Saturday, 25 August 2012

Cloth and Memory


Quick trip to Saltaire this morning to catch the “Cloth and Memory” exhibition before it finishes on Monday.

It’s two textile artists and one painter responding to the history of Salts Mill – “the memory of cloth and the making of cloth that has seeped into the fabric of the building”. 

I was especially drawn to Beverly Ayling-Smith’s “Fragmented Memories” pieces, comprising faint prints (?) of a child’s dress on fine white fabric, totally fragmented and then loosely pieced together again. And her “Embedded Memory”, a few simple stitches suggesting a similar tiny dress but appearing to be worked into the actual white brick walls. Some pictures here, including the stitched wall.

curtain detail

Carol Quarini used net curtains “…as a metaphor for the duality of home as sanctuary and prison…” . Huge curtains covered in tallies formed from thousands of pins and needles suggest marking time or laborious counting. Small net curtains are embroidered with phrases such as “I can see through you”, hinting at what they have witnessed. On Carol’s blog you can see and read how the work was developed right through to installation.

Bob Smith’s paintings of cloth and clothing were impressive in combining work on a grand scale with subtle layers of almost hidden detail, all in a striking orange palette. But I’m sorry, just not to my taste – I need the depth and extra dimensions that textile art delivers!   

Do have a look at the website, there’s a lot of info and pics on there. And if you missed this exhibition, as I so nearly did (never saw much publicity), Cloth and Memory 2 will take place in 2013.







There are images here and  

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Lots of Lovely Links


Back in ye olden days (late 1990s!) I set up my first website as a place to store all the textile art links I’d found. There was nothing like it around at the time, so lots of people took to using it, especially students.

Over the years search engines evolved, the web grew exponentially, and it became much easier for everyone to find textile art for themselves. My site gradually focused more on my own work.

But my link collection is still there, and still growing. I list artists, galleries, supplies & services, arts organisations, and publications, all in alphabetical order. Websites, not blogs – there’s other ways to collect those.

I don’t do “reciprocal links”. I just add anything I personally find beautiful, interesting or useful, so it’s obviously biased towards my tastes – lots of embroidery, some paper, not so much quilting. And the suppliers are mostly UK ones.

I’ve just finished checking and updating it, so I thought it was a good time to share – why don’t you grab a cuppa and enjoy a browse? I’m sure you’ll find something new or forgotten, I always do!   


Sunday, 12 August 2012

One door closes…


Yesterday I attended my last meeting of Textilia III, the textile art group that has been a big part of my life for 10 years.

I’ve learned, shared and enjoyed such a lot over that time; it’s been full of challenges but great fun too. So leaving is a huge step into the unknown. But I felt I was stuck in a comfy rut and needed to shock myself into seeking out new opportunities. I can’t do things by halves – being committed to Textilia, its monthly meetings, workshops, frequent exhibitions, plus running the website, meant I couldn’t think of committing to anything else in textile art, but it was time for a change.

So now I’m free to… what? Start a new group, aim for a solo exhibition, write a book? Or something else altogether? I have no idea what the next step is.

Watch this space! And wish me luck, it’s not going to be easy…

(Photo – ploughing on through stormy seas. Antarctica, 2009. Apt?!)

Monday, 6 August 2012

Sample Project 2012 – July

All sorts of techniques this month. I’m just sorry I can’t show you the wonderful photos in “Underwater Eden – 365 Days” that inspired them.


Week 27: Northern Sea Stars

French knots on a background of embellished felt.




Week 28: Candy Cane Starfish

Red synthetic sheer fabric free machined over calico in spotty pattern, then burned away with soldering iron to reveal cream calico below.





Week 29: Queen Triggerfish

Loose knitting with crewel/embroidery threads. Embellished onto felt while distorting.




Week 30: Hawksbill Turtle

Pale mottled Kunin felt over black wool felt, free machined polygons, zapped with heat gun.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Folksy Summer Sampler

Look what popped through my letterbox!


It’s Folksy’s “Summer Sampler”, sent out to tempt more people to take a look, get involved, spread the word about the UK’s alternative to Etsy.

It folds out to A2, with a lovely selection of hand crafted goodies on one side and makers’ stories on the other.


Why did I get one? It’s those bowls again! One of my Cottage Garden bowls is pictured in the “Stuff We Love” section. <blush>


Aren’t I lucky? A big thank you to everyone at Folksy, and let’s hope it brings us all lots more friends and customers.