a life of fibre

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.

Baby blanket June 19th, 2018

My friend’s daughter has just had a beautiful baby girl aww! They did know the sex of the baby in advance so I was able to crochet this blanket in the requisite pinks for her.

Not that it has to be pink for a girl but I knew the new Mum would like it to be pink. I think it looks like ice cream colours. Soft pinks, white and soft green.

A deep border and a picot edging finished it off. It’s in acrylic so it can be washed in the machine, always an essential with new babies I find.

My little helper June 17th, 2018

Puck loves to be with me and today she was desperate to be very close.

The only problem is the bit I need to work on next is now under her bottom and I don’t like disturbing her!

It’s a dyeing day June 8th, 2018

I love the effect of hand dyeing but I can’t honestly say that I really enjoy the process itself. It usually starts out all right but before I finish I find myself wishing I’d never begun. Today is different, this is all I’m doing and it’s been blessedly short in the doing.

The autumn orange colours are for a project I’ll tell you about in Autumn, I know, crazy huh? Me working so far in advance!

Meadowhall To Sheffield Canal Basin June 1st, 2018

We don’t live close enough to meet too regularly but my friend Mary and I squeeze in a few hours together whenever we can. Meadowhall is often our meeting point, close to the motorway, easy and free parking plus shelter if the weather is bad. The day began in our usual way with a coffee and a natter but as, for once, it was a glorious sunny day we decided to walk along the canal into Sheffield.

Sheffield is where I grew up and I’ve been along the canal many times but not for some years now.  Once we eventually found access onto the path the day began well with my first sighting of rust.

It’s not just the colour that excites me it’s the texture too, just like this wood stump, glorious texture.

You can see from the water that it was a windless day, there were a few folks along the canal but not as many as I’d expected and as it was a Saturday and the trams weren’t running it was rather quiet.

Why do we find dereliction and decay so attractive?  And oh just look at this rust, even the water is rust coloured.

Beautiful windows and a fab reflection but look, I was able to capture the old, the not so old and the new.

I wonder how long since the last time this was used to tie up a boat?

It even has a Yorkshire rose!

Our walk finished as it began, with more rust 🙂

It should have finished with a picture of the canal basin, Victoria Quays, but it was sunny and the cafe was calling to us. The Victoria Junction cafe has a great selection of sandwiches, jacket potatoes and dish of the day but if you’re not hungry there’s always the bar next door. We were able to sit out and eat (and natter) before nattering all the way back to the car.

 

 

The Felted Mill 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 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 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.