Mosaic Workshops in Hampshire!
Are you looking to try something new? I am running some exciting mosaic workshops in Totton, Hampshire in February and April 2016! Come along and get involved!
I started this month being inspired by a couple of great links I came across on social media. Check this out!
New Online Shop!
With lots of new stock made, I decided to open a new online store. It was fairly simple to create and it a great platform for showing my work to friends, family and the public! It is easier for local people to buy from me too, as there is a 'collect from artist' option, so free shipping!
Bursledon Carboot Sale was a great place for me to find more china to make some more pendants! I am now supplying the Bluestone Gallery in Devizes with some of my mosaic jewellery and it has inspired me to get making some more rings and pendants! Here is what I found:
Lastly, I have confirmed stalls at two venues for November and December! I will be holding a stall at The St. James' Church in Shirley and at The Rum's Eg Christmas Market, Romsey. See my Exhibitions page for more information!
This month, I have started making lots of novelty earrings and Christmas earrings ready to sell over the winter months. August has also been a time for researching exhibitions and I have submitted some work to a number of places, so let's keep fingers crossed for good news!
I started my new job as Art Teacher and am loving it! Is so much fun getting to plan all my own units of work (as I am technically Head of Department) and get to buy lots of new art resources! I have so many ideas and can't wait to put them in to practice. My new classroom is also amazing with floor to ceiling windows out on to the countryside.....a very inspirational place to work. I have a kiln to use too! So, a shorter post this month as I get stuck in to my new part-time job!
This month, I have been very busy working in my studio for Hampshire Open Studios! I have worked on a range of pots and a new bluetit mosaic! It has been great to share my work with so many art enthusiasts and make some sales! A very busy month, hence the shorter post.
End the end of Hampshire Open Studios, I decided to leave the Courthouse and move back home to work. I have moved into a new house with a lovely bright spare room with lots of shelves for my tiles and it seems stupid not to work in there! I will miss everyone at the Courthouse but look forward to getting my new studio sorted!
Hampshire Open Studios!
All my work is now up and ready to be viewed at The Courthouse Eastleigh for Hampshire Open Studios! Come on down and see lots of great work by a range of artists between 11 and 4pm every day from now until 31st August!
Urban Sketch Crawl
The Here are two of my sketches from recent Urban Sketch Crawls. One from Hythe and one from Hamble. Both enjoyable events and I am please with the results! The Hamble sketch was slightly trickier because of the tide coming in, I must get quicker!
The Big Reveal!
This month, I installed the Swaythling Primary Mosaic in their library. It proved difficult to lift and keep level but we managed it in the end! It is up and looks fantastic! On Monday 6th July, the Daily Echo sent a reporter to the school and with a group of selected children, the Head Teacher and the Deputy, we unveiled the mosaic!
Here is a picture of the final piece!
Hampshire Open Studios Preparation!
I have started making things for Hampshire Open Studios, which takes place this August. My studio space is nice and tidy and I am feeling inspired to work! I have made lots of new pots and have started on a few example mosaic hearts, that can be personalised for different occasions!
Also this month, I have made more mosaic hearts to say thank you to a few amazing work collegues that I will be leaving now I have a new part-time job as Art Teacher at a Preparatory School! I am so pleased to have landed an ideal job that can run alongside my artist role!
Swaythling Mosaic Update
I Now that the design for the Swaythling Mosaic has been approved, I have started drawing it out onto two large MDF panels. It is a lot larger than I realised but I am so happy with how the design has turned out! I have also drawn out each element onto separate pieces of paper with mesh taped over, so the older children can use the cutters to mosaic each part. The younger children will complete the sky and the grass.
After a short assembly to introduce myself, the workshops commenced! They went really well with all the children in the school taking part. It was smooth running and the children thoroughly enjoyed it, although it was a very tight squeeze getting it all done in the 3 days!
I then took the mosaic back to my studio to grout! This was a time-consuming job, as some of the parts of the mosaic were very fiddly and the mosaic was so big! But, it looks great and I can't wait to get it installed! Here is a sneak peak and one part of the mosaic - I love the little details I added like the school logo!
