Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A day out in Winchester/Japan

It was a lovely sunny day in Winchester yesterday and I tried to appreciate it in the way a visitor of mine recently did. Firstly I went to the University library to see the touring book art exhibition ‘Micro-Pages. Well done to Abigail Thomas for organizing this; its travelling around so do go if you have the chance. See my previous post for venues.
I then went to the Discovery Centre to ‘Quilt Secrets' a collection of quilts both traditional, from the County Council’s collection and contemporary work. I enjoyed the glimpses into peoples work boxes from the past and the work of Diana Harrison .Then in the same building ‘Tradition and Transition’ an exhibition of new work by the Winchester Embroiderers’ Guild.
What a feast but not finished yet – there are lots of charity shops in the city. Sometimes I wonder why I keep on looking at what is sometimes a lot of samey junk but this is what keeps me looking!
Priced at £2 because they couldn’t work out what it was – a lovely silk hankie and two face flannels, each velvet on one side. I looked up Wako/Japan today to find it is an exclusive department store in the ‘sophisticate city of Ginza’; specializing in luxury items. ‘Built in 1932, the curved building with a clock tower faces the Ginza Yonchome intersection and adopts a Neo-Renaissance style to its design.
The latest high-precision Seiko Quartz model is used as the clock for the clock tower and the Westminster-style chime of bellsring to tell the time on the hour every hour.' So two cities for the price of one!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Big Draw

On Friday this week I went along to a workshop organized as part of The Big Draw which is now an annual event in England to encourage drawing. I looked on the website in time this year and found there was a whole day organized around map art at New Greenham Arts Centre.
It was called ‘A short walk in the Big Landscape’ to coincide with an exhibition there of landscape paintings. We had three artists from the studios guiding us through a series of drawing activities, and a display of work by artists who use maps as inspiration. Should you want to see these drawings, done by the whole group, in more detail just click on the image.
This was all free and on top of this we had a free lunch with chocolate brownies – and yet half the people who booked didn’t bother to turn up. I must say it was their loss.
Greenham Common, for those who don’t know, is the former missile base, where the women’s’ peace camp was for many years.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Impulse Buys

I enjoyed my visit to the Knit and Stitch on Sunday. Its three years since I was there, which I think is a good thing as everything seemed a bit fresher. In The Art of the Stitch Exhibition I saw work by two of the artists I had written about for my Diploma essay, Rosie James and Shizuko Kimura, but whose work I had only previously seen in pictures. As soon as I walked in I started seeing examples of embroidery using maps which is nice as my day service group are right on trend.
The work that I found most inspiring was the experimental work of Dionne Swift, who is currently printing onto felt and experimenting with fabric manipulation in terms of repetition. You can see some of her work on her website and blog.

These are my impulse buys banana fibre and sari ribbon. I watched a good demonstration of felting using the smooth side of bubble wrap to start off the felting process in a gentle way when including fabric pieces. I had to have a go using my new supplies.
I asked a dumb question about why we are advised to use Olive Oil Soap but at least I found out why, having always wondered. You get fewer suds, of course!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I have been working on some felt using Lisa Klakulak’s method of free machining to build up texture; obviously this is only in a very amateur way. I have a video of her teaching her method which shows how she has perfected her technique over many years.

It is fun to try but as any work with felt very time consuming.

I first made some prefelt, and then cut out shapes to lay on my base piece of felt.
I then machined round the shapes to raise them from the surface, before working into some of the shapes to produce more pattern and texture.

I made a couple of beaded brooches with some of the prefelt. It was thicker than the previous piece I made so I ended up compacting more of the surface rather than pulling the felt together to give shape. This reminded me of some work on felt I did a long time ago where I added metallic powder mixed with Ormoline Fabric Medium to the shapes, so that’s what I did. A scarf like this would be really nice and tactile; I'll put that on my list. I'm off to the Knit and Stitch Show tomorrow, so no doubt I'll come back with lots of new ideas for my list.
Thanks to those of you who joined my Followers List to keep me blogging.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Another Treasury here Lovely title 'Autumn spiked with Turquoise'.
Its nice to be chosen.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Transfer Paints

This morning I am preparing for a short workshop as an introduction to the possibilities of using Transfer Paints.
Of course the first thing I need is a list- having been to a workshop without sponges for people to use and only being saved by good luck, i.e. they kept sponges for the children’s workshops in the same building, I am careful to make my list- it doesn’t always work !!

I worked some samples again and found I was getting into it – like any media, the more you experiment the better and more satisfying the results.

This is a detail of a fern leaf I transfer printed and then stitched. I've no idea where the real thing is; I think I must have 'sold' or rather 'given it away' at a craft fair.
Not many people at the workshop, but very enjoyable as they produced some really experimental work.
By the way, I've put a Followers widget on my blog; many thanks to those of you who come back and keep me blogging.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Artists' Book Exhibition

Banks Street Arts 2nd Artists' Book Exhibition here.

October 8th - October 31st
2nd Sheffield Artist's Book Prize
10.00 am - 5.00 pm
Eighty artists' books from around the world on show during the Off The Shelf Festival. Come and vote for your favourite .

Saturday, October 03, 2009

therainbowgirl Treasury

A nice surprise to be in this treasury of felt and stitch. See it here.
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