Tag Archives: highs and lows of 2020

high ups and low downs of 2020 – PENDLE HERITAGE CENTRE

One of my goals for 2020 was to display and sell my work in some new venues… 

The Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford isn’t exactly a new venue for me, as I already sell my elfin alchemy jewellery in the small gallery shop there. But when I called in with some new work in October 2019 I noticed there was an artist exhibiting his work in their neighbouring barn and thought it would be ideal for my pop-up exhibition. 

“I was so excited about doing my first elfin alchemy pop-up exhibition at the Pendle Heritage Centre.”

pendle heritage centre
the beautiful Pendle Heritage Centre

The barn exhibition space was already booked up for Winter 2019 and during the warmer summer months the whole barn space is usually booked up at weekends for weddings and events, so I booked it a year ahead for October 2020… Little realising then what was to come in 2020.

Initially, it looked like it might be possible to go ahead as after our first lockdown in Spring / early Summer 2020, the museum, gallery and cafe reopened in August. Unfortunately by October coronavirus cases were quite high and on the rise in the neighbouring areas and Lancashire went back into a quasi-lockdown around the time of my exhibition.

I moved my pop-up exhibition to Easter 2021… and as I write this blog in March 2021 we are still in lockdown here, but have been given dates for gradually easing out of it over the coming months, although not by Easter.

So I’m hoping it’ll be 3rd time lucky for my Summer exhibition! 

The new dates for my pop-up exhibition:
Friday 4th to Sunday 13th June 2021

the barn gallery space at Pendle Heritage Centre
The barn gallery space in the courtyard

I can’t wait to showcase and display my work in such beautifully atmospheric surroundings.

In my pop-up exhibition I will be sharing some of the inspiration behind my makes, how my interest in the magic of our ancient ancestors inspires some of my work, from the 6-petal flower shapes, hearts, spirals, scrolls, Celtic designs to the colours I use. 

“My designs, especially my glass work really come alive and sparkle when you can see them in real life!”

The Pendle Heritage Centre barn exhibition space is next door to its museum, small gallery shop and cafe. It’s situated in the courtyard space at the entrance to Barrowford Memorial Park and adjacent to parking with beautiful countryside and many short walks on its doorstep. Plus it’s only 5 minutes drive from the M65. 

It’ll make a perfect day out for you…

beautiful countryside near the Pendle Heritage Centre
one of my favourite walks nearby the Pendle Heritage Centre

As we move into the beauty of Spring, I’m busy experimenting, designing and creating magical jewellery pieces, which I look forward to sharing with you during 2021… wishing you sparkles of light!

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey,
Sam Rowena, elfin alchemy Lancashire jewellery artist x

high ups and low downs of 2020 – eden tearoom and galleries

One of my goals for 2020 was to display and sell my work in some new venues… and happily, it’s happening!

Eden Tearoom and Galleries is a lovely new gallery that opened not far from me in Newburgh at the beginning of July.

“I was over the moon to have some of my elfin alchemy pieces selected to take part in their opening exhibition!”

Each year the gallery is running different themed exhibitions, this first exhibition that runs from 11 July until Saturday 10 October 2020 is; ‘Beyond the Window, an exploration of nature after lockdown’.

Eden Tearoom and Galleries in Newburgh

Some info about the exhibition from the Eden Tearoom & Galleries website: “Beyond The Window: An Exploration of Nature After Lockdown is an exhibition which collectively explores how we view and interpret the natural world around us, from the gardens in Nancy Collantine’s Secret Garden Series to the awe-inspiring vastness of outer space in Claire Lake’s Nebula Series, this exhibition explores how artists respond to and record the changing world around us.

While we have been confined to our homes during quarantine, the natural world outside has blossomed. This exhibition explores the ever-changing beauty of nature, each artist questioning the world around us and our place in it in their own unique way. Ranging from dramatic landscape painting and delicate glasswork to the intricate textile instillation of Vanessa Lam, Beyond The Window offers a snapshot of our engagement and connection with nature.”

Visit their website www.edentearoom.com to see some images of the artists taking part and learn more about the tearoom, gallery, exhibitions, and events coming up over the next few months.

“Am so happy that my new elfin alchemy abstract glass pendants – that magically play with the luminosity of light – have gone down so well in the exhibition, getting many compliments and heading off to new homes. Its given me such a welcome boost that I’ve really needed at the moment.”

elfin alchemy bewitching beautiful shades of blue glass pendant
elfin alchemy ‘zing sparkles’ abstract glass pendant

Eden Tearooms and Galleries are also running an artisan market on the first Saturday of the month and you can find me there – my events info – with my elfin alchemy pop-up stall. Due to the Coronavirus nearly all my events this year have been cancelled, so I’m really looking forward to taking part in them and being at in person markets again. 

“If you can do come visit and support a local event and gallery exhibitions, its such a great opportunity to treat yourself or loved ones to something handmade by local artists, creatives and artisans.”

Hopefully, in a little while, it will all turn out great! 

I will be sharing more about these 2020 highs and lows in my next blog posts, come with me on my adventures…wishing you sparkles of light!

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey,
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist x

high ups and low downs of 2020 – Barrica in the park

One of my goals for 2020 was to display and sell my work in some new venues… and happily, it’s happening!

I first heard about ‘Barrica in the Park’ in Autumn 2019, when a friend and fellow-maker shared some information about it on social media and I got in touch hoping to be involved in it.  Thankfully after writing a few more emails, I was given the opportunity to be part of this new local endeavour.

‘Barrica in the Park’ is run and organised by Barrica Wines with 30 partners involved, mostly local artisan food and drink producers, plus a few creatives and small businesses. Jane from Barrica Wines, “…a place where established local producers can share space with smaller producers who have neither the financial nor logistical clout to open independent shops”.

