Lesley Brankin

Textile Artist

Author: Lesley Brankin (page 1 of 3)

Celebrating a Special Anniversary

2019 sees the 40th Anniversary of The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles (QGBI) and I was flattered (and somewhat daunted) when invited to make a quilt for inclusion in a special celebratory exhibition entitled ‘Spotlight@40’. If that wasn’t enough pressure I was told that subsequently my quilt was to become part of QGBI’s permanent  collection. Having worked, on and off, on my contribution for the past 12 months I can now show the finished quilt.

Belonging

Inspiration:

The second and third lines of The Quilters’ Guild Mission Statement read

“We bring together quilters in a spirit of friendship and learning.

We promote quilt-making in all its forms across the UK”.

In the spirit of coming together, in this, The Guild’s 40thAnniversary year, I invited fellow  members of QGBI Region 11 to donate squares of cream/white fabric and provide a single descriptive word summing up what membership means to them. The squares were pieced together as a background and the tallied words featured in my ‘spotlight’.

Design Process:

I love experimenting with different methods of making ‘marks’ using acrylic inks and simple, everyday tools such as old store cards and cardboard rolls. Taking the word ‘spotlight’ as my inspiration I began playing with ideas that might represent beams of light emanating from a spotlight. My favourite experimental marks were then scanned into my computer and the resultant files digitally combined and manipulated. One image in particular appealed and when scaled up became the basis of my design.

Making Process:

Having pieced the donated squares together as a quilt background I was reluctant to put paint all over them in case something went wrong – after all I only had one set of squares!  Using painted Lutradur as an overlay layer provided the solution and also gave an interesting surface to work on. The radial lines were created using my ‘card scraping’ technique but I substituted a long ruler for a store card.

The circle is printed using the edge of a plastic plate and the overlay shadow regions are cut from blue floral mesh bonded using Mistyfuse.

The descriptive words were printed out onto T-shirt transfer paper, cut out and individually applied – the size of the text represents the number of members who cited that word.  Finally my completed Lutradur overlay was applied to the background squares using more Mistyfuse and the quilt top was complete.

Finishing:

After sandwiching using Hobbs 80/20 wadding with a complimentary batik backing, I machine quilted all over the quilt before adding lines of machine embroidery and straight stitching for additional interest.

Thank You

A big thank you to everyone who supplied me with squares, words and on-going encouragement and also to Doughty’s of Hereford for kindly supplying the background fabric and wadding for the quilt.

 

If visiting Festival of Quilts in August or the Knitting & Stitching shows later in the year, please do pop by the Spotlight@40 gallery and view ‘Belonging’ and the other quilts

The Start of Something New

With three exhibition pieces to produce, not to mention my also having agreed to participate in H.Art* week later this year, it really is time to get my act into gear. I am not presently able to share detailed design ideas for the exhibition pieces but I can reveal that one of them will be based on the wonderful architecture of Coventry Cathedral.

In particular I am drawn to the negative shapes created by the window frames of the old part of the Cathedral – some of them have an intriguing, almost figure like, appearance.

The question is how might I go about utilising these in a quilt design …

*Herefordshire Art Week

 

 

Small Beginnings

Rain

After what can only be described as year of intense highs and lows, the start of 2019 has seen the shoots of creativity starting to sprout once more. It may not be a large piece of work (A4 sized) but ‘Rain’ is the first piece of work I have completed for a good while. Created in response to a group challenge on the theme of ‘weather’.

Something completely different …

Norwegian Memories

A few weeks back I spent a most enjoyable few days in glorious Devon at the home and studio of renowned weaver Susie Gillespie. The first two days were spent weaving on full size looms (all set up for us) – this was a first for me, but something I had always wanted to have a go at. My fabulous new friends and I were shown a number of techniques and then basically allowed to let our creative juices flow. I was going to make three small hangings from my piece but in retrospect have decided that I like the piece as a whole. The additional objects are treasures found whilst on holiday in Norway back in May/June. All the piece needs now is for me to decide how to  finish off the top – perhaps hung from another piece of driftwood?

The final two days were spent in the company of well known textile artist Alice Fox. We had a great time making our own natural dyes from foraged plants and experimenting with eco printing. Both are techniques I  have only dabbled with before , but am keen to explore further.

Little Bundles of Colour

Metropolis

 

Metropolis

Life has been a bit busy recently and I have not had chance to feature my latest quilt.  Another experimental mark making piece which reminded me of a cityscape, hence the title of ‘Metropolis’.  It was awarded 3rd place in the Art Quilt category at Festival of Quilts earlier in the month.

Metropolis (detail)

 

Serendipity

Sometimes, just sometimes, something wonderful emerges from the cooking pot!

Recipe:

1. Take a piece of calico, a few rusty items and a handful of  leaves from the garden.
2. Lay everything out on the calico, wrap fabric and contents up in a bundle and tie tightly with string.
3. Pop into an old cooking pot with a handful of tea bags and some water.
4. Simmer gently for half an hour.
5. Remove from pot and leave to cool overnight.
6. Open package, rinse well and leave to neutralise in soda ash solution for a few hours.
7. Rinse well, hang out to dry and finally iron.
8. Admire!

Ledbury Poetry Festival 2018

Each year, designed to co-incide with the annual Poetry Festival, Weavers Gallery in Ledbury hosts a themed exhibition of invitational work by local textile artists.  This year our theme was the life and works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Dawn to Dusk

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

(from Elizabeth  Barrett Browning’s poem ‘How do I love thee?’)

 

The Wheel Goes Round …

28 June – 8 July 2018

Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury HR8 1DW

Open 10.00am to 4.00pm

Free entry, sadly no disabled access (first floor gallery).

Eclectica shortlisted for Fine Art Quilt Masters 2018

Eclectica

I am delighted to announce that Eclectica has been shortlisted for the Fine Art Quilt Masters 2018, one of 23 pieces of work selected for inclusion in this prestigious exhibition at Festival of Quilts in August. You can see the full list of selected works here – I am in some great company.

This is one of a number of pieces of experimental mark making work which have evolved since my attending an inspirational drawing course led by renowned textile artist Matthew Harris at West Dean College early last year. It is not a quilt in the conventional sense in that I have layered, felted and stitched multiple pieces of painted  muslin onto a base of wool felt. Deliberately there is no backing fabric as I wanted the drape of the wool to be an inherent feature of the piece.

Eclectica – detail

Fish ‘n’ Chips goes on Tour

Fish ‘n’ Chips

Fish ‘n’ Chips is touring (2018-2019) with Contemporary Quilt’s ‘In Print’ challenge exhibition. Our first venue is The Forge Mill Needle Museum, Redditch and runs from 25th May until 8th July 2018. Other venues and dates will be announced in due course.

Monoprinted on calico using artists acrylic paint.  Transfer printed appliquéd transparent fabric and acetone printed  newspaper ‘chips’. Machine and hand quilting.

Weeping Window

During March and April Hereford Cathedral hosted the travelling Weeping Window installation, a collaborative piece by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. A subset of the original Tower of London Poppies, created to commemorate the First World War centenary, this work captured my imagination.

Hereford Cathedral, Weeping Window March/April 2018

Hereford Cathedral, Weeping Window, detail

Still sticking with my mark making theme – this is an A4 sample piece I made in response.

Weeping Window

Weeping Window Detail

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