Thursday, 27 March 2014

First touch of Spring.

First Touch of Spring - This piece is going into the Guild Gallery in Cheltenham tomorrow. It is about this time of year when buds and blossom begin to appear but there are still frosty mornings as Winter leads into Spring. ( 44cm x 25cm framed) The Guild at 51, tel 01242 245215.
What do artists do all day? A great series on BBC4. It took me all day Wednesday to embroider 3 primroses! ( The flowers are hand stitched and the leaves are machine embroidered. )

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

At the edge of the field

I showed the group this piece of work at the last meeting. It was partly made on site at the entrance to a field as part of a film project with my friend Brenda Miller. She filmed me working and we talked about the physical and emotional qualities of stitching. As a part of my research it was an experiment about whether it is possible to work directly in the landscape. At the moment my thoughts are that while it is feasible to work on a fairly small scale and create a stitched sketch of what is seen it is difficult to make a properly considered piece. Whist I may draw and look at my chosen landscape it needs to reflected upon before making an art work.  It has become part of a film that will be shown in Stroud in May.

Monday, 24 March 2014

St Ives beach combing


I've been beachcombing along the beautiful St Ives beaches and the photo above is the result of yesterday's finds, lots of lovely sea glass, blue & white china fragments, shells, interesting pebbles and a lovely bundle of rusty wire.
Some of these will all be added to a piece I'm stitching on rust dyed African strip cloth, recording my   along these beaches. 

 More stitching will be added later.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Selvedge Fashion Fair

Selvedge Fashion Fair
We have been asked to spread the word that Selvedge Magazine is holding a Fashion Fair on Sat 10th May 10-4, at The Octagon Chapel, Milsom Street, Bath.
Visit their website for more details.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Tracing the Blueprint

Kay & I visited the Museum in the Park yesterday to see the Tracing the Blueprint exhibition, a fascinating insight into resist printed indigo fabric of Hungary and how these patterns and techniques made their way to Africa via Manchester printers.
The story was told through photographs illustrating the past & present production methods and how the cloth is worn both in Hungary.  The second half of the exhibition illustrated how the fabrics are produced, used and worn in Africa today. It was reassuring to read that the fabrics are being produced in Africa.  The sad news is that the Manchester printers are now closed but many of their patterns have been shipped to Africa, meaning these fabrics are still being produced, plus new contemporary designs.
Lots of beautiful lengths of fabric displayed in interesting ways, added to our enjoyment of the exhibition.It's well worth a visit, and is on for another 10 days.
We ended our day with a trip to Gallery Pangolin, which is situated in the Pangolin Editions art Foundry, they describe it as one of Gloucestershire's best kept secrets, and we'd agree, as well hidden, thank goodness for the directions on their website, which made it easier to find. The gallery space was stunning and full of drawings by sculptors who use the foundry to cast their pieces, plus small pieces of sculpture, my favourites by Terence Coventry & Peter Randall Page. Our favourite drawings were 6 small unframed  pieces hanging from metal strips by Ann Christopher.
An amazing setting, with lots of activity as you would expect in a working Foundry, we caught glimpses of people making moulds for new pieces, as we drove thought the site to the gallery. Two impressive sculptures greeted us, Vulcan by E. Paolozzi  and Reach for the Stars by Kenneth Armitage, with other smaller sculptures along the river bank outside the gallery by Terence Coventry.

Monday, 17 March 2014

African quilt

Recently I have been distracted  making a quilt for the Buy a Plank project set up by Helen Conway and Magie Relph to raise money for a clinic in The Gambia.
This all started with a quilt called the No1 African Fabric Shop being cut into planks and sold to quilters to make another quilt incorporating the plank. The quilts are now being auctioned to raise money for the clinic.
You can see the results of the project, plus details about the clinic on
I really enjoyed piecing this quilt and it was the perfect opportunity to use part of my stash of African fabrics.

Friday, 14 March 2014


For the Broderers Exhibition at Bridport Arts Centre I showed a little film about making and meditation alongside the pieces of work.
And so, in thinking about developing both the film work and stitch work, I decided upon making a screen from hexagonal pieces in paper, organdie and organza with insertion stitches. Hopefully a beautiful screen on which to watch the gentle movement of light on fabric and create an intriguing surface on which to project the films themselves. Learning more about insertion stitches from the Broderers who generously share knowledge and skills, I also happened upon the craft of  needle tatting via a stitch friend and have experimented with a tatting edge.. We shall see - it will take time!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Spring journals

I've been doing lots of drawings recently to provide inspiration for the Spring journals course that I'm taking at Brewery Arts in Cirencester. I'm trying to do a drawing a day and am encouraging my students to do the same. It's been interesting watching spring showing in so many ways since January.