, there must be a link to my own ceramic work.   A series of direct messages revealed … Read More

Sara Fanelli

‘Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly’ – mixed media illustration (from ‘Sometimes I think, Sometimes I am – by Sarah Fanelli)   I stumbled across Sara Fanelli’s fascinating work completely by accident a few years ago in the Tate Modern Bookshop.  I was looking for a present for a godchild and picked up her fabulous book entitled Mythological … Read More

Catrin Howell

Hound – ceramic wall piece by Catrin Howell   I am a great admirer of Welsh ceramist Catrin Howell’s beautifully modelled ceramic beasts.  Part real, part mythical, part imaginary, these creatures inhabit a hinterland  between the rural landscape of the Gower Peninsula – where Catrin grew up and where her farming family still live – and the mythical world of … Read More

Tammy Midkiff – Watercolour Artist

Gray Dog (Watercolour and gouache ) by Tammy Midkiff I have recently renewed an old friendship thanks to Instagram.   I first met Tammy Midkiff in 1993 when we went to live in the USA for work-related reasons.  Tammy, her husband Ray and their daughter ‘Little Rae’ helped us settle in and find our feet in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. They … Read More

Robert Cooper

Tea Caddy – Robert Cooper   I was fortunate to have Robert Cooper as a tutor during my two years on the City Lit Ceramic Diploma course.  He is a free-spirit with an open-minded and experimental approach to ceramics, as well as being a committed, engaging and enormously enthusiastic teacher – full of ideas and suggestions. An inveterate collector and … Read More

Jane Daniell – Artist and Printmaker

Jane Daniell – Aquatint Etching “Once upon a Time” – (detail) I popped into Southbank Printmakers Gallery – an artist-run cooperative at Gabriel’s Wharf – just before Christmas with a friend who collect prints.  (We were on our way to Tate Modern but the Southbank has so much to offer that we took our time and meandered for a while). … Read More

Carol Farrow 1944-2012

Paperclay ‘implement’ by Carol Farrow   I received a mysterious parcel on my birthday last month marked ‘Fragile’.  Carefully unwrapping it I found a small shovel-shaped ‘implement’, in delicate chalky grey, which I immediately recognised as the work of Carol Farrow.  It was accompanied by a card which read: “I saw this and thought of you”. This gift was sent … Read More

Soutine’s Portraits: Cooks, Waiters and Bellboys

Chaim Soutine – ‘The Little Pastry Cook’ (detail) c1927   I visited The Courtauld Gallery last week, ‘killing time’ between a theatre matinee and evening visit to Cockpit Open Studios in Holborn.  I worked at The Courtauld Institute of Art for several years and often used to pop into the gallery but visit less often these days. Somerset House is … Read More

Isobel

Isobel – an ‘art doll’ by Johanna Flanagan   It was by pure chance that I discovered Johanna Flanagan’s Instagram account, ‘The Pale Rook’, a few weeks ago and immediately started ‘following’ her.  I was intrigued by her work. The next day she posted an image of Isobel – an ‘art doll’ – the central character in an exhibition entitled … Read More