Postcard from West Dean

I travel a lot, often for work. I go out of my way to find beautiful places – historic buildings, parks, woods, gardens and meadows. I take a lot of photos. It’s time to share them more. Postcard from… is a new blog series with photos of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. Pictures are all taken on my phone with no editing.

At the end of May I was teaching for nearly a week at the glorious West Dean College. I spent pretty much every spare daylight moment outside in the gardens, on the estate and walking up the hill to the arboretum despite the grey and the drizzle. It is a truly magical place and I can’t wait to go back next year.

Postcards from San Francisco – Birds

Sitting, quietly, this Sunday morning, watching new-visitor long tailed tits in my garden, has reminded me of the surprise delight of bird watching in San Francisco. We’d been there less than 24 hours before the purchase of a bird guide became essential. The sea shore is awash with birds, as are the many parks and gardens we explored. Sadly my camera is not quite up to long-distance bird photos so my pictures are mostly somewhat fuzzy, though they act merely as a reminder of the real thing.

Postcards from San Francisco 1

In the fine tradition of sending the postcards once you have got home, I am finally posting some highlights from San Francisco, starting 8 weeks or so after I got back!

As with most big cities, San Francisco has excellent museums. When the weather was good we were outside, as much as possible, but when it rained (which it did plenty) we went to museums. My two favourites were the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Asian Art Museum in the Civic Centre.

 

Shapes. Textures. Colours. Patterns. Asian Art Museum.

 

 

Details. Inuit carvings. Peruvian bird. A handful of textiles. A view from the top. De Young Museum.

 

 

 

 

Magical works by El Anatsui & Cornelia Parker & Ruth Asawa

 

 

The Art of Textiles Retreat in Italy

I’m very excited that I’ll be teaching a week-long textiles retreat in Tuscany, Italy this September with Made on Holiday.

The week includes exploring antiques markets and museums for inspiration and four days of tuition, covering design development, embroidery, natural dye and fabric manipulation techniques. All of this will take place in a beautiful setting with lovely food, wine and sunshine!

The Art of Textiles is an exciting and experimental week designed to give you lots of creative ideas to use in the future. During the week you will work in the same way Ruth does in her own studio. Dyeing fabric, exploring themes, stories and narratives to inspire your work, then using hand embroidery and fine embellishment techniques to create textile pieces with a story and a sense of history. We will take Italian history as our theme, explore the local landscape and visit flea markets and museums to generate ideas to create art textile pieces, embroideries and embellished garments.

 

Postcard from Chateau Dumas 2

I had a wonderful week teaching at Chateau Dumas. The place really speaks for itself. A beautiful and magical place. With a chateau chat. Perfect!

 

 

Chateau Dumas Postcard 1 – Dye workshops

More postcards to come: the gardens, the brocante and more on the workshops.