Monday, 17 June 2013

Boat Building Academy at MADE LONDON

This year at MADELONDON, at the entrance to the show at One Marylebone, we're featuring a number of stunning wooden boats built by students of the Boat Building Academy - a boat building school housed in sheds overlooking the beach at Lyme Regis. Boats which will be exhibited are still being built and finished - we'll post details of the actual vessels nearer the time.

The Boat Building Academy, at the heart of the Jurassic Coast in Lyme Regis, teaches the widest range of hands-on boat building courses in the world. Working in traditional and modern wood and composites, students leave the Academy with the skills to work in boat construction, restoration and repair.
On the Academy's 38 week flagship course students learn boat building by building boats.  The boats are not commercial projects, but are selected for their educational value across a range of construction types.  The depth and
breadth of skill students gain would be impossible to come by in a single commercial yard.  They also have the satisfaction that comes from producing beautiful boats.  At the end of each course the boats are launched into Lyme Regis harbour, also launching the students' new careers as boat builders.
Boats built by students have been displayed at the Maritime Museums in Greenwich and Cornwall.

The Academy also runs shorter courses, not only in marine skills but also in woodworking and furniture-making.  All courses are intensive and hands-on and, where possible, involve students producing a useable object demonstrating their skills.

Students come from every background and from all over Europe.  Academy graduates go on to work all over the world, but the training also appeals to those who want to extend their hand skills or take a sabbatical from their 'real' lives. The Academy aspires not only to give its students skills, but also to inspire them with a love of working with wood and their hands.

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Jerwood Makers Open Exhibition

The Jerwood Makers Open Exhibition is opening on July 10th and will run until August 25th at JVA at Jerwood Space before touring the UK.

Adam Buick's Veneration Bell at Pwll Lleuog, 2013

The exhibition will showcase new work from five rising stars in applied arts. Commissions of £7,500 were awarded to conceptual maker Maisie Broadhead, jeweller Linda Brothwell, ceramicist Adam Buick, paper artist Nahoko Kojima and textile artist Roanna Wells, affording them a unique opportunity to freely develop new ideas central to their individual practice.

Nahoko Kojima, The Cloud Leopard ‚Äì Image 6, handmade paper cut, 2012

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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Brighton Art Fair - Tenth Anniversary year

Ten years ago a tipsy conversation in the Conquerer Pub in Hove about the lack of exhibiting venues and opportunities in such an artistic town led to the first Brighton Art Fair in 2004.

Sarah Young has again designed our poster - a celebration of ten years of fantastic art.
This year we celebrate ten years of Brighton Art Fair. We're planning some surprises and we have a stunning selection of exhibitors. The show is a little larger than previous years as we've moved the cafe to the newly renovated Dome Bar, but also the show will feel more spacious as the aisles will be wider.

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Friday, 7 June 2013

Steve McPherson - Video

The Lost Song from The Cave on Vimeo.

Lovely video about the work of Kentish, beachcomber, artist Steve McPherson.

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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Maker of the Week - Emma Cocker

Emma Cocker makes and designs quintessentially English characters and nostalgic fabric illustrations in knit and stitch.

At what age did you know you wanted to become an artist / maker? 
I’ve always enjoyed creating - from a young age I either had a pencil or needle in my hand. As a student I loved dedicating all my time to making and experimenting, but it was nearly ten years after graduating that I started to make artwork in a professional sense.

Is being an artist / designer your only job?

No, I’m also a picture researcher and assistant editor for a magazine. I’m lucky that my job is creative and employs my passion for the arts and allows me to give other artists and makers a chance to show their work to a wider audience.

If you could be anything else what would you be?

A professional wild swimmer – does this job exist? If not I’d like to own a café filled with delicious home baked goods.

One favourite living artist / designer? 
At the moment I’m really inspired by the illustrator Michelle Morin, she paints delicate and unusual observations of birds and nature.

One favourite historical artist / designer? 

Louise Bourgeois - I think of her as one of the pioneering textile artists, who created work well into her 90s. I’d love to think I was still making work at that age.

Who / what has had most influence on your work?Living in Devon I spend a lot of time exploring the coast and nearby moors; it’s definitely this environment and the people that live here that have influenced my work. I also like trawling charity shops and recycling centres for old books, toys and posters that might inspire an illustration or a new character.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?I don’t know if you could really class it as a job but when I travelled to New Zealand I did a bit of ‘woofin’ at an idyllic backpackers called Le Bons Bay. My job was to change the beds, wash the linen and make dinner in the evening from delicious locally sourced food and veg from the garden … I was surrounded by the most breathtaking scenery, with plenty of time to explore the area and just ‘be’.

