H2M : Textiles Plus

Friday, August 25, 2006

First Night Nerves?

Well, possibly. Tonight is Elemental's Private View, and today is full of questions. Who will attend? Will they like it? Have we forgotten anything (probably!)? Did somebody move that hammer? Will I get through the evening without spilling anything down my nice new Japanese coat (unlikely!). And on it goes.

Nobody tells you about the tenseness of the hanging, though. Except me, of course! It's a fascinating process, chosing what's to hang, where and how... fortunately, we all get on well, there wasn't even a cross word exchanged. The work suggested where it wanted to go, we agreed with it and John climbed ladders to make sure it stayed put! John is Helen's long suffering spouse, who had all three of us to put up with yesterday. He's in the photos, with Helen. But even I got up a ladder, to arrange a piece which hangs from the rafters. Though it is a flat quilt, it hangs as if it were a 3D piece.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

All Dressed Up...

...and these totem dolls definitely have somewhere to go. They will feature as part of the first H2M exhibition, Elementals, as those of you following this blog will know. There's very little time left before the show; the opening is on 25 August. It's exciting, yes...but I'm apprehensive, all the same. All the usual thoughts...will anyone come...will they like it...will they buy anything...? Doesn't really matter, though, at the end of the day, whether they come or not, whether they like it or not, whether they buy or not...I'll still keep making art. And so, no doubt, will Helen and Heather. All the same....lots of visitors and at least a few sales would be nice...sigh...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Working in series - more postcards.

I have been working with postcards again. I really enjoy the small format and have been playing with the idea of making several that share a common theme. Here are the "Spirals" that I made on Friday.

Saturday night was too hot to sleep so I got up at 2.30 and sewed! I made these night-time trees cards with some felted wool that I had dyed. It was hard to disentangle but I really like these and feel they have a sense of mystery about them.

Sunday morning I made some more, single trees this time, onto a series of backgrounds I had already prepared with dye-painted bondaweb and shot voile, with some moon images made with transfer foil, or appliqued satin.

Friday, July 21, 2006

making mini journals

I found myself making miniature journals, intended to take with you on special occasions, like a long walk on a beach, or a journey to meet someone, or whatever you feel you want to record as a complete experience. Though it folds up into a little rectangular 'package', it unwraps as an accordian book with flaps in it, so you can lift the flap and write in the inside of the book, close the flap and continue to display the outside, without letting anyone know that
there is writing or other artwork on the inside... a secret between you and the book.
The image to the left shows the 'package'; the right, one of the sides of the book, flattened out. You can see the folds, where it stands as an accordian, and the flaps, where you can lift the image and write inside it.

To be honest, I'm not sure that they're a good idea or not...do you like them? They are a small version of the larger, sculptural books I make. I think they're fun!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The book, with its attendant textile piece, the first I made from the theme.

It's Official...

we're definitely having an exhibit...it's in the UK magazines...we can't stop now! Not to mention that we've agreed all the small details, and the admin, so we're committed.

I've been struggling with the theme...but finally, at the weekend, went to a workshop that opened all sorts of doors, and all sorts of possibilities. Perhaps it's just that I was working with rocks and fossils, very elemental, and a beautiful raku vase...or perhaps I'm just ready to work with the theme now, and wasn't before. I find I do a lot of thinking in the back of my mind before I'm ready to work...thinking I'm not often conscious of. But I also found the workshop inspiring, not just the teaching, but the outputs of the other students, in particular a wonderful book someone made, full of unexpected twists and turns... I made a simple book myself. I had started with the collection by finding words that it brought to mind, and made a book to put them in. It's a sculptural book, can be unfolded and refolded, made from Khadi paper, which is a joy to work with.

More next week, when I start working seriously on the theme...allowing I don't get distracted by Other Things!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Heather has been off on holiday for a few weeks, and Helen and I have been busy on different things, so we haven't seen much of each other until last week, when we spent an afternoon in Helen's workshop. They were working hard, that day...I just sat around, reading magazines, eating cake and getting in the way. Still, I think they forgave me. Somehow, I had expected us to spend more time as a group, in the runup to the exhibit...but it doesn't seem to be working that way at all. Perhaps it's as well. Three busy women, all busy in different ways, though all focussed on art and textile; it isn't easy for us to find time to spend together.

The totem dolls are Riverspirit and Treemother. Both seem inherently feminine; in fact, all the totem dolls I've made, with one exception, have seemed to be feminine... I wonder why that is? Perhaps it's because I struggled for so long with the very idea of doll making, thinking it overly girly... in fact, it's a very powerful activity, if you choose to make it so. I wonder how the totems will go down as part of the exhibit...just have to wait and see, I suppose...

Meanwhile, Robin is out in the garage cutting more bases for the dolls. I have a small army of twigs upstairs, and a number of ideas...perhaps some of them will get made this week.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I'm the quiet one... enjoying making postcards which is a marvellous way to play with colour and use texture on something small. I dye-painted the vilene and added strips of painted bondaweb with machine stitch and couched threads. I will add maybe some foil and tiny sequins for a bit of sparkle before bonding on the backs and finishing the edges.