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Sale Arts Trail 2017

December 14, 2017

Last weekend, when the snow was trying to stick for the first time this winter in Manchester, myself and 40 other designer-makers took part in the Sale Arts Trail

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR 2017

I’ve pieced together a quick collection of a few of the folk who were exhibiting alongside me. Starting off with graphic designers Netty & Di, showing a range of buildings and bees. Next door, some beautiful seashore/rockpool ceramics from the talented Alasdair Nelson.

I was rather taken by this little Hare and in general by the beautifully designed/ hand printed work by Nell Smith.

Really enjoyed the work of Paul Browne,  particularly his seafaring inky sketches.

I’ve mentioned previously the stunning embroidered vegetables from Cabbages and Nettles.

Also another favourite is the work of Liliane Taylor, who uses recycled fabrics to create her colourful landscapes.

Wonderful constructions from (lucy Porter) or Lucy Elisabeth. Birds, bees and hanging baskets, all in wire.

Claire from Dunnknit Designs, had some amazing,extra chunky knits, made using Merino wool and some 2 metre knitting needles… I kid you not. They certainly looked very toasty and warm in this bitterly cold spell. I wonder if she does a range of men’s ponchos or better still, sleeping bags ; )

I’m always wow’d by Lisa Ellul‘s beautiful ceramics. Delicate, floral and wonderfully made.

Some local fine art illustration (above) from Liz’s Scribbles.

Beautiful, land and cloud-scapes from artist Jen Orpin.

Finally, the work of Sophie Nixon, who’s imagery and style I’ve loved from her early days of painting at Bankley Art Studios in Levenshulme.

This was my stall, and I’m hoping for the next show to have a range of ceramics to exhibit there too… watch this space : ) Many thanks to the organisers Jo and Sophie and all the other exhibitors and everyone who came, purchased, tweeted, instagramed, facebooked or generally just enjoyed the space alongside us all.

Finally, I traded one of my hand-drawn birds for this fun mobile Owl from talented artist and animator Lucy Gell. He’s already hanging around my studio, tooting quietly and generally making me smile, I’m hoping he’ll get along ok with the ceramic lions !

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Fishink Ceramics

December 11, 2017

Hi everyone, I hope this finds you well, warm and enjoying the quieter run up to the December Christmas madness lol. I spent the weekend at the Sale Arts Trail, Christmas Bazaar, more about that later in the week.

In the meantime i’ve been busily beavering away, getting back to an old love of mine.. ceramics. More importantly, being able to make things from home and not have to be part of a class, course or group. Of course there’s nothing wrong with any of those options, but as I have to pick and choose the times I can devote to my clay work, it’s far easier if I can just get my bits and pieces out when I’ve a spare hour or two and not have to dedicate a specific day to going elsewhere to do it. Of course, this also has it’s limitations. I’ve no potters wheel, so the work I’m making is either flat or sculpted.

You might remember me mentioning my Sunbirds (above) at the end of August ? Slowly we are getting there. I love the idea of combining bird shapes with the sun, nature, plant forms or just textures. I like the retro feel to them (of course) and have begun to decorate (glaze) and had a few early ones out of the kiln too. It’s a long process which begins with drawings and then transforming the ideas into clay.

I’ve had great fun accumulating strange little tools to make a variety of imprints in the surface of the clay. I even took some speakers apart that I was throwing out and discovered a whole variety of new shapes I can use lol It’s a wonderful way to recycle !

I’ve made a whole array of different shapes and styles, to get a feel for which ones I like the best. The round ones are my bird-stones and are more like paintings on a smooth surface. Other forms are 3-d, curvy or even stand upright.

I created raised illustrations using a thin spongy felt, that I can use to roll into the flat clay, again I like the relief nature of this.

Most of the birds are unique, the shape being cut from the rolled out clay and then decorated, smoothed before the initial glazing can take place.

My Birdheads were another drawing idea brought to life and made 3-d.

A few other shapes and animals I’ve been playing with.

My friend Sarah who runs Sllipblog had some of her work in the kiln too. I love her sheep.

Finally some images that Sarah kindly took of my work going in and coming out of the various firings from her kiln.

I can’t wait to pop over and see the first fully completed set…. exciting times ! Any views or comments most welcome as usual and tune in later this week to see more from the Sale Arts Fair.

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Fishink Illustration and Sale Arts Fair Christmas Bazaar 2017

December 4, 2017

It’s that time of year for festive trips to Craft Fairs and Christmas Bazaars.

I’m busy preparing work and will be exhibiting in the fourth Sale Arts Fair Christmas Bazaar.

The bazaar is open this coming weekend, i.e. on the 9th & 10th December.

It’s taking place at the Claremont Centre, Sale, Manchester, U.K, M337DZ.

Featuring around 40 designers and artisans, it’s free to visit and shop.

Opening times are 10am til 5pm (Saturday) and 10am til 4pm (Sunday)

Here’s a selection of the work that will be on show.

Last year I was comissioned to create all sizes of original artwork, from a 100 cm x 70 cm framed wall illustration, right down to a 10 cm x 15 cm small art-card piece.

This year I’m prepared for most requests lol. Even some handmade greeting cards.

A few new faces are making their debut appearance too and with original art ranging from £130 to £8, there’s something to suit everyone’s pocket.

Alongside a couple of older favourites.

Black and white through to more colourful art. The same dog and cat scenarios, they never do learn how to get along ! 🙂

Please feel free to share the date/event online and with your friends too.

Of course there will be dogs ! Woof !

If you’re in the Manchester area and free next weekend (on the 9th or 10th December), do pop over, say hello and introduce yourself.

