Tuesday, 8 May 2012

A Jaunt to North Fife...

NEOS 2012: 15th - 23rd September
Visit www.northeastopenstudios.co.uk for more information

A Jaunt to Fife.....

Well, a weekend in Falkirk presented an opportunity for a flying visit to Open Studios North Fife.  This is OSNF's seventh year with an ever growing audience and artist membership.  84 artists opened their doors to living rooms and studios to show their work, working practices and offer a staggering amount of tea and cakes over the May weekend.

I only just realised that my friends Gavin Burnett and Nicola Cairns were having the grand opening of MAKE Studios at Gateside Mills in Fife, where they have worked incredibly hard to bring together a hot and cold glass workshop, ceramics workshop and gallery space as well as space for other artists to work, the result is spectacular and would be one of the highlights of the OSNF's weekend.

First surprise was seeing Richard Gregory who is one half of Rebott with Nicola Cairns.  Richard introduced us to the Rebox project where they are converting an old horsebox into a mobile gallery and hotshop for working glass.  Everything in the bos is from recycled materials - even down to the screws which were painstakingly salvaged by Richard himself!

Inside the studio, there were glass demos, tours and their resident graffiti artist was just finishing the Make mural.

After spending far too much money we decided to take a wee look at the entrants in Auchtermuchty, which we were happy to find out was the birthplace of Sir Jimmy Shand, this gave me the opportunity to tell my Grandads favourite joke....
First stop was Audrey Reid, a recent jewellery graduate from Duncan of Jordanstone.  We walked into her beautiful cottage in the centre of Auchtermuchty to find absolutely lovely jewellery, in fact it was so good we visited twice.
Next was Bun Brough a textile artst who works primarily as an art therapist.  The studio was above a car mechanic but the space was transformed by a partially built Yurt and many pieces made by her clients and  during workshops she delivers.

Steve and Marie Louise Wrightson opened their sunny back yard with summerhouses ful of whimsical and colourful work.  Both had a huge amount of detail in their work.
As we were leaving Auchtermuchty we came across a wee sign for a blacksmiths forge and stumbled over a chap who built his own forge and makes ironmongery in his spare time - it was great to see and have a poke about the tools!

Just outside Auchtermuchty we stopped at Moyra Stewart's ceramic workshop who was also showing with John Smith, woodturner.  Moyra has been incredibly influenced by a process called 'naked Raku' (dont worry, you get to keep your clothes on) after attending a course run by renowned ceramicist Dave Roberts.  Moyra was kind enough to don her protective equipment shortly before the raku kiln reached temperature!

Beautiful Falkland was our next stop where we visited two more ceramicists - Joan Potts and the tremendous renaissance-y work of Karen Ross.

Neither Karen or Joan have websites and do not work full time in ceramics but they both took the leap into the unknown of Open Studios and opened their homes to complete strangers.  This is the joy of open studios, not knowing and seeing people genuinely interested in your work and workshops.

After a walk around Falkland, it was time to go back and hardly a dent made in the 84 entries (with a strong emphasis on visiting ceramics too!)

However, some artists are open next weekend and I cannot recommend the area enough.  Its rather a novelty to be able to VISIT Open Studios for a change!

If you have an idea for a guest blog post, just get in contact with us at northeastopenstudios@gmail.com
If there is something exciting coming up or if you are about to go away to an event, and want to let us all know about it, just drop us an email and remember to take photos.  We can deal with the rest...
Its our network so time to make it work for us!


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