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ART FIX: Glass creations blown from Devil’s Hole to St. Helier

ART FIX: Glass creations blown from Devil’s Hole to St. Helier

Friday 08 October 2021

ART FIX: Glass creations blown from Devil’s Hole to St. Helier


An islander who discovered a lifelong passion for glassblowing 20 years ago is holding his first solo show.

Every Friday, Express presents a selection of online and offline exhibitions, performances, workshops, events and other historic, creative and delicious content to help islanders get their weekly dose of culture.

 Here’s this week’s offering...

Melting for glass

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Pictured: Marc McCarty is presenting his first solo show at the Link Gallery.

Mushrooms, vases, tumblers and other coloured glass elements are on display this month at the Link Gallery as part of glassblower Marc McCarty’s first solo show.

Marc first discovered glassblowing during a taster course at Wolverhampton University whilst he was studying Art and Design and it was love at first sight.

“I was just totally gobsmacked by the fact you could manipulate molten glass at the end of a stick,” he said. “I was hooked from that moment on.”

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Pictured: Marc first discovered glassblowing 20 years ago.

He returned to Wolverhampton, started a BA (hons) degree in glass design with a minor in sculture – “it was a great, fantastic course,” he said – but he then had a 17-year-break to raise his twins. During that time, he taught art and design and it was only three years ago that Marc returned to his passion.  

After finding a small furnace, Marc created Glassblowing Jersey and set up a studio at Devil’s Hole near the Priory Inn from where he has been creating bespoke hand-blown vessels, sculpture and lighting. 

He also provides demonstrations of glassblowing techniques, which always prove very successful with children.

“It’s lovely, children really love watching the bubbles blow,” he said.

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Pictured: Marc’s main source of inspiration is nature.

Marc’s main source of inspiration is nature – “like most artists, we try and perfect nature”, he explained – as well as colour, seasonal changes and light. 

“Glass technically is light, it captures light within itself and bounces it off to you,” he said. “As long as there is colour and light, I am happy.”

“Predominantly I am inspired by it being dark at the bottom and light at the top,” Marc added. “I see it as a metaphor of heaven and hell, like the classic art juxtaposition.”

A site guardian at the Maritime Museum, Marc also finds himself creatively stimulated by the “fascinating” place and the ships and stories it houses, and by the idea of every object having a soul.

“My mission is to use the objects that I create to make the world a more beautiful place.”

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Pictured: "I look down and I am blowing glass and I am amazed that I am actually doing it!" Marc said.

The process of glassblowing also proves inspiring for Marc, who is still as much in awe of it as he was nearly 20 years ago.

“Glassblowing is a very precise way of forming an object,” he said. “Every time you do it, you learn a little bit more. It’s almost like going up a ladder. The first rung was my course 20 years ago and I am still halfway up after all this time. 

“I have not done anything else in my life where I wake up at 03:00 and think, 'I have to try this.' I am inspired by the love of hot glass, I look down and I am blowing glass and I am amazed that I am actually doing it!”

 

Town concert for children’s charity

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Pictured: The Jersey Ukulele club will be one of four bands to make noise for the NSPCC Jersey. 

A variety of bands will be playing from the Cider Press on King Street on Saturday 11:00 to help raise funds for the NSPCC Jersey as part of its Flag Week.

The Jersey Ukulele club, known for their bright colours and ever-growing repertoire of music, will be the first to sing, followed by soloist Phillip Le Claire, a member of the group Autumn Leaves, whose repertoire includes jazz standards and classic hits.

Foolish Things (Arthur Parkes and Mia Mannion) and Brass Souls Jazz Band will then play in the afternoon.

“From 11am on Saturday we have four different bands playing for us to add to the fun atmosphere - we have all musical tastes covered from ukuleles to vocal harmonies to mellow jazz,” Nicola Santos-Costa, Chair of the NSPCC Jersey Fundraising Committee said.

“All the money we raise is used in the Island in our work with local families and children so please look out for us and support us as much as you can. And let’s hope for good weather.”

