Monday, 30 April 2012

CQ10 - Not accepted but......

I was not surprised to learn that my CQ10 piece had not been juried into the exhibition as I knew there were many issues with it. The process of doing it, however, taught me a great deal and for that I am grateful.
So, what have I learned?
  • Not to start the finished piece until I am certain that I have nailed down all the construction issues.
  • That planning out a full size drawing, trial or collage is important to get the balance right.
  • To get close to a finished size before cutting out. Start bigger than you plan, you can always cut bits off but you can't add to it!
  • Not to be afraid of an asymmetrical finished shape - go for it!
  • That I do have an eye for colour.
  • That I enjoy a challenge.
 Now I only have to decide what to do with it -
I shall look forward to seeing the exhibition at Festival of Quilts and commiserate with the other unsuccessful entrants!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Abstract trials

My stash of new fabrics has been winking at me from the shelf for a while now. This week I have finally got round to doing a little bit of prep-work. I want to try some very abstract work, largely appliqué but with some piecing using some stunning colours and some metals. Learning some new tricks.
Using some ideas from the Pitt Rivers visit and some doodling here are a couple of initial ideas.

I then started making some small samples to work out how I might put the pieces together. I worked with some samples using sweetie papers to create a metalic effect. I have used bondaweb on the back of this sample to anchor it while stitching, the foils do not lie well if not glued. They are very delicate and tear if you just try to stitch them on as they are, but covering them with organza and then stitching round them knocks back the shine a bit (good thing I think) and safely anchors the paper which then doesn't actually feel like paper.

Next I'll work with some metal shims and experiment with working them into the design.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford

What an incredible place! A group of us visited this week, had an excellent, short introduction to the collections, with a chance to handle a small group of textile artefacts and then time to roam, absorb, sketch, photograph and consider the wealth of displays. Unusually the collections are housed by usage - all ceramics together, no matter from which continent or what century, this made it a little easier to consider how best to use my time. I am so glad I went on line before hand, there is just SO much stuff, you need a plan of campaign!

I was very struck by some example of South West USA ceramics from the Hopi, Cochiti and Sanidilfonso and took courage in both hands and sat sketching in front of the cases - scary, with people looking over your shoulder! However, it meant that I chatted to an American Ceramics Professor over on a study tour and to an art school student looking at pottery shapes!! There are motifs and patterns that I can see being adapted into a future piece of work.
 I spent far too much time in this area so will have to go back one day to see what other inspiration I can find!
I also managed to squeeze a couple of hours in which to see my cousin who lives there and share a lovely relaxed time. The older I get the more I realise how important family are, and I'm very lucky to have such a great family to belong to!

Monday, 16 April 2012

London again

Fabulous day in London for the CQ AGM, a talk by Elizabeth Brimlow and a visit to see Matthew Harris' show at the CAA!
It's such a joy to meet up with other CQers - this year there were many current "Red" JQs to see, a selection from the Suitcase collection and I finally met up with 5 of the Full Circle Group and can now put names to faces!
Over lunch I walked down to the CAA Gallery in Percy Street where 50/50 - Matthew Harris and Cleo Mussi's show was on its last day. Ever since I first heard of Matthew Harris I have followed his work. I love the texture, and the mark-making and was even more impresses on seeing them in the flesh.
Also exhibiting at CAA was Susie Gillespie, she weaves with linen and dyes her yarn and fabric with nettles to create a very co-ordinated colour palette with fabulous textures in her work. I had not heard of her before seeing these pieces, but will definately keep an eye open for her work from now on.

I am resolving to use bolder stitch-work on the next piece  as the texture created this way adds real interest.
Returning to GQ after this inspiring gallery visit was a pleasure as we had the pleasure of hearing Elizabeth Brimelow speak and seeing and handling her layered work. She spoke alot about the importance of drawing to her work and about the impact that many years university study has had on the way she works. She very generously brought completed work we could drool over and samples which gave an incite into the techniques she uses. fascinating!
I had a really stimulating day and explored a little more of ordinary London on foot.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Time away!

I've been down to the West Country to celebrate Dad's 93rd birthday and enjoy a few days in Dorset. After the Hockney exhibition I really notice the trees, and was struck by the number of rounded hills which have a small clump of trees on top, stark against the sky! We walked, but always to a pub for grub so not the healthiest of passtimes!
Now.... I have to get down to make some decisions and do some serious work!
  • Do I make a quilt for FoQ?
  • If so, which category and do I try and do one for the guild challenge?
  • How do I finish my crossover quilt?  (tradition block with contemporary embellishments)
  • What am I going to do with lovely collection of mauve and purple fabrics? 
Watch this space!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Planning new work

I have been so preoccupied by CQ10 and by a commission for a baby quilt that I've not had the time to devote to new work! Trying to put that right now.
I has a really useful day at the "Sewing for pleasure / Fashion and embroidery" shows at the NEC. Unlike the FoQ there was room to move in the isles, the exhibitors had time to chat and there were some interesting stands to browse.
I spent far too long on Stef Francis' stall, her beautiful dyed felts, silk, thread etc. just beg to be oggled over and stroked and I started to get my inspiration for a new piece  right there! I came away with a piece of space dyed felt, some dyed silk cocoons and some threads. With them in the bag I then went round looking for other things to tone with them. I bought some copper shim and some woven copper to stitch into the piece and on the "Silk Route" stand I found some chunky, woven silk which will be very interesting to work with too. Now all I need to do is draw up my ideas and get on!!!
I'm pinning these up on the wall so I see them all the time jog me into action!