Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Experimental Textiles at the NEC 17th - 20th March

Visitors to the show looking through the girls workbooks.

I was hoping to post this before Easter - but my get up and go seemed to get up and wander off. I always forget how the big shows take it out of you.
However, I am here now.

Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch is my favourite show. It is just bonkers and has something for everyone. It is always good to meet up with visitors and friends from all over the country in some cases - all over the world. 

I had two sets of students exhibiting this year. My ExTex 4 girls (Experimental Textiles 4) had their end of year show and the previous years group were exhibiting on the IDC stand. They have formed a group - Out of Line. More of that further down this post.

The ExTex 4 end of year show.

Having work in a show and stewarding the exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for the students. Being able to speak to the visitors about techniques and skills they have learned on the course makes a huge difference to their confidence. It helps them realise just how much they DO know. The students can choose to make a finished piece of work for the show - or continue with samples, building up their portfolio. As the course is not accredited - we have a lot of freedom. I can work with the students individually and we don't have to tick boxes.

It all starts with a Journey.

I teach the Journey exercise all over the world, well Europe, Australia and New Zealand. I devised it in 1996 and have been teaching it in some form or other regularly ever since then, it is also featured in my book Experimental Textiles.

Some of the Journeys and the design work that comes from them.

A selection of samples on display - lots for the girls to talk about.

A small selection of their 3D work was on show. These were silk paper vessels.

The end of year show was very well received and the girls were really pleased with the response from the visitors to the show. If you were one of the many visitors that stopped to chat - thank you.

We have recruited all but one of the 10 places for the 2016/17 course which starts in June.

This will be the last course of Experimental Textiles in this form.


The previous years course - ExTex 3, had an extra 5 weekend sessions with me from July 2015 to March 2016. It was more of a finishing off course. Talking about professional practice, how and where to exhibit and getting some work finished. We call this course ExTeXra!!! There will be another one - the last one, from June 2016 to January 2017. Only ExTex students can do the course.

So the ExTex 3 group have formed Out of Line - so appropriate . . . in SO many ways!!
Brenda from IDC where I teach Experimental Textiles, gave the Out of Line group some space on her stand to exhibit. They put it to good use.

There was fabulous selection of work from Out of Line, from 3 D pieces  to mounted and framed work. Mostly worked in hand stitch - but there was some machine stitch. I must admit to being an advocate of hand stitch, however the groups can choose to use any form of stitch they like, or not to stitch at all.


As you can see, the work is varied, I always encourage personal development so students develop their own style. Inspiration for these works came from varied sources - a cruise to Iceland, pebble prints, interpretation of rock strata and much more besides.

It was great to see all the work together and for the girls to be in charge of hanging the work and setting up the stand. I think it is harder for me to let them go, than for the them to leave.

A separate mention for Mary's amazing Turkish Coat.

A detail of the front and side taken when Mary was still constructing the coat at college.

The out side of the coat is intricately pieced with hand dyed fabrics. The lining is hand dyed silk decorated with cracking from using a flour and water resist. These photos don't do it justice - it is a remarkable piece of work.


So - that's it for the minute. I am teaching Transforming Transfer this weekend at The Bridge in Brighton (there are 2 places) and then off to Excel for the Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycraft Show next week.

Watch this space.


Hello Diana, not long now, Jill it was good but far too short, 
and Hello Tod - I will ring soon. Love to you all

x x x

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Coming to the NEC this week . . . The Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch Show. 17th - 20th March.

 This is a new range of work for me - I am very excited. 
It will be shown in the gallery that I am sharing with Susan Chapman.
People and Places - stand number M11.

 Well we are nearly there - The Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch Show is looming ever closer.
We will be setting up the show on Wednesday and will be open to the public Thursday 17th - Sunday 20th March.

 One of the features of the show is the Vilene - now Vlieseline Workshop. This is something I organise. We have some fantastic tutors this year. 

