Rethink your Mind

I’m pleased to have a new piece of work selected for the ReThinkYourMind Yellow Book project.

My piece Ash Map will be included in the new book for 2017 which will be launched this week after an awards reception at the House of Lords last week, although I was at the Contemporary Craft Festival so wasn’t able to attend the awards.

The theme for entries was ‘I feel better when….’ and for me this is walking in the countryside. The line of the piece follows the route of a walk and is stitched with the seeds of an ash tree (called keys) which I collected. This work and a number of others exploring the natural world and the therapeutic nature of walking were created in late 2015 as I was dealing with a painful relationship break up when walking was essential to calm my mind and focus on things outside of my own head. Walking a lot is nothing new for me, I have always loved walking, but these pieces are the first work I have produced which use this experience of walking as a theme and inspiration to making. I am continuing to develop new work around walking, my experience of the natural world and hope to have an exhibition of new pieces in 2018.

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House and Garden Magazine

July’s edition of House and Garden magazine includes two of my art textile apron pieces in a design feature called Lace it Up.  I can’t show the page here because of copyright but it’s a lovely feature and shows the aprons looking bold and beautiful on a dark green wall.

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Contemporary Craft Festival preparations

The Contemporary Craft Festival at Bovey Tracey, Devon opens in just over a week. I have been flat out making enough stock to make my stand look convincing, as this is the first show I have done with this work. Until a couple of weeks ago I had less than 10 pieces. Now I’ve got…. some… lots…. more. I haven’t counted, but I’ve been really productive. I have also been buying more tools, hunting eBay for beautiful boxes and today, photographing new pieces. I am really, really enjoying making this new collection. It is exciting to be making things which don’t take weeks and weeks like most of my hand stitched quilts and embroideries.

I am now selling some of these pieces on MadebyHand online and they featured an interview with me on a blog post and newsletter last week which has been great promotion. I am also developing some prints based on my tool embroideries and I *hope* I will have these ready for the Craft Festival but if not these will be online in June instead.

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Made by Hand Online

My precious objects collection are now on sale on Made by Hand online. The first collection of pieces is now up for sale and I will be adding more after Bovey Tracey Craft Festival in June – I am busy making new pieces for the show! There’s an interview with me on madebyhandonline website where I explain more about the work and the stories behind the pieces.

I am also going to be showing this work at Lustre design fair in Nottingham in November for the first time. Later this year I will also be able to make work to commission so if you have any precious old tools or family screwdriver heirlooms which you would like to have made in to a work of art please let me know. My embroideries of tools on vintage textiles will be making their debut this year at shows and I am working on prints based on these pieces too.

Exploring quilt history

As I develop new work for my Fragments exhibition in the summer, I am investigating and exploring a lot of old quilts. I am continuing to explore my photographs and notes from the research visit to the Quilt Association’s collections in February and creating new technique ideas based on the structures, designs and history of the quilts. I am also investigating the antique quilts and pieces which I own myself and working out ways of incorporating elements from these pieces into new work.

 

 

I have also been investigating my own collections of quilts and bits, engaging in Quilt Archaeology (credit to someone on Instagram but alas I forget who). What interests me is not the fineness of the stitching or the patchwork patterns but the textures, the tactility and the reasons these quilts were made and used (or not).  I’ve been using drawing, painting, mark making and print techniques to explore my ideas, some of which are very large scale which will have dramatic impact and some much smaller and more intimate, like the quilts themselves, and invite close consideration.

 

Meanwhile, my Harefield Hospital Centenary Quilt project has been featured this week on the People’s History of the NHS blog.

Rowan leaves to represent Rowan Ward. Hand embroidery.