Monday, 29 September 2014

Monthly Workshops

The monthly workshops are finally up on my website but without the Paypal button (yet)!

The Monday Folk Art Blanket workshops are on the 2nd Mondays of the month with the first one on the 13th October. We will be making a stitched sampler using  hand embroidery stitches and gorgeous hand dyed silk and wool threads. 

We are going to be stitching on beautifully soft vintage wool blankets which I have found in the most delicious range of colours.  They are my favourite surface for stitching on and the relaxed rhythm of hand sewing is the perfect gentle way to start the week.

We are also going to add some lovely found objects to our samplers. Beading, mother of pearl buttons, jewellery findings.  We may also make some handmade felt with merino wool and silk fibres to add some texture to our work.

The day starts at 10am and we will finish in time for the school run at 2.30. Refreshments and materials are provided but bring a packed lunch.

The cost is£45 for the day.

Please contact me through my website to book.

The monthly Saturday workshops start on October 18th. The cost for the day, 10-4,  is £65.

The first one is Altered Books. There are examples and explanations about  Altered Books on this blog and also on my website if you would like to get some ideas of techniques or themes. 

This workshop is suitable for absolute beginners and those who have made books before. We will be starting our book from scratch and learning all kinds of mixed media techniques to make them special.

The November workshop is Gelli Plate Monoprinting. This is a totally addictive way of making unique printed and patterned papers and fabrics.

 If you have wanted to try out Gelli printing before buying one this is the perfect way to start and when you  are addicted you can buy your plate for a reduced price at the end.

If you have a Gelli plate and want to bring it, that is fine too.

In January the Saturday workshop will be beginners Handmade felt. A flower brooch and a felt panel.

February will be more advanced  Handmade Felt techniques; A picture in wet felting and also learning how to do Needle felting.

Following on throughout the year there will be workshops on resin jewellery, rust dyeing, fabric and thread dyeing, journals and sketchbooks and more...

Contact me through my website to book. Let's get arty!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Art Saves Lives

We all know that there are times when the gentle task of stitching or doodling or playing with colours has kept us calm and soothed our minds when times are sad or stressful.

And we know that having friends who are behind us with kind thoughts and quiet support is so reassuring when times are tough.

Now there is another way to be a quiet friend through Art and it is a way to help save lives and let somebody know that we are thinking of them.

Maggie Grey and Workshop on the Web are holding a Sketch-a-Thon in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. They would like to help this fantastic charity by asking us, everybody who would like to join in, to make a sketch book and send it to them to be sold to raise funds.

Even if you are new to working in sketchbooks or don't have time to  completely fill one I hope you will think about having a go. You could just make a beautiful cover on your book or work on one with a friend. It can be a bought sketchbook or one that you have made yourself. You could make one from recycled cardboard and junk mail or maybe old envelopes.

I am going to make two. They are going to be on the theme of fish! I have been having fun thinking about fish shapes, colours and textures. All things fishy!

I have just sent off my first book. It is a bought sketchbook with black card pages. It is not completely filled because I'd love to inspire the person who buys it to finish it in their own style. It will be a collaboration!

Would you like a sneaky peek at some of the pages?

This is the cover...

The background is painted and stencilled card. The blue fish and lettering are card which has been collaged and painted with shades of blue to show up the texture.

This next page is collaged with fishy patterned napkins and stencilled with acrylic paint.

This one has fish cut out from the same card as the background on the cover but has had decorative papers added. I cleaned my brush on the black page; dry brushing for a background. 

These next two pages go together because the  top one has been cut to reveal the fish and colour below.

This took a while to do but I was really pleased with it. 

Below is a fish shape made with an original hand cut stencil/mask.
I just liked the dramatic black shape against the swirls and blue.

The last sneaky peek is a glassine envelope which s attached to one of the pages. It contains an original hand cut mask of a fish. I am hoping the new owner of the book will use it to finish the book in their own way if they would like to.

I hope you will think about joining us in making and donating a sketch book to Workshop on the Web and the Teenage Cancer Trust. It felt good to do a little something to help and it got me making art too! :o) xx


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Hertfordshire Open Studios

It is time for Herts Open Studios again!  I love it!

I am exhibiting with 6 other artists at the Heritage Frogmore Paper Mill in Apsley.

It is a great chance to develop the experiments and doodles in my sketch books and make them into full sale artwork. It is also so lovely to meet so many people who are interested in art and textiles and share experiences and techniques. It is always a very happy couple of weeks.

This year I have been getting even more addicted to lace. After my Birthday visit to the lace exhibition at Waddesden Manor in May I have been looking more closely at the way the patterns in lace link together and the shadows and spaces in between.

This year's work for Open studios is 21st Century lace.

I have used my drawings and  doodles to make resists on very modern materials and dissolved away the backgrounds to make textiles with textures and shadows which change with the light of the day.

Below are close up photos of the panels. The lace patterns look more detailed in the shadows that they cast on the wall and actually needed to be mounted further away to get the full effect. The lace image on the bird panel is flowers.

And the lace pattern surrounding the Hare on this panel is grasses and foliage.

You can see the bird and flower motifs which are on the lace more clearly  on this silhouette painted with acrylic on black linen.

I have also got some of my Altered Books, Textile books and embroidered blankets on show in the cases to show people what we will be making on the upcoming classes. Of course the book is for sale there too.

I'd love to see you if you can visit. The exhibition is open from Saturday 13th till Wednesday 24th September from 11am -4pm. 

It is at Frogmore Paper Mill,  Fourdrinier Way,Apsley, Hemel Hempstead. HP3 9RY