Friday, 30 October 2009
After much procrastination I have finally got myself a little online shop. Visit Folksy to see my shop 'Everything Glows...'. I have only got a few items up for sale at the moment, but keep having a look as I will add more as I make more! Folksy is a lovely online community of makers who sell, buy and share all things (contemporary) crafty. They are currently running a brilliant competition called 'Upcycle Christmas' to raise money for Sue Ryder Care. It combines my twin passions of charity shop rummaging and making things, so watch this space for details of my contribution.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
The weekend was also a good chance to debut my new jewellery pieces. I have been experimenting by creating flowers using sweet wrappers and stitched with wire, a development of my installation work Everything Glows for the Very Small. Jewellery is a new avenue for my work, a kind of sculpture for the body. I would love to develop it further, creating larger, brighter more arresting pieces.
Friday, 28 August 2009
Friday, 17 July 2009
Last weekend I was proud to be Rubbish Revamped's very first Guest Workshop Tutor. With a lovely bunch of ladies all into their crafts, I demonstrated some of the techniques I have been developing over the last year. We made Shiny Bottle Garlands from old plastic bottles, bottle tops and CDs. The sun shined on Chorlton just long enough for us to take our creations out into the garden to see how they caught the light and added a bit of colour. I really enjoyed giving the workshop and would like to do some more!
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Today I created an new installation at The White Gallery in Bollington for New Threads an exhibition of textile art as part of the Three Shires Textile Festival. I've been busy stitching little wing-like bundles of found colour using old sweet wrappers and toy balls. The work is almost impossible to describe without it sounding very odd indeed! For me the piece is reminiscent of insect wings, birds of paradise and tropical blooms- anything at all that burns with colour and plays with light. Strangely, the initial impetus for the work came from seeing a documentary on the Pixar film A Bug's Life. One of the animators described how as part of his research he would lie in the grass looking up through the flowers, noticing how translucent and luminescent the world was from an ant's eye view. Everything Glows for the Very Small can be seen at The White Gallery from the 4th-19th July.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
I've just finished a fantastic Digital Photography course with the brilliant Ministry of Craft, in a bid to get to grips with my beast of an SLR. Whilst doing my homework I experimented with light trail photography, something I loved doing whilst on my degree.I'm fascinated by the ghostly, other-worldy shapes and qualities acheived by simply waving light around. I think they have a painterly quality: layers of colour, juxtaposed shapes and delicate line qualties. I've recently worked with some lovely children from Park Lane SEN Specialist School, creating shapes with light in response to music. The sensory delight that comes from dancing lights in a dark space made us all feel uplifted.
Today I visited Manchester School of Art's degree show and came away feeling inspired to draw and make! The next generation of embroiderers are a talented bunch. This year there seems to be a focus on technique with some exqusite work on show. Degree shows are breathtaking in the sheer range of creativity and innovation all in one room. Go and see it!!
Thursday, 11 June 2009
The lovely ladies of Rubbish Revamped have kindly invited me to be a guest tutor at one of their workshops. If you fancy turning those ubiquitous plastic bottles and freebie CDs into shiny, dangley garlands come along on Sunday 12th July. Visit the Rubbish Revamped site for more information and to book a place.
Monday, 1 June 2009
We stayed in a miniature thatched cottage. I love thatch! Its giant outdoor embroidery/hairdressing, what a fascinating craft. I also called into the magical Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, where cabinets of curiosity hold wonderfully idiosyncratic collections of objects. My favourite was the 'Recycled' cabinet of objects from all over the world made from waste materials. These included a place mat from India woven from punctured velvet tape, a by-product of the Bindhi industry! The low lights and crammed cases meant that people inspected them with torches, all this created a magical sense of discovering something precious in these objects though they may have little monetary value.
All in all its been a breathless month with three installations for as many festivals, coupled with workshops and artists trail days. On the 9th I was in Bollington, making in the sculpture garden as part of the Artist Trail. On the 17th I was making bottle flowers with the good people of Chorlton. I've been blown away by the positive and enthusiastic response of everyone I've met at the festivals. I couldn't have asked for a better reception for my Glittering Fall installation than 'wow', which I overhead lots of times as I sat at my temporary workshop under the wisteria canopy of the The White Gallery. Thank you to everyone who has seen or taken part in any of the festivals I've been involved with in May. A huge thank you goes to Fiona at The White Galley for giving me such a brilliant opportunity to exhibit in such a beautiful place.
Sunday, 10 May 2009
Last weekend I had a busy time installing for two local arts festivals. 'Glittering Fall' at The White Gallery in Bollington took 7 hours to install but hopefully the time spent 'tweaking' has paid off! The piece consists of hundreds of embroidered and embellished plastic bottle necks, cascading down the steps in the gallery's Secret Sculpture Garden. In this piece the reference to water became more central:
Water is the most precious commodity for human beings. The clay water vessel: a symbol of rural India is being replaced by the plastic bottle. As tourists we amass many bottles, lining them up in hotel rooms like toy soldiers, leaving them behind. Embellishing these empty shells as if they were fine silk, using traditional folk embroidery to make them glitter and shine, I hope to imbue them with a sense of preciousness.
