Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another Beastly Art Exhibition

Boy, has this year been complicated so far. I think what has happened is that although I am used to juggling, I had not fully understood that I have actually added another element and, unsurprisingly, one or another has been dropped from time to time. I hadn't looked at things this way before but it makes sense of a feeling I've had that I haven't really done anything as well as I usually do. And so it is that Another Beastly Art Exhibition has only two days to run and all I can manage is one photo and a few lines.

The exhibition looks great, as usual, and it's gratifying that even regular customers who've visited our exhibitions for years can still walk in and say "wow!". I really love that we have the wow factor and am proud of it.

Monday is our last day and then on Tuesday I shall be taking my textiles work to hang at Gloucestershire Arts and Crafts Centre in the new Lock Cafe Gallery. Watch this space. I may be more organised about posting to it in future!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I bought a hat!

I'm amazed it's been more than a month since I last blogged. You would think life had been full-on for all of that time and perhaps M would say that it has, but looking back over the month it doesn't really seem that way to me. It has, though, been very busy since we got back from France, two and a half weeks ago.

The reason for coming back when we did was that I had got behind with my pottery work and have a deadline coming up in the form of Another Beastly Art Exhibition. Although the time needed to make the pots was relatively short, one has to allow a week or two for things to dry, depending on the weather, and then time for firings. I can fire every other day at a pinch but not if I am having to do anything else as unpacking, glazing and repacking can only just be done in a day. So today I turned some fruit bowls and that was the last making I am doing until some time in September. Tomorrow will be for glazing.

I was grumpy about returning from France, not least because I had just got into some new ideas in my textiles work. There are new pieces I was working on there that I haven't even unpacked yet and I can't wait to frame them and see how they've turned out. Working on these pieces led me to ideas for other developments and the frustration was that I knew once I had to interrupt the work, I won't be able to take up where I left off. I'll have to do some more pieces from where I am before the new ideas can be regenerated.

One of the reasons I haven't started the framing is that for the last week I've been building a new website for Gloucestershire Arts and Crafts Centre. We had a site before and there were many advantages to this, not least that it's free. However, it turned out that there were problems every few months with some UK users not being able to see any sites for a week or so and since everyone was blaming everyone else for the problem each time I lost confidence in its ever being permanently solved. We were quite possibly losing potential customers because of this so we decided to go for a domain name and a new site. I know my limitations in web building and am thinking I will soon want to investigate CSS but this was a job that needed getting on with so I decided to continue in my usual manner. And I have really loved doing it. This kind of work is really just as creative as any other that I do. They all have their disciplines - certainly making functional pottery is a very disciplined skill - it's just that this is a different sort.

So there's the homepage. And I have to say, I'm very pleased with the result. The homepage is only a taster - do go and look at the rest.

I was telling J, another potter, about this yesterday and saying that I've never had any trouble blowing my own trumpet. Apparently he's the same. M and I agree we had never noticed. It seems to be a British thing that one should not sing one's own praises, but I don't see why not. I'm fair-minded about it. I say when I fall short, point out work that didn't turn out as it should. People don't like that either and rush to say I am a perfectionist. (They may have a point there.) I just feel comfortable in my own skin and with my own talents and don't think it's wrong to say when I think I've made something good. Which is where today's title comes in.

I do, as it happens, have a very large head. Something like seven and three quarters, if that means anything to you. And then in the summer I wear my hair up on top in a bun. So hats are out just when you want something to keep the sun from your eyes. But in Chauvigny market M suddenly spotted some bright pink floppy-brimmed hats and, sometimes conventional and romatic that he is, said how lovely I would look in something like that. "They never fit," I said. "Look!" So he looked at this bright pink floppy-brimmed hat fitting comfortably on my head.