Thank you again BathLife for printing another lovely feature
I just loved meeting the talented Joanne Cope the other day. New Zealander Joanne often heads off into the fields around Bath to photograph cows, and has learnt to read the signs from aggressive bulls! I had such a lovely morning at her studio in Bath and this is my favourite portrait from the shoot:
Thank you Joanne! Joanne will be having an open studio soon so keep an eye on her website for details. Joannecope.com
Once again, I headed down to the Artisan quarter in Bath, Walcott street, this time to interview designer-weaver Katherine Fraser at her shop. It's so great so see these talented crafts people create right there in front of you. The antique looms looked amazing
It was lovely to head to Frome the other week, where I met up with Mary Kilvert, who moved there from London. Mary is an illustrator who has now designed her own product range and set up a cute shop in Frome. She was also selling at the Bath Christmas Market this year. Here is the BathLife spread:
There seems to be a huge rise in designer-makers and crafters at the moment, with shoppers preferring hand-made items. Long let it continue!
It was a misty morning when I met with Simon White to learn about his off-grid life, for BathLife Magazine. There was no fabulous sunset or late summer rays, but instead, with a head-cold and not feeling myself, I went early in the morning to meet him at the river's edge. However, there a surprising calm in the Autumnal fog - with the steam rising from the water mingling with the smoke from the boats' chimneys. It had a magical, peaceful feel and I totally understood what attracted Simon to this carefree life. As we sat drinking our herbal teas and watched other boats drift by, I felt like I was on holiday, forgetting about the stresses and strains of daily toil.
I love this portrait of him and was pleased that he seemed to like it too
Every month, BathLife Magazine in Bath features a double page spread for my ongoing "Meet The Makers" series. Here is the Solsbury Honey story:
I felt like I was in Provence last weekend, but in fact I was only 20 minutes from Bath, in the village of Faulkland, where Somerset Lavender Farm lies nestled amid flowering gardens of lavender, sunflowers and healing herbs. A short break of lavender white tea and lavender cake (well when in Rome!) added to the general fragrance of the day
I was waiting for a butterfly to settle but it never happened so I made do with a snail!
The cabbages in the kitchen gardens were gloriously back-lit and I loved this sunflower field
My abundant country life!
Yesterday I went to photograph an apiary of bees for BathLife magazine. Pete Davis owns about 60 bee colonies in the hills surrounding bath. I had to wear protective clothing which I'm so glad about as the bees were pretty aggressive! One even got in between my eye and the eye-piece of my camera! The things I do for work! I learnt that bee personalities can vary a lot between hives, and the queen bees can also have different temperaments!
I love this shot of all the bees going crazy! Oh something else I learnt, was that beeswax candles not only burn for longer, but they clean the air and dust as they do so! They are completely non-toxic, non-allergenic and non-carcinogenic!
Loving the latest double page spread for BathLife magazine. The interview with Sebastian from Pukka Herbs was so much fun and I love all that he had to say about his work. The "Meet The Makers" series I'm doing for BathLife is enabling me to meet a really diverse group of people from all walks of life. Next stop - a bee apiary!
Seeing Alesha Dixon as one of the judges on Britain's Got Talent, reminded me of the time when I took photos of her years ago. What a beautiful lady. Just thought I'd share the pics
Spending a morning with Sebastian, founder of Pukka, at his home herb garden in Somerset is a good way to start the day. His love of plants and overwhelming positive feeling of wellbeing is infectious. The weather was changeable so we did have to dodge some rain and head into the kitchen for shelter and to watch the master at work as he sourced his herb collection and concocted a spring morning tea recipe.
Sebastian spent time in the Himalayas where he was inspired by the healing properties of the plants around him. Back in England, he studied Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western herbal medicine which he practices at Neal's Yard in Bath. So if you're thinking of brewing, check out the flavours of herbal teas and supplements from Pukka, at most supermarkets near you. Thanks Georgia for helping out with the shoot!
Another article published by BathLife magazine for my ongoing series, "meet the makers" about local Artisans in Bath and the surrounding area. Thank you Meticulous Ink for your time and to Gen for photo assisting. Keep checking every other issue to see more forthcoming features!
It was so cute today to find two lambs at Wilmington Farm, one called Ollie and the other Bear Grylls. Debbie Keeling and her husband produce a top quality Rapeseed Oil at their Farm in Wilmington, and I was invited to an open day to find out more. They were also showing around some chefs and restauranteurs, including these guys (below) who are in the process of opening a new restaurant in Bradford-on-avon called "Bunch of Grapes". They already have a venue in Bordeaux, France. Can't wait to try it out!
Here are the first two articles which have been published for BathLife magazine, as part of an ongoing series I'm doing for them about trades, crafts and workers in Bath. Sometimes centuries old techniques are used (such as the George Bayntun interview below) and sometimes more contemporary processes are applied (such as Speckled Wood and their etching machine above).
