Thursday 13 September 2012

Steven MacIver - Dillon Gallery - New York

Prepare to be amazed!

Look at Steven MacIver's exhibition currently in the Dillon Gallery in New York. He uses Twilleys of Stamford Goldfingering in Gold and Silver for his installations.

Words from Dillon Gallery:-

"Steven completed his BA in Fine Arts at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and his MFA at the Slade School of Art. Following his graduation in 2004, MacIver was honored with the Sainsbury Scholarship in Painting and Sculpture at the British School at Rome. His fundamental preoccupation with the creation of various types of space was deepened by his time in Rome and can be seen in his renderings of stadiums and coliseums. He uses these abstracted architectural studies to deeply explore how space is used and contained.

For MacIver, the fundamental aspect of art is the ability to draw a line well and this is clearly demonstrated in his explorations with internal and external space. He calls his artistic method a type of “excavation” because he uses a scalpel to remove paint in a reductive method from the canvas. The result is a structured surface that is both glossy and flat: a type of interplay between drawing and painting. His various compositions, made of a multitude of intersecting lines, create both a real and imagined space. Amongst the many awards and grants this gifted young artist has already received, the Rome Prize for study awarded to him by the Slade School placed him as one of the leading young artists from Britain. He currently lives and works outside Oxford."

Steven said it took 6 miles of yarn and 3000 trips up and down a ladder to prepare his installation.  

I wish him the very best for his exhibition which runs from 6th September - 2nd October in New York.  Amazing work.

Sunday 1 July 2012

Eco Printing

Around 3 years ago during my Blodeuwedd - The Flower Bride project I buried a silk scarf in our compost heap at home.  I placed rose leaves onto the silk then rolled it up and thought I would find it again after 3 or so months.  Well my husband found it 2 weeks ago, he passed me a dirty roll and said I presume this is yours!  It never made it to my project and unfortunately I don't have the original photographs to show the first step before burial.   My tutor at Bradford Hannah Lamb may well remember the missing piece from my files.  

Now that I have found it I hope to revive it within my ongoing project with vintage scarves.  I feel that I can add this (embroidered of course) as the only 'new' scarf - as it really was found and revived.

Claire Wellesley-Smith and Hannah will understand my delight at finding it - there is no comparison to the wonderful India Flint!

Monday 25 June 2012

Natural Dyeing - Workshop with Claire Wellesley-Smith

I had a lovely weekend on Claire Wellesley-Smith's Natural Dyeing Workshop at The Hive in Shipley.  The two days covered an introduction to natural dyeing using plants from the garden and also kitchen waste such as onions.  The colour palette produced from plants/trees such as woad, elder, walnut, madder and indigo (to name a few) are joyous.  Although some can produce bright colours they certainly aren't harsh like synthetic dyes and really do echo the colour palette of your garden.

Claire is a very good tutor, calm, organised and very willing to share her wealth of experience.  It is not just about learning what you can do with plants etc but also the history behind natural dyeing. It was really interesting.

The other nice thing about attending this workshop was sharing within the group of people attending - all very eager to learn more, getting our hands (with rubber gloves on!) stuck in and delighting in the outcome.  This organic way of dyeing isn't always predictable - so its exciting to see what comes out of the pot and after its dry, the final colour.  Of course you can always dye your fabric first in onion skin dye, once dry (or rised) you can put into the Madder pot and out comes a lovely orange.  Gaining other colours comes with experience.

Claire's guidance produced a room full of colour in silk, wool, yarns, fleece and cottons.  This introduction was exciting and there is so much more to learn.  I am looking to using the fabrics within some patchwork which as I feel the 'slow' process of creating and the calmness it brings is perfect; therefore stitching into the fabric and making slow textiles is another important process.

Thank you Claire, your workshop was wonderful and inspiring.  I would recommend this to everyone who enjoys creating organically, involving the slow process and the excitement the whole process brings, learning a new skill which was just pure fun.

I will post more photographs this week but here are all my fabrics just drying in the sunshine.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Workshop - Fiona Wilson

On 19th May I attended one of Fiona Wilson's workshops called Drawn Marks for Stitch.
Because we had completed our degree together (Fiona graduated the year before me) Fiona was worried that she couldn't teach me anything (I am sure she wont mind me talking about this).

