Monday, 31 January 2011

Anne Doble

Copy (2) of CULLEN BAY AUG07 1Anne Doble

Q So who is Anne Doble?
I am a self-taught designer-maker, running my own business, Artinkulate, from home. I have arrived at this place in my life via the long way round, you could say. Having gone straight to Boots the Chemist from school, I was a Dispenser there for several years, and then worked my way up to Sales Manager. Having spent about 24 years with them I was suddenly made redundant. With 12 weeks to find a new job I ended up working in Operating Theatres, initially washing, sterilising & packing the surgical instruments, then going to Uni & doing a Diploma of Higher Education in Operating Department Practice, which was mainly working as an anaesthetic assistant.

The next part of the master-plan was that I should have a nervous breakdown in 2007, after which I found that the only thing I was able to do was to work for myself doing something in which I had some natural ability. Enter Artinkulate!



Abstract Bar: Layered melted plastic.


Q Where in the world are you?
I live in Portknockie, a picturesque former fishing village in NE Scotland. I was born in Ealing, West London to a Scottish mother & an Irish father, so I’ve always considered myself to have well & truly Celtic blood coursing through my veins. My mother’s immediate family, the roots of which are in the Rothes / Mulben / Cabrach areas, were from Elgin. Though brought up in London, I always felt as if I was just treading water & fully intended to move myself up here as soon as I had the opportunity. I now feel at home. About 2 years ago I decided to try & make a living from my natural aptitudes instead of trying to reshape myself to suit the conventional employer.

 COASTAL SILVER SHELL ON PINK Silver Shell: A melted design using a shell charm & a tiny pearl.


Q What made you choose the materials that you work with?
I mainly use a product called ‘Stampbord’ on which to create the designs. The designs themselves are created using any combination of: pigment & dye inks; acrylic & watercolour paints; mica pigments; melted plastic; fibres & anything else I can think of to create the effect I’m looking for. I make it up as I go along, so no one can tell me I’m doing it wrong!

I chose Stampbord because it has a chalk surface, which is perfectly smooth & accepts the inks & paints I use beautifully. The chalk also allows for greater versatility than plain paper or canvas, in that, once the ink is dry I can etch it off again to create white highlights or patterns within the design.

The melted plastic is another medium I love to use. It’s so versatile & the colour possibilities are endless. I find I can convey the mood or message I intended surprisingly well with this medium.


COASTAL AURORA BOREALIS 1 Aurora Borealis: an example of inks which have been etched into to create my mountains & moon.


Q What other materials would you like to work in?
I think that Polymer Clay will be the next addition to my creative portfolio. I never fail to be amazed by what it can produce in the right hands. From what I’ve seen & read about it I feel it would suit my creative style perfectly. I can’t wait to get some tuition & get started!


HEARTS PATCHWORK STILL WORKING Patchwork Heart: Made by re-melting off cuts of plastic into a new shape.


Q Where do you get your inspiration from?
My somewhat twisted thought processes come into their own in this area! I’m a very visually inspired person. My mind tends to convert emotions & other intangibles into
images & colours.I’m constantly inspired by the ever-changing sea & skyscapes with which I am surrounded up here. As I’m walking Elsie, my little Westie, along the coastal paths, I’m converting what I see into melted plastic or inks! I use words a lot too; to title my work; for words & phrases that are an intrinsic part of a
design; for children’s poems which I incorporate into the Name Plaques I make for them.I love words, etymology, quotations etc.

My brain doesn’t seem to simply accept a word as it was intended; rather it hears many permutations of that word simultaneously & creates a new meaning for it or twists into another word entirely. For example, I was working with the radio on in the background & a song called ‘Red Sails in the Sunset’ came on. Without even trying, my brain presented it to me as ‘Red Snails in the Sunset’ & a whole series of new designs was born! It can be a subtle nuance that someone places on a word which leads me off down another path, a song, an advert, an overheard conversation, a mispronunciation, anything that I can hear or read really. I just love the unexpected nature of this process, the not knowing when or where my
next glimmer of inspiration will come from.


FACES FADED DREAM  Faded Dream: An experiment with inks & embossing enamel.

Q Do you create your work in a studio base or a home base?
Both! I have a home studio, with a sea view, which is always inspiring.

Q Crafts in the 21st Century – what does this mean to you?
The increased emergence of artwork from people like me, who are naturally creative, but not necessarily professionally trained. The possibilities & opportunities for us seem to be increasing all the time, & may I say, thanks in no small part to the type of work that Tash Goswami is doing here with her Blog. (Thanks Anne!)

