Hopefully you have all found time to put towards activities you enjoy over the summer. A new term is about to start and, as usual, the holiday period has flown by with only half the targets set in our household being achieved. I expect we’re not the only ones who underestimate the time available during the summer to squeeze in work, family fun and that precious ‘me’ time.

Thankfully there have been several lovely days and the summer hasn’t been a complete wash out. On sunny days we have, like many of you I’m sure, enjoyed walks in the woods and days on the beach. During those times I have been reminded of talks by designers such at Ruth Ball and Sarah Macrae at past conferences when they spoke about how artistic inspiration can come from everyday observations of different colours, effects of light and shade, shapes and textures. A notebook accompanies me on such days, in the hope that amongst the sketches an enamelling ‘masterpiece’ may be forthcoming.

Enamelling makes up much of my ‘me’ time, and being chair of the Guild has given me permission to indulge myself a little more over the past five months. Attending Art in Action near Oxford was a highlight as it gave me the opportunity to view a wide array of arts and craft and get together with many people I met through the Guild. If you haven’t been yet, keep your eyes out for next year’s Art in Action, it really is a must see event.

While at Art in Action, I was able to thank Angie and Paul Boyer from craft&design magazine for their continued support of the Guild. They have agreed to once again part fund the 2013 bursary prize (along with WG Ball & Vitrum Signum) which is worth over £1,000 and awarded to students/graduates who want to develop their enamel skills and careers. The closing date for application this year was 31st July. Results will be published later in the year.

The Pannett Art Gallery at Whitby and the Danish Jewellery Museum have also had Guild members’ work exhibited over the summer. A list of events, exhibitions and courses involving Guild members can be found on our comprehensive website www.guildofenamellers.org.

It was possible for me to attend some regional workshops recently, two local to me in Shropshire, region 4 (‘torch firing’ with Maureen Carswell and ‘beads’ with Janet Notman) as well as meeting up with some of region 6 members in Somerset (‘pewter backing’ with Jeanne Crosse); thank you to all those who made me feel so welcome.

I look forward to attending more events and workshops and meeting more of you over the next few months.