Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Nature's Threads

It's so cold here at the moment.....everything is frozen including the spiders & their beautiful webs.  I would be quite happy hibernating with the squirrels, burrowed down with a stash of nuts or perhaps cocooned like the silk worm in my own little self-made pod.  See you in the spring! 

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


"Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks thro' Nature, up to Nature's God."

Alexander Pope

Friday, 29 October 2010

Autumn Cloth I

I love this time of year; the soft light, the remnants of summer turning into warm autumn hues.  My garden is full of windfall....leaves, oak galls, sticks, berries, I decided to try & capture a little of autumn in a cloth......
This was a large piece of silk - I don't normally 'do' large pieces so I found this hard to roll but got there in the end even if it does look like a large slug!

I tried to steam the bundle first but I don't have a steamer basket large enough so I boiled it & then left it steeping in the pot for a couple of days.  The results are ok, the prints are not as clear as with other samples I've done but it does have a delicate imprint of the materials....hard to show on a photograph as always....

Monday, 25 October 2010

Bright Star

I watched the film Bright Star yesterday....tears were rolling down my's so beautiful, so sad...   The costumes are stunning, I want to dress like that every day & walk through bluebell fields reciting poetry....I want to wear flounces and ruffles, crisp linen & those gorgeous Sophie Digard crochet jackets....

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Back to Nature

For a while now I've been pondering how best to display some of my plant & compost dyed cloth....I really want to show it as part of nature so I recently hung a few pieces on a tree and snapped away.

At one point the wind blew....I love the way the piece takes flight...I could never emulate this if put in a frame...

I'm considering showing some of the photography alongside the textile I push the concept of Wabi Sabi in my practice the pieces are increasingly fragile and will not endure so I can see that the photography will eventually be another response rather than a record. 

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Red Thread

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance.  The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break."

Old Chinese Proverb

To me, The Great Wall was like a strong thread, running through the mountains.....dividing yet linking, connecting Watch Tower after Watch Tower...

Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Great Wall of China

I've just returned from an amazing adventure walking The Great Wall of China in aid of Cancer Research UK.  It was such an intense week in so many ways, physically, emotionally and culturally and I feel blessed to have been able to see such a beautiful part of our world.  I'm sure the visit will influence my art but just not sure how yet....I have so many memories and photos to sort.

I don't usually take photos of people but there were so many great faces in China......

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Looking Back

I'm busy preparing for my trip to China (leaving this Saturday!!) but also trying to get a few job applications off too. I've been looking back at some of the work completed during my last Residency in school......

I would love to have the opportunity to repeat the year with another's hoping....

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

There are Fairies at the bottom of my Garden

Fairies are just out of the shot!

Autumn Foraging

I've been doing lots of walking recently as training for my Charity trek & it's been fantastic to see the gradual changes in the season.  Every day I go out there's something a little different;  a little more colour in the leaves, a crisper feel to the air, a more pungent smell of earth.....

Whilst walking I've collected materials to try out as natural dyes.....blackberries, elderberries, oak galls, birch bark have all found their way into my bubbling pot of colour.  The resultant cloth maps the walks I've made & I'm currently working on ways of sensitively piecing together the cloth to form large pieces.

Earth Garden Cloth I 

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

We are all Goddesses!

Last night I was invited to talk to the lovely ladies of Forest Quilters in Kidderminster.  I do quite a few talks for Guilds & every time I come away feeling uplifted and comforted by the fact that so many women use textiles as their expressive medium.  I love hearing all of their stories surrounding fibre and cloth, personal anecdotes and narratives & there is a beautiful strength in women coming together to share & learn.  We are all Goddesses!  Thank you so much for inviting me.

On a personal level, I've really needed a confidence boost lately and the feedback on my work certainly gave me that.  I've been struggling to find a way forward and as I was talking last night I started to work a few issues out in my head helped to view my practice as the audience did I think....and I've made a few decisions.  I use found & salvaged materials in my practice but I've always dyed using Procion dyes since I've been quite impatient when it comes to adding colour to cloth.  I have dabbled with natural dyes and in particular rust dyeing but I realised last night that since I'm advocating eco & slow processes then I really should be foraging for colour just as I forage for cloth.  I understand that this will be a major change to how I work.  For a start I'm going to have to be more in tune with the seasons and collect what is available - but I think that could be a really positive step forward.

So.....not one to procrastinate! I went this morning on my foraging trip to Kinver Edge - I'm very lucky to have National Trust forests right on my door step.  I wasn't sure what I would find or even what I was looking for but I went off the beaten path, right into the woods and found this:

A fallen Silver Birch tree with bark already starting to peel away.  At this point I realised that I should have taken a much larger ruck sack!  I managed to take off most of the bark...I loved the way it came away like a skin.  Some of the bark is currently boiling away on the hob so I'll keep you updated as to the results.  I have dyed with birch bark before and produced a beautiful soft pink so I'm quite excited.  I love the markings on the bark...they're quite stitch like,



I've been planning to start a blog for a while now so here goes!  I'm hoping that it will give me a new sense of purpose and help me stay focussed in my work ...I'm fairly erratic at the moment, leaping from one idea to another without fully exploring the potential of anything.  I'm aiming to 'check in' each week to keep myself on track and I hope any readers will enjoy my ramblings.

I work as a Textile & Mixed-media Artist and am currently Artist in Residence at a secondary school - see link for my blog of the Residency - which is really taking me out of my comfort zone and pushing my practice in lots of different ways.  It's a great experience and I love working with the students - it's something I'd like to do more of.
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