Tuesday, 19 March 2019

MADE BY HAND CHELTENHAM

Every once in a while I have to get out of the studio and meet people. One of the best ways to do this is a Craft Show.
I am lucky enough to have one on my door step, Craft Festival has come back to Cheltenham for the second year running, bringing with it Made By Hand.
An excellent show packed with extraordinary makers and artists. 
The whole event is run so professionally and there is great camaraderie between everyone.
My stand was set up on the Thursday
with a small studio within it.
My view all weekend down the corridor of talent.
I spent 3 days demonstrating 
my printmaking practice
and gum arabic transfer printmaking.
Everyone was so interested, thank you to anyone who stopped to take a look.
I could not have done the weekend without the help of my good chum Caroline, a super talent in her own right.
The whole 3 days went by in a flash, Sunday afternoon bowled a bit of a curve ball during pack up as I piled everything into the car during a hail storm.

A lovely event and as I said earlier, thank you to everyone who took the time to see me.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

STITCHING AT THE YARD

Colour and thread landed in the yard:ARTspace on Saturday with a 
Free Machine Embroidery workshop run by the electric sewing machine wizard, Catherine Kingzett
7 different sewing machines in the room, worked by operators with varying experience, but nothing phased Catherine. We all soon got to grips with our machines.
We started the day getting to know what we and our machines were capable of.
Then focused on doodling and drawing.
Trying threads and mark making...
I just couldn't resist having a go at a face.
We then got down and serious after lunch, producing
carefully thought out projects.
Getting to grips with a touch of applique. 
Working on different substrates and 
becoming confident with drawing and colouring in with thread.
Whoops, did I try out a bird, well it would have been rude not to?
A woman at one with her machine, I may even be looking relaxed, although apparently I have a sewing machine face when I work.
Catherine is such a patient teacher, 
showing us everything we needed to know about our machines and encouraging us to experiment.
Check out the textile workshops at the yard:ARTspace, some are a little out of the ordinary and will get you going in different directions.

Thank you Cath for a wonderful day.




Sunday, 13 January 2019

STARTING THE YEAR WITH GUSTO!

January can be a difficult time for creatives. There is something about a New Year, post Christmas that makes us think about what we do. My antidote to this...and I am not immune to the negative thoughts that creep in when the weather is gloomy and the days are short, is to draw.
I hit those sketch books hard and fast, I try not to think too much. This is where gum arabic printmaking comes into its own. I took some new photos before Christmas and then printed photo copy versions of them at the beginning of the month.
I try not to start brand new things, but go with what I know I can do.
Rework ideas in the hope they might work this time and
generally experiment. I fancy focusing on flight this year, but don't hold me to that.
I leave unfinished projects to develop after the festivities.
So I have cranked up the Bernina and started stitching into these prints on silk.
The best thing to get me and others going is holding a Mixed Media Sketch Book weekend. Yes, this week term started at the yard:ARTspace.
Take eight talented women, give them ink.
acrylic paint, wax and bleach.
Teach then how to print gum arabic transfers and
wonderful experimental works on paper appear.
Transform these random marks on paper into folded,
;
glued booklets. Everyone took home several little treasures and
loads of new techniques to loosen up their drawing.

So halfway through January and I am now feeling creative and positive for the year to come. How lucky I am to be working in a field I love, with talented enthusiastic people.

I hope your year has started as well?












Sunday, 16 December 2018

CHRISTMAS CREATIONS

It has been a really busy year, lots of workshops at the yard:ARTspace and loads of experimenting with new textile techniques. 2018 is coming to an end and my workshops and courses stop over December to give me some breathing space, but I can't just stop.
I have a bit more time to work in my sketch books
and make a few decisions about what to develop next.
I find Christmas makes me feel cosy and nostalgic, so I often find myself 
knitting or as here, crocheting. I now have a garland for my fire place this year.
This mouse is from Christmas past, I must search out the pattern again, you never know when a knitted mouse will be needed?
Not satisfied with the garland I embarked on a pom pom wreath. Not for the faint hearted this project.
When completed it weighed as much as a sheep and takes more yarn than expected.
I ran a very enjoyable Christmas fairy workshop at the end of November at the yard. Another excuse to get the pom pom makers out. Nothing says Christmas like a fabric pom pom, especially in net or velvet. These ladies are waiting for wings and faces.
Last year I was lucky enough to have Hens Teeth in the yard with her take on Christmas angels. I love finding makes from the past and getting them out for the season.
Talking of fairies here is the result of an annual event that has been happening for about 15 years now, the fairy swap between me and talented artist Caroline McCatty. This years theme is fungus fairy, I still reckon I get the better offering, I just love this earthy little character that Caroline has made me, he is sitting happily on my mantle piece.
So as I get closer to Christmas day, mince pies are made, presents bought and wrapped and the annual arrival of the tree in the 2CV has happened.
After an hour of straightening and stabilizing with the lovely Mr Brown we are now decorated and ready for the festive off!
2018 has not been without its challenges, but on the whole everything has gone relatively smoothly.
Here's to a creative 2019, have a Happy Christmas.