Thursday, 21 October 2010

Teaching at Inkberrow Design Centre - Learning Through Play

Some of you may be familiar with the work of Brenda Killigrew and her students at Inkberrow Design Centre in Holberrow Green, Redditch, Worcestershire. The courses run both privately and by the college are textile based - Fashion Illustration, Millinery, Theatre, Corsetry, Tailoring, Textiles and Interior Design and Soft Furnishings. Brenda puts on the amazing fashion shows at ICHF shows. If you have been to Sewing for Pleasure/Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch you can't help but be aware of the sensation they cause.
In these increasingly troubled times in further education we all need to be grateful to people like Brenda who have the energy, foresight and downright dogged determination to carry on delivering top level courses. It is a thankless task sometimes and we seem to be heading for some dark days ahead!!!!
Great samples from just playing with the products to see what they could do

So - less of the doom and gloom and on with the fun and joy of teaching and torturing students.
I taught at Inkberrow on Monday and Tuesday this week and wasn't sure what to expect as I was teaching mixed groups of students. The plan was to introduce the students to the creative possibilities of the heavy and medium iron on interfacings that had been supplied by Freudenberg Vilene. As most of you will know from reading this blog I LOVE the medium and heavy iron on interfacings. They are so useful for surface decoration and construction. The students will be presenting a collection of work using the interfacings at Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch at the NEC 24 - 27 March 2011 as part of the fashion show.

a bridge over the Yarra river
  Sydney Opera House in the evening sun - was I really ever there?

I was working with 2nd year students from the HND Fashion and Design course and City and Guilds Fashion and Design. The students were very capable and quickly got to grips with what I wanted them to do. We discussed how to cut, colour and manipulate these fabulous products and I presented a slide show of what I thought were dynamic and exciting buildings to demonstrate my ideas for shape, form and line that might help develop strong and simple shapes for their eventual projects. When I was in Melbourne in April I took a lot of photos of the buildings and bridges along the river Yarra. I also included shots of Sydney Opera House. We went onto discuss how the students could develop the samples and how they could be used on the body - ruffs, huge collars, shoulder treatments, bustles . . . . . and of course amazing hats!

these were the best behaved students I have EVER had when using the soldering irons to carve and cut, I was SO impressed

The emphasis for the 2 days was 'Learning Through Play'. It is important to find out what a product will do and how to manipulate it before you start to design a finished piece of work.
Here are some of the samples the students were starting to develop.

I will be going back to Inkberrow on the 6th December for a follow-up session so will report on how things are going.

I am now starting to think about teaching a 3 day Hot Textiles workshop at Denman College Sunday - Wednesday. I teach there 2 or 3 times a year and my courses are always fully booked with waiting lists. Who would have thought I would be teaching for the W.I.? I always have a great time there and eat far too much of their excellent food. I'm looking forward to seeing the garden and how it looks going into autumn.

Have fun and keep in touch, it's always good to hear what you are all up to . . . .  x

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Layers & Landscapes

Well - Ally Pally has come and gone. The show is always one of the highlights of the year and this year we were not disappointed. It was wonderful to see the retrospective of Juila Caprara's work, what an incredible artist and teacher she was. I also particularly enjoyed the work of Gizella K Warburton, her muted tones and layered textures were a feast for the eyes.

It was great to see so many of my friends and customers at the show, thank you all for dropping by. I know it can be difficult to get to me sometimes when I am surrounded by hoards of lovely ladies but thanks to those who made the effort. I was assisted on the stand by Brenda and Lou from Inkberrow Design Centre and Castanea. Having a disgusting cold I was in ever more need of their tender care and energy. They were absolute superstars - supplying me with hot chocolate on demand and mopping my fevered brow when necessary.

Having been so inspired by the show I have just been going through some of my photos - I am thinking of a new layered piece of work to incorporate Lutradur and hand dyed natural fabrics.

the view from down the road from my house

a burnt field in France

the view across to Falmer

another view across to Falmer in the evening light

I am looking forward to working in strips and layers and have been sorting some of hand dyed threads for couching and stitching. Who knows the work may even end up in my next book. Yes!!! it is plodding along without toooo much distraction from boys. . . . . . . . .  x