Friday, 31 July 2009

Etsy Treasury

I haven't done an Etsy treasury in a while. But today I happened to check on the treasuries and there was an opening within half an hour. That only happens every couple of days so I thought I might as well take advantage of it while I was on. I made one based around the colour purple:

It's got a scarf of mine in it, and it's only on for a couple of days, so check it out.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Pottery Corner

I've just interviewed for a job at Pottery Corner in Chorlton. I've wanted to go in and paint a pot there for a while so I'd love to work there. It's just part time, which is good for me at the moment, since I'm still doing my dissertation.

Aside from that, I've finished the four scarves I'm putting in the John Rylands Library on Deansgate. I'll put photos of them on here as soon as the weather is nice enough for me to snap them in natural light.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Back in the real world

I've been pretty holed up in my house recently, almost exclusively writing and felting. I feel that I've lost a little of my connection to the city and what's going on in it - I somehow missed much of the M'cr International Festival, even though I'd wanted to see the Marina Abramovic show for ages. I got to be part of the festival at the very end, with the Book Market, but everything else passed me by.

I'm wanting to get back into things - experiencing all the art that's on offer in Manchester, and I've just come across a site to help me with that. It's apparently aimed at the 'Creative Tourist', but it has info on loads of great stuff that I want to go and see/do that I don't have to be a tourist to be interested in. I'm especially keen on the new show at the Cube called City as Gymnasium, which is on until Oct 3rd. That's a pretty plainly descriptive title, but from what I've read the show sounds interesting.

One thing I have seen recently that I've found very inspiring and engaging is Gustav Metzger's Flailing Trees, which I saw in the Peace Gardens. There's an interesting recording of the artist describing the work on the Guardian website. There are a few other people on the recording giving their reactions to the work, and I was intrigued to hear them commenting on the relation of the work to the environment and conservation. I really didn't perceive the piece as having any relation to that in such a raw and direct sense. To me, it seemed to be much more about forcing observation through a perception shift, and it made me feel more aware of the world around me and the natural components of that. I felt that it wasn't really 'save the environment' as much as it was simply and honestly saying 'notice the environment'.

I really liked it, and not just because it's made of willow trees. One thing I found slightly distracting about it is that I didn't know how the trees were being kept alive. The piece is meant to be transferred to the Whitworth, but I didn't see how the trees could be maintained when they're kept upside down in concrete. I know that's quite a petty concern, I knew that even when I thought it while standing in front of the trees. But I thought it, and I couldn't help myself. When I got back I looked it up and found out that nothing is being done to keep the trees alive, so while they're very green and healthy-looking now (apart from the upside-down in concrete thing), they will die and dry out, and that is also part of the sculpture - it's a dying, rather than a living sculpture.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Bewilderbliss and now on to other things

Bewilderbliss issue #2 is out now, after a lot of work, so now I'll be free to get back to the rest of my life. At the moment that seems to include being dragged by Lucy into falling in love with the L-Word, struggling to write my novel (took me all morning to do 1000 words, though I feel that they were good) and finally getting to do the felting to go into the John Rylands Deansgate giftshop.

I'm really pleased with how Bewilderbliss is going, issue #2 is turning out to be even better and more popular than issue #1. I even got to do an interview with Jackie Kay, who was great - really supportive of the project, she not only did the interview, but she set the theme of the issue and put a poem into it.

I think that now I just want to get away for a while, at the moment there's always some e-mail to write or more usually something to feel guilty for not having got done yet. I think that soon I will go spend some time in a caravan in the woods and take nothing but a pen and paper, and books obviously, because other people write better than me. I have just started Deliverance and it is really good, but I think I'll have to get it done before I go to the woods, since I dont want a repeat of the fear I had last time when I was there and read The Road. I think that when you stay alone in a field enclosed by woods where nobody can hear you scream, you really dont want to read anything scary.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Anti-plagiarism Day

Friday July 17th is Anti-Plagiarism Day. It's not very official, since the date has just been hijacked for that purpose by the quite interesting How Publishing Really Works blog. However, it's quite an inspiring theme for a day to have, and the blog has put out a call for anyone interested in the topic to write about it on that date and raise awareness. You can either write a post about it on your own blog/facebook/twitter, or submit your thoughts to “hprw at tesco dot net”, with a subject line of “HPRW anti-plagiarism day”, and it will be posted on the HPRW blog. I think the line at which creative writing can be considered to be plagiarism can be a difficult one to find - who's to say what's simply drawn inspiration from something else and what's ripping it off. I'm going to have a think about the topic and hopefully I'll have something constructive to post on July 17th. It looks like there will be a lot of good things said about the topic, if the comments on the original blog post are anything to go by.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Knitted Poem

Oh, and also, I've just found out about this lovely idea. Join up to help knit a poem. Each person who takes part in the project with The Poetry Society knits a single letter of the poem. Even with my rubbish knitting, I think I might be able to contribute.

Another treasury

I've been busy making some new earrings to be sold in the John Rylands giftshop. But in the meantime, things are ticking along on Etsy. I've been included in another treasury. It's full of beautiful cobalt blue items. Have a look.