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Letter from the Chair Autumn 2011 Tilly Wilkinson

 

I had assumed that this summer my enamelling would wind down as it usually does when the weather gets warmer (I am writing this in mid July). However I have had a number of beginner’s lessons recently and was busy over the first weekend in July demonstrating enamelling techniques and promoting the Guild at the Wirral’s Festival of Firsts. The festival was the idea of John Gorman (some of you may remember him singing “Lily the Pink” as part of The Scaffold). The weekend was jam packed with poetry, drama and music, held at various venues around the pretty seaside town of Hoylake on the Wirral. Local shops along the high street kindly gave over their windows to display the work of local artists and crafts people for two weeks free of charge. Sunday 10th saw Hoylake prom play host to the work of 120 local artists from all disciplines.
 
The event was a huge success and great fun to be involved with. In addition it has helped to raise funds for Claire House our local children’s hospice on the Wirral. I was busy all day on the Sunday demonstrating and explaining what our craft encompasses to what seemed like an endless stream of visitors. There was a lot of interest in the Guild so perhaps we’ll see some new members in Region 3. I’d like to thank Region 3 members Ann Kernigan, one of the festival’s organisers, for her help with the venue for our Guild demonstration, Diane Rimmer for also promoting the Guild via her stall at the festival and my husband David who as usual carried my big kiln into the venue, looked after customers and brought regular supplies of tea.
 
On the subject of festivals a number of our members have been busy demonstrating enamelling techniques on behalf of the Guild at Art in Action, evidence again of the Guild’s commitment to promoting the craft of enamelling to a wider public. Lesley Miller organises the Guild demonstrations at Waterperry along with a raft of volunteers. I hope the word raft isn’t an omen of the weather they have experienced; as I write this the rain has been lashing our windows seemingly non stop for several days.
 
Lynne Glazzard our new Publicity Officer has also been very busy recently. A number of members will be aware that the EU is proposing to ban lead in jewellery. The Executive Committee became aware of the issue after receiving an email from Pat Johnson. The legislation is well intended, hoping to try to reduce the number of cheap lead bearing metal jewellery items entering the EU. However, within this legislation an issue has arisen as to the possible banning of enamelled jewellery items. Lynne has been in touch with various government agencies and has been instrumental in formulating a proposal for the exemption of leaded jewellery enamels on behalf of the Guild and its members. This has been a complex issue which has taken many hours on Lynne’s behalf contacting professionals in all areas of the industry. In particular we are indebted to the help of David Bainbridge of Milton Bridge. The results of the EU decision will be known in September.
 
The Ravenstein exhibition is now well under way. Ellen and John Goldman attended on the first day. They were accompanied by members of the British Club of The Hague and the exhibition curator Jan Klink. On behalf of the Guild I would like to express our thanks to Jan Klink for organising the exhibition and to Ellen for her help throughout.
 
Earlier this year the Pannett Art Gallery in Whitby offered the Guild the opportunity to exhibit members work during July and August 2012. It is envisaged that this will be a selling exhibition for a range of works but particularly wall based pieces. Further details will be published in the next Journal.
 
All the rain I mentioned earlier has replenished our water butts and thankfully the weather has finally taken a turn for the better but perversely the sun and strong winds mean that all my pots in the garden need watering again. So I’m off outside to do just that.