Wednesday, August 26

Bridport Open Studios August 2015


A quick note to let you know that I'm taking part in this year's Bridport and West Dorset Open Studios, and I'll be throwing open the doors to my secret headquarters, hidden away in the centre of bustling Bridport.

From Friday 28th to Monday 31st August the studio will be open between 10am - 4pm. I'll be there to chat about my work and there will be some pieces available for sale, including a freshly made batch of singing birds in a dazzling array of colours. Also available will be cards of my work and a special "Bargain Corner", with slight seconds and past works for sale.

There's lots to do in lovely Bridport if you're making a special trip - fab places to eat like The Red Brick Cafe or Soulshine (both a short walk), the vibrant "Arts and Vintage Quarter" on the St. Michael's Trading Estate, two great arts venues (The Electric Palace and Bridport Arts Centre) and of course beautiful West Bay just a mile or so down the road for bracing sea air, Jurassic coast views and of course fish 'n' chips.

You can find me at:
Cross Keys Studios, 13 South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NR. The entrance is just off Buckydoo Square, between Mango Hairdressers and Double D Computers (follow the BWDOS signs).  A short walking distance from town car parks or 1 hour free parking on South Street.

Access to the studio is reasonably good, although there are three slight changes of level from the street, each with a single step.

Thursday, June 25


A few images from the past couple of weeks.  Some work, some play...

Tuesday, June 9

New Stained Glass Studio

So happy and excited to have finally finished renovating the outbuilding which is now my brand spanking new studio (you can read about my old one here.)

It was quite a task... damp, dirty, full of junk, badly lit, horrible windows, nasty ripped and stained lino, massive useless (too deep) shelves at one end, massive useless sink unit at the other end.

So sleeves were rolled up and work commenced. The shelves and sink unit were removed and I had a new purpose-built workbench made. Then the rest was up to me: filling, drilling, deglazing, reglazing, priming, painting, cleaning, sanding, more painting, trips to Ikea, furniture building, tiling, grouting... you get the idea. And then moving in.

So lovely to have proper drawers and shelves and storage. So good to have a workbench that is BIG ENOUGH. So nice to have light, and room to move around.

Some things I did that worked out really well:

Painting the lino. I didn't think it would work either, but I got down on my hands and knees and sanded it thoroughly all over (fun times). Then degreased it with sugar soap. Then repaired the rips using flexible caulk. And then painted it with floor paint. It seems to have withstood the various items of furniture I have dragged around on it so far!

Glass racks - they are actually Ikea shelving units, from the Trofast range. The top one is this one, turned on its side.

Windows - removed all the light-stealing Flemish glass from the 5 window panels and 6 door panels and replaced with normal clear glass. Ba Da Bing - DAYLIGHT!

Pegboard - Ok, super trendy I know, but it is actually for workshops and tool storage, so I'm going with it. I still haven't finished putting everything up on it yet, because it will take a while to work out what I need on that bench and what would be better over by the smaller bench.

New smaller sink - big enough for washing hands and brushes, not so big it takes up half the workshop (I have a bigger butler's sink in the old workshop that I'll still use if I need more sink space).

Bookshelves - the cheapest shelving that Ikea does, but it looks great, and when properly fixed to the wall is as strong as you like.

So you'd probably like to see the before pictures.  Brace yourselves.  And this isn't even as bad as it was because I took these once I'd removed most of the junk...

Makes me feel a bit exhausted just looking at these now - the state of that lino! You would never know it was like that under the shiny grey paint.

Looking forward to starting on my next piece of work in there, and I'll be taking part in Bridport Open Studios in August this year, so it will be a nice opportunity to show it off.

Friday, June 5

Postcards from Sisterhood Camp

Such an inspiring and refreshing weekend, with a fantastic group of women, in the beautiful countryside of the Hartland Peninsular, North Devon.  We stayed at Loveland Farm, in their brand new geodesic domes.

Pictured top to bottom:
Shibori fabric dying workshop with Heather Young & Bethan John
Leather cuff making and decorating with Golden Bear Belts
Clifftop picnic lunch
Evening portrait photoshoot, led by Xanthe Berkeley and Louise Gibbens
Spekes Mill Waterfall swim
Exploring the Hartland Peninsular coastline (2 images)
Elderflower Mojitos 
Packing to go home

There was much, much more that I haven't posted, like the delicious evening meal, and the flower crown workshop, and the impromptu folk musicians who serenaded our picnic...

