Archives for posts with tag: calligraphy exhibitions
" Now", quote from  E. Tolle . Dripped acrylic paint and contrasting text using gouache paint .

” Now”, quote from E. Tolle . Dripped acrylic paint and contrasting text using gouache paint .


“Splashes, wisps and fragments” is the title of a group exhibition organised by EFO artists. I have a number of pieces on show which grew out of my experimentation at V&A with dripped acrylic letters on canvas and board.

This Jackson Pollock style lettering requires a good understanding of the media you are using to create exactly  the effect you want  and calls on internalised movement and muscle memory  to create the forms. This gives the letters a controlled freedom.

I was interested to see that this Jackson Pollock style technique was being explored enthusiastically by students at the CLAS festival of calligraphy  in Malvern this Summer. Tutor Massimo Pollelo gave his class  gloss paint  to drip letters and contrasted this with  formal brush lettering to make striking page designs.

What a great week that was. I taught two workshops . The first was all about designing drawn alphabets using (sometimes very quirky) lettering on objects at V&A for inspiration. A tough call, but everyone rose to the challenge and each participant produced  well resolved and distinctive forms.  My second session explored  modern gilding techniques and materials. By the end of the workshop they too had produced some individual pieces with confidence. Here is a small selection of the fantastically varied letter designs.

malvern1 Malvern2Malvern3

Detail of quotation by Gandi .  Gold and metal leaves , gouache and trocol bronze powder.

Detail of quotation by Gandhi .
Gold and metal leaf, gouache and trocol bronze powder.

I am pleased to announce that an exhibition of my work has just been set up and will be on show from tomorrow, 12th July , in North London , N2. I am participating in the  East Finchley Open  which takes place over two weekends

This annual event invites the public to visit  “open houses” in the area to view work by members of EFO , a group of  local artists and crafts people . It is a wonderful way to engage and inform the public, spend time with other exhibitors and have the opportunity to sell originals, cards and prints.

D H Lawrence quotation

D H Lawrence quotation (before gilding)

I have been working  on new designs , such as the detail shown here , and developing some pieces that had their origins at my V&A studio . It has been really rewarding  having time to revisit and build on this work.

Metalwork features too (another V&A influence) , with framed brass plate etchings and lettering designs transformed into small iron work sculptures by blacksmith Agnes Jones .

More images to follow of the venue and my work .



Lettering and decoration inspired by V&A exhibits , etched and heated copper

Now that my latest finished piece has been framed and safely dispatched, I can finally reveal what I have been working on recently. It will be on show at The Free Word Centre, Farringdon Road, London, as part of an exhibition called 26 Words, The DNA of Lettering. It is a collaborative venture between members of Letter Exchange  and 26

For details of the project and the description of how the work evolved for my writing partner, Will Awdry, and myself , check out the exhibition website 26 words . The random word we had to work with was Acidulate which led to the etching of his words and my design in brass .

Letters from V&A , experimenting with etched and oxidised copper

I was interested in this process before this project began, as I had studied beautifully acid etched decoration on armour at V&A and one of the curators had suggested it might be a good medium for my calligraphy . So, it was fantastic serendipity to have a word to work with that actually describes this technique.

I booked myself on to a perfect etching course at  West Dean College. (Most etching courses are for intaglio printing but this focused on the metal itself ). It was run by Brighton based  jeweller Clara Vichi, who uses lettering in her fabulous brooches. The 3 small pieces shown here were created by me on the course using different techniques and metals.

I learnt a huge amount over this weekend course, but it was the many days experimenting in my studio (wearing marigold gloves and protective apron ! ) where I worked out how to transfer designs to metal,  finding out what effects can be achieved and what does and doesn’t work. More on my techniques in a future blog  .

I always believe it is important to spend time playing with the medium you are working with to develop complete confidence with the materials and allow the process and design to unfold together and inform each other. I wondered, at one point  if I had taken on too much , knowing I had a deadline but I’m so glad I rose to the challenge.

I include here a small section of the finished piece . I hope you will come to the exhibition to see the  art work in its entirety ! But, if not, there will  be more information and images on my blog soon.

An exciting new calligraphy exhibition , Head, Hand, Heart,  has just opened at Crafts Study Centre  in Farnham, Surrey which will run until 18th May.

Images of work by Ewan Clayton and Irene Wellington taken from the Craft Study Centre brochure of events.

Images of work by Ewan Clayton and Irene Wellington taken from the Craft Study Centre brochure of events.

I was fortunate to be able to accompany a group of Kensington Palace students there on Friday. We saw their permanent exhibition and had the opportunity to look at archive material. We studied the processes by which some contemporary calligraphers develop their designs including working “roughs” by Hazel Dolby and  Ann Hechle. Two very different approaches.

In the afternoon Ewan Clayton gave us a detailed guided tour of the exhibition which  reflects on the work and influence of Edward Johnston and Irene Wellington and how this resonates in Ewan and Ann Hechle`s work. It  looks at the creative relationship between makers and “the nature of teaching and learning and the growth of the indepedent artistic voice”. It is definitely worth a visit with many exquisite pieces on display.

If planning a trip you might also consider finding out about the archive material and pre booking an appointment to view a few items.