Thursday, 21 May 2009

Celebrating Our 3rd Birthday In St Andrews

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, Artery Gallery in South Street, St Andrews is celebrating an exciting and enjoyable three years in the town.

There has been great excitement and enthusiasm from the many UK and overseas visitors along with tremendous loyalty and support from local people who have claimed it as their own favourite shopping “hot spot” since the opening in May 2006. The continued growth and variety of local, national and international artists has been the major factor in Artery Gallery’s development from the early beginnings of the Crieff gallery, to the expansion of the St Andrews branch, through to its award winning website, which brings orders and artists from across the world.

2009 has started off very bright and busy thanks to Artery’s philosophy of providing art that is more affordable and accessible, with an increase in purchases of paintings which could be a result of less people moving house and instead wanting to wake up their own walls and living space with fresh, new art.

Contemporary paintings from exhibiting artists such as Derek Collins, Colin Carruthers and Jane Duckfield continue to prove popular purchases as well as newcomers Susan Lincoln and Robert Ryan amongst many others. Thought-provoking paintings from popular artists such as Steve Johnston, Andrew Baines and Scott Carruthers continue to inspire and attract collectors from far afield.

The Director of Artery says, “Despite the gloom out there, artists are producing some of the most exciting and vibrant work we have ever had. It makes for a really promising year ahead”.

Artery is constantly bringing in quality handmade art and craft, which means there is always something new. With birthdays, weddings, graduations and anniversaries all year round, there is increasing demand from people who are looking for unique handmade art gifts as opposed to high street mass-produced items. Scottish artists such as John McPhail, Ronna Elliott, Rob Mulholland, Daniel Kavanagh and Mike Hunter are all proving that Scottish craft is as strong as ever.

Handmade jewellery has continued to show great popularity in the St Andrews gallery with Artery exhibiting works from nearly 20 different designers, all very different and unique in techniques, materials and style. Wedding jewellery has also seen a huge increase this year with many St Andrews couples having their entire party bedecked in individual and memorable pieces from Artery.

Artery Gallery has become part of the fabric of St Andrews, and like the town, is full of great character, style and individuality and if the last few years have been anything to go by, it will celebrate many birthdays to come.

Artery Gallery at 43 South Street, St Andrews (01334 478221) and 22 King Street, Crieff (01764 655722).

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

*New* David Keenan - Handblown Glass Sculpture

We are proud to introduce glass artist David Keenan as our latest exhibitor to Artery Gallery in St Andrews.

His sleek, slender figures are formed from hand blown glass and finished with a smooth frosting effect that gives his work a wonderful feel of contemporary elegance.

David is an international glass artist, whose work has been in numerous specialist glass exhibitions, including New York, Puerto Rico, and London. His contemporary glass artwork is held in prestigious collections all around the world.

"Ribbon Dance" - £85

Training as a glass artist at the mark studios in Cheshire, David also spent 8 years working on a glass artwork project in the West Indies, during which time, he developed the style of contemporary art glass that has dominated his work. David has been commissioned to design several sculptures that have been gifted to royalty, including Her Majesty the Queen.

Each glass sculpture is individually handmade and signed by David.

We think you will agree that his work is absolutely stunning and really does have to be seen to be fully appreciated.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Mike Hunter's Award Winning 'Zanfirico' Glass

Mike Hunter - Zanfirico glass bowl

The highly collectible work of multi-award winning glass artist Mike Hunter of Selkirk, really is of the finest quality, each beautiful piece is hand crafted and intricately designed with great care and attention to detail. He has a real passion for working with glass, which shows in the quality and defines his years of experience gained from working with some of the finest glassmakers, including Wedgwood and Perthshire Paperweights.

The Zanfirico glass blowing technique, is a highly skilled process and a specialty of Mike Hunter’s that has earned him the 2009 BCTF Award for Excellence in design, innovation and creativity.

‘Zanfirico’ is the more commonly used term for the extremely technical glass blowing process of Twisted Filigree (Filigrana a retortoli).

Filigree, is a general term used to describe embedded threads or ribbons of coloured glass, either in parallel or network patterns. The Filigree cane is melted into the glass mass and re-pulled, often twisting as the cane is stretched.

Mike Hunter has been taught by some of the worlds greatest glassblowers and has developed his own unique style. His work includes both functional and decorative pieces.