Q How do you sell and promote your work?
have my own website (, but I primarily use Craft Fairs, House parties & word of mouth. I also have albums of work on my, Artinkulate Keepsakes Face Book page, LinkedIn, & on sites like Central Station.

ANIMALS SNAILS RED Red Snails in The Sunset

Q What is your typical working day look like?
If I’ve got quite a few orders to complete, I would start mid morning & complete most of the initial stages, break for lunch (if I remember!) or at least have a cup of tea & a biscuit, then resume work, to either continue the groundwork or complete the finishing touches to the morning’s work. If it’s a warm, sunny day I might even stop for a break out in the garden with an ice cream! When I decide I’ve done enough for the day, or am at a convenient stage to stop, I’ll pack any unnecessary equipment away & take little Elsie, who has been waiting patiently ( or otherwise!) under my workbench, for a walk. Then I go indoors for the evening & think about what I might be able to find to eat.

MUSIC TREBLE CLEF Treble Clef: Inks & mica pigments sprayed over a template, then selectively embossed for a holographic effect.

Q What is your working style?
Relaxed yet organised! I have to use planning lists to survive. If it’s not on a list it’s probably doomed!

Q 3 words of advice for an aspiring Craft artist/maker...
Self-belief against the odds
Keep an open mind



Coastal Rocks: inks & watercolours which have been etched into.


Q Who is/are your favourite artist(s)/maker(s)?
I like Jo Heckett’s work in porcelain keepsakes & trinkets & Alita Porter’s (Doric Dragons) imaginative polymer clay creations.

Q What music do you listen to?
My passion is for vintage reggae music, from the 70’s & 80’s: Dennis Brown; Gregory Isaacs; some Bob Marley. The music is so all encompassing & hypnotic, especially if you lie down near the speakers & feel the music through the floor! I also like ‘old’ soul music: Marvin Gaye; Stevie Wonder; Sam Cook, that sort of era.


Portsoy Harbour: one of a set made for a local Café (behind the red door!)

Made from a watercolour drawing which I’ve cut out & applied to the background.

Q 3 likes and dislikes?
I like to be made to laugh, to be in the company of dogs (I just love them to bits!), & I am also quite partial to Galaxy chocolate.
I detest smoking, liver & celery.

Q What do you do to relax?
My relaxation activities include: listening to my music; losing myself in a good period drama & meeting friends for coffee, cake & catch-ups


Seahorse Fossil: A melted plastic design, using an inked up charm

SPIRITSpirit: I made a base of several layers of embossing enamel. Upon heating it a ‘face’ emerged, so I added some hair to accentuate it.

This is the kind of serendipity that I get very excited about!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

apologies from the editor

Apologies if you are eager to read the next interview - but having been laid low by a pretty grim chest infection, I have not posted this week - normal business will resume this coming Monday!

Tash Goswami
The Editor

Monday, 17 January 2011

Matthew Cummings

Q So who is Matthew Cummings?
I am a sculptor, painter, and video artist, currently in my last year of graduate school for glass sculpture at Illinois State University (one of the oldest glass programs in the US). My undergraduate education was at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky majoring in painting and glass. After college, I attended the Appalachian Center for Craft and then travelled throughout the eastern half of the United States studying under various glass blowers.  

Process Shot Matthew Cummings Sculpting a Figurative Form in the Hotshop at Flame Run Studios

Q When did you decide to become a maker?
I guess that I was always a maker, but I decided to pursue art as a career during the summer of my junior year of college. I had cut down on my obligations in order to start focusing more on art classes. I spent the summer in Italy (Firenze and Roma) studying sculpture firsthand. The rich cultural heritage was invigorating, the art was inspiring, and I decided then to dedicate my life to art-making. That decision is simultaneously exciting and terrifying to anyone who gives it serious thought. There is no certainty in your future other than the knowledge that you will enjoy what you are doing. I considered becoming an architect as I did well in math, enjoyed being creative, and this seemed a more “respectable” career choice at the time. But my love/compulsion to make objects with my own two hands made the decision to become a sculptor inevitable.
 On Perception-9 Units On Perception – 9 Units, 2010 (Solid-Sculpted and Coldworked Glass,13" x 10" x 3")
Q What made you choose the materials that you work with?
I discovered Glass in college, we have a great program at Centre (headed by Stephen Rolfe Powell), and I just happened upon it there. I initially went to Centre to play basketball so the physicality of glass instantly drew me in. It almost seemed like I had been training my entire life to work this material. It is very physical, requiring a great amount of teamwork, focus, and coordination.