What is your most prized item of art / design / craft?
My vintage Jaeger wool tweed jacket, I discovered it in a charity shop a few years ago, it has barely been worn and fits me perfectly. The design is classic, it has these fantastic little pockets set at just the right angle and a lovely yolk around the neck.

What item of design / craft do you covet most?One day I would love to give a home to one of Samantha Bryan’s Brains Fairies

Last book / film that blew your mind?Mic Macs, by the director of Amelie…it’s so eccentric and funny

What are you listening to? 
6 Music when I’m at home and some good old soul funk classics when I feel like a dance.

How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?
Too many

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?In a wooden house, with an apple tree in the garden, overlooking a rocky cove, where I could jump in the sea every day.

Where and what is your studio?
Everywhere, the kitchen table, sofa, bedroom window and wherever I go…

Three words that describe your feeling of doing your work?Playful, mindful and ‘brainful’

Chips or mash?Depends on whether I’m having them with peas or beans!


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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Why exhibit at an Art Fair? - A perspective from a recent graduate - Lauri Hopkins

Before applying for a stand at Palace Art and Craft Fair I worried about all the usual stuff; will I get accepted? How should I display my work? How will people react to my work? Will I sell anything? Will I enjoy it? But decided I had relatively little to lose so forced myself to put in an application. My reckoning was that at the very least I would gain further experience talking to people about my practice, something that you have to actively seek out after graduating, and it is far too easy to hide away from. 

I needn’t have worried, as my first experience of exhibiting at an Art Fair was hugely positive for a number of reasons…

The benefits actually began before I even arrived at the fair, as there is nothing like a deadline to stop me from putting off making those crucial decisions that gets work finished. Knowing that gallery owners, collectors, students and other artists were going to come up and talk to me about my work was nerve-racking but in a really good way.

Once at the fair setting up was relatively easy. The event is well organized, the other exhibitors were friendly, and by the time the private view came around I had met some lovely people that were going to help me through the art-fair-fatigue that came and went in waves over the course of the weekend.
 I was very lucky to cover my stand costs early in the weekend, and to go on to sell much more work throughout the weekend. Obviously this was fantastic, but the main benefits of having exhibited were the incredible contacts I made. Galleries, consultants, design companies, other artists looking to collaborate and the people at Artfinder approached me.  I’m particularly looking forward to working with the people at Duckett & Jeffreys, a great gallery that exhibits artists in a touring 1960s Sprite caravan.

The thing that no one tells you is that if the fair goes well, the weeks following it are even busier than the fair. I have spent most of the last two weeks responding to emails, arranging studio visits, planning my new website (I would recommend people do this before the fair), sorting out images for Artfinder and private collectors, updating my facebook page, the list goes on. But all of this stuff is great if it means you sell enough work to buy yourself more time to make work, which is what we all do this for I suppose.
 My advice to anyone contemplating taking part in their first Art Fair would be that Palace and Brighton are great, and that it is worth doing for the feedback and the contacts alone.  For recent graduates it could be an excellent bridge between University and being represented by galleries. Plus it’s fun, tiring, but fun.

Lauri Hopkins May 2013

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Monday, 3 June 2013

Bovey Tracey Contemporary Craft Festival - This Weekend

The weather is looking good and this weekend its the fabulous Contemporary Craft Festival at Bovey Tracey. Celebrating its 10th year the show is bringing together exceptional work from leading makers from all over the UK and Ireland.

There will be demonstrations by some of the UK’s leading practitioners across all media and to celebrate International Yarnbombing Day and World Knit in Public there are rumours of a Yarnbombing by Graffiti Grannies! There will also be some exciting new events specially for the 10th anniversary

Respected as the largest craft festival in the South West, visitors can expect a weekend brimming with live action from 200 makers of contemporary objects plus workshops for all ages and a packed Children’s Craft tent will keep budding young craftspeople entertained, with live music and a wide variety of great street food.

It's really not to be missed!

For full event information, tickets and workshop booking visit

The Contemporary Craft Festival, Bovey Tracey, Devon
June 7 - 9
Open 10am-5pm daily
Adult daily ticket £8, concession £7
Adult Super Saver weekend ticket £15, concession £13

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