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02 December 2019

Making to brighten dark days

Making decorations is always a combination of the very familiar and a little bit new.
It seems that I am one of several basketmakers this year who have been enjoying new ways to make the familiar shapes, stars, trees and angels. The benefits of being able to communicate through internet has changed the traditional craft techniques. In the past it was possible to tell which village or area an item was made by technique, material or character. Maybe in future it will become almost impossible to tell where items are made, that could be interesting for archaeologists of the future.
My regular workshops at WWT Welney are always a pleasure to run, this year the visitor centre has been updated and it is great to be in a refreshed setting. 
Daylight in winter is very precious, we have short hours of daylight and dark afternoons and when cloudy the whole day can be very grey in the fens so making items that brighten up the day, or the mind, is always good to do.

06 November 2019

New shapes for this season

I have been making frame baskets, they are a bit more flexible and less structured than traditional round or oval ones but of course there is still a need to make neat and pleasing shapes. I have been realising, a bit late I know, the benefits of batch making, repeating the stages of making with about 6 baskets on the go at one time. The making becomes more refined and I remember the technique better, or learn to adapt it better. Each element is prepared in advance, with the handles and frame set so they are easier to work with when weaving.
The value of learning specific and repeatable techniques means I am able to make more elegant shapes when making a sculpture and improvise better to create new pieces.

If you have plans for a special event or a gift for someone either for Christmas or any other celebration I can provide gift tokens, they will be available on the FrostArt website soon.

30 September 2019

Looking forward to sharing stories

The Fenland and Ouse Washes Story Quilt has been in use recently, it's great to hear how people are making use of this resource. It was made in a series of workshops as part of the OuseLife exhibition 'Secret Life of Ely Cathedral' in 2016. To find details about hiring, links to people and organisations involved and suggestions for how to make good use of it the link is here for this Story Quilt details

I am always happy to discuss with people how to make a Story Quilt for their community. If you know of an organisation who needs something like this let's make it happen! The topics and drawings are made by communities involved and the host organisation will decide where and when workshops can be run. Looking forward to sharing stories soon!

30 August 2019

New and familiar people, places and seasons

Sometimes life just goes in a direction I could not have anticipated. This week I am really happy to say it's the right direction and to announce that I have been selected for Artillery Arts 'Grandad's Island' project.
The theme Grandad's Island comes from a lovely children book by Benji Davies, its about a journey and sharing memories.
I will be making alongside students and volunteers. Participants in workshops will learn how to weave and make sculptures with willow so if you are reading this and think it's something you want to do email

My design is like an upturned boat, that may have landed recently or a long time ago - depending on the story you tell.

The other installation I am working on this week is for Angelsey Abbey's Dazzling Dahlias events, it's one of my favourite National Trust gardens locally so to work there is a real bonus!
More images and details when the work is ready to be revealed!

07 August 2019

Summer busy-ness

The last few months have been busy with planning and making work for exhibition and commissions.
 Riverside Arts are a group of eight artists working together provide a good variety of work to visit as part of Cambridge Open Studios. We have worked together for several years and developed a welcoming atmosphere for visitors of all ages. Thank you everyone for your support
Some of the visitor comments this year were really encouraging
'What a find!  A wonderful combination'
'Wonderful space and exhibition'
'Wonderful experience to see so much inspirational art'
'We loved our now annual visit to your studio...favourite is the Antler Moth (Kimberley Allens work)...Very inspiring and a lovely range of work'
'It was lovely to see a variety of talent in one exhibition'

Riverside Arts artists have work in our local, and exceptionally good, Spanish restaurant Habis. The work is for sale and you can enjoy refreshments, great coffee or tea and fabulous cakes while you make a choice from which artists work you like. The artists will work to commission, always a pleasure to make work for a particular setting or special occasion.

23 June 2019

News, updates and information

FrostArt workshops
now has online booking and payments available. I am so excited about this and you may have been waiting a while for it to happen!
Workshop dates at WWT Welney are currently available on the events page
Make a choice from the survey for the workshop selection I look forward to working with you very soon.
Hosting workshops - if you or your organisation would like to host workshops please go to Host page
If you have any queries or there are problems with your bookings please contact me
Invite friends and family to come to a workshop with you, include the link in the invitation so they have the details in front of them.
With thanks to writer and critic Ian Collins for encouraging me to use, adapt and share artist's warning signs!

18 June 2019

A new viewpoint

The exhibition process and setting for Tracks and Traces provided new ways of seeing work, both my own and others involved. Lots of conversations with visitors over the weekend, probably about two thousand people, maybe more have seen our work for the first time. The architecture of The Crystal Palace invites people to explore their surroundings and engage with really seeing their surroundings.

