Sometimes the creative juices need a boost and what better way to achieve this than indulging oneself and attending a stitch retreat?
I am just back from (a rather wet) Eastbourne having spent 4 days in the company of the fabulous Hungarian textile artist Eszter Bornemisza and 6 other like minded students. It was a rare chance to explore some of the creative thinking and techniques behind Eszter’s amazing work and all without the distractions of everyday life to get in the way.
The first 3 days of ‘Captured in Nets’ saw us stitching, embroidering, trapping, painting, dissolving and even melting various materials to create a sample range of exciting new textures and fabrics. Work was of course interspersed with plenty of cuppas, nibbles and not least a fabulous lunch courtesy of Christine, our amazing retreat organiser and host.
‘Captured in Nets’ – a wall of samples
Where I live!
The final day was spent bringing together everything we learn’t to create a piece inspired by our own interest. Mine is based on Polynesian Stick Charts and the designs of Napa barkcloth – this is still a work in progress so watch this space.
‘Captured in Nets’ – work in progress
‘Captured in Nets’ was a stitch retreat organised by Studio 11 Eastbourne
Just a week to go until H.Art starts but if you fancy a sneak peek we are opening on Friday 6th as well.
As in previous years I was invited to create a piece of textile work to show in conjunction with Weavers Gallery’s textile exhibition, held during Ledbury Poetry Festival. The theme this year is T.S.Eliot’s poems collectively know as the Four Quartets.
Inspired by the common premise that each one of Eliot’s Four Quartets poems corresponds to one of the four classical elements:
- Burnt Norton – Air
- East Coker – Earth
- The Dry Savages – Water
- Little Gidding – Fire
‘Elements’ is my interpretation of the poems. Each piece consists of hand dyed machine appliquéd silks and needle felted wools.
4 July – 14 July 2019
Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury HR8 1DW
Open 10.00am to 5.00pm
Free entry, sadly no disabled access (first floor gallery).
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
Sometimes, just sometimes, something wonderful emerges from the cooking pot!
||Take a piece of calico, a few rusty items and a handful of leaves from the garden.
||Lay everything out on the calico, wrap fabric and contents up in a bundle and tie tightly with string.
||Pop into an old cooking pot with a handful of tea bags and some water.
||Simmer gently for half an hour.
||Remove from pot and leave to cool overnight.
||Open package, rinse well and leave to neutralise in soda ash solution for a few hours.
||Rinse well, hang out to dry and finally iron.