I justify not writing each day by telling myself that "nothing has happened".
Which in the grand scheme of things it hasn't , but I suppose that in my small world a lot has, or more to the point lots of small things have happened, which I suppose is what it is all about.
We have had "new" art by artists old and new arrive here, I have visited different fairs, the new gallery is up and running now and my framing needs are now taken care of, and most importantly we have had a Christmas opening.
So I suppose that a few things have happened, it just all creeps up on me, and without my realisation a lot has happened.
Christmas is "just around the corner" and this has dictated a lot of what has happened here.
I have tried to make the gallery as interesting as possible showing a selection of work by all of our artists, plus fitting in a few new ones. It is only when trying to do this and with trying to be fare to everyone [in terms of display] that I realise how many and how varied our artists are.
In a way the Christmas show is a bit of a treat as it is a case of "anything goes" and there are no problems of seeming to favour any one artist, as a result the gallery looks really different
and to the majority of visitors really fresh, as most of them only visit for a specific exhibition and as a result never see us as we really are or have an understanding of what we are trying to achieve.
As one man told "you have some really good things this time".
Not especially, this is normal.
Wow, that sounds big headed, but I don't mean it to be, I am not one of the artists but I admit I do feel proud of their ability.
The Christmas opening couldn't have been at a worse time, most of the country was covered with snow, here in fact we had very little, actually it was only a heavy frost but I understood early in the day [especially on my way here when I passed several cars on the road that had inches of snow on them ] that it might be hard for some people to travel here.
However, the day was a great success with many old friends making the long cold journey [most of our trade is from people living 30 miles plus away] for this special day.
"Glad we came it seems like Christmas", we were told many times.
This maybe because of the scented candles but mainly because of the 'mulled wine', which was constantly brewing and even more frequently being re-filled in the large cauldron.
Most people were amazed at the variety of the different work on show, which was a bit of a surprise as the majority was from our regular artists, but as I explained most people never see us as we "really are" and they only pick up on a hint of what might be on show on a daily basis.
We did have some new artists at the opening, in fact more than a few, plus lots of new exciting pieces but as usual I have been too lazy [or unhappy with results] to get decent pictures to show, but I have taken a few and as the week progresses I will take more.
The week before the opening I visited a large ceramic fair.
It wasn't something that I had intended or wanted to do as it required six hours driving but it was a necessity as a lovely young Welsh potter [Sean Gordan] was keen for me to have his ceramics and he had promised me
"that if you come to the fair I will have a nice package for you".
Imagine that being spoken in a lovely soft welsh accent [think Richard Burton], how could I resist?
I was glad that I did visit as not only did I leave there with Sean's work but also lots of other ceramics that I wished were in my own stocking come Christmas morning.
Lots of lovely things by people like, Margaret Brampton, Gerald Davis, Nichola and Tony Theakston.
All of which I promise to show, in fact the ceramics that I left with would have made an exhibition by themselves.
But there was to be even more.
Day's before the opening I received new work from several different artist/sculptors/potters/
jewellers, plus a call from the famous sculptor Emma Rodgers asking "do you need anything from me for Christmas"?
As I sit putting this into words I do ask myself "why do I ever feel down"?
I don't know but I do at times and I think it is because I am always chasing after the impossible dream, or in reality the next artist.
My Christmas wish would be to be surrounded by all the different work that I love. This may seem like an impossible dream but I have got so close, and I do relish everything that we show.
But unfortunately I have to sell it.
Not a day passes that something that I love disappears, but I suppose that is the nature of what we do, and I suppose this it what drives me, always thinking about what might replace what has just been sold.
It's a little like living in toy land. I want everything.
For this Christmas show work has been arriving up until the last minute [or 30 minutes] before opening and I must admit I was very far behind with the preparations.
My excuse is that I knew that some work was on its way and as a result I couldn't set everything out.
The last pieces to arrive were by the sculptor/potter Jan Burridge.
She had tried to get here the day before but had to give up because of heavy snow.
Because of this I really didn't expect anything from her, but 30 minutes before the door opened she arrived with her sculptures. She stayed for only a few minutes before leaving again [in case of snow].
It was so kind and generous of her plus I was so thrilled with her work, she really is so very talented with her ability to move from pots to sculpture, I know we are going to hear a lot more about her in the future and I am so pleased to be showing her now before she becomes 'too' big.
There are other people that I want to talk about but sitting here feeling cold and then looking outside to see the snow falling I think that perhaps I had better set off home.
So above is the cover for our 'Christmas' invitation, then two sculptures by Jan Burridge
[I love her Tudor figures], a tea pot by Sean Gordan [too beautiful to use] and a local scene with the frost, which I hope will look the same come the morning but checking on the snow falling outside I think that the weather that the rest of the country is experiencing has finally arrived here in Long Melford.
So I must dash now as I have to tether those dogs to my sledge.