Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Pressing Matters

I have been drawing today but feel I just can't capture the beauty of these pressed flowers and grasses. They are from a portfolio collected by Birgitta Theodorsen, I think from Sweden, and were given to us as a gift from my daughter Alice. I think what I really like is the sellotape and how some things are just crumpled.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Thinking about 2020

I would just like to alert you to some new courses I am running at The Hearth, Horsley, Northumberland in 2020.  All of my work and workshops are about using old things and recycling but here are three new courses with a bit of a  green agenda. . Check out my website to find out the availability and for full course description.

So my usual bird collage course is given a new twist as I encourage students to choose a British bird off the red or amber "Birds of Conservation Concern ( UK)" lists. On the red list now are starling, lapwing, house sparrow, curlew, kittiwake and skylark.  Check out this link to find the full list.
Here is a Dartford Warbler,  one from the Amber list, it is in decline and is so pretty!

Then there is the problem of over fishing around the UK. I have never thought about fish much apart from how to cook them but reading about the concern for the way fish are farmed and caught inspired me to write my first fish course. I really enjoyed bringing metallics back into my textile pieces when working on these samples.The first date for this course is full but  there are plenty of places on Friday 10th July. Check out the link HERE.

I have an allotment and grow lots of flowers to attract bees but where would we be without them?
I have been practising embroidering bees and in July I am running 2 courses called "Telling the Bees".

Contact me through the website if you are interested in joining me on any of these three new courses and a Happy New Year we hope!

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Making a Life

By the far the best book around at the moment is "Making a Life" by Melanie Falick. I met Melanie several years ago when she was assisting me at Chateau Dumas and she told me how she hoped to leave her job as an editor in New York and concentrate on writing her own book about using our hands. Years later, after travelling across the world with talented photographer Rinne Allen in tow she has achieved that dream. This is THE book to put on your Christmas present lists.
Melanie and Rinne even made it all the way up to Northumberland to visit me in my studio on a rainy dark day and I felt sure there would be no good photographs but guess what they decided to use MY notice board on the cover of the book and there is a 10 page chapter on how I am making my life sweet by doing what I do. On the way back to my house we stopped by at my allotment, the second best place in my life after my studio, and Rinne captured me there in a photo I am actually happy with. I don't often show pictures of me but here it is!

 “Excerpted from Making a Life by Melanie Falick (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Rinne Allen.”

Monday, 28 October 2019

Hankie Dress

I have recently run a course based on up cycling old handkerchiefs and thought I would show what I did with the floral border of a handkerchief. It has been carefully cut and reapplied on to the surface of this little baby dress. Never be afraid to cut things up and use them to transform something else!

Monday, 21 October 2019

Pop up

If you are working in London or visiting over the next couple of weeks please pop up in to my daughter's pop up exhibition in the heart of Bloomsbury not far from Kings Cross and British Museum. Here are the opening times and address. Next door is Pentreath and Hall which is lovely and Persephone Books just across the road!

Saturday, 5 October 2019

The Textile Retreat Company in the New Forest

For several years I have had the privilege of teaching at Chateau Dumas in France and working with Lizzie Hulme who owns the Chateau and is responsible for making it such a lovely experience when you teach or go on a workshop there. I have also worked with Lizze in Britain too and she has told me there are still a couple of places left on a luxurious textile retreat which I have been part of for the last couple of years. The full details are  HERE It is a chance if you are far away in the USA or Australia or wherever to come over to the UK and have a little dip into London life as well as relaxing at Heathfield House in the New Forest where Anna Corba and I run the workshops. You will be looked after well and I cannot recommend it highly enough!The New Forest is beautiful in the Spring ....

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Place, Home,Loss and Legacy

I realise that many of you will not be able to see this exhibition but for those of you reading this in the North East of England then try and get to see it at Hartlepool Art Gallery.  Claire A Baker has been visiting the Chernobyl exclusion zone regularly over the last five years. She has been documenting the lives and textile  traditions of the self settler Babushkas who have chosen to go back to their homes. The stories are very moving and it was good to see textiles produced by the women earlier in their lives and also textiles retrieved from the exclusion zone. Here are some pictures to give you a taste.
If you are an instagrammer you can follow Claire at @claire_a_baker