I love my lawn daisies. I love all daisies, any daisies really. But Oxeye daisies are a particular favourite.
They speak of cheerful sunshine and the advent of summer after a long hard winter.
At this time of year these joyful flowers rush up and down the banks and along the field boundaries
throughout our Two Rivers villages. So they just had to be turned into a print.
The ‘Daisies at Chapel Corner’ grow all along the crossroads near Penny Graham-Jones home.
One sunny June afternoon I took photos, picked a bunch, popped them in a jam jar and sat and drew
them while sitting outside her studio.
We shared tea, biscuits, jolly chat, and of course Higgins the dachshund repelled all boarders especially
postmen and cats!
A few weeks later, I took those drawings and worked them into a design.
This was then the basis for an image that I used for a two plate etching made with the expert tutelage
of Laurie Rudling, at a workshop using copper plates and safe etching techniques. So exciting!
I hope the resultant images speak to you too of Midsummer walks through Broadland.
Kit Calladine - Printmaker
Two Rivers Artists Paul Williams and Kit Calladine are taking part in a new Art Crafts ands Food Fair in Wroxham in April.
Residents at Heron Lodge in Wroxham will be joining in art workshops when some of Norfolk’s leading craft traders visit the nursing home. The Kingsley Healthcare run home in Norwich Road will be hosting its first art, crafts and food fair on Saturday April 21 from 10am to 4pm. Heron Lodge manager Alison Fallowfield said: “We are proud to be part of the community in Wroxham and Hoveton and hope to establish this event as an annual event for local people and holidaymakers to enjoy.”
Neatishead wood craftsman Paul Williams has brought together nearly 20 high quality exhibitors who often join him at such major regional events as Holkham Food Fair, the Royal Norfolk Show and the Aylsham Show.
Mr Williams, a former boat builder said: “I design and handcraft all of my products in my Broadland workshop using sustainably sourced Norfolk timbers for my Food Safe chopping boards, tapas boards, serving boards and bowls.
“I also offer a range of house and business signs made from oak; more exotic timbers are used for my gift range including fountain pens, paper weights and lamps.”
Artists who have committed to the fair include landscape painter Bob Payne who said: “I paint exclusively in oils on canvas, often on location, and emphasise light and atmosphere, the end result being a combination of eye and feeling rather than photographic reproduction.” Artists Anne Filgate and Pauline Fisher who work together under the label Off the Beaten Track will also be attending along with artist and photographer Liz Applegate. Self-taught “Wacky Wood Turner” Joshua Hubbard, who says his greatest delight is “taking a lump of tree and creating something beautiful out of it”, will be exhibiting gifts ranging from trinkets such as keyrings and jewellery pots to large items such as clocks, lamps and coffee tables. Clare Olley will be bringing her crocheted pots and baskets made from jute rope and twine while Nina Bligh will be displaying her distinctive hand-painted pebble art.
“Some of the artisans will be demonstrating during the event at a workshop for residents and visitors,” said Mr Williams.
Heron Lodge activities coordinator Annette Sumner said: “We are planning an event for the whole family. There will be entertainment, face painting, afternoon teas and a raffle with really exciting prizes kindly donated by local businesses.”
Proceeds from the fair will support the air cadets in Hoveton and the residents’ fund for extra activities.
Exhibitors include: Wood craftsman Paul Williams (https://www.wwww.uk.net)
The Traditional Rope Company (www.traditionalropecompany.co.uk)
Bob Payne (landscape artist)
Claire Olley (crocheted pots and baskets)
Pell and Co Spirits (www.pellandcospirits.com)
Scrumdiddlyyumptious homemade confectioners
Russell Watson cider maker
Norfolk Art Glass (www.norfolkartglass.co.uk)
Printmakers Kit Calladine and Keziah Philipps
Artists Anne Filgate and Pauline Fisher
“Wacky Wood Turner” Joshua Hubbard; (https://wackywoodturner.wordpress.com)
Nina Bligh pebble art; Artist and photographer Liz Applegate
Jelly Tots plant nursery
Scrummy Pig produce shop.
