Ok, it’s Saturday, but I was busy last night!
I spent Monday – Thursday teaching a fantastic group of women on a course called Hand-constructed fabrics for fashion.
They produced some amazing work – this is just one piece in progress and there are more over here. We did applique, pleating shadow-work and trapunto, among other things and it really inspired me to get on with some of the more complex hand-worked projects I have planned. I had hoped to have loads of finished piece to show them on the course, but somehow I seem to have been really busy this last few months! But it has reinvigorated me to get on with new work, as well as promoting and developing the existing work.
So I started this piece – or rather carried on with this piece. I had the idea for this piece last summer when I was working on the V&A summer school and spent a lot of time in the Fashion Gallery. It is inspired by a dress by (I think) Nina Ricci from the early 60s. I can’t find an image of it anywhere, but it has tiny embroidered chenille jelly beans in bright colours, with gold embroidery. So this piece is a massively scaled-up version, with felt jelly beans and eventually will have gold embroidery of some sort too. The backing fabric is a lovely wool mix. I think this will become a skirt – it’s only a small piece.
I’m hoping to get a few hand-constructed garments made by early next year and hopefully exhibit them. Eeek. now I have said it in public, I will have to actually do it! This is how I work – admit my aspirations and then feel compelled to achieve them. The blog is so useful for that. I even said in my Arts Council funding proposal that I was going to use my blog as a self-reflective activity to evaluate my own work and business progress, with the aim that it is useful to me as record keeping, but also to other makers. So we’ll see how that goes!
I started the Developing Professional Practice Course at Cockpit Arts on Friday. I think it’s going to be really useful. The first session was just introductions and lots of complicated activities designed for us all to get to know each other. I’m not convinced it worked to be honest – we had to present each other’s work so now I am really confused about who was who. But there are another 14 sessions, so I guess I will get to know people eventually! It was interesting though, seeing what different stages people are at. One woman had done Chelsea Craft Fair twice and had work in lots of galleries but had never done any press releases and didn’t use a diary! I can’t function without a diary! Talking to other people who had done real jobs before launching their creative business (like me) is always interesting. We do seem to have a very different way of working.
Today is supposed to be a day off, so I will step away from the computer and go and try some outdoors!