15 Nov 2015

New Valg Studio Website

     Ever since I started Valg Studio I wished one day it would have its own web address. I'm delighted that finally it is up and running. It's still a work in progress but it's a start. I would like to say a sincere thank you to my good friend Maria from Lollipops & Daydreams for supporting and encouraging me all the way!
     If you have a minute or two hop over and check it out. I'd really appreciate hearing any feedback that anyone might have. Liga x



2 Nov 2015

RDS National Craft & Design Fair 2015 in Dublin

     The 2015 Christmas countdown has officially begun! RDS National Craft and Design Fair in Dublin is only four weeks away! It is a busy time preparing not only here at Valg Studio but at many craft workshops and artist studio's across the country.


     National Craft and Design Fair is country's largest fair open five days with late opening hours on Wednsday, Thursday and Friday. Browse and enjoy the unique work of many artists, designers and craftspeople, find that perfect gift you have been looking for.
     All the information you need about the fair is available online, including a free gift guide available soon. Delighted Valg Studio black curved earrings were selected for this year's edition.

Valg Studio black curved earrings included in 2015 Christmas Gift Guide
Our display during the RDS National Craft & Design Fair 2014

     Valg Studio stand B16 will be located on the balcony of the main hall, the same spot we had last year. Stop by and see our new Fragment Series neck wear and brooches, new knit inspired necklaces, Christmas earring display and more.


      Looking forward seeing you all there!

All the best,
Liga 

18 Sep 2015

Culture Night & Blog Awards 2015


     Happy Culture Night! Hope you are enjoying evening celebrating culture, creativity and the arts. The idea of the Culture Night is simple yet very successful. It is encouraging more people to enjoy local art and culture as many art centres, galleries, pop - up exhibitions, museums, historical houses, community groups and many other places open their doors until late with countless events free of charge. Have a quick look at the Culture Night website if you would like to know more about it, see list of events or learn how to get involved in the future. www.culturenight.ie

''Culture Night:

-Encourages more people to visit cultural venues and experience culture in their locality

-Reminds us all about the fantastic cultural facilities and resources that we have locally and nationally

-Raises the profile of cultural organisations, activities and facilities

-Encourages people to try new things and to get into the habit of going more often to cultural venues and activities in their locality

-Makes it easier for people to play a role in their local cultural scene

-Helps create a sense of community and belonging''


     Writing Valg Studio blog is very important to me for various reasons therefore I have been delighted to see my little blog shortlisted in the Art & Culture Blog category for the Blog Awards Ireland 2015. Do click Shortlist 2015 to see other blogs in this category. This year public votes also count and if you would like to vote for any of blogs just click Here

Thank you,
 Liga x

11 Sep 2015

Carlow Made Exhibition during the Heritage Week

     Carlow Made Exhibition during the Heritage Week in August was a lovely finish to a busy Summer for the Valg Studio. I'm delighted to be part of Carlow Made creative collective for the past three years. It is pure joy to come together 2-3 times per year and put together a wonderful show. Our most recent activity was exhibition at Carlow Central Library during the Heritage Week and it was brilliant opportunity to show the beautiful work of talented artists and craftspeople living in county Carlow.


"Carlow Made is a collective of artist craftspeople living within the Carlow county boundary. Our aim is to provide mutual support and to foster a professional standard in our practice. All our members use authentic materials and processes to fashion their pieces. Crafts represented include jewellery, textiles, fashion, woodturning, ceramics, printmaking, fine art. The group exhibits regularly and usually organises two pop-up shops in Carlow, one during the Carlow Arts Festival and one around Christmas."
     I was delighted to show Valg Studio knit inspired collection and floral designs. I have to say that it was honor to exhibit in this historical building, especially in the beautiful G.B. Shaw room. Thanks to the Carlow Central Library for inviting us. Executive Librarian, Fiona Foskin for the warm welcome, all the help and support from the first day.
National Heritage Week is over, it has been great to be part of such an important and wonderful event. Carlow Central Library hosted many interesting events. PenFest is up next, check out the library website for more information. www.carlowlibraries.ie Meanwhile I'm getting ready for the Autumn/Winter shows. More information coming soon. Talk soon, Liga. x


15 Aug 2015

FORM at Kilkenny Arts Festival

     Kilkenny Arts Festival is a festival of culture, music and art. It goes from strenght to strength with a vibrant, varied programme full of wonderful discoveries. No wonder people travel from near and far to see the amazing performances and enjoy the Medieval city of Kilkenny. This year is no different, I met the lady who came all the way from London to see the DruidShaekspere.