Evening sunshine helped. Photo by Tim Frost

Evening sunshine helped. Photo by Tim Frost

Evening sunshine helped. Photo by Tim Frost

10 June 2019

Open Garden conversations

It was Ely Open Gardens on Sunday June 9th, always good opportunity for conversations and sharing of ideas, to meet friends and make new ones. This year I had good conversations with older residents, who remembered the greenhouse in The Bishops Garden being used to raise seeds for the formal garden and the vegetable garden. I hadn't really thought about the Corn Exchange in Ely in this context before, but apparently all good gardeners and farmers would go there to buy or sell their seeds, especially if they were prize winners.

I met people who came on the train from Cambridge, some taking time to visit Ely from London, Manchester, Sheffield and Australia. Very varied life experiences, but so many links, shared hopes and dreams for the lives of people, wildlife and the planet.
This was also the last day of the Moon exhibition in Ely Cathedral so the conversations extended to the further still.

03 June 2019

Prickwillow work in progress

Evidence of work in progress in the Prickwillow phone box, the signs are part of a series started by author and art critic Ian Collins when he curated Salthouse '08.
More to follow and work will be developed during the month, which is promising to be a busy one.
I will be 'in residence' in the greenhouse of The Bishops Garden preparing for Sunday 9th, Open Gardens in Ely This will be a preview of the planning and making of work for several exhibitions this year, some work will be available for sale.
The following weekend I will be in Bury St Edmunds, again linked to an open gardens trails, for 'Tracks and Traces' exhibition where work will be available for sale.

09 May 2019

Background work

Over the last few months with a lot of patient tech support I have been working on the background of FrostArt workshops site. Lots of new workshops both in new and familiar places coming up over the next few months, admin time is both precious and tedious. Successful results are almost always invisible to others.

This update should mean I work more efficiently for teaching and really enjoy more focussed and productive studio time. Now to go and handle more natural stuff.

08 May 2019

Familiar work, different setting

I have just installed a small preview show of Cambridge Open Studios work by Riverside Arts group into Habi's. Our local, fabulous Spanish restaurant, the best place to meet and have coffee, breakfast, tapas or paella in Littleport over the last few years. Now also to show small, selective artwork. There are enough local artists to keep the shows interesting and really professional. Keep visiting to see what's available, the work is for sale.

06 May 2019

New venue

I recently visited the lovely Olivia Shave who has set up 'The Studio' near West Harling in Norfolk. Hidden away in the Thetford forest, it is an exceptional place which I am sure will become hugely popular for special gifts. All the suppliers, like myself, are makers, artists and artisan food specialists in Norfolk.
When visiting you are likely to meet the lates additions to their growing flock of sheep, these supply both wool and meat products to the shop.
I have provided Olivia with a small selection of willow work to have in the shop, with the aim of encouraging customers to commission pieces to suit their special occasions and events.

Their face book page is The Studio

29 April 2019

Exploring Trails - Making Marks

I am currently making new work for 'Tracks and Traces' an exhibition showing journeys of five women artists. June 14th - 16th. The setting is a contemporary house in the centre of medieval Bury St Edmunds. Perfect for viewing the artwork and the garden. This exhibition is part of Hidden Gardens of Bury

My work will include expressive baskets, a collection made in response to solving recent personal problems and reaction to community disturbances that climate change protests have brought.

The title 'I can't contain myself' enables making to include a wide variety of materials and forms.
In the nature of Slow Making these pieces include materials collected over many years and techniques learned and adapted from weaving or stitching fibres and yarns from different contexts and sometimes in very unexpected ways. I am enjoying going back to basics, handling familiar materials in different contexts.

I have again spent time making in the beautiful setting of the  Bishops of Ely's greenhouse and some of these pieces will be previewed in the The Bishops Garden when it is open for Open Gardens in Ely, June 9th

There will be a small preview of Riverside Arts Open Studios work at Habi's in Littleport from May 7th, go in for the best coffee, tapas and paella in the district. All work will be for sale.

Family - Sarah Gull
Basket detail - Jane Frost
Textile - Bridget Buchan
Stone - Fay Jones
Mosaic - Genista Anahita Dunham

29 January 2019

Cambridge Open Studios 2019

This is the time of year when planning for Cambridge Open Studios starts. I will be taking part again with Riverside Arts in Little Ouse, it always seems so far away when we get together and it is hard to imagine what July hot summer weather will feel like but I am sure the next few months will go very quickly. The new website for Riverside Arts is here
I am working on collections to put into Open Studios, including expressive containers made linked to walks and conversations as well as more traditional baskets. Going back to basics, enjoying handling materials.