Showing posts from 2009

Book Binding and Book Art

As part of the MA at Manchester I am lucky enough to be doing some workshops in book binding at the moment. I have always enjoyed making books since my tutor Hannah Lamb showed us in the first year of my BA course, so it is great to be picking it back up again and Manchester have a lovely workshop dedicated to it! The tutor gave us a link to the University of Bristol where you can download free newsletters on the subject - the link is here if you are interested

I have looked at this website in the past about a project called 1000 journals - see link - some lovely images of pages from sketchbooks, be warned - you can lose a morning browsing this website

I would share the book I made on Tuesday but the tutor took the work in! - which made me giggle :) When I get it back - I will post some photos.

Eva Hesse

Looking at mind maps as part of my MA course yesterday and Polly kindly suggested I look at the work of Eve Hesse - and Polly was right - it is rather wonderful. To see some of her work follow the link

I was fortunate enough to go to the Museum of Everything last weekend in London, to see the outsider art exhibition they currently have on - I could live in that exhibition - just how they displayed it was great - definitely worth a visit - see this link for info -
As I am currently trying to work out a plan for some new work , my mind map is extremely busy and too big to scan in - otherwise I would share it with you. However I think I am progressing, but no where near ready to start any practical work. I am on a real journey of self discovery - and am realising my loves and hates. I think I would really like to respond to a collection - perhaps within an archive or a museum. This would be a big change in direction for me…

A List of Stuff!

1. I am in this months issue of Embroidery Magazine! (See Nov/Dec copy)
2. I am going to the Knit and Stitch Show in Harrogate very soon - Bradford College have a stand so make sure you go have a look (some of my work will be up and also the third years are fund raising and I am off to support them)
3. I have hurt my back - boring info for you - and extremely boring for me! :(
4. I will miss my day at university this week due to No. 3. on this list, which I was particularly looking forward to as we had to take in/talk about our first textile memory.
5. My first textile memory is being measured for costumes when me and my sister used to do dancing as children and watching my mum, dad and auntie sewing them together.
6. My dad used to be a tailor (hence why he was involved in No 5.)
7. Mum says my first textile experience (which I don't remember) was demanding a go on the sewing machine when I was about 3. My feet wouldn't reach the pedal so I sat on her knee while she did the pedal a…

Amazing Blog called Embroidery as Art

I found an amazing new blog today, called Embroidery as Art - I have put a link to this on the blogs that I follow on the right hand side of this page - have a look - great for reserach and inspiration!


Building up layers - work is progressing :)

Perhaps getting a bit dark in colour, but only small A5 samples, just playing around with different materials, inks, acyrlic, pva and wax. Trying out different ways of applying them to the paper. Some more successful than others. May use them as backgrounds to draw over or perhaps monoprint onto yet.


Today I have been playing with blocks of colour, I am experimenting with more layers within my painting, I want them to have real depth. See some of my works in progress.

Need more work yet....

Learning all the time...

Sorry, I know I jump about a bit with my topics at time - its just the way my head works - but just reflecting on my experience of the Freedom Exhibition at the Needle Forge Mill Museum and considering the winning piece - I don't have a picture of it unfortunately as the one I took was blurred. But I imagine the Mill will have pictures on their website soon - see link -

The winner was Donna Rumble Smith - who has recently completed her MA at Nottingham. Her piece was made using a multi head embroidery machine, monofilament and cottons, to create a stitched panel of text in white, which had been created as an installation within the actual mill itself, rather than being hung in the gallery space. It worked extremely well within the space and I can see why it was chosen as the winning piece. Donna had visited the museum to approach them about making an installation which I think is an extremely clever and professional way of approaching a competition and …

Not enough room!

I know I shouldn't grumble, as to have a dedicated space (by this I mean my spare bedroom) to work in is a luxury, but I am rapidly running out of space. I already moved the spare bed out, so no space for guests anymore. What do you do with 4 years worth of art work and textile samples? I need my own shed! Or half of our garage! Thoughts, advice, where do you put it all?

Needle Forge Mill Museum - Freedom Exhibition

Had a lovely time at the Needle Forge Mill Museum in Redditch on Saturday. It was the private view for the Freedom exhibition and I was extremely lucky to win a prize for my sketch book. the exhibition is still on, but if its too far for you to get to, I have shown a few images of my work below.

Here are some close ups of the pages - you can find other images of my sketch book in an earlier post too.

Machine embroidered cords

This morning I have been making these .... They are cords made from yarns and zig zag stitch on my sewing machine with glittery threads. Soon to become a hair do for momiji doll!

Cut, stitched and stuffed!

I wanted to get a sense of what the momiji doll would look like once it was stuffed. She looks a bit ghostly at the moment and I think her head seems huge and her necks a bit wide, but she can only improve - poor momiji.

