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Launching a flotilla of Yachts

We have been offline for a while in order to add a shop to our site. Now you can buy online as well as commissioning your own piece

Paul has been busy working on a flotilla of small yachts shaped from driftwood collected on costal walks. This week has been so gloriously sunny we took the yachts down to the sea and photographed them beside the shores. It is the perfect setting for these little yacht and it brings out the spirit of the act of making. 

There is a seasonal flow to collecting, forming and then selling these items. This flotilla is the result of a winter of walks along the shoreline. We get long wet winters here. If you settle into it the weather here has its own beauty. Good boots and a wooly jumper on a cold dry day or wellies and a waterproof allows a walk most days. Nothing beats a couple of hours wandering along the rocks and shoreline. It’s good for the soul. The winter storms toss up all sorts of interesting wood and other treasures. There is a magic to driftwood. Each piece has an untold story, a journey. They have traveled for an unknown time and distance carried from who knows where. These fragments of trees may be close to where they originally grew or on another continent. Sometimes the passage of time is evident in the marks of creatures burrowing into the wood but most keep their secrets. 

The process of transforming the driftwood into something new and beautiful is quiet and contemplative like time spent on the beach. Looking at the wood to find a form within it, sanding and oiling it.  Like stones on the beach each finished piece is different. They are shaped by both nature and man but with a gentle footprint in the world. 

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Marine inspired Flag Book

The highlight of the week for me was four hours making a flag book. The attic studio is a normal Irish temperature after a strange hot Summer. The sea is often is a strong inspiration in anything I make. After pouring over notebooks on different binding techniques and my head is buzzing with all the possibilities. The most satisfying moments are often sitting in the quiet making something. While admin is essential this book is tangible, a visible object and gives great satisfaction.

Marine inspired Flag Book

Not sure how much I want to talk about the nitty-gritty of business. We are making a living out of our skills, passions and sensibilities. I think it is a cliché that artists are unworldly, impractical beings, who should not be expected to engage with business. The reality is, you either make money from your art practice or you have to spend your days just making money instead. Perhaps the occasional post about the practical aspects of running a creative business will appear.

flag book 3

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Overture

Overture: a piece of music played by an orchestra at the beginning of an opera . While the overture plays, the performers take their places and wait for the curtain to rise. 

Overture: an introduction to something more substantial

When I looked at the definition of this word I seemed perfect for a first blog post. In 2019 we launch the online shop.  For us that is the point at which our business becomes ‘real’ or substantial but of course theres a lot of rehearsals and chair shuffling before we get to raise the curtain.

Since making the decision to ‘make the things we want to exist in the world’ the attic and shed studios have been burning the midnight oil. This weekend we showcased Attic & Shed products at a Craft Peninsula event in Ards Arts Centre, Co. Down. Working in the studio can be very isolating. You get so close to the work it becomes hard to imagine it with fresh eyes. Its always good to find out  how people respond to what you make. The Craft Peninsula Christmas event was busy and we had plenty of interesting conversations that confirmed our belief that there is a real appetite today for craftsmanship and imagination. 

We are setting out on an adventure. I hope these blog pages will offer a flavor of who we are and what we do – a place to reflect on the journey. I would like it to open up conversations and make new connections just as we hope our work does. 

A is for Attic studio and Amanda – the voice on the blog. Hope you will read these postcards along the way and thank you for looking in today.