Saturday, 25 April 2009
Today I did a workshop with the lovely children at Dean Valley Primary School in Bollington. We made flowers from empty plastic bottles and windmills from laminated magazine paper. The Bollington Festival is fast approaching and we were making decorations for the village's gardens.
Thursday, 9 April 2009
Last weekend I went to Chorlton's Big Green Festival with fellow embroiderer Emily Hayes to sit and stitch. The event was a big success with a huge amount of people attending to see performances, shop ethically and find out about green living in Manchester. Emily and I met some brilliant creative people who were interested in what we do. I was so pleased to find that quite a few remembered me and my work from last summer's Embroidery degree show. The nice ladies from Rubbish Revamped; a great Chorlton venture offering workshops using recycled materials, have asked me to be a guest workshop leader for them. Watch this space for details!
Sunday, 29 March 2009
I took some of the mirrored garlands I have been making outside today. As they caught the light and spun in the breeze they threw discs of light onto every surface. My Nana told me that as a child she used to call this reflective effect 'pussy cat washing dishes'! There certainly was something a bit magical about it.
I have increasingly become fascinated by the idea of festival garlands and the things that people string up to signify a celebration. French artist Sophie Cuvelier makes bunting- but uses it to create wonderful, joyful installations. It reminded me of my long held love of Tibetan prayer flags.
For the Bollington festival in May I want to create some kind of canopy from the bottle garlands- like a maypole or the canopies of flowers you see at religious festivals. I want people to be able to walk underneath and see sunlight streaming through the kaleidoscopic colours.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
I have recently been invited to deliver some hand embroidery workshops at Button & Skein; a beautiful wool shop in Macclesfield.
On Thursday 18th June 7-9pm, I will lead a session on mirrorwork embroidery, using folk embroidery techniques to make corsages.
On Saturday 20th August 1-4pm, for 7-13 year olds, I'll be teaching simple hand stitch and 'fuzzy felt' applique to make hairslides and badges.
Visit the Button & Skein website for more information and to book a place.
Saturday, 14 March 2009
On Saturday 4th April, I'll be at Chorlton's Big Green Festival held at St. Clement's Church- a celebration of all things green. In the Cafe area, you will find me stitching and embellishing bottles, in preparation for my forthcoming window installation at the Arison Gallery as part of the Chorlton Arts Festival in May. Please bring along your empty plastic bottles and they may find themselves embroidered and sculpted into a piece of art!
Embroidery artist Emily Hayes will also be at the festival, transforming your unwanted t-shirts into works of art. Do come along and have a butchers!
Saturday, 7 March 2009
My work is currently being exhibited at ArtLink in Hull as part of 'Make Do and Mend', a group exhibition of nine female artists to coincide with International Women's Day on the 8th March.
The show runs from the 6th March to the 6th April have a look if you find yourself in Hull!
Saturday, 21 February 2009
I thought I'd post some of the recent sketchbook work I've been doing alongside making the bottle pieces for exhibition. I'm developing some ideas for sculptural jewellery using the jewel-like colours from Quality Street wrappers(post christmas idea!).
Using book binding stitches I've been exploring ways to create little wing-like bundles. Feeding into this work are drawings and collages created after looking at patterns within microscope images of plant cells and an astonishing BBC documentary called 'Swarms'. One scene showed millions of bright pink locusts clustering on a tree their translucent wings catching the light. It is this quality of translucency and fleeting illumination that I am trying to capture in my pieces.
Over the last week I've had a little flurry of exhibtion opportunities opening up. I met with Fiona Bailey of The White Gallery in Bollington who was fantastically enthusiatic and supportive of my work. She has invited me to show my work as part of the Bollington Festival in May and the Three Shires Textile Festival in July. The Gallery is a beautiful space with a lovely tiered sculpture garden at the back. Fiona and I discussed the possibility of hanging garlands of mirrored bottles in the trees. I also want to create some kind of feature piece; a chandlier/birdhouse/mirrorball hybrid!
On the same day I was contacted by the curator from ArtLink in Hull, she wanted to put the series of 12 Mirrorballs in 'Make Do and Mend' an exhibition celebrating International Women's Day. Three in one day - exhibtions really are like buses!
I also found out that my work has been selected for the Chorlton Arts Festival. Look out for some highly fiddled with bottles in the window of Arison picture framers on Wilbraham Road around mid may! I also have the chance to give a workshop as part of the festival- what should I do for it?
Another little joy has been the biennial trip to Ikea- I've gone all focused and set myself a little studio up with a truly magical tilting table with a lightbox in it! I'll need a good space to work from; I need to get making sharpish!
Friday, 13 February 2009
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
I recently collaborated with fellow ex-embroiderer Emily Hayes on an outdoor
project. Looking at the intricate craft of pillow lace we explored ways of creating networks of lines. Left out in the snow, the piece became a negative imprint.