New experiments in printmaking

Last year I joined Leicester Print Workshop (LPW) with the specific aim of exploring textile screen printing in more detail to add to my portfolio of textile skills. Alongside screen printing I have also been exploring different types of print making on paper and other materials which I am slowing adding into my working practice, particularly for my Genetics Artist Residency project. It’s such a different way of working for me but one full of possibilities and it is taking me in directions I couldn’t have imagined a year ago. I’m feeling inspired, challenged and very keen to continue learning and exploring ideas in a new way. Working with Gillian this last year or so has also opened up my way of working, allowing me to think beyond textiles and craft and explore ideas without the emphasis on product or materials. The craft world can be very materials-focussed and I’ve felt a little troubled by working without thread or cloth but it is ultimately very liberating. It’s not really in my nature to be bound by rules of what I ‘should’ be doing.

I recently organised a taster session for Leicestershire Design Factory members at the LPW to share some of the excitement of new printing techniques and try some tests and experiments myself including test printing a version of my floral trowel embroidery.

 

Fabric Manipulation course at West Dean College

I’m teaching a Fabric Manipulation long weekend workshop at West Dean College 16-19 March 2017. If you love texture and structure in textiles this is a perfect course for you to get really absorbed into exciting techniques and develop your own style with three days of teaching with loads of studio time and inspiration.

 

Over the weekend you will have chance to try out a wide range of fabric manipulation techniques, taking inspiration from historic textiles and contemporary fashion. Techniques include formal and organic pleating and folding, stitching and gathering to create interesting textures and 3D appliqué to create bold, exciting fabrics from scratch. You can make samples or work towards a finished textile piece. Fabric manipulation techniques can be combined with embroidery and quilting to make really unique and exciting projects, or learn skills to add into fashion and dressmaking.

West Dean is a spectacularly lovely place to study (and indeed teach) which makes it a perfect place to recharge, learn new things and absorb inspiration. The workshop starts on Thursday evening with dinner with the students and tutor, followed by three intensive but relaxed days of tuition. Students can choose a full-board residential option and stay on site and have access to studios in the evenings, with all meals and equipment provided. You will need to bring some of your own materials to get the best of this course but there is nothing expensive required.

I’ll be returning to West Dean in the summer to teach Stitched Textiles from Historical Inspiration. 

 

 

Spring Blossom Workshop

In the depths of winter is hard to imagine Spring and early Summer blooms but I am happily thinking about the abundance of blossom to come in May & June and planning a new workshop for Made on Holiday. Over a long weekend in May (12th-14th) in gorgeous Devon I will be working with lucky residential retreat students to create floral garlands, hangings, brooches and decorations from vintage, embroidered and delicate natural fabrics inspired by meadows and gardens.

 

As well as exploring local wildlife and enjoying beautiful, luxurious accommodation and food, we will be using very special fabrics to create delicate and intricate fabric flowers which can be made into garlands, hangings, bouquets (for weddings or decoration) and wearables including brooches, hat trimmings and hair clips, perfect for a celebration of summer.

I will bring a stunning selection of vintage and reclaimed fabrics in delicate, natural hues along with hand woven, embroidered and other special cloth from my extensive stash. We will use embroidery stitches in silk and linen to create subtle pattern and texture and build up petals to create a mass of floral delights. This will be a very enjoyable, no-pressure workshop weekend where you can soak up inspiration and ideas and spend plenty of time playing and experimenting to create pieces which bring you delight. You can make one flower or 50, there’s not fixed outcome so you can work at your leisure, at your own pace and with no demands!

 

The workshop includes all materials and tools so you only have to bring yourself. The fee includes two full days of tuition, two nights accommodation, full board including dinners and a promise of a really relaxed, creative retreat. I almost wish I was a student not the teacher!

The workshop costs £599. Full details can be found on Made on Holiday website. 

Urban Growth Project Launch

My collaboration project Interlace was recently commissioned to create a new public artwork with young people in Leicester.

Bethany and I worked with 8-13 year olds in January and February this year to design and make a set of concrete and cloth tiles inspired by the urban environment to be displayed at Makers’ Yard studios in Leicester. We are launching and celebrating the project on Tuesday 7th June and all are welcome to join us.

 

Launch poster

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Themed school workshops

I love collaboration; I find it exciting and engaging both creatively and practically. Sharing skills, knowledge and expertise is vital to creating a good outcome and I always find it pushes my own creative boundaries and helps me work better and learn all the time. Whether it is working with schools, community groups or other makers, I always find it invigorating coming up with new ideas to show them as well as seeing how they take my ideas and techniques into new an exciting directions.

The school workshop shown below covered 3D fabric manipulation and appliqué techniques, following the students’ own inspiration and research, including projects as varied as fungus & lichen, decayed building, peacock feathers and jellyfish.

The images below show a session I ran for GCSE students to create weather-inspired samples using shadow trapunto techniques.

I loved this school’s textile classroom with inspiration walls and a great display of dried fruit and vegetable skins.

 

Find out more about workshops for school groups here.