Christopher Blade Design: Blog 2014-03-12T14:04:00Z (C) Christopher Blade Design Christopher Blade Design Arctic Vignette exhibition opens at National Glass Centre, Sunderland

Abandoned fishing vessel, Skansbukta.  78°32'N, 016°20'EAbandoned fishing vessel, Skansbukta. 78°32'N, 016°20'EAbandoned fishing vessel, Skansbukta. 78°32'N, 016°20'E

85 x 213cm
Large format print, mounted on 5mm foamex, sealed: £580.00

As seen in the Guardian on 8th March 2014

At National Glass Centre, Sunderland 8th March -27th April 2014

Svalbard, a mountainous Arctic archipelago of over 61,00sq Km, 60% glacier and just 10 degrees from the North Pole.
In October 2013 I was invited to participate in a three week creative residency programme, organised by the New York based arts charity The Arctic Circle, on board a traditionally rigged tall ship with 27 other internationally acclaimed artists.

Interactive map of Svalbard from the Norwegian Polar Institute

Exhibition generously sponsored by Rare Adventures Ltd
An exhibition of recent photographs taken whilst in the Arctic in October 2013 opened on Saturday 8th March at National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK. It comprises selection of 15 Giclee prints on 300g archival paper and 2 very large prints up to 85 x 213 cm. The show is beautifully enriched by a 6 track 'soundscape' by Irish composer Dr. karen Power who was also in the Arctic. The exhibition was reviewed in the Guardian Exhibitions Guide on March 8th 2014.

Some images are stitched, HDR, panoramas containing over 100 separate images all compiled to provide so subtle but powerful results. See the images under the travel section of this website

The exhibition runs from 8th March to 27th April 2014, SR6 0GL.  10am to 5pm 7 days per week.

The exhibition is supported by Rare Adventures Ltd., and National Glass Centre.

Christopher Blade Design (C) Christopher Blade Design 2014-03-12T13:59:43Z 2014-03-12T13:59:43Z Saint Corban Graveyard, Naas, Southern Ireland

Saint Corban Graveyard, Naan, Southern IrelandSaint Corban Graveyard, Naas, Southern Ireland


After disembarking from a ferry in Dublin very early in the morning, I had a few hours to kill before meetings friends for a wedding. Being much too early to check into my hotel in Naas, I found myself wandering round this beautiful graveyard! Don't ask me why but this does seem to be a bit of a theme at present. having lots of time to hand took a series of photographs using slightly underexposed, multiple exposures with hand held flash to generate these very atmospheric images. Post processed using Nik software and photoshop.


Christopher Blade Design (C) Christopher Blade Design 2013-05-22T23:26:39Z 2013-05-22T23:26:39Z Monkwearmouth Bridge, Sunderland

Monkwearmouth Bridge sunderlandMonkwearmouth Bridge sunderland


Monkwearmouth Bridge in Sunderland taken from the banks of the Wear. This is my first serious attempt at a large scale, stitched, HDR image in Autopano Giga. My learning? Take photographs on as small a resolution as the camera will allow and use a tripod. This image was composed over 210 photographs taken with a 50mm 1.4 lens at f1.4. Not a good idea f8-11 would have been better. The processing took forever as the files became bloated incredibly quickly!


Christopher Blade Design (C) Christopher Blade Design 2013-04-07T10:29:00Z 2013-04-07T10:29:00Z Sunderland Cemetary

Sunderland CemetarySunderland Cemetary


On Easter day I took a stroll through Sunderland Cemetary and decided to experiment with a bokehrama photograph. This is essentially 27 images, taken at f1.4 with a 50mm lens and then stitched together in Autopano Pro to create an image with an incredibly shallow depth of field. Whilst not technically difficult it was quite time consuming. Luckily my subject matter was very patient!


Christopher Blade Design (C) Christopher Blade Design 2013-04-01T08:05:11Z 2013-04-01T08:05:11Z AxzoNobel - International Paint 2013 Awards for Health & Safety

2EDM6372 - Version 2Health & Safety Awards - 2013


For the past few days we have been working flat out to finish the forth annual AkzoNobel Award for Health & Safety. These awards are cast as a solid piece of lead crystal, with a multitude of internal colours swirling round inside the cast, reflecting the company's involvement in the production of paint through brands such as International Paint and Dulux.

