This week

Hayrack Gallery CHC

I delivered a new collection of coastal inspired pieces to The Hayrack Gallery at The Old Dairy Farm Craft Centre in Upper Stowe yesterday. Some of the hanging wall panels aren’t up yet, but I’m really happy with the display so far.

Robert & Kim, the gallery owners, said:

“We particularly like the houses which can take a tea light candle, and the beach hut hanging pieces. The seaside theme comes across in the colours she has used in the decoration, which means you can mix and match the pieces to make your own collection too.”

apples and blackberries

I ‘d had my eye on the apples growing on the apple tree in our garden for a few weeks, so I decided to make an apple & blackberry pie last night. I was worried that the apples might have tasted sour but it was delicious! I’ll be making that again :)

apple & blackberry pie

Gladioli are starting to flower next to one of my ceramic sculptures in the garden…

I love summer!

gladioli

Me and Dizzy have been practicing our show jumping ready for Blakesley Show this Saturday. We are entering a 2ft9 show jumping class and then a best in-hand coloured horse class which I’ve never done before, but am very excited. More on that to follow next week, but in the meantime, wish us luck!

show jumping

I have been working on some very special commissions lately, which are always a pleasure to make. If there is anything special I can make for you, please feel free to contact me to discuss your requirements, I’ll be happy to help.

lily bowl

Bridesmaid vase

personalised heart plaque

Sketchbook Project week 3

Another week has passed which means 7 more drawings have been produced for the sketchbook project I am taking part in with Megan Ashwell Design.

Our drawings will be used as inspirational imagery and design ideas for creating new work, and we will also be producing some cards from various drawings.

You can view my album of drawings for the whole month and see how I am getting over on my Facebook page.

bouquet painting

Day 15: Bouquet. Love that big leaf at the back.

silhouettes

Day 16: Silhouettes, ploughed fields & harvested hay bales.

oak tree

Day 17: Stopping to rest at the old oak tree.

walk along the tow path sketch

Day 18: A walk along the tow path.

tree bark drawing

Day 19: Tree bark

tree bark drawing

drawing in the woods

Day 20: We took a trip to the woods to do our drawing on this day. It was great being surrounded by trees, one of my main sources of inspiration, but not so great getting eaten alive by all of the bugs! We didn’t realise until the next day how many bites we had.

Megan’s dog Alfie came along, keeping himself occupied by playing in the mud and then coming to check we were still at the same spot every now and then, leaving a little muddy nose print on our white sketchbook pages :)

Alfie

hydrangeas painting

Day 21: Painting hydrangeas in the garden. I’m not so sure about the pink in this one, but have started to use a painted coloured background to draw on which I’m finding is much better than a plain white page. You should notice more coloured backgrounds during week four coming up…

drawing in the garden

Here I am caught unaware painting in the garden yesterday!

Sketchbook Project week 2

I have to admit I am struggling a little to keep up with producing a drawing every day for a whole month as part of our sketchbook project, but I’m glad we set such a tough challenge. It is a great motivation task!

If you are a creative person I would recommend a similar challenge for yourself… even though it is sometimes a struggle, I have produced a tonne of imagery for my work that I would not normally have created every day.

Here are last weeks drawings:

pen and watercolour daisies

Day 8: Line drawing of daisies with a few watercolour pompoms thrown in.

cottages pen drawing

Day 9: Four sketched cottage studies in my favourite style of drawing: loose, quick and free.

Day 10: I produced a few different studies on this day. You can read my post At the allotment to see them :)

plant cells drawing

Day 11: Magnified plant cells using mixed media. Wax resist at the top left is going to be experimented on the ceramic surface. I love circles so this one was a lot of fun!

wild flowers

Day 12: Simple line drawing of wild flowers on grey paper, this was actually an envelope I received in the post – hence the crease! I do love a bit of recycling :)

along the canal

canal boat watercolour

Day 13: Lunch along the canal on a muggy summers afternoon, watching the boats drift by…

chickens drawing

Day 14: I had a go at drawing chickens from the same local pub along the canal. These ladies are so full of character, and were a lot of fun to draw.

