Well, I should start this post by wishing you a happy new year!
Sorry I haven’t blogged for a while. I’ve been kinda busy. During December, I was really busy with the Erewash Festival of Light. I did lots of workshops in primary schools in the area; I made over 90 decorations for the young ones to decorate, and then I also prepared and helped design/decorate over 185 glass jar lanterns. That’s 185 jars to wash and de-label. 185 names to ensure written on. 185 cable ties to check tight and trim. 185 lengths of twist tie to cut… and a LOT of tissue paper, tracing paper and glass marker pens to prepare. I must have sounded like some raging alcholic every time I went anywhere with my bags of glass, clinking away…. cheers!
So, that, and a little thing called Christmas was how I saw the tail end of 2012. But new year, new project, and I am now moving on to the Metal Ages. This is part of a the two year long Excite Inspire Engage Erewash; inspired by local heritage, and supported by Arts Council England and Erewash Partnership, it will explore different art forms with a series of workshops and exhibitions.
I am collaborating with another Ilkeston based artist, Gavin Darby of Frailloop a sculptor who describes himself as “I am Gavin and I weld things”. Take a look at his website, you will see that in fact, he is so much more – he creates fabulous sculptures which are full of character from bits from cars, machinery and so on. As well as the workshops we’re going to be running, which will involve both metal and glass technniques, casting and bridge building, we are working towards producing two sculptures that will live permanently, one at the King George Gallery and another at Erewash Museum.
We recently took a visit to Magna, a former steel foundry in Rotheram, and will be looking at the former Stanton Ironworks site, Bennerly Viaduct, manhole covers and generally looking at the former thriving steel and iron industry that once was in the Erewash area.
I was really sensible when I sorted my camera out to take with me on the Magna visit. Put in new batteries, and recharged not one, but two spare sets. Feeling smug, knowing I wasn’t going to run out of ‘fire power’ I get out my camera, to find it said memory full… so all I could get was a few snaps on the iPhone…. ah well, I have my (metal) memories…