Saturday, 27 November 2010

Wharfedale Winter Wonderland

Barely an inch of the white stuff, but our view up Wharfedale is magically transformed.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Knitting and Stitching Show

Nothing stops me getting to this show in Harrogate - though the weather had a pretty good try yesterday. I did think about turning round as the world turned white, but reckoned it wouldn't last and luckily I was right. It's mad having the most northerly K&S show at the wintriest time, this is the handiest one for most of the UK yet they leave it til late November when it's either freezing or foggy if not snowing. I bet visitor numbers are down this year, I feel sorry for all the stitchers from Scotland and the NE who won't manage it.

Enjoyed it as usual... well maybe not quite as much as I used to, but after ooh, 18 years or so it's not surprising if it gets a bit samey? One day didn't used to be enough but this time I didn't need to linger long.

I always ask myself, which piece would I take home, if money and space were no object? This time I think one of Clyde Olliver's hand stitched slate "Strip" pieces. Like a curvy spine comprised of graduated slates with simple zigzag hand stitches up the centre. Two of my favourite things, embroidery and geology, combined - irresistible.

In the Graduate Showcase, it was Brenda Parsons' "paper lace" that stood out for me. Handmade paper, machine stitched then washed so it disintegrated into a delicate holey fabric. No colour, just the purity of the creamy paper, in small 3D corsage/sculptural forms as well as huge floaty hangings.
One thing that really struck me was how many of the artists used frames without glass, and often raised the work off the background with hidden blocks underneath. It always seems a shame to shut textiles behind glass, but in my experience most buyers seem to prefer them protected?

As for shopping, it's always the same - so much temptation, gorgeous materials and essentials I can't buy locally, but it's NEXT week I'll realise what I really should have bought. I did get some lovely space dyed perle threads (to use on the machine bobbin), wool roving and bamboo fibres (for the embellisher), things that are hard to choose by mail order. And the new "Stitchscapes" book by Beaney and Littlejohn - packed with gorgeous big colour photos, plus techniques and sizes (yay!) for each piece so you can really understand them.

Overall I'd say inspiring, but not awe-inspiring. Fired up to get on with my own work... until I get stuck for something absolutely vital I could've got so easily at the show!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Stocking up

The online shops that is, not my Christmas stocking - not quite yet.

Spent some time photographing and uploading art and jewellery and bowls to Etsy and Folksy. And it did pay off, as I made two sales this weekend! But I really don't enjoy the photography bit, so hard to get true colours especially with it being so shady here on the north facing valley side. My problems may be over though, as I finally gave in and bought a photo lighting set from here. We've been trying it out this weekend and it's unbelievable value, really good quality. Only trouble is it's still me behind the camera and I'd still rather be stitching...

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Exhibitions, exhibitions, exhibitions!

Not as much to blog about as I hoped recently - I managed (only just) a stint stewarding at Contemporary Craven Christmas in Skipton, and then succumbed to a nasty bug and missed the opening of Textilia's third exhibition this year at the Signature Gallery in Kendal. I did make it to the opening of the Platform Gallery's Christmas show, "Kaleidoscope", in Clitheroe yesterday though - and that's well worth seeing. I've got five "shadow play" pieces in there, and some little ones in the shop area as well. Shoal (above) sold quickly, but I'm making another - might even try gold fish (!) this time for a change?
Temptations at Platform include James Lethbridge's gorgeous clear glass sculptural forms (below) and wooden automata by Susan R Evans (I think) - one incredibly detailed one in natural shades of wood was a woman scuba diving, hair floating out around her. When you turn the handle the diver, seaweed fronds and fishes all move around. Reminded me of Kate Humble! Extra little creatures, octopus, jelly fish etc amongst the workings. I don't usually go for automata, but this was great fun, sorry I can't find any photos.