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.
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