Monthly Archives: February 2012

Beryl Hole – Ceramics

This weeks Artist spotlight is on Beryl Hole.  Beryl is based near Hampton Court in Surrey and has a long history and much experience working in ceramics and her passion for her craft is inspiring.  We shared a fascinating discussion on exactly how she fires her gorgeous Raku pieces, a process that is unpredictable and slightly dangerous, while also being rather exciting and exhilarating and a constant voyage of discovery.  Beryls work appears to me to explore the essences of both the  physical world of rock, water and sand with the ‘otherness’ of spirit with the silken smooth pure white forms, each happily rejoicing in their own space, but occasionally combining in harmony to create something different again.  All demand to be touched and engaged with.

My love of working with clay and trying new materials or techniques is what sustains me in my creativity and the only thing that hinders it is everyday life getting in the way.  Often just as you have clear need time to work through, something mundane but needing attention crops up.  I don’t know who said it but it’s true: life is what happens when you are planning something else.

I am always trying new ideas, but sometimes I need to develop new work because I am taking part in a themed exhibition and I have to work out how Ceramics can fill the criteria.  It’s then a matter of going through source material, drawing, and trying it out in clay.  I like to be shut away in my studio, on my own when I am working; the radio on and no interruptions.

I remember (many years ago) when I was at art college, another student sitting around saying she was waiting for inspiration; and thinking at the time, that is never going to work.  I think I have always felt that you just have to try new ways to represent what you are trying to do, not to be satisfied with the last result, but see if you can take it further, then sometimes you do seem to have reached an inspirational result, and you think why you didn’t do that before.  Brilliant.

Occasionally, if I can’t work through to new ideas, I just get away from it for a while.  Go for a walk, visit a friend, or go to an exhibition.  The V&A is always a fascinating diversion.

I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil;  it has always been part of my life.  But I think there are key moments when you have to follow your instincts.  After O level exams, I entered the 6th form at school, only to find that art would not fit into the curriculum, so I phoned the Art College, arranged an interview, got accepted and started the next week.  Then told my school I had left.  Even at 16 I knew this was what was right for me.  I think being an artist just means I look at things slightly differently.

Having worked in a pottery studio for a while as a production thrower, where you are just an extension of a machine, I now rarely do repeat work.  At the time it was a good discipline, I could throw any shape required, which has stood me in good stead.  Now I mostly do one off pieces, repeats are always slightly different, either in their decoration or shape, simply because they are handmade.

I find the process of selling or marketing my work difficult.  In order to continue making, which I enjoy, I have to sell, which is not where my skills lie.  It also includes paperwork, which I hate.  I’m not good at it and it takes me so long.  I find it disruptive.  If money was no object I would have the time to just make what I wanted when I wanted and have a salesperson to take care of the marketing.  I think the future for artists in the current financial crisis will be hard.  For many people what we do is not seen as essential.

If I was given a chance to learn a new skill, I would like to try stone or wood carving.


Beryl’s work is available through the Gallery until the first week in May.


Gesine Garz – Jeweller

London jeweller Gesine Garz creates her jewellery using old typewriter and cash register keys, which she sources from all over the UK and her home country Germany.  It’s fabulously fun, funky, eye catching and it’s vintage/upcycle creditentials make it a brilliant buy, especially if you’re searching for a gift for that man who has everything!

Here Gesine talks about her work, her inspiration and her life as an artist.

I love working with my hands and really exploring the materials, I have to say, I am not interested in creating art work using computers. Even though it is an important part of the modern creative world, personally I don’t like putting the “machine” between myself and my creations.

‘I have also always been very interested in other craft people’s work (by no means only jewellers), so it’s very important for my creativity to have a dialog with other artists. Sometimes it’s really inspiring to do joint projects with artists who work in other media like wood, textiles, glass or even fine artists. I have recently started sharing a workshop with other jewellers in Hatton Garden, which is definitely an inspiring environment. I have had a variety of studio spaces over the years from the tiniest little corner in the loft with a jeweller’s bench squeezed in to a corner of my living room and now my studio share in Hatton Garden. All these spaces worked fine for me, as long as I had access whenever I wanted to work. I have to say though, that sharing a space with others is nicer than working alone, even though it can be a little more distracting, but in a good way.

