Drawing to commission has a different dynamic, one where the poetry of creativity has a tension. The management of that is where Utopia excels, as exemplified in the last twelve months when Jac has been commissioned by both corporate companies and private clients to draw a range of subject matter.
We thought you might be interested in both the process and the results.
What happens when I commission a drawing at Utopia?
The first step is to have an in-depth consultation with Jac on what your ideas are and how Utopia might fulfil them. We also discuss options for developing the idea and find out your budget and deadline – key parts of working productively together.
Secondly, a site visit is booked. From this, basic research material is gleaned and then a quote is provided. Utopia does not charge for these initial meetings.
A simple contract is drawn stating: the brief, financial terms and schedule. On signed agreement and exchange of the contract, plus receipt of the non-returnable deposit, the work begins.
Jac will need to make some site visits to collect research material (sketches, photographs etc) but exactly how many are arranged, depends on the brief. The visits are always arranged with the client in advance and at times of mutual convenience. Many of the site visits are outside and therefore dependant on suitable weather conditions.
It is usual for a preliminary sketch illustrating the composition to be forwarded to the client prior to a full drawing being created. This ensures that both parties are clear about the brief and that both are heading in the same direction. Any amendments are then made.
At this stage the exciting part commences as the full drawing is developed. On completion a low-resolution version is emailed to client for feedback.
Any little changes to the drawing are executed, the final version is agreed, then this stage is signed-off by the client.
If developments like framing and printing have been asked for, then it is at this stage in the process that they are managed.
On receipt of the drawing (and other materials) the client pays the balance and does a final sign-off to show the commission has finished.
This process enables both parties to clearly understand what is happening and when, so there is little chance for misunderstandings. Jac has spent twenty-five years as a professional artist working to commission, so she understands the process well and finds it rewarding developing new works from clients ideas.
Please get in touch if you have a concept you’d like to explore further.
Here are some commissions from clients in the last twelve months.
Tips on enjoying making decorations with natural materials.
Deciding on a Christmas theme for the gallery is always a delicious dilemma. This year a local ramble with Moss across the fields provided the answer with bunches of giant dead cow parsley - perfect for a loose ethereal arrangement when sprayed with gold.
Have a go yourself if you like natural materials at Christmas
Pick the cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) on a dry day and strip off any leaves so that the stems are clean. Cow parsley is quite brittle so be careful handling it. Keep the plants dry.
Trim the stalks as required.
Choose a still, dry day for spraying the plant with metallic spray paint - its amazing how far the spray travels so its advisable to remove any objects you don't want covered, use protective sheeting on the ground and wear old clothes and shoes. Or for smaller pieces a cardboard box makes a great temporary spray booth. We recommend wearing a mask over your nose and mouth to prevent inhalation of any noxious fumes. We use an environmentally friendly spray, but it still smells awful.
TIP - It is better to spray several thin layers of paint, letting them become touch dry between each coat, as the paint will then be less likely to flake off.
Let the plant dry thoroughly before arranging.
We'd love to see a photo of your results so please post them on our FACEBOOK page.
If you want to see our efforts then call by our gallery.
A chandelier, other wise referred to as a girandole or candelabra lamp, is a suspended ornamental light with multiple branches. The wealthy have been enjoying chandeliers since medieval times when rustic wooden structures with candles on spikes were de rigueur. Although rudimentary, these statement lights made imposing interior features in fourteenth century rooms. A mechanism for the frequent replacing of the candles was necessary, so a hoist incorporating ropes or chains was installed on a nearby wall.
BELOW: We spotted this magnificent crystal chandelier at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk
Through the centuries the chandelier has gradually metamorphosized into grander and more embellished lights with the use of more exotic and expensive materials being incorporated including precious metals and jewels. Synonymous with the rich and powerful these ornate lights found a wider appeal with the development of lead crystal in 1674. Its arrival transformed chandeliers as the material supported cheaper manufacture, whilst retaining a beguiling refraction of the light.
Today, the grand crystal chandelier is still in vogue but it now has numerous cousins, many who hark back to the light’s origins. Here are Utopia we enjoy playing with old ideas and manipulating antiques into something different, something unexpected, so of course over the years we have reinterpreted chandeliers in many ways. Our latest design harnesses pairs of antique hames into various configurations.
We create these chandeliers from pairs of horse hames - in single or double pairs in a range of styles (brass - Raw 55 pictured, wood & iron and painted steel) depending on the original antiques. Prices from £500.
Raw 55 Antique Brass Horse Hames Giant Chandelier
A unique and stunning giant chandelier/pendant light with contemporary character transformed by Utopia from two pairs of antique/vintage solid brass hames. The antiques are in great condition - they form the branching structures of the chandelier. Please note that the pairs are not identical but very similar.
Hames form the integral part of a heavy horse collar, usually made of metal and/or wood, they are often padded and with a leather casing. The collar is used to distribute weight around the horse's neck and shoulders when pulling a plough.
This striking light has been created using brass fittings including a large ceiling rose with 8 cable grips and a central hook for the chains, edison/screw lamp (bulb) holders, 4 brass ceiling hooks for the outer chains, welded brass link chain and old gold retro-style twisted cable. There is great flexibility with the height of this light as the chains and cable can be easily adjusted.
This light looks great with the modern retro-style LED filament that provides a great light at low cost, without any heat build up.