Craft Cultures: Making a Living From Craft

I’m pleased to be taking part in a week of research, discussion and academic debate about the contemporary significance of craft at Leicester University and sharing my story about making a living. The event is free and open to all so please come along if you are interested.

 

Making a Living from Craft

Workshop
Tuesday 8 November 2016, 3-4pm, University of Leicester Fielding Johnson Building First Floor, LR L67, University of Leicester, LE1 7RH

Aimed at students and staff, this workshop explores aspects of employability in the creative sector and includes a hands-on engagement activity. The workshop draws on Ruth’s experience of crafting a varied portfolio career whilst also developing one’s own creativity. It includes challenges and activities to get your creative brain thinking too.

Ruth Singer is a local textile artist, sewing writer, tutor and arts and heritage consultant. She began her working life in the museum and gallery sector and set up her creative business in 2005. She has exhibited widely including a solo exhibition at the National Centre for Craft & Design in 2015 and in 2016 won the Fine Art Quilt Masters prize. She has run arts projects with museums and schools, written three books and co-ordinates support and development projects for artists and makers.

There is no registration for this free event.

Workshops at the Knitting & Stitching Show

Alongside the fabulous Interlace exhibition I am taking to the Knitting & Stitching Show next month, I am also teaching one-hour introduction workshops in English Paper Pieced Patchwork and Introduction to Trapunto Quilting. Workshops usually sell out before the show starts so please book online in advance.

English paper pieced patchwork Weds 13.00

Trapunto quilting Thurs 13.00 & Sun 11.45

I will also be exhibiting and teaching at the Dublin & Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Shows.

 

Workshops 2016

I’ve really cut back on the amount of workshops I am teaching in 2016 so these are very exclusive dates! Details on my workshops page.

precious objects sampler - Ruth SInger

West Dean College – Creating Cloth with Meaning 30th May – 2nd June

Black Country Living Museum – Wild Dyes 18th June

Indigo Moon, Montgomery, Wales. Precious Object Samplers 2nd July

Black Country Living Museum – Textile Stories: using text and image in textile work. 5th November

 

 

 

 

 

Art Textiles course at West Dean College

This summer I am running a three day course at the lovely West Dean College, 30 May 2016 to 2 June 2016. Find out more here.

The Beauty of Stains. Ruth Singer

Ruth Singer. The Beauty of Stains

Art Textiles: Creating Cloth with Meaning

Explore a range of slow, thoughtful textile practices to create cloth with meaning. Experiment with local plants and simple rust dyeing to create eco prints on natural and vintage cloth. Introduce hand stitch with fabric manipulation and trapunto quilting to add texture and structure.

Masterclass Rescheduled 9&10 January

My weekend of creative experimentation workshops at NCCD has been rescheduled for 9th & 10th January, the final weekend of the exhibition

Spend a weekend immersed in creative, slow, experimental techniques inspired by Ruth Singer’s work. The workshops include simple, experimental natural dye techniques, embroidery and using found objects. You can create a series of samples, pieces to incorporate into other work or art textile pieces to frame.

Full details of the workshop can be found here.

Narrative Threads workshop for Gifted 15

Precious objects

Join me for a free, drop in workshop for adults during Gifted 15 at the National Centre for Craft & Design on Saturday 28th November 2015 10am-4pm.

Bring along an every day object or piece of junk and transform it into a precious amulet with some simple textile techniques.

 

Narrative Threads community projects

Part of my Narrative Threads exhibition artist residency has been to work with local communities around Sleaford and the National Centre for Craft and Design. I built this into my Arts Council funding so I could experiment with new ways of working with different audiences, continue to build my community arts CV and try and engage the local community with my work and the messages around it.

A lot of the work created in these workshops and events will be displayed as part of Narrative Threads.

Earlier in the summer I worked with a Sleaford primary school on a project exploring amulets and objects with stories. In the first session we investigated words and symbols which have significance across cultures and in different time periods. The children made tags with special messages, images and symbols. For the second session they brought in special objects and collected natural materials to use to make their own amulets. We used printing, sewing and wrapping to make the amulets and each child wrote about their amulets and why it was special.

 

Sleaford Alzheimers Society

It has been particularly rewarding to work at the Sleaford Dementia Cafe run by the Alzheimers Society. In the first session we created Memory Collages, using fabric scraps and felt to build up pictures of special places or hobbies.

