Welcome to the Gallery

Imagine is set in the Suffolk village of Long Melford.
This is an attempt to record the daily trials, tribulation and pleasure of running an art gallery.

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Lights On

The first images of the nearly completed Heron painting have just arrived
So here it is with the lights off and lights on.
I like them both the good thing is that whoever owns it can make their own choice using
the switch on the side.

Unfortunately Adam had to take the photographs from the side to avoid
reflections from the glass,
However, I think it gives a good idea of how it will look.
When it is delivered to me I will replace the glass with Museum glass. 
Then there will be no reflections plus the artwork will be protected from UV light.
Then of course it can then be photographed face on.

Apart from the many details included within the painting
Have you also observed that the Heron carries a saddle?
 Adam has created many varied subjects, which includes a large collection of
Saddled Animals
The Saddled Doe pictured below is just one example from this series.

Monday 5 March 2018

Work In Progress

The first exhibition we will be holding in 2018 is titled


It is to be a collaboration between
Adam Oehlers and Nom Kinnear King 
Two artist who work in very different styles, in fact their work is so different
That it may seem a strange pairing
Nom has exhibited with us before and although in the past we have had a few pieces by Adam
We have never had the opportunity to present his broad spectrum of work
I have been determined to exhibit both of them at some point this year
The fact that they are both very popular and had many other obligations made it hard to
arrive at mutually convenient dates
But the fact that they are partners in life made things a lot easier
Together they could provide an exciting and very different show
So it was decided, it was to be a joint exhibition.

Because this was to be a more unusual event I felt the need to make people aware of it
sooner rather than later.
To this end I asked could they both send me photographs of their paintings as they evolved.

A couple of days later Adam contacted me saying that for this exhibition
He wanted to try out some idea's he had been thinking of for some time
The idea was to paint his illustrations in separate layers then combine them with gaps
Between the different layers.
This then presented the problem of how they could be presented in a way to enhance them
After sleeping on this, the next day following Adams exact measurements
I started to make frames for the proposed artworks
Which were dispatched to Adam

Then the wait began, wondering just what would he create?
Having no idea what to expect I was thrilled when I received the photographs
of the first piece.
Nothing had prepared me for the difference that depth and shadows could make to his
beautiful art.
Adam uses his painted illustrations to tell wonderful stories
Now those stories were brought even more to life as his artwork became three dimensional
It made me feel as if I was in the story as they seemed to hold hidden secrets
I am sure his young daughters love them
Maybe almost as much as me

So they continued
I don't think there is any need for explanation,
Other than to say that this is all very much work in progress
As yet nothing is finished to Adam's contentment, also frames are still being made

It was when I looked at the photograph below for the first time
I became totally immersed in the world of childhood.
Seeing the spaces between the clouds It reminded me of stage sets and
I was transported back to visits at the theatre
Watching  Pantomime's, both as a child and a parent
There was much of the theatre about them, almost a toy theatre.
With this image in my mind I started to think how magical it would look if the clouds were
illuminated from within.
With these thoughts on mind I committed an unforgivable sin and made a call to the artist
With my idea's.

A note:
You have to understand it is awful having an active imagination but lack the skills to realise
those artistic ambitions.
So with words I tried to paint my idea in Adam's mind.
Fortunately he is a very nice man with an even greater imagination.
"Well maybe I could try something on the next one".
So in great anticipation I wait.

Meanwhile, work had already commenced upon the next artwork.
Here is the early concept sketch

Followed by the first stages of its creation
Which Adam was keen for me to see as I could not understand how he would create
the water.
Seeing what he was achieving it was easy to understand how he had spent over a week
getting to this stage without a sky.
Which I knew would follow as it is shown in the sketch.

Notice the feet underwater on the riverbed 

Days later a new image arrived including the sky, it was really starting to look finished

Adam does intend to have a go at illuminating the sky before completion.
Unfortunately I can't show that at the moment as work is on hold
because both the frame and the lighting strip have become
"lost in transit".

For the benefit of those not living in the UK I must explain the we had snow for a couple of days
As I am sure everyone is aware when that happens in this country every thing shuts down.
People hoard food as transport grinds to a halt and all deliveries to shops end
While we all sit by the fire and wait for the "big thaw".
It's our little adventure, and for a while and at least it stops the press talking about Brexit.
So our frame is stuck somewhere out there in the wilderness.

........................Stop Press.......................
 Adam has just called as I write this telling me it has arrived.

I conjure up thoughts of a dog sleigh team fighting through snow covered wastelands
Just to reach his doorstep in suburbia.
Perhaps it was airlifted in along with essential supplies.
Or maybe, just maybe the postman decided to work today, after all the snow melted days ago.
So the next post I hope will start with an image of the nearly completed piece
complete with lighting.

All of this excitement for me and I have still to show you what creations are in progress by
Nom Kinner King

Sunday 18 February 2018

How is it made?

"It's a limited edition it's not unique, once it is made they can keep on casting them".
Is something I  often hear people say when they are looking at a bronze sculpture
The inference is that another can be "knocked" out on a whimsy, this often leads them to ask
"can you tell us how it is actually made"?
With my own very limited knowledge I then try to explain what has been described to me.
But I confess that even though I have visited foundries and spoken with many sculptors
my own understanding of the process is basic at the very least.

So when a few months ago the sculptor Scott Shaw told me that he would cast a sculpture
the gallery I asked if it was possible for him to send me photographs of the work in progress.
I had no idea of what to expect I just wanted to feel involvement with the sculpture
Before it eventually arrived here.

Over a period of many weeks Scott sent me regular updates, images and descriptions of what 
he was doing and how it was done.
I was staggered.
I really had had no idea of the scale of his task.
From the hundreds of photographs I received I have compiled a series which I hope
will give an idea of the work, skill and dedication involved to make this wonderful piece of art


From the plaster mold taken from the original sculpture wax castings were made
Later these would then be used to create a ceramic "shell" into which the bronze would
be poured

The complex nature of the sculpture meant many pieces were molded, some in sections
 which were then joined and modeled again

  Constant thought of how and where the bronze would flow and how the shells would hold together
meant that channels were created to join various sections to guide the bronze
to the right places

A cup is created which when melted will act as a funnel

The waxes receive their first coating of shell
Zircon mined from volcanoes is used to make a slurry for the coating
Before then being dusted with molochite

Eight coats in total, one a day 

The completed shells need then to be "burnt out" to remove
the wax.
[unfortunately that image is out of sequence and is 5 below] 
This leaves hollow shells which are then kiln fired to harden them further

The hardened shells being buried upside down with the funnels at the top which are covered to protect the inside from contamination

This is the "mistake" out of sequence image of the wax being burnt from the shell molds

Molten bronze being poured into the empty shells

After eventually cooling the fun starts as the shells are smashed apart 
to reveal the hardened bronze

Once removed they are cleaned and then sand blasted 

 Before the long delicate process of welding the many pieces together, the joins ground down,
detail restored before sanding down

Seven stages of sanding by hand
Each with a finer grade to give the fine smooth tactile surface that we associate with bronze

Joined, polished but still far from complete

Unfortunately bronze is still associated with a brown coloring
But that really is now a thing of the past, the finish or patination is limited only by the imagination and the experience of the artist.
Creating the patina is a skill in its own right
Many foundries employ someone just for this, and many sculptors may choose a foundry
just because of that persons ability.

Fortunately Scott Shaw has the ability to create, cast and patinate.
Here are his photographs of the nearly completed piece as he works his magic
Finishing the sculpture as his mind conceived it

Almost, just a marble base to cut

Here it is again.
Just a quick sculpture he knocked out.

I think that now I am perhaps more confused now than before about the whole making process.
But I do know that I will never look at a bronze sculpture in the same way ever again
Especially this one

I will have to return to this with more detailed images and Scott's own story about his creation.

As I have been writing I have had to pause many times to admire and touch the sculpture.
It really is a work of art.

Friday 26 January 2018

Just Another Day

Unfortunately because of the nature of 'blogger' this post and these images are the
Second installment of the previous post, so below first.
But as a "recap" here are some detail images of artworks in the gallery,
Photographed as they were when I walked around this morning.
They are not meant to be serious representations of the art they are just quick snapshots
of things seen through my eyes on a daily basis.
I have in the past, and will in the future continue to try and portray the various works as they
are and in their entirety.
But perhaps these represent things as you would remember them after a visiting.

As an example.
I could imagine someone trying to describe this ceramic bottle after a visit.
" I can't remember the shape but I know it had birds flying on it".
We all do it.

Just remember, I've got to look at these and much more again tomorrow.
It's a hard job but someone's got to do it.
Glad it's me.