I’ll also be accepting pre-Christmas comissions again. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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David Semple Today’s Illustration from a retro age

November 27, 2017
David was born in the North East of England in the early 70’s.
After studying Illustration he enjoyed a stint working in the TV & Film industry in London painting latex puppets & prosthetics.

Inspired by Mid Century Artists & cartoonists like Mary Blair & Ronald Searle, a pencil is never far from his grasp.
Now firmly established, he designs characters for a worldwide range of clients and Illustrates for books, magazines, Advertising, greeting cards, packaging & TV.
He lives in York with his designer wife Kate , their three children and Olive the dog.
Clients include: The Guardian, The Times, Daily Mail, ES magazine, FHM magazine, Mens Health, Saga Magazine , Which Magazine, What Car, Dreamworks, Scholastic, Penguin, Usbourne, Ladybird, Pearsons, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Emirates, Manchester United, Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Cafcass, Unicef, Sky, Orange, BBC, Arts Council, Mcann Erickson, Travelodge, Target, Camelbak, Lowes, Pets at Home.
Just a quick date for your diary, the weekend of the 9th and 10th December, I will be exhibiting at a
CHRISTMAS BAZAAR 2017

as part of the Sale Arts Trail, Manchester. It’s at the Claremont Centre, M337DZ and open from 10 til 4 both days. More info on that soon. Hope to see you there.

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Porto, Portugal. Part 2

November 24, 2017

Hi everyone, well well… so you have survived and made it to the final post about Porto in Portugal. Have you enjoyed the journey, do you feel like you’ve seen Porto in a new light or just simply discovered it’s charms for the first time… impressed ?

Considering I was only there for four days, it does feel like I’ve managed to pack a fair bit into the trip. All this time was helpful.

There was so much to see and around every second corner, a new discovery, another huge building to work out what it was for, a park, sculptures or some very weird trees ! (Perhaps they’re Portuguese Daleks lol)

I felt like the arts scene is really beginning to take a hold here, it wasn’t as developed as in Lisbon and my disappointment was not to discover many contemporary ceramic artists making something other than touristy items, fish, sardines or swallows. In a country famous for it’s pottery, I hope to see a development there in the next 5 years.

Also well known for it’s numerous (and very impressive) bridges crossing the busy river Douro.

You can even take a river cruise that explores six of the nearby bridges or head out further into the wine growing regions.

I discovered an italian festival on the far bank and a host of busy chefs trying to set a pizza record !

Boats, ships and cruisers everywhere.

Of course in the back streets you can pop into one of the distilleries and sample a glass or three of their beautiful Port… when in Rome etc. I was enjoying the port and the light whilst everyone else seemed to be playing with their mobile phones lol

But sadly, all too soon, all good things must come to an end.

Before heading to the stary sky and seeing Porto from above.

Via this futuristic airport, which looked like I’d just entered a sci fi movie set !

I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey with me, do tell me what were your highlights ?

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Porto, Portugal. Part 1

November 20, 2017

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to the last double post about my recent trip to Porto in Portugal.

I find it easier to judge how I feel about a place after I’ve returned from it and go through the exercise of sifting through my photographs. Pictures have such strong connections to my memories, visual prompts I guess, I find they trigger thoughts and ideas much more than descriptions or words ever do. Porto, for me, is all about contrasts. New and old, up and down, tradition verses contemporary. Lots of empty buildings, some with scaffolding, some being refurbished and others just being bought. It’s a city, very much in the process of change and being redefined.

Snaking alleyways and winding stairways lead people to and from their homes to the city centre. Like tributaries running to the river.

You don’t just have to travel on foot !

The locals still like to hang out !

Almost everywhere you look, there’s always an up and down buildingwise.

Colour scaling the grey.

Warm tones.

Life in the busy city.

An amazing cafe (below) called Backsons who do fine Burgers and Mussels, well worth a visit. And a couple of views from a train journey to Pinhao which I didn’t cover in the posts. Watch out for Part two later this week.

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Serralves Park and Villa, Porto. Part 2

November 16, 2017

Welcome to the last but one post concerning my travels around Porto in Portugal. For those of you who are regulars to my blog, I imagine that by now, you feel like you’ve traveled with me ? lol If you’ve missed my previous write ups about the Architecture, Design, Ceramics, Graffiti of the city itself, you can find them by searching for my past posts on Porto, using the search function on the right of the blog.

A visit to Serralves Villa offers a chance to take a trip back in time: to this unique example of Art Deco architecture, built in the 1930s and belonged to Count Carlos Alberto Cabral. With great decorative rigor and quality materials, the Villa benefited from the intervention of leading figures of the time, such as Marques da Silva, Charles Siclis, Jacques Émile Ruhlmann, René Lalique and Edgar Brandt.
There’s quite a lot of pink don’t you think. As you can see I was lucky to enjoy some sunshine on the day which enhanced the pink contrast with the blue sky.

That’s quite a view.

Inside the villa, it’s all cool tones and sunlight splashes.

Art deco ironwork, greets you.

Some great details, I wonder what it was like to live here back in the 1930’s ?

The parkland surrounding the villa and museum is worth a visit alone.

Everywhere you look nature is bursting out in it’s finery.

Bark, birds and pine cones.

Hundreds of conkers in their cases, looked like a sea of small furry creatures.

The trees and forests were wonderful too.

I loved these skeletal leaf shadows.

Colour, texture and pattern everywhere.

After all that, a brief but glorious sunset, whilst enjoying a beer on the beach.

Next week, Porto the city and all it’s ups and downs… literally ! Catch up on Monday, hope you’ve been enjoying this series of posts about life in Portugal.

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