On the Isle of Man, the first week of June heralds the TT; motorbike races that attract about 45,000 fans (for context, our population is approx. 85,000. Uh huh.), and generally create two weeks of chaos. People go nuts for it. Seeing so many happy tourists on our little island stirs some kind of pride in me, but sadly there are many, many accidents and deaths in this fortnight. My studio is on the course, so I've learnt to stay well away during race week and I've been contentedly hiding at home to plough through admin work. The job list included 'BLOG', so here I am!
Since we last spoke, I've attended three Food Assembly collections! I've been so impressed by the customer enthusiasm. I thought it might take a few months of me bringing pots to the collection for people to see them in real life before purchasing, but I've had orders from existing and new customers from the start! Thank you. My customers are ace.
Also, there's pizza. Sourdough pizza. It's glorious. And I get to hang out in Noa for 2 hours with other local creative entrepreneurs like Roots Bev Co., the Apple Orphanage and Betty Pie Co. YAY.
I managed a quick visit to Silverdale last month - having spent years making art inspired by it, I only realised earlier this year that I can consider the area to be my muse. So it was lovely to lay eyes on my muse for the first time in far too long. It's especially beautiful when the trees are in leaf.
As well as making for shops and events, I've had a few commissions on the go. These dinner plates were requested for a lovely local lady from a faraway friend. The fox and rooster were a fun illustration challenge. Projects like this are the best part of my job, and I'm so grateful for them.
'Make bigger pots' is an ongoing goal for me, but justifying the shelf and kiln space can be tricky, as I can fit a dozen pourers in the space of a big dish. I squeezed this sexy beast in last month, and I am SO pleased with it. It's not as big as I want (approx. 8cm high and 19cm wide), but to me it's a mighty good step in the right direction. It's available in my Etsy shop, should you be tempted (or just want to see more photos, that's cool too!).
My illustrations - or the framework for them - have been rather structured for 2 years or so, with either fine double banding at the base or a wide single band of colour to create a ground level, and the elements - animals, houses, trees - placed above that. It's refreshing to give myself permission to be messy. I've wanted to attempt these loose, layered colour blocks for at least a year - my sketchbook pages are full of them. I tentatively made a few 'messy' cups for the Art Festival, and at least half sold (and attracted the most attention), so I'm taking that as a sign to run with it. I'll leave you with one my favourite new plates: