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Origin contemporary craft...or is it art?!

Glittering Shards: Origin contemporary craft...or is it art?!

Glittering Shards

Monday, September 26, 2011

Origin contemporary craft...or is it art?!

Please excuse the silence on this blog. I do aim to post at least once a week, but sometimes life takes its own twists and turns, which it did last week with the sadness of a family bereavement.

On Saturday, I appreciated the opportunity for some space to just think and be, as I went browsing through Origin - the annual craft fair organised by the British Craft Council (finishes 28th Sept).

There were many beautiful mediums expressing art and craftmanship (for it truly straddled the two) with sleek, skillful forms, colour and variety. As is often the case, no mosaics, but I did notice much work based on repeated pattern and tessellation, touching on  the mosaic medium.  But still,  no mosaics. Its interesting to ponder why? There are of course way more silversmiths, potters and textile artists out there (partly as mosaic is not taught as a standard element of art degrees I guess). But are we mosaic artists just a shy bunch? It got me thinking.

Here are some works of note for you to cast your eyes upon.

 This piece, very much in the mosaic tradition, made of stone by Sylvain Deleu

 Loved this lady's work, using pins and thread. See more at Debbie Smyth's site

This is a book I saw that caught my eye - always looking for patterns and where better than nature to go to for inspiration!

Clare Knox-Bentham creates art with melted plastic. I always tell my students to 'go with the flow' but this takes it to another level...

 Ella Robinson's work really appeals to me as it uses driftwood and rubbish collected from the sea, including these bits of plastic. I have had an idea for ages to use nik nak's from my kids toy box as 'tessearae', and here we have another example of 'nearly mosaic art' doing just that. A lovely lady too...

The two pieces above are by another lovely lady called Esther Coombs who describes herself as an Upcylcer (love it!). The first image is one I have to do as I have rather a lot of broken ceramic in my studio ('do it, do it!' said Esther). And because allotmenteering is getting into my blood...  The second image is a tray with images etched on and ceramics embedded - again, a nice side spin of the mosaic world. Like it a lot. It transpired that we both have sheds converted into studio's - so we swapped insulation tips and talked smugly about how it takes us 30 seconds to get to work!
The above piece, entitled "A Woman's Work" is one of the Glass Cathedrals series by Lisa Swerling. Honestly, all her pieces left me grinning on the outside, and some on the inside. I have met Lisa before and every time, her work stands out, particularly how she uses humour and scale (small in big) to touch something very human in us. Please visit her website and be sure to click on each image so you get to see the scale of each piece.

Lastly, (sorry no pic), I loved the work of Guy Bird - the most beautiful ceramic sculptures of birds and my favourite was this one ...ehm, a little hint for hubby as Christmas is coming!



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