20 June 2017

Calico Gardens

A beautiful piece of stumpwork by Angie Burt

Calico Gardens was the theme of our workshop last Saturday with Angie Burt.  We were a select group of ten so it was a lovely relaxing day in good company.  Angie was so generous with her help and encouragement, as well as being a pleasure to be with.

Angie had brought a large selection of her exquisite pieces with her to encourage us, including this superb little box with a different scene on each face and an adorable mole emerging from the lid!

Angie in full flow!
A picture of concentration!

Work in progress
 We all made good progress and I don't think mine will turn into a UFO (unfinished object) this time as projects so often do!

All in all a lovely day. J.

16 June 2017

Two meetings with a Japanese flavour

Our last two meetings, in May and June, turned out to have some slight connection.  In May we were entertained by Katie Chaplin's interesting and informative talk on Mottainai.  This word expresses the concept of regret at waste and showed how clothing and other household textiles have been repaired and patched over the years until the original garment has practically become something completely different.  Her talk was illustrated by superb photographs of patched and darned kimonos, work trousers and quilts - turning them into objects of almost abstract art, with blocks of colour and pattern and beautiful darning stitch patterns.  She finished her talk with a demonstration of Furoshiki - the art of wrapping items in silk squares.  The same lovely square of silk was employed to wrap a gift, wrap some school books, carry home the shopping and, my favourite, carry two bottles of wine.  A most entertaining afternoon.

Then in June Harriet Lawton came along to talk to us about the Cataloguing Padiham project she became involved with at Gawthorpe last year.  She detailed her work from college to the present day with a series of interesting slides.  I said these two talks were loosely connected - well, her degree work was inspired by Kintsugi which is the ancient Japanese technique for repairing broken pottery using seams of gold powder mixed with resin or lacquer.  Their view is that a break is part of the object's history and its beauty is enhanced rather than diminished by its imperfection.  Harriet achieved this effect in stitch by encapsulating the broken object in fine fabric with gold stitching along the breaks.

From these beginnings she went on to explore water-jet collage where patterns and motifs are cut from the ceramic piece, and also using silk screen printing to make a whole new ceramic facsimile.  In this way she has made "memento" pieces to celebrate special events.

A memento piece - it looks so "real" it startles you to pick it up and feel it is feather-light!
Since graduating Harriet has been involved with a number of large scale exhibitions and displays.

The Cataloguing Padiham project Harriet undertook in conjunction with Gawthorpe Hall collected memories and impressions of Padiham from members of the public, which were written on labels and displayed at the Hall in 2016 ..........................

........... and this in turn has led to a collaboration with the Council in a plan to enhance the public environment in Padiham's streets.

Harriet, top right, talking to our members about her work
Thanks to Val and Sue for the photographs.  J

8 June 2017

North West Summer School 2017

Last weekend I attended Summer School at Waddow Hall in Clitheroe. This year the two tutors were Nicola Jarvis, well known for her beautiful patterned birds in needlework, and Kim Thittichai, equally well known for her work on 'hot textiles' - multilayered pieces using iron on painted vilene, foils, mica, and other fabric that can be melted with a heat gun. She then prints and sews over these. I like both ....so which to choose?

In the end I decided on Kim because I thought it would give me a chance to use some techniques I haven't tried before .... and be a bit more inventive.  However I did buy one of Nicola's scrumptious kits to work later.

Kim brought a new product along she called "paint and bond" which is like bondaweb without the paper backing. You can use this to add paint and other surface finishes to material which you then embellish on top. Everyone got really involved and produced many samples using different techniques and products. I really liked using embossing powders, gold flakes and foils.

Most people were residential but because it is so close to home I travelled each day so making the weekend slightly cheaper.

I would certainly recommend giving Summer School a try if you enjoy taking some time out to sew or create in a lovely setting. Some people come with others from their Embroiderers' Guild branch.  I didn't know anyone at first and now I have met lovely people from all over the region.  Sue T.

I also won a prize of lovely organic handmade goodies on the raffle......miracle!!
Me sharing my Summer School experience with Pendle branch members