Sunday, 30 December 2012

Earth Matters

This is from Trend Tablet and it slowed my pace, made me think and quickened my heart.

the story

she is talking loud and clear.
she is protesting violently with frontal attacks.
she is flooding her tears on the world and shaking off
buildings and people like flies. she is spitting her anger in the air.
she has had enough and is tired of accommodating further abuse.
torrential floods, severe draughts, unpredictable climates,
erupting volcanoes and multiple earthquakes are the result.

the earth is hurt and emptied.
she feels gang-raped and shackled.
most fossil fluids and matter are taken from her
and most stones and metals are gone.
most material is transformed into buildings
and most forests have become furniture.
most boulders are carved into bathrooms.
most gems are dancing, adorning human skin.
most crystals have become chandeliers.
most water is spoiled and most food is spilled.
most fields are wasted and most jungles untangled.

we have taken it all and it is still not enough;
we have taken it all and transformed it into waste
which we give back to the earth
as a poisonous present and
as an unsolvable mass of matter.
this century is bringing a moment of reflection and radical change,
making up for a century of abuse, greed and violence.
for the first time a post fossil society is emerging,
giving man much hope and faith in the future.
resetting attitude and mentality towards
more respect for the earth and each other.

therefore fashion will be mining mental matter;
taking inspiration from earth and trying to give back its beauty and strength;
restoring her self-respect and reflecting on the huge gift
this planet was, and still will be for us humans.

a wealth of ideas will sprout from the earth,
analyzing all her entrails and components,
to be transformed into dimensional textiles and earthbound colours.

our entente with nature will be re-written and re-invented;
we will try to live together in a more harmonious way,
giving and taking, and caring for each other.
a more intimate and intuitive relationship will be the result,
based on primitive emotions and ancient rituals and archaic systems,
re-inventing animism.

- lidewij edelkoort

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Winter Stones

For me this is a very beautiful image of stones, snow covered, by photographer Joney Swift

Joney on the natural world and her work:

I have always loved nature and being surrounded by it. The beauty that nature presents at different times of the day and different seasons throughout the year continues to dazzle my creative spirit, and motivates me to attempt to portray the visual delight that I cannot ignore. For over 35 years I have been drawn to, and inspired by, natural scenes that include light, form, and texture. These photographs are my way of sharing my passion and appreciation for our natural environment.

I agree and thankyou Joney!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Happy Christmas

Best wishes to everyone for a very Happy Christmas!

Polar Bear -  stone sculpture by Jennifer Tetlow

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Bird with an arched neck

I watch birds - though I'm probably not what's called a bird-watcher - if you know what I mean?  I love to watch the antics, the personalities, the families and behaviour, and I'm fascinated by what certain actions mean and the effect they have.  Most I suppose are instinctive, they're certainly communicative.  The repeated ones you begin to get an idea about, and can predict sometimes when they will happen.

A behaviour that consistently pleases me is when birds, particularly long-necked ones, arch their necks.  It comes out in my sculpture a lot, not necessarily by design, but it is the shape and curve that just make me feel good inside.  It is the association too, of what the bird is doing at the time of arching, it is what this arching of neck signifies.

What pride, elegance and poise can be seen in a Crane, Heron, or Egret - even my over-indulged domestic geese have it too!  I find it irresistable.

The little stone bird ornament I made came about because of this and in particular as a result of watching a bird, similar to a crane, called a Limpkin.  It is so named because it has a strange 'limping' gait.   It is also known as the crying bird - it is shy, and often heard before it is seen, making a loud wail or screaming sound.  Oh, that beautiful neck.

There is a very definite behaviour, called Arched-Neck Display, which Herons and similar birds do, described as an aggressive display of low intensity.  I've seen it as a sort of greeting, progressively intensifying when the male wants to attract a female.  I've seen it too, when birds are standing together, and another bird flies in to join them, the arched neck 'greeting' occurs and neighbouring birds respond by doing the same.


Often the bird is standing erect, tense with the upper part of the neck strongly arched and looking proud and wild.  It can alternative too with a sort of stretching, and I've seen birds during the breeding cycle, in a definite guarding pose, arching in this way too.  At the nest the arched neck display is shown to the incoming bird and it seems to excite the birds, with much billing and preening.

