Sometimes you find something surprising almost on the doorstep! Often walking across the beach at Seaton Sluice, I’d look up to the headland and think ‘That looks almost like Brittany – whitewashed buildings on the headland, seas all round’ and wonder whether it was worth exploring. One evening early last Summer, we finally went along for a look – it was fabulous – the sun was setting over the hills as we followed footpaths over the grassy headland, stumbling across crazy driftwood and flotsam sculptures and discovering the tiny Watch Tower museum. We walked around the headland and back along the riverside before a well earned (!) pint at the pub (the biggest white building).
Inside the pub we found information about the history of the area – 13th century salt manufacture and 18th century bottle works, and learnt that what we thought was a river passage was man made! The Cut had been blasted out in the 18th century to make a better entry to the harbour for bigger boats to take coal and salt, south to London.
It was so lovely that we went back the next morning with a breakfast picnic of hot (veggie) sausage sarnies, a flask of tea and the children! Then we discovered the next bay along Collywell Bay, with fantastic rock structures standing proud on the beach.
This weekend adventure inspired me to get sketching, and the first result can be seen above. It is created with hand dyed fabric, appliqued and stitched to capture the texture and detail of the scenery. I’ve called it Spring Tide – Seaton and it’ll be on view at Gallery 45 in Felton from this Saturday, 5th March. I’ll be at the gallery the following Saturday for their Meet the Maker event when I’m promised there’ll be tea and cake!
In the meantime, I’ll be getting on with that commission…..
Just to show that it hasn’t ALL been about maps lately!
Back at the end of May I did a One day Workshop with a group of Y9 High School students. They had been given the opportunity to exhibit as part of the Alnmouth Arts Festival 2015 in the lovely Aln Gift Shop . So we had the task of making something appropriate in one day.
After discussion with their teacher, I took the group through my ‘Tin Can Metamorphosis’ workshop, where simple mackerel tins are upcycled to become beautiful miniature works of art. The Y9 group used the technique of needle felting to create seaside and holiday scenes that were then housed in the upcycled tins.
(I should point out that the tins were emptied of their fishy contents, washed and dried before they became artworks – and yes, I eat a lot of mackerel!)
As you will see below, the outcomes were stunning, all reflecting the individuality of their makers and showing great skill and creativity.
Big thanks to all the Y9 pupils and Mrs Brown, I really enjoyed working with you all and hope you had a great day as well!
Many thanks to the Aln Gift Shop for taking the time to display the work so beautifully, staging it with similarly themed gifts and artworks from their stock.
And thank you to the Alnmouth Arts Festival for giving me a name check in their programme:)
It may officially be Spring but it’s still pretty chilly up North, flowers are braving the cold, just hope there’s not a late frost!
I’m developing some more beach hut pieces (hoping to encourage warmer weather!) This one, Sandy Bay, is almost ready to go to Etsy. I’ve used a combination of machine and hand stitch with applique and needle felting. The little hut sits on a shingle and sand beach with gentle waves lapping at the shore, the bunting is up but, being a British beach hut the clouds aren’t too far behind – but what’s a beach hut for if not to provide shelter, and refreshments in the Great British Summer;)
Sandy Bay Peek Inside!
It will be joined by two others, Sole Bay *see below* and the Lobster Pot. On each one, the door of the beach hut can be opened to show a little scene inside:)
Sole Bay – the textile so far and its original sketch