Setting up ‘the line and the circle’

North East Open Studios 2013…. is almost here….today was setting up the exhibition! Only one more day until the opening.

20130905-174349.jpgthis is the space i will be exhibiting in, it is huge!

20130905-174507.jpgsomething i thought might take, at most, a couple of hours took four. Setting up a solo show has been a new experience, it has been a long time in the making, starting the collaboration with Catriona in the summer last year and a residency in October 2012 at the Salmon Bothy.


i love that the zulu sail matches the iron oxide paint of the salmon bothy windows20130905-175452.jpg
and my image and illustrations match the NEOS catalogue colours
Finally the hard work of ideas, inspiration, researching, drawing, developing, making, preparing the paper, printing, drying, framing, delivering, hanging, presenting, marketing and exhibiting finally come together


I colori di guardia sanframondi

Im now coming to the end of my residency, time to review and reflect on what I’ve learnt and look forward to taking new skills, ideas and contacts home with me to Scotland.

We sent out the invites, got everything ready and laid out the nibbles and wine and waited until the rainstorm finished…..and everyone appeared! Thank you to all who came along, you made it a fabulous end to a wonderful residency.

Images are taken by clare galloway of Arthouse Guardia



















Artichoke paper – part two

The quest to make paper from what i find around me continues…


Now that the fibres have been cleaned and steeped, i gave them a bit of a jzijz, with the blender and we then pressed what water we could get out of them.


The frame was made from found fabric and wood, and fits perfectly in the sink


Then add the fibre…and after a few tries we get the fibre, mesh and paper pulp mixture correct and start to make paper.


Once the pulp is ready the making process begins!


After going through this lengthy process i reflected on the effort going into making paper and asked helena ‘why would anyone do this’, her reply ‘well i guess it’s preferable to chewing bark’, she has a point!

Once More for Greenland We are Bound

Moku hanga for The Pinning Stones

I’ve been a wee bit busy over the past few months….my apologies for lack of blogging, i hope you understand and i plan to get a chance for some updates over the next week or so.  (Links below to follow)

walking the length of the river deveron (95km) conducting a cultural survey on behalf of Deveron Arts

producing moku hanga for the Royal Scottish Academy,Edinburgh

experimenting with printing techniques and natural glazes, slips and clays at Scottish Sculpture Workshop

making bonsai planters for an exhibition in London

preparing for an exhibition in Portsoy Salmon Bothy in September

embarking on a new collaborative project with poet Donald S Murray for Scottish Poetry Library and Edinburgh Printmakers

helped out on an archaeological dig

and helped at the Rhynie Woman Project with artists Debbie beeson and daisy Williamson, bridging the community with an archaeological dig in Rhynie

getting ready for an artist in residence project in Italy and

working with francoise materasso, on illustrations for The Pinning Stones publication, hes given a brief update on it in this blog

Once More for Greenland We are Bound.

From 2D to 3D

While i’m waiting for the kiln to cool, I’ve been thinking about how to transfer my interpretation of the poems into three dimensions. I have so many choices…..the narrative, the characters, the objects, emotions and relationships.

Through the wood block prints i aim to distill the emotions, characters and the context of the poems into visual haiku, capturing my interpretation of Catriona’s poetry into a two dimensional world which is 15cm x 15cm square.

20130913-203947.jpgI inhale your breath, visual haiku of Catriona Yule’s poem The Unborn Child.

My next challenge is to transfer the poetry into three dimensions. What do I focus on? How do I get the message across? So many choices.

I’m interested in the way that poetry takes on a new life when the poet finishes the work. That when people read or listen to it being performed a new relationship develops between the poem and the reader. I like to maintain this in my wood cuts and ceramics. Catriona’s poetry is full of movement, it is about a stormy night, with the wind, weather and waves being additional characters in the scenes. There is a theatrical element to the event where you’re both the viewer and the viewed.

Tension, movement and relationships are words that keep coming to mind when I read the poems. Great starting points for new work. However, all this will have to wait until I get access to a pottery, for now these ideas will have to stay on the page. Until, the next time we meet, farewell clay.