So, here's to long-necked birds and the Arched-Neck Display!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Stone Rubbings

I think these look rather festive - and I'd love to incorporate them somehow in my decorations - they'd make a beautiful Christmas wrapping paper?

One of twenty-nine drawings, of details of architectural ornament taken from rubbings of stone decoration in India, on monuments in Agra district, including Fatehpur Sikri and Sikandra. 

The watercolours are held in the V & A collecton and dated 1882.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Christmas is Coming ..

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat 
Please put a penny in the old man's hat 
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do 
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!
Goose pencil sketch by Jennifer Tetlow

I still love this rhyme - we sang it when we were young - not really understanding it fully - but laughing when we couldn't keep the rounds going, and having to start over again, and again ...

Now I get plenty jokes about my geese getting fat, and them being 'Christmas Birds'!  They're not of course, and I reassure them regularly.  (Although they are a bit plump!)

They are the subjects of many of my pencil sketches, and this year I worked with Southfield Stationers to create a set of Notebooks.  Southfield have been a lovely company to work with, efficiency itself, informative and helpful - they made the whole process very straightforward and easy (thankyou Anna).  The Geese Notebooks arrived in time for the Country Living Christmas Fair, and I'm glad to say the geese made a bit of a hit!
Goose Notebook 

The Notebooks have a printed cover featuring one of my geese illustrations on the front with an enlarged view on the back.  Four different drawings have been used, with my geese in different poses! They are a high quality spiral bound notebook measuring 6" square and include 38 paper pages alternating between plain and ruled. Perfect for sketching, journaling, notes and scribbles.

Goose Notebooks

I have one or two left, which are available in my shop, to buy singly or as a set of four.  I'm just packing some up this morning for orders, ready for posting tomorrow.  I've had lots of requests for the Hare sketch to be made into a Notebook too, so there will be more Geese Notebooks arriving, and new Notebooks in the New Year.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Rare Breeds - Goatling

Stone carved ornament - Goatling

This is one-of-a-kind of course - new in my shop - and last remaining in the species!  While making Goatling I was reminded of a recent Countryfile programme featuring Welsh Mountain sheep.  I've never seen sheep like this before - Badger Sheep.

Very handsome!  There are two types within the breed, the "black-bellied", which has a white fleece with dark face and belly, and the"white-bellied", which has a black body with a white belly and white stripes over the eyes.  In both types, ewes are *polled  and rams are horned. Although this breeds grows wool, it is primarily raised for meat.

*polled -  Polled livestock are livestock without horns in species which normally are horned. The term refers both to breeds or strains which are naturally polled through selective breeding, and also to naturally horned animals which have been de-horned. Natural polling occurs in cattle, yaks, water-buffalo and goats, and in these it affects both sexes equally; however in sheep, both sexes may be horned, both polled, or only the females polled.
This breed of sheep is extremely hardy and able to graze rough hills and terrain.

A bit like my 'unpolled' Goatling!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Stone Bowl

I just mentioned my favourite stone bowl the other day, and for most of the time it remains empty, as it is such a beautiful shape, texture and colour on its own - I bought it from Rowen & Wren who have a passion for beautiful objects  - their collections, stunning photography and styling are truly inspiring.

One of the first things I made when I started chiseling stone, was a bowl shape - the outside of the bowl was left natural stone, and I just hollowed out the inner.  It was very satisfying to make - bowl shapes are satisfying.  

From the earliest times it seems  we have been making bowls - examples are unearthed regularly - bowls for holding things, for containers, for cooking, grinding and for decoration.

What artistry in functional objects!

And I must share with you Aileen Ann Brannigan's heavenly carved stone bowls.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Hyacinth in a Stone Bowl

I love having Hyacinths in the house at this time of year - this one I bought at the local greengrocer in Kirkbymoorside - it was on a display outside the shop, covered in frost and snow and I couldn't believe that in spite of this, the bright green leaves were shooting up protecting white flower buds packed tightly waiting to burst.

I took pity and had to bring it home.  I love the white ones in particular - the smell is heaven.  Since coming indoors it has romped away and each day more flowers open and the  perfume becomes sweeter and stronger.   I've placed them in my favourite stone bowl.

