A finished commission...

The second phase of 'Regenerated' is currently on display at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. Below you will see my response to the factory... a hanging piece entitled 'Tat Box One'.

I took inspiration from the random contents of boxes and the variant shades of painted green found within the factory. I think of this piece as a layered wire painting exploring two and three dimensions. Whilst making the piece I felt I was taming clutter, exploring green whilst simultaneously pondering why these objects ended up together.

Finding a place to site contemporary craft within the factory without dominating or losing the piece completely to the environment was a challenge. I do like the way the piece can be read differently from the front and the back. From the front it reads 'green' and makes reference to the painted window frames. From the back you almost read a black 2-D print of the piece as you gaze against the light of the windows in the roof.

The new pieces made by Miranda Sharpe, Rajesh Gogna and myself will be on display within the factory at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter till the 11th January 2014 


Tat box.

There are many random boxes in the factory at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. Some contain odd bits of tooling, metal cut outs, stray pieces of cutlery, hinges, drawer handles, screws, bolts... you name it, you'll probably find it. I spent a long time intricately studying the contents of these boxes from a birds eye view... obviously no touching !

How did these specific objects get here, what were these boxes destined for? There are many repair jobs found within the factory of a DIY nature. Perhaps these boxes resourced repair work... I have a kitchen drawer for a similar need myself.


Making in the museum (and other places...)

Rajesh Gogna, Miranda Sharpe and myself have been busy this summer pushing forward with the Regenerated project. We have been working collaboratively, sharing our making skills and discussing ideas with the ultimate aim to produce a new piece each to be sited within the factory environment at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. 

Our first aim was to develop four metal making sessions with a small group from Bishop Challoner School in Kings Heath. Our aim was to capture 'the mood of the museum' through drawing and metal test pieces. We initially working in the museum, using the factory as a direct visual resource to work from. We then moving to Rajesh's wonderful Jewellery-Silversmithing Design Academy were we able to use the facilities to experiment with enamelling, annealing, stamping, crinkling, doming and sawing copper to create a plethora of test pieces.

Here is a flavour of what we got up too...




Three makers working in metal based in Birmingham - Myself, Miranda Sharpe and Rajesh Gogna have been awarded Arts Council funding to make new work for the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. Over the next few months we will be researching, making together and engaging in critical debate, our mission will be to capture the mood of the museum in metal. 

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter houses the Smith and Pepper Jewellery Factory. The proprietors decided to vacate the factory in 1981 unaware they would be leaving behind a perfectly preserved time capsule complete with grubby overalls left on coat hooks. Little changed in the eighty years leading up to the factory's closure. 

Engaging with this space throws up a multitude of questions... how are we similar to the factory workers?  Is it right to create an intervention in this environment or is it more appropriate to use a white gallery space -How can a maker engage with a 'time capsule'?

We currently have an exhibition of existing work being exhibited at the museum in the gallery space. The exhibition is called 'Regenerated'. The work will change over in September to house our new commissions and findings which will be on display until January 2014.

I'll update the blog as we go to show you are progress. For more information on the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and the exhibition click here


The Pigeon Fancier

I spent last week in Cardiff as Artist in Residence at Craft in the Bay creating an installation called The Pigeon Fancier. This involved making pigeons with gallery visitors throughout the week and displaying them in boxes, transforming the gallery in to a Pigeon Fancier's Paradise...

A big thank you to all the pigeon makers who made it possible and the staff and volunteers at Craft in the Bay who made me feel so welcome.


A pigeon descends from the mess...

This month has been all about researching pigeons and finding pigeon-ey materials to capture their essence. Here one sits newly created on my chaotic workbench. A trio of these motley avians can currently be seen at the Harley Gallery. 

I will be creating an installation called 'The Pigeon Fancier' in early May at Craft in the Bay, Cardiff. This will involve the creation of a mass collection of pigeons all made through a range of making sessions happening at the gallery. If you would like to make a pigeon to form part of the installation please click here to find out more.


Making and Drawing

I am pleased to be included in Kyra Cane beautiful new book, Making and Drawing, which has just been published. Kyra is very interested in discovering how makers use drawing within their work. 

Contributing to this book has really made me think harder about how I draw, whether using wire in 3-D or exploring 2-dimensions in my sketchbook. This year I would really like to make a concerted effort to explore both in tandem, perhaps even mixing the two.