25 February 2014

Eastern Images - ERTF Exhibition

Well last post you saw one series of work, 7 wall pieces.... but that is not the only set of things I've made.  You've seen sneaky snippets, time now to show you the whole.

The Eastern Region Textile Forum, holds a selected exhibition every two years or so.  Selected by an independent guest Curator.  So this body of work was actually completed for submission by photograph last September. So its been a while to keep hidden.
The topic of this Exhibition was 'Eastern Images' - which covers anything within the Forum area or far afield to the exotic East.
Many years ago a textile artist told me, 'you only ever need about 5 topics/themes to work on, and they will last a lifetime'.  So having never tried this out, I thought, give it a go.  Living a few miles from the Estuary, what better than Beach Huts.  I have made some previous work with this inspiration, and now it was time to revisit and try some 3d versions!
So for the ERTF Exhibition I made 5 huts.  These suit my liking for things which are the same, but different.

The design, construction etc are all pure me, no using someone else's templates.
some of the design stages
I measured, cut, constructed, photographed and pondered the little buildings for ages.  Eventually I found size, shape and detail I was happy with, which seemed to look OK... I just hoped my copy paper mock ups would work when using the intended paper.  There did need to be a bit of wiggle room, but hard to measure a 'smidge'.

The Huts are stitched, perhaps minimally in some cases, and in others there is hand stitching and embellishment.  Some are painted, some printed, some distress painted... another thing to work out how to do without buying the fancy made for product.
As a collective I've called them  Waterside Parade.  My imagination is sparked, and on the list for returning to the topic is the character of each Hut.... who, why, what, stories to tell.

So having made two sets of of things, which somehow have come out a bit girly colours, I'm surprised to think I'm the one who has done that.... so doesn't seem like me at all.  I may own kittens but I don't consider myself pink, frothy frou frou at all.  Need to venture to the dark side.....

The exhibition continues until 7th March... and I will be at the venue on a Meet the Makers Day on Thursday 27th Feb - click here to the website, poster with full details.

22 February 2014

Textiles in Focus

Well here we are, already the middle day of Textiles in Focus.  Before you know it, blink and it will be gone.  And for this weekend only I have work in three exhibitions at the same time - for The Material Girls, our work touring Canada, currently in Saskatchwen, our display at Textiles in Focus, and via the Eastern Region Textile Forum at Bishop's Stortford.    So if you fancy a tour???

OK let's share Textiles in Focus with you, up until now, its been just glimpses of what.   The title 'Tales and Textiles' - we each choose a culture to explore the textiles, alongside a myth, legend, poem which related.  So my textile choice English Samplers and I choose the rhyme Monday's Child to go with it.  The criteria set by Chris, our Mentor, was to make a book with impact, plus other items for display.  What or how many other pieces was my choice but a poem about days of the week, kinda meant I needed seven!!!
My passion is stitching on paper, and I decided to make up pieces which comprised of 'borders'.  Each panel was divided into blocks, one large for the entire rhyme, significant words from the poem for the day in other blocks and patterns in the remaining.  They all have the same patterns, but worked differently - I found in my research that a similar pattern would appear over and over spanning quite a time period.   Colour choices were a nod to other research, where days of the week are attributed certain colours.

My book with impact.  Well to me Samplers record a person, a moment in time, with names, dates, ages often listed.  So I decided to make a book for the year I was born... a page for every day, and yes it was a Leap Year!  So I marked the months with a cross stitch number, a page for every day, and my birthday page is gold leaf.  I choose cream and red for the pages referencing old sampler colours and set about coptic stitching. 379 pages x  4 stitches each = 1516 stitches later, you have one of these....  a book which is approx 65cms wide, and wiggles into all sorts of display shapes.

Its called Thursday's Child, because that's the day I was born, (this is obviously why I'm a purple person) you will find a gold page, I haven't made you count Feb pages, but there are 29.  Is that enough clues to look at the book and work out when I was born????

The Material Girls already have the next project in hand... we've had a site meeting, have a brief, it involves the National Trust.  Just need some ideas.... ever hopeful at Textiles in Focus, I bought a shiny  new sketchbook.

11 February 2014

And Breathe....

Its nice to sit here, chill with a cuppa.
In the past six days I've delivered work for two Exhibitions, and paperwork for another opportunity.  Its been a bit, where what, when, trying to make sure head has everything straight.  I'm not sure I want to work like this again... but can't be helped when availability or short notice means things collide.  I knew it was do-able, and yes I did do it, although some compromise necessary.  But another time.... let's hope I get myself together a bit faster, and make better use of those lime green post-it notes, bought so I don't miss anything.  However, there is nothing like a deadline to sort decisions!
Thanks to Deirdre for company last week, to Chris, Miriam, Julie for things for next week.
So now I have two Meet the Maker type events, to sort, and I've even got a design sorted for a bit of stitching whilst chatting.
Next task to clear up computer, so much has been saved anywhere, it needs a serious sort.  Put stash back in correct places.  Have some nonsense playtime.  Make cat toys, as my beasties demolish the bought ones in five minutes.
However, always time for more tea.... aaaahhhh.

01 February 2014

Christmas in February?

Naaaah, but a big bundle of parcels.
This is my work packed up ready for delivery for two Exhibitions.
I think I must be incredibly slow, but it takes me forever to label and pack things.
Not helped by brain failure... heard the phrase, measure twice cut once, go buy more fabric!!!  For me its more, measure twice, cut once, speak fluent Anglo Saxon!
I needed 7 envelopes, I've made 11.... had my ruler the wrong way round and read off the wrong measurement, errr twice!  Ended up with two envelopes too small, so thought, what the heck might as well make them up anyway, then there was the leftovers....
And, drum roll trrrrrrr I stitched my envelopes together.
Now this is not me being nit picky or smarty pants, its pure practical.  I was going to go with my usual parcel tape holding together, but this is very stiff bubblewrap stuff. and I thought it just might not hold it together.  Then thought I'll seal it with a hot iron.  But this is lined bubblewrap, so wouldn't melt together.  So easiest idea is to stitch it.  I have machined through bubblewrap before, and this one was a lot easier, likely because of the lining.   Its just a lot stiffer and you trying to lay it on a table to cut it without sweeping everything everywhere.

If you can spot the blue on the envelopes its because this is wrap courtesy of Pickfords!!!  I had my late mother's furniture delivered to me, via the company, and they wrapped everything in this bubblewrap, which is bubbles but smooth plastic on one side (left of the pic above) but its lined with like a garden fleece (right in the pic).  Anyway furniture was delivered "would madam like us to unwrap it" - errrr no madam would not, because madam has spied the wrapping and wants it for herself thank you.  Well its trendy its recycling, or upcycling or repurposing or whatever the phrase is.  And of course when I'm mega famous, and you all want to buy my work for thousands, around the world - I'll have Pickfords deliver it to you!!!   Suggest you get a bargain now.... before the rush....