Monthly Archives: May 2012

Newsletter – May 30th

Lovers Lights Loves You!



Summer on the Green

Out of the gallery window, really is a wonderful sight, it looks idyllically English!  Cricketers in white, families having picnics, friends having tea and cake at Arthur’s, red buses trundling in and out of the picture (just to prove this is still London of course) and all framed with those lovely horse chestnuts still just about in bloom. With this view out of the window, it’s a amazing I get any work done at all!

The end of May also marks the always sad end of the Brighton festival.  I once again joined the crew at ‘Polish and Pin’ in Hove, the house of recycled art.  Emma who runs it,was featured here in the gallery last year with her gorgeous butterfly prints as part of our first show,  and we were talking about her coming back and joining us again soon.  There was a great collection of really stunning recycled work that I really hope to bring to the gallery over the next couple of shows.
I sold five lights overall, so was very happy and want to thank Emma and Pauline once again for their hard work in making their house into a proper working gallery making all of our work look lovely.

I made my first trip over to Eel Pie Island on Friday morning and met Lee Campbell long term island artist and creative coach there for coffee.
I loved the whole relaxed hippy (being an old one myself of course) vibe over there, lots of cool boatie stuff (technical term) and flowers and art!
I am a bit of a hermit here in the studio (poor girl), so it was lovely to go and say hi!
Lee is painting a specially commissioned painting for the  Strawberry Hill Jazz festival so I’m looking forward to seeing her and the painting there.

So getting out and about is definately what’s going to be happening over the next few weeks, below are details of what Im doing at the Jazz Festival in Strawberry Hill and 2 for 1 tickets for the Midsummer Art Fair at the Landmark Art Center.

All good and quite exciting I think!

All that Jazz

Summer of course also brings the now famous Strawberry Hill Jazz Festival on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th of June
I’m hard at work on a large and I hope rather stunning chandelier which I’m making especially for  the festival arts marquee.
I am very excited (and a tiny bit nervous) about it as I think it’s probably the biggest I’ve ever made.
There’ll be a Lovers Lights stand sparkling away in the marquee as well so come and meet me there and let me know what you think.
The theme is ‘Strawberries and Cream’ so I’m going to build the colours around that, should be really really pretty!

Tickets to Midsummer Fair – Landmark Arts Center, Teddington.

There is a pile of ‘two for one tickets’  here in the gallery to the preview evening on Friday 15th of June between 6pm and 8.30pm.
I’m also going to be there with a Lovers Lights Stand.
So, if you  have a friend to go with on the Friday night, come and grab some tickets from me and save some money!
The  main show  is on for the Saturday 16th and Sundayy 17th of June between 10am and 5pm


Courses in the studio

Come and get hands on!

Friday 15th June 2012
Make a bag  - Felt making course

6.30pm to 9.30pm  - Cost £55
We can fit 5 people in this time as we’re going to set up some tables in the showroom as it’s after hours.  Should be great fun!
Full details on website here!
  Felt making course

New Course – ta ra!

Monday 25th June
Fused Glass Jewelery

6.30 to 9.30pm – Cost £55
Making fused glass jewelery
I’ve been threatening to run this course for a while now, and at last have a date.
Fine for beginners,you should leave with a nice selection of fused glass pendants that will be fun to make and look beautiful as well.
Learn how to cut glass and make you own pretty fused glass pendants.
Max 4 people.

Artist Spotlight: Peter Garrard – Ceramics

Our first artist spotlight of the Summer show is on ceramicist Peter Garrard.  His gorgeous ceramic birdhouses are just amazing and really caught my imagination.  We here in Surrey to like to attract birds into our gardens and what better way than to treat them to one of these lovelies!  Peter also has a range of  ceramic panels that we’re very happy to show, quirky and beautiful at the same time.  To help you get to know Peter a little better he talks here about how he develops his work and what brought him to where he is now.

Some of my earliest memories are of making things; constructing towers of wooden blocks spiralling to the ceiling with my Dad on his return home from work; building dams in streams from boulders with my brother and playing with Lego every day for many years. I later went from building Lego houses to drawing the ideal home to live in and for many years thought I would become an architect. At secondary school I discovered clay and increasingly spent all my spare time in the Pottery. Many of my early sculptures were, of course, of buildings. By the time it came to apply for university I realised it had become more important to me to work with clay than to be an architect.

I now realise that by producing my art work I have had the privilege of being able to continue to play as an adult.


I also spent many hours as a child helping my Dad in the garden and reading history books in my room. On Sundays we went to church. All of this continues to inform my own art work to the present day with its recurring themes of Biblical imagery, historic architecture and the natural form.

After university I taught pottery and painting and drawing for many years in a secondary school. I found that, as a teacher, I was constantly thinking up new projects to do with the young people and was in turn inspired by what they produced. Much of my recent work is based on the collaging and mark-making experiments that I did with these classes. I enjoy the freedom of pressing found objects into the clay and then playfully combining the resultant images together to create a narrative.  While I was teaching I continued to make my own work in my spare time but always found that I had more ideas than time to realise them. As a result the subject matter and style of my own work would vary widely.

During the last few years I have spent less time teaching and more time on my own work so I have turned our dining room into my studio, giving me a space in our home where I could work and store all my materials. It makes such a difference when you can leave your experiments lying around and when you can have a quiet space where you can reflect and concentrate.  I find that I am in my studio, well into the evening most days.  I now feel it will be good to separate my home and work life a little more so I intend to build myself a larger studio in the garden, somewhere with more day light and space. I can’t wait.

