Cut Fold Construct at West Dean College

At the beginning of February I attended a three day course at West Dean College near Chichester, West Sussex entitled Cut Fold Construct. The course was led by Andy Singleton a paper artist based in Wakefield.

I love West Dean College – it’s such a lovely setting and always has such good catering. I enjoyed a walk on the first evening in the grounds where the snowdrops could be seen in the dusky half light lining the pathways interspersed with crocuses and small tiny yellow flowers that I don’t know the name of. It was almost a full moon and very atmospheric – there was no-one around so I walked along slowly singing aloud to myself – well it was a full moon!

West Dean College - moonlight

I love playing with paper and it came as a welcome break from my enamelling, although admittedly I do cut stencils from card most days so not entirely a break! However, there was so much freedom in the course that I got to play and play and play.

We were first introduced to Andy’s work through examples that he had brought along. A lot of his current work is based around cloud formations, though he does make commercial pieces such as constructed birds and butterflies for department store window displays.

Cut Fold Construct 15 - piece from Nebula Series by Andy SingletonCut Fold Construct 9 - paper cut from Nebula Series by Andy Singleton

Cut Fold Construct 4 - paper work examples by Andy Singleton

Cut Fold Construct 5 - paper work by Andy Singleton

We then were split into groups of three and made a large paper cut together which we then manipulated into a 3D form.

Cut Fold Construct 21 - group paper sculpture - detail

As starting exercises Andy gave us templates of pieces from his Nebula Series which we then cut and manipulated into different formations.

Cut Fold Construct 25 - putting together Andy Singleton's nebula series as part of a course exercise by Janine Partington

We were also shown how to construct 3D objects from pieces of paper, like this example by Sarah, a full-time West Dean student studying Fine Art.

Cut Fold Construct 7 - constructed paper sculpture by Sarah Heenan

We were then given a few mini project briefs e.g. free form paper cutting and forming

Cut Fold Construct 20 - first free form paper sculpture by Janine Partington

and relief paper sculptures. I decided I wanted to draw into my relief to give it another dimension.

Cut Fold Construct 23 - paper relief of geese by Janine Partington

I then went a little crazy when given focussed time to play and made lots and lots of creations.

Cut Fold Construct 22 - cut fold and bend by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 19 - cut fold and bend by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 18 - a closed box by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 24 - Spring out of Winter by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 17 - a bird by chance by Janine Partington

I then started to draw and cut to create some forms that I was pleased with.

Cut Fold Construct 12 - hand coloured paper sculpture by Janine Partington (1)

Cut Fold Construct 14 - drawing and paper cut by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 13 - paper sculpture doodle vessel by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 10 - paper vessel by Janine Partington (1)

Cut Fold Construct 3 - a paper sculpture doodle by Janine Partington

I also enjoyed looking at what was left behind after the cuts and layered these up to create new images.

Cut Fold Construct 16 - what is left after the playing by Janine Partington

And with a few minutes left to go on the last day I played around with the pieces I had left.

Cut Fold Construct 1 -  a five minute sculpture doodle by Janine Partington

My fellow students included a full time Fine Art student studying at West Dean called Sarah, two part-time FDAD  (foundation art and design) students called Chloe and I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the other lady’s name as she was unwell after the first day and had to leave the course, a lady called Melanie (who had attended Andy’s course at West Dean three years previously) and Jack, a bookbinder. It was a small group and we were very quiet as we concentrated on our work but it was really interesting to see what everyone came up with when faced with a blank piece of paper!

This piece by Sarah was based on the sculpture she made for her end of year show last year at West Dean and a piece she was currently making in her studio which she was making with gaffer tape. One lunchtime she showed us around the full-time students studios and it was great to see the amazing spaces they have and get a feel for the place.

Cut Fold Construct 2 - paper sculpture by Sarah Heenan

Melanie came to the course wanting to make a unicorn and produced this rather wonderful relief. On her previous course with Andy she had apparently made a very impressive owl. I really admired her patience as she and Andy worked out how to make the components and get it right.

Cut Fold Construct 8 - unicorn paper relief by Melanie (1)

Chloe spent a lot of time creating this very delicate piece using scalpel and scissors.

Cut Fold Construct 6 - a paper relief by FDAD student Chloe (1)

Jack made a great relief letter T but unfortunately I didn’t get a good picture of that, but this relief that he did shows how accurate he was with his measurements – must come along with his bookbinding skills! He spent a very long time getting his windmill just right.

Cut Fold Construct 11 - paper relief by Jack



Get Fresh and Spotlight at Devon Guild of Craftsmen

As a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen I am one of those who live and work at quite a distance from Bovey Tracey where the Guild is based. One of the great things about becoming a Trustee of the Guild is that I now visit more regularly, monthly almost, and so see more of the exhibitions that take place there.

At a recent visit I was lucky enough to see the Get Fresh exhibition in the Jubilee Gallery. This is a biennial exhibition which shows the work of emerging talent from the South West – new graduates and makers in their first five years of business. I was selected for this exhibition in 2007. Work on display this year (exhibition continues until 8 March) includes furniture, ceramics, glass, jewellery, lighting, paper, photography, sculpture and textiles. It is a selling exhibition, and whilst I was there for a few hours someone purchased two rugs by Angie Parker – seen hanging on the wall in the photograph below – it’s always great when this happens.