Once cast and polished a stone base was carved and bonded to the cast and the block cut into sections on a diamond saw to create three distinct awards. The concept here was to reflect the wholistic nature of the company, addressing - the product 'paint', collective identity and the all embracing importance of H & S in industry.

See more of the production process here

See previous year's awards here


Christopher Blade Design (C) Christopher Blade Design 2013-02-01T09:02:28Z 2013-02-01T09:02:28Z Royal Victoria Infermary

This week we installed a commission that we have been working on for the past 9 months. What a great piece of work - well actually 27 pieces, as the commission was for three artworks each made of 9 individual cast glass panels weighing about 13kg each! One on each floor of the building. It looks fabulous and once the specialist lighting is installed it will be truly spectacular.

The work was commissioned for the Great North Childrens' Hospital at the Royal Victoria Infermary, Newcastle and contains 'life casts' of the hands of a number of young patients, nurses, consultants and Katya Filmus as the artist and person who did all the mould making and casting! The rear of the panels are also detailed with transcriptions of many 'get well' messages, and letters of love and support - all in three dimensions! The National Glass Centre has an amazing array of facilities enabling us to undertake an incredible range of creative art projects.

The production process for this was pretty complex, involving 'hands-in' workshops for all concerned and then the production of a bewildering arrangement of positive and negative moulds in plaster, silicone and plaster/silica in order to make moulds suitable for melting the 40% Gaffer Glass lead crystal. Once cast the panels were then polished brought to high polish using rociprolaps - a process that took about three months!

We are grateful to the hospital for enabling us to produce such a beautiful sculpture for them and hope that it will bring enjoyment to people for years to come.

See more pictures of the production here


Chris Blade - Project Manager; Katya Filmus - artist;  National Glass CentreOne of a set of three cast glass panels for the hospital.2EDM6295 - Version 2

Christopher Blade Design (C) Christopher Blade Design 2013-01-27T13:51:12Z 2013-01-27T13:51:12Z Camel on the Silk Road

Camel on the Silk RoadCamel on the Silk Road


I woke very early this morning so decided to devote some time to processing this image of a majestic camel. This was taken on the Silk Road in Inner Mongolia, near the border with China. It is hard to believe that we were actually on the Silk Road - more of a scrubby track a mile wide than a road and that these animals were the vehicles that historically carried goods and facilitated the exchange of cultures and technology from East to West.


Christopher Blade Design (C) Christopher Blade Design 2012-11-23T07:58:23Z 2012-11-23T07:58:23Z Bassenthwaite Lake & Dodd Hill from Whinlatter Pass, Lake District
Bassenthwaite Lake & Dodd Hill from Whinlatter Pass, Lake DistrictBassenthwaite Lake & Dodd Hill from Whinlatter Pass, Lake District

Off to the Lake District for a long weekend!


Bassenthwaite Lake, owned by the National Park Authority, is one of the largest lakes in the Lake District at 4 miles long and 3/4 mile wide, but also one of the shallowest (70 ft). It is the most northerly of the lakes, and has no major settlements on its shores. It is the only body of water in the Lake District to use the word "lake" in its name, all the others being "waters" (for example, Derwent Water), "meres" (for example Windermere) or "tarns" (for example, Dock Tarn). It is fed by, and drains into, the River Derwent. The lake lies at the foot of Skiddaw, near the town of Keswick.

Christopher Blade Design (C) Christopher Blade Design 2012-11-22T17:04:14Z 2012-11-22T17:04:14Z Sunderland docks - MPI Adventure B&W
Sunderland docks - MPI Adventure B&WSunderland docks - MPI Adventure B&W

MPI Adventure is the world's largest ship for installing wind turbines. It recently spent a few weeks at Sunderland docks, opposite the National Glass Centre. A selection of my photographs of it were recently featured on the Sky news website

Christopher Blade Design (C) Christopher Blade Design 2012-11-22T16:50:19Z 2012-11-22T16:50:19Z