Yes, I know I should be doing something more constructive, but I am telling myself that this is a warming up exercise ;)

Without a Purpose

Feeling a bit lost today, probably because most of the things that were keeping me busy are now finished with. So I am going to enter the momiji doll competition. You can see the details here if you fancy a go. So far - I have printed off the template, going to do a few sketches to see where this takes me. I have so many samples and bit and pieces of fabrics from the last three years that I am going to use some of them within my design. If you decide to enter, let me know how you get on with your momiji!

Sneaky escape

Well, we escaped for a week to the coast (Flamborough). About time really - and it was nice to just stop for a while and not think about things too much. Was itching to do some drawing - but decided a break was needed and feel good that I am still excited to draw after the hive of activity that was my end of year show. A few holiday snaps - not too many as that is always a bore!

Its interesting looking at this collage of images in one spot. Even though the photos were taken from as high up the east coast as Whitby and as far down as Spurn Point, collectively they still have their own colour pallete. I suppose this must be true of a lot of places. I like the idea of a colour palette of place? Maybe something to consider when I start my MA.

Festival of Quilts

Just back from the Festival of Quilts which has been such a positive and lovely event, I think I will be back to earth with a bump today. If you came to visit my stand, then I must say a very big thank you to all of you for making it a truly inspiring experience to have met so many positive, friendly and passsionate people. I hope you will all keep coming back to my blog and stay in touch.

A few of the highlights for me were the other graduates who were exhibiting, as they all start to get blogs and websites, I will be adding links to my blog page so you can see their work too. My neighbour Liz Turton who had amazing knitted and woven fabrics, I hope will become a good friend and we are hoping to do some collaborative work in the future. Other graduates included Tracey Tubb (, and Naomi Cotrufo, who had some beautiful embroidery work.

I was also lucky enough to have a visit from Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan from Committed to Cloth (http://www.commit…

Do some work!

Well - I should have been doing some work to get ready for the quilt festival - I need to get some new postcards printed as they all disappeared at New Designers, but instead I have been nosing about at other blogs. So many amazing things to see, but really zaps my time, howeverI have added to the list of blogs I like - so have a look - there are some lovely images and inspiration.

Thoughts on new postcards - which image do we like best

Need a Holiday

Looking through old photos and finding these of Flamborough on the east coast where my nana has a static caravan.

I really love going there, wish I was there now! Andrew was taking odd pictures of us walking along last time, looking back I really like how he captured it.

Final Work

Spent the last two days frantically finishing of my work for the Needle Forge Mill Competition and just run off to the post office with it. I hope it is handled with care. I have wrapped it up so much I fear they won't be able to open it at the other end.

Below is a sample from my main piece

New Work

I am busy trying to get my work complete for the Freedom Competition being run by the Henry Foyle Trust. A few pictures below show the beginning of my sketch book for this. I suppose I am really using my sketch book this time as a way of sampling techniques as well as some sketching. I think this is helping me to translate my work into stitch more easily, if I use stitch as part of my drawing - even just to create backgrounds or to stitch over coloured pages. Trying not to reinvent the wheel (a favourite habit of mine) by continuing with my mapping and aerial photography as a starting point. In order to fulfill the brief set by the competition my work is based on the idea of a "freedom to roam", the marks we make as we go and the things I observe as I walk around.

Back from New Designers

Well, made it back on one piece (although a very tired piece) from New Designers, and had a great time and good response to my work! I have a few leads to follow up and I met some very nice people through the week. The exciting news is that I have been selected to be in the Graduate Showcase at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC from 20th - 23rd August. You can find out more about the exhibition on the Twisted Thread Website

Extremely excited about this and also very nervous about hanging up my work without the support of tutors and friends for the first time.

There was some really amazing work at New Designers, although I felt a bit overwhelmed by all the digitally printed papers and fabrics. Personally I find the majority of it lacks any real depth and I find it hard to get excited by the pattern. Although I have pattern in my work, I don't like to make pattern for the sake of it and much prefer screen printing by hand. The small errors and marks that …

Getting ready for New Designers!

Well, its nearly time to go down to New Designers in London - I am exhibiting with college in Week One which is open to the public from Thursday 9th July see link from previous post for more details. I am now very busy trying to pick imagery and get my portfolio ready. A selection of work from final year show and other pieces can be seen below.

What next?

I now need to seriously start thinking about getting my project started for the Needle Forge Mill Museum Competition. (see the link - ). Which is based on the topic of Freedom. I am hoping to carry on my theme of maps from my degree work for this competition entry and have fallen in love with these vintage maps as a starting point.

Final Show

Well, the final show is hung and the preview night has been and gone, next I have to take it all down again! Have to say thank you to all my family and friends who have been amazing and supported me throughout my whole three years at college.

Just finished my BA Hons in Surface Design and Textiles at Bradford School of Arts and Media. We had a great turn out on the preview night but now its back to reality as I now need to get my portfolio ready for New Designers in London 6 - 12th July. (See the link for info - )

This final collection has been based on marks made on the landscape by man, using images of aerial photography and inspiration from maps. I have been particularly interested in grids and the patterns formed by housing estates and built up areas, and have translated these into printed and embroidered textile pieces. Not sure which work to put in the portfolio yet, but thinking about some of the following images: