We recently had a great trip down to Devon to collect some gorgeous new work from Blandine Anderson. We’re really lucky as we get to visit studios, discuss work with artists and get to know them and how they work. We’re often asked what our makers are like so while we were with Blandine we took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about herself just to give you a little insider knowledge about this talented maker, especially as she’s our Maker of the Month!
- Name: Blandine Anderson
- Place of birth: Cuckfield, West Sussex
- Where do you live now: The wilds of North Devon
- What is your favourite view: The Irish Sea – just off Cill Rialaig, Basllinskelligs Bay, Kerry. R of Ireland.
- What animals do you own: Shetland sheep, Border Collie, Bees, 2 Cats (mousers).
- Who or what is your inspiration: Mainly the Natural world. It is where I find my Peace and my Thrills.
- What is the last book you read: Birdsong
- Favourite song: Difficult – it’s a different one every day. Currently “God Man” by David Sylvian.
- Favourite author (I have to ask this we live in a book town!!): I can’t choose…..Milan Kundera, Albert Camus, Mervyn Peake, Daphne Du Maurier
- Favourite food: Roast Shetland Lamb
- Where did you train: Exeter college of Art and Design
- What piece have you been most happiest with: Often the one I have just finished !
- Childhood ambition: To live in a thatched cottage in the countryside and keep lots of animals (I ditched the thatched cottage!)
- Favourite place: See No. 4
- What would your specialist subject be on Mastermind: Ooooh ! Can’t really see myself being any good at that.
- Who would be your three ideal dinner guests: Freddy Mercury, Jean Arp and Hugh Fearnley-Whittinstall. (they might not get on)
- Tell us something about yourself that not many people know: I dream in colour
Well, I think that we really have to admit that the summer has finally turned to Autumn but we’ve had a great time here in Hay with fantastic Jubilee celebrations during the Festival and then enjoying the Olympics with the rest of Great Britain. We had cause for extra celebrations in Hay though thanks to gold medal winning Paralympian Josie Pearson ensuring that Hay has it’s very own GOLD letterbox! Well done Josie!
It was a summer of highs and lows for us though as our lovely Manager, Joy Price, left us to move up to Kenilworth. She’s now working at Montpellier Gallery in Stratford Upon Avon so if you get the chance and find yourself in the town of the Bard, go and say hello from us! We still miss her but I think Bailey misses her the most! No more snacks at lunchtime helping Joy finish her dinner….
Joy leaving meant that we were a bit short staffed, especially as Sara seemed to spend most of the summer in hospital (luckily she’s back to her usual self again now and has swanned off to Rio de Janeiro on a holiday that she won…we’re not jealous….much!) Enter Naomi Palmer, who has been holding the fort admirably with Joan and Paul. Naomi is an officer in the TA so we’re all on best behaviour when she’s around!
The Festive season will soon be upon us so we’ll be letting you know about all the new work and exciting present ideas that we’ve got for you but in the meantime Bailey wanted to remind you all to keep your animals safe and away from the bangs, crashes and fireworks on November 5th.
We’ve been having such a great time at the Hay Festival despite the horrendous weather. I feel so sorry for anyone camping (more fool them we say when you can stay in a perfectly dry b&b!!)
The sun is out today for the first time in days and it’s encouraging everyone to browse round the gallery – check out of photo gallery below. As well as Bryn, Daniel Mordon, Dee Hardwicke and Rachel Gogerly, other celebs checking out the ceramics and jewellery are Claire Balding, Jan Leming, Lauren St John and the lovely Stephen Fry. We’re rather starstruck!
Well, it’s been Jubilee fun here in the gallery today. I can’t imagine why everyone is finding our Union Jack dresses so amusing – even Stephen Fry smirked! We thought they were rather stylish!
We couldn’t quite stretch to the Coronation chicken but we did have rather lovely Jubilee teacakes…
and a rather incredible Jubilee cake made by our resident super dooper cake maker Reet Prendergast!
We didn’t want to miss out on a street party so we had our own……Happy Jubilee everyone.
Well, it’s been a hectic day of highs and lows today. Fabulous, interesting and cheerful customers have been keeping us entertained with news of events that they’ve been to see - highlights being Boris Johnson and Harry Belafonte! We’ve had some very romantic moments – a lovely Helen Martino sculpture called ‘The answer is yes’ went to a newly engaged couple….ahhhh!
Then a lovely couple came to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary – very apt at the 25th Hay Festival and this happened!
But then disaster struck. We’ve been enjoying the most delicious food every day from Janet Poulson aka Farmerish Foods in Bronllys. She made a gorgeous chocolate cake for us but Katie managed to trip while carrying it and we now have to eat it with a spoon!! We managed, never let it be said that we let a good cake go to waste!
Favourite author in the gallery today was Lauren St John. She’s a brilliant children’s author who grew up on a game reserve in Africa and had her own pet giraffe. How cool is that? We recommend The White Giraffe series. Seriously good.
We’ve been so excited about all the work that’s been arriving for our lovely on site gallery. This morning the last pieces of work arrived on a pallet and when unpacked revealed the most incredible fox and hare by Brendan Hesmondhalgh.
They’re now in pride of place, studiously ignoring each other but attracting lots of attention! They’ll be best of friends by the end of the Festival!
Well, here we are again on a very sunny Monday, with an empty marquee, just waiting to be filled with gorgeous goodies.
It takes a while for us to get to that stage though – today it’s all about boxes, plinths, heavy shelving, more plinths…and did I mention boxes?
Thank goodness for Charlie and Danni!
Painting tomorrow – it’s lavender grey all the way!!
We had a little wander down to the Festival site today to see how rain was affecting play.
See for yourself! Rather liking Joy’s little black number and welly outfit! Tres chic……but let’s hope it’ll be sundresses all the way during the Festival. Summer sun…..reveal yourself….
If you haven’t already checked out the Festival programme, take a sneak peak here.
There’s nothing nicer than a weekend away from home in a beautiful setting, staying in gorgeously renovated accommodation and recently we were lucky enough to have a night at The Byre at Fforest Cwm, Clyro just 3 miles from Hay on Wye.
The Byre is owned by Michele & Steve Chapman and is part of their gorgeous small holding in Clyro. It’s a converted cow byre but has also been used for goats and sheep and now it houses a wonderful rural self catering escape for 2 very lucky adults. The views from the conservatory over the valley make for perfect morning and evening viewing of the surrounding pastures and hills.
There are wonderful walks nearby and once you’ve worn yourself out on the hills or browsing the books in Hay you can return to make dinner in the handmade welsh oak, fully equipped, kitchen before retiring into one of the most comfortable beds we’ve ever slept in!
And if all these creature comforts aren’t enough there are plenty of furry and feathered friends around the farm to enjoy!
We can’t recommend this beautifully converted barn highly enough. You really need to treat yourself, you’ll come back refreshed and restored. Have a look at the website and book today!!