Friday 9 February 2024

Ocean life

These two pieces, inspired by a workshop led by Nerissa Cargill Thompson, depict ocean life (my abstract imaginary take on it) and there's lot of texture in them.

I used paint to make marks on the base fabric, and a lot of recycled fabrics as appliqué and Suffolk puffs, as well as some old lace, ironed plastic netting, couched wool thread, some beads and a fair amount of stitching. 

Both pieces will be mounted onto 1 canvas, next to one another. Perhaps part of a future exhibition?

Monday 15 January 2024

Common blue on daisy

This abstract piece is inspired by a picture of a common blue butterfly on a daisy, hence the name. I chose the materials and colours to match, giving it a cheerful, uplifting energy.

Working from photographs, a technique gleaned from a workshop by Hannah Lamb, is very freeing, pushing me to venture beyond the colours I habitually go for. more of this on the way, no doubt!

Some detail:

Saturday 16 December 2023

9 pieces of work - concertina book

Because I found myself a bit lost in the "forest of workshops", I wanted to take more time to explore my own artistic voice. That's why, during the summer, I set myself a challenge, to create 9 small pieces (just for myself, so no room for perfectionism or judgment), using the materials and techniques I like most. Each piece had to contain design and colours I love and words that relate to my art.  It required a bit of reflection and not a huge amount of work, so ideal for summer!

I hoped to get an insight into my own practice at this point in my life : giving myself room to think about my voice and to make choices allowed me to that.

the 9 pieces were subsequently collected into a single concertina book.

check out a short video I put on youtube here 

Monday 27 November 2023

Being But Men

The poem “Being but Men” by Dylan Thomas is a real favourite of mine. It describes the magic of childhood and how we lose a lot of that growing up.

This piece is a personal visual interpretation of that poem using textiles, which took me a considerable time to complete. I used a lot of stitches, beads, small pieces of fabric, all kinds of odds and ends. Some of those have real meaning, like a button of an old family sofa, for instance, or the clapper of a small ceramic bell that broke.

For now, this is my favourite piece. I loved every hour I worked on it, creating a world of abstract but tangible magic. Making something like this is like meditation more than anything.

Some details :

Friday 24 November 2023

Mountains in my sketchbooks

We spent some time in the Austrian Alps this summer. I became a bit obsessed with the view seen through the window of our holiday home, kept drawing these mountains over and over.

Right now I'm thinking about ways to transfer these sketches to textile work.

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Firewood Cap

I might have mentioned this before now and then 😅, but I love knitting small projects, like this hat. 

It’s the Firewood Cap, a design by Lindsey Fowler, and features in her fantastically beautiful book “Salt & Timber, knits from the Northern Coast”.

I used Soft Donegal, from the Irish company Donegal yarns.

Love the design, love the wool, love my new hat!

Thursday 9 November 2023

Passchendaele - The Old lie

I made some monoprints with paint and ink for a workshop led by Sue Hotchkis, which were the inspiration for this collaged piece about the First World War in Flanders. 

When visiting the World War I sites around Ieper and Passendale, I'm still shocked every time by the scale of the horrors memorialised there. The personal stories of fear and suffering are so deeply moving. ‘The war to end all wars’, as we know, sadly didn't turn out to be that, which is exactly what makes it still very relevant. 

Some details : 

Monday 30 October 2023

Contemporary whitework embroidery

These are samplers of variations on drawn thread work and pulled work, a contemporary version of traditional embroidery techniques. They are part an ongoing project and were first made for a workshop by Tracy A Franklin (another workshop).

I love the result here, it all looks so lovely, though the work of making itself does rather strain your eyes! 

Here I used monks cloth, which makes the work a bit easier:

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Filling up my sketchbooks

Creativity gives us a mental boost. But sometimes I just don’t have the ideas, the confidence or even the energy. In those cases, I've found that just filling up my sketchbooks, just starting with some colour and a (small) blank page before me, without expectations, is so soothing and calming and re-energising. Besides, the practice, even if it doesn’t result in a nice sketch but rather an ugly experiment, is what stretches the creative muscles.

I also find that working with another medium, with a sketchbook and some colour, influences and inspires my textile work.

That’s why I’ll be sharing some of my sketches now and then with you, hope you don’t mind!

Monday 18 September 2023

Scrap sculptures

These bowls and sculptures are made from scrap thread and tiny fabric snippets, all waste material from previous projects. It's a technique I learned from a workshop led by Meredith Woolnough, which basically comes down to using water-soluble fabric and a lot of machine and/or hand stitching.

I love this way of using every last scrap of material as in the Japanese concept of mottainai : a caring culture in which you try to use something for its entire effective life.