Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Reflective Space Exhibition

This evening I was lucky enough to be invited to the private view of this exhibition.

The exhibition was held at the The Crypt Gallery, St Pancras and there's lots of textiles to see in an unusual and atmospheric setting. Here is one of the pictures that I had permission to post on my blog. It shows Laura's work which is digitally printed on fabric and then stitched. There's lots to see and very short walk from Kings Cross or Euston station.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Craig Lawrence - Knitwear Designer

Earlier this evening I went to a talk with the knitwear designer Craig Lawrence at the V&A.  Craig seemed quite reserved and not what I expect people in the fashion industry to be like but then I can't say I really know any!

Some of his work is sculptural and more like a piece of art than something you would wear.

But there is a lot that is very wearable......wearable if you are younger, slimmer and braver than me, that is. His clothing has been worn by Lady Gaga and Bjork, not people known for their understated outfits.


I must admit that when I received the V&A brochure, although tempted, I decided not to book for this event but when a friend offered me a spare ticket, I decided to go. As usual these type of events always give you food for thought and this was no exception.

One of the audience asked him how he dealt with the conflict of being experimental and being commercial and his answer got me thinking on the way home. He said that he didn't see them as a conflict, as he couldn't be commercial if he wasn't experimental first. His experimental pieces feed ideas for his wearable pieces.

This made me think (again) about my drawing and my design work. I often restrict my thinking by having an end goal in my mind. If I thought of it more as 'just' an experiment then it's possible that I might generate some better designs.

Thinking back to the Grayson Perry talk, he said that artists need to take risks. Although these messages are different they come together to me. Will all of this help me to experiment and take risks? I hope so but only time will tell.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Cotton Reel Patterns

I enjoyed creating my Drawing with Stitch sample and I would like to create another piece in a similar way. Nothing too big but something that I could pick up easily and even take away on holiday with me. With this in mind I have been exploring cotton reel patterns by repeating and mirroring one of my drawings. Here's the three designs that I have created: 

The pattern with the hole in the middle

The arrow head pattern

The flower pot pattern

Clearly these wouldn't be as 'free' as my original sample but I think they have potential. More thought required on how to transfer the pattern to cloth and how to stitch it. Which one do you prefer?

And the winner is.....

Thanks to everyone that left a comment on my anniversary post.  I used a very low tech approach to selecting the winner...I wrote people's names on torn bits of paper, shook them about a bit, dropped them on the desk and randomly picked one....and the piece of paper I picked up had Amanda's name on it. Congratulations Amanda. I'll be in touch to get your address so I can send the book off to you.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Running repairs

Some time ago I made this piece based on a fence and shadows. It is quite a delicate and thin piece and it has been hanging on two covered curtain rings, which easily took it's weight but over time the top of the hanging started to curl over.

I finally got round to sorting it out and re-hanging it, so now the top edge looks nice and  neat again. Hurrah!

And a detail of the piece. Quite different to the work I'm doing at the moment.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

One Year on ....

....from my first post and to celebrate the occasion, I've got a give away. I wanted to give away something that related somehow to my work and I decided that this book on Tray Dyeing by Claire Benn and Lesley Morgan, from Committed to Cloth would be perfect. Not everyone has the space or the equipment to do screen printing but this type of dyeing can be done in any small plastic container. 


Included in the book is a CD, which my earlier copy doesn't include but if their other CDs are anything to go by then this will contain clear instructions to get you started.

I can honestly say that there hasn't been any time during the last year that I felt like stopping blogging, although it does seem to take longer to post than I thought it would. There have only been a couple of times when I wasn't sure where my next post was coming from but more often I have had more than one post planned, if only in my head.

Blogging has sometimes encouraged me to finish a piece of work, so that I can include it in a post. An unexpected benefit has been that writing about a design or a piece of work has sometimes helped me to crystallise my thoughts and arrive at the next steps. I have also 'met' people and found new and inspiring blogs during the last year, which has been another bonus.

But before I leave my anniversary post, I would like to say a very big thank you to those who have encouraged and supported me during my first blogging year. Mentioning and linking to my blog has helped raise awareness of my blog - to those of you who have done that - thank you. I have also been very pleased and encouraged by those people who have left comments, it's good to know you are reading my posts - thank you to you too. Even if you haven't left a comment, thanks for visiting my blog. 

So if you would like a copy of the Tray dyeing book and CD, then leave me a comment on this post. If you have any thoughts on how I could improve my blog let me know. I will close the give away at 10pm on 21st April, when I will randomly select a comment....assuming there's more than one of course!

Here's to the next year!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Fabric Printing - Gridlock II

I have finally finished 'Gridlock II' - just need to add the hanging device. It measures roughly 80 X 90 cm and at first glance it's not obvious that there is any stitching.
But as you can see from the detailed photographs  that I have done quite a bit of stitching.

I like the overall effect and it has inspired me to work in a similar manner on my purple gridy piece. I plan to discharge a strip of the fabric and stitch on it but this time I would graduate the colours of my thread so they were darker in colour at the bottom and lighter in colour at the top, which would echo the gradation in colour in the dyed fabric. Watch out for Gridlock III!