Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Textile Festival

At the weekend I had a visit to Cirencester which is in  the Cotswolds where every house is built with a golden colour stone and is generally v. posh and quite unlike the area where I live. The first trip was to Brewery Arts where there was a ‘pop up gallery’. I bought a lovely devore scarf made by Barbara Fidoe. I particularly like the colours and the long thin shape. I have had in mind to make a scarf of a similar shape in felt, but really don’t have quite the space, or is it the energy which is lacking. Any way it is extravagant and beautiful. Also showing were the felt pods of Deborah Roberts.

Barbara told us about the Stroud Textile Festival, there were many small galleries throughout the town and a larger display in the museum. I saw some stimulating work including the Brunel Broderers Curious Drawers, pieces based on the idea of cabinets of curiosity of which there are examples in the National Trust House where I work .It could not have been a better time for my visit .
In the museum the work was linked to the idea of Stroud Scarlet. Stroud has a number of old mills and in these the cloth for the red coats of the British Army used to be woven. The lawn mower was invented in the area originally to cut the nap on cloth. I particularly liked the light box installations of Henny Burnett, ( follow the link to see her work and more about the Festival) photographs of lots of tiny pieces on red cloth, old letters, thistles etc. Love Stitching Red would have found it all v. familiar.

I have started to work into one of my dyed pieces and so far have used a combination of curved seams and Spirit Cloths’ weaving technique which she shared with us on video. I am machining it at the moment and then intend to start hand stitching into it.
I don't usually like gadgets but I have fallen for the interactive fish which move with your mouse; the perfect pets.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I thought the idea of leaves had come from nowhere particular, but had forgotten that I had been stitching some leaves in a sketch book over the past month. Here are some pics.

Some interesting shapes develop on the reverse of the page.

Anyone near The Hurst ,Tadley UK (0118 9812918) may be interested in coming along to three Saturday workshops to be run fortnightly on 12th June, 26th June and 10th July from 10-3pm.. The aim will be to learn how to design and make an embroidered panel using Ethnic textiles as inspiration with lots of creative fun along the way.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

'A Lamentation of Leaves'

I have continued working on the dyed pieces and have probably finished for the moment.

I monoprinted using leaf shapes which I cut out of some Xerox transparencies I rescued from a charity shop; they have been so useful. I came up with the idea of cutting out a shape for the monoprint whilst falling asleep one night. Antihistamine Tablets have been giving me nightmares, but in this case seemed to help.

I then used a thermo fax screen of skeleton leaves in green to give a bit of contrast.

On the one piece I just kept adding layers and using left over paint. It easy to get attached to these pieces and I would find it difficult to cut them up at the moment.
I decided on some text and have used a quote from Yates:
‘A lamentation of leaves’
which I think is lovely and soulful. In my mind I can see some quite heavy embroidery at the base of the leaf piece. We shall see.

 I have been to some local Open Studio events, including a morning’s sketching at The Sandham Memorial Chapel, which centres on the amazing narrative paintings of Stanley Spencer; then on to a display of art/craft at Greenham Common Arts.

 I also visited the National Needlework Archives new centre which is in the same complex. I had hoped to go round the working artists' studios at Greenham but they were not officially open, a kind lady let me look around anyway. I was so struck by how the artists were working on a theme and pushing it in all directions. Working in isolation it is difficult to do that. It was v. inspiring.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Book Art Blog

My work is featured here on this new Book Art Blog   from Berlin  which starts with a general discussion and examples of what book art is about.
 The author has used an image of a piece of work I did on my Access Course to illustrate the discussion after finding it on Flickr. I hope it will be a success and provides us all with lots of ideas and inspiration.

I received my mini book swaps from Australia and here are some images from them. If you want to know more about the paper swaps head over to Woven Letters.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Monday, May 03, 2010


This is another stage along the way with the pieces of fabric I am working on after the two stages of immersion dyeing and manipulating using Jane Dunnewold’s recipe and later her stencilling technique.

 I bought some, expensive, Golden Liquid Acrylics and some open gel medium, following the idea suggested by Liz Berg in a free download from Quilting Arts. Unfortunately the packaging was so tight that I split the first minute bottle whilst opening the package - I patched it up, whilst still being aghast at how much I had paid for a tiny bottle of paint. You have to see this in light of the fact that I had just thrown out my old ‘glucky’ paints, most of which were acquired from charity shops, and the fact that I admit to being a mean Yorkshire woman.

 I have now found that a few drops of the paint go a long way. The resulting monoprints are great, in that the handle of the fabric is still nice and soft. When I have monoprinted on fabric previously I have used acrylics alone and the fabric has been difficult to stitch into, especially when machining and there is not much time to work on the marks before the paint dries.

The next Doodles workshop is on Wednesday 19th May 1-3pm and will be ‘Recycle/Reuse’ transferring images from old books to make a unique picture. Book by ringing 0118 981 1238.
My monoprint and stitch workshop is  available on HEN.

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