lifelong learning

Courses and Classes.

Phew it’s been a strange summer, nothing much happened, but everything happened! Not a great deal of arty things, my arty shenanigans were thwarted, I went over on my ankle while on holiday and so that put to the rest of my holiday-I don’t have much luck with holidays something tends to go wrong and as a result I HATE going ‘on holiday’, which REALLY annoys my lovely partner!
Anyway this left me limping and.. well for several days not being able to walk or drive at all. So it hasn’t been a very arty productive time, nonetheless art happens around me, there are shows coming up and work to make, but firstly I have workshops and courses that I am running coming up, these are:
Firstly for Swansea Council’s Lifelong Learning, but at Gower collage Llwn-y-bryn Campus. I am running  ‘printmaking for beginners or intermediate’ course, the course is starting next week on the Thursday night 6-8pm. For the next ten weeks with a week in between for half term. You can find more information on the council website. Please note the course is subject to change which is out with my control.
Also in a couple of weeks I have a Cyanotype weekend or Blueprint course coming up at Swansea Print Workshop, you can find more details about that here.

In other news, at the beginning of the summer, I did sort of do a few small postcard sized screen prints, I might do a few bigger ones, but today I have been on a drawing course at Swansea Museum to create more drawings for screenprints and collagraphs the course was run by Kelly Stewart. Results coming soon!

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Adventures in Clay-Some Things Never Change!

I’m almost sad to post this, as I don’t know when the next time will be that I can  post about anything that I have made out of CLAY!! but today I picked up my wee pot- I keep referring to it as a pot, but it’s not really, it’s an ornamental ..ornament really, if I was able to make more, i’d make a few pots, but i’d mainly make ornamental things I reckon! (One Day!)

But I shall start from the beginning..the very beginning because amazingly I still have the very first thing I made from clay-proper clay that had to be fired! I made this in school, it say’s ‘2BL5’ on the bottom so that mean’t I was in second year, so I was about 14 I think? So I was correct yesterday then, about 1994! it’s over 20 years old and it’s still in one piece, I still use it for keeping earrings in! This was the one and only time I was ever able to make anything from fired clay in school-how sad!! but I suppose at least we had a kiln!

This is what a made -a pot!



I remember what it was based on-it was based on the Children’s book The Kelpie’s Pearls. This is a book I have even read as an adult, although I don’t know where my copy has gone these days. I first read it when I was about 9 or 10 the last year or so of primary school, I think it was one I picked myself rather than one we all read as a class, from the series of books you see in 80’s Scottish primary schools we all read a LOT of kelpie books-the series was also called kelpie. A kelpie is a mythological Scottish creature that normally takes the form of a horse or bull but is a changeling so sometimes it’s a person-a man- who lures maidens into lochs!

There are many great Scottish legends and recently by chance I have been reading about both scottish and welsh myths. I have even dong a tiny bit of work a month or so ago based around some of the welsh themes but I haven’t got around to sort it it out/figuring out of its finished or not so I shall await to see what I decide!


but anyway yes this piece was based around the story in that book-from what I can vaguely remember the kelpie had a pool which had pearls in it-and I forget exactly but I guess something was trying to steal the pearls-i’ll have to re-read it!

It was an absolute thrill to make something new and exciting from clay again some things never change though, as you’ll see there are animals in this work too-hardly surprising that though is it?! I was discussing this on my facebook page the other day when I found some of my childhood drawings they are almost exactly the same as my Dylan Thomas Etchings!-but that’s by the by!

If you read my blog yesterday, I gave a link to Margaret Brompton who gave the session in Oriel Myrddin.

These designs are based around her recent works which in turn are based around Wassailing bowls-which was what my post was about yesterday, something I found really interesting! I love researching my work, never mind anyone else’s! I should probably be a researcher of some kind instead of an artist!! Silly me!

We used lovely soft clay, it was easy to manipulate and work, but it still took me a great deal of time to get my pot/sculpture and figures just right, everyone else worked much faster than me! I like to take my time, clay was a very unusual substance for me to work in, so it took a while to get use to it! in fact simply working three dimensionally is fairly unusual for me, having said that, I have been doling some papier mache works over the last couple of years, one day I shall write a post about them!

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I particularly liked my little birds, (they are sort of based on wood pigeons) . I also did a weasel, a hedgehog, a fox, a hare, and what’s mean’t to be a water vole, but actually I didn’t have time to look it up and I hadn’t brought any pictures of any, so I got the tail wrong, it’s got a guinea pig’s tail instead! So I guess it could be a guinea pig, but it doesn’t really fit in with the British animal theme! I tried to make some animals that I have never depicted before and I hope to maybe do some prints with water voles and weasels and wood pigeons in them soon!


It was a mixed class and there were several adults and children which was really great the kids work was amazing! How lucky they are to get the opportunity at such a young age to work with clay!!

Today I went back to the gallery to pick up my fired piece, unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to do this, its perhaps a big difficult in a gallery!! So Margaret kindly did it for us, choosing some lovely pale glazes and colours, mine seems to be pale pink with hints of orange on some of the animals, I LOVE IT!! (Even if I do say so myself) and I’m hooked! I just have to find a way of making more!

Yesterday the gallery posted photos of everyone’s work on their facebook page!


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I think it’s safe to say I am completely thrilled with my new work!!