Interview (2015) – Heather Burton

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Heather Burton paints land and seascapes inspired by the coast and countryside of Yorkshire, as well as portraits. She uses oils and acrylics and specialises in palette knife work.

Heather won the Friends of Ferens first prize at this year’s open exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. She is participating in East Yorkshire Open Studios 2015 from her studio in Spaldington, near Howden.

Visit Heather’s entry on the Open Studios website for further details and visitor information, or click here to visit Heather’s website.

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When did you move to the area?
I was born in Lincoln and came to East Yorkshire in 1989, when we moved to Howden. We have lived in Spaldington for 16 years.

What was your route to becoming an artist?
I have always loved drawing and painting and took art to ‘A’ Level at school. I took it up again when our daughters left home and it’s just taken on a life of its own!

What challenges have you faced along the way?
Finding time to paint takes discipline and I am always trying to find ways of improving. Every piece of art represents a huge learning curve and many have ended up in the bin! I think the toughest challenge of all is developing the confidence to get your work ‘out there’.

Which media do you choose to work with and why?
I use anything from pencil, chalk and charcoal, conti, pastels and oil pastels to oil paints and acrylics. Each offers something different and it’s always fun to experiment.

What tool or piece of equipment could you not manage without?
The palette knife. I started working with the knife about two years ago and love its versatility. It has really helped me to loosen up and develop new painting techniques.

Describe your creative process and the environment in which you work.
I take lots of photographs and use those as the basis for my paintings, but they are only a guide and often have little bearing on the final picture. I work from a converted spare bedroom and use large canvases which suit palette knife work. I love putting the first marks onto a blank canvas. I rarely draw the picture first – I usually develop a painting with blocks of colours, lights and darks, and allow it to take on a life of its own.

Which artists and designers (historical and/or contemporary) do you admire, and why?
Too many to mention here, but I particularly like the work of Jonathan Yeo.

Is there a particular place that inspires you?
Scotland, and the Yorkshire coastline.

Do you have a favourite piece amongst your own work?
Yes, it’s a recent painting called ‘Rain’ (below, left), which came out of nowhere – I probably wouldn’t be able to replicate it!

What are you working on at the moment?
A figurative painting of an Indian dancer.

What are your future plans?
I shall be exhibiting for a month at Kardomah 94 in Alfred Gelder Street, Hull, and taking part in Street Art Hull by the Marina. I am then taking part in an art fair in Chelsea Town Hall, London, in May.

Which galleries do you show in? Do you have any exhibitions or workshops coming up?
I have work in galleries in Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire, and recently started holding workshops in palette knife work and demonstrating to art groups around Yorkshire.

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With thanks to Heather Burton (www.heatherburtonyorkshireartist.co.uk).

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Interview (2015) – Jenny Morten

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Ceramicist Jenny Morten will be participating in East Yorkshire Open Studios from her studio in Bridlington. She uses fine porcelain, which provides a smooth white surface for decoration.

“My ceramics have always been about time,” says Jenny. “I am inspired by exploring coastal geology and marine fossils.

“Growing up in North Yorkshire, followed by travels across three continents – from California’s earthquake-riven landscape to Cornwall’s high cliffs, stacks and coves, and back to the Jurassic coastline of North East England – my lifelong journey has been to investigate how I could create equivalents in art of the powerful natural forces I have witnessed, coupled with the desire to create beautiful, refined vessels.

“I hope that the pieces I am making now express both the fragility and strength evident in the material I use, and the inspiration that sent me on this journey.”

Visit Jenny’s entry on the Open Studios website for further details and visitor information, or click here to visit Jenny’s website.

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Were you born and bred in East Yorkshire? OR: When did you move to the area, and why?
I was born in Stockton-on-Tees and moved to Sheriff Hutton near York when I was nine years old. My family spent holidays on the coast, principally Filey, together with many day trips to the North Yorksshire Moors where I grew to love the wild rugged landscape.

Did you always have an interest in arts and crafts?
Yes, I saw myself as an artist from the age of eight, when I had a self portrait chosen for a National Schools exhibition held at the Preston Park Museum in Eaglescliffe.

What were your early influences, and what was your route to becoming an artist?
Art was the subject I excelled in all the way through school and it was suggested by my headmaster that I should apply to the Art School in York. There I completed a two year foundation course, before going on to London for my degree at the Central School of Art and Design.

What challenges have you faced along the way?
Always having to earn my living by teaching and self employment, and never having the time to experiment with new ideas.

