Sunday, 7 December 2008

Craft and Chimera

What a lovely bright weekend. Yesterday (Sat) I went to visit friend Martin whose wife Jo teaches ceramics, she was displaying some of her own work at a local craft fair in Wirksworth where they live. Wirksworth is beautiful town, that somehow has managed to hold onto its independent stores owned by the residents, built into a valley the houses rise steeply from the meandering main road. Parking was horrendous, I ended up almost out of town, as well as the craft fair the town was having local farmers market.

(Below Martin and Jo)

The craft fair was spread over the Town Hall and the Parish Rooms, I found Jo and she phone Martin who took me to his house to show me Jo's kiln and workshop. Martins house is well up the hillside and he has no way of parking his car anywhere near his house. I met his cat, 22 years old, blind, shaky back end but very cute, she can't go out, not because of traffic, but 20 foot drops from the garden to the next house below. Martin showed me his other garden with the Kiln which involved getting a extending ladder to climb up too.

(Below Martins Garden)

(Below view from Martins Garden)

After leaving Martin I found a brilliant antiques come junk shop, the sort where the items are just piled on top of each other in giant heaps and you have to clamber your way through, to make matters worse the shop has no natural light and is lit by a single sodium lamp giving everything a yellow/orange tinge. I found some bits of brass and a old brass blow torch, how much for these, hmm seven quid said the owner, not what I was expecting, I will be back again to look through his junk, (DaveP if you read this you would love it).

I bought some of Jo's work for Christmas presents. Her work the Raku work, basically pottery firing at low-ish temperature then dropping into sawdust while still fire hot to remove the oxygen, most of the other work was well out my pocket, paintings for fifteen hundred quid and more, un-priced bits of very arty bent metal that each have a story and photographs to explain how they where conceived they have to be expensive. Wirksworth is one of those town where Arty type accumulate.

(below some of Jo's pottery)

On Saturday evening I went to Chimera Christmas works meal, somehow I got invited, basically all the shop staff Becky, Leah, Mike, Rich, owners AndyL and Heather plus Jock & Bridgette who helped man the shop during the summer and me, who spends far too much time there. We went to Frankie and Bennys and it was good fun night, a few photos below, AndyL and Heather paid has a thank you to everyone which was a pleasant surprise, should have ordered a dessert ;) then again I think I would have exploded trying eat anymore.

(below outside F and B)

(Below Jock)
(Below Bridgette)

(Below Mike and Leah)

(Below Rich and a sleepy Becci)

(Below Bossman himself AndyL)

I do have photos of Heather but she would not thank me for posting them.

After that I spent the rest of my weekend wrapping present, everyone is now done apart from one yet to be delivered by the Online supplier, but that should be here sometime next week, then that's it all done well ahead of schedule. I had to be since my Mums goes on her Panama cruise with my sister this Friday so she won't be around for Christmas, which is going to be very odd, in fact I delivered her presents, and my brothers and sisters today.

Is it only the 1st week of December, it does seem odd.