I am getting super professional and moving into a new studio premises at the end of the month. ‘Fusion’ at the Tile museum in Jackfield is a modern building on the site of the old works, it’s architecture and name reflect the industrial processes carried out historically on the site. Fusion now houses ‘Artisans at Fusion’ of which I will be one. I’ll continue with my graphics and illustration business while combining my new found love of lino printing. I hope to sell framed limited edition prints from the studio and will be running lino printing workshops. I’m really excited and looking forward to the new challenges ahead. Hope to see some of you there!

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A lovely sunny day on Sunday, things are brightening up in the Dale. I almost missed these little jewels under a hazel tree in the garden. Crocuses are so vivid against the fallen leaves and earth. Spring bulbs are brilliant, you forget all about them and then there they are. Looking forward to the tulips and daffodils next!

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I’m putting together some brand new views of Coalbrookdale and the surrounding area for an exhibition of my work at EightySix’d in Ironbridge. It runs from 14th March – 9th April. EightySix’d is a relaxed coffee house with scrummy cakes and lunches, the girls are taking a break in February but back with a vengeance in March. Check out EightySix’d on FB and twitter to get more info about the show and upcoming events in March!

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I’ve been working on some heritage inspired lino prints for Middleport Pottery, the last working Victorian pottery factory in Stoke-on-Trent. The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is supporting the refurbishment of the site and the historic interpretation is where my illustration skill comes in. Today HRH Prince Charles visited Middleport and was treated to a tour with Marion Blockley (who apparently delighted the Prince with her tales of the ‘Sagger Maker’s Bottom Knocker’!) Just feeling really pleased to have had my work on show for such a high profile event. Here’s hoping the project goes forward and everyone’s hard work pays off.

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Had a great day today. Went to Shrewsbury early this morning and on the way captured a great view of mist over the Severn. Visited my favourite shop http://www.vintage-shrewsbury.co.uk/ and bought a beautiful lamp shade printed in linocut style (unfortunately not for me!) Back home later after starting on some hand made Christmas cards, I was inspired to walk the meander from Buildwas with my faithful Alfie!

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I’ve been working hard on a new set of lino prints. The inspiration is the industrial heritage in Coalbrookdale – I’m trying to get a new perspective on some familiar sites around the area. Today I’m cutting a lino that includes a large cog, and I have to say – it’s not easy. Won’t be happy till this is printed, I just hope it lives up to the finished image in my head!

Walking in the woods is a constant source of ideas. The leaves are turning and every view feels like a ready made high contrast image to turn into a print. The teasles around the pool are particularly fascinating, so I had to work them into a new piece.

I have recently completed an interesting heritage project for www.marionblockley.co.uk Not only did I illustrate a children’s guide to the area, but also got the chance to experiment with my lino printing skills. The result is a piece of design, stylishly put together by Tom at  www.potenza-creative.co.uk combining my original prints with superb graphics.

Saltaire and the Bingley Locks area is a World Heritage site in Yorkshire. It’s a great place to visit. With textile mills set alongside a canal system, you’ll find industrial heritage and protected wildlife. See my work and all you need to know about the area on the Canal & River Trust website  http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/bingley-five-rise-locks

To anyone who doesn’t know about Apple Day in Coalbrookdale you are missing a treat! This celebration of all things ‘Appley’ is a local tradition and brings together local crafts food and music in the beautiful woodland setting of the Greenwood Centre, a collection of old railway buildings and traditionally crafted barns. This Saturday was no exception, I had a wonderful day and for the first time I had a small stall selling my lino prints. The response was fantastic, it seems that all that inspires me about this lovely corner of Shropshire has a similar effect on others. My pieces of hand crafted artwork showing familiar views and wildlife had a really good response, thank you to everyone who came along. I’m so excited about creating more work and can’t wait to start cutting a new piece combining the idea of the industrial heritage of the area with natural elements. Will keep you posted!

 

 

Despite having to cancel Damson day due to a waterlogged Cinderhill picnic area, I’m keeping busy this weekend. We spent a day out in the garden yesterday (in the rain!), and planted three new fruit trees – a quince, greengage and pear. My favourite is the very pretty quince tree, we’ve put that by the benches so we can look at it. Managed to print the Damson Orchard lino today – so I’ve celebrated spring in my own way this weekend!