Made in the NHS
I've been involved in a making project called "Made in the NHS" over the last few weeks, which is organised by both Air Arts and Anna Roebuck from The Making House. The concept was bought about from the tradition of makers within the NHS, who used to employ craftsmen and artisans to create everything used within the NHS, and now it's our turn!
It was open to employees of UHDB Trust and split into different crafts; felting, wirework and metal embossing over 3 x 3 week sessions. The overall work being inspired by heritage and waterways.
I'm halfway through this project at the moment, and for my felting waterway I chose Osbornes Pond in Shipley Park. This got me looking more into the history and heritage of this particular area, from the collieries to the magnificent hall that stood there, owned by the Miller-Mundy family.
My felting went quite well after a bit of a false start, and I really enjoyed the shaping of the elements and choosing the right tones and appropriate colours.
At the moment we're part way through the wirework section, and we've had an initial introduction where we made flowers, to familiarise ourselves with the wire and technique. I'm planning on making a portrait in wire of "The Squire" Alfred Edward Miller-Mundy who was the last occupant of the Hall from the family (his son chose to live elsewhere, and the Hall was demolished in the 1940s due to mining subsidence). Portraiture in paint I'm familiar with, so it will be interesting to see if any of those skills transfer!
I'm hoping to tackle the colliery aspect of the area in the final metal embossing sessions. My grandad worked in Shipley Colliery so I have a connection there, and I initially planned to do 2 wire portraits (the "Miller" and the miner), but now I think that might be a bit ambitious for the timeframe!
Really looking forward to the project going forward and also to see what others have produced. It will form part of the Air Arts exhibition SOLACE in October, which I'm also producing a painting for currently.