Friday, 31 January 2014

Artist in a Window Joanne Tinley Jewellery

We are so lucky here at Studio 61 Gallery every month we get to meet some absolutely stunning artists and designers joining Ciara in the window during February is Joanne Tinley Jewellery perfect for valentines! Find out more about her below!

Who are you and what do you do?
 My name is Joanne Tinley and I’m a jewellery designer.  I also teach jewellery design at my local college, and privately in my studio. I work mainly in sterling silver, fine silver and 24k gold.

Why do you do what you do?
I absolutely love the fact that I am using skills that have been around for hundreds of years, and passionate about passing these skills on. I love the link between the history of the techniques and tools that I use and the contemporary twist I aim to give them in my designs

How do you work?
I try to be very organised in the way I work. I clear my desk at the end of each day and lay out the project that I want to start the next day with so that when I get into the studio I don’t dither. I find that I’m most productive if I make a good start to the day. However, I find it very easy to get off track and get engrossed in a new idea that I just have to work on!

What work do you most enjoying doing?
I love hammering. I find it very relaxing, almost therapeutic, and I really enjoy building up textures and patterns on silver with my growing collection of hammers and punches. But then I also enjoy stone setting and Keum Boo (an ancient Korean technique that permanently fuses 24k gold to silver)!

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I used to be a secondary school teacher. I taught Geography, ICT and Business Studies – nothing at all to do with arts and crafts! I still use my teaching skills, though, but teaching jewellery design is so much more fun than teaching GCSEs!

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I made a client cry – but for a good reason, honest! She asked me to recycle some gold from old broken pieces of jewellery to make pendants for her daughters, and had a few tears when I showed her the finished pieces.

What inspires you?
Everything! I get my inspiration from everything around me, from a pattern on a piece of fabric to the trees in the park on the way to take my sons to school. The finished piece may end up looking nothing like the original inspiration though by the time I've tweaked and changed the design to get it to work perfectly.

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I did find the artistic life rather lonely as I used to work in a studio in my back garden, and so unless I was teaching I spent the day alone with just my tools, the radio and the cats for company. However, last summer I moved into a fantastic studio in the old Royal Mail Sorting Office in Eastleigh, about 15 minutes away from home. There are 16 of us in the studios, and it is a wonderfully supportive creative place to work!

Favorite or most inspirational place?
I have two favorite places around the world. First has to be Barcelona – the colours and the amazing architecture is wonderfully inspiring! Even the paving stones are beautiful. The second is the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, this time for its natural beauty – so relaxing and inspiring in a completely different way than Barcelona. I love the Hot Water Beach – dig a hole in the sand and it fills with water from a hot spring, your very own spa on the beach!

What’s the best piece of advice you've been given?
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again” (Richard Branson)

Thank you Joanne!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

One of Our February Artists in a Window Ciara McGuire

New to Studio 61 is Ciara McGuire who creates wonderful mixed media paintings, we interviewed her to find out her inspirations and background.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Ciara McGuire and I am a mixed media artist, designer, blogger and owner of Ciara McGuire Designs on Etsy  and Society 6. I create mixed media painting using acrylic paints, watercolours, paper, inks, oil pastels and much, much more. I work on canvas, cardboard, paper and fabric. I will paint on anything if it stands still long enough!

Why do you do what you do?
I create art because I can’t remember a time in my life when it hasn't been a part of my life. Ever since I was a very little girl I have sketched, coloured, painted, cut, pasted and made pretty things. I have just always been like this. I don’t know where it came from or why it continues but every morning I wake up and that creative urge is still there so I still do it.

How do you work?
I work out of a teeny, tiny studio in Sheffield city, just across the road from where I live, which is very handy. I have decorated and organised it so that it is an inspiring and homely space for me to create in by filling the walls and shelves with my own, and other peoples artwork, burning candles and aromatherapy oils and installing a kettle for me to have pick-me-up cuppa whenever I need it! My studio hours are 9.30 – 6pm Mon to Thurs and 9.30 – 4pm on Fridays. I make sure to stick to these hours quite strictly (unless I have to leave the studio for a work related meeting) because I find that it is the only way that I can get real, solid work done. I do everything in my little studio including working on my artwork, blogging, filming my You-tube videos and packaging up my orders.

What work do you most enjoying doing?
 When I am creating without any end result in mind, just letting the art flow out of my mind, through my hands and out onto the page, I am at my happiest. I love to experiment with different and new products or with whatever is at hand at the time. I don’t believe I have to be working with the highest grade paints or canvas; I don’t believe I need to be educated to the highest level in art. I just do what feels right and what I think looks good. People seem to enjoy what I do, regardless of how I got there so for me that is all that matters.