Trip to the allotment

As part of our sketchbook project (see first post here), we are aiming to meet up once a week to focus on some drawing in different locations. Our first meet up was at a local allotment on Wednesday last week.

allotment sketch with ink

It was such a refreshing change to be out and about surrounded by inspirational shapes, patterns and compositions. We were spoilt for choice with so many things to draw!

at the allotment

It was great to do some ‘loose’ drawing where the marks on paper are quick and free. I found that I got some better results using this method of drawing, rather than focusing on small tight details.

sketching at the allotment

I loved everything about this distressed wooden shed door below… It’s colour, texture, linear patterns, holes, peeling paint.

distressed pink wooden door

Vegetables were fun to draw. This has given me some new ideas for surface decoration onto clay.

sketchbing vegetables

daisies and sweet peas

We are going to develop some of our drawings into greeting cards which is very exciting!

Stay tuned for more drawings coming up soon.

Sketchbook Project

Following on from my trip to New Designers, I mentioned that myself and Megan Ashwell Designs were going to be challenging ourselves with a new project (if you missed that post, you can view it here).

Our plan for the project is to chose a theme to work with, and produce at least one drawing a day based on that theme for a whole month. The idea behind this is to come up with some new imagery in our drawings to use for developing new work, for instance recreating a drawing onto the ceramic surface.

The theme we have chosen is Garden/Nature/Outdoors – Quite an obvious theme for us both and it is very loose which can relate to a wide range of different smaller themes, but I wanted to start in my comfort zone ready to branch out and focus on a much more challenging theme in the next project, all being well!

Megan has chosen to focus on motif’s which is much more apt to her style of work. Although she has mentioned that she doesn’t want to focus solely on flowers so I will be keeping a close eye on her sketchbook and making sure she sticks to her goal :) It’s great being able to meet up with another creative person and bounce ideas off one another.

We have agreed to meet up once a week if we can, and visit a local area to just sit and draw.

We started last Monday, so here are my daily drawings from last week:

garden trellis drawing

Day 1: Looking at a hanging basket, gorgeous blue flowers and some honey suckle that my Nan gave me, growing up a trellis in my garden. I wanted to leave this drawing ‘unfinished’, with only some areas painted with colour.

looking up at trees

Day 2: From down low… Looking up at tall spindly trees. This one was a lot of fun and will look great recreated onto clay!

horse in cow parsley field pencil drawing

Day 3: Pencil drawing – Horse in a cow parsley field. (lucky thing!)

pen and ink countryside scene

Day 4: Pen & Ink countryside scene.

reflections on water watercolour

Day 5: Watercolour reflections and patterns on the surface of water, finished off with Karisma pencils and shiny tin foil collage. I’m already imagining this design on a vase…

tulip drawings

Day 6: Tulip studies. I love this form, and it works well as a repeat pattern.

leaf study

Day 7: Focusing on leaves from the peace lily plant in my living room while watching tv :)

I have been posting each drawing on my Facebook page daily, so if you’re interested in keeping up with our project be sure to like my page to see what I’ve been up to.

Check out Megan’s Facebook page where you will find her daily drawings too!

We are off out for a drawing session Wednesday evening… watch this space :)

This week . . .

Art in the Park stall

Last Sunday I was in Caldecott Park in Rugby for ‘Art in the Park’, a celebration of local artists surrounded by beautiful trees. This was my first ever experience of having a stall outside being completely uncovered, so we were really lucky to have the sun shining all day. It was great to get some of my latest pieces fresh from the kiln out and about, especially my new vase range which received some lovely comments.

