Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Experimental Textiles - the last weekend.

 Transfer printed satin covered with hand knitted wire embellished with hand stitch - by Sally.

It is sad when a long course comes to an end - it is also a time to celebrate all the hard work of the past year. Friendships have been made amongst the group that I hope will last for years to come.

 
 Sally stitching in to the sample above.

 We started off with eight students and lost two along the way through broken bones and pressure of work. I am hoping that Liz of the broken bones will be picking up the course again some time this year and hopefully Emma will feel more able to work with the group as they go forward into new ventures.

 
 Claire and Shaun appear to be working hard but were definitley feeling slightly hysterical and mucking about.

Claire blamed the caffeinated tea she drank at lunchtime for her extreme fit of the giggles.
(Claire normally drinks decaffeinated).

Heidi working hard on her wall piece.

 
 Jo creates the most beautiful weaving and has been experimenting with 3D forms.

 Tracey usually sticks to her corner and creates a fabulous nest of work. 
No space is left uncovered.

 I spent most of the weekend sorting through all the work to decide what will go into the show next month at the NEC while the group carried on working independently. It was difficult job as there was such a lot of work of a very high standard, but we cant hang everything.

Here are few of the more considered samples that the students have been working on. There will be many more at the show.
 
 Painted Bondaweb decorated with texture gel pushed a stencil.
 
 Faux chenille with newspaper and polyester organza.

 
 Transfer printed synthetic fabrics cut with a soldering iron and layered together.
 
 Newspaper faux chenille decorated with machine and hand stitch.
 

 A fabulous print with 'mirrored' printing blocks.

 Printed craft/pelmet Vilene decorated with hand stitch.

 
Transfer printed bubble pack.

 
Transfer printed bubble pack decorated with machine stitch.

 A table full of fabulous paper samples . . . .
 
 . . . and a table of beautiful prints - some embellished with hand stitch.

Cardboard packaging woven into with newspaper strips and then printed onto and hand stitched.

 We have all come a long way since the beginning of the course last May. The course runs for nine weekends and I teach basic design, colour, print and drawing exercises. There is no accreditation, the students are encouraged develop their own ideas and style of work and to learn to work independently. I had not taught Experimental Textiles this way before so the group were 'guinea pigs'. They did me proud - I am so pleased with what they have achieved. 

Teaching the course at IDC, The Old Needle Works in Redditch is a bonus. It is an old industrial site with great character - run very ably by my good friend Brenda Killigrew and her team. As Redditch is roughly in the middle of the country it is a good place to run the course and makes it accessible to students who live further afield. The college is next to the bus and train station and is close to motorways. For example Shaun lives in Plymouth and stayed at the local Holiday Inn when she came up.

 
I had a lovely surprise at the end of the day, the group presented me with a very heavy box of chocolates and two absolutely beautiful books. 
The kind of books you want to sit and stroke the pages of, full of stunning colour and texture.

The next course will start again at the end of May with a new group. Anyone interested can have a look at the course outline at experimentaltextiles.com.
At present there are five places left. As the group are exhibiting at Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch at the NEC next month I expect the course to fill very quickly so if you are interested - don't leave it too long . . . 

x

I am home for a whole week - I have piles and piles of paperwork to catch up on and I need to sort out my poor untidy house. It looks as though I have been burgled.

I will be off to Glasgow for Creative Stitches at the SECC next week. Wendy Dolan and her hubby Rob will be there too. We stay in the same hotel and have a great time together. They were a great help to me last year in Glasgow when I was suffering the pain from shingles. I was in a terrible state and they were absolutely marvellous. I carry a pack of Aciclovir with wherever I go, I am terrified of shingles coming back. I am very wary of any itchy spot that appears. Paranoid? Me? Definitely!

I hope that anyone who was is my Saturday lecture at the show last year will come back and see me in better health and listen to the whole lecture without me collapsing this time.

So, that was all a year ago and taught me that I am human and do need to rest occasionally. I am much fitter now although I still have the neuralgia. I am starting to reduce the high dose of Gabapentin I have been taking every four hours for the past year and hope I will eventually come off it. 

I hope to make some new samples for the upcoming shows this week and will report anything new I think you may be interested in.

Have a good week.

p.s. I have been writing this post listening to the new Emilia Mitiku album - it's fabulous. x


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