Thursday 27 September 2012

Pele Tower Vintage and Craft Fair

Shipley Lates tomorrow but on Saturday (29th September) I shall be having a stall at a little Vintage and Craft Fair  held in the Pele Tower in Corbridge. Its free to get in and on from 10am till 4pm. Call in and see me if you are around the area.

Monday 24 September 2012

Backgrounds for Burrell at Berwick

Working on backgrounds. Here are bits ( originally a white damask tablecloth)  laid out all over my sun room floor at the beginning of the day....

and by the end of the day they have turned into these textures and marks,  already for appliqué and embroidery.

Not sure at the moment if the marks are too dominant, they are taken from torn up photocopies of my drawings which I have transfer printed on to a painted background. A few days  of reflection now  before I move on with this project.

Sunday 23 September 2012


I have been teaching a monotypes course all weekend. We started with looking at Monet's layered painterly marks, how he captured light, form and colours in his garden at Giverny. I wanted the students to compare him with Cy Twombly's impressionistic studies  of his flowers.
They all produced some lovely work and it will be up on the photo gallery of Horsley Printmakers soon. Meanwhile here are my little homages to Twombly using the monotype method.

Friday 21 September 2012

Thread and Thrift

Been busy creating more examples for my Thread and Thrift Folk Art Applique course at the Shipley Art Gallery on Saturday 20th October. To book or  find out more click HERE

I went to the Shipley yesterday to see the Collected Threads exhibition. So nice to see old favourites retrieved from the archives including Kaffe Fassett, Susie Freeman, Michael Brennan Wood, Lyn Setterington, Amy Emms and some tapestries by Sara Brennan that I had not seen before. In connection with this exhibition there is to be one last Shipley LATES on a textile theme. It costs £5 to get in but once in you can participate in 8 workshops and there is lots else to see and do. For information on the evening and the artists running workshops please click HERE.
I will be doing something with one of my favourite recycling techniques - suffolk puffs. Come and join me and the others on Friday September 28th.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Start with Drawing - more Burrell at Berwick

To get in to a project I always start with drawing. Sometimes I don't use them but it is a meditative part of the design process and it helps me to get to know my source imagery really well.  I rarely show anyone else these. I have chosen the blue and white porcelain in the Berwick exhibition  to respond to for the commission.


machine drawing with collage
 machine drawing with collage

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Plant Life

Have been meaning to blog these for a while. I made them for the Flower festival/Open Studios weekend a couple of weeks ago. They are about a metre in length and free hanging. I have already sold one of them. This is the colour scheme I am most comfortable with and with these pieces I have returned to machine embroidery.

Monday 10 September 2012

The Burrell at Berwick

At the weekend I travelled up to Berwick on Tweed  for a tour of a new exhibition at The Granary Gallery, part of the Maltings complex in the centre of the historic old town.The Berwick Burrrell Collection is the most important art collection in public ownership in Northumberland. Shipping magnate Sir William Burrell ( he of the Burrell, Glasgow) bequeathed around 50 paintings and 300 decorative items to Berwick when he retired to nearby Hutton Castle.
Berwick Visual Arts and Woodhorn Trust (Northumberland's museums and archives agency) have come together so that these wonderful artefacts can be shared in the heart of Berwick free of charge. This exiting initiative unfolds with a series of exhibitions over a period of three years. 5 artists , including myself, have been asked to respond to the items on display and produce multiples which will go on display near the work itself from November 3rd.

 I  was immediately  drawn to the wooden sculptures of Saint Barbara. She was such an interesting saint- trapped in a tower by her father, a bit disobedient, eventually beheaded. She is the patron saint of artillery men, miners and anyone working with explosives. She is invoked against thunder and lightning and all accidents arising from explosions of gunpowder. This is because she caused her father to struck down by lightening. She is venerated by every Catholic who faces the danger of sudden and violent death in work.
Quite a lady! However another artist had already picked her before I got there so I feel she can't be quite mine.

So choice number two is to respond to the Chinese porcelain. I love its freshness, its symbolism and references to nature as well as the purity of classic blue and white. I will see where a response to this takes me! Watch out in further postings.

If you want to see the exhibition it is on at The Granary Gallery, Berwick till 16 December. More information HERE

Friday 7 September 2012

Shipley Lates

The Shipley Lates are back for one evening only on Friday September 28th  to celebrate a new exhibition "Collected Threads" which  celebrate 35 years of the Shipley craft textile collection. Expect an evening of grown up fun and fast paced textile activities for all levels. Advanced or beginner, come ready to get stuck in! Whether you are raring to revamp your old clothes or eager to try a new technique, this evening will leave you wanting to make more! A pay bar will be available.  Due to the popularity of previous events you must buy a ticket. They are £5 but inside you get the chance to do a workshop with me, Jane Fraser, Jayne Turner, Ali Rhind, Clare Baker and Tom Van Deijnen. More information about it at You get  a goody bag too.
 Jane has been experimenting with turning old inner tyres into jewellery and this is one of the things you can dip into. A truly inspiring recycling idea.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Enchanted Forest

I am taking this popular course up into the beautiful borders of Scotland this Autumn to Burnbrae near Kelso. You will have two days, 25th and 26th October, to really indulge in hand stitching techniques, using beautiful fabrics and a basis of old quilts. Why not make a mini break of it? I am! There are full details of this two day workshop on my website

Here are some images to give you a taste of what you can achieve using forest animals and birds as an inspiration for appliqué and stitch.