Tag Archives: Swansea Market

A Tissue Issue

5 Oct


Workibng with Kelly Stewart at Swansea Print Workshop last week, I experimented with different ways to screenprint my range of drawings. I’ve always liked the chine collé technique especially with handmade paper made from recycled saris. I get it from the haberdashers in Swansea Market and it has a great texture and a some juicy colours.




I used Japanese Nori glue to stick it down – it’s made with seaweed. The sari paper is quite thin, but very strong, so it was easy to silkscreen over it – thicker paper might have caused some technical problems. The term chine collé is French for tissue collage and these fine papers have traditionally been imported from Chine, Japan and the Indian subcontinent.


Engage And Scribble

9 Sep



Husb was pitching an idea at the RSA Engage event at Swansea’s Cinema & Co this evening. The RSA is holding 20 Engage events across the UK which give people an opportunity to pitch an idea they want to develop in their local community, to get support from an informed audience and make new connections to get their idea off the ground. There were 9 ideas pitched this evening, all of them excellent.



Of course, I had a scribble!





Husb pitched his notion to fill the enormous roof of Swansea Market with stained glass. He did a spoof mock-up for the cover of his recently published book but the image has generated such a lot of interest that he decided to see if there was any possibility in moving the idea forward. There is! He now has some advisors and collaborators on board.


Swansea Market is the largest covered market in Wales and the roof is an enormous single span steel and glass construction. There has been a market in Swansea since the 1600s and one on this site since 1830. The present one was built in 1961 as the previous one was destroyed by bombs in World War 2.


Aunty Nin’s Chair And #3000chairs

11 May
Aunty Nin's Chair

Aunty Nin’s Chair

Back in the 1930’s my beloved Aunty Nin saved hard from her wages at Swansea Market to buy a lovely Art Deco suite from the poshest furniture store in the area for the parlour of her tiny little council house. A generation later, my sister and I used to visit with Mam and Dad and if we were on our very best behaviour, we were allowed to sit in the parlour on the Art Deco suite. Aunty Nin, like many other older relatives, kept her tiny front room immaculately clean and tidy, with glass fronted cabinets filled with tiny ornaments and lacy antimacassars on the backs of the furniture. Meanwhile, they crammed table and chairs, television and even a settee into the kitchen, cooking, washing up, eating, socialising and watching TV all in the same tiny room, while the parlour was kept for best.

Another generation later and my sister’s children were occasionally allowed to sit on the Art Deco suite in the parlour, but had to have their milk and Jammie Dodger biscuits in the kitchen. Eventually Aunty Nin became too old to live alone and I took the Art Deco suite, ripped and tatty with age. I found a wonderful furniture restoration firm and the suite was restored to its former Art Deco glory and now another generation of our family, Aunty Nin’s great, great nieces and nephews, sit on it. I don’t have a parlour and the little ‘uns are allowed to sit where they want, even with a handful of Jammie Dodgers.

I have just submitted this drawing to The Guardian Witness #3000 Chairs. Last week The Guardian newspaper published Nicola Davies’s poem The Day The War Came about the 3,000 unaccompanied Syrian children refused a safe haven by the UK government. Davis called on everyone who felt strongly about this to paint/draw/sketch an empty chair and share it on Twitter with #3000chairs. Images have been pouring in from professionals, amateurs, children. It’s a moving body of work.

Here’s a bit of trivia, Jammie Dodgers are made in Wales and they’re Doctor Who’s favourite biscuit 😀

Chalk And Cheese

28 May

28 chalk cheese

I’m trying to push myself out of my comfort zone, which is tiny ink drawings made into weeny little sketchbooks. I’ve promised myself that I’ll try to work in chalk and charcoal on a larger at least once a week. Here’s the head of a man onto a rough hand-made paper that I bought at The Tate gallery and prepared with a dark ink wash; it’s a little smaller than A3 size.

It’s been really cold here and pouring with rain. I’ve been wearing winter clothes and boots and I’m constantly hungry, so I’ve been munching on the cheese in the fridge; a fine local farmhouse extra mature cheddar, a deliciously sweet Gruyere and a lovely piece of Y Fenni, a Welsh cheese infused with mustard seed, all bought from the most excellent Swansea Market. I also managed to buy some cut-price-almost-out-of-date luxury fishcakes from the Co-op that oozed hot, liquid Emmental when they were cooked this evening. I’m cheesed-out!

The origin of the phrase ‘Chalk And Cheese’ is likely from John Gower’s Middle English text ‘Confessio Amantis’ from 1390.

Wobbly Roofs And A Wonky Chain

26 Mar

Ink sketch: roofs and chains.

Another gorgeous day, warm and sunny, not at all like normal Swansea weather. I walked to the studio in the sunshine and although I love my huge windows, they face north and I wanted to carry on basking in the warmth, so I opened the fire door at the end of the corridor, which faces south over the bay, took my chair and a sketchbook and a cup of tea outside and sketched the roofscape for a while. The modern rounded roof at the back of the drawing is Swansea Market. There’s been a thriving market in Swansea since the 1600’s and one on this site since 1830. The current one was built in 1961 after the previous one was destroyed in the Blitz during World War 2. It’s nice being up on the second floor, seeing the city from a new vantage point. It was hard drawing that chain though.

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