For the second session I took along a reminiscence box of old clothes and textiles to spark memories and stories similar to my textile memories project. These will be embroidered onto a cloth for display in the exhibition. I had hoped it would be engaging for the participants and their carers to reminisce about textile memories from their families. Many people talked about their childhood, their mother’s embroidery skills – or lack of them – and their own sewing for their children. It was a fascinating and absorbing day, and I hope to do more of this kind of work in the future.

I have also run workshops for families during school holidays, making painted and embroidered pincushions and other drop-in craft workshops.

Ruth Singer community project

 

Yesterday I ran a workshops for Arts NK’s community wellbeing event at Waddington, Lincs making memory tags- a decorated luggage label telling a story of a happy memory or something important in your life.

 

I am currently working with A Level textiles students who are creating work inspired by mine as part of the assessed portfolio. Their finished pieces will also be in the exhibition.

Once the exhibition is open I will continue to work with groups including a GCSE group and community sessions for a local sheltered housing scheme. I have also set up Crafts for Relaxation, a free monthly workshop for people who might not be able to afford or attend normal workshops, with the idea of participants meeting new people and getting some time to themselves. This programme has taken some time to get up and running and it has been a challenge to reach the right audience but it is a useful process for me in working out how to self-run community projects in the future.

Creative Patchwork weekend 24th & 25th October

A whole weekend of creative and experimental patchwork and piecing using historic textiles as inspiration. Explore innovative and interesting techniques for patchwork and try lots of new ideas. You can come to one day or both days. All materials are included, although you are welcome to bring your own too. One day is £50, or book both days for £95. Book here

Saturday: Machine Patchwork

Enjoy a day of easy, stress-free machine sewn patchwork. Try out freestyle or ‘improv’ quilting to create colourful and quirky patchwork panels. Try log cabin, strip piecing and scrappy improv styles and simple blocks to build up into quilts. Measuring and maths will be kept to a minimum and I don’t insist on perfect matching seams so this is a great workshop if you prefer a more relaxed style.

You will need to be able to use a sewing machine confidently. Please bring your own sewing machine if possible. If travelling from a distance I can arrange a machine for you so please confirm this when you book. All other tools and materials are provided.

 

Sunday : Hand Patchwork

Enjoy a slow stitching day, hand sewing with beautiful fabrics and traditional techniques. Learn the art of English Paper Piecing using hexagons or other templates and try out subtle, delicate crazy patchwork using hand embroidery stitches to join tiny scraps of fabric. No previous experience required. All materials provided.

Book here

 

 

 

Narrative Threads Masterclass January 2016

Alongside my Narrative Threads exhibition  at the National Centre for Craft & Design, I am running a weekend masterclass on 9th & 10th January 2016 (rescheduled from December). Spend the weekend immersed in creative, slow, experimental techniques inspired by my work. The workshops include simple, experimental natural dye techniques, embroidery and using found objects. You can create a series of samples, pieces to incorporate into other work or art textile pieces to frame.

 

Day 1

Our first task of the weekend will be to manipulate and colour cloth using natural dyes, plants, food, rust and inks. We will experiment with shibori dye, hand painting colour and creating patterns from rusty metal to create original and exciting patterns and marks on cloth. We will also dye threads and other materials to use on day 2.

Day 2

Using the cloth we have created in day one (or purchased on the day if you have not attended day 1) we will look at using simple embroidery stitches to create marks and patterns on the dyed cloth. We will experiment with layering and cutting away the fabrics to create new textures. We will also explore ways of incorporating found objects into our work to add depth and narrative to the pieces.

£50 per day or £95 for the weekend, including basic materials, with additional materials available to purchase at the workshop. Book with NCCD on 01529 308710 info@nationalcraftanddesign.org.uk.

 

 

Open Studio at Makers’ Yard 25th April

I’ll be opening my studio on Saturday 25th April (12-4pm) as part of the local St George’s day festival.

This is the first time I’ve opened the studio since I’ve changed it from being a teaching space to being my own personal work space where I run occasional creative textiles workshops too.

I’ll be in the studio working on pieces for my exhibition and other projects, and you will be able to see work in progress, textile artworks for sale and find out more about forthcoming exhibitions, workshops and much more. You can also contribute your textile memories for my exhibition.

I share the studio with fine artist Gillian Adair McFarland and you will also be able to meet her and find out more about her amazing work (recently nominated for the Richard Attenborough Prize at Leicester Open exhibition!).