Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas everyone

the first thing i saw this morning
i hope everyone has a great Christmas and Creative 2016

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Imprints at Taunton

i spent a few hours last week at the museum stewarding so I was able at last to take a picture of my piece 'Subjoined Lines'. the problem of not having much space at home is that large items never get hung or photographed in their entirety.
the team at Taunton had done a wonderful job with the brackets at the top and although it was hung higher than I had wanted I can see why they did it.

label telling the story
detail and shadows
it was great seeing it in a museum setting. in fact the whole exhibition was really well hung and has had a lot of interest.
On until the beginning of January.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Harris Tweed that will do nicely!

i have had a break from being creative and have made myself a coat. somebody has discovered that tweed is very comfortable!
Green Trotsky
 however on the back burner i have started something based on travellers and their need to carry things
i am still working in the past for inspiration. thinking of nineteenth century travellers wearing straw bonnets. i have recently conserved a straw bonnet and found the twisted straw i have used above in an antiques fair. 
i am using fishing line to crochet with enclosing the straw a bit like a coiled vessel.
it's quite small but is still growing and it is a pleasure after the enormous giant now at Taunton.
i am stewarding there next Friday so will take some images in situ,

Monday, 14 September 2015

Done and dusted

well it's finished and delivered and will hopefully be hung ok. i am always worried when i send something off that i have no involvement in hanging so we will see.
the exhibition is on for a good time so there is no excuse!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

ilminster 'On the Edge' exhibition

if you are in ilmister you probably have about an hour or so to see the exhibition before it is taken down.
meet the artists 1st August
 however here are a few shots of my work in situ for any interested parties. quality of images not brilliant but i am still working out the new camera.
'Heavenly Bodies' and '40 days'
see previous blog entries for more details.
'last of the broadsheets'
the last of the broadsheets were my little books made from newspaper and thread.
and finally my collars based on the people on the edge of society. unfortunately i noticed too late that the gallery had put the labels on the perspex visible! but hey ho we live and learn.

it has been a very hectic time recently but yesterday i took time out to visit Sidmouth for the last day of the folk week. so i will leave you with the thought of relaxation.
only in England

Monday, 3 August 2015

From Bristol to Fish and back again

i have been on the TSG (Textile Study Group) annual summer school at Farncombe in the vale of Evesham. Since last year the hotel has re branded and is now The Fish Hotel. Strange name but it's all to do with fish, monks and hills.
This year I chose to work with Jan Miller who was a great inspiration and a lovely tutor. the course was called 'in and out of the landscape' and our starting point could have been 'from postcard to photo; map to novel; JMW Turner to Richard Long; Norman Ackroyd to Hockney; reflection to shadow; inside to outside; images to ideas; your choice' so basically wide open!
i have been working for a while with bus journeys, wet ones in particular ending at the sea, so i went with that. 
we were asked to bring foraged items and things that had been used before. i am not a great forager of natural products(except beach finds) but i love picking up man made discarded items. 
some of my collection of foraged items
 we were able to work on a number of things so initially i made some 'tools' from foraged/found items that i could use as drawing implements.
flint, lolly sticks, plastic and metal tools
we also used tea and other things to colour fabric and papers. again this is something i have never done because i am always concerned about light fastness. Why?
binding a wooden fork with ramie and fishing line
items bound and dipped in tea and ink
some of the papers i dyed were then printed/marked with the tools i had made
abaca, ink, paint and graphite
 i am very keen on making things that will then themselves be made into something else. so i used this paper to make some thin strips that were folded and then waxed.
the strips with added graphite

i then put these aside and learnt how to twine. Jan has used twining in her work to great effect and as i had never done any i was keen to learn. as usual i went small and worked with some foraged pine needles and then the wax strips themselves.
i made the paper threads on the right hand set and then wondered about working with twining 3D items in the middle. these are waxed strips wound into tubes and twined with wire.
i then thought about my 'precious' little tools and decided to make some 'pockets'/'envelopes' to house them in. these were made with various papers from the course and other re-used pieces from previous work.
my group of 'pockets' plus a piece of metal given to me by Helen
i am really pleased with these and hope to use them in the future for something or as inspiration.
collection and samples
there was much discussion about 'collections' of items and how you 'curate' them or place them together with other things. a discussion we were having at work recently is that everybody seems to be a curator now and why not?
it was great to catch up with Helen, another Distant Stitcher and to meet Ali a new Distant is always an anti-climax coming back down to earth after summer school but it always leaves me with lots to think about and plenty of inspiration.
Last sunday i was back in bristol looking at the Richard Long exhibition in the Arnolfini, particularly enjoyable were his fingerprint pieces which are always a source of wonder and inspiration.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Exhibition at last!

