Wednesday, 28 December 2011

My hotmail has been hacked, ignore all messages for next 24h

Apologies all round, clicked on the wrong thing after a stressful day and now need to try to sort it out. Any tips gratefully received.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas kisses

Hope there are some waiting for you under the mistletoe.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Morley Thursday


Hanging up in our spare room, showing the effects of 1 term of textile printing. The apron started off pristine, but I am so glad it looks like this now.

Monday, 19 December 2011


While my younger son was ill, I needed something to persuade him away from only electronic stimulation. Rummaging in a cupboard, I found some of my family's old Spirograph kit and some of my Spirograph compositions, dated 1971.


These have inspired some stitching on to the centres of the long-term Dresden plate project.

Initial testing with washable fine marker pens

Three Dresden plates with hand embroidered centres ( back stitch and French knots) using Rainbows thread, expensive, but worth it.


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Paper trees

The simplicity of the designs from " A Little Hut' are perfect for a bit of non-sewing making. I bought the files for the Christmas paper cut quilt, and used them to make some outdoor lanterns with old jam jars - feeling very thrifty.


Saturday, 17 December 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas

Although we have too many Xmas ornaments for our very small tree, I like to make a few each year and retire those that are looking tired and that have no particular emotional link to our family. No sewn items this year, but some fabric content.

Air dry clay, rolled out, crocheted lace doily rolled over the top, then removed, and shapes cut out with biscuit cutters. I did have to warn hungry people as they returned home that they were not edible, even although they were on the pastry stone.


Friday, 16 December 2011

Morley Montage

Our final session for this term was last Thursday, so a fair amount of last minute printing went on , along with a good lunch at The Three Stags.

I had made a furoshiki bag from some of my printed fabric, after seeing them at the V and A , gasping at the price, and after much pondering, and web-searching, found a way to make my own version. I took this along to Morley, and my classmates were very complimentary.

Furoshiki bag 1

The art work, shown a few posts ago, has now been transferred to a permanent photo printing screen. I still find it incredible that I started with a blob of paint, made some scratch marks and under the guidance of our great tutor, Marian, have some up with an interesting and unique image with which to print.

Much printing later, these are Thursday's results.
Seed case detail 2Seed case print 1Seed case mottled printSeed case print 2Seed case print pink 2Seed case print pink2

The paper cut has now also been transferred to a permanent screen. I thought I would prefer this image, but it has turned out not to be the case. It seems more limited in scope, not lending itself to overprinting, and unforgiving of mistakes.
Swirls monoprint pink 1Swirls print  blue detailSwirls print blue

No class for three weeks, I'll be bereft. I have brought some dye home, so hopefully there will be some time in the Xmas mayhem for some experiments.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Week of wonder 3

The power of getting myself organised to get to " The Power of Making" at the V and A.

Power of making suitcase

Lots of thought provoking work here, focussed on the actual making of objects, rather than on their purely artistic value. Some of the most striking were those with a medical focus, such as the beautifully structural prosthetic leg.Outfeet prosthetic leg 3 K31mp 18770

More disturbing was the life-size baby made out of marzipan
Marzipan baby

This was a visually stimulating exhibition, but I'm still not sure I understand the overarching theme yet. To me there were some noticeable omissions from the world of making, particularly in glass.

Next up, the new acquisitions gallery, and some wonderful creations, first of all a chair taken to its minimum form

Another chair made with offcuts from Issey Miyake " Pleats Please " fabric
Pleats please chair

Wild fabric in an Alexander McQueen dress
Alexander McQueen

Enormous steel screen by Wendy Ramshaw. The images seen through the perfect optical lenses are wonderful.

Some time spent in the V and A shop, and a little " to me from me" present in the form of a zip with laser-cut florets along the tape. What a great embellishment for a rather boring closure.

Gazing at the shapes made by the London Eye while waiting for the train home, there's a quilt design in here somewhere.
P1070852London Eye

Back home to start some Xmas biscuit making.
Italian tea bread 2

End of a wonderful week. (Thanks you to technohubby for the blog sort out).

