Artist Profile: Claire Pearson of Chow Bella

It’s no secret that we love showcasing the work our customers produce, whenever we get a chance to do so, and even more so when there’s history behind it.

This is exactly the case with Claire Pearson (and her canine co-founder,) who started Chow Bella nearly 11 years ago.
Claire had been previously making sculptural work and at the time was between ceramics studios, as the story goes, she had a cocker spaniel puppy, Bella, who kept getting food and water in her ears. Unable to find a spaniel bowl in the shops that worked, let alone one that looked halfway decent, Claire put her ceramic know-how to work and made one.

After mentioning her creation on an internet spaniel forum, within months she was regularly producing personalised spaniel bowls as a sideline.

Personalised spaniel bowls

From there, the business grew and grew; Claire now makes bowls for cats and dogs of all breeds, and even a ferret bowl last year!

Spaniel bowls with silhouettes

Working army dogs“Using the decals is a great way for me to make my ‘off the shelf’ range (all the other bowls are personalised) and I try and tweak the colours to go with that year’s ‘on trend’ Pantones.”

Saviour of spaniel ears and a beautiful alternative to what you would find in stores, Chow Bella’s popularity doesn’t stop at the wonderful bowls they made their name with. They also take special requests for prizes, have made bowls for working army dogs, and one for the top canine blood donor of the year.

Dog Treats

 

For more of Claire’s wonderful work, or to perhaps even find out if the bowls are stocked near you, check out her website www.chow-bella.co.uk.

You can also find her on social media, where you’ll see what else she has been up to, as well as be treated to the occasional photograph of her adorable co-founder.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/chowbellapetbowls/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChowbellaClaire

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/bellapetbowls/chow-bella-pet-bowls/

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How to Create a Layout Using Microsoft Word

New to creating a layout for digital ceramic transfers?
You’ve got your images, you know they’re the correct resolution, you even know the dimensions of our printing area, but you don’t have Adobe Photoshop and you’re not sure how to organise the page.
That’s totally fine; the layout for your sheet of transfers can also be created using Microsoft Word, this post will walk you through some of the steps needed to do that.
You may be using a different version of Word, so don’t panic if what you’re seeing isn’t exactly the same, you’ll still be able to create the layout.

First thing’s first, you want to make sure that your page is the correct size; you don’t want to create the whole layout, only to later find out that you were working in A4.

To do this, you will need to select ‘layout’ from your taskbar at the top of the page, then select ‘size,’ and ‘more paper sizes,’ as seen below:

Creating a layout using Microsoft Word, first set your page size.

You will then progress to a screen which allows you to set the dimensions of the page, type 28cm into width and 40cm for height, this will give you a blank page set to our printing area; you can enter the numbers the other way around, this will give you a landscape page. Don’t forget that the page margins will be included in this size.

Creating a layout using Word, set the dimensions to 28cm x 40cm

 

When you press ‘OK’ an error message may appear, ignore it, this would only apply if you were going to print the page yourself.

Creating a Word layout, ignore the error message this time.

Next, you’ll want to start placing your images on the page, this part is pretty simple; ‘insert,’ ‘pictures.’

Creating a Word layout, insert pictures.

You’ve got your artwork on the page, but you want to make sure that it’s the right size? Just right click on the image, then select ‘Size and Position.’

Creating a Word layout, select sizing,

You can then enter the height and width that you need the decals to be; leave ‘lock aspect ratio’ checked, otherwise the image will get distorted.

Creating a Word layout, set the dimensions of your image.

Once you’ve done the first one, follow the same steps for the others. You may want to use all of the space, but find that Word isn’t very lenient; you can get around this by right-clicking, hovering over ‘wrap text’ and selecting ‘through.’ There are also a couple of other ways to do this, they will all give the same result.

Creating a Word layout, wrap text

Now that your layout is complete, you’ll need to save it to be sent to us; the best way to do this, while preserving your layout, is to save it as a PDF.
Click ‘file,’ ‘save as,’ then set the file type to PDF.

Creating a Word layout, safe your file as a PDF

To be on the safe side, if you have created your layout this way, always let us know the intended dimensions of your images, and if you have any problems just get in touch.

Follow this link for information on the next steps, and to upload your layout http://www.fotoceramic.com/p/big_file_upload.php

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Breath of the Compassionate; Celebrating 20 Years of The Peace Walk

Moriam Grillo is an award-winning, international artist; her latest undertaking, ‘Breath of the Compassionate,’ is a series of murals commissioned for a wonderful peace garden.