it seems a long time coming but it will soon be here and then it will be over!
please come along if you can and support us; you can even meet us on 1st August but please note the gallery is closed on Sundays.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Getting there but still a long way to go

i have to decide on my hanging mechanism for the piece I am submitting for SWTG exhibition 'Imprints' at Taunton Museum in October so i was playing around with what i have completed so far. to recap i am making lace braille from newsprint and other relevant materials related to Joseph Neal Sewell's shoes in the museum.
paper, textile and leather spots stitched to newspaper. 
after stitching the newsprint removed between the stitch lines.
the piece will be the height of Joseph, approximately 7' 4" and 2'6" wide when finished. because his life story in braille will amount to four of these sizes i will have four hanging one in front of the other to give some idea of body size.
as it was too difficult to make one piece all in one i am making four pieces and joining them for each large panel but to see what it will look like i have been playing with the four smaller pieces first.
four pieces hanging together
its great having a room that is in the throws of being decorated with no furniture or pictures on the walls. ladders are useful! originally i was planning to attach each panel to an acrylic rod but the one at the back i have was bowing so i am thinking of stainless which is more in keeping with the shoes which have metal buckles.
a scattering of dots
once the four panels were joined i played around and quite like this mess of dots. i have now finished one panel - three more to go!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Working towards 'On the Edge' exhibition

my posts seem to be monthly now although i would prefer it if they were more regular. i have had Easter week at home to myself so i have got down to some serious work that theoretically needs to be finished by next weekend when i meet up with the rest of the group.
the exhibition in July at Ilminster Arts Centre will come in two parts. the main exhibition 'On the edge' and the cafe area where we are showing framed items that we have all made from paper. before i joined the group they had had a weekend of paper making so my work is based loosely on paper that i have made and/ or recycled.
the chocolates were made of paper pulp and moulded in a chocolate box packaging. the frilly chocolate holders are newspaper and machine stitch.
for Christmas i was given a book called 'Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures & Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs'by Paul Koudounaris. it is an amazing book with wonderful images of saints bones wrapped and clothed in magnificent attire and jewels. i have been inspired by the book for these pieces.
 the second piece is still on the chocolate theme. for lent i gave up chocolate and collected all my bus tickets for the endurance. each day i folded up the ticket and put it in my bag. they have been given a make-over with black spray paint, silver leaf and labels. i realised when i was typing out the word chocolate that the more i typed it it looked wrong! something trying to tell me how bad chocolate is?
just waiting for frames now

Friday, 13 February 2015

More new work

Oh dear it really is a long time since my last post. I have been working on a piece for South West Textiles Group to be submitted for an exhibition at Taunton Museum later this year. The exhibition called 'Imprints' uses items from the displays as initial inspiration.

I was fascinated by a pair of large shoes reputedly worn by Joseph Neal Sewell, the Lincolnshire Giant who is buried in Taunton. His story is fascinating but in short. 
Illegitimate and over seven feet tall , to make a living he exhibited himself around the country fairs. He died in 1829 suddenly and was brought to Taunton for burial. Some years before he died he lost his sight.

I have looked at the shoes which are on display and thought about the materials they were made from,the man himself and his story. it is the story i am concentrating on and the fact that he was blind so have been looking into Braille.
my son's old school shoes
i am using materials found in shoes, paper used for the stories and textile such as wool for the Braille dots.
sample of Braille worked on newsprint
Hello Kitty box of dots
 so today i have been cutting dots and going dotty in the process. i have an old leather punch for the fine tissue (from a shoe box),leather from my son's school shoes and textile. other papers can be cut with a mechanical hole punch. 

you can see other work from this project on South West Textiles Blog

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Getting there

i have been wading my way through wet starchy collars and tiny letters. almost finished now so here are a few images so far. there are a total of nine collars all in varying states of deconstruction.
alternative, misfit and outsider
 i found the easiest way to unpick them was wet as dry they are rock solid with starch. surprisingly for a conservator i found it rather therapeutic to unpick them; perhaps its time to change jobs!
small bolts and nuts hold pieces together like the 'nuts and bolts' of society
each letter was individually made from various recycled bits and bobs based on the typeface 'ransom note'
 i have thought carefully about each collar and how it should be re-formed depending on the image it is to represent. i need to think now whether to add more to the collars working with the numbered laundry tags but that's for next week.

Happy New Year everyone, I like the look of 2015 something about the 5.