They're giving me a great deal of pleasure.  Do you have a favourite Christmas time plant or flower?

Running Hare

If you watch Hares scatter and run when alarmed, they will run away uphill if they are able - as they can run faster up a slope than down - I can't!  

But I did catch this Running Hare and pop her in the shop.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A Drove or 'Murchland'

The collective name for Hares is a Drove - 'murchen' being the Scots word for a hare their word is 'Murchland' - which I think sounds lovely.

Other names I've heard of are a Trip, Down or Husk of Hares - anyway here are my lot .......

Hares carved in Sandstone by Jennifer Tetlow

They are carved in my favourite Sandstone, which is almost the colour of a Brown Hare anyway, but it can also have these beautiful rusty markings - which have given every Hare its own different character making each one absolutely unique.

I'm busy making Droves, and Gaggles for Christmas orders and busily packaging them for safe journeys to their new homes.

So many people have asked me about the Hares and Geese, and where they can buy them - so I've opened a little shop, MY SHOP - where you will find them.   Other items will be added as they are finished - so keep popping back to see what is new.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas Fairs

Have you been to any?  There seem to be lots this year - I've been to my local one in Lastingham Village Hall, and it made me feel quite festive - and last week I was at the Country Living Christmas Fair in Harrogate - not visiting, but I had a stand there.

A very exciting time, nerve-wracking and exhausting, but still very exciting.  I loved building up my stand, and trying to show all my stonework off to good effect.   It was busy, lots of visitors giving my sculpture lots of attention, new customers and orders for Christmas presents.  I made items specially for the Fair, which proved a big success as gifts for gardeners, or green fingered friends.

This is my sign for my stand, of my logo, which I felt should be in stone.  I had to make a special bracket for it as it was too heavy to be screwed to the stand panels!  I was rather pleased - the Jennifer Tetlow Stone Sculpture part I stencilled onto the wall in order to avoid having to reinforce further!

The sign was made in Sandstone, with incised lettercutting for the letters and border and then the grey stone in the middle is Soapstone, which I inset and then polished the surface flat with the Sandstone, giving a smart overall effect.

Wished there had been more time to look round at everyone else properly, there were lots of beautifully hand-crafted and very individual gifts, cleverly made - lots of talent and inspiration!

Here is a link to the exhibitor list, which will be very useful if  you're struggling with ideas for Christmas presents - and in any case lovely to browse!

Long Tailed Bird Decoration in Sandstone - by Jennifer Tetlow

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

It seems to have been ages - and I've missed you all!

Hare Christmas Decoration in stone - carved by Jennifer Tetlow

And missed all your blogs - and mine!  I'll be catching up with everyone just as soon as I can.

Anyway lots to show you and lots of news - and plenty happening and planned for 2013.  

It is snowing hard here and I'm having an indoor day - organising the mess in my office - everything except carving and sculpting stone has been side-lined rather and I'm going through piles of stuff marked 'deal with later' - a huge, now 'can't wait', mound!

Be kind, I'm easing my way back into blogging regularly and so much looking forward to talking with you all again.

Oh, above is a Hare decoration I have made for (the fast approaching) Christmas time.

Thursday, 6 September 2012


What do you do when there are too many things to do to fit into one day?  Sometimes I have buried my head in the sand and convinced myself I could do it all.  However at the moment I know I need to prioritise.

So this is just a little note to let you know that I won't be posting here for a short while (a couple of months perhaps), so that every energy can be directed to being in the workshop and catching up with work and my sculpture commissions.

Very much look forward to re-connecting with you in due course, when I will share the results of my labours.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Lovin Your Work Sister!

Isn't it funny that when someone else promotes or features your work, it feels doubly good - and today I'm feeling really, really good as Lovin Your Work Sister! have just done a little write-up about me on their Facebook Page.  Do pop over and see my appearance, and all the other amazing ladies!

It is a lovely site, and such a good idea -  Lovin Your Work Sister! is is a networking page to celebrate all the Wonderful, Creative and Inspiring Ladies out there! "From Little Acorns Mighty Oaks Grow".  

