Deck The Halls opens Saturday 22nd November until Sunday 21 December.
It may only just be November, but its starting to look a little bit like Christmas at The Byre. After a few days of re-painting the gallery walls, gone is the deep blue of Telling Tales and in its place a rich claret red, perfectly festive.
Telling Tales is now over. After a very successful six week run, the exhibition closed on Sunday 21st September. If you didn’t manage to see it, there are lots of photographs here and from Monday you can browse some of the pieces in the exhibition at The Byre’s new online gallery. From Monday there will a tab on the home page of this site called ‘Shop’ click on that, and you will be transported…
So although the virtual gallery will be open 24/7, the actual gallery is taking a break. I will be open by appointment however to see The Byre collection – a selection of work from favourite makers or to discuss a commission from any of the makers whose work has featured at The Byre. The new exhibition, in time for Christmas shopping, is Deck the Halls and opens on Saturday 22nd November and runs until 21 December – I’m very happy to take in wish list letters for Father Christmas! More news on this very soon…
Jewellery has proved to be very popular during previous exhibitions at The Byre and so for Telling Tales I was delighted to be able to introduce a new maker, Stephanie Tudor. The main part of Stephanie’s craft practice is the stunning textured wall panels she creates for interior spaces but she also makes miniature versions worn as rings and pendants which she calls,Wearable Textures.
Stephanie creates these unusual and elegant pieces of jewellery by using simple casting methods, trapping a diverse range of natural fibres and elements within composite plasters which are porcelain-like in appearance. Leather bands to replace the more traditional metal ‘ring’ add an extra design dimension – and are also extremely comfortable.
Rings and pendant by Stephanie Tudor
Tracey Falvey’s vibrant recycled silver and enamel jewellery has been much sought after at previous exhibitions at The Byre and Telling Tales is no exception. To coordinate with the colours featured in the show, Tracey has mainly used a palette of rich pinks and purples to create an eye catching collection of ‘box’ rings, earrings and brooches, which add a wonderful splash of colour to any outfit and never fail to attract compliments.
Purple Allium brooch by Claire Crompton
Also receiving compliments is Claire Crompton’s Textile Flora, delicate trees and flowers created from re-purposed threads and paper. The very elegant Purple Alliums sold out very quickly so I’m delighted to report that Claire has just made another three and they are now on display in the gallery. I was also very excited with two extra additions to the range: an Allium necklace and brooch. Made out of the same delicate paper petals coated in purple resin, they are hugely desirable and likely to disappear quickly!
Graphite porcelain beakers by Jill Holland, porcelain vase by Janet Stahelin Edmondson, glass Spritz bowl by Charlotte Sale and large glass vessel by Ruth Shelley
A new addition to the gallery is The Byre Collection – a collective of work not part of the main exhibition which features new work from favourite makers. The Byre Collection will be refreshed, replenished and restyled throughout the year and is available to view and enjoy even when there is no main exhibition taking place. Updated Collections will be posted here!
Graphite beakers by Jill Holland, porcelain vase by Janet Stahelin Edmondson, ‘Spiral’ by Claire Palastanga
One of the questions I’m most frequently asked by visitors to exhibitions at The Byre is how do I come up with ideas for the settings I use. Am I inspired by a particular piece of craft, or do ideas just come to me? In the case of Telling Tales, it was a mixture of both. After a previous exhibition – A Bed of Roses – a friend commented that she’d been a bit disappointed that it hadn’t had the fantasy element of my previous shows. This started a train of thought about fantastical settings which lead me to Tales of the Arabian Nights; that idea then conjured up images of rich jewel colours and precious metals, in particular Abigail Brown’s sumptuous silver. I’d met Abigail a few years ago and fell in love with the sinuous shapes she creates in her silver vessels – and so her work suggested a starting point for the setting of Telling Tales.
Abigail creates her silver pieces using traditional methods: she specialises in hand raised vessels, bowls and objects using a hammer forming technique working with a variety of metal and wooden hammers and stakes. The spontaneous nature of the work means that each piece is unique and sculptural.
Current research themes for Abigail’s work include the human form, nature and archaeology. She says, “my particular interest is in the lines, folds and forms of the human body and how these are continually changing. I design pieces that signify the warmth and softness of flesh in a material that is by nature hard and cold, creating a piece of silverware that is tactile, sensual and invites interaction.”
Of her work in Telling Tales, her two Fallen Leaf bowls most embody this – they almost demand to be bit picked up and touched! But the same sensuous quality is present in Abigail’s stunning salt dish and spoon, and her elegant napkin rings. This wonderful silver work is an excellent examples of the very best in contemporary craft: unique handcrafted pieces which add style and elegance to any setting and yet which will endure to be the heirlooms of tomorrow.