Monday, 24 October 2011

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

This year (unusually) we didn’t get to Origin, so it was compulsory to go to this – the north’s nearest equivalent – yesterday. It’s going from strength to strength, lots of exciting new designer-makers and not too many of the same people each time. In fact many of the makers who were new to Origin this year were ones we’d already seen at GNCCF in 2010 so we didn’t miss too much.

GNCCFCarrAs last year, one of my favourites was Catherine Fuga-Carr, who crochets glass dishes. Yes really – a very clever, unique process Delighted to hear how successful she’s been since her debut last year as a new graduate. A little example came home with me this time, gorgeous.








An exciting new discovery – Yu-Ping Lin, who makes ingenious textile jewellery. Her complex origami-like forms, made of layered, bonded and cut fabrics, can be transformed by manipulating the folds and turning them inside out.  



GNCCFlaneI always enjoy Clare Lane’s striking canvases, even though urban scenes don’t usually appeal to me. Love the way her digitally simplified photos are enhanced by densely stitched areas.







Another textile artist, Caroline Kirton, takes her inspiration from teenage life.



GNCCFJewelsAs always, it seemed as though there were more jewellers than all other crafts put together. I’m not complaining… wonderful stuff, I can’t get enough of it. When the lottery numbers come up, it’s kinetic jewellery from Victoria Walker and Alan Ardiff for me. My favourites were a poppy seedhead ‘locket’ by Walker, which opened into a flower. Beautiful magic, and so skilled. Of Ardiff’s pendants I liked ‘new leaf’ – turn the tiny handle and the suspended leaf flips over to reveal a different coloured side. 

Altogether a fabulous show, very inspiring. So much more I could write about… but why not browse the GNCCF website and see for yourself?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Oh I do like to be…


…RIGHT beside the sea! This was the view from the house we stayed in for a few days this week, in Northumberland.

We had a great time exploring the coast, brilliant blue skies and “fresh” winds made for spectacular sea views. Very relaxing, just what we needed. 

Came across this seat in the dunes, an unexpected textiley creation:


Driftwood, woven rope, festooned net – love it!

Monday, 17 October 2011

All over bar the tidying

The inaugural Ilkley Art Trail has been a great success! Visitor numbers peaked on Sunday as the weather cooperated and word got around. Or to be fair, was put around by wonderful volunteers accosting passers-by in town. Many thanks due to Lorna and Lucia and their helpers.

The garage is once more bare, and quite a few items have gone to new homes - from brooches and cards to little thread bowls and framed pictures. But there’s a lot still to be put away. Never mind, it can wait… I’m having a well-earned break now! 

Friday, 14 October 2011

Last chance to see!


Once again the garage is bedecked with bunting and transformed into my own little gallery for the final weekend of the Ilkley Art Trail.

I’m showing over twenty wall pieces, a selection of my ‘soluble lace’ bowls, textile jewellery, plus cards, bookmarks, unframed pieces and more. Take a look at my website and Etsy shop to see examples of my work. 

The weather looks promising, so where better for a day out than beautiful Wharfedale?

Full programme (with map) available on the Ilkley Art Trail website, or pick up a paper copy when you visit me (email if you need directions).

Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Sample Diary - September

I’m a bit late with this! But even the Ilkley Art Trail can’t stop me now, when I’ve got so far through the year. Each week a little textile doodle in response to a picture from the newspaper.  


Week 35 – Space junk orbiting Earth

Paint spatters and cross stitch.







Week 36 – David Hockney’s Yorkshire tree paintings

Background of embellished felt/wool fibres, free machine embroidery.







Week 37 – New Dyson “Hot” fan heater

Paperclips, hand stitch.






Week 38 – Protest against corruption in Brazilian politics

They planted hundreds of brooms on Copacabana beach! Great idea, would I have heard about it if they just had boring placards?

Free machine embroidery on soluble fabric for broom heads, zigzag covered wire for handles.



Week 39 – Proposal to raise speed limit to 80 mph

Head- and tail-lights.

Free machine embroidery.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Ilkley Art Trail: Now Open!


Here’s a glimpse of my garage gallery!

Open 10-5 this weekend and next weekend. There are around 30 venues, all different media – take a look at the IAT website. The Literature Festival is on too, and Ilkley’s a great place for a day out anyway – glorious Wharfedale scenery and the famous Betty’s tearoom, what more could you ask?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Ilkley Art Trail–five days to go!


Wow, it’s come round fast – the Ilkley Art Trail/Open Studios begins next Saturday. A first for Ilkley, and a first for me too!

When I first heard about it in the spring I thought it’d be businesses in town giving over some of their window space to artists – that’s what Art Trails often seem to mean. And there is a bit of that… but what I’ve ended up doing is turning our garage into a little temporary gallery!

Now the spiders have been evacuated (sorry guys), new lights installed, it’s all painted white inside and just about ready. The hooks are in place to hang the wall art, but being a garage, in October, I’m not leaving it all in there until next weekend.

This week ALL I’ve got to do is signs and labels, plus cards and other small bits and bobs. And work out how to display all those things, along with some of my little thread bowls and some mini framed pieces.

If you’re not too far away, how about coming along? The Trail has over 30 artists, showing paintings, prints, glass, jewellery, ceramics, wood… and several other textile and mixed media people including my friend Linda Dewart. And it’s all timed to coincide with the Ilkley Literature Festival too. What more could you want?