Amy Jade Prints

Amy Jade Prints is Amy Thompson.  She’s a first-timer at Design@HEART and we’re really looking forward to welcoming her and her lovely prints.

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I use traditional printing methods to create fine art prints and products. These are often inspired by folklore, mythology and natural history.

After graduating with a degree in Illustration and Animation from Loughborough University I moved back to Yorkshire where I continued to experiment with technique, materials and design.

My process starts with a pencil drawing, which is then transferred onto lino before carving and printing. This hands on process means every piece is unique.

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Sarah Dunton

If you’ve been to Design@HEART for the last couple of years you’ll have met Sarah Dunton.  Her ceramics and prints have prooved very popular.  She’s back again on 9th November, so here she is talking about her work:

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I am a potter, printmaker, painter, illustrator and gardener. I originally trained as a fine artist at Leeds University, and since then I have continually worked as a painter and maker. I gain my inspiration from the natural world – plants and birds – and I also love to make images of people at peace and enjoying their gardens. This inspiration is a thread running through all the media in which I work. I learned to make pots at the Swarthmore Centre and now make these at home in my studio, hand-building my pots, so no two are the same. They tend to be decorated with birds and leaves. I have made many pieces to commission, including illustrations for the health service. pots for wedding presents, and paintings as gifts.

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THE Creative S P A C E

The Creative SPACE is the creative business of Laurie Bower.  She’s bringing her beautiful handmade books to Design@HEART for the first time on 9th November.

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I create individual handmade books, blank ones with beautiful covers and creative ones with my poems or quotes in.  Books are touchable art, and I enjoy making stand-alone pieces, which are functional as beautiful notebooks, sketchbooks or journals. I embellish covers with machine and hand embroidery.

I use recycled paper and reuse packaging and my aim is to recycle completely once my current materials are used up, making my own ribbon and reusing paper from junk mail for the covers. Each book is hand sewn and finished.

A lifetime’s love of words, books, paper and making is now converted into a business. I also sell cards of my own designs.  As an art student I was told I couldn’t draw, so I made instead (sewing, dressmaking, embroidery, jewellery, anything craft-based) and I bring these skills to my books.

I teach mindfulness and creativity workshops and incorporate a loving and attentive approach to everything I create.

 

TM Vintage Leeds

Brand new to Design@HEART, Tom Mitchell brings his eclectic mix of vintage upcycled lamps.  We think you’ll like them!

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I started TMVintageLeeds back in 2016 from a love of old cameras, I am really a huge photography fan and it seems that a lot of old cameras become neglected and unused. I took this thought as an opportunity to turn them into something that I love and that other people can use and love too!
The box brownies have a lovely form and are so aesthetically pleasing to me that I thought they would make beautiful lamps.  This initially started out with me making them for friends and relatives, morphed into the small craft business today. I love providing things at a reasonable cost so others can love them as much as I do.  This is more therapy for myself rather than a business and I love working with beautiful items….and then I found more things that I love that are neglected, forgotten about or simply just unloved.

Inkylinky by Liz Samways

After several years away, Liz Samways is back at Design@HEART this year, and we can’t wait to see her new jewellery and prints.

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I’m a Leeds-based jeweller and printmaker, working primarily in silver and copper which is etched & engraved using techniques commonly found in printmaking. My work is inspired by the landscape, as viewed on a flat plane through the train window and aerial views, and is influenced by English landscape painters, printmakers, & surface-pattern designers, as well as my background in garden design. I love the textures, mark-making and unpredictability of the printmaking techniques I use, which I also translate into my jewellery and metal pictures to make pieces which will never be identical.

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Where appropriate, I like to add colour using traditional materials – patination recipes, vitreous enamels, and sepia ink. Exploring the chemistry of these processes in itself provides inspiration which means life is never dull!

 

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Carbon Art by Ceri Wood

Ceri is another newcomer to Design@HEART and we’re looking forward to seeing her drawings and maps.

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I am a Horsforth-based artist specialising in pencil-drawn bespoke maps and landscapes of the local area.

I have always loved monochrome art and the striking effects that can be achieved from simple media such as pen and pencil.

Pencil has always been my favourite medium and I have recently diversified from drawing landscapes to creating personalised maps of people’s favourite locations. The maps developed from wanting to create mementos that represent special places, but in a unique way that differs from anything else.

Commissions so far have ranged from counties to countries and have celebrated occasions such as births, engagements and weddings. It’s always exciting to find out what location I’m going to draw next, and my geography is improving with each commission!

Goss Bag by Annie Lawson

Over the next few weeks we’ll be featuring some of our artists and craftspeople for our next fair on Saturday 9th November.  First up is Annie Lawson of Goss Bag:

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I am a cartoonist who has progressed into ‘cartooning in wool’. My knitted phone cases are flip-top design and are sturdy, being each one knitted by myself. There are also ‘key slugs’ to keep bunches of keys in, and knitted bumblebees that have not use other than embellishment. I have also recently added fabric holdalls to the sturdy bag range. My drawn cartoons also feature, in the form of greeting cards printed at home on elephant dung paper. I love making useful things that are beautiful and often humorous. ‘Keep it Material’ is my motto – I keep to a small phone! My studio is with East Street Arts in Leeds.

