a life of fibre

University nesting September 22nd, 2018

Charlotte suffers quite badly from homesickness when she’s away at university and has found it helps to do a significant amount of ‘nesting’.  I thought I’d try and help.

I’m happy about this little piece of art. It’s hand embroidered on hessian which cameas free wrapping on one of our deliveries, it’s backed with leftover fabric from curtain making (free) and mounted onto a piece of cutoff MDF (free) from the joiners next door to us at work. Turquoise is one of her favourite colours.

There was sufficient hessian to make another tote bag and I think I might even squeeze a third one from it!!

The biscuit exchange September 19th, 2018

So, I teased you last time with this image.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-custard-cream-biscuit-traditional-vector-format-image44825897

Our girl has a healthy appetite and seemed to be constantly hungry when she went to university, the same was also true for some of her friends and one in particular. They had a group chat. The chat was often around being hungry (no surprise there) and swaps of biscuit resources were undertaken, The Biscuit exchange was born and the group chat relabelled.

I felt this should be celebrated with a tote bag to carry further supplies 🙂   The centre of the biscuit and the words are hand embroidered with the rest of the biscuit being drawn in with a sharpie. It’s gone down a storm 🙂 🙂

I made three other bags for her friends but sadly forgot to take photos. I will do better.

It’s been so long September 14th, 2018

It’s been so long since I posted and life has continued to happen but for some reason I’ve not had the energy. Some days energy levels are low and others non existent ,  so far tests have revealed nothing and the doctor’s current theory is it’s related to menopause – joy 🙁

Have I made felt? yes. Have I done any other textiles? yes but I just haven’t found the energy to talk about it and the longer I’ve stayed away the harder it’s been to come back. There’s so much I’ve wanted to say / show you and it’s been bugging me but I’ve decided the only way to get back is to not worry about what I haven’t said / shown. In the fullness of time some things may appear but others you may never see. I’m making a concerted effort to blog and try and get myself back in the swing of things.

Charlotte is back off to university next week, she’s passed her driving test and will be more mobile but the homesickness has never gone away and she’s not really looking forward to returning. Falmouth is such a long way away! One way to deal with it is to nest like mad so there may be a blog about floor cushions on it’s way, you have been warned. However, custard creams will make an appearnace before then!

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-custard-cream-biscuit-traditional-vector-format-image44825897

 

Print at Armley Mills – 1 August 8th, 2018

Last year I used print at Armley Mills as part of three of my pieces for the Wool Stories – The Felted Mill exhibition. This time around I wanted to use print again and couldn’t help but revisit the wallpaper block I used last year plus one or two which belong to the same pattern.

Here’s the original.

Now for the rest.

Here’s how they work in use

Then I found this one.

Gorgeous as all this is I’m not sure where I’m going with this currently, this is one to come back to.

Sewing machine trials August 6th, 2018

As part of my artist in residence activities at Armley Mills I was privileged to be allowed to use one of the industrial sewing machines from the collection.

It was a bit of a trial. I started off with a quick trial using the thread already in the machine. No problem, stitch length easy, reverse fine. Then the top thread broke. It took a little while of me checking the neighbouring machine to thread it up to the needle at which point I discovered my eyesight was much worse than I thought! I couldn’t see the eye, Louise (museum staff) fetched a torch and I discovered it threaded left to right rather than front to back, phew, eyesight not that bad then. I still couldn’t thread it but at least I knew which way it went 🙂 Louise (love her) then fetched a magnifying glass for me and the needle was finally threaded – yippee!!

Full steam ahead, but not for long before the bobbin thread ran out. Hmmm, how do I fill the bobbin? Come to that how did I get at the bobbin? I did manage this faster than threading the needle but that was mainly because Andrew the technician was around and showed me how (phew). I was off again.

I wanted to use  my own thread so set to, rethreaded the machine, got out my hoop, stretched the double layer of cotton muslin into it and discovered I couldn’t fit it under the foot and the foot didn’t come off without a screwdriver which I didn’t have. Irritating but never mind, took the hoop apart, put one ring on the machine then slipped the fabric under the foot , put the second ring of the hoop under the foot and reassembed the hoop.

Yay!  Blast! The bobbin ran out again. That was fine, I took it out, filled it put it back and then discovered I couldn’t get the bobbin thread through to the top because the hoop was in the way. Took it apart, pulled the bottom thread up, reassembled the hoop, started stitching again. Top thread ran out. Nooo.

On the final day I went armed with a pre-filled bobbin, new thread and two pairs of scissors  as I forgot scissors earlier in the week and was bailed out by Linda (museum staff), what could go wrong?  Nothing it seemed, I got on quite well and was just thinking that I didn’t need to do much more when the drive band snapped. Drive band stopped play as there was no technician on site. I’d been concerned about it throughout as I’d noticed the dust accumulating under it and had pointed it out to staff. What can you expect? drive bands perish, I was privileged to use the machine and lucky that the drive band held out so long.

This is the first stage towards a pot, I’ll be doing some rust dyeing next before I nuno felt it.

Artist in residence July 24th, 2018

I’m off to start my artist in residence at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills today. I’m having to spread it over two weeks as I can’t afford a block away from the day job (Adelaide Walker). I have plans for the day, I wonder if it’ll actually work out that way? wish me luck!

Workshops July 12th, 2018

I’ve been fascinated with feltmaking for over 15 years, I love teaching and sharing my skills and I hope that you’ll come along to a felt workshop and catch the bug.  So many things to make and all from the one material!

I have no workshops currently booked but I will be running a small number of workshops each year organised by me and held locally (West Yorkshire). To make sure you know about them I suggest you join my mailing list as that and Facebook will be the main method I’ll use to notify people that they’re happening.

In addition you can book me to deliver a workshop for:  your group e.g. guild or society,  your school e.g. secondary up to AS level and experience of teaching the teachers and for small groups of friends (max. 4) at my home studio or even at your home (numbers dependent upon space available). More information is available on my workshops page.

New look July 9th, 2018

I may have been quiet on the blogging front recently but there sure seems to be a lot going on in my life and finding time to chat here has been hard, added to which, I can’t seem to find any of the photos I need – they’ll have to wait for another day.

One of the things I’m currently working on is a new look for my website, something which is more up to date with the direction I feel I’m starting to move in and which reflects more of my newer work.

Squeezing time in for it is difficult but I’m excited to be giving it a new look and unveiling it to you, probably next month. Blogs and tutorials will stay and the gallery will get a new layout and be updated with some newer images. Watch this space.

 

Hundertwasser and Picasso July 7th, 2018

Remember when I went to Moorfield School in March? The hanging we made was inspired by Hundertwasser and another artist we contemplated was Picasso. When I left I gifted some white Merino and all the unused bits of wool and pre-felt to the school and I’m delighted to say that they went ahead and used them up.

Don’t you just love them? I think this second face was especially successful. Perhaps I should look out some of my scraps.

Work in progress June 21st, 2018

I’ve not managed much felt making over the last month but here’s a glimpse of another project I have in hand. It’ll be a combination of hand sewn, machine sewn and  painted.

It’s on a calico base and is destined to be a gift. Once it’s been gifted I’ll be sure to let you see it. Oh! and don’t forget to ask me about my rust project.