Which media do you choose to work with and why?
I choose clay because I love the material and the magic of the process. After 40 years of being a potter I still look forward to opening the kiln.

What tool or piece of equipment could you not manage without?
My hands!

Describe your creative process and the environment in which you work.
My smaller pieces are thrown on the wheel and high-fired with coloured slips and glazes. Larger pieces are coil-built and painted with coloured slips, which are burnished and polished, then fired to an earthenware temperature.

How do you generate and experiment with new ideas? Do you use a sketchbook?
Yes, I make very simple line drawings just as an aide-memoir to capture the thought/shape/idea. I then make small solid maquettes from clay to work out how the form works in 3D.

Which artists and designers (historical and/or contemporary) do you admire?
Henry Moore, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Geoff Morten.

Is there a particular place that inspires you?
Most coastal landscapes.

What are you working on at the moment?
Glaze experiments to achieve new surface textures for high-fired porcelain.

What are your future plans?
To keep going!

Do you have any exhibitions or workshops coming up?
I have been invited to showcase my work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park from March-May 2016.

With thanks to Jenny Morten (www.jennymorten.com).

Interview (2015) – Rosemary Abrahams

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Mixed media artist Rosemary Abrahams studied painting and printmaking at Leeds College of Art. She formerly ran a design studio with her husband and business partner John French, designing home and fashion products for a worldwide client base.

Painting ran in parallel with Rosemary’s journeys abroad and influenced the use of colour and texture in her work, which has been her primary focus since she moved to Bridlington in 2003. Rosemary has exhibited nationally and internationally.

“I am intrigued by the way paint affects the surface, which I then enhance with metals, varnishes, pearlescents and acrylics,” says Rosemary. “I am inspired by dramatic, largely uninhabited landscapes, abstract constructions and loose organic florals.

“East Yorkshire Open Studios enables me to show my work to a wider public and is both challenging and very enjoyable. During the event we serve scones, cake and coffee. I look forward to welcoming visitors and showing them my work.”

Visit Rosemary’s entry on the Open Studios website for further details and visitor information, or click here to visit Rosemary’s website.

Rosemary Abrahams

Rosemary Abrahams

When did you move to the area, and why?
I was born in Leeds, and moved to Bridlington 12 years ago to be by the sea in great surroundings.

What were your early influences, and what was your route to becoming an artist?
I was influenced greatly by my Grandad who did all things creatively. I only wanted to paint and be like him. I went to Leeds College of Art – I was home!

What challenges have you faced along the way?
Earning a living as a practising artist was challenging and I was also working as a design consultant internationally.

Which media do you choose to work with and why?
Mixed media, preparing the background then adding colour, texture and surface. Why? Because of my love of it all.

What tool or piece of equipment could you not manage without?
I use brushes of all kinds – the more worn the better.

How do you generate and experiment with new ideas? Do you use a sketchbook?
I go straight to canvas, colour being the starting point of each painting.

Which artists and designers (historical and/or contemporary) do you admire, and why? All artists of any medium who work with passion and commitment.

Do you have any favourite blogs, magazines, books etc that you refer to for inspiration?
I have a library of art books which I refer to. There are many and they are varied.

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Is there a particular place that inspires you?
Being in my studio, listening to Radio 4. The studio is in my house, so it is always there, even at night!

Do you have a favourite piece amongst your own work and if so, why?
It is always the piece I am working on currently.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on various canvases for Open Studios: abstracts, sea and garden paintings – too many in too short a time!

Which galleries do you show in? Do you have any exhibitions or workshops coming up?
Staithes Gallery, Gallery on the Wolds (Bainton), and other local galleries. I am looking forward to my next show at the ‘Inspired By…’ Gallery, North York Moors National Park Centre, Danby.

Do you have any future plans?
Just to be a better painter!

With thanks to Rosemary Abrahams (www.rosemaryabrahams.co.uk)

Interview (2015) – Mo Burrows

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Jeweller Mo Burrows will be participating in East Yorkshire Open Studios 2015 from her new studio space at her home in Wilberfoss, near York. Mo’s unique contemporary jewellery encompasses a number of different techniques, and is influenced by colour, texture and shape.

“I work with kiln-fired precious metal clays, crystals, semi-precious stones, beads, wirework and acrylics,” says Mo. “Having recently produced chunky and bold pieces, my latest collection is fine and delicate.”

Visit Mo’s entry on the Open Studios website for further details and visitor information, or click here to visit Mo’s website.