Well alpacas are part of the Camelid family and with all this snow around they have definitely got the hump!
It’s the second day of the Beast from the East, freezing temperatures, snow, ice and the road chaos that normally accompanies such weather extremes in the UK. There is not a blade of grass in sight, just lots of fluffy white stuff and the alpacas are not impressed.
The boys begrudgingly got their toes in the white stuff to allow some house keeping and filling of the hay racks but then went straight back to bed for another duvet day. Can’t say I blame them, it’s – 8 with the wind chill and even with their lovely fluffy coats, indoors does seem a sensible option.
At least Kurt the Yurt looks pretty!
The girls are made of sterner stuff and spent a while moseying about in the snowy sunshine yesterday.
Alpaca fibre is wonderfully warm and needless to say I’ve been wearing alpaca socks, scarves and jumpers these last few days! However I have to admit Paddington Bear certainly knows a thing or two – you just can’t beat a good duffel coat in this weather!
Roll on the thaw!
I needed to get some post Christmas/February blues inspiration to get me back into my studio. Whilst browsing the internet I found my favourite seller of hand cut and polished cabochon stones was exhibiting in Colchester so off I went to see them.
After many a wrong sat nav turn I arrived and ended up spending 3 hours gazing at the most beautiful hand cut rare stones from around the world.
Before I purchase a stone I have to be inspired by its shape and colour and 'see' a design in my head - hence the 3 hours at the exhibition!
So here are a few of the stones I purchased.
3 beautiful Natural Kingman Turquoise stones. To me these just say Greek sea with white soft sand and pebbles on the beach.
Ruby in Fuchsite - which is an amazing pale green stone with ruby crystals in it. This has to be a big statement piece .
The next 'stone' is called Fordite. This fascinates me as it is from years and years of a build up of compacted motor paint from the Ford plant in Detroit, America. The resulting beautifully cut stone shows layers of black, silver, white with fine red lines of paint. It's cut in a lovely droplet shape which I think I will echo in silver.
Another is Rainbow Calsilica which is a stone with controversy attached. It is a new material 'mined' from Mexico. Some people say it is man made but does that matter? The colours are stunning and I plan to set it off with a string of black Lava stone beads, keeping the setting very simple so as not to distract from the beauty of the vibrant colours.
I will aim to make all these stones into jewellery and show you the finished pieces, I now feel very motivated to get going - at last!!
So this was a little task I set myself last year; to incorporate Nuno Felting into my weaving and create a combination of textures which would be both tactile and visually pleasing. The plan - to fuse the weight and heft of a chunky hand spun weave (alpaca of course) with the delicate wisp of alpaca fibre felted into silk.
The inspiration for this piece were the beautiful reeds that swathe the Norfolk broads like a curtain, whilst subtly filtering sunlight across the water. This stunning photograph of Burnt Fen Broad, taken by Two Rivers Artist, James Arthur, completely catches this feeling.
The weave would be the reeds, filtered and diffused by a fine covering of alpaca fibre embedded into translucent silk gauze.
Attaching this gossamer fabric to the weave proved interesting, I needed to keep the woven part of the piece dry, as I only wanted the silk and alpaca fibre to felt - not the woven piece. As you can see, some of the weft strands have been left loose to portray the reeds, whilst also helping to catch the wisps of raw alpaca fibre as they embed into the silk gauze.
Nuno felting alpaca fibre with silk creates the most wonderful light, translucent material, The fabric is surprisingly strong for something that looks and feels so delicate and looks fantastic worn as a scarf or as with this project made to hang on a wall or in front of a window to decorate a room.
The beautiful shawls below are made by some of my students last year. If you are interested in learning how to Nuno felt find out more here.
Spring seems a long time ago now but I’ve finally had time to weave using the white and fawn alpaca I dyed with Queen Anne’s lace in May! The lovely frothy white flowers yielded some beautiful yellows and I will definitely re visit the leafy lanes in search of flowers again next spring. Below are some of the results.
The beautiful flower heads of Queen Anne’s Lace combined with the alpaca fibre from the lovely Khal...
...create an amazing array of yellows.
And so, on to the loom...
