Wow 2.

This is the weekend for catching my breath, reflecting what has been going on and getting the studio back into a workspace rather than a gallery space.  At last I have almost all my work back in my possession, well the unsold work that is.  I just have to nip down to Guildford on Thursday and collect the work which has been in the No Naked Walls Gallery for a while.  Sadly the gallery does not seem to be the right place for me and despite proprietor, Sharon’s, best efforts my work isn’t selling there and I think it is time for a parting of the ways.  So I want to consider the successes and less good points about the last few weeks.

From the downside, I did not take a single commission at the Open Studios.  This was a surprise.  Loads of people expressed a lot of interest and I had hoped that this might have been one of the major successes of the weekend but no-one wanted to sign up there and then.  I wonder what that was all about.

Nobody seems willing to pay £75:00 for an envelope
Was it to do with people needing to go away, consult and think before coming back to me with their idea or was my idea for a deposit too expensive or clumsy?


For £75:00 I was inviting people to buy an envelope containing instructions, a contract, a small bag for their soil/clay sample and a memory stick for their maps, plans and images.  Clearly I need to rethink this a bit but I still believe the concept is a good one; personalised gifts which record a special time or place for ever. I wonder what I should do to boost the idea and translate it into sales. Indeed, others must be in agreement with me to some extent because I have 2 commissions at the moment.

On the positive side, I now have work in at least one archive: Battersea Art Station bought one of my pieces; I have completed one commission to the complete satisfaction of the client; I have sold a number of pieces, including a considerable quantity of older work which I am really pleased about as it means that I can have my studio looking more as if I know where I am going.  I have also sold a number of my new pieces, which is even more exciting!

I am feeling very fired up by my project in Cornwall.  I have a name for it, the Poldark Project, but I am not giving anything else away too early.

The early beginnings of my Poldark Project.


In addition, I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself, may I have just one teeny weeny boast?  I was really excited to get a piece into the Ceramics Open Exhibition at Salisbury but imagine my amazement when I discovered that I was joint winner of the vote from the visitors for the piece they liked most.  No number of sales or interest from galleries compares with that as an endorsement of my ideas.  Thank you all very much.  I feel extremely humbled by your choice.

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Fiona Cassidy welcomes everyone to the private view at Salisbury Arts Centre Contemporary Ceramics Open 2015.

My very first ‘grown up’ exhibition.

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The Private View at the Salisbury Open Ceramics Exhibition

This week I visited the beautiful city of Salisbury.  I arrived early for the private view at the Salisbury Arts Centre thinking that it would be good to have a little wander around the cathedral close and the market first.  Instead, by the time I got to the station, I was is such a state of jitters that I ended up making straight for the nearest well known high street coffee shop for a restorative cup of hot chocolate and a piece of Tiffin!  No size 12 in sight yet!

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I am so excited to be taking part.

I am not that great at going to things on my own so I was particularly relieved to be greeted by some good friends who I had no idea would be there – Thanks so much, Adam and Meredith, for helping me find my feet!  This is the first time, other than selling fairs and my college exhibitions, that I have put my work ‘Out There’.  I felt really rather exposed.

The show has been curated by Fiona Cassidy and selected by Professor Simon Olding, from the Craft Study Centre, and Sophie Cummings, from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.  I am absolutely over the moon to be taking part.  There are 47 pieces in the exhibition; one of them is mine.  The variety of work is astounding. All of it is contemporary.  The imaginative work of Elise Menghini juxtaposed with that of Suzie Gutteridge who works in felt as well as ceramics and Martin Harman whose fabulously crisp thrown and joined forms are so different to my own work but truly beautiful and so skilled!  The exhibition, in an up-cycled church, is a real feast for the eyes and I would commend anyone with an interest in contemporary ceramics who is in the Salisbury area to visit it.  It is on until 14th November so you have plenty of time.  If you go, don’t forget to vote for your favourite piece!  I voted for Jo Taylor’s End of the Pier which you can see front left in one of my photographs.

For me the private view was a great evening.  Not only was I able to practice talking about my own work but I was able to network – I hate that expression – with other artists.  I met some great people and we talked a lot about ceramics, art and art in the landscape.  I was particularly intrigued by the ideas which had been offered by a project called Step In Stone.  This is currently taking place in Quarries in the Mendips in Somerset and finishes this weekend.  I am asking myself how I could possibly have missed it!  I would give my eye teeth to take part in a collaboration like that.  I think working alongside other artists who are all interpreting the same landscape through their chosen media for a chosen project would be my idea of heaven.

So I think that my plan for the New Year is going to be to approach all and sundry with the idea of setting up some kind of collaboration based on the landscape that I love – anyone want to join me?