Wednesday, 28 July 2010

My First Exhibition

Well folks, not only am I officially up and running (2nd full week!), but I've also just launched my very first exhibition: COAST, contemporary crafts influenced by the coastline.


Textiles from Gillian Bates. I have long admired Gillian's work and was over the moon when the Eastbourne-based artist agreed to do some Devon inspired pieces. She took a trip to Ilfracombe, a quirky sea-side resort with lashings of faded Victorian splendour - a perfect fit for her wonderful quirky work. She did some wall canvases in various sizes and across different budgets along with some postcards (which are flying off the shelf!)

The work looks spectacular in my newly designated exhibition space ...

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Here's a close up of Ilfracombe Harbour ...

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We also have some quirky porcelain 'sea-urchin' lights from local ceramic artist Amy Cooper. Amy doesn't normally work with galleries but a) I asked really nicely and b) she's just about to give birth to her 2nd child, so I lucked out and she agreed to let me have some of her work. The textures, shapes and the glazes work beautifully together.

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The exhibition also features Tolly Nason's 'Nauticals'. These are tiny pate-de-verre glass bowls that are evocative of ancient museum pieces. The fragile bowls are made using ground glass that is placed inside a handmade mould and then fired in the kiln. Tolly is fast becoming a name having done some spectacular work for celebrations of Darwin's Origin of the Species last year where she cast beaks from Galapagos finches - these are currently touring various Natural History Museums across Europe.

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Then there's the the delicate porcelain bowls from Devon-based Karen Bourne whose work reflects the erosion of water. She uses a resist technique with a resin called shellac which is painted onto the surface of the clay. Layers not covered in shellac are then gently removed using a small sponge and water. These fragile vessels take ages to make but look stunning against the light, where you can see the translucency of coloured clay through the patterns .

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As for the rest of the work in the gallery -it's early days but the signs are exceptionally healthy. The response from the customers so far has been magnificent and I have been praised for choosing such a wonderful selection of work. So I'm passing that on to my clever artists and makers who actually make the work!

I've already had a few commissions and have had to re-order from several artists, so I am chuffed to pieces. I need to keep re-jigging the space and looking at the best way to make the most of those huge windows. I want to keep it clean and clutter free as that's been something that people have really liked, plus it makes it easy to get wheelchairs and pushchairs around, which was something I felt to be important.

So watch this space and let's see what the first month brings!


Friday, 16 July 2010

An update

Before ....

And after ...
Well we're now officially open. Photo has been taken mid-set up. I need to take more pics for you.
Had a 'do' on Tuesday night and 60+ people turned up. Three days in and I've almost made my weekly target ... a target that I didn't expect to achieve until a few month's time. So I am chuffed to pieces.
I'm also a little bit nervous about my stock levels and will need to reorder stock very soon. I guess that's a good place to be. Everyone that has come through the doors ( which includes 40 paying customers!!!) has said that they love the atmosphere and love the range of work.
A huge thank you to my Mum for helping out. And a huge thank you to my artists and makers for having the faith to let me sell their stuff.
Lots more space to fill than I thought, along with a great deal more time needed to set this thing up. Looking good but need more makers. I already have gaps because work is selling!!!
Luckily, 1st exhibition starts in a couple of weeks so more work on its way. Website now up and running at and the PR machine is cranking into action now that the paintbrushes have been put to rest.
Lots of Love
T x