enamel me

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Interesting eh? Tiny enamel accomplished on a tiny morsel of copper.

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Got the last place on a public masterclass at Institute of Making in Malet Place Malet Street WC1

Artist Helen Carmac led us mixed bunch of twelve through the method of enamelling copper then embellishing that after firing in a dinky kiln. Aaah! People lack manners, spatial awareness and clearing up skills. The number of times I had to ask people to take their powders and sponges off my work space. Maybe I AM invisible.

Anyhoo we all rushed through making miniature works of art having seen work done by Helen.

We were celebrating the Victoria Line: If ever a line needed celebrating for a boost, it’s the overcrowded, tend- to- shut- down- for- months Victoria one. The flurry of recent love for the Victoria Line is that it doesn’t reach but gets near William Morris Gallery with all the homage to a man who said that good art should be accessible to all. (He must have meant that he included his livery of servants for that, being a socialist like.) The link between the Institute of Making and William Morris is in the design and utility partnership.

wpid-2015-11-23-15.24.19.jpg.jpegWe woz there.

Thanks to IanVisits for alerting us to the workshop

The Institute of Making is only three years old in its present venue and our space was above a subterranean industrial engineering studio. Wow.

Was I fired up to do more enamelling? Why not? I did it years and years before at Hornsey Art College on Saturday mornings when you called  a Slade  a Slade.

Hackney on a freezing afternoon

032There’s a great art exhibition on at present at the Centre for Better Health. Hear me, put a chair or two out for spectators to sit and soak in what they are looking at. You can’t whizz through art which needs some translation in the ole brain. There’s a load of technology being used in the structures made with obvious passion by five students, Lea, Karoline, Claire, Tony and Carolyn in their final year at the University of East London, Docklands. 2012-11-30 14.18.57

I took a trip out to UEL when it was hotter weather having mooched around the Stratford site for ten minutes to get a feel of the place for some potential students. UEL Docklands is beautiful and 2 minutes from the DLR station, not even that.

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City Airport’s over the road and stinks of flight fuel. The reception and security staff were kind and customer aware. Just like the reception staff at BSix in Clapton Hackney. Take note Rich Mix staff.

So the art at the Centre for Better Health is just great………………2012-11-30 14.17.46Back in the day when I was asked at my interview at Hornsey Art College what I intended to do after graduation, it was very clear that careers education  and advice had not been implemented in grammar schools and I gave a feeble answer, The governor shouted at me “We want people to design, design phones and other practical things”. Yep he got his wish. Smart eh?

Hackney Museum has a fabulous exhibition about Jamaica and Independence.

2012-11-30 14.45.57It is very well presented and absorbing. The exhibition even goes on on the floor by means of a great big spongy mat showing a map of the West Indian islands. Great. Lots of history is clearly documented on a timeline and all is relevant to Hackney onlookers. It is very popular with local schools. Well done Hackney Museum.

The Hornbeam Café’s staff had to call in support as the place was buzzing. There was a smell of freshly chopped vegetables and home-made soup, local women chatting about charity and vintage shops in the area, a young couple discussing meet-ups over a laptop, a cyclist in from the cold, a father with his little boy, Organiclea workers in and out for their tea breaks and there was I up on a ladder hanging RAGWORKS characters in the form of The Pied Piper with furry rats and Simon’s jolly Pie-man with a leg-caressing kitty-cat.

IMAG000927More RAGWORKS goes upstairs for the enjoyment of working groups and children in creches.

A very busy day of culture.

RAGWORKS comes to town

In the spacious gallery that is Stratford east Picturehouse amidst the smell of pop corn  and within the echoes of staff chatting by the hot dog machine downstairs, you will be amazed to find RAGWORKS. Under sympathetic lighting,  wall-hangings depicting Grimm and Anderson fairy tale characters,  West African humanised animals and other flights of an artist’s fancy are  displayed on recycled bamboo hangers.

These art works have been lovingly hand-made and crafted from abandoned refreshed textiles begged from local manufacturers.

Come and see The Palm Oil Daughter, how pretty she is as she melts by the river or Red Riding Hood covered in blood.

Gillian, the artist, (that’s me) studied art at Hornsey Art College and  West African literature in Leicester way back in the seventies before the word ‘multi-cultural’ met Carol Vordermann’s vowel-tray and has exhibited batiks both in east London and Orkney. Over the past two years whilst forging ahead with Up Your Street Gillian has attended many art and craft workshops in the 6 London 2012 boroughs., notably ceramics at The Centre For Better Health in Hackney.  Thirsty to revisit techniques from university days she has joined and completed felt-making classes, patchwork curtain ones, screen -printing workshops, courtesy of Songololo-Feet, and a host of other courses which appeared as freebies to engage seniors with the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012. All to the good. Can’t stop learning.