Peace garden, Breath of the Compassionate, Luton, mural, faith

The garden was started by Reverend David Kesterton, in the grounds of All Saints Church in Luton, and has been over a year in the making. It is a space dedicated to all members of the local community, as a place of quiet retreat and meditation.

Peace Garden, Installation, Murals

Consisting of over 4,000 tiles, this artwork was inspired by sacred geometry and celebrates 20 years of The Peace Walk. The different elements of the murals were made by members of the community, aged from 7-70. Tiles were rolled out, cut and glazed, images were drawn and painted; from start to finish, everything that went into this project was a joint effort, bringing people together in a true testament to its inspiration and purpose.

Mural, Community, Tiles, Art

The Peace Walk acts as a public demonstration of community solidarity, and an opportunity for diverse members of the Luton community to get to know one another. The goal is to help build an understanding of different cultures and religious beliefs.

Luton Council of Faiths, Peace Walk, Community

The 2016 Peace Walk took place on Saturday 24th September, with events which encapsulated the ideologies of togetherness and learning, including the unveiling of the murals embodying that.

Peace Garden, Murals, Luton, Faith

The ceramic element of this inspiring project would not have been possible without the months of hard work from Moriam Grillo, to view more of her work you can visit her website, Facebook page, or Instagram feed. Expect to see, and be impressed by, a range of work in ceramics, both large and small, as well as work she admires.

 

 

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Artist Profile: Anne Smith

Designer/maker Anne Smith does some wonderful work with glass. coasters
Both beautiful and practical, her fused and cast glass reflects a love of the sea and the environment; using influences from the stunning Llyn peninsula where she lives.

When asked about her work, Anne told us “I hope to inspire your senses by combining materials, colours, patterns and textures to make tactile glass that’s individual and truly unique.”

This ideal is especially apparent in the mackerel series of tableware and accessories, where she incorporates digital ceramic transfers, to great effect. The black and white images, fused into pale blue glass, are given depth and an amazing sense of realism.

side plate, glass, ceramic transfers, mackerel

Anne describes her creative handmade glass as “designed in Wales for people everywhere.”

More examples can be viewed on her website, Facebook page, and Flickr, we very much recommend taking a look.

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A Wedding Gift with an Unusual Twist

First-time customers Franziska Schäfer and Carolin Kroneberger initially approached us Skull, tea set, alternative design, coffee set with questions about our printing service; something we welcome and encourage if you are new to digital ceramic transfers.

Could they have varying sizes of their design on one sheet, and could they send a Photoshop document with the background removed? The answer to both queries was yes, and with that we awaited their order.

Being more than used to a wide variety of artwork coming our way, when Franziska and Carolin sent through their illustrations we knew they must have something interesting in mind for their work.
We were not disappointed.

They told us “we wanted to create a fancy coffee set as a wedding present for our friend. She’s a skull fan – so we chose an anatomical skull as the motif for six different vintage place settings, which match together to make one coffee set.”

The finished pieces subvert the macabre by contrasting the skulls against classic floral china patterns; the result is a unique gift that the bride absolutely loved.

 

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Artist Profile: Emma Garnham

Garnham GlassThese beautiful glass coasters were produced by one of our clients, Emma Garnham, who recently established her own business, Garnham Glass.  As a bespoke giftware product, Emma’s hand-drawn elephant design was printed onto our ceramic decal transfer paper and then fired onto fused glass to create the coasters. This was not the usual kiln-fired glass technique that Emma specialises in and she really enjoyed producing something different to her preferred motif.

Emma is an emerging glass artist, who graduated from the University of Sunderland in 2011 with a B.A. (Hons) degree in Glass and Ceramics.  She specialises in kiln-formed glass and has continued to explore and experiment in this medium, particularly with the ‘pate de verre’ kiln formed glass technique.  This involves making a paste of glass that is applied to the surface of a mould and then fired.  The advantage of this technique is that it allows for precise placement of particular glass colours in the mould.  The technique dates back to Ancient Egypt but really came into its own about a century ago, when it was revived by a group of French artists who gave this warm glass technique its name.

The use of drawing and light is integral in Emma’s work, which is very evident in the elephant coasters.  Further examples of her portfolio work can be found on her website as well as additional information about her development as an artist.

