News and Articles

Letter from the Chair Winter 2011 Tilly Wilkinson

 

I can’t believe that autumn is here. Try as I might to convince myself otherwise all of the evidence is there to see; darker nights, lower temperatures, the beautiful plums, reds and russets of the leaves, the cotoneaster outside the window bowed down with bright red fruits. During the early part of this autumn I was invited to demonstrate enamelling techniques for the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight on the Wirral. Both occasions were well attended with some members of the public staying for the whole session!
 
For many the onset of colder weather is time to put on more woollies and retire with a book. Not enamellers though; it’s the perfect time to have a bit of a sort out and get the kiln fired up.
To me there’s nothing nicer on a blustery wet day than putting the kiln on and having a play with a technique that you are unfamiliar with. I will certainly be experimenting with some of the enamels and processes I learned about at the Region 1&2 weekend in Edinburgh recently. My thanks go to all concerned for organizing such a great workshop but particularly to Veronica Matthew and Janet Notman for running the class and to Dorothy Cockrell for conjuring up lunches and dinner for 20 people from what seemed like thin air.
 
Whilst at the workshop my husband David took some pictures of the pieces produced over the two days. The photo’s can be viewed on the guild website, by clicking on the gallery button in the menu on the left hand side of the website front page. There has been a lot of work done on the website since the Spring. I am pleased to announce that the guild database of images is now live and can be accessed in the member’s area via your personal log on. I’d like to thank Julia Riddington who has written the software and David Cowling who has catalogued and edited thousands of images, for all their hard work getting this project up and running. There is a short article about the database and instructions on how to use it on the front page of the website. Please remember to scroll down the page as articles are added chronologically. It is still early days and much of the information is still being added. David would like members to look at their images and contact him with any additional information or corrections. In addition David is now responsible for the day to day aspects of managing the website. If you would like any pictures or articles adding then please contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Most of the archive images have been taken at conference by Rob Griffin with help from Jock Miller, from the Themed and General exhibitions. If you haven’t entered a piece for either of the exhibitions before, please consider submitting something at the next conference, either personally or via your regional rep’ if you aren’t attending. Not only might you win one of the prizes but your work will be photographed and held on the guild archive. The title of the themed exhibition for 2012 is “Jungle”, so there’s plenty of scope for colour, texture and form.
 
At the conference in Canterbury the possibility of junior membership for under 18’s was raised. The current constitution allows for under 18’s to join the guild as full members for half the annual full subscription. However, to ensure that we are fully compliant with current child safety legislation, the Executive Committee decided that any member under the age of 18 wishing to attend regional workshops must have both their parent’s and the regional representative’s agreement that the workshop is suitable. Any under 18’s wishing to come to conference would need to be accompanied at all times by a participating adult member. Full details may be obtained from the Membership Secretary.
 
The Ravenstein exhibition was a great success with a number of exhibitors selling their work. The next opportunity for exhibiting work for sale will be summer 2012 in Whitby at the Pannett Art Gallery. Please see Lesley Miller’s article and the website for more details.
 
Our 2012 conference will take place at Reaseheath Agricultural College in Cheshire over the weekend of 13th-15th April. Reaseheath has good access from the M6 and is a short taxi ride from Crewe railway station. Our tutors for 2012 are Linda Connelly, Dale Deveraux Barker, Penny Gildea, Gillie Hoyte Byrom, Jill Leventon and Jane Short.
Shirley Gore will be running the Art Attack Session on our arrival on Friday evening. After dinner David Bainbridge of Milton Bridge Enamels will talk to us about enamel manufacture and on Saturday evening Carmen Lombardi from Sao Paulo in Brazil will be giving a presentation on her technique for torch firing cloisonné and plique-a-jour. The Masterclass on Sunday will be by Ruth Ball and is entitled “Working the Surface”.
 
I’d like to thank all of the tutors, speakers and selectors for giving their time so generously to support our conference. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone one at Reaseheath in April but book early as places at conference go quickly.