lesleyb's Friends' blogs

Work in progress!

December 9, 2016 by Wendy Mason   Comments (0)

Hi everyone, Its great to see so many see 'Work in progress' albums posted on the site. As a maker myself, I always find them the most interesting.

Talking of  'Work in progress', we've finished our first (mainly visual) adjustments to this site and we're pleased with the result.  

We get a huge amount of traffic on our sites, especially as we're primarily here to enable you to network with other artists and students.  So, we hope to capitalize on this, by featuring chosen images on all the pages of our other site (www.aa2a.org), with links back to your Dotbiz webpages. We'll be asking you before using any of your images and it will be next year before we get it finished.  

As ever, do let us know if you're having any problems with your scheme which we might be able to help with.


Changes to visual layout of 'Dotbiz' site

November 21, 2016 by Wendy Mason   Comments (0)

We're a mean lot at AA2A!  Where some organisations have an expensive website built for them, we've always used 'Open source' software and employed clever techy people to adapt it for us.  Although Dotbiz can be a bit clunky, this approach has saved us a fortune over the years. However it was starting to look a bit dated.  Our current 'Web Guru' Robin will be trying out some of our ideas for visual improvements over the next few weeks, so you may see a few changes, some of which we'll keep. We won't move things around too much as we know that our dyslexic artists in particular, find that an real headache. The biggest change you'll notice is that we're looking at a different version of the 'sidebar' (on the left hand side of the homepage) because it can really slow down the loading of the page.  

Wish us luck and do let us know if something looks awful e.g. overlapping text, images etc

Welcome to AA2A 'Dotbiz' networking site

October 6, 2016 by Wendy Mason   Comments (0)

We're sorry the site looks a bit blank at the moment. We're changing the year over and are registering our new artists, who will be uploading their statements, mugshots etc very soon.  Keep visiting the Dotbiz home page to see what's new and do use the site to keep in touch with each other. I want to thanks all last year's Artists and our AA2A Student Reps who blogged, uploaded images and posted exhibitions.  It's great to see the site so well used.   I hope you all have a good experience on AA2A in its 18th year.

All for now, Wendy (AA2A National Director)

AA2A Exhibitions galore!

April 28, 2016 by AA2A Georgia Rodger   Comments (0)

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Hi AA2A fans,

It's fantastic to see there are so many AA2A artists who've been uploaded images and blogs about their exhibitions as they come to the end of their schemes:

- 'Parallax'; AA2A artists and AA2A Plus artists at Constantine Gallery, Middlesbrough Tower, Teesside University, see Susan Gough's blog

- AA2A exhibition at University of Bedfordshire School of Art and Design, 21 Apr 2016 - 28 Apr 2016, see Gayle Storey's exhibition album

- 'Inprogress'; AA2A artists at the Cornerstone Gallery, Liverpool Hope University, see Fiona Candy's album

These are just a small selection, sorry I haven't featured more here, but if you're an artist from this year please who's putting on an exhibition or evenlet us know as we'd love to see your documentation of these shows on Dotbiz.

All the best


Sunderland AA2A Artist Rachel Laycock has bursary success.

April 13, 2016 by University of Sunderland   Comments (0)

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Rachel Laycock is a graduate of Glass & Ceramics at University of Sunderland, she recently returned as one of our AA2A Artists based at National Glass Centre and has just been awarded a-n Professional Development Bursary.

We caught up with her to find out more about how the bursary will help her professional practice and what she’s up to with AA2A.

You’re one of our AA2A Artists, what drew you to the scheme and Sunderland?

I applied to the AA2A and specifically to Sunderland to develop a new body of work and re-establish myself within the glass network. I studied my BA Hons and MA at Sunderland and was aware of the fantastic facilities and expertise available.

This is my first personal body of work since becoming a mother in 2007. This work reflects on relationships, communication and the use of language both spoken and unspoken.  I am interested in exploring the use of projection, reflection, light and shadow to echo intense experiences and aim to quantify intangible emotions.

Since leaving education in 2005 the technology within the glass industry has developed greatly. I am enthralled by the technical side of kiln casting and interested in developing skills in 3D printing, laser cutting, water-jet cutting and lampworking.