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Week of wonder, Day 2

Next up, a visit to 2 Temple Place, newly opened in London, near Somerset House. Owned by the Bulldog Trust, whose remit is to bring the collections from regional museums to a wider audience. The first exhibition in on William Morris, with pieces from the currently closed Morris museum in Walthamstow.  It could be argued that Walthamstow hardly fits the definition of regional, but that is nit picking.
This house and current exhibition is really worth a visit if you like eccentricity, wood carving and stained glass. The house has plenty of these, starting from the cherubs on the phone at the entrance


to the gilded ship on the weathervane on the roof.


Besides the wonders of the house, the Morris exhibition is very good, with more of my favourite pieces upstairs than down. There are the working drafts of some of Morris' most famous designs, shown from initial pencil sketches through to fully coloured working proofs for printing or stitching. The stained glass is well exhibited, but unfortunately covering up one of the windows of the house.
From there, braving the circling helicopters, on to Somerset House and a display of uses for Forgotten Spaces in London. This really uses the lower, forgotten parts of Somerset House well and has some intriguing design ideas.




Some more craft stimulation in Somerset House itself, with crazy ceilings and light fittings P1070881P1070880

A temporary shop of British craft , with

Tina Vlassopulos, ceramics
102 productImg lrg

Beautiful paper cuts by Sarah Raven

Eerie and beautiful vases by Catherine Gray

Uncanny ceramics by Koji Shiraya
David Lewis, fun kitchen ware

Taisir Gibreel, beautiful scarves

Jo Newman glass

Jo Davies, ceramics and then covetable jewellery from Claire Wood, and Jessica Jewellery ( which look much more delicate in real light)
Another visually stimulating day, and hopefully I'll get more to grips with the formatting of the blog on the Mac soon.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Week of London wonder, day 1

As I've said before, living in London can be a trial so it is important to do things that can only be done in London. In this spirit, I used up some leave this month to " do" some exhibitions. First up, Grayson Perry " the Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman" at the British Museum. This exhibition has had lots of publicity, and it is well worth seeing. The selection of objects from the museum, and how they are juxtaposed with Perry's work was very interesting. It was wonderful to get such close-up views of the large pots, and to see that Perry has worked in lots of media, including iron, bronze and, better known to me, embroideries and tapestries.

Perry vase

Am I a philistine and a pedant to be irritated at two spelling mistakes on the amazing large tapestry? Or am I missing some artistic statement?

04 graysonperry 602

Lunch followed at the superb London Review Bookshop and Cafe. Lovely lunch and lots of more unusual books to browse from less well-known publishers. Some Xmas shopping done, and then on to the Contemporary Ceramics Centre for a drool. Designers who caught my eye were,
Lara Scobie, Emily Myers ,Merete Rasmussen, Sophie Cook, Matthew Chambers, particularly his incredible , seemingly nested bowls,

Anja Lubach'
s rather unsettling porcelain skull / rose bowls, 2010 10 08 Anja Lubach MG 1512

Sasha Wardell
's astonishingly translucent bowls
300 dpi S WardellaL
Penny Fowler's graphic bowls
6 large bowl with sails

Ikuko Iwamoto
's translucent pieces
Tea light

None of these pieces are compatible for a small house, shared with two teenagers and an active dog, so no purchases.

More drooling back at the British Museum shop, where the buyers seem to have a more edgy approach than the V and A buyers this year.

Emma Jackson, cobweb felt

Emma Jackson
Margo Selby, beautiful, tactile scarves

Anne Selby, even more tactile scarves

And heading away from pure textiles
Yu Ping Lin, origami jewelery

Zoe Hillyard, ceramic patchwork
Zoe hillyard

A visit to the Socialist bookshop, and a find of a second hand copy of the Alabama Studio Style book, with all templates and the pattern.

A great day, and almost too many wonderful things to digest and cogitate on. Day 2 , coming soon.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Button winner

OK, so I didn't need a random number generator, just went with slips of paper in bowl, and the winner was ……… Gill. Let me know contact details and I'll get your favourite to you.

Lots to tell about my art adventures last week, but life is just a bit busy to allow contemplation and summary in to a readable structure. My head is full of shapes, forms, light and colour. Could be worse things to have a head full of.