Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Knitting and Stitching Show - Dublin October 31 - November 3rd - Part 2

 Hand cut leather embellished with felt, beads, machine and hand stitch.

I am alternating posts between The Knitting and Stitching Show in Dublin and my last two workshops that were both newspaper based. Even you, dear reader, can only take sooo much newspaper!

The work that I have selected to show you is what either fascinated and inspired me, or just tickled my fancy. There were some fabulous artists exhibiting at the show but I can only show you so much - so this is my choice.

The work of the Irish graduates was a delight and two of them are featured here - the other - a graduate from the U.K. is also featured.

 Amy Brannigan's work is very intricate and is based on lace patterns and the Irish Coastline. Leather is either cut by hand or a laser cutter to create beautiful layers and voided areas - a beautiful lace.


 The work is reminiscent of seaweed washed up on the beach with all kinds of encrustations.
Laser cut leather encrusted with silk fibres, shells, beads, hand and machine stitch.

 The work is very beautiful and sensitive, drawing the viewer in to discover more and different layers of embellishment as you look closer.

 The next graduate that caught my attention was Pamela Kelly who created this gorgeous and very cheeky owl out of recycled materials. Pamela specialises in embroidered illustrations.

 Isn't he fabulous - Pamela's drawings were wonderful, very well observed, which obviously helps when creating three dimensional work. Do have a look at her website - I particularly liked the 'The Mouse'.

 The next graduate travelled from the have a stand at the show. As Ally Pally was so busy for me I hadn't had a chance to look around at all exhibits.
Susan Syddall. I loved the way she had taken an everyday part of the landscape and celebrated it. Her range of work was based on 'Painted and Stitched Quirky Telegraph Poles'
 Susan had some excellent sketchbooks.

 I loved the way that Susan's designs were applied to different media including hand painted glazed dinner plates and acrylic wall and floor standing pieces. I look forward to seeing her again at the Harrogate show next week.

 Acrylic floor standing work.


An Irish textile group called Filament Fibre Artists had created an exhibit around their impressions and reactions to the old and disused Bolands Mill in Co. Kilkenny. Their exhibition was entitled The Mill Project. There were very different interpretations . . .

 Shelia Jordan is a fibre artist that specialises in felt making. she was also working in the Art Van Go Artists in Action Studio showing some of her techniques with wet media.

 Sheila's work is based on what has gone before but has still left tangible traces. Marks in stone and metal. Sheila wraps her fibres around the exposed metal, the fibres absorb the rust and become stained. The stitched designs are informed by the marks she has found in and around the mill.

 Fabulous neck pieces by Sheila Jordan.

 I loved this work by Lucinda Jacob. The contrast of the apparently random selection and composition of the natural media with extremely fine traditional crochet work was fascinating. The work is entitled 'Flotsam' and is based on the detritus that is left behind after the floods and where the mill race has pushed the water through the mill.

 Very fine Irish crochet in the form traditional Irish stitches embellish the work. The natural colours of the sticks are a perfect foil for the bright crochet. The pieces are also decorated with other pieces of flotsam - old stones, broken plates and shells. Leaves and flowers are the first forms that a crochet student learns - moving onto the Clones Knot.
 A red leaf and Clones Knots in red and lime green.

 Clones Knots in detail.

 I love how the threads from the crochet also bind the work together.

 Caroline Schofield's work was the first that caught my eye, her large free machine embroidered work is beautiful - if you go onto her blog you can see more of her fabulous work.

 Caroline was also working in the Art Van Go Artists in Action Studio.

I loved the way Caroline captured the movement of these birds through mere stitch, whist Caroline is obviously a very proficient machine embroiderer she also draws - how else could you interpret form and flight so well?
 Fabulous work.

 To read more about these artists and the rest of the group and their work have a look at their blog - it is an interesting read.


I had the most wonderful time in Dublin. The visitors to the show were great fun and of course having to stay in the same house with Viv and Kevin from Art Van Go was a great hardship - add to the mix my scrumptious new side kick who works with me on the Vilene stands young Laura Strutt - we couldn't have had anything other than a good time.
 Laura was christened the Guiness Goblin by Kevin - can't understand why!!!

Perhaps I should also mention that Bobby Britnell, Ruth Isset and Susan Chapman were also sharing a house nearby and of course we all HAD to go out together every night!!!!!

 I can't imagine why this is out of focus . . . 

Or this one - I can never get a decent shot of Bobby.

I missed taking a photo of Sue - I will sort that out in Harrogate next week.
No doubt debauchery will ensue . . . . 

Night, night - I'm off to bed.

x x x 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

A New Starting Point - one day workshop with Basingstoke Embroiderers Guild

 Torn newspaper layered with painted Bondaweb.

I am going to alternate writing up my workshops with the Dublin show. I will show you some of the graduate work from Dublin in the next post.

I have taught A New Starting Point twice in the past three days. A treat for me but could be monotonous for you, hence the alternation.
The first workshop was with the ladies of Basingstoke Embroiderers Guild on Thursday 7th November. We got off to a flying start painting up the Bondaweb then getting down to business with the 'backgrounds' and 'pretties'. The tearing and layering process is a simple one but can be difficult to get to grips with at the start. 

I love this workshop - it is my favourite, the results are always fabulous. Just by layering newspaper with painted Bondaweb and all kind of sparkles.

 The ladies getting on down with their sparkles.


 After the tearing and layering the ladies played with printing blocks on sheets of newspaper and their 'pretties'.

The printed pretties were then chopped into jewellery blanks with my die cutting machine - but I have no photos as the ladies cleared up before I had a chance to take photos - there will be some in the Cheltenham workshop.

 Then it was onto making Faux Chenille with newspaper and polyester organza.


 We had a great day, they were a great group, we worked hard but had fun too - and of course - there was cake! And very scrumptious it was too


 If you want to know more about the Basingstoke Branch of the Embroiderers Guild and what they get up to - have a look at their blog. They are lively and very friendly bunch - so if you are at all interested - do get in contact with them.

x x x 

Am home this week getting ready for my Open House at the end of the month and trying to catch up with my never ending paper work - aargghhhhHH!!!

Hope you all had a great weekend. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Knitting and Stitching Show - Dublin October 31 - November 3rd - Part 1

The National College of Art and Design of Dublin.

The Knitting and Stitching Show in Dublin was a splendid affair. I was expecting a very quiet show as the whole population of Ireland is roughly equivalent to that of Birmingham, but I was wrong. We were very busy, obviously not as busy as Ally Pally - but a very healthy turnout. It was great to meet so many interested visitors.

There were some different different stands at this show, not all the exhibits from the U.K shows travel to Dublin - I thought I would highlight a few of them over the next few posts.

The stand I most enjoyed was the National College of Art and Design of Dublin. The work was outstanding - particularly innovative. Also very colourful.




I think you will agree the work has energy and great imagination. I really loved it.
The Irish graduates put on an exciting show - I will post about them next . . . .

x x x

I am catching up with loads of admin this week and am teaching in Basingstoke tomorrow and in the Cotswolds on Saturday. There aren't enough hours in the day this week . . . 


Hi Diana, will get on with the C4C stuff on Monday.
Hi Jill - how's my girl?