For the latest series that I am working on, the On Perception series, glass is an ideal medium. The work is about the frailty of cognition, and the primary sense that we use to approach cognition is vision (think of Plato’s Cave, and the Cartesian Theatre). So I make objects that manipulate the perception of graphics in order to invite the viewer into a contemplative state which hopefully becomes a metaphorical experience. Lenses, facets, and frosted sections in the glass manipulate vision in an analogous manner to the way that point of view, social surrounding, and state of mind affect your decisions.

As for painting and video, I enjoy translating my glass sculptures into another material and seeing what occurs. For example, in video I can enhance the ephemeral or atmospheric qualities of the glass pieces through the video’s temporal nature and manipulation of light on a large scale.
On Perception-Form Theory On Perception – Form Theory, 2010 (Solid-Sculpted and Coldworked Glass  14" x 12" x 8")
Q What other materials would you like to work in?
I would love to work with stone, and there are some new resins and plastics that have really exciting and intriguing qualities. I have seen some Resin Castings that are almost as clear as glass. But for now, the qualities and processes of working with glass fit my vision, and my temperament.

Q Where do you get your inspiration from?
Philosophy, Particle Physics, Microscopy, Literature, Astronomy, Music, other Artists. Two books I have been reading lately that really influence the work are James Elkins - Six Stories for the End of Representation, and Daniel Dennett’s  - Consciousness Explained. Images of CERN experiments and images from Bubble Chambers are both extremely beautiful aesthetically.
Philosopher (Black Void)
Philosopher (Black Void), 2010 (Blown Glass with Filigrana, 28" x 14" x 14")
Q What motivates you?
Art and Craft! Other artists, designers, and craftsmen absolutely motivate me. On the rare day when I have free time at home, I love watching art documentaries and sketching, working on new designs or ideas. If I ever have “writers block”, I read an art book or watch a show about an artist, and that does the trick, even though that tends to send me in another direction entirely. Art 21 is a staple, and the new Basquiat documentary Radiant Child is fantastic, as well as, Exit through the Gift Shop by Banksy.

Q Do you create your work in a studio base or a home base?
Glass is strictly studio based, the equipment I use is just too big, messy, and loud. The paintings and videos vary depending on size and complexity. I really like to paint at home, because I can watch cheesy old horror movies while I wait for the paint to dry. It has nothing to do with the work, just a personal preference. I especially like Killer Clowns from Outer Space.
Coldworking On Perception-Interrupted Working Process - On Perception: Interrupted ( Coldworking)
Q Crafts in the 21st Century – what does this mean to you?
This is such a wonderfully messy subject! With the advent of Design Art, the line between Art and Craft has become so indistinct. In this technological age, the handmade is becoming essential again, not for practical means, but for natural needs. When something is made by hand, it has character and a warmth that is rarely felt in machine made objects. We respond and need this at a very basic level. We will always have crafts, we need it.

Q How do you sell and promote your work?
I sell my work exclusively through galleries, both glass and fine arts galleries. One of the main considerations for galleries that I choose to work with is the level that they promote their artists. It isn’t always that you sell a piece, but where you sell the piece and to whom. That is one of the reasons that I don’t sell work out of my studio. But when I do a show with a gallery, I am very involved (probably more that the gallery would like!). I prefer to set the show up myself (I consider every exhibition an installation in its own right), and I participate in any PR event they set up, be it interviews, demonstrations, or lectures.

I regularly show with Morgan Glass Gallery in Pittsburgh, Chapman Friedman Gallery in Louisville, Marta Hewett Gallery in Cincinnati, Prism Contemporary in Chicago, Vespermann-Cooper Gallery in Atlanta and Fusion Glass Gallery in Florida. I also have a Facebook Artist Page under Matthew Cummings Sculptor that I use as an informal blog with lots of images of new work and the processes behind making the various pieces, and all my finished pieces can be found at
On Perception-Interrupted On Perception – Interrupted (Solid-sculpted and Coldworked Glass, 2010 30" x 7" x 7")

  Q What is your typical working day look like?
For one, I cannot multi-task. I hate it. I prefer to devote a full day to the hotshop, coldshop, painting, or video. So I go through periods where I only sculpt glass in the hotshop (where glass is sculpted in its molten state), only grind glass in the coldshop (where glass is cut and polished at room temperature), or metal work the stands for the glass. In the spring and fall, I prefer to coldwork, summertime is for painting and video, and winter is best for the hotshop.

