catching up

Some time seems to have gone by since I last posted. We had a weekend away in Cornwall, and visited the Eden Project for the first time. They currently have a very interesting exhibition of recycled products from all over the world – kNOwtrash. I can’t find it on their web site, but it includes textiles, furniture, accessories and jewellery, and is on till 12 September. I came away with some ideas for my craft session at youth club – braiding with newspaper, jewellery with bottle tops, and flowers from plastic bottles. Many of the items were from groups and collectives overseas, plus some by individual artists including Michelle Brand’s beautiful and eyecatching work using plastic bottles and shop tags. I hope the Eden Project will archive some images from the exhibition on their web site – it was very inspiring.

My daughter Esther is borrowing a few of my samples for an exhibition at her church, so I’ve photographed them before sending them off. These were from a batik workshop with Nell Dale and a feltmaking workshop with Jenny Scott.


felt and washboard

The Glass Queen is a lovely old washboard I found on eBay, she’s perfect for fulling felt.

book cover I had an exciting delivery this week – I’d ordered Tray Dyeing by Leslie Morgan and Claire Benn (Committed to Cloth) from the Embroiderers’ Guild bookshop. Wowowowow!!! It’s only a short book but packs in a huge amount of information and although I’ve done some tray dyeing before I was astonished at the amount of control that can be achieved and can’t wait to try.

I’ve been working really hard this week to try and clear a couple of days to do art as I haven’t been doing much at all with being away and having visitors. I was having fun experimenting with colour mixing on paper, but I’ve lost my impetus and I need to get back to it and back into it.

Only a couple of photos in Cornwall – I’m hoping to get a new small camera soon. This jaunty little seabird by the starry water, at Polkerris, near St Austell, and a random lobsterpot decorating the wall of the inn there.


brusho and bleach…

… are what I’ve been playing with today. Along with wax crayons, water colours and the odd feather. Inspired by reading A Sketch in Time by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn, which I suddenly remembered I had, I’ve been adding more marks and textures to my sketchbook.

bleach and brusho inks
bleach and brusho inks

I’m nearly ready to start stitching! The second half of this first project in OCA Textiles 1 explores the use of stitch in markmaking and creating texture, based on the mixed media studies created in the first half. I have till the end of the month – no pressure there, then – plus a few work deadlines to meet, so I may not be sleeping much in the coming week.

I heard about a new book today (thank you Sue) by Claire Benn and and Leslie Morgan of Committed to Cloth and Jane Dunnewold – Finding Your Own Visual Language: A Practical Guide to Design & Composition; the blurb says:

“this book aims to help those who are seeking a surer artistic voice by providing practical exercises and guidance on different ways forward”

I’m really tempted – even though I have quite a few design books already – as I’m very interested in what the authors are doing with art cloth and surface design.