What do you plan on putting the bursary towards?

After starting the AA2A I secured a very small pot of funding £150 from Women In Enterprise to initiate my skills development in lamp work glass. I have worked with artist Zoe Garner at the National Glass Centre(link is external) learning the fundamental basics of lampworking.

Through the a-n bursary I will continue my development with Zoe in order to apply these skills to my designs and learn to write with glass.

I will be developing my skills with 3D modelling programs turning my sketches into 3D models I will then apply this to 3D printing, laser cutting and water-jet cutting.  Using my CAD sketches will lead to the next phase of development with FabLab(link is external)in Sunderland, I aim to experiment and push my designs using the 3D printing equipment and laser cutter.

Learning these skills at FabLab will allow me to work with this equipment at Sunderland University.

How will the bursary help?

This grant will allow me to acquire new skills to develop my work technically and allow the concepts to be taken to a new level. The development of a new body of work is my way of re-establishing my name and building connections within creative networks and galleries.

This initial development would also act as initial research and development to apply for further funding (Grants for the Arts(link is external)) to fund collaborations, workshops with the wider community and the creation of my work for a solo exhibition planned for 2018.

You use Arts Award with young people, would you encourage Arts graduates to become advisors?

I believe it’s important to inspire the next generation of artists and Arts Award is a wonderful tool to inspire young people and create awareness of future career paths within the creative industries.

I started by working as the lead artist on Arts Award Projects and now have an arts organisation BloomInArt delivering community projects embedding the Arts Award where possible.
If you were interested in working within the community or with young people I would highly recommend becoming an advisor.

You can find out more about Arts Award here(link is external).

You can also keep up to date with Rachel at http://www.bloominart.co.uk/

Nominations for AA2A artist of the year open - vote now!

March 16, 2016 by AA2A Georgia Rodger   Comments (0)

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You can nominate your favourite AA2A artist of 2015-16, whether you're a student at a participating uni or a member of the public (including AA2A artists, students from other institutions and college staff). n.b. You can only make one nomination.

Vote now for your favourite artist of 2015-16: http://www.aa2a.org/artistvote

Newsletters galore...

February 23, 2016 by AA2A Georgia Rodger   Comments (0)

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Students can now read the latest AA2A newsletter for Students  - please contact us if you'd like to join our student mailing list to receive these regularly. 

If you are one of current AA2A artists, you can read the latest AA2A newsletter for Artists

Another busy week for AA2A...

February 4, 2016 by AA2A Georgia Rodger   Comments (0)

Another busy week for AA2A where Wendy (AA2A's National Director) is out on tour again delivering presentations on Self-employment at Teesside University and University of Sunderland.  It's great timing to see so much activity from their artists on the site now - e.g Check out the blogs and albums form Rachel Laycock and Susan Gough


AA2A update

January 27, 2016 by AA2A Georgia Rodger   Comments (0)

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We're delighted to be kicking off the first of this year's 'AA2A self-employment' presentations tomorrow at Plymouth Uni.  Wendy will be myth-busting as well as presenting one of the first AA2A Self-employment Champions... (I'll keep that a secret till then)

It's been a busy week so far after we met with Arts Council England on Monday and we really couldn't be happier seeing all the recent activity on Dotbiz.  Special thanks to everyone who's been active and in particular all the AA2A Plus artists who've given updates on their projects.



Welcome (& how to set up your profile page)

November 2, 2015 by AA2A Georgia Rodger   Comments (1)

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Welcome to AA2A.   Its great to be starting a new AA2A year, even though its very hectic here, as we try to get all of you registered on the site and fill the last few late places on the schemes.

Please can you upload an image of yourself so that students can recognise you when you're in the college.  Also could you please fill in the 'About me' section of your profile page with the text you wrote in Question 14 of your application form ('Image and accompanying information for the website').  Let us or your college know if you have problems with this.

Do have a look at our training videos 'Getting started' and 'Uploading images and blogs'.  These are only about 8 minutes long and can be found in the Artists training area of our parallel website AA2A.org  http://www.aa2a.org/artists_menu/training

More than anything, we hope you have a good AA2A experience and enjoy using this site.

All for now,  

Georgia and the AA2A team