On an average day, I sleep in til 9 or so (definitely a night owl) go straight to the glass studio, not big on breakfast. Drink a lot of coffee, and try not to break anything in the two hours it takes me to really wake up. If I am lucky, I will spend the rest of the day listening to music and working on a single project.

Gestural Pair (Teal and White) Gestural Pair (Teal and White), 2008 (Blown Glass with Murrini, 36" x 25" x 14")

Q What is your working style?
I am a perfectionist, but I try to remember that something handmade is indeed handmade and not mechanically perfect. Those slight deviations in each mark or cut gives the piece its soul or unique character.

Q 3 words of advice for an aspiring Craft artist/maker...
I couldn’t narrow it down to three, so here are four and a half “words”.
1) Be Persistent; in making work and in applying for exhibitions.
2) If you do not respect your own work, no one else will.
3) Schedule shows as a young artist, even if it is at the local community art center or the coffee house. It makes you produce work, and helps to build your portfolio.
4) Take good photographs, they are not just crucial, they are your future! And here is a freebee... hot glass burns!  
Glass structure Glass Structure featured in Search Installation, 2010.

Q Who is/are your favourite artist(s)/maker(s)?
Lino Tagliapietra, Tobias Mohl, Daniel Clayman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Takashi Murakami, Terry Winters, and Julie Mehretu.

Q What music do you listen to?
Well, it is probably easier to say what I don’t listen to, Country and R&B. I listen to everything else though. Mostly Indie Rock, Pop, Electronic, but also a lot of older Funk, Folk, and Rock, and then some Hip/Hop and Rap to even it out.

This is what is getting the most play on my iPod right now: Kid Cudi, Menomena, Phantogram, Sleigh Bells, Muddy Waters, Peter, Bjorn, and John, Lykke Li, TV on the Radio, Big Boi, The XX, Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys, and Beastie Boys The In Sound from the Way Out.
Projection Photograph Still of a digital projection shown through the glass structure, 2010.

Q 3 likes and dislikes?
Likes - Cooking. Hanging out with my wife. Having a pint with friends and arguing about the state of glass.
Dislike - Waking up in the morning (doesn't matter the time, it is always too early). Having to deal with rude people. The television show Jersey Shore.

Q What do you do to relax?
Watch the dumb box (TV shows). After a day of thinking about what I am working on, working on it, planning the next day, dealing with the business side of making work, I need some time to turn the brain off. When I actually have more than an hour to relax, I go see my better half, Stephanie. I am living in a different city than my wife right now, so I drive to where she is, work on a painting during the day, then we cook dinner together and drink some wine.

Philosopher (Red)
Philosopher (Red), 2010 (Blown Glass with Zanfirco, 32" x 10" x 4)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Vivek Das

Q So who is Vivek Das?
I am Vivek Das, a metal-smith & enamellist, jeweller and basically artist.

Faces of Indian Women - Enamel on Copper   

Q Where in the world are you?
Originally I am from Howrah, west Bengal (east of India), later on I settled near Mumbai, western coast of India. Mumbai is India’s most busy commercial city which never sleeps. Fortunately I stay little out of Mumbai, so I sleep well!
Man with Pet Cat - Copper and Lead Sculpture of 24" height. Patina Finish.

7.grass_grazerGrass Grazer - Enamel Painting on Copper 7" X 8" Brush and Sieve Method.

Q When did you decide to become a maker?
My father was initially a key maker later turned jeweller. In my time (1960s) there used to be no jewellery institutions in India. Students used to learn this profession from their father and uncles starting from a tender age of around 10. Same way I learnt jewellery making from my father and stone setting from my elder brother. I also learnt jewellery designing from my cousin. By the time I finished my schooling I was already a jewellery craftsmen as all my spare time I spent in my father’s workshop which was attached to our residence.

To increase my skill I joined one and only arts & crafts institute in my city, Sir J.J. School of Art, where I learnt various metal forming processes & techniques. Here I got introduced to Enamelling which fascinated me and I decided to learn more about this process. Unfortunately I found there was no permanent faculty available for this subject. Fact is, that I was the only student who took admission in this class. I was very disappointed, but could not divert my mind to anything else. So, school library became my teacher. There were hardly 10 books on this subject & materials listed were not easily available in Indian market. Half of the written matters were difficult to understand and no one to ask from.

But immediately after graduation I started a faculty and started teaching students. For more than 25 years I trained students. I have developed some colours and also designed small furnaces suitable for enamelling. I had to develop these for myself, my students and other enamellists of this industry, as good enamelling furnaces are not available in India.