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For the love of wood

Gavin Edwards is another newcomer to Design@HEART, bringing his interesting and original wood work.  He has had many careers, and his current one draws on all the others, as he tells us in this latest blog.  

Working with wood is my latest career choice, having previously worked as a Cartographer, Field Archaeologist, Archaeological Curator and finally as Museum Collections Manager.  An unconventional background perhaps, but I have always enjoyed working with wood, so I didn’t want to feel that I never had the opportunity to explore where my love of wood might take me.

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My experiences as an archaeologist, as well as working with museum collections, has made me appreciate just how much human material culture and technological development has relied on the physical properties of wood. Indeed, our relationship with trees stretches back to the very origins of our own species, but there is so much more to wood than just its physical properties. There is an intrinsic beauty about its internal structuring, the natural grain and colour, which is something I always hope to enhance and take advantage of through the use of very simple and structured forms.

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I like to use a wide range of native and non-native woods, birch plywood and reclaimed wood to create what I refer to as decorative wall panels rather than ‘wall art’. In most cases the design element of my work is driven by the same desire to highlight and show off the character and quality of the wood, and on occasions it can be an unusual feature in a piece of wood that is the inspiration for the design of the finished piece.

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Bringing out the very best qualities of the wood is achieved by hand sanding down all the surfaces to a very fine level and then applying a hard clear wax finish before further applications of a semi solid wax finish. I do not use varnishes as I want these items to develop their own history by accumulating the dents and scratches of time, which are more easily ‘soften’ by additional applications of wax finish. Again it is the quality and appearance of the wood that matters most, which is why I prefer to use simple forms. The only time I use stains or paint, is when making the baseboards which are measured up and made to support the other pieces of wood that have already been cut and arranged to create the overall design.

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The basic layout and design of some of my pieces can be repeated, but the appearance of each completed one will always be unique due to variations in the wood itself and the hand-crafted nature of its construction.

Heart of Glass

Sarah Wade of Garage Glass Studio is back this December with her charming fused glass products.  We asked her about her making process and how she got started.

My interest in fused glass developed from my interest in stained glass which I did as a hobby for a number of years. At one course I went on there was a kiln and we had a go at fusing glass. I was hooked, and ever since I have been fascinated with the things you can do with glass and a kiln.

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Warm glass or kiln-formed glass is the working of glass by heating it in a kiln. The processes used depend on the temperature reached and range from fusing and slumping to casting but doesn’t go much above 800 degrees centigrade. This differs from hot glass, where the artist works with molten glass with a temperature around 1000 degrees.

For the first few years my interest had to remain a hobby as I had a day job as an accountant, but four years ago I gave up that job and soon afterwards Garage Glass Studio was born. I have two small kilns in our garage and the glass is created there, hence the name.

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I did a City and Guilds level 3 in decorative glass course at night school, and I have been on a number of courses to learn specific techniques of glass making, but other than that I am self taught, adapting techniques I have learnt to create the images that I want to make, and learning how glass performs at different temperatures. I am particularly fascinated by the effects are created through the reactions between the chemicals in different glasses as they heat up.

 

Most of the inspiration for my work comes from the world around me, from the animals and plants that I see in the countryside in West Yorkshire. I love taking my wares to craft fairs and sharing it with people. It feels great when they look at your table and smile.

 

Firing up the kiln

If you have visited Design@HEART before you may well have seen Lindsay Thomas’s work.  Lindsay is a potter, producing eyecatching home decorations using the ancient method of Raku, and incorporating her other love of textiles into her new work.  Here she is talking about her work and methods:

I have been making pots since 1995. I started by attending an evening class and enjoyed it so much I carried on. I was fortunate enough to use an inheritance from my father with which I bought a kiln.

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I was also able to attend two courses that influenced my work and inspired me to try to sell my work. The first course was a weekend in the wilds of Wales with Annie Horner where I learnt to build and fire a Raku kiln and I use this process in my work still.  The second was a week’s course with Peter Beard, an amazing potter who taught me to refine my work and encouraged me to go out and try and sell my work.

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As I loved the Raku process I used this and made work influenced by ancient standing stones and ancient rock art from Ilkley moor. My first selling event was Potfest in the Pens 2000, a show which I have attended every year since. I work from my little studio in my cellar and Raku firing my work in my homemade kiln outside in the garage with my husband being my extra pair of hands.

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Over the years my work has gone through various influences, the main one being natural forms and pebbles found in the beach. The beach theme expanded to beach huts and camper vans and I now include found object found in the beach such as driftwood.

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The Raku process is an ancient Japanese process used to make tea bowls. The work is made, bisque fired, glazed, and then fired again in my Raku Kiln. The Raku kiln is fired to 960degrees then the pots are taken out when red hot and placed in sawdust. This causes a reduction in heat and makes the glaze crackle and any unglazed part turns black.  The pots are then placed in water and cleaned up.

My other love is textiles and my new work is earthenware decorated with oxides and transparent glaze. I use hand dyed yarn by Jean Wildish at Wild Wood Wool to sew rock art designs into the pots.

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