Thank you Catherine Authers (Editor at BathLife) - these stories are proving to be fun to photograph and also really interesting to research. Thank you Alessandro Ruocco too for photo assisting on the Bayntun shoot. The series will be published in every other issue of BathLife, so keep an eye open for it!
Singer, songwriter, Isobel Holly is only fifteen years old, and yet she's already written a number of her own songs. Hailing from Bath, and hugely talented, you can check out some of her music here: https://soundcloud.com/isobelholly
I had a great day, shooting some press shots and artwork images for her forthcoming EP.
Check out more images in the portrait section of the website. We also did some outside shots in a park and a cat came and sat right in shot and started posing for us! I hope to post the finished artwork of the EP soon, once the graphic designers at TrouvailleStudio.com have worked their magic! Watch this space...
The Marmalade House in Bath sells a bespoke furniture chalk painting service and runs courses teaching the chalk painting techniques. They stock Annie Sloan paints and have branched out into selling their own products, each within the homely, rustic and muted colours of their brand.
The store was founded by Vanessa Sayce, and it was a real pleasure to shoot product for her website last week. Trained in interior design, Vanessa is also a natural at styling and was at hand to art direct as we made our way around the products within the shop. She sells (among other things) picture frames, lights, cushions, tea towels, candles, bread boards, bowls and of course, paint.
To see more about the courses, services or products available at the shop, visit: http://themarmaladehouse.co.uk
Thanks Vanessa for a fun day and thanks for the yummy cheese scones!
It was such as honour to have my portrait series "Spirit Hawk Eye: A Celebration of American Native Culture" open at The American Museum this week. The show will be up until the end of November 2015, so if you're passing do pop by to see it. Friday was the preview night when the members and friends of the museum were invited and the Director said a few words and presented me with a beautiful scarf.
The exhibition shows 20 images featuring contemporary Native American portraits, including Navajo, Paiute, Comanche, Iowa, Zuni, Hopi, Apache and Chumash. Text is included under each image, telling their stories. The show is about what each of these people have to say, to promote the things important in their life and their culture. It's just a small glimpse into the diverse ways of American Indian communities.
It's especially exciting that the museum has kindly raised funds to bring across three of the people I photographed for an in-house residency at the museum in July. Alan (Chumash), Sarita (Iowa) and Nocona (Comanche) will be giving some talks as part of the schools programme about their culture.
Once again, a special thanks to all the people who I photographed and participated in the project. Special thanks to Danny, Sarita, and Alan. If you're in the area, do pop in and see it!
It was such a delight to photograph at the George Bayntun Book bindery in Manvers, St, Bath this week. Walking into the store is like walking into a museum. The shop at the front and the bindery in the back haven't changed since the business moved into the building in the 30's. Some of the talented professionals working in the bindery have been honing their skills for a long time, some for more than twenty years.
Part of the process involves "forwarding" which is essentially preparing the books for binding, sewing the pages onto linen cords, preparing leather, paper and other materials used in the process, and gilding with gold to protect the pages from moisture and dust and headbands are sewn with silk thread
Tools are heated in the "finishing" process in order to letter or decorate the book in gilt or blind. This bindery has thousands of tools and zinc & brass blocks. The clock which can be found in the bindery is the old "clocking in" timer which historically, the staff used to clock-in their work hours.
The current owner of the business, Edward Bayntun-Coward told me a great anecdote about why the bindery is painted green - his grandfather had bought some green paint in bulk which was going cheap from the local mental hospital because apparently the colour was disturbing the patients!
The manager Jeremy Peters, and all the staff were super sweet and gave a lot of their time to show me around and explain many of the processes. Thank you to all of you for making me feel so welcome. It was a real honour to have shot there.
I popped into Meticulous Ink today to do a photo story for BathLife Magazine about the fine stationers and letterpress technique. Athena Cauley-Yu and Charlie Cumming set up the business together where they create bespoke personal and business stationary and invitations. Zoe was also there to help work the huge Heidelberg letter press machines.
Athena also offers the service of hand-written calligraphy for the envelopes. In todays world of computers and email, there's nothing quite like receiving a hand-written letter, especially when it's so beautifully written! If you're passing along Walcott St, Bath, pop in and see their own brand of designed cards and stationary.
Thank you to Gen for photography assisting on the day. Keep an eye open for the photo story coming up soon in BathLife magazine
Today I photographed product for Speckled-Wood designs. Anna and Matt, founders of Speckled-wood, create beautiful brooches, tree decorations and wall art, out of wood. Anna and Matt etch their designs onto the wood to produce intricate pieces of art. Each item needed to be photographed for their new website. Their studio is out in Claverton, surrounded by stunning countryside and nature where the duo often get their inspiration. Their product often feature things like dragonflies, moths, birds, butterflies and trees
Speckled-Wood won best chalet at this years Bath market and it's no surprise. Their delicate designs are truly stunning.