Being surrounded by trees and nature, I was in my element and was glad I took my sketchbook to create a few doodles and design ideas.

trees in the park

Strawberry picking was on the agenda again last weekend! You can’t beat the freshly picked strawberries from our local orchards – so much better than shop bought. When I wasn’t munching on them straight from the fridge, I found another tasty use for some of the strawberries… They went down very nicely in a glass of fizzy rosé  after I’d unpacked at home from art in the park.

hand picked strawberries

This pair of hanging blue hearts were recently requested by a customer and delivered last week :)

blue ceramic hearts

And my new ceramic heart clock has made it into the press this week! Firstly being featured in Home Living magazine

heart clock in Home Living mag

…and also featured as ‘Editor Loves’ on the Your East Anglian Wedding magazine website.

So that has made me very happy indeed :)

heart clock in east anglian wedding mag

To top off my week so far, I enjoyed a fun evening out cross country schooling with Dizzy on Wednesday. She was so good, I put all of my trust in her and I think she could sense it. Bombing through the water making big splashes was the best bit!

cross country schooling dizzy

 I have been doing some drawing every day this week as part of an exciting new sketchbook project I am working on. Details will follow in my next post so be sure to pop back on Monday to have a gander through my sketchbook.

Wishing you a great weekend! x

New Designers 2014

new designers 2014

Last Friday I took a day out with Megan from Megan Ashwell Designs and visited the New Designers 2014 exhibition at The Business Design Centre in London.

Myself and Megan both met at a local fair a couple of years ago, and it turned out we had very similar interests and passions. I now own one of Megan’s mugs and she owns one of my vases :)

Anyway, we thought it would be nice to have a day away from designing and making, and have a look at some of the latest work from new university graduates from all over the country.

It was a lovely day. Aside from delicious Starbucks drinks and snacks, we saw some fantastic work. It made me think back to my graduate days back in 2008 when I exhibited at New Designers with Coventry University after my degree show (7 years ago!). Unfortunately I didn’t see a stand for Coventry University this year.

Overall, I was really impressed by the quality of work but have to admit I was a little disappointed in the amount of ceramics on show. I remember there being more all those years ago…

It was nice to sit down and rest our feet when we took part in designing fun new Absolut Vodka bottles. My bottle featured a dandelion (naturally!), and Megan’s bottle hosted some beautiful 3D flowers, of course!

Charlotte & Megan designing Absolut bottles

On the train home we were discussing new ideas for our work and decided to challenge ourselves with a project to help generate new imagery for new work. Details to follow soon – Watch this space! I’m so excited to start working in a sketchbook again, it’s been a while.

Until then I’ll leave you with my highlights of the show…

katie stamford

Katie Stamford

eloise nash ceramics

Eloise Nash

sophie thompson

Sophie Thompson

matthew watson

Matthew Watson

Annette Lawrence

 Annette Lawrence

laura murphy

Laura Murphy

ali cashen

Ali Cashen

 Alastair Heywood

Showcase at Three Little Pigs

I am very excited to share with you a special showcase  of my work at Three Little Pigs gift shop in Pershore, Worcestershire.

The shop has a very welcoming atmosphere, offering carefully selected original gifts and handmade art. Regular workshops take place in the shop so if you are thinking of learning a new skill, check out the workshops page at Three Little Pigs where you’ll find details of soap making, silver ring making, and basket making workshops coming up.

Three Little Pigs CHC

 

Three Little Pigs shop

As well as showcasing my work in the shop, a selection of my pieces are also available to purchase online on the Three Little Pigs website.

Three Little Pigs showcase

The showcase will run for six weeks and will be on show until Saturday 9th August.

CHC Showcase at Three Little Pigs

The Garden in Bloom

freshly grown strawberries

garden in bloom

 The garden is looking beautiful at this time of year. New growth and colours still continue to sprout up and surprise me. It’s great having all this as inspiration on my doorstep.

garden in bloom

 Our home grown strawberries are doing well. We’ve had to cover the strawberry plants in netting to avoid the birds helping themselves to a tasty snack!

While waiting for ours to grow, we went to a ‘pick your own’ farm at the weekend and picked lots and lots of fresh juicy red strawberries from the orchards.

lupin

With all of this beautiful sunshine around, we get to see some spectacular skies in the evening.

