Monday, November 30, 2009

Mixed Media

As I mentioned I am part way through a five week evening class on Paper and Mixed Media Surfaces. The tutor is Louise Baldwin whose work I have admired for many years and some of you may have been lucky enough to see her exhibition at the Knit and Stitch Show this year. On the first week we were provided with some very tactile neutral coloured paper from Falkiners to just cut up and stitch as we liked; I feel sure that ordinarily I would have still been preserving these lovely paper and just getting them out of the drawer for the occasional stroke. On the second week I went to the British Museum before the course and happened across a shop full of rubber stamps,inks, magazines and just about everything one doesn't really need but can hardly do without. So I bought some spray inks and a handwriting stamp, which as you can see I then began to use on all my samples.
One of the things I like about the course is that there are lots of interesting samples which provide ideas for future experiments. Some people on the course had never used a sewing machine, and others had not free machined, and I must say that I think they were very brave. Some of the samples are folded and pleated to make them articulated; others are stitched shreds of paper with machining over the holes. One surface was made by crinkling up tissue and machining over the top to produce a new textured surface.

Don’t forget the giveaway is active until December 8th.
This is a link with free video demonstrations by textile artists which is interesting, and originally appeared on Sky TV(Talking Threads).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blog Give-away.

This is my first give away. Firstly, it’s aimed to thank all the people who have joined my followers list to keep me Blogging, especially those who have said ‘hello’. If I don’t always get back to you it’s usually because there is some problem in finding your site or other hang-up
Secondly, it is hopefully to promote the Hand Embroidery Network’s new on-line courses. I have had fun and some hard work writing two of these and there is already quite a variety from which to choose. They are live now and start on November 21st.
There will be a forum area where feed back and discussion can take place.

If you want to take part in the give away, which will be a small piece handmade by me, please say ‘hello’ and even better also take a look at the HEN site.
I will make the draw on December 8th and you will need to check back then to find out if you are a winner, of which there will be two.
I will be using a random number generator, so no favourites.

I promise it will not be Baked Beans.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I made another piece of felt last week using pieces of sari ribbon and banana fibre for texture and colour. I enjoyed watching the texture develope as I machined.

It was a really busy week as I had a stall at two craft fairs. I always think I will stop doing these but usually say ‘yes’ when asked; I do have a different outlook now which is just to enjoy the day and hopefully chat to a few people who are interested in the techniques I have used, of course, I hope at least to cover the cost of being there. Its also funny how something you have decided must be awful as it has been around for so long, suddenly finds the right person, who likes it enough to want to give it a home.

I also went up to London on Friday evening to a five week course run by Louise Baldwin on ‘Structure with Paper and Fabric’. I think it will be good, but tiring as I’m not good after 10pm and got back about 11.30pm, partly due to a tree down on the line.
We machined different textures of paper and made samples in neutral colours. I’ll post some of them later on.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Exciting News

As two of my courses are included in the Hen tuition section.

Today, finally the HEN online tuition has gone live! This is the first wave of creative embroidery and textile courses available through the HEN. Over the next few months and into the New Year we hope to be adding to these courses. All courses are provided with online tutor feedback which you can choose to take part in or work on your own, at your own pace, in your own time. Courses include; creating an Embroidered Journal with Victoria Payne (Freedom of Stitch), Painted Kantha with Jackie Bowcutt (Stitchworks) and Customising Clothing with Rebecca Hywel-Jones. As well as courses on stumpwork, ribbon work and creative sketchbooks.

For further details and to purchase a course please visit: Hand Embroidery Network Tuition.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Originally uploaded by DBO PONDERS

This is part of the work which was done by my son; he worked really hard, and both designed and painted the whole area all by himself. It is in a pub called The Zepplin Shelter because it is in an area of London where there were actually attacks by Zepplins in the First World War. If you go there be sure and tell the owner how great the art work is and ask him if he thinks he may have ripped off the artist by paying him exactly nothing! Click on it to see more on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

'Mark Making and Stitch'

I had a very enjoyable day on Saturday as one of the workshops I had organized actually ran. There were seven students for the five hour workshop. It was really satisfying to see them get pleasure out of the plan I had organized and to be so enthusiastic. We started with mark making, then basic monoprinting and then interpreting parts of their design work in stitch.
Above is one of my samples from my City and Guilds course and the other samples are from the book I worked on to go with the workshop. Click on the first pictures to see more detail.

I hope more workshops will follow in 2010 and if anyone is interested and doesn’t live on the other side of the world, the contact number for The Hurst, Tadley is
0118 9812918 or email to

I also ran a short introduction to wax resist last week at Doodles a local craft shop. This was by request as I am in no way claiming to be an expert at Batik. It went well but there were only two people there, and it is quite a lot of work for such a small uptake.
By the way I learned a lesson – don’t try carrying a pot of melted wax in your car because it slops all down the sides. We live and learn. I have started using Soy wax which is excellent as it is workable for longer and environmentally friendly.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Felt Jewellery

Just for fun and because I had seen the tutors’ work at Art in Action I went along to the City Lit in London for a one day introduction to felt jewellery. It was enjoyable but I was slightly disappointed as we were told there was not long enough to learn how to string beads which I had thought was on the course details. The tutor was Heather Belcher and she is very keen on carding wool prior to use. She showed an examples of two pieces of felt one carded and one not; certainly the carded one had much more visual texture. I think I got the hang of it better than previously and it seemed much less arduous. There is plenty of information about how to string beads on line- even videos.

We made felt tubes and felt balls and use elastic thread to make them into bracelets.

Here is a link to the work of Angela O'Kelly who makes some interesting pieces. One of my favourites jewellery artists is here, I particularly like her brooches.

Everyone seems to have different ways of making their felt. The tutor used a piece of calico to rub the wool inside rather than net, which is probably better as it doesn't get so stuck in the material.

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