ALL ABOUT THE BEES – June 2015

I’ve just delivered a collection of work to the And Collective in Bridge of Allan http://www.andcollective.co.uk/. The gallery is one of my favorites and I’m thrilled to be showing with them! They also have an online  shop – a new way to get a hold of some of my work! The gallery are also the driving force behind the Forth Valley Open Studios and so after a busy week in the caravan I went to visit some of the other participant’s studios.

My favorite venue was West Moss-side Farm IMG_3249www.westmossside.com. It was an amazing place for a visit and an inspirational location for any artist. They have a great gallery space, delicious home baking and were showing some amazing work in basket making including these two traditional bee skefs by Kate Sanky. The skef was a breakthrough in terms of bee-keeping as it allowed bee keepers to harvest the honey without killing the bees. To get the bees out a skef is turned upside down and a fresh IMG_3250one is placed on top. The bees naturally crawl upwards and so the old skef is abandoned by the bees. As many of you will know, my current work is based around bees – and in particular the struggles they face within modern agriculture. I loved looking at these traditional hives, not only are they stunning to look at, they were a real advance in bee keeping technology at the time. The modern box hives that we are accustomed to seeing today actually work better for the bee in terms of something called, ‘bee space’ – the crawl space needed by a bee to pass easily between two structures; usually 7.5mm. I like the idea of trying to use this measurement in some of my designs!

4_update_25_06_13_800This month I also traveled to Perth to see Potfest at the Palace www.potfest.co.uk Scone Palace was another inspirational venue on a sunny day with the Rhododendrons in full bloom. They have a butterfly and bee garden in addition to a kitchen garden which puts my meagre efforts to shame. Admittedly I already had a favorite ceramicist before I headed along and the visit did nothing to change my mind. Head on over to http://www.patriciashone.co.uk/ to see some of Patricia Shone’s wonderful work. I visited her studio on Skye last year and was blown away by the textural qualities of her work.

Currently I’m back in the studio gearing up for the Craft Scotland Summer Show in Edinburgh. With over 4500 visitors last year I am really looking forward to being part of an exhibition that is in the middle of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show opens on the 7th of August – a date for your diaries!

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