Tuesday 29 September 2015

Hannah Lamb at City of York Embroiderers' Guild

Hannah Lamb - Original Cyanotype Print

Recently Hannah Lamb came to both speak and give a workshop to the City of York Embroiderers' Guild.  Hannah is a textile artist living in West Yorkshire.  She is inspired by landscape particularly of her current home and her childhood home in rural Buckinghamshire.  Her work incorporates cyanotypes (a photographic process that produces a blue print), eco-printing (binding plant material in fabric or paper to stain and mark), stitching and the use of found objects.  She has looked at quietude as an antidote to stress and has "mapped" her walks as a personal response to the landscape working both in situ and through stitch.

Hannah Lamb - Linear Mapping Walk 4

Hannah led a workshop in decorative darning - a technique that allows time to think and stitch.  She talked us through the process, discussed the use of colour on our warp and weft threads and the sorts of threads we might use and then set us loose to experiment with a particular shape.  Here's my work:

My work from the Decorative Darning Workshop with Hannah Lamb
Darning in an embroidery hoop

Hannah gave us details about more complicated darning techniques we could try if we wanted to take things further.  I already have some ideas about how I should like to develop this technique for my own work - watch this space...

Friday 25 September 2015

Kingston University & the WI Celebrating 100 Years of Craft

WI - Lottie Beard, Mary-Rose Holland, Kingston Graduate - Pippa Harries

You may have spotted in the news that the WI (Women's Institute) are celebrating their centenary this year.  You may even have been to their Centennial Fair in Harrogate this month. And if you did, you probably came across the exhibition of the WI/Kingston University Knitwear Project. 

WI- Lesley Fidler, Judi Smith, Kingston Graduate - Verity Gerner

This project teamed WI members with final year Kingston University Fashion students specializing in knitwear. Each student had two WI members in their team.  The outcome of the collaboration was on display.  
WI - Dawn Bailey, Pamala Bugler, Kingston Graduate - Naomi Barker

WI - Frances Cowper Holzhausen, Joanna Helme, Kingston Graduate - Grace White

The aims of the project included the sharing of craft skills, intergenerational learning (the oldest participant was 86), developing communities of practice and broadening research skills.  WI members gained an insight into modern design practice and the students were able to tap into the wealth of WI members' knowledge - both skills based and cultural.

WI - Maureen Adley, Billie Melville, Kingston Graduate - Esme Stainthorpe

The garments were all rather fab - here I have featured just some of the work on show and you can read more about the project here.

Monday 21 September 2015

V&A Museum, London - What is Luxury?

What is Luxury? finishes at the V&A on 27 September 2015 so if you want to see this exhibition, you'd better hurry.  It is all about how luxury is made and understood and how this may change in the future.

Nora Fok - Bubble Bath

For this necklace, Nora Fok uses handknitted nylon filament around marbles to suggest captured bubbles so combining the idea of the durable with the ephemeral.  I love this piece!

Studio Drift - Fragile Future Concrete Chandelier

In this beautiful chandelier, Studio Drift marry technology and nature.  Real dandelion seed heads have been individually applied to LED lights.  The 3D bronze circuit conducts electricity so there is no need for wiring. 

Steffen Dam - Jellyfish Installation

Steffen Dam has used the irregularities of the glass making process together with impurities and layers of carbon and silver foil to create hyper realistic jellyfish (scarily real!) in solid glass "specimen jars".

Studio Swine - Hair Highway

This exhibit suggests that as world population increases and natural resources are diminished, human hair could become an alternative resource.  Here combined with resin it resembles rare materials such as tropical hardwoods and horn and looks amazing!

Gangjian Cui - The Rise of the Plasticsmith
Gangjian Cui imagines a future where scarce oil reserves have made plastic a luxury item that is handcrafted.  This piece looked like it was made of ice - cool! 

There are some great pieces in this exhibition and some interesting ideas - go take a look.


Friday 18 September 2015

Trying Something New - Hammered Copper & Painted Silk

This summer I have had a go at some new projects from making a hammered copper bowl at the Green Man Festival in Wales

Hammering a Copper Bowl
The finished bowl
Lovely patina
And very useful too!

to painting a silk scarf at the WI Centennial Fair with Shore Cottage Studio.
Painted silk scarf

And whilst I don't think I shall be making any more copper bowls I may well be heading off to Shore Cottage Studio to sample some more of their courses.  Now, what should I try next?

Monday 14 September 2015

Poppies in the Park - All Packed Up

Poppies in the Park - All packed up

The Poppies in the Park have had a bit of a spruce up and a bit of TLC after a month on display in Rowntree Park and are now bagged up ready for their new owners.

The red poppies have headed off to the York Branch of the British Legion and the white poppies to the York Friargate Quaker Meeting.

Thanks to our sponsors (Friends of Rowntree Park, Boyes and Duttons) and to everyone who stitched, knitted or crocheted poppies, did some finger or arm knitting or pompom making or who helped put it all together and to the venues that let us meet up to make them (Rowntree Park Cafe, the Golden Ball Pub, Tesco Community Room) and to City of York Council for permission to put up the installation and to Rowntree Park Tennis Club for letting us use their fence.  It has been great fun. Thank you all!

Friday 4 September 2015

Ancestral Gifts - Kaffe Fassett & The Quilters' Guild Collection

You'll need to do a quick dash to the Quilt Museum in York if you want to catch this exhibition - it finishes on 5 September 2015.

Kaffe Fassett, Patron of the Quilters' Guild, has, over the last two years, explored the Guild's historic collection and selected 15 quilts which have inspired him to design 15 new quilts.  The old and new quilts are displayed together with Kaffe's comment on the old quilt and the Guild's comment on the new.

Here's a few tasters ...

Hearts & Crosses Coverlet 1875-1900 - Maker Unknown
Organic Radiation - Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe's brightly coloured and highly patterned fabrics make his quilts sing but the exhibition also brings a new appreciation of the historic quilts with their fantastic detail and the hours of work that went into them.

Elderton Log Cabin Coverlet c. 1890 - Maker Unknown
Autumn Crosses - Kaffe Fassett
Tailor's Samples Canadian Red Cross Quilt 1939-1945 - Canadian Red Cross Society
Dark Wagga Wagga - Kaffe Fassett

Embroidered ribbon for inspiration
Kaffe Fassett designed ribbons

Get down there!

 PS Love the stairs! 

(If you miss the exhibition there is a book available from the Quilt Museum entitled "Ancestral Gifts" which illustrates the pairs of quilts)