My Process – from source to design

My Process – from source to design

15 days ago I went out for a walk in the countryside in search of inspiration. I had an overwhelming need to get back to ‘who I am’ and create from the heart. I love the design process, it’s a game, like chess, played out by head and hand.

I came back from my walk inspired and determined to start working on something new, something very different and hopefully by the end of the process I would have made a piece of work to be proud of.

This blog post is about my journey, the thoughts and actions that took place, the concept for a finished piece of work. Kind of a fly on the wall but inside my head.

I love texture and I find rocks, moss, lichens, and bark very inspirational, textures  and abstract pattern always get me fired up. I must have hundreds of these type of photos but a newly taken picture is so much more interesting, everything of that moment is still fresh in the mind and the senses.

I chose a couple of photo’s that I particularly liked.  P1310403My sketchbook, watercolours and a range of drawing materials came out, notes were made; what colours did I like? While working on my sketches I was thinking about how to interpret my ideas, what materials and techniques would work best?

P1310405I knew I wanted these pieces to be mixed media pieces, for a very long time I’ve wanted to combine ceramics and textiles. So I started thinking of how I could achieve this. My first thought was to have the main body of the work as textiles and add on ceramic, or even metal pieces so a quick sketch was made with notes about ideas for making textile textures. I started thinking about using subtle colours on some pieces but strengthening the colour for other pieces.

The journey of making an actual ‘artwork’ began, I started making a textile picture. The picture needed 3 dimensional elements made from either enamelled copper, or ceramic clay, so I set about and made both. I will finish this piece and I will show it at a later date, but this is where I went off on a tangent and started making some clay pieces.

The clay pieces needed to dry, they were then fired. They were coloured and refired, interestingly I went with my favourite colour palette and deeper hues than I originally intended. I had quite a wait, ceramics is a slow process and sometimes the excitement waned, but once my tiles were fired my enthusiasm returned.

I have spent the last couple of days working on the textile part, more scribbles and notes were made. This was a journey of discovery as I had to learn several new techniques along the way, including soluble fabric, (which is amazing). I discovered needle felting from the wrong side could push the fibers through the fabric giving a fabulous mossy effect.
P1310401I have literally just finished my pieces, I want to write this post when everything is still fresh and exciting in my mind. So here are some photos, I still need to frame them but that’s for another day.

Now I need is to think of a name for my new body of work. I’m not finished yet, there will be more to come.









I need to take a step back and assess the finished work, I like to look at them for a few days and think about how I could have improved on them, what will I do differently with the next pieces, how will I finish the predominantly textile pieces. But for now my head needs a rest, I feel content but quite exhausted.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think, good or bad I’d love your feedback.



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My worktable on WOYWW!

Hello, and yes, my worktable is what I’ve been working on these past few days. I have painted it with Annie Sloan Aubusson paint. I love the colour, the chairs are painted with Country Grey which is a lovely taupe colour. I have also given the floor a coat of paint and done a lot of clearing and sorting out, so a good spring clean all round. I do think it takes time to know how to organise a space like this, it’s taken me nearly 2 years.
P1310359I have taken a ‘pretty’ photo of my table before the chipboard top goes on and my tatty old cloth ready for some glaze work soon. This one is for my Etsy ‘About’ page.

P1310364While it’s nice and tidy, (it won’t look like this for long) I will give you a tour.
I have a mezzanine storage area where I keep all my boxes and bubble wrap as well as stuff I don’t use very often, it can be a bit hairy going up the ladder, or should I say coming down the ladder. Sometimes I think I will just have to sit there until someone notices I’m missing LOL.  I had a display cabinet here but I got rid of it, so there is space for the hooks to hang my cardi, and aprons. The plasterboard is for clay work, bags and bin have clay in them.

P1310368I painted the cupboard and shelving units in the kiln room, I’ve packed away my lampwork stuff and brought in my glass fusing equipment, the space is compact but it’s workable. I still have some metal working tools and my enamelling stuff but I don’t think they will be used much, but I’m hanging on to them for a while yet. I haven’t painted the work bench, it’s for messy jobs, as you can see.
P1310369And this is what came out of the kiln this morning, more about that in my next post. I’m really excited about my new mixed media work but I need to get something finished to show you soon. The trouble is it’s slow work, waiting to have a kiln full of ceramics to fire.
P1310363I still have a couple of pieces of furniture to paint but now I’m off to Stamping Ground to see what you are all up to. Sorry this has been such a long post , I am making up for missing last week:)


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Copper jewellery sale

Kiln Fired Art has 40% off copper and silver jewellery while stock lasts. Including enamelled earrings , copper bangles and cuffs which are perfect summer holiday jewellery.
copper jewellery sale

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5 on Friday – Mam Tor

I had a walk up Mam Tor last Friday; for old times sake, this used to be a favourite walk of mine. Mam Tor means Mother Hill, this name comes from the fact that several land slips have resulted in small hills around the base of the Tor.  It’s also known as Shivering Mountain. These slips occurred because of unstable shale layers beneath, the land slip is quite clear in my photo.
P1300943The views are stunning, towards Kinder, Edale, and Hope valleys.
P1300951P1300960P1300959There is evidence of Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements on Mam Tor, the hill fort is supposed to be one of the earliest in Britain.

