07 December 2014

Tales and Textiles Exhibition

The Material Girls current Exhibition is now open.  Tales and Textiles at Craft Arena, Billericay, Essex, - poster in righthand margin.

Because I've been asked, I will give the background information to my work on display.

Tales and Textiles is the theme.  Each Member of the group chose a style of decorative textile pertinent to a country, alongside which they found a Tale to compliment.  This may have been a myth, legend, poem, song, something passed on via verbal history.  The ideas and inspiration make for a diverse approach.

For my work, I chose English Samplers, I saw many examples of Sampler through the ages, inc to the present day.  To me, Samplers record a moment in time, not just the sewing skills, but names, ages, dates, family history, and with many constructed by young girls, it didn't seem a big step to associate the rhyme 'Monday's Child' - known as a fortune telling verse.

I found in my research variations of the same stitch patterns over many years.  Blocks of stitches, patterns, motifs.  To fit in with my personal way of working, I used a paper base to set out blocks and filled each with a variety of stitches.  Monday's Child in its entirety was printed onto specialist inkjet watercolour paper, and the words from each day were also stitched into the blocks.  The colour of each day's Sampler was driven by further research finding that days are associated with particular colours and meanings. 

Here are my pieces, with the title ExemplumLatin for example.

Exemplum 1
(Monday = White = Purity, Wholesomeness)
Exemplum 2 - SOLD
(Tuesday = Red pink = Sacrifice)
Exemplum 3 - SOLD
(Wednesday = Green = Renewal, Wealth)
Exemplum 4
(Thursday = Violet = Creativity)
Exemplum 5
(Friday = Blue = Nobility, Tranquility)
Exemplum 6
(Saturday = Dark Blue  = Power)
Exemplum 7
(Sunday = Orange = Adventure, Change)

Each of the group were also asked to make a 'book' - in the broadest of terms.  I chose to continue the moment in time record, making a book of the year I was born.  It has a page for every day, month divisions and a gold page for my birthday.  I'll give you a clue, it was a Leap Year, and the book is entitled "Thursday's Child".  So 379 pages individually added in coptic stitch, it measures approx 65cms wide, making it very flexible to display.


There are some mini stitched canvases for sale, as part of The Material Girls shop.  Monday's Child is printed on the background, with a coloured heart motif, a symbol to mean, love, friendship.  Each comes with its own display easel (not shown in this image) and option to add a day of the week to the canvas.

10cm sq  Mini Canvas
1 Sold to my knowledge, but I don't know which
All of the items can currently be seen at the Exhibition, any sales transactions to be dealt with via Craft Arena, as such I will not personally know of availability of any pieces.
Do look at The Material Girls blog for photos from the Exhibition.  You will find huge talent and variation in interpretation of the theme, well worth a look, and may be, an ideal Christmas present?

29 November 2014

Walrus has Spoken


The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:

Well I can't believe so much time has passed since my last posting, so lots of little stuff to catch up with.  I'm not going to reveal why... but the next two lines are also apt in my textile world at the moment.  Sooooo think on......
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--

I had a day out at a textile Conference with the Eastern Region Textile Forum.  Very nice to have a meeting in the same county as where I live.  And the next one is too, so for a change not leaving at some unknown time of the morning.  Amongst the things I found out about - Vedic Number patterns.  Its also really nice to meet up with people who have other textile interests to your own, especially as now its easy going to catch up and chat like you've never been apart, even though conferences are only twice a year. 

At our local Embroiderers' Guild Branch we had a lovely talk re millinery.  I didn't think I'd enjoy it, but it was a very good slide presentation to include history of hats and very accessible information about the modern bespoke hat maker.

Just this week a couple of things have happened.
~ received the application forms for the Burnham Art Trail which is due to take place 20th-28th June 2015  so I will be sending in my submission for that one.
~ also confirmation of the dates for the Rochford Art Trail, not due until much later in the year, 17th-26th September.  It will be a while before the applications open for that, but good to know the when.

