Six weeks ago, to the day, I submitted an Arts Council application, asking for a contribution towards the cost of the project. It was a chicken-and-egg situation - I knew how big the project would be, and I was scared to look at all follies before knowing I would get some financial help. On the other hand, the Arts Council understandably did not want to fund a dead duck, which would fizzle out after the first folly. So, I bit the bullet and carried on as if I knew some funding would come....thankfully, I'm an optimistic little so-and-so, and started to flog some old equipment, just in case. When I submitted the proposal, I think I underestimated the cost of the project overall, and I asked the Arts Council to fund a percentage of that. I will still need to find a lot of the money myself - by selling the sculptures from the project, making co-ordinating jewellery, etc, so I'm afraid you're not all out of the woods yet. But the Arts Council's contribution is an absolutely vital contribution, without which I would have greatly struggled. Once I've worked my way through the Terms and Conditions of the grant, you'll all be seeing the Arts Council logo displayed with pride - I'm honoured to think that in these difficult times, my project was deemed important enough to receive some of the hard-to-come by money for the arts. So, to all of you who have visited the website, liked the Facebook page, and otherwise shown that the project has interest from the public - thank you! And to the Arts Council: thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
Dates have now been confirmed for the Ashton Memorial. On the 10th and 11th of November 2012, I will be at the Memorial, inviting the public to come and share memories - good ones, bad ones, happy ones, sad ones. As many of these as possible will make it into the exhibition, which is now booked, too, from 25th of March to 5th of May 2013.
Now, I could do with some help here! As well as the opportunity for the public to share their memories, I would also like to work with a couple of schools in Lancaster, hopefully visiting them on the 9th of November 2012, and work with children to help design the smaller exhibition pieces. So, if anybody has any contacts, knows of schools in the area that might be interested, etc. I would be most grateful if you could let me know (tips about cheap accommodation in the area also appreciated ;o).
I feel obliged to keep everybody updated, even though you must know by now that 'no news' isn't 'NO NEWS'. I'm happily writing back and forth with three separate follies not on the list yet, arranging a date for Williamson Park, doing practice fires so that, when the kiln finally comes (which now looks to be the week beginning 28th of November), I waste as little time as possible before I can get going. I have also unearthed a fab little call for proposals that's right up my street, for an exhibition, and my piece will double up as the first panel for the Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park. Now, all I need to do is learn carpentry and blacksmithing, to build all the necessary frames....good job this is a long-term project, eh?
Eagle-eyed followers of the Follies for Follies project will have noticed that the Cannon Hall follification is down as being finished 'late October/early November'. This folly is only small by comparison to some of the others, and yet, I struggled to find a kiln large enough to accommodate the glass necessary. So, what is a woman to do? I costed the number of times I would have to hire a variety of kilns throughout the project, consulted the piggybank, and...bought a kiln. A rather big one. If you suddenly find me selling coasters and bowls, it will be to do penance and 'post-fund' this purchase. So...until the kiln arrives, which should be another 2-3 weeks, the Cannon Hall folly is on hold. All the components are there, and I hope to start assembling what I can either this week or next. So, do hope with me that the weather will hold, so I can still take s