Friday, October 10, 2014

Exhibition at Sidcot Arts Centre

Still a few days left to catch this exhibition – it runs until Sunday.  Well worth a visit, we have work on three floors, a selection of cards and small gifts to buy plus plenty of tea and homemade cakes.

The full address is Sidcot Arts Centre, Sidcot School, Winscombe, North Somerset, BS25 1PD – follow the pom-poms when you get there to find the entrance.

Here are my two engine pieces hanging together for the first time – they look much smaller in this lovely large space than they do at home!

A rare opportunity to have my animated piece ‘Resolution’ up and running.  I ended up remaking it from scratch - the software available now is so much better that it was easier to start again than to persuade the original file to run on my current computer.  I also made a slightly smaller and much lighter backboard, so I think of this as the rebooted version.  Making a new backboard was, of course, a purely artistic decision and nothing to do with the fact that my current car is 10cm narrower than my previous one.  Honest.

As a group, we decided to mark the WW1 centenary by each making a small piece on the theme of poppies.  I was puzzled by this for some months as I don’t really do flowers, or at least not realistic ones.  When I sat down to have a go, I found I didn't have any reference images at home and no poppies in the garden so I had a look at The Commons in Flickr.  If you are not familiar with this, it is a very useful resource – images from public institutions that are out of copyright.  Searching for red poppies I came across a page from a seed catalogue dated 1914 which made me pause as it seemed so poignant.  The association we have now with the red poppy and remembrance of war is so strong, but when this was published, that lay in the future.  It was just a flower in a catalogue. This is my finished piece, which is the page printed on fabric with a little hand stitching.

You can see lots more photos of the whole exhibition over on where Jenn is doing a great job blogging about the group.

Now, attentive readers may have noticed that there is no mention of the piece of work based on Irish dance dresses that I was blogging about back in March
Well, it is there but in a very different form.  Another long story, so it deserves a separate post (and I will try not to leave it so long this time).

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gordano Textile Artists

I have been a little lazy about blogging recently, but Jenn has being doing a great job over on Gordano Textile Artists, and you can see a glimpse there of my completed engine pieces ready for our exhibition in October.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Progressing slowly.



Work continues on Engine 22 and the first row of the main stitching is finished - that is 10 sections out of 44 – all good so far and the image is gradually appearing.

I have started thinking about my next piece for the Echoes exhibition in October.  My initial idea is based on revisiting Irish dance dresses now that my girls no longer dance.  I thought of making an ethereal dress that would hang by itself – an echo of the real thing and a kind of memento mori for a part of our life that has now finished.

A page from my sketchbook thinking about how to stitch the knotwork.


I cut out pattern pieces for a bodice and tried some ideas.



Slightly distracted into drawing hearts in knotwork.



I toyed with the idea of using bright colours and stitched a couple of samples, but soon moved back to white.  This next sample is a very thin piece of silk paper that I printed with lines in white acrylic paint.  The Thermofax screen is one I bought a while ago because the lines are reminiscent of my earlier work using patterns from electricity pylons.  I drew the knot in pencil on some soluble stabiliser and hand stitched the lines then dissolved it away.  It shrank more than I thought it would and unfortunately, the pencil lines marked the thread so it is now a dirty grey, but it is useful as a test.  I am going to try again but this time drawing in white pen  straight onto the silk.  My plan is to make lots of little pieces with fragments of patterns and join them with machine stitching into a single piece of fabric. I am not sure now whether I will make it into an actual dress or keep it as a hanging – will decide when I have more to play with.


Last weekend, I made some more pieces of silk paper but had a little accident with a couple of them.  I made them in the usual way with CMC paste and net, and had covered the table with an old PVC cloth.  Now, this is many years old – I originally bought it to protect the table from messy baby mealtimes and it has been used for painting etc for at least a decade.  For the first time ever, the colour ran and marked two of the pieces with pale flower splodges.  They sat around for a couple of days while I got on with other things and then on Friday afternoon, I gave myself some playtime, just for fun and did this.


These wonderful thread ends are from Marilyn, a very talented weaver who recently joined Gordano Textile Artists.  She came to our last meeting with the warp ends from her latest piece which you can see on the GTA blog here.  They are the perfect length for embroiderers to use and they are all dyed by her in the most wonderful rainbow colours.  She also had a bagful of snippets about an inch long which I pounced on.  I have sprinkled them onto the silk paper and layered with Mistyfuse followed by another layer of thread ends and then ironed it all together. I will need to add some stitching to stop the top layer coming off, but at the moment I am just enjoying the colours.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January Making

It is always good to have some knitting on the go in the winter, so far I have made this shawl from some odd balls from my stash using this pattern

and one sock.
Socks are a great project to have on hand, portable and quickly finished. Once you have mastered a basic pattern, you can adapt it endlessly.  I have uploaded my favourite version to my new Patterns and Tutorials page so everyone can enoy it.

Work continues on my next engine piece - a companion to Engine 21 - but not much to see at the moment. Here are a couple of pictures showing progress on the background stitching.

 While the machine is running, I have time to ponder what the next piece of work will be.  My next exhibition is in October at Sidcot School with Gordano Textile Artists and the theme is Echoes.