I don’t actually keep a paper sketch book and rarely make detailed drawings before I start making a piece. It’s all in my head. New ideas often come very randomly and unexpectedly. It can be visiting an art exhibition, a country walk or looking at architecture. I have a great passion for Arts & Crafts designs and Art Nouveau. Whenever I visit historic buildings with style elements of that period, I come home with my mental sketch book full of new ideas.  I don’t see a big difference between the inspiration and the “work” when it comes to my jewellery. The creative process flows directly into the making and carries on during the making. Even my teaching work as a tutor at a Jewellery school in Hatton Garden, although often stressful, is inspiring on many levels, although balancing that with enough time to work and create can be difficult. I honestly never have a “lull” in ideas, only a lack of time to realise them all, which can be frustrating.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a great passion for jewellery and all things beautiful. Even as a child, I remember visiting the local flea markets with my parents and hunting for little treasures. I started by collecting antique and contemporary jewellery but always wanted to learn the skills to create my own pieces.  Being an artist definitely informs how I see the world, where I work and who I socialise with.  It seems to me creative people always have interesting things to talk about.

If money was no object, I’d love a bigger workshop with all the tools and equipment I can’t afford right now.  I’d spend more time in the studio just making nice things. But I enjoy both my artistic and my teaching work, so, I am lucky in that respect. I think it is always hard to live of one’s art unless one has a good head for business too.   In my opinion, a high level of skill and imagination is what makes a good artist, but that is not always a guarantee for financial success. More time making would be nice though, I have not been promoting my work very aggressively in recent years, as the teaching has been providing my living. I am actually quite glad that I don’t have to live entirely off my art work as that would probably ironically effect  my creativity. I can enjoy the best of both worlds, I enjoy creating new work, but also don’t mind recreating pieces for clients for commissions as well.  I have to admit though that I do get a bit bored if I have to repeat a piece too often. On the other hand, I see it as a compliment when many clients want the same piece. It means I’ve got it right.’

Gesine will  be teaching jewellery workshops in the studio at the gallery, showing the secrets of how to create beautiful jewellery from found/memory objects.

To find out more check the website or give us a call. Tel: 0208 241 2940

Her work will be available for sales through the Lovers Lights gallery until May 8th 2012.


Announcing Spring Collection – February 2012

      Someone said to me on a dark day last year in February, before this gallery was even the glimmer of an idea, that although it  still looks like winter, under the ground the sap is already rising!

That thought stayed with me ever since, and now when I look outside at the stark trees even though it all still looks like winter, I like to think about how underground they are already preparing for Spring and how it’s not far away!  So it’s in February we present our Spring show, starting with the blush of Valentines day, it’s seems like love is definitely warming up the the air (all that sap rising I guess!).

We launched the Lovers Lights Gallery in November last year with a collection of artists that absolutely could not have been more perfect. They really set the standard of the gallery in the area as a place for high quality, beautiful work, the gallery glowed and twinkled and it was a joy to be here!

I am amazingly grateful to them all for having the faith in me and this venue and taking the chance to show their work here as our inaugural collection.  I can’t tell how many times I was told by customers that they were amazed at the beauty of the work and the space, it was wonderful.  It was surprisingly hard to bring down the remaining work to make way for the new group of artists with a new collection of work.                                                             

I’m happy to say once again though, the new work fell together beautifully in what seemed to be a theme, not planned at all but there nonetheless!  Completely different but what a display, a brilliant collection that really packs a punch!  Ranging from crazy leaping hare woven wire sculptures, hand made (almost steam punk) stunning kaleidoscopes (forget the cardboard tubes of your youth, these are on a different planet), brilliant vibrant photography, gorgeous ceramics, beautiful batik, driftwood art that will have you pining for your cliff top hide away, jewellery made from typewriter and vintage till keys, paper art (really it’s so beautiful) and of course some very funky rather gorgeous re-cycled glass chandeliers and lamps.                                                                                                                         

  We had a fabulous opening evening on Wednesday, a glittering and utterly glamorous of course as   is our way :-) and got things off to a very happy start with artists, art lovers and lots of really very lovely people who just wanted to come and see!  Doesn’t get much better!

 This collection runs to May 6th, make the most of it while it’s here – I certainly intend to!


Janis xx