If you are a client and would like us to showcase your artwork in our blog, please get in touch with us and we will be very pleased to include it here and also through our pages on Facebook and Pinterest.

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British Cookery School Awards 2014

british cookery school emblem

FotoCeramic are proud to have been commissioned to provide award plates for the  British Cookery School Awards which were held recently in London at the Porchester Hall on 17th November.

The awards are held annually and bring together a wealth of top talent from Britain’s Cookery Schools.  Schools are nominated in a variety of categories and all finalists are invited to attend a night of celebration in honour of their amazing achievements over the past twelve months.  The entrants are judged by an array of food experts and journalists, including Nigel Bardon who works alongside Simon Mayo and Chris Evans on their Radio 2 shows.

Untitled-1


Best New School Award Winners:
Wilmslow Cookery School

cookery awards 2

Double Award Winner Jeremy Pang (centre) of the School of Wok for Best Young Rising Star and Best Specialist Cookery School.

 

There were fifteen awards handed out on the night and a full list of winners and the finalists can be found here.

 

 

award winner

Best Secondary Department Winners:
The King’s School, Ottery St Mary

 

 

If you are interested in using any of our bespoke services, please contact the sales team or visit our website for further details.

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BBC’s Countryfile Showcases Jane O’Neill

countryfile-titles-2013

FotoCeramic are very proud to have seen our ceramic transfers being used in a recent broadcast of BBC’s Countryfile, aired on Sunday 22nd June 2014. The episode focused on the area around Oxenhope in West Yorkshire, to herald the start of the 2014 Tour de France, which was being hosted in Yorkshire  for the first two stages of the celebrated race.

12 edit

One of our clients, Jane O’Neill of Abundant Glass, was featured in a segment with John Craven, which highlighted her love of cycling, particularly up the famous Cragg Vale- the longest, continuous incline in England, and her passion for art in fused glass. Jane talked about the inspiration for her artwork, which cf3 edit

depicts the Tour de France cyclists passing through places such as Harrogate, Hebden Bridge and Skipton. She explained that her original artwork was digitally printed onto transfer paper and applied to the glass before firing. FotoCeramic created the digital ceramic transfer decals for Jane and it was great to see how striking the finished pieces were.

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John Craven joined her in finishing off the glass coasters from her current range by wet sanding the glass.

hebdencyclists2

 

 

For more information about Jane’s work, please check out her website and look at the fantastic glass work she has created.

 

 

If you are a regular client of FotoCeramic and you wish to be featured in our blog, please get in touch with us for further information. We are always very pleased to highlight your artwork in our blog and through our Facebook page.

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Spirit Collection Bowls Over The Independent

Ceramist and Illustrator, Sophie Alice Wiltshire, based in Winchester has been given a special mention in The Independent newspaper for her highly original Spirit Collection at the Natural History Museum.  The illustrations are quirky and bespoke and it was really exciting to see how well our digital ceramic transfers turned out in the final pieces.

 

 

Sophie gained a MA in Ceramics from the Royal College of Art and loves illustration, colour and slip to be a predominant feature in her creations and combines these elements as much and as often as she can in her ceramic pieces.  For further information about Sophie and her work as well as her online shop, please visit her blog page.

 

If you are a regular client and would like your artwork to be featured in our blog, please get in touch with FotoCeramic for further information.  Thank you to Sophie for sharing examples of her work for which we have provided the transfers for!

Please visit our Facebook page for further examples of our clients work, especially from our recent offer we ran in November.

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Ceramic Transfers Augment Signature Wall Plates

Contemporary Fine Craft Artist, Anna Hunt has shared some amazing examples of her eclectic signature Wall Plates which use our ceramic transfer decals to decorate the surfaces.  She uses clay to create vivid worlds, and the illustrative scenes she captures on surfaces are heavily influenced by historic grandeur and past traditions.

 

Anna has a preoccupation with historic houses which shout of excessive opulence and their almost obsessive fixation with natural history collections.  Her impressive CV demonstrates her ability to create pieces which reflect the nature of the commission, displaying a wide range of visual feasts for the eye.  She draws upon these elements and playfully translates them onto the clay surfaces.  To keep the artwork fresh and stimulating, Anna often distorts the scale and setting of her pieces and coupled with many layers of colours, markings and transfers, visual depth is successfully achieved.

For further information and examples of her unique artistry, please visit Anna‘s webpage.

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