Trawden Artists and Makers Open Studios

Trawden Artists and Makers (TAM) art trail and open studios is taking place in and around Trawden this coming weekend Saturday and Sunday 21st – 22nd October.

There’s lots to see including textiles, jewellery paintings, photohgraphy, ceramics and felt because I’ll be there in the Summerhouse Studio. Or to be more precise, my work will be there as I unfortunately am needed in Cornwall and I’ve not yet learnt to clone myself.

Above is an example of some of my work that will be on display and don’t worry it won’t all be white, I just thought they made a nice grouping. That I’m exhibiting at all is with grateful thanks to Kate Sutcliffe whose studio space I’ll be sharing. Kate is a talented artist and general all round creative type who produces beautiful things wherever she brings her talents to bear.


I do hope you can find the time to take a trip round Trawden this weekend, it’ll definitely be worth your time.

Farfield is top of textile tree

This is the title used by the Westmoreland Gazette in relation to Farfield Mill at Sedbergh.

“FARFIELD Mill is recognised as the leading venue for textile arts in the north west.

Housed in a wonderfully restored Victorian woollen mill nestling between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, in the shadow of the glorious Howgill fells, last year, the vibrant arts and heritage centre staged several must-see exhibitions – and this year’s programme is shaping up to be equally as good.”

You can read the full article here.

As part of Metaphor textile group I’m currentlty exhibiting at the mill and was chuffed to see that one of my pieces had made it into the article. Below are a few more images to tantalise you.




Our exhibition is on now until 3rd May. Farfield Mill is a lovely place to visit, in a great setting and has a cafe. get yourselves out for a day.

P.S. read the website before you go, you can reduce your admission cost with the use of a password!


The Dying of the Sun

This is the final piece I submitted for the exhibition and probably the one I like the most. Inspired by the title I thought I’d make a sun and show it from red hot through to dying ember colours with the whole thing made from flowers.

When I thought I had enough I laid them out in a circular shape but it really wasn’t working for me. Not enough flowers?  too small? To be truly spectacular in a circular shape I decided it needed to be far larger, would need more flowers and that I would run out of time. I still liked the idea so I wondered if it would work in another shape. A rummage in the garage found me these two pieces of used wood.

I chose to work with the longer narrower piece and set to with scrbbing brush and water to clean it up. I didn’t see how I could use a single hook mechanism to hang it as unless it was dead centre the finished piece wouldn’t hang straight. I solved it by using 2 D rings with wire between them so that it could find it’s own centre.

Best way to attach the flowers? Hot glue gun. I began with the hot colours at the top.

I did actually work it with the wood vertical gainst the wall. This is how it will be seen when hung and I didn’t want to end up with any gaps by working on it flat.

Going well, colours blending into each other quite well.

Still going well. Nearly there.

Blast, ran out of flowers! At this point work on assembly stopped whilst I made more flowers. In total I made and attached 50 flowers.

Finished. The whole family love this piece and I’m hoping that it will come back home after the exhibition. I know I could make another one for me but it wouldn’t be the same and where would I find the time? I reckon this has taken something like 15 hours to make.

I thought you’d like a couple of close ups of the colours used.

I’ve used reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, purples, blues, greys, browns and blacks. A lot of blending and carding. I’ll leave you with my favourite picture, I’m one contented felt maker.

Cushion One

Ages ago, more than a year, I did a little bit of dyeing. I had a wool blanket which I boil washed 4 times but it wouldn’t felt so I cut it in half and tried again. With more room in the washer I thought perhaps that might help it to felt but all to no avail. However I decided to dye it as I’m sure I’d have a use for it. This gorgeous dyed blanket then sat in the cupboard for so long I thought I’d never get inspiration.

Thank goodness for exhibitions, they make you cast around for materials that can be used with your ideas and work within the theme.The theme is the dying of the sun, lots of use for reds, oranges and yellows. “They’d look perfect on turquoise and purple” I told myself. Judge for yourself.

Needle felted and then wet felted to make it more secure – it is a cushion after all. It’s envelope style which doesn’t always require any other fastening but on this occasion I felt it did. The other benefit of envelope style being it requires only 2 seams and no zips.

You can see I sealed the cut edge of the cushion by enclosing it in wool and wet felting it. The button is hand made from fimo and the yarn is some of the rug yarn which I rescued from a skip and dyed at the same time as the blanket so it’s a perfect match. It’s very simple but I’m pleased with this.

I surprised myself by how easy I found the drawing in needle felting, drawing is something I usually avoid but perhaps I shouldn’t. The title for this one is ‘Risen’. Tomorrow, the purple cushion.



This is a small piece that I made for next week’s exhibition.

The idea, in case it’s not obvious, was to show a phoenix rising from a dying fire. It’s a Merino wool wet felted background onto which I’ve needle felted and then lightly wet felted for a second time. I’m not one for drawing but the beauty of needle felting an item like this is the ability to remove anything which isn’t right, or that you don’t like and then have another go.I’ve really enjoyed treating them as fluid line drawings, maybe I’m finding a liking for needle felting after all!

Upcoming exhibition

I thought you might like to see one or two things which will be displayed at The Dying of the Sun exhibition next week. This first taster is from Mich and is titled “Sundown”

But these next ones show my favourite from Mich – Old Nick’s little helpers.

I love the creativity.

The exhibition is timed to coincide with Felt United the international day of felt.


We have a website!

Tracy has been very busy and created a website for the exhibition. Please go and check it out. We’ve already had interest from a number of people including felt makers in America and Canada. As people confirm their involvement we hope to put a list of who is involved and where they’re from.

This whole idea was insired by Felt United and we really hope that lots of you will want to join in.

We’d also like people to submit teaser photos of their work in progress with a full photographic reveal in October. This is going to be good. Note to self – go make some felt

Exhibition opportunity

Some of you may have heard of Felt United and this year is the 4th anniversary of this international felt event. Good friend Tracy Markey and I decided we should do something to celebrate and so can offer you the opportunity to be involved with a felt exhibition in Perthshire in October.

The dying of the sun – a meditation on fire

To celebrate the fourth annual International Day of Felt, Tracy Markey and Angela Barrow invite you to participate in their exhibition to be held at The Barn Gallery, Perthshire.  The exhibition will run from 5th to 12th October 2012.

There are two opportunities available and you are welcome to submit work for one or both of them.

Main Exhibition:   Artwork can be 2D or 3D and must contain an element of felt.  However, mixed/multi media pieces are encouraged.  Artists can submit up to three pieces for consideration.  Please be as creative as you wish with your interpretation of the theme!

Collaborative piece:   With your help, we are going to create a huge fire inspired piece to form part of the exhibition. We are seeking pieces for inclusion … think flames; smoke; sparks; embers …  these will then be assembled in situ to create one large piece of work.

Your piece(s) can be any size, shape and combination of colours, as long as they are made from felt (other textiles can be included but should not be the main material).

To register your interest, and receive further details, please send me an email by Thursday 28th June 2012. 


Image taken from an original by Morgan Downie


Knit and Stitch

The Knitting and Stitching Show is currently on in Harrogate. I was stewarding there today as a volunteer for our region of the International Feltmakers Association. I’ve taken a couple of photos of the stall with it’s lovely floral theme.

There’s some fabulous stuff and some very unusual items too. Can you see the fish? Below is my floral contribution to the display.

I saw lots of friendly faces today and met a few new ones. It;s a good show with a wonderful exhibition, lots of suppliers and wonderful inspiration.