3.Artist_with_tribal_craftsmen_in_a_training_workshop Teaching - I periodically visit native crafts people at remote villages to conduct design and technical development workshop. I stay with these people for 15 to 21 days. These are Indian government projects. 

15.with_students Teaching - Demonstration of Enamelling in a Jewelery Making Institute.

Q What made you choose the materials that you work with?
I like to work with metals and Enamelling is the method to add colours & brilliancy, Here the canvas is metal and paints, glass enamels, and it is permanent. It can stays for centuries. Enamelling is such an expressive medium which can be used on miniature form that is intricate jewelleries, in crafts, 3-D objects like sculpture and of course very impressive medium for fine art painting.
 Lady with Flower Vase - Copper and Lead Round Sculpture with Enamel Patina Finish. Front and rear view.

Q What other materials would you like to work in?
I like mix media, I like to work with various kinds of metals like gold, silver, copper, aluminium, lead, zinc etc. I also love to paint on canvas with acrylic but I do not find this medium much challenging as enamelling. Wall painting and torn kite paper collage is my favourite hobby.

Fossils - Enamel Painting on steel 12" X 12" using several layering of colours brushed, sprayed and grinding method.

Q Where do you get your inspiration from?
When I start drawing a lines, images automatically starts floating on my canvas. Sometimes I get emotional with these images & start developing gradually. Enamelling medium is very technical. One must follow the step by step process along with putting your thought onto the canvas (here metal sheet). Unless you fully get engrossed with technique along with creative thoughts, things go wrong. It is amalgamation of technical process and thought process. Continuous layering of powdered glass colours which are some times opaque, sometimes transparent and fixing them by firing in red hot furnace after each layer of application. Firings are done sometimes 6 to 12 times or more, until you are satisfied.One of the big fights between our artists and craftsmen society today is that other mediums than oil are believed to be craft & are of lesser art value.

6.couples_in_garden Couples in Garden - Enamel Painting on Steel, Stencil Method. 9" X 10".

Q What motivates you?
To survive working with this difficult medium is a challenge itself, I accepted this successfully and i am happy in my life.

Q Do you create your work in a studio base or a home base?
In the beginning I used to work at home. All my studio and workshop materials were dumped under my double bed. Fortunately I got a small piece of land and now I have enough space for a Repousse workshop and Enamelling studio where me and my wife work. One part is also used for Furnace manufacturing.

Inside My Studio - my enamelling work bench.

Q Crafts in the 21st Century – what does this mean to you?
Recently a new generation of craftsmen are emerging who are extremely creative and talented. They have developed their art expression techniques and concepts to such an extent that only a hairline distance remains between crafts and fine art. Examples of this community, one can see in website Thanks to Tash Goswami. (Editors Note: Thanks Vivek!)

Faces of Indian Women

Q How do you sell and promote your work?
In previous days I used to work with architects and make artefact for home decor. Now I paint and exhibit in art galleries. Also buyers contact me through my website

Q What is your typical working day look like?
As mainly I paint with enamel on metal, I behave like an artist. Everything depends on mood. Mostly I work by night when no noise, no phone calls, no disturbances. Daytimes I am busy with teaching in various jewellery institutes.

12.girl_playing_with_cat Girl Playing With Pet Cat - Enamel on Copper 8" x 8".

Q What is your working style?
Although I like textures and colours, I also love stylised figurative paintings. Faces are my one of the favourite.

13.Madonna_enamel Mother Mary and Jesus - Enamel on Copper with a Hand Forged Copper Frame.

Q 3 words of advice for an aspiring Craft artist/maker...
Believe in yourself.
Do what you want to do.
Stick to your own ideas.

Q Who is/are your favourite artist(s)/maker(s)?
My teacher and metal smith Prof. Nagesh Sabannavar, hailed from south India and was finest Repousser I have ever seen.

14._wall_piece_SunWall Piece – Sun - Copper Repousse Oxidised Finished 24" X 24". 

Q What music do you listen to?
Classical instrumental and semi classical vocal music (Indian).

God Ganesha. Mixed media 24" X 48" copper repousse' enamelling and mosaics. Green area is patina finish on copper.

Q 3 likes and dislikes?
Likes: Cooking, kitchen gardening, travelling.
Dislikes :Noise, Crowd, politics.

Q What do you do to relax?
Meditation especially the Vipassana method, (to look at myself) this is the method Gautam Buddha practiced and gained Bodhi (the truth).

1.Myworkshop_from_outside.jpg2 My Workshop from Outside –  I work downstairs and live above