     I'm delighted to take part at this wonderful festival with fellow FORM Designmade in Carlow members. We have set up a Pop - Up shop on Friary Street. Only two more days to go before it's all over until another year. Here are some images from our exhibition.





All the best,
Liga

21 Jun 2015

Midsummer: Celebrating Nature

Photo by Olga Kern
     Summer Solstice is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year and it is by far the most popular holiday in Latvia. I'm Latvian and this time of the year is very special to me with many memories from my childhood.  It is wonderful to see many traditions getting stronger with every year and evoke interest in younger generations. However it can take more effort to keep your native traditions alive if you are living far away from your home country. I enjoy gathering wild flowers and making flower or oak leave wreaths, decorate the house. Always trying to get caraway cheese, visit friends and sing "Līgo" songs. Keeping our traditions alive keeps us connected to our roots.

     I was very happy to participate at Latvian Culture Days at Temple Bar Meeting House Square in Dublin last month with my nature inspired jewellery collection. It was a great day filled with Latvian music and dance. I loved seeing participants in their colourful traditional costumes and meeting festival visitors. A day for celebrating and re-discovering my culture’s rich history. It almost feels a little bit more special to experience it on the streets of Dublin while at home in Latvia it is natural.


I found a wonderful short description about this special time of the year by Ieva Alksne.
Līgo and Summer Solstice Festival in Latvia, Midsummer Night or Jāņi celebration can be deemed the most Latvian holiday, marked according to pagan traditions. The festival bears also such names as Līgo!, Jāņi Day, Grass Day, and Grass Evening.

Līgo! and Jāņi are a somewhat mystic event, as, according to ancient traditions, you have to search for the Legendary fern blossom, wash your face in the grass`s morning dew, and gather herbal plants, which are said to have a special power midsummer. Summer Solstice or Jāņi celebrations date back centuries, when Europeans actively practiced the cult of the Sun. Bonfires and other rituals were not only part of annual traditional celebrations, but also manifested the unity of cosmic and earth order. Jāņi is the celebration of the longest day and shortest night of the year. Besides, Jāņi is also closely related to the countryside - everybody tries to at least to spend that day/night outside a residential area, drink beer and search for the fern blossom. Cities and their life have brought their own options into Jāņi celebrations and created some new traditions, for example, special events in city centres. People are invited to cheerfully celebrate Līgo! in all Latvia`s regions and towns, by warming themselves around bonfires, playing games, and observing traditional rituals and other activities until the sunrise. This night becomes memorable when celebrated together with the best Latvian folk groups and musicians any place in Latvia. 



Have a great week, and enjoy all the Midsummer fun!

Liga x

9 Jun 2015

Carlow Made Pop - Up Shop and Carlow Arts Festival 2015

     Start of the Summer is always busy and inspiring. Lush countryside  views and many Summer festivals begin.

     I had a pleasure to show my new floral range designs and Summer ring collection at Carlow Made Pop - Up Shop during the Carlow Arts Festival. It is one of the biggest season's festivals in Co. Carlow when many local and invited artists are exhibiting.

     Carlow Made is a small group of local artists and craftspeople active during the past few years.  This year our group had a lovely shop unit in Carlow Shopping Centre. Work displayed at the pop - up shop included knitwear, handwoven textiles, quilts, pottery, jewellery, woodwork, cildren's clothes, handmade toys, paintings and prints.

     I was particularly happy with my black and white display. Often it is challenging  to set up a stand in the new venue but this shop had really useful fittings I could use along with my adjustable height table and frames from Ikea. I like the mix of TK Maxx props I have.




     The most enjoyable moments during the festival were taking part at Adventures in Abstract Art painting workshop facilitated by Cora Murphy. Wonderful tutor and a great group! We had so much fun and I can wait to paint more. I also enjoyed checking out little Pop - Up Galleries and AIB Éigse Open Submission exhibition at VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art.