I have repeatedly made sculpture to be placed outdoors. The initial inspiration for my bird houses was the vernacular architecture of the Cotswolds but I became
increasingly interested in buildings from my travels and particularly by the decorative qualities of the Moorish buildings of the Alhambra and of Cordoba. Close study of the ancient Chinese brass vessels at The Ashmolean in Oxford has also been influential. I always find it hugely inspiring to spend a day drawing somewhere like The Ashmolean or The Victoria and Albert Museum; I come away full of ideas for future work. In fact I am more likely to look at ancient artefacts than contemporary ceramics.












I don’t have any problems in producing work although there are times, when I am feeling less creative, when I might repeat work or go out and seek inspiration.  In fact just handling the clay can be wonderfully soothing and sometimes it is enough to be working on some simple repetitive task.  On other occasions I might simply ‘play’ with the clay. This develops a life of its own as I intuitively work with it and invariably results in something satisfying.

What I enjoy most is when I am set a new challenge such as to create a piece for commission, or as at the moment, making sculpture for a specific venue. My latest work is for The Rococo Gardens in Gloucestershire. Combining my love of history with nature I am creating a series of organic forms inspired by a wall hanging, an 18th century piece of Indian chintz fabric, which I found in the Ashmolean.  With this sort of ambitious task I find it helpful to go through a conscious design process, making studies of things I have found before going onto develop ideas through drawings and maquettes.


Summer Show launch evening and thanks!

A big big thank you to everyone who came to help us celebrate our new summer collection of gorgeous maker designer artwork.  It all went swimmingly, gliding effortless like a swan on the lake( with it’s feet paddling frantically under water). I for one, had a brilliant evening.  I keep trying to remind myself on these evening I’m supposed to be working but to be honest it’s so  lovely to just relax and meet everyone and …just……..breathe!   The atmosphere was really lovely and great fun as always, though I must say I have been left with more chocolate torte than I can cope with…oh lord… what IS a girl to do??  :-)   The night was also graced with live acoustic guitar by Geoff Haves whose playing perfectly complimented the sunny evening, he actually had another gig to go to that evening in Canary Wharf so big thanks to him for giving so much of his time and playing so beautifully!

Unveiling the new collection is so exciting and a huge amount of work goes into setting up the gallery, so it’s lovely to hear the positive feedback and really does make it all worth while. I’d like to thank Ray Mallaney, Gayle Joubert and Jessica Healing who all swept into action and worked their socks off to help prepare and get everything ship shape.

So who are the new talented crew who will be here for your delectation  for the next three months (drum roll please!)

I am proud to introduce work by:
Adam Aaronson (Blown Glass), Adriana Brinsmead-Stockham (Cast Glass), Alan Friend (complex and simple line drawings), Annie-Rie ( traditional painted stained glass), David Metcalff (Wire Sculpture), Elinor Lamond (Juicy colourful ceramic bead jewellery), Heather Bailey ( Bright and stunning mixed media wall art), Jeanne Lewi (Strange but alluring plant inspired ceramics), Jule Mallett ( Hengrel’s – Genetically modified hen humour textiles),  Kathryn Bonson (Ceramics inspired by her love of the Pennines), Linda Connelly (Enamelling – Quirky, feminine jewellery and artwork),

Liz Scrine (Light Box ceramics), Maria Pina Pintus (Glamorous and exciting jewellery), Michael Kusz (Recycled copper Love Bats), Patricia Spero & Gabor Lacko (Beautiful wood turned bowls and platters), Peter Garrard (Garden center peice ceramic bird houses and statement ceramic wall art), Steve Leaning (Classic Urban inspired ceramics) Yume Martin  (beautiful simple silver jewellery).


It’s such a treat to work  in this lovely place and a privilege to be surrounded by such amazing creativity.  It gives me food for thought every day about what we create in the world for ourselves and those around us.  There’s been sad news in Twickenham recently about much loved shops and business having to close their doors after years of trading.  Coupled with so much gloom and financial despondency in the news and on the TV it would be easy for a new kid on the block like us to see the world in a certain less than positive way.  I think sometimes when things get really challenging though, it’s good to think of it as a call to action in our own lives and in the world that is a bit more close to home.  There is a bigger picture than the immediate fog of  ’tough’ around us.  The choices we make around these times and in the smaller world that affects us directly, are the seeds that will grow into our future.

These artists are all driven by the desire to create, but I think we all are – the questionis, what are we creating?  Whether it be a pot, a painting, a glass lamp or a  business, a safe, caring and welcoming home or a loving partnership, we’re all creating all the time.  The more we focus on creating wonderful things for our lives, the less room the doom and gloom merchants in the outside world will have to unbalance us.  Sometimes changes are undeniably hard, especially when financially and emotionally things are absolutely not as we would like them to be, but perhaps we can flow more easily though the difficult times and eventually celebrate what ever changes happened, if we can see each thing as an opportunity to create something new, reinventing all the time – something to aim for anyway!    I hope this gallery will reflect that, reinventing all the time, creating a place where everyone can find something lovely that someone else has created especially for them, just when they need it!
Doesn’t it look gorgeous ?

Janis xx