What themes do you pursue?
I am drawn towards positive, uplifting themes. The colours I use are typically bright and vibrant and the pieces I create often incorporate a positive quote of some sort.  I paint a lot of flowers and this is not just because they are pretty to look at but more because of what they symbolize. To me, a flower represents growth, change and blooming into the beautiful life that you should be living. Think about what happens in Winter when the flowers die away. It may feel like everything is grey, there is no colour in the world and the flowers are gone forever. But come Spring those little flowers will burst through the soil and bloom once again. There is always hope. That is what I try to get across in my artwork.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
Wow I have a list as long as my arm! I worked in sweet shops, newsagents, restaurants. I was even a hairdresser in another life which I suppose was the creative side of me coming out again. When I first moved to U.K I worked in Greggs. It was great to have picked up a job so quickly (seen as we moved here due to recession in Ireland) but it was that job that finally drove me to make the decision to follow my heart and go full time along my creative journey. I still work one night a week in an Irish bar but honestly that is just for the craic (fun) I have with the regulars. They are like my second family really and no matter how busy I am with my artwork I think I will always find time to spend in the Grapes.

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I suppose the artistic life could be described as lonely sometimes but I am comfortable with my own company and honestly, I enjoy being alone a lot. It’s the only way I can work.  However, I will always, always have talk radio on while I work so my studio is never quiet plus it keeps me up with current events which I think is important too.  Because I work alone all week, I always make sure to make time to see family and friends. Everyone needs a little human interaction after all!

What do you dislike about your work?
There is nothing that I dislike about my work. Of course there are certain areas that I would like to improve and I am always trying to better myself and my craft. There are days when I am uninspired, nothing will go my way, I can’t get what is in my head to look right down on paper.  This is natural, for any business. But I don’t dislike my work because how can I expect others to stand behind what I am doing if I don’t? I can’t fail, I can only move on wards and upwards. I just put it all down to practice and experience and know that tomorrow is a new day.

Favourite or most inspirational place?
I don’t know that I have any specific place that I can pinpoint but being by the sea is always a source of inspiration for me. I grew up in Wexford, which is situated on the South Eastern coast. I was used to walking along the Quay watching fishing trailers bobbing up and down and listening to the gulls screeching all around. As a child every Summer was spent at the beach, no question. It was second nature to me, something I didn't even think about. When I moved to Sheffield that was something that I had a hard time getting used to – not being able to see the sea no matter how far into the distance I looked. I genuinely felt smothered at times! However, I feel this has taught me a valuable lesson, not to take my surroundings for granted. Now when I am lucky enough to have a trip to the seaside or when I am visiting home I appreciate and enjoy it so much more. 

Professionally, what’s your goal?
I like to set myself lots of goals, big and small.  For example this year I have challenged myself to paint 50 large paintings in order to free myself of the anxiety I have felt about creating large scale. That is more of a personal challenge than a professional one I suppose but I am documenting this on my blog throughout the year so maybe it’s a little of both. As far as long term professional goals go I have a few, I would love to have my artwork licensed so that it would appear on household items etc , I would like my Etsy shop to be getting a little more activity and I also would like to be in a position (perhaps later this year) to start teaching classes and workshops. Passing what I know onto other people and sharing the joy of messy, free art would be a dream come true for me and I would probably learn twice as much from my students! Apart from that, I am excited to continue to grow and learn more and more about my craft and to keep on making others happy through my art.

  Thank you Ciara! To learn more about Ciara read here: 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Introducing Juliet Forrest to the Gallery

We are Pleased to introduce a new friend to the gallery Juliet Forrest her landscapes are stunning and are a nice addition to the walls here at Studio 61 Gallery. To find out more read the interview below.

 Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Juliet Forrest and I am an artist living and working in Sheffield. I use many media but may main interests are firstly: painting large scale canvasses using acrylics; usually landscapes inspired by the Peak District, but also more impressionistic colourful and textured paintings inspired by gardens, one of my other passions! My second main media is stained glass, in which I specialize in the traditional technique of kiln fired glass painting- the same techniques that has been used for church windows for centuries.

Why do you do what you do?
I can't seem to not do it- it is just a part of who I am. I have to be making things, drawing or painting. If I have had a week where I haven't had a chance to do much, I don't feel like myself.

What has been a seminal experience?
Although because this is financially based it may seem cynical to cite this as a seminal experience however it was significant for me in terms of my artistic career and it was selling my fist work over £1000 at an open exhibition. This really gave me the self belief that my work is good enough and that people appreciate it. It also made me realize that being a full time artist was a dream that might be within my grasp.
I mean it is all very well your friends and family saying how lovely your work is and buying pieces but it is easy to say to yourself “they are just being supportive- they have to say that”. Even at events when members of the public talk to you and compliment your work- again it is lovely but no-one’s going to say “God that’s rubbish- I’d just give up if I were you!”
So actually selling work anonymously, as an unknown artist in an open exhibition gave me a lot of confidence.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I have worked in mental health coordinating and delivering health and wellbeing courses, mostly anger management. This seems to surprise people for some reason!

What inspires you?
Beautiful things (how original!), the natural world. Awesome landscapes. Shiny things!

