Quilters Guild AGM…..

I slept like a baby last night having got home after three very busy, and very enjoyable, days at the Quilters Guild AGM. The event was held on the Jubilee Campus at Nottingham University and attended by approximately 450 enthusiastic quilters. Over the three days participants had the choice to be entertained, and educated, by hour long lectures, half hour mini workshops and demonstrations, half day workshops and full day workshops. There were several traders, a wonderful selection of second hand books at massively discounted prices, a raffle, tombola and exhibitions.

On the Friday morning I gave an illustrated talk entitled “My F-Plan Diet……Fabric, Fibre & Felting” all about how I was introduced to Textile Art and Feltmaking back in 2014 and how my work has progressed, up to present day. I featured a number of pieces to look at in detail, explaining the background to the design process and the materials used.

In the afternoon The Guild held what they call the “Carousel”. This involved four tutors, each in a separate part of the room, demonstrating a particular technique. I called my sessions The Half Hour Flower and at the end of each half hour period and bell was rung and the participants swapped to a different tutor…..it was like speed dating for crafters!

The Half Hour Flower

With this being a “quilters” event, and with all the other guest tutors being textile artists, I felt privileged that the organisers had invited me specifically to teach and promote Feltmaking. On Saturday I had a class of 14 students making wet felted “Landscape” themed pictures, several were trying out wet felting for the very first time. The ladies each brought an image they wanted to create and we began by looking at how they could interpret the various shapes and textures in their design using fibre. Some students incorporated prefelts and everyone had time to do a little needle felting if they chose to, to begin to add the finer detail. The variety and quality of work produced in such a short time was amazing! Being quilters I think everyone was intending to add free motion stitch or hand stitching to their work once they got it home so I’m really hoping I get sent some images of the finished work.

Fantastic work all round from Saturday’s class!

On Sunday I had a class of six ladies making Wet Felted Bowls. We began by discussing the different fibre layouts that can be used to affect the shape and structure of 3D objects as well as how we can create interesting shapes using prefelts and differential shrinkage. The ladies each chose a style they wanted to create from my examples shown below and, as you will see, the results were terrific!

It was a great weekend and I got to meet, chat and work with some lovely ladies. I would just like to thank all my students for being so enthusiastic and working so hard! Thanks also to the Region 10 Committee for inviting me to be a part of it and hope to work with you again in the future.

Jeudis at Manchester…..

Yesterday I travelled over to Manchester’s EventCity with fellow Jeudis member Christine Plummer for a day of stewarding at the Creative Craft Show.

We were there as members of the mixed media textile group Jeudis, to promote our group and our most recent body of work on the theme of Abstraction.  The work is very varied and include 2D and 3D pieces, wet felting, quilting, collage, hand stitching, machine stitching, etc, etc.  My main piece was inspired by rockpools and made with wet felted Bergschaf fibres,  found shells and pebbles, hand and machine embellished.

Rockpool on display at EventCity, Manchester

I took this theme further, making several items of felted jewellery for the sales table, and was delighted with the response these brought.  The rock pool bracelets were particularly popular and the grey necklet found a new home with a lady who looked absolutely stunning in it!

Rockpool Brooches

Rockpool brooches made from Bergschaf fibres

Rockpool inspired Necklet

The following photos show more of the groups work…..

…..by Gill Green

Close up detail of Gill Greens bowl

…..by Jean Baker

…..by Sue Lewis

…..by Cathy Ball

…..by Linda Settle

…..by Elaine Winterton & Sue Lewis

…..by Christine Plummer

…..by Hazel Brewer

Our next Exhibition will be at Birmingham NEC and I will confirm dates nearer the time.

Sweet Nothings Retreat…..

Sweet Nothings Retreat

 

I am thrilled to announce that I will be offering two wet felting workshops in France this coming July. The workshops will be held at Sweet Nothings Art and Crafts Retreat in the beautiful Charent region. The retreat is owned and run by husband and wife team Natalie and Lawrence, originally from the UK, and you can read how they came to be running a business in rural France by clicking here.

The price is €700 sharing a twin or double room or €850 for single occupancy of a double or twin room. As Natalie says…”once you’ve arrived each week is fully inclusive, you really don’t have to spend any money at all.  We feed guests well and provide wine and snacks.  I provide airport transfers also, from Bordeaux, Bergerac and Limoges, also Angouleme / Bordeaux train station.  When not in the workshop you will also have the opportunity of going on a couple of trips, again at no extra cost. If requested I can organise payment by instalments for guests, which some people find useful.“

During your six day retreat you will have three workshop days and, with a maximum number of six students per class, there will be lots of opportunity for one to one time. A small class also allows for lots of flexibility so we can tailor your project to suit your specific wishes/needs rather than all having to work on the same design or template. This also means we can accommodate absolute beginners alongside those of you who may have experience of Wet Felting but want to experiment or develope your technique further. On booking you will be sent a (very) short Requirements List of items to bring – nothing that can’t easily be packed for travelling!

15th – 20th July Nuno Scarf/Collar – In this workshop we will be working with Superfine Merino and silk fabrics, learning the basics of Nuno Felting, to create a beautiful, soft scarf/collar. Each student will work at their own pace and, once finished, you have the option of relaxing or putting your new found skills to practise on another item such as , Necklace or Bracelet. Being both practical and decorative, the beautifully soft, extremely lightweight Necklets bridge the gap between a scarf and a necklace and are ideal for wearing under a jacket on cool evenings. The necklaces and bracelets introduce another technique, differential shrinkage, which allows us to create interesting, undulating surfaces on a flat plane. Once again, each of the additional projects will be totally unique and these can be further embellished with hand embroidery and beads. It’s your retreat…you decide!

