a life of fibre

Archive for May, 2018

The Felted Mill

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Wool Stories – The Felted Mill, is an exhibition by region 10 of the International Feltmakers Association inspired by Leeds Industrial Museum, Armley Mills. It opened in April and will be running until October 21st, if you can find the time to visit, do as it’s well worth it with work from twenty one felt makers on display. Below is a selection of work from the exhibition but not all of it, there’s so much more to see.

From a distance I saw an owl but closer up there is so much more to see. The owl is taken from the Leeds crest outside the museum, it has wings of cogs and is standing on A and M printing blocks which stands for Armley Mills. It has elements of printed film posters and is a Visual Wowl by Tracey Gaytor, isn’t it wonderful?

Window of Inspiration or Limitation is by Anthea Green, it incorporates a number of British wools and was influenced by the similarities between women working at the mill in it’s heyday and the work of women in Laos now.

Cogs in the water by Jane Gatenby is particularly apt as the mill is bounded on one side by the canal and on the other by the river as well as being formerly driven by water power.

Also inspired by the machinery is this beautiful work by Margaret Jackson containing nuno felting and stitch. The colours are so interesting on this piece.

Anne Corder was inspired by rust and rivets to make this jacket. The rivets are what really drew my attention, they have a pleasing rhythm to them that works well with the line of the jacket.

I love a bit of texture so this cog pot by Iris Brunton ticked my boxes. I love how the cuts both reveal the inner layers of wool and the inner pot to form the cog, really well done.

It was nice to see my own work mounted there too even though I couldn’t get a picture of these without my shadow and the lights reflecting off the glass.

My thanks to the hanging committee for their inspired choice of hanging this piece of mine in front of a light source. It really helps to show up the embroidered words.

Inspired by all the books of fabric samples at Armley Mills, Jill Lauriston made a felt book and very ingeniously used an old shuttle for the spine.

I failed spectacularly to get a shot of the full 3 foot of  Linda Hume’s mill chimney but I’m pleased to show you the pictures of mill workers she incorporated which added such poignancy. The text was also printed at the mill using one of the printing exhibits.

This depiction of machinery by Helen Riddle is created using free hand motion sewing. It’s fascinating to watch Helen ‘draw’ with a sewing machine and I love this black and white pitcure, the only item in the show, besides mine, which is monochrome.

This is a page from Helen Riddle’s sketchbook and it stole my heart.

This nuno felted, dyed and printed jacket from Chloe Greenwood is fantastic. It’s called Hard Times and contains quotes from some of the former mill workers. Check out the buttons.

I hope this has whetted your appetite to go see the whole show. A perfect time to go would be on Saturday 2nd June when the Leeds Wool Festival is on.

Textured pots

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

I love texture so it should be no surprise that I love the work of the two ladies I was privileged to teach yesterday. Both are made from Shetland wool, the white one is mine which I’ll show you a better picture of later, there’s too much sun in these.

The paler is Shetland with blue Swaledale balls added  and two frills and the brown is Shetland with red Blue Faced Leicester balls and Wensleydale curls.

The blue has a quietness to it whilst the red is quite ‘look at me’ but I absolutely adore them both.

Festival of Making

Sunday, May 13th, 2018

We were unable to visit this festival last year and so were pleased to make it along yesterday. The National  Festival of Making is held in the centre of  Blackburn across a range of venues. It doesn’t matter what your interest there’s things to do, food marquees, makers fair (might have indulged in both of these), teenage makers, music, craft sessions, art, more music, drop in and bookable craft sessions and lots of manufacturing references. I quite enjoyed the steam pavillion which was right by where we parked.

I loved the steampunk submercycle and the cathedral was a refreshing change.

It’s been added to over the years and so is a mix of styles, was only made a cathedral in the 20th century and has lots of modern art.

It also had a display of photographs by Wally and Harold Talbot which I enjoyed. Everywhere we went Blackburn College was heavily involved which was great. One of my top marquees was the one dedicated to keeping alive some of the lesser known crafts like brush making (I had a ago) and safety pin making. Along every street were drop in sessions including making jewellery from bottle tops with this as your inspiration.

Further along the street was the clayground where we each made an item to add to the glorious mayhem. Mine was a fairly poor flower and pebbles, Charlotte made a lemur but put it so close to my phone that I couldn’t focus!

Simon managed a respectable owl and then it was on to the next thing. The making of an asian wedding drew me and after making samosas (mine was perfect!) I got a henna tattoo. There is so much going on that I can’t tell you everything so take a look at the website and go along on Sunday 13th May if you can or there’s always next year.

A canal walk

Monday, May 7th, 2018

One early Sunday morning we parked by the canal at Bradley and walked into Skipton. It was a still and sunny day with few people about and short though the walk is, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

There’s something about the charm of old buildings plus the reflections on the pacid water.

We came across this amazing fungus, one I’ve never seen before. Does anyone know what it is?

Upcycling

Friday, May 4th, 2018

I love upcycling, don’t you? I also love making book covers so I was very pleased when I came across a damaged vintage silk scarf and decided to nuno felt it into a book cover. These photos don’t do it justice, they really don’t but they’re the best I’ve got and I wanted you to see this pretty book cover.

It really wasn’t a scarf I’d ever have worn but remodelled like this I love it.

I left the little clusters of flowers to speak for themselves and did a small amount of hand embroidery on just three of the larger flowers.

The best news is, I have sufficient left for a second one 🙂