BRIDGET ARNOLD (& MICHELLE PERRY)
In a unique collaboration, Michelle Perry and Bridget Arnold have created a collection of unique lamps. Made with reclaimed oak (Perry) topped with sun printed handmade shades (Arnold).
Bridget has years of experience under her belt as a sun printing artist. Sun printing, also known as Cyanotype, is a form of primitive photography. It was first pioneered by Botanist Anna Atkins in 1840, a great influence to Bridget's work. With this process each piece is an original distinct one-off print. Each created in two stages. First, coating a surface of paper or fabric using two chemicals mixed together to create photo sensitivity. Then, objects are placed on top and it is placed in Sunlight for an imprint to take place. The objects placed on top act as resist creating a negative image over a suitable period of time. Fixing is done by washing the chemicals out of the paper or material.
The artist's favourite material is seaweed, although she also uses other natural textures. With the cyanotype process, detail imprints beautifully, capturing the smallest part of flowers, algae, ferns, lichens and feathers. She visits the beaches at South Milton to collect the local seaweed. The plants and feathers are collected from the Granite tramway near her house on the edge of Dartmoor. She walks that path daily, and as new plants emerge they get added to the story being told.
As of late, Bridget has been experimenting and developing new work using wet cyanotype and soap suds, this is a longer process leaving prints in the sunshine for 5/6 hours this gives the wonderful textures and colours seen in her newest pieces. Her original pieces range from handprinted cards, prints and books, to scarves, cushions and lamp shades. Bridget runs workshops in Cyanotype and Lamp shade making in her Studio in Bovey Tracey.
Michelle has been woodturning for over 30 years from her workshop in Devon. Her main products are intricate pieces for table legs, stair spindles and newels as well as finials for interiors.
However, a couple of years ago she found a source of reclaimed Oak retrieved from the Plymouth Docklands. The beautifully weathered wood inspired her to create a series of lamp bases. The wood had been submerged in seawater for years and where it had come into contact with iron a chemical reaction has occurred leaving random blue and black markings. So each base is totally unique and results can only be revealed when they are turned.