Friday, 16 November 2012

dear green place...

back in glasgow and back to school for year two

the clocks have fallen back and as autumn turns to winter, the last few yellow leaves cling to the bare branches, the days are short and chilly weather brings woolly jumpers and thoughts of knitting. subliminal christmas messages are no longer subtle as it lies just around the corner.

i find myself looking forward to the light and colour that spring will bring...

'springtime' by thomas j clapperton at glasgow green, affectionately known as peter pan

Monday, 18 June 2012

skye summer...

i'm heading overseas tomorrow to work in skye for the summer

my destination is the peninsula of waternish in the north west corner of the island

i'll be documenting my skye summer with a daily (i'll do my best!) blog recording the weather, landscapes, seascapes, sunsets and any mini adventures i may find myself on!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

a sense of place...

i took a day trip to edinburgh yesterday to see the exhibition a sense of place: new jewellery from the northern lands at the national museum of scotland

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

one down...

end of year show

              vic pics
silversmithing and jewellery line : wire earrings on display

Sunday, 27 May 2012

ear buds...

earrings representing different stylised versions of spring birch buds and branches

silhouettes of cascading catkins from the silver birch trees in kelvingrove park

Thursday, 26 April 2012

touch wood...

top: touch wood driftwood, found on the shore, west coast
hand carved dimple, oxidised copper

bottom: fools gold lime wood, tilia x europaea, felled branch found in kelvingrove park
hand carved, ink, brass ring

Thursday, 19 April 2012

wood work...

back to school for the third and final term of first year at gsa

my latest project is called 'touch'
the brief is to create a piece of jewellery that  interacts with or touches the body, this project is shared with the second and third year s+j students and the final piece will be exhibited along with theirs (eek, eek and double squeak!)

i have found myself looking at the practice of touching or knocking on wood to prevent bad luck from happening, so i've been playing about with different woods

drift wood

looking at the palm of the hand and the finger tips

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

april snow showers...

yesterday brought alpine fresh snow along with clear blue skies,
chilly but gorgeous!

last week was very warm and sunny for late march, even got a wee bit of sunburn!

just three days ago

the first bluebell in full bloom

magnolia sargentiana with its huge leaves and petals, it looks like it belongs in a rain forest

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

surprise snow...

lots of fluttery snowflakes today, last week was hot and sunny with fluttery butterflies!
i do love it though, fresh and chilly and bright and sunny, the highlands at its best!

still can't upload photos... boo

Saturday, 31 March 2012

highland spring...

i'm a week into my sunny spring break highland style at the parental home in kintail and things are looking rosey...

unfortunately, blogger is being extremely rubbish and annoying and has foiled every attempt i have made to post pictures over the last few days and likes to scramble my photos, great

Thursday, 22 March 2012

birch brooch...

investigating peeling birch bark with brass and copper sheet. drilling holes then rolling to stretch them, roll printing with bark peel and etching to emphasize the curling, wafer like quality of peeling bark.

final brooch, top and bottom left

exploring the texture of  birch bark using acrylic paint and paper

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

hangin' with ma birches...

there are no words to describe my love for birch trees... 

so i've settled on birch trees to study for the sheet surface/texture project, i'm looking at the tree, bark and catkins but not the leaves because there are none at the moment

birch trees in kelvingrove park, they look like skinny zebra-giraffes

yarn bombing, knitted stripy trunks

a birch forest reminds me of a barcode

Monday, 19 March 2012


in between doing battle with an academic essay and starting a project on texture i managed to get the foot project finished, phew...

brass wire and etched brass sheet

Sunday, 18 March 2012

chuffed to bits...

well, i'm just delighted to have received a wee something for my bronze art medal 'two' 

i received an honourable mention from the bigbury mint for using the medal to explore an important subject

a heart made from pure 19th century cornish tin
which was recovered from the wreck of the s.s cheerful which sank in1885 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

at the circus...

i escaped essay writing to gasp some fresh, spring air and found myself in park circus...

 i wandered through the lanes, past the muse houses escorted by a pair of scruffy cats, like a tourist in a european city. dreaming of townhouse living...

then through the park to look at the trees and the beautiful cherry blossom

finds of the day...

birch catkins, cherry blossom flower and a wee fluffy feather

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

finding my feet...

today is a leap day. it comes but once every four years...

following on from my exploration of fairisle design, i decided that stitching/embroidery would be the best way to go as knitting a fairisle pattern might be a bit beyond me at the moment.

much fun was had in mandors looking for suitable woven and mesh like materials and when it came to choosing threads i found myself a little overwhelmed by the vast choice of colours.

after what seemed like ages and felling a bit dizzy from running back and forth along the rack, i had a handful of colours. i was trying to think, 'right, fairisle... fairisle colours?' i'd hit a multi-coloured wall of embroidery threads... and then, when i least expected...

inspiration hit. i reached for my phone and found this picture of my croft in skye and it was then easy to find the colours i needed. standing there, with this picture in my hand i realised that everything i've done so far is linked to the croft in some way. it always sits in a corner of my mind somewhere, just waiting so i suppose it makes sense really. 

i left the croft when i was seven and i might not live there again until i'm seventy, but knowing that it will be a major theme in my future work keeps the dream alive... i love it when a plan comes together!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


i've been looking at mehndi, where the feet are decorated with henna in intricate lace patterns...

and imagined what the effect might be if the pattern was from a different culture, like mine...

this has brought me to fairisle patterns

my own, humble collection of fairisle including 
one, genuine, vintage, shetland yoke neck sweater complete with hand darned repairs!
i love it very much

these grid textures on sauchiehall street remind me of grid paper patterns

Sunday, 26 February 2012

my feet are killing me...

once upon a time... long, long ago... i was a highland dancer and whilst i have been researching the feet and movement, balance etc i have been looking at dance, ballet in particular. 

something i've noticed about dance shoes or pumps, is how they bind the foot to provide support by holding all the muscles and bones together. on a darker note this reminds me of chinese foot binding (gag)

last monday i joined an adult ballet class (brave) the muscle memory is stilll there, just, but i have noticed over the years that my feet have changed shape slightly and they certainly lack the strength they used to have. i just wore socks, which became loose and grubby in no time so tomorrow i'm going to wear a pair of my old dancing pumps from my highland days. now, they haven't seen the light of day, never mind my feet for about twelve years (what???!) and they seem to be a lot smaller than i remember. my toes aren't used to being this close together. they're usually in my green puma sneaks (see below) sitting comfortably in an adequate space.

so, i'm going to wear them all day and see how it goes. these are my most recent pair, a slightly different design than my usual type. they bind/support more than others i've had. there are more holes for the laces and there is only a half sole on the ball of the foot because that is the part of the foot that has most contact with the ground.  

highland dancing pumps by hullachan

my old favourites, well worn and holey

i took them off after about four hours and this was the result....

the laces have left quite prominent marks where they were tied. the laces weave in a criss-cross pattern and tie like a corset.  the grooves were fairly deep which they never used to be in the past and i don't remember my feet being this fat and puffy! there must be a seam running across the knuckles of my toes, my second toe was being rubbed while i wore them.

Friday, 24 February 2012

park life...

what a lovely sunny day to go exploring in the park!

kelvingrove park is an excellent source when looking for texture, trees in particular. i have only studied a small section of the park so far, there's lots more to find.

in the afternoon there was a talk by gsa artists in residence, rhona mccallum and bekki churcher.
they talked about there work so far and what they've been doing since graduating. 

i felt i could relate to rhona's work the most, she uses lichens and textures from west coastal shores as her inspiration. i noticed her work in the roger billcliffe gallery on wednesday by coincidence.