Spring Cleaning

I am having a rethink about the direction of my work and what I do at the moment so my attention has been turned to having a bit of a clear out. I realise that I have far too much stuff and it is really time to downsize as I suspect in many ways it is inhibiting creativity.

One of the first step I have taken is to revitalise my shop. Over the coming weeks I will be adding all kinds of things that may well be of interest.

In the meantime I have listed some selections of naturally dyed silk threads and some fabric packs of odds and ends


Spring has Sprung!

Having said that we will now probably get snow. However bearing in mind that winter cannot last forever have started to mordant my fabric in preparation for the return of the leaves and other plant matter 

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And yes we do need a new fence!

We thoroughly enjoyed the ICHF Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch show at the NEC and I am delighted to announce that we will be reprising 6 Shades of Grey at the ArtVanGo studios in July. This is particularly good news for us as we will be able to incorporate the work of Lynne Onions who sadly could not make Birmingham.

It is going to be a very busy few months. Next month a selection of my work will be exhibited at the Ashcroft Centre, Fareham, Hants. http://www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Also exhibiting is Nicky Barfoot

On April 10th there will be a day entitled Fabric-A celebration of textiles which will involve workshops,talks, a craft market and various other activities there. Definitely a date for the diary if you are in the vicinity.

Then it is the BrockenhurstNeedlework Fiesta. I will have my usual stand but also I will be demonstrating upstairs. Dates for this are 23rd and 24th April

Then it will be full steam ahead for From the Earth textiles in June. Details if you need them http://www.fromtheearthtextiles.co.uk

Alison Hulme and I will be at the Festival of Quilts as usual at the beginning of August.

Then we will be working hard to prepare for the Knitting and Stitching Shows. Alison and I will have our usual stand at Ally Pally but we will also be involved in a gallery with exhibiting group Marks and Stitch. The gallery will go to all three shows although I will not personally be going to Dublin as I have agreed to demonstrate at the West Country Quilt and Textile Show in Bristol in November.

A busy year. 

Last note is about workshops. I have in the past been a reluctant giver of workshops because I have felt there are people better placed than me. However so many people have asked me and I have come across so much misinformation some of which merely irritating but some downright dangerous I have thrown my hat into the ring. Very soon I will include a page which will detail some of the things I offer. Watch this space.


Shop is revitalised

Due to my attention being focussed elsewhere, my shop has languished  somewhat with very little for sale in it. Well no more!

These are some of the smaller items on offer there at the moment. I am also hoping to offer some textile artworks as soon as I can get round to it.
I have also taken advantage of the very unseasonable weather to dye some threads. It is such a long time since i have experimented with variegated and I have forgotten how pleasing it is to watch how the colours mix and intermingle to create new ones. They are of course natural dyes and the fibre is silk.

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Some of these will be available in the shop to buy in due course.
To go to shop click on link at top of page or here


Remaining Grey

I am continuing to work on the grey pieces and they are continuing to take shape. I have decided to title the group as Fade since each piece is becoming progressively lighter as a passing reference to the title of the exhibition which is 6 Shades of Grey. It is also a reference to my need to move on from leaf printing and return to intensive handstitch. Here are a few details from the story so far.


Winter Draws On

The temperature has dropped and its now definitely winter. All the leaves are now off the trees and it is now stitching season. I have been working on the grey pieces for Room 6 exhibition at the NEC next March. This is something of a sneak preview

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On Thursday I am heading off to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate where I will be demonstrating on the Artists in Action stand run by ArtVanGo. There are 6+ artists demonstrating a myriad of techniques there every day so well worth a visit if you are going. I will be doing a bit of ecoprinting and then Alison Hulme and I are going to be demonstrating screen printing with natural dyes.


Always more to Learn

I am not an habitual giver of workshops – it is not really my style and I feel that I still have so much to learn. However when the opportunity arose to do a workshop at ArtVanGo, I decided to cave in. In the end I had a blast. The students were lovely and wanted to work really hard and the results were stunning!
We worked on fabric and paper and I think everyone went home with something rather special and my point about learning was proven since I came away feeling I had learned as much as they had!
Here are some of the highlights – there were many many more but not captured on camera.

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For anyone interested, the orangey red on images 3 and 4 come from aquelegia – who would have thought!

Many thanks to Viv and Kev for their hospitality. If anyone is in the neighbourhood of Knebworth and doesn’t know about it, ArtVanGo is a treasure trove of supplies of all kinds.


A Common Thread at Rums Eg

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Last night saw the opening of a new exhibition of which ‘A Common Thread’ is a part. It comprises some of the work which was displayed at the Knitting and Stitching Shows plus a load of extras that did not make the final cut.IMG_0114

I loved the window display and my pieces blend really well with Frances Marrs beautiful ceramics.

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I am particularly indebted to Ian and Nichole Wall for their efforts in providing the lovely recycled wood frames. Link here to their website.

The exhibition is open until March 14th and well worth a visit if you are in the area especially with the added incentive if the cafe with its delicious fare


Back to Work

The 5 days at Alexandra Palace rushed past in a whirl and I did not get to see half of what I intended. However given that I am going to Dublin and Harrogate which will hopefully be less frenzied I shall hopefully be able to post more about what I see there. I am particularly looking forward to Dublin since I have never been before. However there is no rest for the wicked and I am back at work again. In the New Year I am joining the two halves of my Common Thread work and exhibiting it all together and since the Gallery in question likes to sell off the wall on the spot I am going to need backups. More details about this later when the publicity comes out.

I have taken the opportunity to do a bit of experimentation and also to revisit something that I singularly failed with at the beginning of the year which in the previous year was very successful. This time I was sucessfulIMG_0063
This piece (still wet) is composed of mulberry tissue. When I tried this at the beginning of the year it was a singular failure and I wasted a huge amount of paper. It also has a radically different look to the paper I did last year. I cannot put a finger on why this should be so, there are so many different factors at play. I guess one has to go with the moment
I also have been experiment with some Japanese Printing paper. Again a completely different look
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I like the precision this one gives me.
The last experiment is on very thick but very cheap lining paper. This has a lovely surface and gives extremely good results
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Countdown Time (again!)

It is about three weeks to go before the first Knitting and Stitching show opens. The first one at Alexandra Palace is the big one since not only am I exhibiting as Embroiderers Guild Scholar but also I still have a stand shared and manned (womanned?) ably by Alison Hulme who again will be selling her beautiful pinnies. We are to be found at TGB 13. My exhibition is located at TGJ14.

I have been laying out my completed work but until I get there I am not sure how it is all going to hang together. To give myself some options I decided that I needed something else. So out came the pot and I spent yesterday with leaves and Khadi paper.
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I am not sure how to proceed with these. Ideally I would like to stitch on them but time may prevent this.


Another Direction

I have been experimenting with my jar dyed fabrics. I wanted to do something loosely based on the flaky scots pine bark that I have been playing with from the Common.

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These are a couple of samples. In the interests of testing whether the dyes are at all colourfast and to distress the pieces, i threw them in the washing machine. Apart from a slight colour shift the dyes held well including the elderberry.

I then went onto working on a much larger scale

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I am not sure this will make it into the exhibition since it is radically different to all the other work I have completed