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Letter from the Chair Winter 2012 Jane Ball

Well the nights are drawing in and the heating’s coming on earlier and earlier, but I love this time of year. First nature has its vibrant say with the changing of the leaves, time to spend happy moments crunching through nearby woods. Then the colourful lights go up in the towns and houses; I have to admit to being a real kid and get just as excited as my children as Christmas approaches. Following that, if we are lucky enough, a covering of clean, white snow to throw, make snowmen with and slide down slopes on; also good inspiration for some Grisaille enamelling.

 

This leads me nicely onto next year’s conference in York (5th-7th April 2013) and the exciting tutorials available; these are elaborated on elsewhere in the journal. Once again highly gifted enamellers have given their time and enthusiasm to provide a wide range of tutorials and talks, to whom I would like to send a huge ‘thank you’ in advance. Without them, conference would not be possible. I hope many members will find a tutorial of interest and be able to attend, and that many of you will share your creations in the members’ exhibitions, including the themed exhibition, which will be ‘All the fun of the fair’. I look forward to welcoming our bursary winner Scarlett Cohen-French to conference and seeing her work exhibited; many thanks once again to our joint sponsors WG Ball, Craft&design magazine and Vitrum Signum for continuing to fund the bursary award.

 

Sadly I have to announce that David Alexander-Smith of Vitrum Signum, one of the most longstanding supporters of our Guild, passed away in October this year. Our thoughts are with his wife Mo and family, who I know have been very grateful for all the well wishes they have received from Guild members. Mo has advised us that Vitrum Signum is open for business as usual.

 

I have been lucky enough to meet many of you at your regional meetings, thank you for making me so welcome. Since my last letter, Region 3 gave me the opportunity to ‘go big’ and create an A4 piece at M&CT’s factory. Thanks to Chris and Mary Taylor for opening their factory to let us all have a go. This is something I have wanted to try for ages so I was thrilled to be able to attend and am quite pleased with my final piece; thanks to Tilly for her design advice! As I write this I am about to attend the Region 1 & 2 annual weekend meeting so am rather excited, having been told I’m ‘in for a treat’.

 

Along with the opportunity to start to understand how the Guild works, get to know the executive committee members better and learn how much work goes on behind the scenes, I have most enjoyed my trips to regional meetings in my time as Chair. These visits have allowed me to meet Guild members and see what everyone is doing.

 

As a Guild member you are welcome at any of the regional meetings, all that the regional reps ask is that you phone to let them know you are interested in attending a meeting as some venues are pushed for space. Full details of what’s on in the different regions and how to contact the regional reps can be found in the journal or on our website www.guildofenamellers.org.