About Me

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North Somerset, United Kingdom
My parents were worried when I ran around with scissors – now I play with fire and (intentionally) break glass! Based in the beautiful South West of England, close to the sea and often the scene of beautiful sunsets, I am inspired by the countryside around. Working with sea glass collected from remote beaches, soda lime glass from Murano, Italy, Europe, USA and beyond, I create artisan beads, for use in my own jewellery or for you to enjoy in your own creations. But I couldn’t stop there; continuing the theme from round rods to flat sheets, mostly from the USA, I break large sheets of transparent, opaque, multi-coloured and dichroic glass into much smaller pieces to make a kiln-formed range of bright, colourful jewellery and home decoration. Each piece I make is individually designed around the shape, size and beauty of the materials and intended to be unique, wearable, usable and affordable. All my glass work is kiln annealed for strength and durability and designed to give pleasure for years to come.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Charlotte Hupfield – Ceramic Designer/Maker

Charlotte Hupfield is a ceramic designer/maker based in Daventry, Northamptonshire, England.

Her passion for Ceramics began from an early age, and she always knew it was a craft she wanted to master. It was at Coventry University where she expanded her previous knowledge and making processes, and graduated in 2008 with a BA Honours degree in Surface Decoration, specialising in Ceramics. Throughout these 3 years she developed her own personal style of work.

Charlotte's Ceramics are all individual one off pieces, hand made by herself. She produces a range of contemporary vases, bowls, sculptural vessels, clocks, coasters, wall plaques and magnets, which are influenced by her observations in natural surfaces, colours and forms in the landscape. Charlotte's work can be used for decoration or function, and is suitable for interior and exterior use.

Charlotte has her ceramics stocked in various galleries in the UK, and enjoys doing lots of craft fairs and exhibitions. She am always looking for new opportunities and ways to promote herself and her work. Her work can be viewed on-line at her website, and purchased on-line via Folksy.

People are welcome to contact Charlotte regarding a special order, if they are looking for something which is that little bit more personalised, or for a gift or commission.

Having always been attracted to natural surroundings and organic surfaces, Charlotte is genuinely drawn to textures within the world around us. Her ceramics explores the landscape and the detail of many different natural surfaces. Whilst concealed amongst these surroundings, she feels relaxed and at home. Charlotte finds it amazing to see the changes in rocks and coves caused by weathering and erosion from the sea, bumpy and colourful linear patterns found within fields and hills, and the surfaces in nature where no two marks are ever the same – it is this particular aspect that her ceramics connects to.

Charlotte's ceramics are all individually handmade with love, care and attention to detail. Each piece is a one-off, and is not something that the High Street can offer. Hand-building is a process of making that she is really passionate about, and she enjoys constructing an item using her hands to thoroughly engage with what she is making. Before hand-constructing the ceramic forms, she produces mixed-media drawings and prints, which inform the surfaces of the clay. Her work is fired in an electric kiln up to stoneware temperature 1260°C.

Charlotte currently works full-time in a sales office, which she enjoys but she would love to be able to sell my ceramics for a living one day. The majority of her spare time is usually taken up with something relating to her ceramics, whether it be making/decorating new work, brainstorming ideas, replying to e-mails, updating on-line resources (her website, blog, Facebook group), chatting on forums, researching, liaising with galleries, booking new craft fairs, etc.

When not creating, Charlotte enjoys reading, holidays, seeing different places around the world, horse riding, shopping, visiting galleries/craft shops, socialising with friends, spending time with her boyfriend, nice food and wine!

Charlotte's boyfriend plays a large part in her life, especially with her ceramics. She is so grateful for all the help and support received by him over the last 3 years – from carrying and lifting boxes for her, to supporting her at shows.

Charlotte's work can also be seen at the following galleries:




The wonderful work of AMIdesigns

I've recently discovered the beautiful jewellery made by Alison Irving of AMIdesigns. Alison lives in a village near to Belfast in Northern Ireland, in a village so small you'd miss it if you blinked. It's commonly known as The Land That Time Forgot. Alison is a physiotherapist with 2 small children, a black labrador, a cat and a goldfish but also makes beaded jewellery which she sells on-line and off-line through 2 stores and craft fairs.

Alison's favourite piece is the Caviar bracelet, the first cluster bracelet she made. The colour appealed to her and they have also proven to sell well. Alison started making and selling jewellery a few years ago after a holiday to Cornwall where she was inspired by the local galleries. As she has a passion for jewellery she thought she'd try her hand at making it. Little did she know it would lead to her selling her work to places such as the US, Australia, Japan and Finland! Loving the ocean colours, Alison says she has to be careful not to make everything in blues, greens and turquoise.

In her spare time Alison loves walking her dog in the woods above her house, going to the gym, meeting up with friends and family and spending her valuable time and money on M&S lattes (a woman after my own heart, except I give my profits straight to Starbucks in return for caramel macchiatos!).

Follow Alison on Flickr , Twitter and her blog.
You can also see and buy her work in her Folksy and Etsy stores.

North Somerset Arts Week gets ever closer!

Life is hotting up here at Blue Box Studios. North Somerset Arts Week is now only a few weeks away and I'm realising how much more I have to do to promote and set up my venue. I'm also helping the local rep with promotion so busy printing, laminating, distributing posters and brochures etc. Oh dear, then I've been neglecting my blog.

I'm planning on offering refreshments to visitors ... home made cakes, teas, that sort of thing, in an effort to raise some funds for Holly Hedge animal sanctuary. I checked with my local council and found I needed to hold a Food Hygiene Certificate, irrespective of whether I am giving my cakes away or selling, or anything in-between. To quote (or misquote) Michael Caine, not a lot of people know that. I don't suppose many people would bother going to these lengths but what the heck, it's one more life skill. I've spent this week taking the course on-line and at 1.15am yesterday I finally passed the test with, much to my surprise 100% and at the first attempt. I also learned a lot on the way so it was not all in vain.

So my week has been taken up with the on-line course, printing and preparing. And the list of things to do grows ever longer.

In the midst of all this I heard that I had won a prize in a competition run by the Textile Directory - The Sewing Book by Alison Smith. I look forward to having the time to stop and read it. Although I am a competent sewer, I am sure there will be something new in it for me. I rarely win anything so this was a real treat.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

WaterAid Trail 100 - please give your support

A team of more active and less lazy colleagues from the Environment Agency will be taking part in the WaterAid Trail 100 and would like your support. They are trying to raise at least £1500. My colleague Paul Gomar (minus the ferret) is taking part and hopes to raise at least £100 of this. They'll be climbing Bowfell-Crinkle Crags in the Lake District.

Wateraid Trail 100 aims to put a team at the summit of the 100 best mountain walks as decided by Trail magazine. The aim of the challenge is to have a team of walkers at the top of each of these peaks between midday and 2pm on 6 June 2009. This has never been achieved and I hope that you can help us rise to the challenge!

About 5000 children die each and every day as a result of lack of clean water or adequate sanitation. It costs about 50 pounds to save one of these children. We're hoping to save more than 30 children's lives as a result of this walk!

If you'd like to sponsor Paul, or any of the team - just click here - it's really easy! From Paul and the team, thanks.