Monday, 12 March 2018


If you are reading this you may have missed the Made By Hand show at Cheltenham Town Hall this weekend. 10-11 March. 2 days of wall to wall of varied creative talent in the middle of town.
I was lucky enough to be selected to demonstrate my printmaking processes. On Friday I loaded the studio into my car and set up 
my collagraphs in the pillar room.
The calm before what was to be a very busy weekend.
It was a very sociable weekend as I had 2 other exhibitors staying, Katie Wallis from Bristol and Claire Cawte who is coming to the yard:ARTspace in July to teach an Eco Dying workshop
I could not have done the show without the support of family and friends, particularly Caroline McCatty who looked after me the whole weekend. 
I didn't just stand about in the space, I spent 2 solid days inking and printing.
Talking to people about collagraph, gum arabic transfer and the creative courses and workshops on offer at the yard:ARTspace
It is thrilling to surprise people with the simplicity and
and effectiveness of
the processes I use.
Thank you to everyone who came to talk to us, who bought work and look forward to seeing some of you at the yard:ARTspace, Cheltenham. 
Lets get inky!!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018


Yesterday I found myself back at the Museum in the Park, Stroud.
I was installing my last response to the Museum's WW1 collection as part of the Arts Councils funded project Echoes in Enamel. Thank you Alexia who supported me throughout the project.
For this collection of work I have focused on medals and have made an alternative selection of awards. 
Looking closely at the feeling soldiers may have experienced while at the front and the emotions of their waiting families, I have created medals exploring the language of bravery and fear.
Printing with oiled based ink onto copper I then etched the medallions. The ink resists the ferric chloride leaving the words as an eaten edge.
The pieces were then enamelled with white and black to echo domestic enamelware.

 We know that  medals are awarded for bravery and gallantry; this of course should be celebrated. But we should also acknowledge fear and anxiety, both natural feelings in the stressful environment of conflict. 
The medals have been made in collaboration with textile artist, Viv Sliwka aka Hens Teeth. Viv created the medal ribbons, inspired by bandaging and rusted to create an earthy colour. A far cry from the jaunty grosgrain tapes supporting conventional medals. The enameled copper together with the enamelled bars create a more domestic looking medal. Very different to the grand awards made for actions at the front.
I have placed the new awards among the museums medal display. In comparison they look very handmade, almost as if they were made by the soldiers in the trenches for each other or family at home.
But this is the display that has given my enamel pieces real presence, pinned to 
this beautiful uniform jacket.
This small but beautifully formed exhibit is on display at 
the Museum in the Park's foyer now until 29 April. 
Come and meet me and find out more about the Echos in Enamel project on Sunday 25 March. I will be at the museum with examples from the project and demonstrating Gum Arabic Transfer printing.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018


The weather has been awful, so I have spent several days snug in my shed. I am working on some ideas for a project that will appear in the Autumn. 
 Yes I am once again absorbed with entomological collections housed by museums. I am at the drawing stage and thoroughly enjoying the mixed media process.
I start off with white acrylic printed texture so that I am not faced with a white page. Perhaps a bit of wax mark making...not that apparent  in this image
Then fun with acrylic ink, there is almost colour here, not like me at all!! 
I will then progress by working into the surface with collage, more white paint and drawing. 
Gradually moths and labels start to appear. 
Wings emerge from the mixture. 
More white paint, more definition. 
I like to allow the initial ink patterns to describe the marks of moth wings.
The drawings take on a life of their own, dark background or light...I quite like both.
These moths are generic shapes and patterns,
reminders of moths we may have encountered.
With all this looking and drawing going on I am beginning to make connections
with some enamel experiments I made just after Christmas. 
Particularly these 2 pieces...bugs, moths and now nests.
All roads are leading to this subject matter as this week I found an old wrens nest in a winter tree in our garden. Just look how everything is connecting. I just love coincidences. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018


It is this time of the year that I find myself trying to fend off those winter blues.
These visitors to my garden really help. Not only do they lift my spirits, 
but give me an endless source of inspiration. 
I adore these little ball of feathers  hurtling through the garden and
can't wait to start a new piece based on this plump chap. 
To raise my spirits further on a cold damp day Mr Brown and I jumped in the car and went to the very exotic, Stratford on Avon .
We found ourselves in the Butterfly Farm enjoying the warmth, tropical vegetation and these flying jewels.
This wonderful display of emerging Atlas moths 
was a sight to behold. 
Strange fruit indeed. 
At every turn there is colour and the
gentle movement of equisite
butterfly's and moths sailing through the air.
 Lots of ideas, but more to the point a delightful way to fend off those dismal winter blues.

Saturday, 30 December 2017


I appreciate that Christmas can be an overwhelming time, sometimes the culmination of a difficult year. We all expect a great deal from the festive season, I know I put myself under more pressure than I need to. From decorating the house, finding the ideal gifts (sometimes making them) and cooking heart warming food. This year I added pressure by filling empty crackers because I couldn't bear the rubbish in bought ones. But looking back on my Christmas just 3 days after everyone has gone home, I realise that I choose to do it this way and probably could not do it any other way.
A few things have been different this year. Rudolf had a frosty, wintry look about him and he hung front and center over the fire place.  
My eldest son threw himself into creating, culminating in a wreath making session with his girlfriend. He has ended the year with the discovery of pompom making, can't wait to see where that leads.
The whole family pitched in this year, helping with decorating and cooking. Daughter and youngest son delighted us with winterslaw, and chocolate salami. Fabulous.
All around the house are reminders of making Christmas pasts. I had a year where I could not stop making crochet snow flakes and stars, that garland kept me company in the kitchen.
This year saw the second family bauble challenge. I found these hanging jars in Hobby Craft in November. We all made one including my sons girlfriends and arty chums. I have to say I know what next years task will be!!!
Yes Father Christmas still comes to visit my 3! There is always a making kit in their stockings. When they were small it was to keep them busy while lunch was being cooked and it still has the same purpose even though they are in their 20's. Christmas morning found them making a fridge magnet with the pack of Magnet paper from Tyger. Spot the pompoms? 
One of my greatest joys at Christmas is the fairy swap I make with my chum and talented artist friend Caroline McCatty. I think this is swap 14. We decide the theme at the point of swapping, so next years fairy is decided...!!! This year I have to admit was my choice, Forensic Fairy, yes we try to alliterate and this was not an easy theme to portray in fairy form. Mind you last years Film Noire Fairy caused me problems. These fairy's look great together, it shows how different we are, forensic gloves being key to one and macabre science body parts in the other. As usual I feel so lucky to be owning my fairy and will treasure it, thank you so much Caroline.
Can you guess who made which?!!

Thank you everyone who has followed, supported, come on workshops or poppped into the yard:ARTspace, bought my work and just been there for me in 2017. 
Here is to a creative and exciting 2018.