From News and Events

Shed Stories #8 ‘Heaven in a Wildflower’

Nature is holding our hand through these days. I feel as though this is the first newsletter I have written where the rain is not my main memory of the previous month!

May opened with bluebells and wild garlic and is closing with a profusion of comfrey, campion and hedge parsley. The latter abounds everywhere in frothing profusion, and when the sun shines through it it seems to create a hazy glance of an imagined heaven.

This month I have been busily making work for the forthcoming exhibition at Tinsmiths in Ledbury, Herefordshire (our local town) which opens on June 21st. Although it was to have been loosely based around the themes of poetry and ballads (because it coincides with the Ledbury Poetry Festival), my muse has taken me off in many different directions and so it does not really have a specific theme. I feel as if I am searching for the good and positives in life and our human existence. Tough at times like these.

Not only have I been making glass for this exhibition but I have also been working closely with Martin Clarke of Tilley’s printing, Ledbury, to create a couple of letterpress posters. Both posters are designed by me, with lino cuts made by me, and letterpress set by myself with help from Martin.

Martin has been working at Tilleys for sixty years since he was apprenticed there when he left school. As you can imagine he has an incredible wealth of knowledge and is also great fun to work with. It has been a breath of fresh air going in to Ledbury to work and spending the day in a different work space. The prints will be released on the day that the exhibition opens and I hope that people will love them. I am delighted with the results and it felt important for me to make something different in this present climate of gloom and fear.

I am also excited about progress for Wild Folk. We finally have a designer and I have done all the illuminations for 6 chapters. Just the final chapter to do which I need to finish by early July. I have also found a way to photograph the images using natural light. Thanks so much to stained glass expert, Simon Howard, for the tip!

Shed Stories #7 ‘Swanland Stories’

April has been an incredibly full month. As the sap rises my energy has been returning, and every moment has been spent creating in my workshop or making inspirational travels to the edges of our land- Cornwall and Pembrokeshire.
Next week I will be delivering some work to (Herefordshire) for an exhibition that opens on Saturday 10th May and in June I will be exhibiting at – more of that in the next newsletter.
Anyway, it seemed a good opportunity to get Dougal to write the newsletter this month and to fill you in on how he manages running our print shop as well as his other work.

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Shed Stories #6 ‘I went to blow the fire aflame’

This year Easter, and the changing of the clocks to British summertime coincided, and to celebrate this arrival of spring, Mike and Seren and I cooked our supper over the fire in the garden and drank our first Pimms of the year!  It was not a balmy evening (bloomin’ cold!) and the Pimms was probably a bit premature but it was lovely to sit out by the fire and listen to the birds singing their evening chorus and the owls calling out to one another as they began their twilight forays.  It certainly felt like a beginning of better weather and times outdoors to come.

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Shed Stories #5 ‘Our House’

So St David’s day, March hares and the 1st of March are upon us. Usually February has a day or two at least where we can see and feel the promise of warmth and spring but this year it has continued January’s theme of wet and grey! But, nonetheless, the primroses are lifting our hearts with their gentle kindness in the banks and the daffodils are already trumpeting golden tunes to the skies. However, the real flowering champion of this past week or so has to be the blackthorn, which is heavily laden with its frothing foam of blossom. Even in the dullest days it brightens the hedges but on the rare moments when the evening sun breaks through the gloom the blossom lights up like a beacon of unutterable beauty and hope.

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Shed Stories #4 ‘Drive the Cold Winter Away’

It is almost Imbolc, the Celtic festival of spring, which is a time of the re-emergence of life after the hiatus of winter. We know that there may still be bad weather to come but we cannot help but be stirred by the fact that the song thrush is singing again, the snowdrops are well and truly out and the catkins are beginning to dangle!

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Shed Stories #3 ‘A Bustle in your Hedgerow’

It is early January and it feels as if we have been submitted to nothing but rain and greyness for weeks on end now. But this morning, whilst walking the dog, the sun made a weak and watery appearance. It was as welcome and beatific, as the smile from a beautiful and much loved old grandmother, and like a glimmer of reassurance that good things will surely come.

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Shed Stories #1 ‘It was twenty years ago today’

Well, it’s ever so slightly over twenty years on from the launch of my career as a stained glass illustrator, and from the moment our second child, Dougal started school!  So it seems an appropriate time to take stock and begin writing a monthly blog for all you lovely subscribers and followers old and new. If only I’d done it years ago!! 

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Wild Folk, the book

On the 6th January 2023 at the Wolf Moon Jackie Morris and I launched the crowd funder for our book, Wild Folk, to be published by Unbound books. Within 5 days we had reached 100% funding which was an incredible achievement. As we start work on the book we continue to fund and build a community of ‘Wild Folk’ who are the people who have pledged for the book and accompany us on this journey. There is room for more! Pledgers receive exclusive updates as to the progress of the book and news about new pledge opportunities. Of course they will also be the first to hear of a publication date and events surrounding this.
For more information follow the link.