Saturday, 3 December 2011

Kirkharle - Part III

This is the third and last post about our day out at Kirkharle.  (You can find Part One and Part Two at these links.) 

There were two other shops that really caught my eye.  One was a gallery that may or may not have been the Wild Side Gallery.  It did specialise in pictures capturing the North East of England, but with more variety than I recall shown on this link.  However, if you have followed this blog for a while, you may recognise some of the places this artist presents.  If I've not visited these places and shown them to you, perhaps this is a good list for days (or weekends) away in future!

Possibly my favourite shop of all was one that sells silhouettes.  I was sorely tempted by several and may well go back and buy at least one of thes series, just for me.

Some of these stands were incredibly reasonable in price, like about £10!

John Speight was in his shop, which also sells scented soap - the first thing you notice upon entering is the wonderful smell - and jewellery that his wife makes.  Her pieces are very simple and pretty, appropriate for petite persons like Vivien and me.  I was also quite taken with the many jewellery stands on sale in this shop - they looked like they would hold a lot. 

As we browsed, John explained how he makes his silhouettes, which is quite a painstaking process, as one would guess.  You can see a work in progress here.  He even told us the history behind the word 'silhouette', though I had to look it up.  I was so absorbed looking at his pictures that I didn't grasp it all.

These landmarks are instantly recognisable to anyone who lives up here in the NorthEast.

He gave me permission to take photos, but my pictures don't do his work justice.  I couldn't decide whether I liked the 'place' silhouettes best - there is something satisfying about recognising a place when it's presented in a different format - or the trees. 

Is this not a lovely collection of tree personalities?
I've always loved the natural silhouettes of trees. I know some people hate the sight of bare winter trees. They've always reminded me of black lace. 

This almost seemed anti-silhouette, but it captures the bird perfectly.

There is a large tree across the road from us that adds great interest to the view from our house.  It's pretty when it is in blossom, but I think it looks its most romantic at dusk.  

This is from a website of John's. More well loved landmarks.
In addition to his Kirkharle website, he has a separate website on which he sells his work.  There are many items available between £17 and £40, which strikes me a excellent value for money.  Even the collection of trees above is under £60, framed and all (if you live in Britain).

He also has an Etsy shop, the prices for which are in USD and they include un-framed items starting at under $25.  Virtually every hobby and interest is featured (though we did point out there are no running shoes available; would I purchase a silhouette of running shoes, come to think of it...). 

Upon learning I had a blog, he also gave me permission to use images from his websites and I knew just the one I wanted, because I'd been unable to get a satisfactory photograph of this and it absolutely took my breath away.

Is this not incredible?  There are more examples of his 'finest papercuts' here.  They obviously take him a great deal of time to create. 

Stepping outside, I could just about see where he got some of his inspiration.


Carolyn said...

Such beautiful artwork. I really love the silhouettes of the trees.
Thank you so much for your comment on my blog too :)

Amanda said...

That's amazing! I did a doubletake when I read that gorgeously intricate, delicate tree was a papercut. I can only imagine how much time that must have involved. Beautiful work.

John Speight said...

Thank you for including my work in your blog!!!!! It was very nice meeting you. A very interesting blog by the way. All the best, John.