The clever Alyson Fennell is the founder.   After 20 years working as a hair and makeup artist, 10 of which were spent in London working on photo shoots and filming for the music industry, advertising and celebrities, she has spent the last thee years pursuing her original passion for Fine Art and Nature Photography.  You will see from her website Alyson Fennell Photography how talented she is!

She says - "I always found it easier to promote other people than to promote myself. (Very British I know!)

I also really wanted to give something back to the people who had always supported me.

So the idea for "Lovin Your Work Sister! was born! I would begin by promoting them and in turn each of them will nominate someone who has inspired them, and so the network will grow!"

Wish you every luck with it Alyson and many thanks for your support!


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Autumn Feeling

It feels very damp this morning, heavy dew and droplets misting the spider's webs - altogether a sense of Autumn.

Sunday, 26 August 2012


At apple harvest time I'm reminded of a childhood pursuit called 'scrumping' - the act of stealing apples from an orchard or garden.  Usually this applied to our own garden, or that of a relative or friend we were visiting.  It seemed great fun, and always related to apples that had fallen and been left on the ground.  (Scrump I think means something withered or shrivelled, and a scrumple a wrinkle or crease). Or did the word come from scrumpy?

My small apple tree, in its second year, has grown a lot and has quite a good crop of small, at the moment very sour apples.  The geese have taken off all the ones from the lower branches, but I have noticed some part eaten ones higher up in the tree.  It must be birds, and they don't seem to finish one apple, just half eat it and then move onto another apple the next time they visit.  I don't mind at all sharing the odd one, but at this rate I won't have enough for even the smallest pie!

This morning I heard a clatter of wings and saw a Jay fly out of the apple tree, beak full of apple.  A scrumping Jay.  Caught in the act.

 Jay oil painting by Bruno Liljefors

It is not uncommon for Jays to visit apple trees for a meal, but I have usually seen this later in the year, when food is less easy to find.  Or maybe they've been too cunning for me in the past, and left before I've seen them.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Sycamore Keys

Recently I agreed to take part in doing a drawing each day during August.  I am really enjoying this and so far have managed to produce a little sketch every day.  

Over the last week or so, I have been noticing signs of Autumn, in the hedgerows and trees and in the heavy dews in the morning, so I thought I would pick an Autumny thing to draw for today.  The keys on my Sycamore tree are turning brown and are gathered in huge clumps amongst the leaves, and I chose these for my drawing.   I plucked a stem and began to draw - but noticed that there were three wings and seeds on some of the keys.  I wondered if I had found a lucky one, like a four leaved clover, and went to the tree to see.  There were lots of three winged, four winged and six winged keys!

I've certainly learned something new today, I always thought there were only two lobes per key.  This is the wonder of drawing, making me look closely and carefully rather than making assumptions. 

Whatever you call them ... samaras, whirligigs, spinning jennies, helicopters or keys... these incredible aeronautical seed-carrying spinners can be seen throughout autumn, and have cleverly evolved for best seed dispersal and effectively maximising the seed's chances of becoming a new tree.

 I wonder if the tree knows something, and that it is going to be a very windy Autumn and Winter, (or not windy) so has made some keys with extra wings?  Or is this normal?  I would be very interested to hear what your trees are doing.

All the drawings from the 'drawing a day in August' group can be found at #ippdailydraw.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Bone Carving

Recently when I was at Rural Arts I had a look round the gallery - and enjoyed the exhibition very much.  One thing caught my eye - Bone Carving Courses!  I found the idea at once both peculiar (in a squeamish sort of way) and intriguing.  I remember seeing lovely carvings in museums in bone, maybe the only material available, and being inspired by their small intricacy.  I have applied for details from the tutor Fraser Simpson, and will let you know what happens.

Since then, I have come across Rose-Marie Crespin who carves motifs into tiny bone discs, and drills holes in the middle, she then engraves them in shallow and deep relief.  Other carving is on biscuit fired porcelain tokens, inspired by ancient cameos and beads and discs of fired brown clay, incised or simply modelled.  Some are tiny, and fine and others have bold, more distinctive engraving, pressed, printed and worked with lines.

I love these sculpted beads and tokens - they feel to have an old mystery, and I find myself gazing at them for ages, in their little boxes, waiting to be selected - I want to lift each one out separately, roll it in my palm and examine it.  Maybe in a previous life I was a jeweller, or was adorned by beads and amulets, to me these little objects are hugely satisfying and I feel some sort of affinity with them.