I hope it lasts!

pink sky at night

Curved Beach Panel Commission

One of my latest commissions fresh from the kiln involved a beach scene from where the customer grew up and spent a lot of their childhood. I always enjoy working on special pieces that have a nice story behind them.

commissioned ceramic beach panel

This was the original image supplied by the customer below, of Porthmeor Beach. in St Ives. It is a print available at the Claire White Gallery in St Ives.

Porthmeor Beach print

I tried to portray the scene as best as I could by hand engraving onto the ceramic surface, which was a little time consuming but totally worth it, I really enjoyed working on it.

Porthmeor Beach commission

Once happy with the overall transformation of the image from paper onto clay, I added a few decorative touches including impressed shell patterns and small pieces of recycled blue glass.

After a day or two of allowing the clay to firm up, it was ready to stand up on it’s own and be formed into a ceramic curve.

ceramic curve in progress

It was a nerve wracking experience patiently waiting for the kiln to finish firing and then cool down with this piece inside! Custom orders are always so precious.

ceramic beach scene detail

But there was nothing to worry about after all… I could not be happier with the results!

I added some of my signature elements to the piece such as colours and textures, as well as the melted glass.

beach scene detail

I particularly love how the detail of the people on the beach turned out.

ceramic beach curve

engraved seaside onto ceramic

After doing a bit of research on Google I came across this image of Porthemor Beach below, very similar to the design I was working from. It looks like a beautiful place… I shall have to visit someday!

Porthmeor Beach

Making a Mark

My handmade ceramic plant markers have made a mark in the press this week – Featured in the outdoor living special of Good Homes Magazine. How exciting!

Ceramic Plant Markers published in Good Homes magazineIf you’re a keen gardener, you’ll know that it’s a good idea to mark or label what you have planted and where, so that you know what to expect to grow back next year. Ceramic plant markers are much more durable than the wooden version, as they won’t rot and will actually last forever to be used over and over again.

ceramic plant markers by CHC

Ceramic plant markers can be used for labeling herbs, seeds, vegetables, and all types of plants and flowers. They make great gifts for gardeners and come in handy in a greenhouse or even a planter on the kitchen windowsill.

You can buy your very own set of 4 plant markers from my website here.

My markers come with three different designs on the tops to choose from, and can be written on in pencil. My markers have been tried and tested by Amateur Gardening magazine (see review here), where it was concluded that the pencil does not rub off in wet weather.

Plant markers ginger

In The Studio

Handmade ceramics relief pattern

It’s been another busy week!

Alongside making new work, I am busy horse riding, sorting accounts, liaising with new contacts, sending orders and trying to sort out our lawn… I accidentally killed patches of it by putting lawn feed down a few weeks ago, and for some reason it didn’t like it :( So those patches have now been dug out, and new seeds have been put down so I am patiently waiting for it to start growing back – fingers crossed.

ceramics in progress

I am slightly behind with my making but hope to catch up tomorrow. Since moving into our new house six weeks ago, the kiln is only just being wired in tomorrow. It is quite a big job so I have been waiting for my electrician to find the time. Once the kiln is wired in I will be a very happy girl :)

New work is piling up ready to be fired. I still have so much more to make though!

Charlotte Hupfield Ceramics studio display

A couple of weeks ago I opened my studio to a gallery owner which was a great experience, and extremely worthwhile. I think it helps seeing pieces in the flesh.

Mini Ceramic Landscapes

Mini ceramic landscapes on easels are popular this week. Three have been sent down to Devon, with a few others scattered around the UK.

CHC package

clay roses

New items have been added to the SALE on my website for discontinued pieces. Have a look and see if there is anything you fancy. Remember though – once they’re gone, they’re gone!

vases and bowls in progress

I’ll leave you with a few more photos of work in progress from the studio, with hopefully some finished results to show soon.

Have a great weekend x

ceramics ready to be fired

ceramic dish and ceramic bunting

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