I explained that even though a person has completed a degree etc sometimes life takes over and you forget a) how much you know b) how to think, create and just play c) you can lose confidence in your own skills.  Therefore I had a wonderful day, drawing and stitching, playing and remembering!  

Fiona is an excellent 'teacher' she is calm clear and very informative.  But most importantly she allows you to play in your creativity, which is something you quite often forget to do.  

If you think you cant draw - you can, if you are a relatively beginner to machine stitching - she teaches you skills to use your machine better - even if your machine only has a straight stitch there is so much you can do with it!

Thank you Fiona for a lovely day.

Found and Revived continued

Still progressing with my project but haven't found a "Winter" design scarf yet - I am looking for nylon, preferred age around 1950's/60's similar to the ones I have.  Ebay hopefully will be a source - but if anyone has an old scarf in a drawer they would be willing to sell me?

I really hope to find one with a label on (my spring ones just states Nylon, Italy) but I love the fact its still on.

I find some stitches more enjoyable - cretan, herringbone, french, whipped spider web and bullion are favourites - in fact I cant really think of any stitch I don't particularly like but I am sure you know what I mean when you have ones you just love doing.

With the wonderful weather I have been stitching outside in the shade, which is just perfect.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Found and Revived

I have a new project on the go called "Found and Revived" and here is a sneak peak.  I love vintage scarves even when they are slightly damaged and worn in places and by embellishment and embroidery you can revive areas.

They won't be wearable because they are too delicate - this is a Nylon one made in Italy (looks like 1950's/60's) and there will be four in total.

Thursday 19 April 2012

Susan Crawford

Last November I met Susan Crawford at the Knitting & Stitch Show in Harrogate and yesterday had the pleasure of meeting her again. She adapts vintage knitting patterns and resizes them - but stays true to the original design. She has written 3 books (two co-authored with Jane Waller) A Stitch in Time (Vol I&II) and Vintage Gifts to Knit. Vintage fashion, patterns and the history of British knitting are her obsessions (her words) and I would say she is unique in her style and adaptation, reclaiming and reviving amazing designs.

My knitting is basic to say the least but I hope sometime in the future I will have time to (try) knit one of her designs.

Monday 9 April 2012

Studio Space

I have been using our basement for quite some time as my studio space but always sat in my dining-room to sew because of the large windows and the light being better. So I finally made the change into our spare bedroom upstairs which is a lovely light/bright space - I should have done it years ago.

A lot of de-cluttering has had to take place which is good and I now have a more creative room to work in. There is still a lot to move up here but essentially I can now work straight away which makes me feel so much happier. Light is so important when sewing.

Its tidy at the moment - not sure what it will look like in a few weeks time.....

Monday 12 March 2012

The Library of Lost Books: Get Involved

The Library of Lost Books: Get Involved: This is a big project and it needs your help! The Library needs workshop facilitators - folks who would like to work with the public on ...

This is a fascinating project - have a look

Monday 5 March 2012

Studio Day - Dionne Swift

Had a lovely time with Dionne Swift today. She held a Studio Day - not a workshop - but time you could go and work alongside her (she was busy getting ready for another exhibition). They were several of us dyeing, printing and stitching and I managed to get quite a lot of printing done which was really satisfying.

Thank you Dionne - your new studio is a fabulous space - lots of light, well organised and a relaxing space to think and create.
Photographs to follow.

Monday 20 February 2012

Spices - work in progress

A peaceful morning at home which is a luxury - so back into stitching. Lots more to do...

Monday 30 January 2012

Back in the Saddle again!


Cornish Landscape

Happy New Year - click on the link!

I have been looking at fabrics and ideas in my need to get creative again after my months of nothing (well actually I have been very busy but not in my own creative work!).

Setting myself two little projects with very different themes;
Spices - A lovely friend gave me pieces of fabric she picking up in India - actually off the floor whilst she was having a jacket made and knew I would appreciate these which would otherwise be thrown away. The colours of the silks reminded me of lots of lovely spices. There are also off cuts of saris which I purchased from The Beetroot Tree at the Knit & Stitch Show last November.

Cornish Landscape - I was in Cornwall 2 years ago and did quite a lot of drawing so wanted to re-visit this theme.

So I'm back in the saddle again.........