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Showing posts from 2017

Miniature Caithness landscapes

Minature pictures all for sale at Caithness Horizons christmas exhibition opening on thursday night 7th december at 5-7pm. All mounted and wrapped in a clear sleeve. Inly £15! For a special christmas gift from me to you.
Looking out of my window is a treat every day. I never get tired of the changing colours of the sea. This photo was taken mid summer, in the evening and the bay looked like a mill pond. I try to enhance the different shades of grey with the different stones I find by using various polishing techniques and finish off rubbing the stone with olive oil. It's nice to add some essential oil to the mix for an added sensory experience.  Two pieces that recently sold, the necklace to a German tourist who was visiting Scotland by cruise ship. The other to a local lady with a love for Caithness.

Scratchart of 'Gutters at work, Wick'

This picture was created from a photo from The Johnston Collection in Wick. The famous photographer took many images over the years of various local people and scenes in Wick. I absolutely love the photos of female gutters at work. Just imagining the job they did cutting the salty herring in all weathers, I imagine they had to have a good sense of humour and good work ethics to put up with the discomfort. I find myself looking more to local history and wanting to develop a narrative in my work. It seems a good way to get value for money as a customer if you find and buy a picture that not only looks good but makes you think aswell.  Having something to go back to when you next look at the picture on your wall, giving you food for thought and an emotional connection, it makes you feel good about your purchase. It has been mentioned that my style of mark making is reminiscent of the old woodcut and illustrative work of the past. As I have said in past posts, my initial influence

Making Progress Showcase

It's been a fantastic and busy year with Emergent Makers based in Inverness.  I applied for mentorship from them having spent so long away from the goings on in the contemporary craft world, I really needed some help to be pointed in the right direction, and this is exactly what I got. Friendly help, support and advice from a number of experts who came and helped us with various issues we were experiencing at different times of the year. This is the advert for our end of project exhibition now on at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.  Me, Lucy Dunnachie, Jane McLeod, Lucy Macdonald, Rebecca Brown and Rebecca Cotton all live in the far reaching corners of the Highlands and Islands. We all have the same concerns about isolation in terms of access to contemporary craft groups, support and inspiration from other workers. We have all found our way this year through different routes, getting together in Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and at the end 4 out of the 6 met with Emer

Salt from the Sea

I've always loved raising metal, some of my favourites pieces of work from college are vessels made of copper and silver, but I never went down the route of making pieces to sell as I felt that the initial expense of buying large amounts of silver was a real gamble when speculating whether there were buyers out there. I mean, there is always a jewellery buyer looking to purchase a present, but silver collectors are few and far between. So the other day I had an idea, which meant purchasing a very expensive drill bit and my first silversmithing stake. A real gamble on my part but I'm really glad I did. It just shows you how your gut feelings never let you down.
I've recently started using stratchboards to create artwork and have found them to be excellent for my way of working. I imagine after a while it would be easy to develop some kind of hand strain due to the method of using the tools, it would be good to know how to counteract this kind of problem. The top picture is of my Great Granny picking Groatie buckies after church at the harbour in John O'Groats in Caithness. The second is of an old Caithness croft with flagstone fencing in the foreground.


 I have been experimenting with the concept of using lichen covered stone.  It has been noted that lichen is a living thing and I've contemplated the problem with using it for my work for a while now.  This particular lichen is actually the very common Crabs Eye Lichen (Ochrolechia parella) It covers every piece of stone that exists in Caithness, there is as much of this lichen as heather on the hills or moss on the ground.  To protect the lichen from flaking off I have chosen to put a thin coating of resin over it and this has turned the white an interesting orangey yellow. What is of importance to me is that I don't go removing vital stones from the walls that surround the fields.  These walls have been here for hundreds of years, and the more I look at them the more I marvel at the shear scale of man power that went into building them. Hard graft and skill.  The walls have survived hundreds of years of powerful storms and sadly many of them are slowly leaning and subsequ