It has been a busy time recently so little or no time to blog. Since the Festival of Quilts there has been little or no time to catch my breath. Firstly there was the month long and hugely successful exhibition at Hilliers Arboretum (which never got a look in on this blog) to man and then wind up. I am hugely grateful to Zeronine textile artists for allowing me to be a part of it. This kind of blurred into Hampshire Open Studios at the Granary with Room 6 which again was very successful and hugely enjoyable ( again no posts, sadly). I did some demonstating and this is the results of some of my labours.
Then after a quick holiday to Portugal it was straight off to the Big Textile Show in Leicester. Great to see a lot of familiar faces and put names to faces of people I have only met on the internet.
Then yesterday was the hanging of Romsey Abbey. It was with some trepidation that I saw my piece ‘Metamorphosis’ being hoisted. Because of its length it has been difficult to visualise how it would look. I have been somewhat ambivalent about its new hue particularly as it was not what I had originally intended. However it needed to metamorphose to earn its title and whats done is done and this is now what it looks like.
I also have an installation of my wax pots which were part of my Common Thread body of work which have never had a proper airing.
Obviously being the Abbey, the light is not going to be brilliant – it is what it is and a fabulous space in which to exhibit.
Some of the other work from my collegues is truly amazing, with their permission I am hoping to share some of it here at a later date.
Its the Knitting and Stitching Show next week. I am back on the stand this year, no exhibitions although Alison Hulme will still be with me. The stand number is TGB13 so if you want a pinny, a scarf, some fabric or just a chat please come and say hello. Alison is demonstrating for ArtVanGo as well so you might find her there.
I realize with all the juggling and irons in the fire that has been happening recently I have completely forgotten to mention here, the very exciting event, I have been starting to plan alongside a fellow textile artist with whom I share very similar interests, Jenny Leslie – her website is here
During the month of June 2016 we are planning to hold an exhibition which celebrates ethical and natural practices within textiles in its broadest sense. This will be staged in the barns at PS Arts, Datchworth, Herts, website here. Alongside this we are setting up a series of related workshops led hopefully by some well known names. The whole thing is entitled From the Earth. Its has a dedicated website and blog and a page on Facebook. We are also pleased to announce that Jenny Dean has very kindly agreed to open the exhibition for us.
We are going to announce a Call for Artists at the end of January 2015 which hopefully will give anyone interested in participating plenty of time to put something together. I am hoping that we will get at least a few expressions of interest from overseas in order to give the whole thing an international flavour.
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.
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
I am not sure this will make it into the exhibition since it is radically different to all the other work I have completed
Its been a busy time,a lot is going on at present with interesting news coming in all the time. I have just been asked to make some journals for Hilliers which is very nice. I am also given to understand that there will be an extra day of the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. This set me off on a frenzy of dyeing and printing since I will still have a stand at the show ( reprising my partnership with Alison Hulme of last year) although I will be otherwise engaged as Embroiderers Guild Scholar.
The beauty of natural dyeing and printing is despite however many times you do it there are always surprises and something new to learn. This weekend I discovered the possibility of making beautiful prints with willow despite failing on many previous occasions.
I decided to seize the moment and had a bit of a willow fest.
I also discovered a red hazel in a friends garden
I love the navy blue from this one
Some old favourites printed particularly well also
For those who might be concerned that I might be dawdling over my scholarship work,this is certainly not the case. I have printed a mountain of paper of various kinds,plus fabric all with material sourced from the common. I have several jars full of various dyestuffs and fabric sitting in my conservatory in the pursuit of colour ( more of this later) I have also begun to make work.
Now the weather is warm I am hoping to take my sketchbook and camera up to the common for an extended session probably without the dog since he will be into trouble as soon as I take my eyes off him.
Last night we went to the artists private view of the ‘Wild and Woolly’ exhibition at Rums Eg. Sadly I have been somewhat preoccupied of late and I forgot my camera. Happily a friend was able to pass on some images she had taken of my work (thanks Kat) but there were lots of other lovely things there and when I get a minute I will return.
It is an alien thing to me to frame my work but it was a requirement of the gallery. I was lucky enough to be put in touch with Alan Tait who makes frames out of recycled materials and this has had the effect of making quite small pieces into large works.
The good news is that I have sold 2 of the 8 pieces already.
A bit of a quiet time now and then its off to Harrogate to the next Knitting and Stitching Show
Anyone passing through Romsey in the next couple of months should swing into Rums Eg and have a look at the exhibition there. It is also a chance to see some of my work as I have been lucky enough to have several of my pieces selected for the exhibition.
Will post some photographs of what has gone up as soon as I have then
Having a great time at the Knitting and Stitching Show and have met lots of lovely people.