The ten exhibitors have all earned their place through winning awards at the Craft Festival: from best emerging maker to best stand, but for that added twist the winning makers have been asked to create something new – launch a new product or show something that they wouldn’t necessarily sell on a stand.
Amongst these are Stroud-based mosaic artist Cleo Mussi. She is bringing new pieces illustrating a critical approach to human over-consumption. Sculptor Helaina Sharpley – whose work has been purchased by David Hockney – is able to pursue her ‘personal Edwardian obsession’ in a series of beautiful wire sculptures. Dionne Swift – a Goldsmiths graduate – shows her departure with textiles based on the elements, using the sewing machine thread as a drawing tool.
Ten out of Ten is at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen from Saturday, May 4 – Sunday, June 16 June The exhibition is free, open daily from 10am-5.30pm
It’s exciting times for furniture design and craftsmanship business Shawstephens, which is based in Kingsbridge, Devon. Not only have they had a year of a varied mix of projects, ranging from a taller teak Stalheim stool (see above), to an impressive fitted library in walnut and leather, but they are also set to welcome an apprentice from South Devon College in September.
Plus the team has include with the UK’s top makers and designers in House and Garden magazine’s feature on ‘some of the country’s most talented designers and makers of bespoke furniture’.
Sculptor Isabel Coulton, from South Brent, Devon is working on a chainsaw sculpture of meerktas at Paignton zoo. The group of meerkats is being carved from the stump of a Western red cedar tree near the Zoo’s meerkat enclosure. The stump has 8 cut-off trunks which will be turned into meerkats.
Despite the closure of crafts courses across the country, Plymouth College of Art is bucking the trend with a host of new courses in contemporary crafts, which are already recruiting high student numbers, and have been welcomed by the industry.
Spoon carver Jon Mac is part of the Ideford Arts on the Road group, who go on the road to exhibit their work in not-art venues to inspire other artists and encourage art lovers. Here’s his take on the process of going out on the road
The beauty of being a spoon carver is that my skills and the tools I use are easily portable. This gives me a wonderful opportunity to set up and work wherever I choose. I have given myself the challenge of using three simple tools of Nordic Origin: axe, knife and hook knife. These tools are all hand made by Nordic craftsmen. I have great respect for the skills used by First Nations and enjoy the fact that art and everyday objects are often one and the same. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with others and raising people’s awareness of traditional skills. The spoons I make have been described as beautiful little pieces of art. They are also of practical use and are designed to be used, handled and held.
Ceramic artist Jenny Beavan’s is fascinated with water, and the geological changes it can create, and that fascination is borne out in the Water at World exhibition at the 45 Southside Gallery, Plymouth.
Dark smoky lines and silhouettes feature strongly in the printmaking of Emma Molony. Inspired by the papercuts of Hans Christian Anderson, there’s something of the fairy tale to a lot of her work. Lee Morgan spoke to her.
As part of the Museums At Night Weekend, which takes place on the weekend of May 15 to May 17, Burton museum, Bideford, will be letting parents and children create their own spotlights with torches to uncover some of the museum’s mysteries.
A review day is on offer for craft practitioners who have practiced their craft in the South West for more than seven years. It takes place at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen on Wednesday, April 22 from 10am to 5.30pm and cost £15.