Saturday, 3 April 2010

The UK Etsy Challenge

The UK Etsy Challenge was started a few years back....we all had a challenge to make some pants (for Comic Relief) and we enjoyed it so much we decided to make it a permanent thing!

Have you felt my pants? by Memake

As happens with many groups, the enthusiasm has fizzled out over time with people leaving the group....and Etsy, other priorities taking over, etc, etc. There were no entries for the last couple of challenges, so it looked like the group may die out. But I for one, and from messages on the thread, new people who have just discovered the group, it would be a shame. So....I have taken it apon myself to try to get it going again! A little revamp, the premis is the same...a theme, anyone in the UK with an Etsy shop can enter and upload their finished piece (jewellery, textiles, art, sculpture, clothing, your own prefered medium) to the Flickr group When the deadline is reached, a voting thread is opened on Etsy with links to photos and everyone (not limited to the UK, or sellers, anyone is welcome to vote) and a winner is found!

Monkey (uk etsy august challenge - clouds) by Siansburys

As time is short for most people, we're going to try for quarterly, every three months and get everyone, entering a piece or not, to blog, twitter, facebook, and promote the challenge in any way they can.
So what is the group hoping to achieve? Mainly it is for fun....personally I love thinking about a theme, breaking it down to it's componants and finding a small aspect that I can bend my work towards. It's great mental exercise :) Also it is to promote and expose our work and Etsy shops, now who wouldn't want that? The more people who are willing to get involved, even in the smallest possible way, not necessarily uploading a piece for the challenge, to spread the word gains better promotion for everyone.
The winner of course, has a great sense of acheivement...and I for one will blog about it...the more people who announce the winner in their own way and the better the 'prize' becomes.

Red and Turquoise Hair Clip by Snapdragon Beads

So...This summer's challenge theme is 'Fairground' and the deadline is Sunday 4th July 12pm GMT

Take any part of fairground you literal as two dodgems crashing on a necklace, or a pink candy floss knitted scarf. Or something more obtuse...and abstract painting depicting vertigo maybe, or a beaded bracelet in a riot of colours.

So how do you join in? The challenge is open to anyone in the UK with an Etsy shop. Join the UKEC Group and when you have your challenge entry, upload it to flickr and to the group pool. Make sure you state your Etsy shop name (subtly though....Hi I'm seaurchin....don't actually link to your shop as you risk your photo stream being deleted by Flickr) Let us know which challenge the piece is for and your inspiration....then promote the group and the voting thread when it's up :)

We'd love to see you over in the group! :)

Challenge for September by myaphrodite/poorrobin

Sunday, 28 March 2010


Last week we were on holiday. Only to Centre Parcs, nothing wildly exciting, but great when you have small children! The holiday did make me realise that although my work is all about the ocean, my natural habitat, where I am most woodland!

So more lichen....

And while I was away, this piece was published that I was interviewed for a while ago on the somethingwelike blog :)

I have been toying with the idea of creating sculls in porcelain - such a wonderful bone-like material. I am fascinated by the structure of sculls. It would definately be a challenge! The first scull is from a roe dear and the second from a squirrel. My apologies for the poor photos, they were under glass.

Some more woodland images...Mushroom Folk by Champignons I have one of these beautiful prints myself :)

And Rabbit Foot Fern by unitedthread

Sunday, 14 March 2010


Mossy green gold is one of my favourite colours and I love actual moss too. Another texture I've been meaning to replicate in ceramics. (I really do need an eight day week!)

This is a photo of my Parents-in-Law's garden path. They have a beautiful old house with old barns, outhouses and pig holes. Delia is a watercolour artist and is hoping to have a studio built in the grounds this year. Shame they live so far away!

I did a swap a couple of weeks ago with Liz of Made in Lowell. This wonderful needle felted brooch, not only has wonderful textures, but also mossy green and rich rust colours....what a fantastic combination!

Another great artist with mossy pieces....ottoman

ArtisanClay has this vivid green piece amongst many other glorious colours!

Saturday, 13 March 2010


This week, my garden has been transformed. Once full of overgrown archetectural plants and cold grey there is a lawn and a vegetable patch! Yay!

Talking of Neice, Eden is one today...Happy Birthday Eden!

Plant tags by GlazedOver

Last week I finished glazing quite a large kiln load. Quite a lot of white pieces, and beads too this time, so here's a little taster of the finished pieces. More photos on flickr

Bowl by Louchlab

Monday, 1 March 2010


Ah...feeling happy in the sunshine! A robin was singing a lovely song as I hung the washing on the line.

I'm hoping to make some more beads tonight, then earthenware glazing tomorrow and get the kiln on (bisque and earthenware in the same kiln load). In the meantime, here are some links to some beautiful robins. Robin felt brooch by Lupin and "I" said the sparrow by nonsuch.

Monday, 22 February 2010


I found this tiny ball of lichen walking home from a friend's place....inspiration for a ceramic sculpture perhaps?
In the meantime, here is a great artist already taking her inspiration from lichen! Elin Thomas

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

coral evolution

Over the past few years my work has evolved, and although I love the pieces I make now, I do feel that I have lost some of the original alchemy that was present in my work when I first started working with clay.

Part of this feeling comes from the fact that I have recently had a bit of work from Aardman, which is so tight and precise. When I first started ceramics it was a release from the detailed, symmetrical puppets I was creating at work and it was a chance to loosen up. As the years with children and making my own pieces have gone by, my style has tightened up somewhat. Not a bad thing, but now I'm itching to experiment again!

It has also come from reading tinctory's blog. She has been experimenting with slow dying fabrics with natural materials....I used to put any old thing in the kiln to see what happened and I must try this again! Her Etsy shop is worth a look too...she's closing down, which is a shame...but there are some bargains left!

In the is a piece of coral I have been working on for my Mum's fishtank, not finished yet...a few more pieces to make before I can fire the kiln again!