  

Calling peelers, stirrers and fillers

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Pictured: It's black butter making time at The Elms.

It’s that time of year again! The National Trust for Jersey will once again be making ‘Black Butter’, Lé Nièr Beurre, at The Elms with cider apples from its orchards around the island.

Volunteers are invited to embrace the community spirit and participate in the ancient art of ‘Black Butter’ making. 

Apple peeling started yesterday and continues this morning (Friday 8 October) from 10:00. 

Early in the morning, the fire will be lit in the bake house and the peeled apples will start to be added to a giant copper bâchin. 

Stirring of this wonderful aromatic mixture will commence later today and continue all through the night until the early hours of Saturday morning. Towards the end of the cooking, spices, liquorice and lemons will be added and late morning jars will be filled with the freshly made ‘Black Butter’, labelled and topped with pretty fabric covers.

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Pictured: Volunteer apple peelers and stirrers are needed this weekend.

A supper provided by Pink Panda, and live music will hopefully encourage and entertaine the hardy peelers and stirrers into the evening tonight and breakfast will also be provided for those stirring into the small hours.  

On Saturday the usually sleepy courtyard at The Elms will be transformed and filled with stalls selling a host of ‘Genuine Jersey’ produce including cider and sausages, wood fired pizza, locally produced honey, including some from the hives in the orchard at The Elms, chilies and jams, homemade candles and ceramics, fudge, teas, coffees and cakes as well as flour milled at Le Moulin de Quétivel and of course, the delicious, dark and fragrant freshly made Black Butter, often referred to as ‘Christmas in a jar’.

Parish 13, Lyra, Kevin Pallot, Georgi Mottram and Acappella Brass will be performing together with 'Les Chaboleurs' and The Helier Morris Men.

Parking will be available from Granite Products with a shuttle service to and from the site throughout the day.

 

Environmentally-friendly exhibition

Islanders have been busy giving a second life to textiles, large and small furniture, home accessories, fashion items, and planters as part of the Great Harbour Gallery Jersey Upcycling Challenge.

The result of their work will go on display at the gallery on Tuesday 12 October, with the exhibition closing at 15:00 on Sunday 17 October. 

Islanders are invited to bid on the upcycled items, with 50% of all sales going to Acorn helping people with long term health conditions and disabilities, and 50% to the artists themselves. 

Adrian Higham of BBC1 The  Bidding Room and his partner Tara Franklin, expert on French Vintage Textiles, will be judging the finishing pieces to award four prizes donated by the Co-Op. 

“It is going to be a fabulous exhibition of upcycling, never before seen in Jersey,” the team at the Harbour Gallery said. “A real eye opener as to what can be done with an item that might have reached the end of its life with you! Most of the items have been purchased at the well-loved Acorn Reuse centre up in Trinity, some at other charities, when people have been unable to get up to Trinity.”

 

New song for Hot Juice

Local band Hot Juice have released a new song ‘Psycopath’ with a video filmed by Above and Beyond Visuals.  

Next week (16 October), the band will be at the Carnival of the Dead with the Dust Band at the Watersplash.

St. Ouen sunset wins 'Island Identity' competition\

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Pictured: Colin Griffiths snapped the winning picture.

A shot of St. Ouen's Bay at sunset featuring islanders gathered on the sand and splashing in the waves has won a photography competition aiming to capture Jersey’s "diversity and vibrancy".

Captured by Colin Griffiths, the photography was submitted as part of the Island Identity Photography Competition 2021 whose theme was 'defining Jersey'.

It will be permanently displayed in the newly refurbished boardroom at The Bridge Child and Family Centre.

FYI...

Hamptonne Country Life Museum will be closed to the public for the day on Saturday 9 October due to the 2021 Jersey Rally.

The course runs right past the entrance to the museum in St. Lawrence making it inaccessible, although staff will be on-site to check on the animals.

All of the other Jersey Heritage sites will be open as usual and Hamptonne will be open again on Sunday 10 October.  

Missed last week's Art Fix? Catch up by clicking HERE.

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