Balnacra Arts & Pottery by Vicky Stonebridge

London, Salute & museums 2015. Part 1

Where does the time go? So the community Gallery Opened & I set up my wares to sell within that craftspeople and artist led space, while being awfie busy with playing my parts in the running of the overall community development company and now two sites, a community Forest and the Smithy Community Hub. We never have enough money or people to do what needs doing, so it can be very hard work looking for ways to keep moving forward. Part of setting up my Pop Up Pottery at the Smithy site is so I can focus on some of my work and do what i enjoy, and hopefully earn something from it, as the community work is 99% unpaid and consumes any time which is available.
Here are my new mugs on display at the ‘Made in Lochcarron’ shop & Gallery.20150417_164347
Here are some pendants I made in a recent Raku firing.
20150416_130450Here is the incredible hulk, made at an Easter Pottery class I ran.20150416_134951
Class pots drying in the sun.20150416_13495920150409_151012
 i’ve only had time to make a few small pots myself around all the teaching and demonstrating. I’m torn between wanting to play and experiment, and needing to produce things to sell, quickly!20150415_120032

One of the problems with pottery is that not everything makes it through the drying and firing process, which i am used to but small people can be a bit heartbroken when their lovely creations don’t make it, and small peoples chunky creations are less likely to make it. This firing was disappointing and I have tightened up my admin systems so i can know who made what and who’s pots have shattered beyond recognition.20150422_130130

So while all this was going on, and the builders at the house, and family health ongoing concerns, and keeping on top of the greenhouse veg seedlings, trying to build log stores, gather firewood , my paid jobs, in town, and..where was I? … oh yes, my poor doggie Bruno has had a huge lump growth on his hind leg. One vet had said it was too big to remove and inoperable, but it had got to the point where he was having trouble standing up, getting in and out of the car, going for walks, and getting up the house steps. I took him back to the vets again, and this time the senior vet thought he could investigate, and if it was benign and fatty, de-bulk the lump. It’s all been stressful, because Bruno is the main man and i am so sad at knowing our remaining time together grows shorter. I have hated seeing him struggle, because he is still so good humoured and enthusiastic, there was the fear about him undergoing an operation at his age ( 12 ) and the worry about how on earth i could pay for it.  The timing was also so difficult, i just have too much on, so the best compromise was 3 days before we went to London, leaving him with my Parents & sister, who are about the only people he’ll stay with, because he pines terribly when i am not about. This is him the day he came home, he came around from the operation very quickly and it was indeed a fatty lump nearly 2Kilos of it !  The bill was indeed a stinker which i needed help to pay and will still put me in debt for some months- what can you do?  His welfare comes first. In this picture he is bravely wondering what had hit him, that night was horrible as he just lay there crying. However he was much better the next day. Now it is 11 days on and he has managed his first short walk and is moving much better, the wound is still healing but it has worked, so hopefully he’ll get some more quality of life running about having run.20150420_171204But as I mentioned we had to go to London, all booked and organised ages ago. We’ve not had holidays, and it’s ages since weekends away even,m and they’re usually work. So although this trip was for Andy’s work , we’d extended it a couple of days to go and visit museums and galleries. We had to get up at 3.30am for the early flight, which left me feeling yuk and let a cold bug in ( i never get colds ! ) . But here the views were lovely as we left ! ahh Bonnie Alba.
We flew to Gatwick then got a bus up to London, not sure if this was the best decision, it was 2hours each way of travell sickyness, whereas the train was 30minutes into the city, But it saved us £30. London, where can we get breakfast? A bit of a culture shock! so many people, everything so fast, so much pushing and shoving, so rude, so unfriendly, so polluted!20150426_183422
wow so many new developments since last time I was here, so much money, so many building projects, what…is that a cable car? has it all gone sci-fi?  this doesn’t look like all the other towns I know with boarded up shops and offices, pot holed roads, and decay… where is the austerity we’re all used to ?20150427_11045220150426_111752After a couple of train journeys of nearly not getting on or off, I suppose i got into the way of shoving and rudeness like everyone else. All glued to devices blankly staring at screens, headphones on shutting out all social interaction or the world around them. We got exhausted pounding the tarmac streets, hunting for somewhere independent, cheap and healthy to eat wherever we were ( bare in mind my eating problems which make travel difficult & grabbing a sandwich not an option ) . some places were brilliant, a small cafe in a park had a limited menu with salads, hummus and olives, a noodle bar in kensington, a breakfast cafe in Shadwell. Other times i had to give in and try to eat pastries or sandwiches. It was great that many places had soya milk, I was carrying around a carton in my back bag, because i’m so used to people looking blankly at me ” er, no but we’ve got semi-skinned? “, so at least i was able to get decent tea to keep me going.
So the point of the mission of course was the museums. Here is the obligatory selfie in front of the diplodocus at The Natural History Museum. I’m told s/he’s getting moved soon and being replace with a whale. It was good to see it one last time, musing about it living it’s life so many years ago, to be made immortal and be the backdrop of generations of museum visits.

20150425_102953So the main mission was the wargaming show Salute, where Andrew’s two projects of Claymore Castings and Antediluvian miniatures where being sold by a friend ( Studio miniatures, does some fantastic zombie mini’s ) . Salute is at ExCel over in the docklands area, just a short walk from our budget hotel. Here is Mr Andrew resplendent in one of our Antediluvian miniature t-shirts ( available to purchase here ) – with two of his fine lost world dinosaurs in the foreground.20150425_101408and here he is helping judge the painting competition, always tricky with a ridiculously high standard on all entries.20150425_140506
the next day we went to more museums and Galleries. Altogether we hit the British museum, the science museum, the natural history museum, the V&A and the Tate Britain gallery. This cast of David is in the V&A.20150426_163828I love the Tate Britain because of all the pre-Raphaelite paintings in there, but I also particularily enjoyed the turner watercolours and Blakes work. I’m supposed to be a contemporary artist, I’m supposed to applaud all art forms, but in the hurry that we were in, i only wanted to see interesting things, it turned out that someones unmade bed, or a few cloths handing from the ceiling weren’t it- we kept walking. I’ll post up pictures of some things I did like in another blog post ( to stop this one going on too long ) .20150427_14520220150426_175308What you can’t see in this photo, is the sore knees and blistered feet. Then we went home…20150426_183414 20150427_205740

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This entry was posted on May 3, 2015 by in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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