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I don't think it is a lonely life; I am happy in my own company just pottering around doing my own thing anyway! There are plenty of opportunities to interact with others though- visiting galleries and chatting with other artists and exhibiting at events where you can talk to members of the public.

What do you dislike about the art world?
I think it can be quite pretentious sometimes. I think sometimes a lot of fancy words are used to make something sound more impressive than it is. There can be a lot of hype and hot air that is not always accompanied by talent and sometimes talented people can go by completely unnoticed.

What do you dislike about your work?
The marketing and business side of things is my least favourite part of what I do- I just want to be painting, not updating my website, sending emails or preparing for events! It was a shock to the system when I realised that realistically I need to dedicate around half my time to this.

What do you like about your work?
I just love that part when I am in full flow on a project that is going well. I lose all track of time and don't want to do anything else (like cook dinner!)

What is your dream project?
I think it would be a stained glass project (as painting wise I pretty much paint what I fancy anyway!) and it would be a large scale commission that would be installed in a public location. Probably not a church piece but secular subject matter and I would be able to do a lot of kiln fired painting!

Thank you Juliet!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

ART SALE 1 DAY ONLY SAT 11th 10 - 4pm

Don't miss out several of our artists are having studio clearances so there are some genuine bargains to be had why not stock up on affordable art gifts that can be given throughout the year.  There are framed and mounted originals and prints and cards. This is a ONE DAY only event not to be missed!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Artists Interview With Janice Allen Our January Exhibition

Welcome back and Happy New Year to you all the gallery is open again with a new coffee stop and snack addition and we have our first exhibition of the year installed, the fabulous Janice Allen we met up over mince pies to interview her and find out what inspires her amazing textural landscapes......

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Janice Allen. I am an artist and maker. From 5’ painted canvasses, painted fused glass panels to small glass and silver jewellery pendants and earrings.   All have a common theme, which is texture. 

 Why do you do what you do?
Two reasons spring to mind.  The first being I have a demanding and responsible job during the week that keeps me technically challenged but creatively unfulfilled.  Secondly I wanted to do something that was just about me.  I was always some ones sister, friend, daughter or wife and never Janice.  Painting is very much about ME and I get a real sense of fulfillment and achievement when I paint and it allows me to express myself.

 How do you work?
If I am honest I am a little messy in all my disciplines but also extremely aware of any dangers when dealing with glass, heat and flames.  My paintings however are less dangerous! I paint flat but when I need the inks to flow into the textures I move the canvas around so the inks flow as desired or at there will. The surrounding surfaces and I end up covered in paint as it drips from the edge of the canvas.  Its great fun.  I am very lucky to have my own workshop at the bottom of the garden and I can leave everything out and just close the door behind me.


What work do you most enjoying doing?  
Experimenting with new products to see what it can bring to my work.  I have some interactive paint to play around with, once dried you can spray an unlocking agent and re work an area.  Looking forward to having some fun over the coming weeks.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
My first visit to Canada in 2003 seeing American art, totem poles colours and their designs.  Once home I designed a canvas and used fabric paint to fill in the spaces.  It wasn’t until 2006 I actually picked up a pallet knife and painted a picture for our home and here we are today. 

Why art?
I have already mentioned that I needed something in my life that was just about me but it is more than this, having art in my life has open up a different side of my personality and given me self belief.  Like everyone, life is busy but painting has to be part of my life.  For 2 years I have focused on glass fusing and silver jewellery design but I have picked up my brushes and knives once again and created ‘On the Top’ a series of work based on a picture of the same name I painted back in 2007.  I’ve loved painting again and can’t see me stopping anytime soon; I just have to find a balance.  I guess I need to get better at juggling! 

What do you like about your work? 
Unpredictability with the ink flow in my paintings and how the glass powders melt whilst being fused in the kiln. I never really know what the end result will be which I find exciting as well as a challenge at the same time.  Nothing is a disappointment to me as acrylics can be reworked, the underneath providing additional texture and any fired glass can be broken down and reused.


What research to you do?
Everyday is a research day to me as I can see a view whilst driving or a group of trees whilst on a walk and these could form an idea for a painting.  Everywhere you look there are textures and colours that will influence you in someway without you even knowing it at the time.


Favourite or most inspirational place?
I love textures and land formations and see potential in everything I see and touch.   I am lucky to live in Derbyshire but I also travel a lot so I’m never short of inspiration.  I have fond memories of a trip in 2008 where the Colorado River meets the Green river.  On returning home I painted the picture called ‘Composure’, I look at it each day and it makes me smile. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The sooner you realise that not everyone is going to like what you do you can feel free to be as creative as you desire to be.  A great piece of advice that I have passed on many times over.

Thank You Janice!

The galleries opening hours for winter are 10 -4pm.

Next Saturday the 11th is a one day only SALE of some of our best artists and designers so get yourself along to grab an arty bargain 10 - 4pm!