Hurstpierpoint Sussex Guild Show

My stand at Hurstpierpoint Sussex Guild show
My stand at Hurstpierpoint Sussex Guild show

Since my last blog post quite a lot has happened which I will be telling you about in future posts as it becomes relevant (or not!).

One big thing that has happened is I have been given full membership of the Sussex Guild. The first year you are given membership on a probationary basis and then it is decided whether to give you full membership or not. My probationary year was extended as my stand was not deemed to be up to standard, this was told to me at the Michelham show, you can see what my stand looked like here. In that post you can also see my stand as it was at the next show at Pashley Manor

Anyway I digress, a little bit before the latest show at Hurstpierpoint I received an email out of the blue telling me that the selection committee had given me full membership. To say that I was shocked is an understatement. Something else that I did not realise is that you receive a certificate of membership. This was given to me at the Hurstpierpoint show, its even laminated!

As you can see in the photo above my stand is moving forward, I have a few more smaller pieces in my range including a few that are not shown here but I will show those to you in upcoming posts.

Hurstpierpoint was the last Guild show for me this year so now I can spend some time filling in the screw holes and repainting the boards so that next year I can hang the frames that I have then in a different way.

I think thats enough stand talking and good news for one post.

Two Guild shows and a change of stand

In August I exhibited my work at two Sussex Guild shows. The first being at Michelham Priory on the first weekend of August and the second at Pashley Manor this weekend just gone. Both were long shows (4 and 3 days respectively) and exhibiting at something like that is very tiring but lets you see what other people think of your work.

When you work in isolation, as I do, making the things that you think of in your head and finding sometimes very random inspiration it is great to see what other people see in your work and what they think of it. I even had one couple argue as both liked different frames and would not concede to the others opinion! Everybody brings their own life experience to looking at your work and will therefore come at it from a different angle, I find it fascinating when they explain to me what they see in my work.

How people look at your work is very much linked to the way in which you present it I think. I have struggled since I joined the guild to present my work in the right way but I think that I am finally getting there.

Stiller Designs stand at Michelham Priory 2010
Stand at Michelham Priory 2010

The first image is my stand at Michelham Priory, which is in itself a vast improvement on that which I had for my first two guild shows last year (same basic stand but different coverings) the fabric I used to cover it back then didn’t have the desired ‘look’ so it was suggested that I paint the boards white as seen below.

This gives the whole stand a much cleaner feel and lets people look at the frames rather than the fabric. I did have way too many comments on how lovely the fabric was before!

It was then suggested that the frames may look better being on a colour so as to show how they might look hanging on someones wall in their house, more people have coloured walls than white ones I would think. To keep the flexibility of the stand the colour could be put onto large panels which hang from the back boards so that I can alter the number and colour of panels as I see fit. This you can see in the image below.

Stiller Designs stand at Pashley Manor 2010
Stand at Pashley Manor 2010

By the way my carving bench is not about to fall over even though it looks like it in this picture!

I think that the frames look an awful lot better on these panels, I had several compliments on the stand and the public spent their time admiring the frames not the background!

Finally I think that I am getting there, there are a few minor adjustments that need to be made to the stand but the majority of it is now going in the right direction.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below

Art Nouveau lovelies

I work a lot from samples when making frames, usually small pieces of frames no more than about 6 inches long that give me enough information to make the whole frame. Every now and then I get given a whole frame and am asked to replicate it either as is or making adjustments especially if the new frame is to be bigger or smaller than the original.

These Art Nouveau frames come from one such job. I was given the original frame and asked to make one smaller and one larger and adjust the frame design as necessary.

Art Deco original frame
The original Art Nouveau frame I was given

As you can see the original frame has flowers on it and is gilded, the two new ones do not have the flowers and are to be polished as they are. They are carved in Jelutong.

Small Art Deco frame in Jelutong
The smaller Art Nouveau frame in Jelutong
Larger Art Deco frame in Jelutong
Larger Art Nouveau Frame in Jelutong
Both Art Deco frames together
Both Art Nouveau frames together

I think that pictures can sometimes be deceptive thats why I took the third shot of both frames together as from the other two images you might think that they were the same size. In fact the smaller is 10 x 7 inches and the larger is 16 x 15 inches.

I’m very pleased with the way they have turned out.

I’d love to hear what you think of them, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.





Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .