My Beverley Brook vessels have been going down a treat and, in my enthusiasm to make each one unique I went for a walk along the brook at the weekend to try and get some more images to use in the inside of the vessels. The light was awful – grey with a hint of fog – and so I was not exactly hopeful of getting a shot worthy of the Royal Photographic Society but in actual fact it doesn’t seem to matter for what I want. So this week I thought I would do a bit of a ‘how to’ blog because a lot of people have been asking me about the interior decoration.
Step 1: Take some photos. The deer are still feeling a bit frisky and so it was not difficult to find a couple of stags playing ‘I’m the biggest deer in the Park!’
I didn’t have to get close which is good because I am really anti people stalking the deer and surrounding them with cameras! These two were not really fighting. In fact they looked distinctly bored and the younger one was simply going around the herd picking on all the other stags in order to annoy them as far as I could see.
Step 2: Download your image and enhance the lighting and contrast in Photoshop.
By now the image is looking a little extreme but that is what I need if the decal is to work well.
Step 3: Remove anything that looks the least bit confusing:
all the bracken has to go for starters.
Finally order the decals, stick them inside the vessel and fire. I have not got that far with this image yet – it will probably make an appearance on a piece to feature in the Top Drawer exhibition that I am taking part in after Christmas but I am hopeful that it will look something like this:
For those of you that have been following me avidly, thank you by the way, you will know about my love of Richmond Park and about the pieces which I have been making in response to the project to improve the ecosystem of Beverley Brook which runs through the Park from Robin Hood Gate to Roehampton Gate and on into the Thames at Putney. I was really pleased to have one piece ready for the Open Studios this week and even more pleased to sell it! Another£225 will shortly be on its way to the Friends of Richmond Park to support its program of projects ‘protecting the peace and natural beauty of the Park.’
Beverley Brook Vessel No.2
The interest in these pieces has been huge and the third piece , which I have been making throughout the weekend has attracted a considerable amount of attention and people love the story. But for me, the best bit of all is the knowledge that the park is benefitting from these sales. Beverley Brook Vessel No.3 is being constructed during the show and will be completed sometime in the next few weeks. I am looking forward to giving it a good send off and being able to contribute more to the protection of this valuable, fragile resource.
Biologically impossible, I know, but my Dad has always called Richmond Park his third lung. If you live close to London and spend much of your time struggling with the volume of people, the traffic, the fumes and all the other things that living near a big city involves – as well as all the great bonuses such as galleries, events, courses and so on – then having Richmond Park on your doorstep is a truly wonderful plus point. I treasure it so much and its conservation is of considerable importance to me.
The inside of this vessel is decorated with images which remind me of the life in and around the brook.
It was with that thought in mind that I arranged with the park manager to make a few pieces using material from the park and selling them for its benefit: 50% of all sales proceeds is donated to the Friends of Richmond Park for their use in conservation projects. Having sold the first one at Kew Gardens during Handmade it was with great pleasure that I presented the Friends with a cheque for £300. In response they posted a link to my website in their newsletter and on Facebook. The result has been dramatic! I am enjoying peak viewings on my website and have had a number of requests for similar vessels. Given that I am short of work ready to sell during the Open Studios, which starts in less than a week, I had already decided that I would keep my space as more studio than gallery and would make Beverley Brook vessels throughout the weekend, as a kind of ongoing demonstration. It seems that this is a good plan because, if activity and enquiries are anything to go by, I am going to need a couple!
A new Beverley Brook vessel is already under construction.
At the moment I have one, slightly smaller one which is half finished so it looks as though I am going to be a bit busy before, during and after the show and that the coffers of the Friends of Richmond Park are in for a boost.
It seems that you did – I have had the most activity on my website this week that I have had for many months. Were you all hanging on to know what has been going on?
The truth is that I have been hard at it all week trying to get work ready for Kew Gardens. I want to have a really good body of work and, whilst it was all under construction before my trip to Canada, the finishing is a lengthy process. I have no images of work yet because I didn’t want to do snap shots and it has been more important to get the work ready.
I am particularly looking forward to responses to my ‘piece de resistance’ though: the Beverly Brook vessel. Beverley Brook runs through Richmond Park, one of my favorite places on earth. My Dad calls it his third lung! Poets Corner, within the gardens of Pembroke Lodge was restored partly with money collected in memory of my mum. I grew up ‘in the park’: on long walks in the company of a procession of family dogs; horse riding; pond dipping; making dens; climbing trees; yes, OK, I was always a bit of a tom-boy.
So I gives me a huge sense of excitement to be able to make with material from the park which was give to me, by permission of the management, when they were restoring the brook. It is my plan to have one large piece for sale at Kew and I have agreed with the Park that 50% of the proceeds of the sale will go to the Friends of Richmond Park for use on a project of their choosing.