It was such a shame my Soaring Above exhibition had to close with the second lockdown in November – but its great to have been able to re-open again this week in time for some Christmas shoppers.
I’m particularly excited to have a new maker at the Gallery – Karen Williams of Adrift Pottery.
At the Eastgate Gallery I focus mainly on artists and makers local to the South West – but I make occasional exceptions if I have a personal connection to a maker from further afield and love their work. I have known Karen for several years – she is based near St David’s on the rugged Pembrokeshire coast where we used to live, and I spent a couple of very happy sessions with one of my children in her pottery studio.
I’m in love with Karen’s fish plates and look forward to showing you more of her work in due course.
I’ve been open again about a month now as Covid restrictions have been easing. After so many weeks without seeing any customers face-to-face it felt quite un-nerving initially! But I’m back in the swing of things now, and enjoying the return(ish) to normality.
I have introduced some new makers to the Gallery, such as ceramicist Tim Welbourne who is based in Cornwall. These are some of his pieces. I really like the glazes he uses, which take inspiration from the Rame peninsula near where he lives. I think the tactile “hug mugs” have to be my favourite.
I’ve been using a lot of my ‘lockdown’ time to make some improvements to the website, and in particular getting the online shop set up. I’m feeling pleased with how it’s looking and working – but always open to suggestions for improvement! And today I added details of my Gift Sending Service.
Like many high street businesses I’ve been wondering whether/how long to keep the Gallery open. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been taking extra precautions, keeping surfaces clean, not getting too close to customers, taking contactless card payment where possible.
Today however, with the Totnes High Street deserted as the public are clearly heeding the advice, very sensibly, to limit contact to that which is essential, it felt that the only responsible option was to close to visitors for the fore-seeable future.
On the positive side – this situation as made me focus on building the e-commerce side of my website so that customers can purchase by mail order, and this is now up and running – with free UK mainland delivery on all items listed.
I’ve had such a great first seven weeks of trading since I opened the Eastgate Gallery in early February, that I am confident that once we are over the worst of this and businesses can re-open, I will be able to pick-up where I left off and it will be better than ever.
So to whet your appetite here are some of the latest pieces (and they are available to buy online): Gorgeous whale tail spoons by Rosie Brewer, and ceramics from Janie Ramsay – both local Devon makers.
I am so enjoying feeling informative, and talking about the work of all the various artists to visitors in the gallery. It is really satisfying when I can explain something that perhaps the customer hadn’t realised about the techniques used in the creation of the artworks. Occasionally I am asked something that I don’t know the answer to – which is my cue to ask the artist so that I do know next time!
The jewellery of printmaker and jewellery designer Zoë Needle is proving really popular, and customers are intrigued when they found out about the inspiration behind her “wearable arts” collections. These pieces below are from her U-Bahn series, and were inspired by a trip to Berlin – and the colours and atmosphere of the vibrant city. The shapes you can see are actually miniature original woodcuts, finished with non-toxic paint.