...and eventually, a lovely soft yellow alpaca shawl.
It must be Spring! Blackthorn is out all along the hedgerows. Click, click with my trusty camera...
And this is how I turn it into a print. First ideas, drawings and notes.
Now tracing and reversing with carbon paper onto lino.
If I turn and look through my studio window, this is the view. Any minute now the ducks will splash land in the pond!
Now to cutting lino and mixing ink.
Experimenting with colour, blocks and outcomes.
…… and now time for a cup of tea and a giggle with Fan, who kindly took the pictures of me at work.
I have has been working with the ABCD Project team in South Norfolk. The project has been about asking people "What keeps you well?' and connecting them to the resources available. ABCD is Asset Based Community Development and maps what is in our communities. From the answers collected by the team I have created this Wellbeing map...
For more information about the ABCD project visit www.abcdproject.org.uk.'
Part of Makers Month at the Forum Norwich
The aim is to make a piece of felt - in this case a sort of carpet runner - by enough people walking over pre laid out fibres so that they become felted due to the friction and pressures caused by the walking. Thus hoping to prove the theory that felt was first made by shepherds putting fleece into their shoes for comfort and ending up with felt due to the combination of sweaty feet, oils in the fleece and the friction caused by walking - as we don't really want the sweaty feet bit the fibre will need a bit of help! The help comes in the form of soapy water to add moisture and bubble wrap to aid the friction. The project will be encased in very strong clear plastic which will allow people to see what they are walking on without them getting soggy feet – we hope!
The project is part of the Norfolk Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers contribution to Makers Month, an educational exhibition at the Forum in Norwich celebrating the creative talent and skills that abound in the county.
The exhibition will run for the whole of February with the first two weeks devoted to textiles.
We decided it would be interesting to have lots of different types of fleece so the Guild have been brilliant turning up with all sorts of fleeces belonging to breeds of sheep that I had never heard of! – Also the wonderful Norfolk Smalholders Training Group have come up trumps providing fleeces for the project.
Yes, I know – Sheep fleece, moi! With all those lovely alpacas running about outside - don’t tell them they will be very put out! However there will of course be alpaca fibre in the process and I decided it was best to have a mini dummy run in my kitchen for which the alpacas donated some lovely fleece.
Oz thought it was fab – it makes a great dog bed! I should probably call it dog felting…
It was very exciting unwrapping the felt parcel after we had all duly stomped about on it and …...
A lovely alpaca fleece rug made by - Felt Walking!
Ann Nickerson - Burnt Fen Alpacas
It's nearly that time of year, you know, when we don't want to mention the 'C' word. There's not getting away from it though, so if you want to stock up with some beautiful unique hand crafted gifts, decorations or cards put the Two Rivers Trail Festive Fair on your calendar.
The fair is on Saturday 21st November from 10:00am to 3:00 pm at the New Victory Hall in Neatishead - NR12 8AD if you want to put it on your sat nav. Tea, coffee, cakes and mince pies will be sold in aid of the Friends of Neatishead School, and if you want to make a day of it The White Horse Inn is just a step over the road serving delicious food and drink.
There will be amazingly diverse selection of items for sale from several members of the Two Rivers Trail:
Silver Jewellery - Fiona Johnson
Hand-crafted wood - Paul Williams - Woods World Wide
Alpaca textiles and yarn - Ann Nickerson - Burnt Fen Alpacas
The 'Norfolk Map' graphic designs - Allison Bradnock
Textiles, yarn, felt - Penny Graham-Jones - Planet Penny
Watercolours and drawings - Alex Egan
Printmaking and Textiles - Kit Calladine
and also from our guests, Photography - Fan Tubbs-Arthur and James Arthur
Ceramics - Ros Arrowsmith
As always we will be supporting the Nancy Oldfield Trust, based in Neatishead, who do so much to enable the disabled and disadvantage to enjoy a day out on the water, try new activities, improve their self confidence and increase their environmental awareness.
Follow our Facebook Page to get up to date information of what will be on offer at the Fair and tell your friends, we look forward to seeing you there!
Eight diverse artists living and working between the rivers Ant and Bure.