     I would liked to visit the Festival of Writing and Ideas taking place in picturesque Borris village but it was one bridge too far this year for me. I remember well the festival atmosphere last year when FORM Designmade in Carlow had first joint exhibition in the Old Laundry at Borris House.

    
     Thanks to everyone who visited Carlow Made Pop - Up shop and I hope you enjoyed the arts festival.

     One more thing to say - we are holding a Summer Giveaway on Valg Studio Facebook page at the moment with a chance to win one of our whimsical designs and treat a friend. To enter press HERE.

All the best,

Liga

1 May 2015

Making Floral Birds


         Jewellery inspired by nature is special, I would say dreamy. Sometimes it reflects the symbolic meaning it may have and is important to us. For me the birds symbolise freedom, flowers celebrate natural beauty and femininity.
      Every year I'm making flower canes. I have made various cane designs: simple, common (I think every clayer at some stage has made at least one rose cane) and some complicated flower canes too. Now I am in love with my own tiny flower design canes. For the background I like to use just one colour, it works equally well for various shapes.

     I have been making birds in the past and I was using a blank bird shape base I filled with various cane slices but ideally I wanted to make a bird pendant just using polymer clay. Early this Spring I felt it's the right time. I sketched, cut out various shapes, thought about fastenings, chain or cord and many other things. Challenging was to find the solution for the border around the pendant. I didn't wanted to use one colour line around it so I tried to add organic line of translucent clay pieces  with inclusions (in this case it was glitter and powder) and I'm happy how it worked out.
Scroll down to have a look at step by step process and of course I had to make the  matching earrings.




Enjoy the Spring and Summer, birds singing and flowers blooming!

Take care,
Liga

17 Mar 2015

Perfect Destination for a Creative Weekend in Ireland


     It really is inspiring to go away for a weekend, learn a new skill, meet like-minded people and in this situation I just loved that it was taking place in the beautiful part of rural Ireland at Ennis Creative Arts Centre in Tubber.

     What do you do to nurture your creative side? I'm sure many of you have seen at least one of those lists titled (x number) Ways To Stay Creative. No doubt they are good and full of great advice but often we soon forget about them. Here is my ideal top 5 ways to stay creative and I almost managed  to tick them all off last weekend.

  • Spend some time in nature,
  • Learn new skill,
  • Collaborate,
  • Challenge myself,
  • Turn off distractions.

      A few days ago I came back from wonderful Precious Metal Clay workshop with Debbie Carlton and I'm delighted with what I learned. The material consists of microscopic particles of pure silver powder mixed with a non-toxic moist binder which burns off during firing leaving objects containing .999 pure silver - aka fine silver. PMC can be shaped just like any soft clay, by hand, texture sheets or using molds.
Various pieces I made during the workshop.
     I chose this workshop because precious metal clay can be easily combined with polymer clay and Debbie showed us really great samples. I haven't decided exactly how I will include PMC in my creative process but I'm sure I will be using it again. I particularly like the fact that tools used are almost the same for both mediums.

     But workshop is only part of this creative weekend. Important part  add participants who come to the workshop. It's great to meet like-minded people, exchange ideas and build friendships. At the late afternoon when workshop is over one of the must destinations every time is GalleryCafe in  Gort. Pure essence of creativity - gorgeous interior and heavenly food!
     To complete the package you will find wonderful b&b only a short distance away from centre.  Perfect for an early morning walk into the beautiful countryside.
Lunch break at Ennis Creative Arts Centre.


     Ennis Creative Arts Centre in Tubber is located almost on border between Co. Clare and Co Galway. It is wonderful venue offering variety of courses starting from decoupage, sewing, jewellery making, felting and much more. I'm almost sure wonderful owner and hostess Shirley Bredin has some new ideas and is always expanding. Maybe in future there will be painting classes or creative writing workshop. 

     I was thrilled to participate at Polymer Clay workshop with Ronna Sarvas Weltman at Ennis Creative Arts Centre in Summer 2013. Click HERE to find out more.



    Stay creative!

All the best,
Liga x