A Long hiatus

It has been months since I have posted here. This is due to rather overdoing it last year with a myriad of exhibitions, shows and all sorts of other things which left me feeling a bit like a production line and as a result I felt I had lost my way. So the past few months I have been taking stock and thinking about the way forward. And while this is far from clear I now have some ideas about new directions which will probably involve my working more as an individual artist and less as part of a collective which is what I have been doing in the last couple of years. I will still take an active part in the groups I am involved in but I think it is important for me to do my own thing much more than I have of late.

My hands have not been idle and I have been continuing to stitch – not for any particular outcome but just for my own pleasure.


The first images are pieces made from printed and dyed linen which previously was an oversized linen tablecloth belonging to my mother-in-law now sadly no longer with us. No one in the family wanted her sizeable linen collection and they were more than happy for me to have it and I was even more happy to take possession. The fabric is wonderful and soft and a dream to stitch. It also has fabulous weight and drape. The last piece is made from offcuts of my favourite Egyptian cotton.

I am sticking my head above the parapet very soon here


Please come and say hello if you are going


Almost Ready

I am almost packed and ready to go to the Knitting and Stitching Show which opens next week. It’s double the preparations because of course both Alison Hulme and I are involved with the Marks and Stitch gallery as well as our usual stand now at Tgb9.

Our gallery is titled Impressions and can be found at TG 8 and also involves the work of Louise Wainwright, Janet Steer, Robina Richter and Catherine Fox. My contribution is a study of impressions of bark on cloth. Example below

I also have another exhibition going on at the moment. It involves a selection from my Common Thread body of work and can be seen at the Turner Sims, University of Southampton and is on until 30th October 


Not brilliant pics the light was poor but gives a flavour.

Am now busy until Christmas with various things; teaching, shows and a couple of trips away to China and Mexico.


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 

 ​

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.


Birmingham

Having a lovely time stewarding the Room6 exhibition ‘ 6 shades of Grey. The members are

Alison Hulme

  
Susan Chapman 

 Helen Sill

  
Consuelo Simpson

  
And myself 

 
Very sadly our sixth member Lynn Onions developed a bad back and neither she or her work made it to the show.


Looking Forward

I hate this time of year- we have now had several dark and gloomy months and there is a feeling that we are a way yet from things improving. I am now getting serious withdrawal symptoms from my dyepot. I tend not to do much in the winter. I much prefer to work outside and also like the idea of working with the seasons and I always use the winter months for stitching and contemplation.

To combat the winter blues I am looking forward to a trip to Northern Thailand and Laos later on this month. I am hoping it is going to be a textile sort of trip but am mainly going for a bit of sun and heat.

After this am not sure when I am going to get away as am hugely busy.

In March am exhibiting with Room6 at the ICHF show Fashion Embroidery and Stitch at the NEC. I have just finished the work for this. It comprises 6 pieces and is entitled Fade. These are a couple of details of the one. I have just completed 

    
 
In April I have an exhibition at The Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham, Hants. Also in April I will be demonstrating at the New Forest Needlework Fiesta. I will still have stand there as well as a kind friend has agreed to run it for me.

It’s a bit of a breather in May before From the Earth kicks off. I suspect I shall be spending most of June in Hertfordshire. For anyone who doesn’t know what I am going on about go to http://www.fromtheearthtextiles.co.uk to find out more

In July I think I will lie in a darkened room but not before preparing for the Festival of Quilts at the beginning of August where I am once again sharing a stand with Alison Hulme.

September will probably see me at the Big Textile Show at Leicester

And then it’s Knitting and Stitching Show time again. This year I am involved in a gallery with Marks and Stitch. We have had a bit of a panic for this recently since we were asked for images of our work to go in the publicity material. None of us have really got very far as yet- one of the requirements is to exhibit only new work. The last few days I have been trying to get my head around what I might do and work up some samples

   
 
I had it in my mind to work with bark prints- not sure where I am going with it yet but at least now have made a start


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.


Harrogate 

Spent a very busy few days demonstrating at The Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate. Day 1 was focussed on Ecoprinting on fabric. Day 2 was spent in collaboration with Alison Hulme and screen printing with natural dyes. These are some of Alison’s

   
    
 And these are mine

   
    
 
We are jointly running a workshop at Art Van Go next June on this as part of From the Earth – for more info go to http://www.fromtheearthtextiles.co.uk


Colour at the Granary

Delivered the first of two workshops at the Granary Studio yesterday. Results were stunning!

   
    
    
    
    
   
I think all the participants went home very happy. There is a second workshop next week. I believe there are 2 places still available to book  herewww.granarystudio.com

This workshop would probably now only be suitable for those with a little experience

I am also hoping to return in 2016 for spring eco printing.


A dyeing day

I have been waiting for a dry and sunny day to dye my banners for the exhibition in Romsey Abbey. I have been working on these on and off for the past six months so it was going to be a bit of a leap of faith. The original intention was to dye them red with madder but as the work progressed, I was aware that because I had included a lot of iron mordanted fabric, red was probably unachievable. I have done loads of samples but each one turned out differently so I had only an inkling of what I might end up with.

i also harvested my tansy crop, I have wasted to many of my dye crops this year.

image

image

I estimated that about 500g of dried madder root would do the trick. The brew looked promising…..

image

image

As expected when I put in the banners, colour shifts started almost immediately.

image

I made a secondary pot with the roots- waste not want not. Much more the colour I originally envisaged.

image

After several hours simmering banners have come out a pale aubergine

image

Not sure how I feel about them yet.



Waiting for my feet to touch the ground!

A combination of computer problems and so much going on, I have been hugely neglectful here so this is something of a roundup.

Firstly at the beginning of the month there was the past graduates exhibition at Eastleigh College. Some lovely work on show and great to catch up with what everyone is doing. 

    
   
A very random selection. Several works were behind glass and impossible to capture.

Sadly the foundation degree is no more. However there is a broader based HNC starting up in the art department in which there is an opportunity to specialise in stitched textiles so all is not lost.

The next big thing was setting up the five week long exhibition staged by Zeronine textile artists at Hilliers Arboretum,  

 
The group very kindly invited me to be a guest artist for which I am very grateful. 

    
 Again just a small snapshot of what is on offer. Judging by the comments in the guest book and the number of sales, the exhibition is hugely successful. The gardens are beautiful at the moment and are also hosting a sculpture exhibition so well worth a visit.

Next week Alison Hulme and I are heading off to Birmingham to theFestival of Quilts. Fellow Room 6 members Susan Chapman and Lynn Onions will be there too. We are all in the Quilters in Action area. We welcome any visitors.

Then at the end of August I will be participating in Hampshire Open Studios as part of Room 6 at the Old Granary Owslebury.

Then it’s the Big Textile Show and the Knitting and Stitching Show and for the month of October will be part of an exhibition called ‘Stitched’ at Romsey Abbey

Phew!

Next year doesn’t look to be any less busy with a Room 6 exhibition at the Nec in March, From the Earth textiles happening in June and all 3 Knitting and Stitching Shows with Marks and Stitch in the Autumn.