Christmas making has consumed studio days. It's hectic, but wonderful. Having full time hours to work in is incredibly satisfying, even if I'm eternally creating more jobs to do...ahem.
Glen and plantation walks have been especially lovely this Autumn. It's felt like I can hear the ground settling, protecting itself and it's inhabitants for the coming Winter.
The wren is a special addition to this year's festive collection, in honour of the age-old Hunt The Wren tradition.
On Friday I attended the 2015 Craft Scotland conference in Glasgow. I flew up the day before, in a dinky 12-or-so-seater plane. I could SEE the pilot! Unnerving though it could have been, it was the fairest of days to fly and we were treated to the most beautiful views of the island and Scotland.
The conference was packed with fascinating presentations from makers, designers and curators working across many disciplines. Events like this really expose us to work that we might not have considered investigating otherwise.
I was entertained to find myself quoted in the Craft Scotland 14-15 annual report!
The highlight for me was a workshop with Jude Barber, an architect and director of Collective Architecture. Jude presented a short talk on the many collaborative projects she's worked on and explained a little about the framework of standards that those schemes progress within. During the workshop, Jude gave us a simplified version of the framework and asked us to break down how we work, with stages from Strategy to In Use, taking People (stakeholders or collaborators) and Skills into consideration. I LOVE exercises like this, I find it really interesting to be encouraged to think in a more linear fashion and analyse how I work.
The results from 20-odd different disciplines (sound engineers, an inventor, curators, potters, jewellers, a glass artist) were fascinating! Some people renamed stages, some had arrows jumping backwards. I believe these exercises, like writing a budget, business plan or marketing plan, are incredibly important to our creative practices, as they prepare us for grant application writing or for communicating with other industries. So thank you Jude! And thank you Craft Scotland!
Our group was assigned to this little circular room with an impressive skylight:
Sadly there are no direct or even connecting flights from Glasgow to the island on a Saturday, so I took a 3.5 hour train journey down to Manchester, then flew home. I spent most of that journey staring at the beautiful wind farms, drawing trees and making these blog notes!
I'm catching up with work for stockists before diving into Christmas designs. I've nutted out most of this year's illustrations and I'm itching to get into them. Being sensible and responsible to complete existing orders has been difficult when I can hear wrens and reindeer calling to me from my sketchbooks!
I've only just updated my homepage and contact info, removing my travel dates. Whilst I catch up with myself and resettling, it's been quite nice to fly under the radar. It's been a particularly lovely week in the studio, thanks to a glorious Indian Summer: