Firstly I must thank, most sincerely, all the lovely people who have purchased my work in the run up to Christmas. It has been the most amazing time and the most successful season so far! Those customers who buy from me consistently, thank you for returning to make purchase and new customers, thank you for translating your support into sales. Galleries who stock my work also showed that customers were truly looking for handmade, unique and thoughtful presents.
Even though we are still officially in Winter, it helps to get through these darker days with thoughts of Spring. I'm looking forward to working on lighter, brighter colours in my floral mosaics, for sure!
I'm always fascinated by how projects can lead you in different directions. The clock I designed for the Constellation exhibition in Chester last year inspired a client to commission another clock. This time with an Islamic theme and a softer, more earthy colour palette. The result involved lots of research and a great deal of geometry balanced with some free-form floral accents - I couldn't resist! The clock was 40cm in diameter with a high torque quartz mechanism. Clocks will definitely feature in this year's making schedule, in various sizes and designs.
At the same time an additional commission came in to celebrate a 60th birthday and as a present for a new house. As I'm very interested in interior design it was great fun working with the client on colours and design. When people suggest a different shape or orientation to my usual repertoire, that sets off so many new ideas. Designing can be so collaborative. Below is the result, which originally was to go over a bed, but is now in the kitchen where it can be seen. The horizontal gives a feel of a long thin window looking out on a field of flowers, some of which were inspired by the Whixall School project from 2022. Again a softer palette but working with movement and textures. I thought you might be interested to see how the design developed under construction.
Exciting plans for 2023 and beyond
The year started with an invitation to participate in an exhibition around trees at Studio Vault in Settle, North Yorkshire. Emily, the gallery owner, has been a fabulous stockist of my work for a couple of years so I am excited to be showing some of my Klimt-inspired mosaic trees and some new designs to compliment the series. The exhibition is running from 20th February to the end of May. If you are in the area the gallery is a fantstic place to visit.
Whilst exhibiting at Chester Cathedral last year I got to meet the cathedral's artist in residence, Aleta Doran. I was so pleased when she contacted me about another opportunity to design some new mosaic work for an exhibition. Aleta is researching the work of C20th stained glass artist Trena Cox and the exhibition is scheduled for 2024. That seems a long time away but I now it will be here in no time. Having done some initial research into Trena Cox's work, I have lots of ideas bubbling away. I'll let you know how I get on.
I also have some plans underway to facilitate some workshops in a hospital environment, having been approached by a charity, but we are still early days so here's hoping it all comes to fruition. It will be quite a challenge to look at how to share mosaic making in this amazing place. It will bring together my mosaic skills and love of gardening somewhere in the mix!
Thank you to newsletter subscribers, new and old, your support means so much. As a thank you here is a 10% discount off all mosaics until the end of March 2023, just enter SPRING23 when you get to the checkout, or if you come to visit the studio. Please select the free P&P in the UK only as an additional bonus.
On that note, and those who know about the constant flooding in Shrewsbury and my studio usually disappearing until a metre of water every February, there is fantastic news. My landlord has ordered new flood defence gates for all the studio doors and they are being fitted in early February. We missed being flooded in the January rise in the nearby River Severn, so keep all fingers and toes crossed these new barriers help in the future.
With warmest wishes,