Textile Study Group summer school July 25th - 30th

 my charcoal drawing of a section of the still life

Drawing is the backbone of all creative work - and something I do very rarely unless I am made to. I never find the time to do something that is so important and should really be practiced weekly if not daily!!!!! I am very ashamed to say I only draw once a year - at the Textile Study Group summer school. textilestudygroup.co.uk I always promise my self I will do more, I have all the kit I could ever need, I just don't make the time. Projects like The Sketchbook Challenge (see link on the left of this blog) are very helpful in addressing this. Do any of you get together to make yourselves draw?

There were three tutors teaching on the five day summer school. Rosemary Campbell, Alison King and Bobby Britnell. I was on Alison King's course. The title of our course was Meaningful Territory.

Alison had set up a stunning black and white still life down the room and our first exercise was to take a section and draw it in charcoal. There were several old and very beautifully dented and distorted buckets and black and white printed fabrics included in the still life. We then took another section and painted it, black on white. We had all been asked to bring two items to add to the still life in certain colours. These were then added to the display. We then created a paper collage of a section of the now very colourful still life.

my unfinished paper collage of a gourd that looks like a pepper!!!!

Being able to attend a five day summer school and really get into drawing, looking, seeing and just working with materials is a great treat for me. Because I teach almost continually it is very important for me and to me,  to have a break and develop my skills so I don't become dull. We all need to revisit old skills and learn new ones to remain fresh and interested in our work and others.
Our group of 16 was quite lively, with a few powerful personalities and Alison coped magnificently with us. We worked very hard but had great fun at the same time.

There was some amazing work produced on our course - I have chosen 2 of the group's work to show you all to give you an idea of what we were up to. Both Ruth and Jill and have given me permission to publish their work on here. . . .

Jill Paterson executed these beautiful drawings and then went on to take sections, traced off the design and then started to develop the designs in fabric. There is never enough time to get anything finished properly but the initial drawings and original ideas which are SO important are worked through to a point of near completion.

Ruth Tykiff combined her drawing incorporating a mask with paper collage, making it quite textured. (you can see the section she took on the end of the table above) The next stage was to develop it into fabric - as you can see, Ruth did a superb job, she ran of time to get it all stitched down but it would have been a great shame to rush such a fabulous piece of work. 

 The West Pier - Brighton

Apart from working with the still life the group had also been asked to bring in some of their own inspiration. I took in this image of a section of the West Pier in Brighton. I love all the distressed, encrusted iron work and the layering up of all the marine detritus that creates an amazing 'shaggy' look.

I chose to develop some work based on my inspiration of the pier. The large herringbone stitch was meant to echo the the crossed steel supports of the pier but it all ended up a bit fluffy. The work needs more definition. I suspect I will develop this theme further and incorporate galvanised steel rods to give a 'harder' edge to the piece. I have layered up old painted and dyed newspapers, stitched and slashed and then distressed to give the 'shaggy' look. Painted Bondaweb and gilding flake have been included to give a bit of a lift. I hope to have a resolved piece for the Exeter show in September.


So - now it's back to the real world - my book delivery should arrive tomorrow or Tuesday and I have a lot of orders to get out. All books ordered before midday on the 8th August will include a free 'Hot and Sticky' pack to play with - so I had better go and make some packs up!!! The book looks very good with a new style of cover, it is relief to see it and hold it in my hands. I am so grateful that my editor sent me one of her copies so I could see it before my main delivery arrived.

 now where am I going to stack 15 boxes of books . . . . 



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