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When did you move to the East Yorkshire area, and why?
I have lived near York for 40 years, having moved up from London with two small boys when my husband came from the Science Museum to help set up the National Railway Museum.

Did you always have an interest in arts and crafts? What were your early influences?
I am a musician by trade, teaching and playing the violin and viola. I have tried my hand at batik, crochet, ceramics, contemporary dance and writing, all of which feed into my inspiration. My interest in crafts and jewellery springs from my mother’s button box, which I played with as a child, and from my Victorian grandmother who was a milliner and taught me sewing, embroidery, tatting etc.

What was your route to becoming an artist?
For about 5 years I ran an arts programme, the Totem Project, which was based in our village hall and provided varied classes for all ages. I attended the beading class and became hooked! When the programme came to an end, two things continued: the African Drumming Group, which I still run, and my interest in jewellery. I have now taken the beading to a new three dimensional level, added wirework, and make my own features from beaten silver and copper wire, and from silver, copper and bronze precious metal clays.

What challenges have you faced along the way?
I am largely self-taught, having only attended a couple of metal clay workshops, but am full of ideas. I work straight into the finished article. I am absolutely useless at drawing and get so frustrated when what I am trying to put onto paper doesn’t match the image in my head. So I work by trial and error – it seems to work for me!

What is your creative process like? What are you working on at the moment?
Having worked on big flamboyant pieces with large semi-precious stones, I am now concentrating on smaller, delicate pieces. I fix my features onto necklaces and earrings using what has become my signature: instead of jump rings, I use twisted wire. Some of those ideas have also evolved into wire pieces that stand alone. I often find that one design will lead to another and work evolves along the way. I am told my ideas are a very unique take on adornment.

Which galleries do you show in, and do you have any exhibitions coming up?
I show and sell most of my work through art galleries, including ART&ROSE Gallery in Pocklington, Gallery 49 in Bridlington, Wolds Gallery near Driffield, and Monkeypuzzle Jewellery and Blossom Street galleries in York.

My work is currently being shown at Triton Gallery in Sledmere, near Driffield, as part of the East Riding Artists exhibition ‘Layers of Meaning’. It is my second there this year.

Open Studios events have always been one of my most successful ways of showing and selling, and I love the interaction with everyone who is interested in what I do.

We recently added a big new extension onto our house in Wilberfoss, and I now have my own small studio space to work in instead of the dining room table! It is a beautiful, light, contemporary room which is perfect as an exhibition space. I am looking forward to welcoming everyone there for East Yorkshire Open Studios 2015.

With thanks to Mo Burrows (www.mojewellerybox.com)

Interview (2015) – Jacqueline Warrington

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Jacqueline Warrington runs a well-established business designing and making her own range of jewellery and silverware. Thirty years of working and experimenting in precious metals has resulted in each piece being unique.

“I employ traditional techniques and work with silver, gold, precious and semi-precious stones,” says Jacqueline. “The magical properties of the materials I work with are themselves an inspiration. I also run classes from my fully-equipped workshop.”

During East Yorkshire Open Studios, Jacqueline will be sharing studio space in Beverley with her daughter Constance Haddenham, who also works with jewellery and precious metals, and artist Maggie Moore.

Visit Jacqueline’s entry on the Open Studios website for further details and visitor information, or click here to visit Jacqueline’s website.

Jacqueline Warrington

Were you born and bred in East Yorkshire?
I came to East Yorkshire aged 5 and went to Kilham and Driffield School.

Did you always have an interest in arts and crafts (i.e. from childhood)?
Yes, I was one of those children who made stuff all the time.

What were your early influences, and what was your route to becoming an artist?
I worked for Pamela Dickinson, a renowned jewellery designer, at the age of 16. I then went on to do City and Guilds and trade certificates, then went to Sheffield Art School to do silversmithing and metalwork. I set up in business in 1984, aged 23.

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What challenges have you faced along the way?
I have faced many challenges! I have never stopped working, including when I had four small children. The world of jewellery design has changed over 30 years and I have had to keep up with new trends, ways of working and different techniques.

What tool or piece of equipment could you not manage without?
I have a box of tools that I bought from a retired teapot maker in Sheffield 30 years ago, some of which were his grandfather’s, and I use them all every day!

Describe your creative process and the environment in which you work. What part of the process do you enjoy the most?
I love being in my workshop – it is the most creative environment you can imagine. Working with precious metals and stones is a magical process and no day is the same.

