This will be my final letter as Chair and I’d like to start by saying how privileged I feel to have been given this opportunity and grateful for the encouragement to ‘give it a go’ when I was unsure whether to take up the role. I have learnt so much about the running of the Guild and the hard work that goes on behind the scenes for us all by the executive committee members on a voluntary basis. I’d like to send each and every one of them a huge ‘Thank-you’ on behalf of us all.
The Guild has given me the opportunity to learn about the wide range of enamelling skills and to try my hand at techniques I would never have heard of without the skilled and generous workshop leaders I have been lucky enough to learn from over the years at region meetings and conference. These tutors share their time and knowledge freely in support of the Guild and its members so I believe another big ‘Thank-you’ to them is in order.
As I write this we are putting the final touches to the Guild’s annual conference weekend (5th-7th April) at Thorpe Underwood Estate in York. I’d like to thank members for their tremendous support regarding this year’s conference. I am sorry to those of you who were disappointed at not getting a place on the workshop they requested. We had so much interest, many workshops were full by 2nd January and all tutors agreed to have more people in their workshops to try to cope with the demand – thanks to them for being so accommodating. Don’t forget to enter your pieces in the exhibition (you are not required to attend conference to enter pieces) especially for the themed award ‘All the fun of the fair’.
Pre-ordering from the suppliers attending conference will ensure they bring what you require as they will have limited stock carried with them. Many suppliers are only attending on the Saturday, please see your conference pack for details. If you are interested in applying for selection at next year’s conference I suggest you contact Ruby Tomes sooner rather than later as there are limited places and I believe she already has a few names on her list.
There are several forthcoming events the Guild is represented at this year including the Hobbycrafts Show at Birmingham NEC (March 21st -24th) and Art in Action near Oxford (July 18th -21st). I believe a full list is displayed on our website. Please let Lesley Miller know if you would like to assist at Art in Action; I would heartily recommend you do as I had a fantastic time both years I helped out.
My final thanks to all of you who have made my time as Chair so enjoyable. To the executive committee for their support and encouragement, to the members for their warm welcomes as I travelled around many of the regions and a special thank you to Jane Sheppard (conference secretary) for all she has done through the whole conference organisation on a steep learning curve for us both. I look forward to meeting up with old and new friends in York and hope I will be able to make the occasional visit to other regional meetings in the future.
What a fantastic conference: huge thanks to Chairman Jane Ball and our conference secretary Jane Sheppard and also to all the rest of the exec for all their effort. We were really impressed by the enamels exhibited by our members and I'll be adding pictures of the awards winners and some of the entries in the galleries soon. In the meantime, there's lots of post conference celebration going on, on our facebook page: just click through on the right.
We were also delighted to award Honorary Membership to both Gerry Lomax and Lynne Glazzard and full details of all the awards will be in the next journal.
The full list of awards can also be found here (but you will have to log in first).
Enamelling on Copper.
Hoylake Community Centre, Wirral CH47 3AG
Saturday 30th March 10am to 4pm
£75 (reduction on class fee to £60 or £50 if 5 or 6 places filled)
Maximum class size of 6 to allow for individual tuition.
Well the nights are drawing in and the heating’s coming on earlier and earlier, but I love this time of year. First nature has its vibrant say with the changing of the leaves, time to spend happy moments crunching through nearby woods. Then the colourful lights go up in the towns and houses; I have to admit to being a real kid and get just as excited as my children as Christmas approaches. Following that, if we are lucky enough, a covering of clean, white snow to throw, make snowmen with and slide down slopes on; also good inspiration for some Grisaille enamelling.
This leads me nicely onto next year’s conference in York (5th-7th April 2013) and the exciting tutorials available; these are elaborated on elsewhere in the journal. Once again highly gifted enamellers have given their time and enthusiasm to provide a wide range of tutorials and talks, to whom I would like to send a huge ‘thank you’ in advance. Without them, conference would not be possible. I hope many members will find a tutorial of interest and be able to attend, and that many of you will share your creations in the members’ exhibitions, including the themed exhibition, which will be ‘All the fun of the fair’. I look forward to welcoming our bursary winner Scarlett Cohen-French to conference and seeing her work exhibited; many thanks once again to our joint sponsors WG Ball, Craft&design magazine and Vitrum Signum for continuing to fund the bursary award.
Sadly I have to announce that David Alexander-Smith of Vitrum Signum, one of the most longstanding supporters of our Guild, passed away in October this year. Our thoughts are with his wife Mo and family, who I know have been very grateful for all the well wishes they have received from Guild members. Mo has advised us that Vitrum Signum is open for business as usual.
I have been lucky enough to meet many of you at your regional meetings, thank you for making me so welcome. Since my last letter, Region 3 gave me the opportunity to ‘go big’ and create an A4 piece at M&CT’s factory. Thanks to Chris and Mary Taylor for opening their factory to let us all have a go. This is something I have wanted to try for ages so I was thrilled to be able to attend and am quite pleased with my final piece; thanks to Tilly for her design advice! As I write this I am about to attend the Region 1 & 2 annual weekend meeting so am rather excited, having been told I’m ‘in for a treat’.
Along with the opportunity to start to understand how the Guild works, get to know the executive committee members better and learn how much work goes on behind the scenes, I have most enjoyed my trips to regional meetings in my time as Chair. These visits have allowed me to meet Guild members and see what everyone is doing.
As a Guild member you are welcome at any of the regional meetings, all that the regional reps ask is that you phone to let them know you are interested in attending a meeting as some venues are pushed for space. Full details of what’s on in the different regions and how to contact the regional reps can be found in the journal or on our website www.guildofenamellers.org.