Thursday, October 20, 2005

Chelsea Crafts Fair 2005

A change this week: words, rather than pictures.

Last weekend (Sunday to be precise) my wife and I made the journey into London for the Chelsea Crafts Fair. A trip to London is a fairly rare thing for us these days (although this year, as chance would have it, we've made several), and neither of us had been to this particular fair before, but is was an experience well worth having.

The main reason for our visit was that my wife has recently started a part-time Applied Arts degree at the University of Hertfordshire. In the field of applied arts (up until now she has been purely focused on ceramics), this is one of the biggest fairs of the year. I just fancied going along for the ride, seeking an excuse for inspiration.

The Chelsea Crafts Fair is for buying and selling pieces, rather than being a trade fair of the sort that you can buy raw materials from, so we really went with the intention of looking at some beautiful work. We weren't feeling rich enough to want to part with money (and nor did we). What was so nice, though, is that almost without exception, the artists who were exhibiting were more than happy to explain their methods, talk through pieces, and so on.

The Chelsea Crafts Fair has a huge diversity of artists exhibiting. There are ceramicists, jewellers, textile artists, book and paper-makers (anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time will appreciate how much these appealed to me), glassworkers ... the list is almost endless.

So, who inspired me the most? There were so many beautiful works there that it seems unfair to single out a single artist, but I have to say that I was bowled over by the work of Michelle Holden (pictured left), who makes things from paper and material, especially from the pages of old, discarded books. She can take an old piece of paper and somehow make it come alive with flowers, or turbines, or just random shapes, in a way that has to be seen first hand to be appreciated. Sadly, she seems to have very little in the way of a web presence, but if you find her in the list of exhibitors at the Chelsea Crafts Fair website, you'll find her contact details.

The Chelsea Craft Fair is on for two weeks, and the nice thing is that the exhibitors in the second week are completely different from the first. If you happen to be in London in the next few days, I highly recommend a trip there, though don't expect to see the work of Michelle Holden. The Fair is on until 23rd October.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Sketches by Ullswater

Here are some sketches I did "in the wild" while on holiday last year. I'm generally pretty bad at sketching people (or any moving objects, for that matter) from real life, but this was one occasion when things seemed to come together. I liked the ghost-like quality of the silhouettes.

The main figures are my wife and children, poking about by the side of the lake looking for tiddlers while I sketched. A few hundred yards away, some kids were throwing themselves into the water from a low cliff-face. It looked terribly dangerous, but they kept coming back for more. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I seem to have had so little time for sketching lately that I'm having to look back at my old stuff. Here is a very old sketch that I did of my father several years ago, as a birthday present for my mother.

You can see the original in my other blog, which, one day, I will add some real content to. Posted by Picasa