Monthly Archives: February 2015
Yesterday I did a one day course at Morley College on stringing, threading and knotting. I could have sat down with a book and worked out how to thread beads or pearls correctly – but sometimes it is easier to be shown! The course was taught by Amina Kaufmann who is a professional stringer. We all made a bracelet with a double knot between each bead and then worked on our own projects:
A lovely way to spend a saturday! Watch this space for some new necklace designs :-)
Canary Wharf is very much a business district with huge tall glass buildings and I always feel a bit of an alien walking around! However, in the lobby of One Canada Square is an exhibition of sculptural ceramics by Katharine Morling called ‘Drawing on Life’. On Tuesday there was an exhibition tour with Katharine and it was a great opportunity to hear her talk about her work. I was especially interested in this because of the Crafts Council’s Hothouse programme I am on and the need to be able to talk about my work, so I am keen to hear others tell their story.
Katharine was personable, smiley and passionate about her work and it was inspiring listening to her. It was really interesting hearing how Katharine’s work changed from more traditional colourful glazed work (which she had become dissatisfied with) to her now very recognisable white porcelain with hand-drawn black lines. She said that there is no great concept behind her work, but that it is an outpouring of her ideas and experiences. One idea often leads to many others and it is a continuous creativity journey. Her work is about her and she draws on her own experience to tell stories and create her work.
It was great to listen to Katharine talk about her work! The exhibition is on until 20th March.
This Tuesday I went to the first session of the Crafts Council’s Hothouse programme and had a brilliant day! It was held in Bridewall Hall at St. Bride Foundation just off Fleet Street in central London. All the cohorts were there, the partners and the Crafts Council team, it was a day of introductions, information and networking – as well as ice breaker and creative tasks to help us start thinking about our businesses and plans for the future.
In preparation for the day all of us had prepared a one minute presentation on our work and we took it in terms to stand at the front and talk – this was actually incredibly nerve-racking! I looked up and saw the 5+ tables and lots of expectant faces looking at me and promptly babbled through my talk! I don’t find public speaking too bad as long as I know what I’m talking about and have prepared, however, I am out of practice talking about my work. There will be plenty of opportunities to improve on this programme!
One of the tasks of the day was to draw how we see ourselves now and how we see ourselves in a years time on two separate pieces of paper. Then we had to write a list of all the things that are missing, or in the gap, between the two. A second task was to look at our values, we were given 6 slips of paper and we had to trade and swap with others to get a set of values that felt right. A simple and very effective tool! Our values determine the decisions we make as we work through the Hothouse programme and build our creative businesses. I chose the following 6 (in no particular order):
Financial gain – I need to be able to earn a living from my jewellery
Reputation – I want to have a good reputation with my customers and the galleries I work with
Aesthetics – I want my work to be beautiful, to be well made and with a clear EK style
Knowledge – knowledge gives me confidence, whether its about materials, techniques, exhibitions or the wider craft field
Creativity – I need to keep creating, challenging myself, enjoy the making process, this may mean making just a few pieces of a certain design rather than a production line!
And the sixth I’ve left open to think about over the next couple of weeks! They may be refined as I work through the programme. It was a thought provoking day.
And that’s it! Thank you for reading.