PEOPLE were ringing the praises of Renfrew-based ceramic artist Karen Hanvidge for her design of the bell-shaped awards at this year’s prestigious Scottish Album of the Year bash, held in Paisley.
Now Karen has created an extra ceramic bell and gifted it to Paisley Museum where it can be put on display along with the town’s impressive ceramics collection.
Renfrewshire Leisure asked Karen if she would create a bell similar to her design for the SAY Awards trophies, in commemoration of the event being hosted in the town to mark the 2021 City of Culture Bid.
The SAY Awards are one of Scotland’s most ambitious and lucrative arts prizes, with £20,000 awarded to the winning album and nine runners-up prizes of £1,000.
Karen designed the 10 keepsakes for the winners and runners-up in a competition organised by SAY Awards and InCube – Renfrewshire Council’s Invest in Renfrewshire’s initiative to help launch and grow locally-based creative retail businesses.
Her company – Karen Hanvidge Ceramics - is one of up to 40 young creative businesses which InCube supports each year with a package of funding and other support to allow them to concentrate on developing their products, services and markets.
Karen designed the bells in the shape of a steeple, after she noticed the many spires in the town’s skyline.
Each of the bells have ten clappers inside in the shape of a Paisley Pattern and are strung using embroidery thread in a nod to the town’s cotton thread mills.
Karen said: “I’m really honoured to have been asked to create a bell for Paisley Museum, especially as its ceramics collection comes from the work of incredibly talented people many of whom were pioneers of studio ceramics.
"I chose a bell design because traditionally, bells were used to summon people to a gathering and in this case, it was the SAY Awards.
“The museum’s bell commemorates the fact that Paisley hosted the awards and it’s also a thank you from me to the town for the help I have had from InCube.
“The programme is very supportive and the mentoring is tremendous value to everyone involved.
“It has given me great encouragement, ideas and inspiration to build my confidence and grow my business.”
Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The SAY Awards being held in Paisley was a significant event and shows the varied culture of the town.
“The award trophies are socially significant, since they were designed by a local artist for a major event being held in the town.
“And it’s only right that in the years to come people will be able to see such an item of art in our museum.”
Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said:”Karen’s high quality artistry is exactly the kind of cultural activity and business we want to nurture in Renfrewshire.
"I’m delighted that InCube has helped her on the road to success.”
Karen has also been awarded £3600 funding from Renfrewshire Council’s 2021 Cultural, Events & Heritage Fund to develop a series of free hand-building with clay workshops, initially, for children aged 8-12 years old, at Paisley Museum. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org