Mike has received high recognition and exhibited his work throughout Scotland and England, most notably at the Victoria and Albert Museum. His beautiful creations are stocked at the most exclusive outlets in major cities such as New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris and of course right here at Artery Gallery in St Andrews.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Buying Handmade Jewellery at Artery Gallery

Handmade jewellery has never been as popular as it is now. We all have our reasons for buying handmade, rather than mass produced jewellery – we want to be seen to be supporting our local producers during a precarious financial situation, or we want to be seen as part of the cool ‘eco-chic’ bunch that we see in magazines, we like to be different and unique in our style, or maybe we just love to follow fashion.

All of these reasons to buy handmade jewellery are explained and discussed in so many women’s glossy magazines just now. We want to look unique, and feel morally satisfied with our purchases, we want to stay ahead of fashion (instead of just keeping up!). Here at Artery, we understand that all of these reasons are important, and we have handmade jewellery to suit every reason behind a purchase.

You want to be at the forefront of fashion…..

So, your buying handmade jewellery because you want to be seen in what’s on the catwalk, rather than what’s in the shops. This is every trend-setter’s hurdle – what we see in magazines and fashion shows, is not yet in the shops – so where do we find it? Handmade jewellery often takes inspiration from international fashions shows, in terms of colour and theme. Jewellery designers are always looking for a direction in which to take their inspiration, and the catwalks give them that. As handmade jewellery is relatively quickly produced (because you’re not making 5000 of the same item) the hottest styles are ready for the public much quicker than mass produced jewellery. Also – why bother chasing fashion, if you’re going to end up wearing something that every third person on the high street is wearing?

Our jeweller designer Angela Learoyd has her finger on the pulse when it comes to trend setting (rather than following!).

Her handmade African Jasper and silver concertina necklace @ £130 is totally unique – and taking the catwalk ‘tribal’ trend to another level. The beautiful green/blue hue of this stone is a key element of the tribal look – seen in African inspired fashion, and ‘Navajo’ themed jewellery. The difference is that with this, you know you have something that nobody else has, as it’s made from natural products, each is unique and can never be reproduced, and because of the quality of materials, although it’s a fashion forward item just now, you know it will become a much loved classic item over the years.

You have your own style…..

So you are the opposite of the dedicated follower of fashion! You have your own style, and you love it. Buy what if your own style is not what’s in the shops just now? Then buy it handmade! This way you can find a jewellery designer who matches your style and commission a piece to your own specifications, or purchase a piece of theirs ‘off the peg’.

Chunky, bold jewellery is in fashion just now, but what if you like something delicate and feminine? One of our designers, Angel Neal, specialises in feminine, pretty, delicate jewellery, so while the high street is awash with chunky wooden beads, you can stand out from the crowd in one of Angel’s delicate crystal bracelets, or pretty pearl necklaces. Or design your own feminine crystal necklace for Angel to make for you.

You want to feel morally satisfied with your purchase….

This is something that just a few years ago didn’t concern, or occur to us. Today’s media has made us painfully aware that our purchase-power has a dramatic effect on the global economy, and it raises all sorts of questions – do we want to be responsible for child labour in Asia, or do we want feel guilty about oppressive diamond mining methods every time we look at our engagement ring?

Fortunately, as we have become aware of this, so have our jewellery designers – and they now strive to provide us with beautiful handmade jewellery, which hasn’t compromised anybody’s integrity or ethics to source and produce it. Our silver designer Patricia Gurgel-Segrillo, based in Brazil, uses only ethically sourced silver, and other materials that support, not degrade her community and country. Patricia’s silver designs are made from Fine silver rather than sterling silver, which has a higher silver content, and lends itself well to her unique, woven designs.

You want to support your local economy……

You want to buy handmade jewellery to support your local economy, rather than the huge ubiquitous mega-stores of the UK.

If you buy a piece of handmade jewellery you could be supporting a small local business by doing this, and in turn, supporting a local designer. Many of our jewellery designers at Artery are from fife and we love to be able to support handmade goods from our own area. There is never any point in complaining that our high streets have become one in the same, and bland, then popping into a chain store to buy something that is made in the thousands.

We have local designer Elizabeth Scott, whose hometown is not ten miles from the gallery. Much of her jewellery is inspired by her local countryside and sea views, using colours in her jewellery to represent that.

So you can see that whatever your reason is for buying handmade jewellery – you will find something to suit you at Artery Gallery.