Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Experimental Textiles 2 - 1st weekend

 Four of the 'Journeys' hanging longways.

Apologies for the absence, life has been a little complicated of late . . . 

Bank Holiday weekend saw me teaching the first session of Experimental Textiles 2 at The Old Needle Works in Redditch. We have five in the group after two had to withdraw for various reasons. Having such a small group means we can get more done - which is brilliant. The first session was very similar to what was in the previous post - creating original designs.
Work done on this session will form the backbone of the first few months of the course.

  We started with the 'Journey' exercise.

 A section of the 'Journeys'.

 We then went onto the 'Expanded' exercise. Looking at positive and negative space.


 Then it was onto 'Flipping out' -


Then is was onto taking sections of all the exercises - thus creating original designs . . . .

These sections were then traced into the students sketchbooks and one or two of them were painted in two colourways.


The students then took one design and 'flipped and mirrored' it, to create yet more original designs. These will painted up as part of their homework.

Experimental Textiles is based on very basic processes - the kind of processes we never take the time to do. Anyone can do them - you just need to apply yourself. The next session is at the end of June.


I hope you all had a fabulous Bank holiday weekend and that most of you saw some sun . . . . 


55 sleeps to go . . . Yehaaa! x

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Design, Inspiration and Interpretation at Art Van Go - 14th and 15th May

A flipped and mirrored design taken from 'The Journey'.

I love teaching at Art Van Go, everyone is made so welcome and always so well looked after. Art Van Go offer a very comprehensive range of workshops throughout the year. Have a look see - www.artvango.co.uk/workshops/

Design, Inspiration and Interpretation is my rather formulaic way to help groups get jump stared when they need a bit help to get going with ideas. It can be difficult to pull designs ideas out of fresh air and even with bulging sketch books you sometimes need a refresher. 
On this two day version we worked through two design exercises, took sections of the designs, flipped and mirrored designs and then made printing blocks from one of the designs. 

The first design exercise was 'The Journey' If you have a copy of Experimental Textiles or are a regular reader of this blog you will be aware of this exercise. It is a great mark making exercise that can generate fabulous results.

A section of all the journeys laying on the studio floor.

 The next exercise was a 'flipping out' one. Again, very simple but generates more fabulous results - 

 Sections were taken of both exercises using 'L' shapes and tracing paper.

 One of the sections were then chosen to 'flip and mirror' -

The designs were also traced into sketch books and then painted in various two way colour combinations.


Here are some of the 'flipped and mirrored' designs - before, during and after painting . . .



We then made printing blocks from self adhesive foam and foam core board


Prints from the design above.

One of the designs recreated into printing blocks.

Two designs that have overprinted sucessfully.

This workshop is one of my favourites but it is very hard to get it to run - I suspect a workshop with the 'D' word in has people running for the hills. Luckily it always runs at Art Van Go so it will now become an annual event and be exclusive to Art Van Go. Next year it will be in June.

Thanks Viv and Kevin for a fabulous two days.   


While I was at Art Van Go, Viv and I sorted some dates for next years workshops and something new for this year - A Hot Textiles Surgery!
On August Bank Holiday Saturday (24th) I will be in residence demonstrating how to use all the wonderful iron-on interfacings with paint, foils and print in the studio. I will also be showing you how to get the best from the Vilene Spunbonds and anything else that anyone wants to see. I will have all my samples with me as well my Big Shot Pro to show you how to make jewellery and some gorgeous boxes. We should have great fun, it will be very informal - no need to book, just come and have a chat . . . . 


This weekend is the third of four for the Brighton Open Houses. I will be at The Pink Birdhouse all weekend from 11am - 6pm selling my jewellery. I have made more and have restocked. Yeehaa!!! It should be good . . . 

Also this weekend, if you are out and about in Brighton - A group of my ex students have an exhibition at Foredown Tower - 
14th-31st May (closed 26/27th), 10am - 3pm, Free
Foredown Tower
 Foredown Road
Portslade, Brighton
 BN41 2EW

01273 422625


Have a great weekend


67 sleeps to go . . . .

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Brighton Artists Open Houses and a bit of design.

I had to keep these for my self . . . !

The Brighton Artists Open Houses as part of Brighton Festival are now in full swing. We are halfway through the second weekend with two more to go. www.aoh.org.uk
I believe Brighton was the first to start the Open Houses - we have been doing them for thirty one years and every year the number of houses grows.
It is big business down here on the coast.

I have work in the Pink Bird House no 26 on the Independent Trail www.aoh.org.uk/may-2013-trail-list and I will be there next weekend if you want to come and say Hello! This weekend I am at Foredown Tower (number 1 on the Independent trail) with more of my jewellery. Today is gorgeous - the sun is shining so we should be even busier than yesterday.The views from the Tower across the downs and down to the sea are stunning.

 Some of my new stock ready for the studs and the wires.

 . . . and more . . !