Oh and excitement, I've won a prize from a blog.  Its a stencil and comes from Carolyn Dube in the US, this is the lady who I did the Gelli Plate course with.
Now, I do read blogs and Facebook posts, but I tend to only comment on things when I genuinely like something, having been brought up with the "if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all" attitude.  I do hate the gushing "you're sooo wonderful darhlink" posts some people always write on comments. There has been a bit of tongue biting this week, having seen plaudits for something which is misleading... can only hope it comes around and bites.  But, people are people, sigh.

I've also got my bag packed.  No, not holidays.  The bag full of goodies for this:
The Material Girls next exhibtion opens on Tuesday at Craft Arena in Billericay, Essex.  Click on our link to take you to our blog, and also take a look at our Facebook page and please like us.  As well as the exhibition pieces forming Tales and Textiles, we will have gift items for sale, so pay a visit for that artisan made Christmas present.

Please also take a look at my own Facebook page.  I've been posting a Sunday Share, with a weekly pic of a piece of my textile art.  Oh and guess what, its published on....... Sundays!!!

Hopefully I will be back, with somehting pretty to show, ideas not a problem, just need staff.



27 October 2014

Tales & Textiles Exhibition 2.12.14/11. 1.15

The Material Girls are bringing their recent exhibition to Essex.  So if you missed the opportunity to view at Cottenham, Cambs, come along to Craft Arena, Barleylands, Billericay, for a chance to see the diversity of work.
Art will be for sale, and there will be artist made gift items available.
Please tell your friends, and come along.


20 October 2014

Studying via E-Courses

Well having almost finished one mini e-course, I've signed up for another.  More on that in a moment.


Tasks from One Pull Wonders

During formal studies it was soon apparent that the information exchange wasn't enough and so I participated in many workshops.
However participation in such these days has dropped to almost nothing.  In the main this is simply due to my own knowledge base extending.  I have been on workshops I don't need, or particularly interest,  purely for the pleasure of the company of fellow students, usually known to me, or because a tutor always has something worthwhile to hear of.  However these days I wouldn't pay for a day out simply to be with good company, I can do that over tea and cake.  But equally I will go on a course knowing absolutely no one, if its something I want to learn.

My second course is also an e-course.  This way of learning, makes it interesting to see how things are moving this way and a new way to participate.... for me.

One Pull Wonders was a US based e-course.  Comprising instructional videos, inc 2 answering questions, the option to join in a private Facebook group, share work, ideas etc.  There's no time limit on the availability of the videos, and I can watch over and over.
My next e-course which has yet to start, follows similar set up, except there will be a Flickr account to share, not Facebook.  UK tutor this time.

So far I like this new venture, but these are purely leisure based courses, there is no criteria to meet, or end assessment. Benefits so far on this new e-study.
~ no time limit on completion
~ don't "have" to do anything, even in a workshop there is always the (self) pressure to do as asked.
~ taking a sideways step is possible, and importantly there is time to explore that, not usually an option in a class, or limited time for it.  Away from the workshop the idea can be forgotten or impulse lost.
~ supplies are all to hand, no more of taking too little or too much, its easy to substitute or find something else which works for the technique.
~ ability to study regardless of location

The downside.
~ lack of face to face contact, both with tutor and fellow students.
~ may be no interaction with tutor at all, in any form

I've certainly found the One Pull Wonders value for money, with 15 lessons over 5 weeks, sometimes with more than one technique, the cost of the workshop has been around what I've paid for a single day with a tutor.There may be another workshop to come with further Gelli Plate techniques.

So the next one.....

I am very drawn to the work of Karen Ruane.  I have no idea why, whether its the white on white of some of the work, the clean lines, or stitching on paper (can guess I'd like that)  I don't pretend to understand the whys and wherefores, but then its her work and it should be that, hers.  So I've seen that she has a little mini course on offer, and I signed up.  Doodle, Gather, Create, starts 8th November, want to join me?


Image - Karen Ruane
Click on the image to take you to details of the e-course