Wave January goodbye and embrace a February full of colour!
The Carnival has come to town in the shape of our latest craft exhibition.
On now until June 1, it’s inspired by the extravagant carnivals of New Orleans and Brazil. The exhibition includes dazzling jewellery, vivid ceramics, and luxurious textiles from the region’s most talented jewellers, ceramicists, miniaturists and designer-makers.
Each piece is handmade by its designer and prices start at just £15, so why not visit soon and take the Carnival spirit away with you!
And if you are stuck for gift ideas with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we are sure our latest show will contain the answer to your prayers!
Here’s an introduction to four of our designer-makers, providing just a taste of what the fiesta is featuring…
Holly Clifford – Jeweller
Inspired by the ethereal quality of the natural world and great painters such as Monet and Klimt, Holly’s jewellery produced an equally fairy-tale quality. A member of the alumni of Birmingham’s School of Jewellery, Holly works with a mixture of copper, silver and resins, combining traditional skills with modern techniques to produce her innovative designs. Brushstrokes and mark-making are highlighted, exploring the beauty of the unintentional and emphasising the unique nature of each piece.
Laurence and Angela St Leger – Automata makers
Quite by chance, trained watchmaker Laurence St Leger created a mechanical strongman (promptly named Samson) and for the last 30 years he and Angela have continued to make their miniature automata.
Starting from Samson, the pair have produced up to six complex pieces a year and their repertoire has now increased to about 200. Fashioning each design from wood and recycled tin, Laurence and Angela work as a duo to handmake each complex piece.
Abigail Leach – Ceramicist
Making the bold move to leave teaching in 2013 in order to concentrate on her own work, Abigail now splits her time between working in her studio and teaching regular ceramics courses and workshops.
Inspired by dots and spots and enjoying using colour against traditional raw terracotta clay, Abigail hand-builds and decorates every piece. Her contemporary take on traditional slipware includes use of her bespoke range of colours and hand-cut stencils and stamps which ensures each piece shares a similar theme but is also individual in itself.
Gosia Weber – Textiles and Leather
Merging clever practical designs with a bold aesthetic, Gosia’s colourful textiles and leather bags and accessories are retro with a modern twist. Working mostly with soft leathers and upholstery fabrics and using offcuts and remnants allows her to work with new colour combinations and brings inspiration for new designs. Her no-waste attitude doesn’t stop with reusing materials discarded by others; Gosia tries to utilise each piece of fabric by using it for decorative motifs or bringing out exciting ranges of small accessories.
Carnival runs until 1 June and offers a stunning array of beautiful hand-made goods.
Visit soon for the perfect Valentine’s gift or a present for friends and family.
By Moya Marshall, RBSA intern
Banner image: Fern Robinson, Pendant