Archives for posts with tag: Glass

campsite washday lowres

As 2014 draws to a close here at New Craftsman and the New Year is upon us, we have fired up the Hotpod and are taking stock of a year of fantastic exhibitions. It’s been pretty peaceful along Fore Street in December, and now there is a rich purple light from the sweeping Atlantic sky that makes the sand of St Ives Bay glow and the rolling sea turn a vibrant aquamarine. In lots of ways it’s our favourite time of year, when West Cornwall is as dazzlingly colourful as it is in mid-summer, and the beaches and streets are empty and all our own.

This time of year also inspires many of our best New Craftsman artists: in the paintings of NC favourite Neil Davies you can see the awesome energy of winter in Cornwall, with its ominous clouds, blinding shafts of light and wind battered heath land. Painter Emma Jeffryes’ sellout 2014 show was inspired by last winter’s powerful storms, a series of breathtaking weather events that gave a thrilling new feel to her work.

In winter we wait, and watch and enjoy the ice cold beauty of this remote peninsula. Christmas lights sway back and forth above our heads along pretty, cobbled streets and reflect in the harbour at night. Smeaton’s Pier is swallowed by pounding walls of salt water and the higher parts of town take the force of a brutal north wind. To quote Neil Davies on the pleasures of living in Cornwall, ‘there is a sense of timelessness, and of nature being, as it should be, very much in charge.’

It is a time to enjoy the calm, because before long we’ll start looking forward to the warmth and the hustle and bustle that comes with spring and the happy energy of St Ives’ many visitors.

Keeping us company over the next few weeks is a beautiful exhibition of contemporary jewellery by Guy Royle, Breon O’Casey and Paul Preston, and a unique collection of one-off works by the Leach Pottery’s talented studio team. Most fitting for the season are Jenny Ayrton’s icey blocks of contemporary glass, with their precious scenes of homely domesticity, perfect for us as we cosy on down for New Year.

Image: Jenny Ayrton, Campsite Washday (wire and metal in molten glass)



Landscape Study 2012 - Green over Gold for WPress

Anyone with an eye on the 21st century crafts scene cannot fail to have noticed the rise and rise of contemporary glass. No longer considered merely the stuff of kitsch, glass has reinvented itself and is leading the way in design led craft, a phenomenon that can be traced back to the installation of Dale Chihuly’s awe inspiring V&A Chandelier in 1999.

Having recently exhibited the work of Peter Layton, the founder of Bermondsey’s London Glassblowing studio and one of the world’s most respected hot-glass artists, this summer we are proud to welcome glass making duo Stephen Gillies & Kate Jones, whose work is also included in the permanent collection of the V&A. Gillies’ considerable ability as a glassmaker is enhanced by the decorative work of his partner Jones, who trained originally as a painter and has adapted this skill to mark making on glass, and from 26 July to 31 August you can see their most recent collection of work right here at New Craftsman.

The history of glassmaking goes back to Mesopotamia in around 3500 BCE and throughout the centuries owning luxurious, artisan glassware has been a mark of status and privilege. Certainly every piece of Gillies Jones glass we’ve unwrapped and displayed for the opening of our summer exhibition has the feel of a rare and precious object and so, soaked in St Ives’ famous clear north light and enhanced by our current run of glorious summer sunshine, Gillies Jones glass will be lighting up the gallery alongside the work of Penwith landscape painter Neil Davies, potter Chris Keenan and artist Jane Reeves.

You can learn more about Stephen Gillies & Kate Jones in the following short film by clicking here

Landscape Study Lavander over Pink for WPress

Image top: Landscape Study – Green Over Gold, Gillies Jones

Image above: Landscape Study – Lavender Over Pink, Gillies Jones