Saturday, 27 October 2007

Its been half-term week so as usual I've been trying to work around the family which means basically in the evening. I have been producing samples for the 2nd assignment in the 'Cultural Stitch' module of my degree. I like the bulk of the subject but this one has been producing samples from waste -talk about here we go again! "Do something recycled" turns up everywhere. Anyhow I've produced the required number of samples from a load of rubbish and its least its over. They are supposed to take inspiration from your cultural research, in my case the Miao, at least its unlikely they'll ever see them thank goodness.
Next I'm looking at the Elizabethan Ruff and how the neck has been regarded by different cultures (which I have also researched in my previous theory module) I'm looking forward to this bit as I get to produce a finished piece.
For everyone's amusement I'll put up a couple of 'rubbish' pictures as soon as I download them.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Spent Saturday demonstrating at the Warner archive in Braintree. We had a steady stream of interested visitors. I wish I was on commission for babylock embellishers -I would have made a fortune judging the interest.
Having spent the day there I began getting annoyed at the lack of gallery space in my own area. We have one decent gallery which is located in a school (our Material Girls 2006 exhibition is in the picture above) and is a great space but because of its location it suffers from lack of visitors from the general public although education in the area makes great use of it. Other than that there's the odd wall in a library. We suffer from the great suburban no mans land syndrome- we have the talent in the area but if we want to display it we have to go outside into London or off to a 'tourist area' miles away. London, of course, is prohibitively expensive to us ordinary mortals and we get no funding really for the arts (or indeed for anything else much).We are located in a big suburban wasteland. Lets hope that when the ERTF is off the ground we will be able to do something about it.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

I'm just emerging from a close encounter with the Miao again.Another sketchbook completed, two more to go for this module plus samples, finished items etc... sometimes I wonder why I do this. I've been looking at the fine quality of the stitching in my Miao pieces, they are so tiny the stitches they make my own work look clumsy. The Dogs are also looking a bit bemused as I am brushing them furiously at the moment because the next part of the module is to produce samples from waste that are inspired by the culture we are currently studying. Needless to say silk felt by the Miao equates to dog hair from Essex- not as quite so romantic is it!

Sunday, 14 October 2007

A busy day. Whipped around the knitting and stitching show at Ally Pally this morning and spent far too much as normal but really managed to stock up on some lovely interesting things Kozo, lutradur and loads of different fibres to felt and embellish with. I'm so fired up to experiment for my next OPUS module. I also visited the Val Campbell- Harding display curated by Maggie Grey, it was wonderful as you would expect and I could have spent ages pouring over every item if I had had time, she was a very clever lady and Maggie has done her proud. Several other displays in the graduate showcase took my eye as well as the 62 group's stand and the work of Tilleke Schwartz- which I didn't think I liked until I saw it in the flesh.I also really liked the work of Suhandan Ozay and his wonderful shoes.
Also got lots of various silk fibres to try and create a version of the Miao Silk felt. On that front I was lucky enough to buttonhole Gina Corrigan for a tour of her Miao costumes and she answered several queries I had about their construction and materials. You really don't appreciate the finest of the stitching until you are up close and personal with the actual objects. And the icing on the cake- I am now the lucky owner of two tiny pieces of Miao embroidery!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

So much stitching so little time! Deep in the study of the Miao I just don't seem to be able to tear myself away to blog so here's a couple of samples to be going on with.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Spent and interesting Saturday in the British Museum. Tried to get tickets for the Terracotta Warriors but completely sold out, so visited all the areas I haven't been to in about 15 years. They certainly seem to have improved the place even my husband enjoyed it! There were some wonderful festival costumes on display and several modern pieces by African artists which have sparked off some ideas. However I still can't stand being in the Egyptian rooms and felt quite panicky until I was out of there. That film the Mummy has a lot to answer for!