Friday, 22 May 2009

Hilary Bower Lecture

I went to a talk by Hilary Bower as part of the Stroud Textile Week,she talked about her recent work and that it is inspired by other craftsmen work how they make it and what is left over at the end.She is now using metal in her work and some pieces are nearly all aluminium.Her pieces represent item in everyday use objects not considered works of art,so the fact that I thought one of her pieces looked like Hoover bags wasn't so far off the mark.She said that the piece below was very difficult to stitch it is aluminum on organdie.

She even brought her sketchbooks for us to see she does a lot of writing and always makes a lot of maquettes. She came across as a very warm person and I would love to have a tutorial with her.

At Ruskin Mill at Nailsworth their was a felting exhibition Margaret Docherty and Sarah Brooker, who was there she had made a pink bag for Gregson Perry ,and had a great photo of him in a frilly dress with the bag.Her work was superb and she is doing a workshop at Urchfont , which I hope to go to.The piece below is by Margaret who is resident at Ruskin Mill.

The felt shown below is by Sarah from an exhibition called Tutti Fruiti.

You have to park at Horsley and walk back along by the trout streams, what a joy,ducks and wild flowers every where and the gardens all planted with every type of vegetable.

A seat carved in memory of one of the students the mill is used by people with learning difficulties

Beautiful isn't it.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Angie Hughes sent us some homework about our work and designing and where we see ourselves going a la Claire Benn.I find this type of thing very difficult as I do not have a logical bone in my body and find doing critiques quite toe curling.I did have a go at it and what came out was my embroidery/stitching skills are OK but I fall down in the design compartment.I must admit I usually think up the design as I go along and do the back up work when I have finished a piece.So I have been busy trying out design ideas,using Beverly Ash Gilberts ideas on colour which are on her blog of the same name, and a lot from "finding your own visual language"by Claire Benn & Leslie Morgan a book I have had for a little while looked at but not bothered to put into action, the pictures below are made by cutting shapes out of papers and swapping it all around, I can see that this could work especially for quilts.
I liked the ones below they have an art nouveau feel to them.

Because I am still on the fossil topic I had a session of cutting out ammonites shapes and then splitting them.

I also wrote out how I feel when I go fossilising at Hock cliffs, it is very peaceful the occasional cry of a bird,wide open skies and grey mud and clay and the magic of looking down and finding an ammonite thousand of years old at your feet. This is the first time I have used writing to help design a piece and it was useful.So I painted paper with fabric dyes so that I could get the same effect on fabric and the result is below.If you go to Claire and Leslie have several good essays on designing

I saw a great quote in Angie`s studio by Leonid Cohen " There are cracks in everything, that`s how the light gets in" it really appealed to me.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Toads and wax

Our dog usually called the terrier from hell, spent the weekend at our daughters,I think that they spent the W>E partying and carousing as she has laid dormant for the last twelve hours. I met up with 2 friends from City & guild days and we tried out encaustic wax,not something I have been dying to try but it was more fun than I thought. You melt the wax on a flat iron and then swoop it across paper which has a shiny finish,you can have more than one swoop but two many and the end result can be a muddy colour.Wax can be dripped on and spread with the point of the iron, or spread with a special heat tool.when it has cooled you can polish it to get a great shine,some of my attempts are shown below

This work was in the latest Quilting Arts and it is by Deborah Kruger who uses the wax on fabric to great effect.

I bought these nuno felted mittens and scarf plus linen jacket from a local charity shop,a real bargain.beautifully modelled here by Olive the colour really suits her.

This was the inspiration for this months card chosen by Doreen from OZ. it is a Monet when I see lily pads I think of toads

so my card this month is one little toad begging to be kissed I just hope that Sandy likes it .

Monday, 4 May 2009

Textle festival.

I am so lucky to live in a very beautiful part of the country with lovely hills and scenery, and on top of that we have a textile festival every year.It is now in its fourth year and thanks to Lizzi Walton it just gets better and better,we have workshops gallery displays and talks from Hilary Bower,Michael Brennand-Wood,Matthew Harris, Mary Butcher to name a few.You can visit all the gallery displays for free and one by Studio Seven is an on going exhibition as the public are invited to contribute , it is called Cut 2 on the fold, last year it was make do and mend. they are a very inventive group and the display this year was fascinating exploring the journey from flat pattern to calico toile to finished garment, I added a piece to the collar of Anne Rogers`nuno felted jacket it was very fine and gave me the urge to rush home and start felting. The costumes/finished pieces will be used with some large dolls in a contemporary dance piece to be held at The old Rectory Quennington. The necklace below was made by Yoko Izawa she wraps acrylic shapes in tubular elastic knitting,in real life it was surprisingly stunning. The piece below is by Matthew Harris whose pieces were inspired by a visit to Japan where he saw large lanterns hanging over wet pavements.He states that he is not interested in perfect textiles.what excites him is the interruption of the perfect surface by tears and darns.He works on basic cotton twill which has the dye dribbled across and is then folded pleated and cut.He has been commissioned to make apiece for the new Colston Hall in Bristol, as has Michael Brennand -Wood.
Matthew`s pieces I found intriguing the colours were beautiful and I thought they were the best in the entire textile festival.He apparently lives locally.

This piece is by Jacy Wall. mainly know for her woven tapestry work this piece depicting mending and darning.

Hilary Bower, well Angie Hughes raves about her I know she is regarded as a great mentor, but I am not familiar with her work she has 2 pieces in the festival,one made of brushes that looks like a boot scrapper and the one below which is made of metal and wood and fabric,it reminded me of vacuum cleaner bags, I am going to her talk on her gathering of information for her solo exhibition at Halifax, so maybe this will help me see clearer.

Two pictures by a local artist Louise Cannon.

These textile pieces are by Tanya Stanyer and they have a lovely quirkiness to them

Detail of 1943.



Cupcakes. Priced at only £60 which I thought was very reasonable considering the work in it.

These pieces by Michael Brennand - Wood were on show, I have never lusted after one of his pieces but having heard his lecture I can now appreciate the thought processes behind them, my favourite piece is the small black and white one below which is entitled Babel,which in is talk he said was also his favourite,great minds think alike! I should be so lucky!

He talked about his life he studied Fine art and then embroidery at Manchester he said that patterning was a form of language and that ideas and design come when working on a piece which I completely agree with.He mentioned Carl Andre as an inspiration he of the Turner bricks fame,and Rachenburg.His flower pieces started with photos of flowers which he then stitched on an industrial machine,but they incorporate some macabre additions some are sewn over hundreds of plastic soldiers. he said that at one time he bought bags & bags of them,from John Lewis, the checkout lady said to him " someones going to have a nice time " he replied " I am an artist" she tapping him on the shoulder said" that's all right then". He came across as a very interesting ,unpretentious amusing person and his work to me is so more enjoyable because I now know what it is about. One of his quotes was " relationship with a piece of work is like a love affair" I thought how true this is .