I have also been commissioned to make two more mosaic hearts as wedding gifts this month:
Swaythling Primary Library Mosaic
This month I have been working on a new commission for Swaythling Primary School. Sarah Bolt, the Deputy Head Teacher at Swaythling Primary School, got in touch after seeing the mosaics I had created for Highfield Infants. She asked if I could work with all the pupils in the school to produce a mosaic to reflect the spirit of the school. She was inspired by a tiled artwork that was created at the school in 1979 and said she wanted to show how the school has changed and developed but whilst keeping the community feel that the original artwork depicts.
I set about writing a proposal for her and met with her to discuss how it would all work. Then, we set a date for the children to produce drawings based on what is important to them in their community. I have collected all the drawings that the children made and have been selecting and arranging them into a complete designs.
I took two of these designs to show Sarah and she has selected the one she thought was most effective. She also requested that I add the school name to the bottom of the design, so I have been working on the lettering for this.
The design selected to be used for the final mosaic.
I then drew this up to scale using a projector ready to copy onto the wooden base. I have ordered all the materials needed, written risk assessments, contracts and liaised with the school regarding timetables for the three days of workshops.
Also this month, I have made a few more pots!
Another excellent sketch meet yesterday. I feel this one was much more successful! I sat under a shelter (as it was pouring down) and drew a house across the way. I LOVE my new Faber-Castell colouring pencils. I have been testing out the technique of using a white pencil to burnish the colours and it has worked really well. It really does make a difference having high quality colouring pencils to use, they blend so much better! Then, after a drink and a sketch crawl 'show and tell' at Heather's, I headed back to finish my sketch.
Once I had finished and now inspired by the Abbey sketches the others made, I headed inside the Abbey to draw. When I went inside, the Southampton Orchestra were rehearsing with their choir for their evening performance, so I sketched them too! The music was fabulous and such a pleasant surprise. I sketched there for about two hours!
Rachel Evans Mosaics - April
At the beginning of April, I travelled to Westhay in Somerset to attend one of Kate Rattray Mosaics' courses. The course I chose was a mosaic sculpture course to assist in creating 3D starling mosaics for a Sculpture trail, due to be on show at the end of May. I wanted to learn more about armatures and the materials you need to create sculpture for outdoors. I much prefer learning in a hand on course, rather than reading it in books (Although I do read about how to do things too). It was useful to realise actually how much I already knew! The structure was made using thick wire, chicken wire and thinner wire to stitch it together - all these things, I have done before but in other contexts. The most useful part of the course was learning about the tile adhesive that Kate uses to create the smooth surface for tiling on but also that the fibre-glass mesh that tiles are delivered on can be cut into strips and used with the tile adhesive to create this structure. I will keep this from now on! I also met lots of lovely people and thoroughly enjoyed the day :)
As well as this, I went to Walford Mill to see Cleo Mussi's exhibition 'Spring Boody'. It was really interesting to see a very different style of mosaic and how chunky her work was compared to mine. The scale was very impressive. I particularly liked her floral work because of the way she had used the patterned china. The colours were dramatic and I spent some time looking at them to take it all in! Below: Tussie Mussie by Cleo Mussi.
Also this month I have been really getting into drawing. I was inspired to create some Zentangle style drawings after speaking to my collegue about what she had been doing with the art club at school. I also went on a drawing expedition to the Harold Hillier Gardens and some very cute baby rabbits posed for me - although I had to draw quickly, as they kept popping in out of their hole. I also drew some beautiful Magnolia Athene.
Life drawing this month really pushed me out of my comfort zone! The model was continually moving through a series of belly dancing poses, which meant I had to really loosen up and draw quickly - great practice! I also attended the urban sketch meet at the National Oceanography Centre. It was an open day, so we were lucky enough to be able to access areas the public are not normally allowed to. There were wonderful, yet intimidating, views of the docks from the café. I chose just one boat to focus on, which shortly drove off! So, I gave up on that and headed to the exhibits to draw some people. A very enjoyable meet and it was lovely to see what everyone else had drawn too! On top of this, I have done a few more sketches in my other sketchbook, including an owl sketch because I couldn't sleep and drawn with pebbles on the beach at Lyme Regis.
I have decided to start a blog for several reasons. To help me remember all the things that inspire me, to share these with others and to keep a record of everything that I am doing. I will update my blog regularly. Feel free to share and comment on posts!
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