Thank you to Xanthe Berkeley for capturing it all so perfectly...

If you're interested in finding out more about Sisterhood Camp 2016, or getting involved in any way, you can sign up to the mailing list here.

Massive thanks to Lou Archell and Hannah Bullivant for all their hard work in bringing it all together.

I made a playlist on 8tracks to capture the spirit of the weekend, featuring songs from Laura Veirs, Paper Kites, Lord Huron, Fleet Foxes, Beth Orton, Alela Diane and Michael Kiwanuka.

Friday, May 29

Sisterhood Camp 2015 / Victorian Stained Glass Roundels - Blue Tit and Goldfinch

This weekend I will be joining 24 inspiring women at the Sisterhood Camp, a weekend spent under the stars at beautiful Loveland Farm.  

Organised by the amazing Lou Archell of Little Green Shed, and sponsored by Toast, the weekend promises creative workshops, feasting, wild flower gathering, dancing, waterfall swimming and camp fires.

The aim is to share skills, dreams and goals.  To encourage, and hopefully develop, a working relationship together and inspire new directions and future collaborations. 

Feeling very lucky and excited to be invited to what will hopefully become an annual event.


I recently painted this pair of my always-popular British Bird stained glass roundels, for a stained glass studio in London.

I spotted a real goldfinch the other day, and now they might have just taken the lead in my affections from the long-tailed tit.

Wednesday, April 8

Reproduction Victorian Hand-Painted Stained Glass Heron Roundels

I fell in love with this original Victorian roundel that I pinned to my bird roundels board on Pinterest a few weeks back: that magnificent heron, the poor deflated frog and his melodramatic friends and the detailed background foliage (kingcups, arum lily leaves, water reeds and yellow flag iris) make for a very unusual and charming centrepiece.

So it was a lovely coincidence to find in my email inbox a commission to paint a pair of them for some stained glass panels going in to a new door being made by bespoke London door company Voysey and Jones.

The client wanted the left hand roundel to be a copy of the original, but the right hand one was to have a happier outcome, with the frogs having escaped their grisly fate.

A couple of close ups to show detail of feathers and frogs...

Wednesday, March 11

Studio/Workshop Move

For the past 10 years, I have been working out of a small, cramped, oddly shaped workshop that was hastily set up after we moved to this house, when I was about 8.5 months pregnant with our first daughter.

It was fine, did the job, had all the essentials: a workbench, a kiln, a nice big window, shelves, a sink, a radio... an although it is quite long, it lacked a little in the width department (exactly 5ft wide, if you're wondering). It was a bit like working in a canal boat, but less romantic. When clients came to visit, a mild look of panic would cross my face if there were more than two of them. One year I took part in the Bridport Open Studios, and at several points during the weekend there were queues of people to come in - not because I was so incredibly popular and a must-see destination, but because a family of four had come.

Although we are fortunate enough to have a couple of outbuildings here, the larger one got filled up with building materials, bikes, abandoned kids' craft projects and other general crap. Somehow I was always too busy with either work or the kids to empty it out and move into it. 

But I have finally been able to clear it out, get a new workbench built and start decorating it.

There is a lot to do.

I am replacing all the window glass because it is horrible (Flemish, which sounds lovely but really isn't), filling all the holes in the walls, covering up damp patches, painting the walls, windows, door and floor as well as sorting out the slightly rotten sills on the exterior. And when I say "I", I do genuinely mean "ME". My budget does not allow for someone who actually knows what they are doing to come along and fix it up.

I'll save the hideous "before" pictures of my new space for when I have some "afters" to show you.

details of all images can be found here
I want it to be ready soon, but I'm still only about halfway there. In the meantime I have become quite addicted to pinning pictures of other artist's studios on Pinterest as a way of making me feel like I'm getting somewhere, and keeping me motivated.

Above are a few of my favourites... most of these are pie-in-the-sky, with their high ceilings, wooden floorboards and huge arched windows, but I'm hoping to steal a few ideas from them for the general aesthetic and how to arrange the space in the new workshop.

It's not a massive space, but at least I won't have to walk sideways up and down it.