How do you generate and experiment with new ideas? Do you use a sketchbook?
Yes, I use a sketchbook sometimes, but most of the time I work with the materials – they themselves are inspirational.

Which artists and designers (historical and/or contemporary) do you admire?
Georg Jensen, Hiroshi Suzuki, Andrew Lamb, Rod Kelly, all the arts and crafts silversmiths and jewellers, and Pamela Dickinson of course. I love ancient jewellery too.

Do you have any favourite blogs, magazines, books etc that you refer to for inspiration?
I always read the CRAFTS MAGAZINE and I have lots of books about ancient jewellery which are a constant inspiration.

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Do you have a favourite piece amongst your own work?
My favourite piece is usually whatever I am working on!

What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a set of two bowls which I am chasing with a repeat pattern at the moment, and a very tiny gold necklace.

What would be your dream project/commission?
Most of my commissions are exciting to work on. I am lucky in that I enjoy most things that I am commissioned to do.

Which galleries do you show in, and do you have any exhibitions coming up?
I show in mostly local galleries of late: the Pyramid Gallery, Leeds City Art Gallery, Saltbox Gallery in Helmsley, the Ropewalk, and a few galleries in London too. I am exhibiting at the Staithes Festival, Ripley Castle Christmas Fair, and the Christmas exhibition at the Mike Gell Gallery.

With thanks to Jacqueline Warrington (www.jacquelinewarrington.co.uk)

Interview (2015) – Carol Wainwright

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Carol Wainwright is a ceramicist and textile artist who will be participating in East Yorkshire Open Studios 2015 from her studio in Wilberfoss.

“I love pattern and above all colour,” says Carol. “I enjoy the process of making by hand. With ceramics it is the wheel and the brushing of glaze. With quilts it is the meditative process of hand stitching and arranging shape and colour.”

Visit Carol’s entry on the Open Studios website for further details and visitor information, or click here to visit Carol’s website.

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When did you move to East Yorkshire?
I moved to Yorkshire from Surrey and Dorset fifteen years ago to help out with my grandchildren.

Did you always have an interest in arts and crafts (i.e. from childhood)?
From childhood I was always knitting, drawing or sewing. I loved the embroidery silks one could buy and did a lot of needlework.

I made my first patchwork out of an old tablecloth; this became a skirt which I wore quite a lot. It must have been quite alarming for my future parents-in-law!

What were your early influences, and what was your route to becoming an artist?
I can remember a special christmas present which was a roll top paint box made out of green and cream plastic. I kept it for years.

I went to art school at sixteen and again in my late thirties, studying painting, ceramics, and creative knitting and dyeing.

What challenges have you faced along the way?
My main challenge throughout my life has been the depression which started in my late teens and has caused long periods of inactivity.

Which media do you choose to work with and why?
I love processes and enjoy the tactile qualities of working with clay. I have always collected ceramics, buying my first pot from the Leach pottery at sixteen although clay played no part in my childhood, art school introduced me to it.

Colour is the other vital ingredient for me, along with the texture of fabric. Working at my quilts has been a compensating activity when I have not felt able to work at ceramics.

What tool or piece of equipment could you not manage without?
My eyes are the equipment without which I could not manage, and my kiln.

Which galleries do you show in?
My work is sold at ART&ROSE Gallery (www.artandrosegallery.co.uk), the Contemporary Ceramics Centre in London (www.cpaceramics.com), and the Crafts Study Centre in Farnham (www.csc.ucreative.ac.uk).

With thanks to Carol Wainwright (www.carolwainwrightpots.co.uk).

East Yorkshire Open Studios 2015

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East Yorkshire Open Studios

East Yorkshire Open Studios 2015 will take place on the weekends of 10th/11th and 17th/18th October 2015.

58 artists, galleries and art groups will open their doors to visitors over two weekends, offering original art for sale and commission, insight into their working practices, and even a spot of tea and cake!

  • Painting and drawing/illustration
  • Print, photography and surface design
  • Ceramics and sculpture
  • Jewellery and metalwork
  • Textiles, glass and papier mache
  • Excellent galleries and groups of artists to visit.

East Yorkshire Open Studios is a fun, friendly experience, and an excellent opportunity to explore the beautiful East Yorkshire area.

Visit the East Yorkshire Open Studios website for further information and to download a PDF version of the East Yorkshire Open Studios brochure. The brochure can also be found in tourist information centres, galleries and retail outlets throughout the region.