Friday, 31 August 2007

The pocket rocket, as we have now nicknamed our new addition, has more than found his feet this week. His favourite game is to hang on to the tail of our cavalier spaniel when he is running, take all for feet off the ground and take a free flight! needless to say this doesn't go down well with Barney (the spaniel) nor does the fact they Teddy has decided that Barney is his mother. Still fortunately Barney is blessed with a placid nature and the two of them are getting on quite well (that doesn't go quite so much for the cats though).
Teddy also likes to sit on my lap whilst I am sewing so its a case of fending him off the threads every now and then- its amazing how dexterous I have become.
I'm off to the private view at Braintree tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what the exhibition is like. I am not happy with my own piece as my work has changed considerably I feel since I completed this but I look forward to seeing the work of the other exhibitors.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Hurrah! I've posted off my latest OPUS module to Dorothy Tucker to assess. Its been a bit of a slog trying to fit a theory module around school summer holidays but I've managed to complete it before deadline - you know what they say 'If you want something doing ask a busy women'. I just hope I have done enough to pass it so I don't have to re-do anything.
I am also looking forward to getting back to stitching. I've been on the course for over a year now and only spent a single semester stitching ( which seems a bit ironic when doing an embroidery degree). This is mainly because they have juggled the order of the modules but at least the 2 I have left in this level are both practical so even OPUS can't get me doing yet another theory module.
I did enjoy a couple of aspects of this module though, mainly the research. It was lovely getting to handle so many old textiles and embroideries and hearing the stories attached to them so I must say a big thank you to all those people who searched in their attics and cupboards and gave me their time, memories and help. I also loved going behind the scenes at Killerton to look at this National Trust costume collection- it just reaffirmed my interest in costume. Finally I enjoyed researching the work of current textile artists and in doing so fell in love with the work of Nicola Henley.

Friday, 24 August 2007

1 September -3 November
Warners Mill,
Silks Way,
open weds.-sat 11am -4pm
tel.01376 557741

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Eastern Region Textile Forum contact
What an intense few days. The tiny bundle of energy otherwise known as the puppy has been running rings around me but is finally settling in and our other dog is learning to put up with him. I even found the two of them curled up together the other day.
I met with some friends and fellow textile artists and we are starting to get the Eastern Region Textile Forum off the ground. The idea is to facilitate links between textile artists of all disciplines in our region of England by holding a twice yearly meeting, publishing an e-newsletter, holding joint exhibitions, creating a mentoring register/scheme to improve textile education and organising other events. So if you are reading this, are interested and located in East London,Essex, Cambridge,Suffolk, Norfolk, or Herts Just send an e-mail to the link on the page. We hope to launch in Spring 2008.
The Archive exhibition will soon be upon us and I am sure it will be really interesting. I have put details above. Braintree itself is a really good place to visit for textile things (and very good lunches) so I'm hoping we'll have lots of visitors. I am demonstrating on Saturday 20th October and there are lots of other demos and workshops going on throughout the exhibition.
Finally I am trying to get the last bits of my OPUS module together before assessment day and am working hard on my pieces for PRISM. Other than that nothing much going on and I am now going to have a lie down!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Our new puppy has arrived! He's adorable but a bundle of mischief. Barney's not too sure about this whirlwind who has disrupted his life but the cats are fine. Teddy- as Kirsty has named him- is certainly a character and very confident and is a delight to have in the family especially after we lost poor Max.
The husband also went back to work today so at last I can start getting back to all things textile. I have made contact with a Suffolk group who are also looking to form a forum so we might be able to collaborate and produce something really good. We so need to get networking going between textile artists, we need to to support each other and thus improve the profile of textile art and our own professional practice. We will get a dedicated gallery for textile art in the RA summer exhibition one of these days!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

I've been looking through some of the photographs I took whilst in Scotland and there is a lot of usable material there. It has led me to some thoughts re;- the value of photography and sketchbooks. A lot is made of the importance of sketching - and indeed I believe to obtain a truly individual approach to design we do need to draw -but because of personal circumstances I find it difficult to sketch from primary sources when out and about. After all when out for trips with a family who really have no interest in anything 'arty' even sitting still for a moment causes problems. But I can use my camera and I find it helps me to isolate the part of the image I want succinctly. The photos accompanied by quick notes on the atmosphere and feeling of the place,etc.. can then be taken home and thanks to the wonders of digital photography and the computer can be instantly printed, manipulated and drawn from in my own time. This is how I see my sketchbooks developing in the future. So lets hear it for photography and not be quite so precious about it.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Well I'm back from Scotland and I can't say I'm sorry as it was so wet. I may have left behind the seals, the lochs and the sunsets but I've also left the rain, the midges and the mountains. I don't like mountains they make me feel too hemmed in -give me flat open fens were you can see for miles any day. As they say 'there's no place like home'.
I was also sad at the lack of textiles I found in the highlands- miles of tartan and tweed but hardly anyone producing textile art there. I also didn't get as much outdoor sketching done as I wanted as the weather was so bad. I did manage to photograph quite a lot of material though and I'm sure a lot of this will be useful. My next task now is to set up the East Anglia Textile Forum - more on this later.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

I'm off to the Scottish Highlands and as the saying goes 'I may be some time'. While I'm there I am hoping to get some serious sketching and photography done towards my own work. I would like to work on some micro-landscapes for my next pieces, however, I am really looking forward to working with a brighter palette of colours in the next next OPUS module Cultural Stitch. Having spent the last few months researching the social history of embroidery it will be so nice to mentally travel the world rather than the library.

I have started the wheels in motion towards creating a regional textile forum and it has made a promising start. I feel passionately that we should work alongside other textile disciplines and not just confine ourselves to our own. I consider it is the only way that we will ever get taken seriously as artists not just labelled ' embroiderers'.