 Please book spaces on my stand L22.
There are 10 places per workshop, per day. 1 workshop per person each day and it is first come, first served - so run from the door to the right hand corner of the show and join the queue.

10.30 BUILD UP BONDAWEB With Tina Francis
Painted Bondaweb has been used in Textile Art for some time; in this session you will make it the star of the show! Pre-painted Bondaweb will be layered to bring a painterly aspect to your work – think Troika Pottery, ceramic glazes and texture and you will be nearly there!
11.45 NEEDLE FELTED BROOCHES With Jayne Routley
Have fun needle felting, layering colour and using the new iron-on interlining Decovil 1, to make lovely brooches.
13.00 TWINKLING LANDSCAPES With Angie Hughes
Enjoy a bite-sized workshop using velvet, transfer foils and Bondaweb, plus a few surprises to create a shimmering landscape.
14.15 LAYERING LEAVES With Fran Holmes
Distorted leaves will be made from a combination of Decovil 1 Light and the Spunbond CS800. Students will learn how to combine these products, then colour and distort using a heat tool.
15.30 SOLDERED FLOWER DOILEY BOOKS With Kathleen Laurel Sage
Have fun with soldering irons and CS800. Create beautiful lacy effects to make a gorgeous little book with this exciting product. This process also makes great greetings cards.


I won't be teaching this year as I have my own work in a gallery plus my Experimental Textiles students have their end of year show on stand L23 (alongside the fashion show). Even I can only manage so many stands . . .
It is a bit nerve wracking showing my work. I haven't done so for several years. 
Most people are familiar with what I teach - but not my own work.

The work that will be on show will be new and some of it is still in the sampling stage, but hopefully you will find it interesting. It is wonderful to be sharing the space with Susan Chapman and her magnificent quilts. She is a prolific artist and has several international shows a year to work for. Susan has become a great friend and I am looking forward to spending some time with her this week.

These are details of the 4 canvases. 
Painted Bondaweb and a new fusible web that I have painted and printed. 
This has been decorated with gilding flake and mica flakes.


Most of us now use baby wipes to clean up after printing and making any kind of mess. Anyone who regularly dyes or paints will know that the cleaning up cloth is usually the most exciting piece of work of the day.

While I was working in New Zealand with my new printing blocks in January, I became very distracted by the baby wipes I was using to clean the blocks. I just loved the build up of colour and design. So much so, that I ended up printing in order to decorate the baby wipes!!!

 4 of the set of 12 baby wipes on 8" by 8" canvases.

I have no idea of the longevity of baby wipes, but as they can't be flushed down the toilet and are covered in acrylic paint, then varnished. I have high hopes for them. It will be interesting to see what visitors to the gallery will think of them.

Details of 2 of the baby wipes.

I will also be demonstrating how to use my KK Glue which will available from my stand (L22) and the Art Van Go stand.

KK Glue sprinkled through one of my stencils, fixed with heat and then decorated with heat transfer foil.

I wouldn't be able to cope with show with out the help of a certain person and several of my ex students. The certain person is Jayne Routley who will be womaning my stand on L22 while I swan around the show, tossing my hair, being a textile artist!!! 
I would like to thank Rachael Singleton and Mary Smith for taking time out of their busy lives to help me set up my stands and generally help make my part of the show run as smoothly as possible. Most importantly stop me from getting ratty!!!
I certainly couldn't run 4 stands on my own . . .

So - to recap - 
The Kim Thittichai stand is L22, which is opposite the Vlieseline Workshop on the back wall. Stand number Y09
The People and Places Gallery showing mine and Susan Chapman's work is stand number M11.
The Experimental Textiles end of year show is stand number L23, this runs along side the cat walk of the fashion show.

Do come and say Hello!!! I will be splitting my time between the gallery and my own stand. It will be great to see you.


Hello Diana - will reply to your email after the show. 
Not long now Jill - whooo hoo!!
Hello Tod, my lovely!!! 
Hello Denise, only 14 months to go!