Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Braiding at the Hub

On Saturday I had the great pleasure of attending a braiding course led by acclaimed braiding guru, Jennie Parry.  The one day course was held at the Hub in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.  It was the first time I had been to the centre which is our National Centre for Crafts.  The centre is housed in a renovated warehouse and over four floors has spaces for the display of contemporary craft as well as education spaces and of course, a shop and cafe. 

The course was an introduction to creating braids and bands.  We rapidly learnt techniques in plaiting and weaving on a donkey loom (inspired by the Akha bow loom). It was satisfying to build up a selection of a samples and notes to facilitate further exploration of the techniques at home.  I'm particularly looking forward to going on to embellish the braids with buttons, beads and tassels. 

My favourite technique was creating a braid on a card (Kumihimo).  This technique required a bit less brain power and had endless opportunities for experimenting with different threads.  We had friends to lunch on Sunday and I thought I could introduce their eight year old daughter to the technique.  Instead, I ended up running a workshop for the parents who were most impressed with their creations!

Jennie Parry was instrumental in setting up the Braid Society and her knowledge and enthusaism were impressive.  It was a real treat to be able to see and handle her collection of braids. There's a link here to have a go at plaiting.

I finished the day with a sense of satisfaction at having learnt so much and been given the information to create more.  I also wanted to book the first plain to India, Oman or Thailand and immerse myself in some of the techniques of  traditional textiles.  I realised what a vast array of textile techniques there are around the planet and what a rich journey a life in textiles is.

Monday, 9 November 2009

The lowdown from Lustre

I made my annual pilgrimage to Lustre contemporary craft fair at Lakeside Art Centre this weekend.  As with previous years, I start to walk around, see a few things that I like and then suddenly, wham! I see something that knocks my socks off, that humbles me, that makes me feel too warm.  This year I had to touch and feel the beautiful ceramics of Karen Atherley.  I loved the colour, the strong figurative drawing and the intense combination of vivid colours and layering of transfers from Chinese ceramics with hand drawn motifs. 

I also really liked the felted collages of Katie Mawson.  Beautifully finished and presented, their simple symbolic forms and quiet pallette drew me across the room to them.

There was still the Angie Lewin effect very much in evidence, with images of seed heads being produced in all media.  I loved the simple rendering of natural forms in silver by Laura Baxter and I love the imagery on her website.....that tiny kiss of red.

The other trend was for spoons.  Vanessa Larmond combined wood and textiles to subvert the function of the spoon whilst creating something tactile and beautiful.  Checking out her website, I was amused by the description of her conceptual craft as "whittled spoons in woven socks"!  Magie Hollingworth's paper spoons also subverted their function.  Made of paper they had a quiet vulnerability that commanded a reverence for their form.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Mini works

It's a busy month for birthdays so before these went into the post I took a snap. It was lovely creating something so quick after the pains of weaving. Hoping to put some card packs together soon to sell. As usual, leaving it very late for the Christmas fairs. Off to Lustre at the weekend to ogle and be inspired. Also planning on getting out to photograph the changing landscape and capture some of the colour before it all blows away.

Keep on keeping on!

The tapestry is slowly creeping up the warp. I've reached a lovely section where I'm introducing new colours and starting to try and capture some of the painterly effects of the paperwork in thread. It's making my brain ache working with so many colours and I realize that sometimes I sit staring at the loom whilst my head tries to work out what my fingers need to do. I've nominated November as a weave-every-day month and keep ducking in to the studio for a 'power weave'. My plan to weave a piece each season is fast disappearing. One a year might be about right!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...