15th – 20th July Superfine Merino Scarves and Collars

Nuno Necklets – perfect for wearing under a jacket
Nuno Felted Necklace and Bracelet

22nd – 27th July Wet Felted Wallhanging – In this workshop we will be covering a variety of techniques including wet felting, needle felting, free motion stitch and hand embroidery to create our own unique wall hanging. It is suitable for any ability from absolute beginner to the more experienced felt maker as well as being a great introduction to free machine embroidery for those who haven’t yet tried it.

Using photographs or sketches as our source of inspiration we will begin by designing our layout and colour scheme. There will be examples to look at as we explore the different techniques we might use to create our pictures. The main body of our work will be wet felted, using loose fibres to “paint” our pictures. We will also explore the use of our own hand made pre felts, needle felting, hand and machine stitching to add areas of detail. Students can work to any size they wish, working on a large scale and concentrating on the one project, or working to a smaller scale and having the choice of an add-on felting project or simply enjoying more “free” time!

22nd – 27th July Wet Felted Wall Hangings
Flower Meadow – Merino wool, wet felted and machine embroidered.

If you would like more information about the workshops I will be offering please use the contact form to get in touch. If you have any queries regarding the accommodation or would like to make a booking please do that via the Sweet Nothings Website.

The Big Textile Show 2018…..

Nuno Necklets made with Superfine Merino and Silk fabrics

I’m looking forward to exhibiting again at The Big Textile Show at the end of this month.  It’s being held on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th October.  Last year was my first time as an exhibitor.  I just loved meeting the visitors and discussing my work as well as getting to see and hear about everyone else’s creations…….fingers crossed it’s as much fun this year!

I’ve been busy making a selection of Nuno Necklets for my stall.  These are extremely lightweight as they are made from Superfine Merino and silk fabrics.  I hope my visitors like them as much as I do!

For more information about the The Big Textile Show visit www.thebigtextileshow.co.uk

 

LCA Reunion…..

It’s been all go at the Sam Scorer Gallery in Drury Lane, Lincoln today.  I am one of a group of 21 ex Lincoln College of Art students and tutors who have got together for the first time in over forty years as part of the LCA Reunion to exhibit our current work.  The space is looking terrific with a wide range of work on display including fine art, textiles, ceramics, printing, sculpture, jewellery, mixed Media and photography. The free to enter exhibition opened with a launch party this evening and will run daily from 10am – 4pm until 3rd June.

These are just a few of the photographs taken during the setting up and the launch party…….

The Big Textile Show…..

I got back home from Leicester last night after two wonderful days exhibiting at The Big Textile Show at Leicester Racecourse.  Although I’ve previously shown work as part of a group this was my first stint at having a stall and exhibiting in my own right.  I wasn’t too sure what to expect but it turned out to be an amazing experience and the two days just flew by.  I met lots of lovely people, stall holders and visitors, and it was great that so many folk took the time to stay and chat.

A big thank you to the Leicestershire Quilters for the loan of the quilt stands and to my friend Sandra who very kindly put me up over the weekend, helped set up the displays and stayed all day to help on the stall…..much appreciated!  Here are just a few more images from the show…..

Lutterworth Stitchers

Visualise

Convivia

Local Spinning Group

Part of the Sea & Sky IFA Members Exhibition

 

 

Re-Action…..

Yesterday I went into Lincoln to see the Re-Action exhibition by Feltmaker Moira West being held in the Gallery at St Martins in Hungate.  This little gallery hosts a regularly changing programme of art exhibitions from emerging and established artists and I was keen to visit on the Saturday as Moira was going to be there in person.  It’s great to have the opportunity to view creative work of any kind when the artist is in residence to talk about how it came about and answer any questions you might have.  Moira said she “was delighted to be invited by gallery manager and artist Phil Bowman to produce my fibre art for another solo exhibition. This body of work will stretch me artistically, whilst also allowing a continuing interpretation of human strength and weakness – a recurrent theme of my work.”

It was refreshing to enter a gallery and be encouraged, rather than discouraged, to touch all of the work on display.  Moira believes that “art should create a sense of involvement for viewers, and prompt interaction between them and the work itself.”

Thought provoking work based around the subject of consumerism………

Her latest exhibition work relates to consumer excess, trade, and worship of the individual. This body of work is shown alongside some of her more important pieces from previous exhibitions.

“Freedom”, “Choice” and “Order”……. fabric, silk and wool.

“Hallelujah”….metallic threads and wool / “It’s What Shapes Us”…..jute, yak and wool

Moira’s work cried out to be handled as it is wonderfully textured and tactile.  My favourite piece is the tall grey vessel entitled “Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen” from a collection inspired by singer song writers.  The piece below is a detail from “Purple Rain” which combines steel mesh with British wool.

Detail of “Purple Rain”…..British wool, steel mesh, silver and linen warp thread.

 

It was lovely to meet the artist and see her work, if you get the chance the exhibition runs until 16th September.

 

Inspired by Sir Isaac Newton…..

 

One of the textile groups I belong to is LINQS (Lincolnshire Quilters) and each year we respond to a challenge to make an art quilt based on the life or works of a particular person.  Our latest challenge was inspired by Sir Isaac Newton and the work will be on display over the coming bank holiday weekend at Waltham Windmill.  The exhibition is free and we will be having a sales table and demonstration area.  There will be lots of other things going on at the working Mill with shops, cafes, picnic area, miniature train rides and a model engineers marquee, etc so a great venue for a family day out!

The exhibition is open from 10am – 4 pm on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  Here are just a few examples of what we have on show…..

Gravitree by Jean Proud

Inspired by the life and work of Sir Isaac Newton by Karen Lane

The Mind of a Genius by Mary Jackson

Woolsthorpe Manor by Pat Cave