Rudy And The Rowan Tree

July is almost over (how did that happen?!) and things have been on the quiet side regarding Hooperhart; July is always a slow sales month what with summer holidays etc, so I’ve been trying to get as much stock made in advance of the autumn/winter season as possible to avoid panic stations later on. I’ve also been somewhat distracted by our purchase of a campervan at the start of the month – a 27 year old Talbot Rambler called Tallulah complete with cooker, fridge, loo, shower, a full set of crockery, and most importantly, a wine rack!

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I’d been hankering for another campervan since our beloved Bridget (aka the smallest camper in the world ever) had to be retired from service four years ago; having the freedom to head off whenever you fancy (and in Scotland whenever the weather allows) has such a strong appeal. The thought of being on the road, heading to a remote beach or catching a ferry to an island for a few days is always in the back of my mind, so I was pretty happy to find a suitable replacement in Tallulah.

Anyway, besides tootling along the B-roads of Scotland, I’ve also started making little houses from reclaimed wood under the name Rudy and the Rowan Tree:

Rudy and the Rowan Tree

When I’m making my dioramas it’s quite a precise process – there’s a lot of design and planning involved to make sure the finished piece physically and aesthetically fits together. As the work has developed I’ve moved further and further away from the printed pattern aspect (which is where it all began really). So I thought it would be nice to return to that again –  and to make something which was quite free and celebrated the random patterns created by screenprinting layers onto a surface, without planning how the finished piece will look. This, along with the fact I had built up a fine collection of random bits of wood in the outhouse (as you do) let me to making these pocket-sized house-shaped works of art.

I’d long admired other makers’ little houses on Instagram and Pinterest, be they ceramic, glass, concrete or wood (and had bought a few too!). So this is my own individual take on the miniature house. Each one is completely unique, and the nice thing about them is they are small, affordable and very collectible. You can build a street or even a whole village!

If you like the look of these wee cuties I’ve opened a separate Rudy And The Rowan Tree Etsy shop which currently has free UK shipping over £30, so feel free to have a little browse. I’m also going to be debuting them in the flesh at Southside Artist and Makers Market on August 30th so if you’re in the Glasgow area pop along. More details on this to follow so keep an eye on my SHOP page 🙂

Well, got to go now as it’s time to feed the dog (the original Rudy)

Thanks for reading!

 

Northern Lights

Our unusually long heatwave seems to have come to end today – for the first time in about a month I did the dog walk wearing a cagoule this morning! However, the fact that it’s grey and cloudy outside means it’s perfect blog-writing conditions, and I really want to tell you about my recent trip to Aberdeen 🙂 Back in January I was invited by a lovely wee establishment called Teasel and Tweed to be their June Maker of the Month; an absolute treasure trove stocking a huge variety of beautiful art and craft (all made in Scotland), Teasel and Tweed seemed like a good place to showcase my work so I jumped at the chance.

 

All my dioramas feel like my ‘babies’ and a lot of time and care goes into making each one, which makes me nervous about sending them out in the wild indefinitely on a sale or return basis! This is why the Maker of the Month is the perfect concept for someone like me who has a relatively small output of limited edition work – it’s like having a mini solo exhibition, and it gave me something to work towards especially at a quieter time of year when it can be easy to lose focus a little bit. Check out the Teasel and Tweed website and blog for more pictures and info here

It’s been a long time (20 years!) since I visited Aberdeen; I actually lived there for a couple of years once upon a time between school and college (for the first couple of months in a caravan park on the outskirts of the city which was fun as it was the summertime – we moved into a flat before the North East winter hit). My dad came from Aberdeen and my sister attended art school there so there were always connections. Having grown up in bang in the middle of Central Scotland it was a novelty living in a city by the sea, and I remember one summer evening a group of us decided to go to the beach to watch the sun come up…turned out not to be like in the movies as being on the North Sea coast we near froze to death!

While there recently I took a walk along the beach, stopped at one of the beach cafés for lunch, and continued on to Footdee at the south end of beach by the harbour.

If you’ve never been to Footdee (Fittie to the locals) it’s a very cute little enclave made up of squares of terraced houses with quirky sheds and huts in the middle of each square. Originally a fishing village, it gained conservation status in the 1960s and it has now become one of the most expensive areas of Aberdeen to buy property – changed days from when I lived in the city in the 1990s! Nestled beside the busy and very industrial working harbour, it wasn’t seen as hugely desirable back then, but then you could buy a flat in Aberdeen for about £20,000 so…anyway, definitely worth a visit.

Well it’s now lunchtime and the sun has come out (yay!), which means it’s time to round up the terriers for their walk round the park. Thanks for reading and remember to check out Teasel and Tweed online and in the flesh if you can!