The road at the bottom closed in 1979, as you can see there has been quite a lot of damage done by the land slips.

It’s a relatively easy walk with good footpaths, I hope it’s not too long before I return. Now I’m heading over to Love Made My Home to see what other 5 on Friday participants are up to.

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Kiln Fired Art is having a sale

I reached a decision a while back to give up making silver jewellery so I’m having a sale in my Etsy shop. I have 40% off my silver jewellery which has already had a price reduction.

If you see something you like but don’t want to buy through Etsy then contact me through my blog.
The coupon code is SILVERSALE40

I will be having a reduction on copper jewellery too.

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WOYWW – slip casting mugs and melted bottles

Not made much since last week as I have been away, my succulent planters are still sitting drying slowly, but they have been moved off my table so I can do some slip casting. I have some mugs which have been cleaned and are drying. There’s one I broke when I was cleaning it, they are very fragile at this stage. As you can see slip casting is a very messy business, especially if you don’t have the strap securing the mould tight enough. Last time I did this I was pouring in slip wondering where it was all going, until I looked down at the floor. This time I used 3 straps to be sure it was secure.
Kiln Fired Art studio
Also there’s a  flattened bottle that has just come out the kiln, it’s a customer’s own champagne bottle which has been flattened to hang on the wall. I’m about to pack it up and head off to the Post Office.

If you would like to know more about WOYWW then visit Stamping Ground  to see what Julia and everyone else has been up to.

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Ceramic succultent planters – WOYWW

Hello, here’s my table last night, nothing has changed this morning except these are now covered with polythene to dry slowly.

I have been working with clay recently, hand building succulent planters, and some more ceramic beads as I’m running out of stock. Clay has to be the messiest medium, and I’m the messiest worker, and I know you paper crafts people are very neat and tidy . Feeling a tad ashamed over the state of my studio I spent yesterday morning cleaning up my mess in order to get some photos that I felt I could share.
P1300887Here are a few closeups, there are planters of all sizes, I have had so many folks commenting on the large planter I made for myself I thought I needed a range to suit everyone. Some have a slightly domed top, they remind me of flying saucers.
P1300889The large planter was quite a struggle but in the end I’m happy with it, let’s hope it fires well. I made a little egg shaped pot, maybe a planter but it would work for lots of other uses too.

P1300890I love making ceramic beads, I love the feel of the clay when rolling it into balls, and choosing the glazes, but my favourite part ( which makes me feel like a girl again) is putting them together in mixed sets. I can spend quite a bit of time doing this, just playing with the beads.
P1300891I hope everyone is feeling productive, I will head over to Stamping Ground to see what you are doing today


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A walk along the Coffin Road in search of inspiration.

I had a trip out along the Coffin Road this morning, I needed to get out and allow nature to stimulate my senses and inspire me.

It was quite cold in the shade, there’s a dusting of snow on the Fells, but there were moments when I felt like a snake basking in the warm sunshine, soaking in every ray, sitting peacefully enjoying one of my favourite views.

Grasmoor always feels like a big welcoming hug of a Fell

P1300870Today there were some new arrivals.
There are things a camera can’t capture, like sounds; a skylark singing, and sheep bleating down in the valley. It’s surprising how sound carries on a still day.

P1300859We heard woodpeckers knocking, and brooks babbling.
P1300877The smells; sun warmed wet grass, and warm earthy mud, but the air was crisp fresh and clean too.
P1300847Trees coming into leaf; whatever time of year these mixed woodland  textures and colours are always inspirational.


Lichens always inspire me, but what medium do I choose? Felting, embroidery, ceramics, or enamelling?  Maybe I should try them all.
lichensI feel revived and peaceful, happy in the knowledge of the ever changing seasons. Nothing revives me like a walk in the countryside.


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Hand painted tile mural – WOYWW

Hello deskers, I haven’t been around much as I’ve been so busy. I do have something to show you today, remember the  handpainted tile mural I was working on? Well it’s finally finished. There were issues with the tiles and one broke so I had to wait for a replacement tile. Here is the finished Aga backsplash, it was quite a challenge to do in just 2 fires. My client loves it which makes me very happy.
hand painted tile mural
Now I’m off to Stamping Ground for a catch up

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Creative Sundays – some paintings of Yorkshire

I have been so busy getting gallery stock ready I haven’t had time to write any blog posts for a while.  Here are some paintings inspired by my time living in Yorkshire, oh how I loved living by the river Wharfe, it gave me so much inspiration. This barn is a place very dear to my heart, I used to walk past it almost every day on my way to say hello to Linton Falls.

These paintings are ‘kiln fired art’, overglaze enamels on a ceramic support, ( aka a tile ). I have framed them up with the help of Jamie Oliver LOL !
Dales Farm

Hand painted tile

Overglaze paintingI weight the tiles until they are set, and Jamie’s cookbooks are just the right weight.


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