It’s a collaboration of people passionate about what we do, and its great to be part of this new venture that showcases all of us under one roof.

Situated inside the beautiful 17th Century farmhouse, in the courtyard at Astley Park, Chorley you will find a unique selection of wines, beers, and spirits (many wines from smaller vineyards and local beers brewed in the North West), freshly baked bread and pastries from the local bakery, ‘All you Knead’.

Barrica in the Park

There are wonderful local artisan-crafted makes; delicious brownies, cheesecakes, chocolates, honey, jams, chutneys, cordials, beer, and gin. Head upstairs to discover local artistry and crafts; art, photography, candles, engraved glass, Japanese paper lampshades, and my elfin alchemy jewellery.

You can find 2 cabinets of my work, displaying a selection of my designs, from colourful abstract glass pendants to sculptural beaded wirework earrings, necklaces, and brooches.

We first opened to the public on the 1st of February and there was going to be a proper launch event later in the Spring, plus a food festival in the Summer and lots of other events happening in the Park. Sadly, due to the virus all this, along with our ‘meet the makers’ has currently been put on hold for a while. 

In February and March, all of the partner businesses involved were there doing monthly ‘meet the makers’, such as tasters, demos, an opportunity to chat with us about what we make/do. Now, instead of this some of us have been helping out manning the front door, greeting customers, sharing info about ‘Barrica in the Park’, or the social distancing measures that have been put in place and asking people to put on hand gel before entering. 

Hopefully, in a little while, it will all turn out great! 

I will be sharing more about these 2020 highs and lows in my next blog posts, come with me on my adventures…wishing you sparkles of light!

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey,
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist x

high ups and low downs of 2020 – a Wintery start

My 2020 began with a manic few months, there were some amazing ups, but also downs too!
A new year always begins with hope, dreams, and aspirations for the future and what can be achieved during the year. 

One of my goals was to sell my work in some new venues in 2020, in 2019 I got the ball rolling by booking an exhibition – a year ahead – for Autumn 2020 and also applied to be part of a new local venture on my doorstep. In January, I got some super news, happily, I’d been accepted to join ‘Barrica in the Park’ in Chorley, and would be displaying my work there from when it opened to the public on the 1st of February.

Barrica in the Park in a 17th century farmhouse
Barrica in the Park is in this  gorgeous 17th Century farmhouse

Also, more fantastic news, I learned that my Anglo-Saxon theme jewellery making Masterclasses at the British Library would be going ahead. So lots of last-minute work ordering/organising materials, booking a hotel and train tickets, and doing extra research and designs for it.  

On a downside, I came down with pretty bad food poisoning and a cold, thankfully I was well enough in time for my teaching down in London.

But more was to come, during February England was hit with some devastating storms, bringing many floods in their wake. Trains were cancelled and I got stuck in London for an extra night. I also learned that my studio-workshop had been badly flooded… once I was home and the storm and the floodwaters had subsided, I headed over there to find it was a complete mess. Argh! 

The next few weeks were quite a slog, trying to salvage what I could from the damp, cold, and foul-smelling studio. I could only cope with a being there for a few hours each day, impaired by the numbness that affects my hands – it only allows me to do short bursts of work – trying to wash and clean the smelly grime of the floodwater off the stuff in my studio. The mouldy damp conditions and breathing in the stank air of my flooded studio were making me ill, I decided it would be better to sort through my stuff at a slower pace, from the warmth and comfort of my home and that I needed to move out.   

It was then March and I was kept busy with sorting and kitting out a new cabinet and display of my work in Barrica in the Park, then our lock-down began…

I will be sharing more about these highs and lows in my next blog posts, come with me on my adventures…wishing you sparkles of light!

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey,
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist x

high ups and low downs of 2020 – lockdown

What a year it has been so far, with ups and downs aplenty, it’s definitely going to be a year to remember!
Hopefully, when our lives resume and go back to normal after the pandemic has gone for good, we will see the positives that have come out of this experience we are going through now.

“Our months of lockdown have given most of us the chance to reconnect with who we are and what is really important to us; our health, family, friends, a roof over our heads, and enough food on the table. Plus an opportunity to reflect on our lives, dreams and aspirations.”

Slowing down has given us time to really appreciate the simple pleasures of life, the beautiful colours and sounds all around us in nature during the changing seasons – the smell of the earth after the rain, flowers blossoming, birds singing – all continuing around us quite unaware of what is going on in our world.

a lovely rose in my garden 2020
a beautiful rose blossoming in my garden

The beauty of each day dawning afresh with new hope!
Such blissful peace and quiet we have not known before with places empty of people and their noise. All but a few essential shops closed for months, with many cafes, restaurants, museums, galleries, and other businesses still yet to open their doors again to visitors as we get used to our ‘new normal’ way of life…

But I know that not everyone’s experiences these past few months have been the same. A few of my friends have been busier than ever as essential workers or they’re juggling working from home with home-schooling their children and food shopping for parents self-isolating. There are many that will be going through suffering too, being ill with the virus or losing loved ones, and friends to it.

I am sure, we are all thankful to everyone helping to care for the sick and those who continue working for us in our essential services; hospitals, care homes, food shops, post offices, police, public transport, often putting themselves at risk.

“After going through treatment for cancer 19 years ago, I’ve learnt that we just have to take one day at a time, and appreciate that we are still here and all we are blessed with.
Worrying about things won’t help us, especially when we are going through something outside of our control, we need to try to keep a positive and thankful mindset.”

More about my highs and lows so far this year in my next blog posts, come with me on my adventures…wishing you sparkles of light!

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey,
Sam Rowena, jewellery artist x