I have finally got the opportunity to participate in a summer event, having been so closely tied to seasonal work for the last 25 years… I have broken free, no longer at the beck and call of the tourist season, and am going to attend my first summer selling event.
This one is organised by Perthshire Creates, and takes place in the lovely Civic Hall at the Tay River end of the High Street, which was refurbished a couple of years ago. It has lots of light and space, which makes for a great venue for a craft and design fair. Many of the In the Garden with Friends exhibitors are participating in this fair, given that so many of my creative friends are actually located in Perthshire!
In the run up to the event, some of us have provided count-down images. Here is todays one made by Bradley Napier Design. My offering is at 4 days to go and features my Mavis sculpture, so if you want to see that, head over to the Perthshire Creates Event on Facebook Page
I will be focussing on my decorative slates which are suitable for outdoors – so think flowers, birds and fish, working my way through a pile of slates that have recently moved house with me, and also a stash of bone china plates (I have been working on a large project which has used the flat centres of dinner plates, leaving me with lots of edging, too good to throw away)
At the Christmas Design Fair 2017
A Selection of Decorative Slates
Other artists from the In the Garden with Friends crew who will be there are:
Kirsty is a visual artist currently based in Scotland, that works in a range of methods and processes, currently focusing on combining traditional methods of wood-working with a contemporary process of pyrography. For her, making her work interactive is very important – She enjoys seeing audiences engage with the work she has created, which is why she works predominantly with natural materials and bold shapes. These entice the audience, and encourages them to feel the pieces. The burnt in patterns will bring the audience in closer, allowing the viewer to have a more personal experience.
Within her practice she has gained huge amounts of experience in conducting herself in large events and exhibitions whilst working in a variety of ways with the community. She has personally run workshops and done demonstrations with a variety of places and with people of all ages. She has two main lines of work outside her art practice; wood turning line ‘Primitive’ and scrap metal jewellery line ‘Relics’
Primal is a new line of wooden sculptural works produced by artist Kirsty Dalton. They are based on traditional methods of hand carving and working in a primitive nature focusing on bold shapes with burnt in detail; which has all been done free hand. Kirsty Dalton’s work took a purely instinctive approach to creating this new line of work.
Kirsty worked in association with Dundee city council forestry section who donated the wood to go towards a bigger project of new sculptural works, some of which have been donated to Camperdown Park Dundee.
The wood used to create these works was ethical and locally sourced within Scotland. It was important to the artist for the wood to be sourced in an ethical way when working on it in such a large scale.
Growing up I often felt that I somehow didn’t quite fit – and wasn’t interested in the usual games of children.
Instead I found a great deal of joy just spending time in the woods and fields that surrounded where I lived – spending time looking at plants and animals and insects. Also managing to cause disasters when my caterpillars and stick insects got out of control and caused mini insect plagues. Here though I found a totally and utterly absorbing land full of wonder and magic. Somewhere special where I always felt I belonged without question. Somewhere there was no judgement, no pressure, no time limits. A place where I could just exist and ‘be’.
This ‘communing’ with nature has continued throughout my growing up and into my adult life. I am lucky enough to now spend time every day with the flora and fauna where I live in Perthshire in the Scottish Highlands, either just being with it all, studying it, talking to it and when the time and the light is right photographing it.
Nature in all its year round glory is my muse and through it I find that I am able to explore and express myself – both in the light and through all shades of emotion to the deepest dark . . . The plants I find and the seeds I grow transform into magical Enchanted Forests that I am able to explore in minute detail and then in turn I am able to share what I see and feel with people who are ‘moved’ by my images and what those images inspire in them… Currently exploring my ‘dark’ phase!!!
What can I say? I make things out of wood! Large or small, rough hewn or highly finished, functional or purely artistic, I make them. Based in the Ochil Hills just north of Kinross, my workshop is surrounded by woodland and the nature which inspires me.
Native timbers such as oak, ash, elm, yew, laburnum and fruit woods like cherry, apple and plum are my main medium though I do occasionally use non-native and sometimes unusual species. These have included beech, horse chestnut, larch and even the likes of gorse and rhododendron. All the wood I use comes from responsible sources, mainly dead and dying trees in the local area, or is reclaimed or re-purposed.
I try to keep design to a minimum in my work, preferring instead to let the nature of the wood speak for itself. This results in most of my work being waney edged, where rather than a machined surface there is simply the natural wood as it grew beneath the bark. The lines and forms I use are generally already there in the timber and require little manipulation. Where more influence is needed I draw inspiration from other natural forms, the simple and flowing curves present in Scandinavian design or the more intricate lines of Celtic art.
Fiona McKenzie van Baardwijk BA(Hons) PGCE is a Scottish artist living and working in Dunblane.
Trained at Grays School of Art, Aberdeen, Fiona’s inspiration is drawn from the natural world, taking a micro view of the Scottish landscape. Working in pastel or oil, Fiona captures transient moments throughout the seasons, in the bloom of a flower or the starkness of a winter branch.
In addition Fiona teaches workshops and classes through her company Blaeberry River Art and is involved in community projects, her animal portraits are also currently on sale at Chester Zoo.
Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA Hons in Design & Applied Arts, I have worked in various media including ceramics, graphic design and textiles. Inspired by a love of colour and pattern, combined with a long-held interest in printmaking, I taught myself to screenprint in 2015 with the intention of producing an accessible range of products.
Using my own hand-drawn linear patterns as a starting point, my first prints were on greetings cards, and from there I developed a large range of simple but striking designs. For me the beauty of screenprinting is it enables me to translate a pattern onto a whole range of surfaces; recently I have been concentrating on printing birch plywood shapes, discovering great satisfaction in the texture of the ink on a bare wooden surface. This has led me to produce a range of wooden pictures, postcards, flat-packs and jewellery, and the texture of the surface has become as important to me as the print I put on it – the grain of the wood forms part of the overall pattern, adding to the uniqueness of each piece.
The plywood shapes I use start life as original drawings, which I laser cut myself at a studio in Glasgow. All my work is individually printed and assembled by hand using non-toxic inks, high quality FSC approved ply, nickel-free metal and recycled card, and my ambition in life is to convert an old caravan into a home studio, preferably with a view of the sea…maybe one day!