Angie Parker Textiles

Other work included lighting by Tess Wakeling

Tess Wakeling lighting

and metalwork lighting by Chris Dunsby.

Chris Dunsby metalwork

Other work included glass by Jenny Ayrton, furniture by Ambrose Vevers,  wonderfully colourful ceramics by Melanie Kew, sculptural pieces by Beatrix Baker, glass by Sarah Brown, ceramics by Hamish Kemp Evans, textiles by Elizabeth Loveday, work by silversmith Frank Luckham, ceramics by Alex McCarthy, paper by Helen Muir and jewellery by Chloe O’Brien.

Alongside the Get Fresh exhibition now runs until 1 March another biennial exhibition called Spotlight in the Riverside Gallery. This is an opportunity for Associate members of the Guild to showcase work which shows the scale, innovation and vibrancy of the Associate Membership scheme. Again a number of disciplines were on show including work by printmaker and enameller Sue Brown

Sue Brown enamel installation

and printmaker Jess Davies.

Jess Davies Printmaking

Other work includes collage by Tracy Satchwill, furniture by Laura Clatworthy, jewellery by Anna Harding, prints by Grace Coombes, jewellery by Tracey Falvey and textiles by Anna Glassbrook.

Also currently on show adjacent to the shop is a Handcrafted Wedding Display until 2 March.

Handcrafted wedding display at Devon Guild of Craftsmen February 2015 - image by Francesca Dawson

With this ring

I’m really busy at the moment re-stocking outlets, preparing for shows such as the Affordable Art Fair and trying to design new work. I’ve always wanted to make a ring – this is my first attempt.

vitreous enamel on copper insert


More vessels

Enamelled vesselsI’m really enjoying enamelling vessels. I think the vessels in my still life panels have been a way of working through a need that I hadn’t realised:

Enamelled panel - still life with vases

Here are some more of my new vessels. They are 4 inches high (haven’t got a ruler on me so don’t know what that is in metric – you’d never think I’d been born a few months after decimalisation!!!)

Enamelled vessels   Enamelled vessel

I love using my existing colour palette and exploiting the copper of the vessel with the use of clear fluxes, but introducing a bit of pattern.




A Little Sunshine For a Good Cause

I always look forward to the time when there are daffodils in the shops so that I can fill my rooms with them – the bathroom, the kitchen, the lounge. I love their sunnyness, they make me very happy when I look at them.

I found this quote whilst browsing on the internet:

 “A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up, whether or no the sun be shining outside.” A A Milne

Cursley&Bond in Folkestone are creating a Field of Hope in their gallery made up entirely of daffodils. These are to be raffled off at a special prize-giving event on Mothering Sunday 2014 to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

Daffodils are being made by many students, craft enthusiasts and professional designers in lots of different mediums including origami, wood, ceramics, felt, copper, silver and resin. I’ve opted for a felt daffodil as I love sewing so much.




After a lady was given a snowdrop panel as a Christmas present, I was invited to send some work to a pop up shop at the Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival, 15 February – 1 March 2014. I sent along a selection of copper and monochrome snowdrop pictures and jewellery for them to show. The pop up shop runs alongside the Festival at The Grosvenor Arms for its duration.

I took some inspiration from the snowdrops I saw at Lacock Abbey a couple of weekends ago.



I’ve been experimenting with enamelling vessels. I purchased 50 copper vessels late last year, but have only just managed to start playing with them. I’m hoping to take  some of them to the Contemporary Craft Fair at Bovey Tracey, 7-9 June 2014.



A week ago I got a lovely email out of the blue from a lady who had been to a talk I had given at Cambridge Contemporary Crafts a couple of years ago. She had been watching Great British Railway Journeys – Series 5 – Episode 2 Stockport to Leyland and had spotted one of my pendants being worn by curator Erin Beeston. The curator of Samuel Crompton’s home Hall i’ th’ Wood, she had been speaking to Michael Portillo about the invention of the Spinning Mule in 1779 that had revolutionised the Cotton industry in Bolton. I of course got straight onto iplayer and here is how my pendant looked:

Two birds pendant appears on TVTwo birds pendant on the BBC

As the pendant is in a large size that I rarely make now, I know that it was purchased from maker Tracey Birchwood at her studio in Manchester Craft and Design Centre. Tracey very kindly stocks a wide range of my jewellery as well as panels and other designs of mine.

It’s always nice when someone gets in touch regarding work they’ve spotted or something they’ve bought, because they are doing so because they want to and not because they have to – this makes those emails very special.

I also got an email a few days prior to this from a lady who had bought some of my Almanac Gallery Christmas cards after Christmas because she liked the designs so much – she just wanted to let me know.

“Just to let you know that I came across your Christmas card at Salt’s Mill, Saltaire, yesterday, and I thought it was lovely. So I bought two, even though Christmas is over!”