Sunday, 19 August 2012

More prettys at Bobby Brittnell's Studio part 2

As we were using newspaper we also created faux chenille.

The course title was Print, Paint, Stitch and Play! It is a new course and the group at Bobby's were wonderful guinea pigs! 

I drove up to Shropshire on Monday and on the way stopped off in Ledbury to see Angie Hughes for lunch in her new flat. Angie is a great mate of mine but because we live so far apart we only really see other at shows. It was great to have the chance of a couple of hours together - we had a lovely lunch and had good old catch up. We are hoping to have a 'play' weekend in Brighton in the not too distant future. Angie's website is

Then it was on to Bettws-y-Crwyn and Bobby's studio at Moor Hall - it gets very twisty and turny and then the roads narrow - ooohhh!!!! Don't like it! But it is worth it when you arrive - it is SO beautiful. The views are remarkable and the farmhouse is old and surrounded by a lovely cottage garden. The studio is light and bright and purpose built so there is everything you need there.

It was great to see Bobby and her husband Martin again and catch up with all their news.

Yesterday I talked about the small samples and experiments that we started with to get the students used to the 'prettys' process. We also created faux chenille. Dru experimented with a bonded and foiled top layer.

Elaine is a fine artist and printmaker and hadn't 'had a go' at Textiles before and created some amazing work. She really got into the faux chenille. These are two of her pieces.

Dru, Elaine and Lucy at one of the tables in the studio. Printing onto Solufleece which was then free machined into. The Solufleece was then washed away leaving the stitched design.

Lucy worked through all the processes and was looking forward to developing the ideas for her classes when she goes back to teaching after the summer.

The little faux chenille vessel was delightful and well thought through. Lucy foiled the pelmet Vilene background before she layered the newspaper which created a great deal of 'flash' when the chenille was cut and bent around to create a tube - fabulous! All of Lucy's work was very inventive - she enjoys going 'off piste'!!!

This beautiful piece was created by Veronica, the layered newspaper has been printed onto and machine stitched in areas to create more definition. The leaf block was used to print onto Solufleece and the design was free machine stitched then the Solufleece was washed away. Just gorgeous!

Hilary used my fish block from The Indian Block Company -
I don't use commercial blocks in my workshops as a rule, I like to make my own, but this company is a not for profit and I like to promote this.

Again the layered newspaper has been printed onto and machine stitched and then a machine embroidered fish was hand stitched on. Hilary was very patient with me over the three day course. I was very excited about my new (to me) car being delivered while I was away. I might have mentioned once or twice that I was getting a new car . . . 

Ann made several gorgeous samples and this was her finished piece. Ann used her own printing block. I think the straight sides of the star design are a great contrast to the organic shapes of the torn paper.

Elaine was a great surprise - she hadn't used a sewing machine before and was concerned about her lack of embroidery skills. I explained I was much more interested in her using stitch as a mark - like scribbling with a pencil - she picked up the idea very fast and had a great time experimenting with her scribble stitching.

As a printmaker Elaine has lots of old prints lurking about that she is now considering tearing and layering with painted Bondaweb. I am hoping she will send me some images when she does - I just know they will be FAB!

Dru created some exquisite pieces these are just two of them. Dru had a great time colourwashing old novels and then printing onto them and then using them as a background to mount her 'prettys' on.

This last sample is one of Elaine's - I just love the exuberance of the printing over the layered newspaper. She had such a great time, I love it when artists of other disciplines dip their toe into the inviting and exciting field of textiles.

It was a great workshop with the whole group working hard, sharing ideas and products. Textile workshop students are just fabulous to work with - we textile tutors are very lucky to have a job we love and to be able to work with such creative and engaging people.

Hilary - this one is for you - I think I mentioned once or twice that I have a new car - it matches my hair and the nail polish on my toe nails, but most importantly - it starts every time!!!!!!!

You have named him - Sydney!


I left Bobby and Martin on Friday morning packing ready to leave for a Morris Dancing Fest in Whitby - I hope they have had good weather. Bobby's website is You can find all the courses she offers there, including the ones she teaches with Ruth Issett.

I now need to get ready to teach a similar three day course starting tomorrow in Brighton for a change - it will take me all of twenty minute to get there -in my new car!! Have I mentioned I have got a new car . . . .
This time we will be making jewellery and boxes out of the layered newspaper. It has so many applications when ironed onto medium and heavy weight interfacings.

More later in the week. 



  1. Oh I soooo wished I'd been able to attend this fantastic workshop...unfortunately I couldnt...I HOPE you're coming back to Wales in the near future to teach! the girls created some fab stuff.

    nice car!!!

    1. Thanks Bethan, we had a great time. I don't have any more workshops booked in your area. Bobby may book me for more next year. Watch this space my lovely, you never know . . .