It is great to have found something that I so enjoy making and designing that sells so well - Hurrah! I have been helped in no small way by Claire Pain of Laser Cut Sussex www.lasercutsussex.com

Her technical knowledge is fantastic and is so necessary when cutting the blank shapes from my new surfaces. I can't tell you how helpful she has been - I am hopeless at design on the computer. Claire scans all my designs and works out a cutting order. We have great fun working together and continually bounce ideas off each other. So who knows what I will be developing next . . . 

Claire is a regular student on my courses at Foredown Tower. I meet so many fabulous ladies on my courses - which brings me neatly to Helen Fallowfield who is also selling her work At Foredown Tower. Helen was a student of mine for four years on my Experimental Textiles course in the early years of the course.

 One of Helens' designs.

When Helen needed inspiration for some new designs she referred back to her sketchbooks she created so many years ago on the course. You see, we tutors ALWAYS stress the importance of keeping up your sketch books when you are on a course - and this is why. You have an amazing resource that you can refer back to for the rest of your life. We don't run these course for fun, they are a very important part of your development as an artist and sketchbooks and portfolio work are a vitally important part of it. Rant over!!!!

  . . another

You can imagine how delighted I was when I saw these beautiful pieces displayed as part of her work for sale. I knew immediately which design source she had used. Those of you who have my book Experimental Textiles will know about an exercise I do with my students called 'The Journey'. Helen had taken more sections of her original 'Journey' that she painted on the course and developed these designs in stitch and applique on net. Fabulous. It is so satisfying to know that your teaching goes on . . . and on.

  . . and another  . . .

  . . and another.

By coincidence I will be teaching this exercise at Art Van Go this week. It is the only place this course runs. It is such a shame as it is so important to develop your ability to create original designs but students are usually too frightened of the 'D' word to sign up. We have a full group so we should have a great time together with lots of creative energy zapping about.

I would like to make this two day course an annual event at Art Van Go. It is the second year I have taught it there. In two days you can create many original designs that will last for many years. It is a great hardship teaching at Art Van Go . . .  not!!! We are SO well looked after and of course we have the Alladins cave that is the shop to play in - Heaven! I will be posting our progress on here during the weekwww.artvango.co.uk

I'm off to Foredown Tower now to spend the day with good friends and sell my jewellery - it's a tough life . . . 

Have a great day!


71 sleeps to go. Yeehaaa!!!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A few days in Germany - part the third

Busy girls on the workshop.

Sorry this is a bit late in coming - it's been a bit of a busy week.
The second workshop I taught was Hot New Surfaces. It was a four hour experimental workshop playing with the all the weights and colours of Vilene Spunbond.

The group were very keen and got stuck in straight away. We worked with layers first. Applying painted Bondaweb onto Spunbond and then decorating it and then zapping it. They loved the gilding flake - I don't think many of the group had seen it before.

  Spunbond decorated with painted Bondaweb and then zapped.

They were happy to play and not make anything finished. It was great fun teaching this group, they were so keen and had not had a chance to play with these products before. We were using from the heaviest to the lightest - CS800, CS700 and CS500. The CS500 comes in seven colours as well as white.
You can see the full range here -  https://www.nid-noi.com/product/LU.php

 The group getting stuck in. My wonderful Quilt Angel is on the far right.

 We tried applique with the CS500. Not using soldering irons for a change - we used scissors!!! It was bad enough having to carry 12 heat guns in my luggage. Because the CS500 is translucent it works well when overlapped.


 We also looked at edges - you can create the most fabulous edges and textures with Spunbond - my favourite for this is the CS800. 

 This is CS800 decorated with Xpandaprint that has been squidged through a stencil with a 2" paintbrush,(a bit like stippling if you ever did paint effects) - then zapped with a heat gun. The Xpandaprint forms a resist and the CS800 that is exposed goes into lace when you heat it - very pretty.

 We also played with a glue stick and embossing powders - gorgeous.

Fabulous embossed and distressed edges.
  One of the students samples at the end of the class.

I had a wonderful time in Germany, I was so well looked after by the Vilene/Vliesoline team. I hope it won't be the last time I see them all again.
If you want to see some image of the show go to -

 and look at 'Impressions NADELWELT Karlsruhe 2013'.


I flew back into Heathrow in time to nip up to Art Van Go for the launch party of Bobby Britnell's NEW book - Stitched Textiles - Flowers.

It is a smashing book, full of great ideas for stitch and decorative surfaces as well as Bobby's own slant on colour and the elements of design. It is a very good and enjoyable read.

There was also an exhibition of the work from the book, here is the Bobster sitting demurely in front of a small part of it.

As I was dashing out the door dear Kevin grabbed me and took this photo.
I do so love this - poor Bobby looks a bit bemused.

I then belted off down to Hampton Hill to have dinner with my bestest matey. A perfect end to a great week.

It is now all systems go for the Brighton Open Houses, I sold so much jewellery last weekend I had to have more cut today. There are three more weekends to go. I will be at Foredown Tower this weekend and the pot holes have all been filled in HURRAHH!!! At last!! so we won't dice with death when we drive up the track.

I hope this post finds you well and happy.

 x x x
 Hello Jill - 75 sleeps to go - Yippeee!!!! x