Hopefully I will get to make some of my own in bone.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Megaliths according to Alastair Ross.  Alastair is a photographer, whose work I discovered recently because of his stunning images of stones.

He has captured such a stoney feeling, showing the texture, earthyness and solidity of stone - and putting it in such a magic light.  

I am enjoying the output of his current fascination with stone circles and structures from the Neolithic period.  He lives near The Peak District which has an abundance of stone circles, ring cairns and burial mounds.  Some obvious, like the “Stone Henge of the North” at Arbor Low, some not so obvious. 

I share his feeling that when amongst these stones there is a distinct feeling of quiet and calm, of 'slowing down'.  To amplify and as an extension of this he uses film  for his photography and in particular a pinhole camera.  Using a pinhole camera slows the whole photographic process down, as the exposures can be quite long (38 minutes in some cases!).  This seems to allow the stones to 'reveal' themselves - anyway I feel he captures something very magical.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Stone Sculpture in a striped apron?

There is a lovely article in this month's Coast magazine - Try it now - Stone Sculpting.  I agree, if you get the opportunity, do try it!  Though beware, it is addictive!

Anyway, the article is about the famous Portland Limestone, ideal for carving and the tuition you can receive at the open air studio on the coast, overlooking the sea with local sculptor Sarah Gilpin.

A page follows titled 'Stone Sculpting Kit' - essential items needed.

I've never worn an apron whilst sculpting, for me it would get in the way and actually wouldn't work in preventing the ingress of dust to just about everywhere!  However, it did make me think about suitable clothing for carving.  Really you need clothes you don't mind getting covered in dust, which are comfortable and tough - handling stone harshly abrades any garment.

I have often wished there was an outlet for good, honest, simple workclothes for women - I usually buy men's 'bib and braces' and wear steel toe-capped boots, but cuffs of shirts are worn through very quickly.  

I once bought some of those boiler suit type things, but quickly discarded these as you have to nearly get undressed every time you want to go to the loo!  I felt restricted and got far too hot.

I confess, I did giggle when I saw the stripey apron, but actually it is not such a bad idea if you are going to 'having a go'.   The stone dressers of old used to wear leather aprons for protection. These were beautifully made with brass eyelets and strongly stiched leather ties, and became utterly soft, supple and smooth from the work and wearing.

Happy carving if you do fancy shaping your own stone sculpture - let me know how you get along!

Or, would love to see you in September.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Fears, Foes and Faeries

Fears, Foes and Faeries is an exhibition currently running at the Scarborough Art Gallery - coinciding with this is a new venture for the Gallery, called the Thirteen Club (a supper club at the Gallery, taking the idea from the Victorian gentlemen's club of the same name). On Friday, 31st August, 6 - 10pm there will be two talks, inspired by the exhibition, and an informal supper.  I've just booked my place - it sounds really fascinating.

Ammonite fossil

Social psychologist Professor Stephen Sayers from Leeds Metropolitan University and paleontologist Dr Paul Taylor from the Natural History Museum will be speaking.

Stephen Sayers said: “One of my interests is in the psychology of folklore. ‘Folklore’ is shorthand for myths, legends, fairy stories, astrology, superstitions, tarot, runes and so on. My interest is not in debunking it, but in the very opposite: I'm interested in how these things work.

For almost a year now I've been transcribing four volumes journals by William Clarke, the Scarborough naturalist whose collection of charms and amulets form the basis of Fears, Foes and Faeries.

I'll be talking about the collection – I want to know why certain objects were thought to be lucky, or able to protect you, or cure you. Why was this object thought to do it and not another one? I want to know too, what the psychological effects of belief in these amulets are: how does believing in their power change you? In what sense, if any, do they really help you?

There are real mysteries to be found amongst these things; real mysteries that can be explored and understood and enjoyed. If I can do that, it might restore the enchantment of childhood to some people's lives.”

Paul Taylor said: “My talk will explore the peculiar myths that developed around fossils in the pre-scientific era, some still believed by modern societies.

I will show how most of these myths have their basis in the chance resemblance between these fossils and objects to which they bear no relationship.”

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