Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Post script to bird fever. Have we recovered?

(We are unlikely to recover.)

It all started, you recall, in a gazebo in July. It rained heavily the whole day but we sat huddled stitching our birds pulling on more and more sweaters and coats. Truly, bird fever had gripped us.
We intend displaying them at our next exhibition, perching around the other exhibits, but what to do with them until then,,,you can't put them in a cardboard box! Mine have been perching in various places round the house until I came up with a plan.

I have been combing the souks and medinas of my nearby shires looking for a pretty cage for them with no luck. Then my daughter saw one whilst doing her weekly shop in a supermarket in Malvern Link! Perfect! I would never have thought of looking there.




So here it is complete with the little birds looking very at home. I really enjoyed making these...oh dear bird fever is gripping me again.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Grandma's lace.

Project hi-jacked!

It's third week into the 'Alumni project'.
 Last week we did warm up exercises with weaving. Lauren Reilly-Page showed us her beautiful weaving samples completed in her final year at college and then took a group to do more weaving without looms.  I hinted last week that I wanted to explore lace. Reading about Michael Brennand Wood and the influence of his grandparents and his adventures into lace struck a chord. I got to thinking about the piece of lace that was buried in my stash that once belonged to my maternal grandmother. Once that idea took hold, it wouldn't let go.I had to go and find it.(With the help of my cat of course who loves finding things in boxes.)


It's the kind of colour you get when dyeing with tea. The flowers are machined on to a base of fine net. It's a sort of variation of the Irish Carrickmacross lace.The Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress in part was made of Carrickmacross lace. This type of lace has translucent shapes appliqued onto fine net by hand.

Then, everything went into overdrive! News came that my grand daughter was to be a bridesmaid and would I make the dress! My lace project was in question...or was it? Could I combine the two? A few details about the wedding whetted my appetite. It was to be held on a Scottish beach in March.The wedding dress had purple flounced petticoats. No namby pamby affair then. A project hi-jack! I'm hooked.
Off we go. The shoes are bought. (Important things first.) Grand daughter doesn't know this as they have to be a Christmas present. Please don't tell. ( But I'll show you.)


Just to show we don't just throw these things together, the colours echo the corsage of flowers on the purple sash of the wedding dress. The boots? How sensible for a wedding on a beach in Scotland in March. I want some. They're gorgeous.
So you can see how my project has been hi-jacked. My plan is to start with lace explorations with the intent to use the outcome somewhere in  the bridesmaid's dress. So not only will there be a connection with her great, great grandmother but part of it will be made from her mother's wedding dress which was also purple.
An exciting project to start. Granddaughter has very definite ideas  about what she will wear so we are to have time together at half term to come up with the design.

And..last but not least, for 'The Wednesday Group' only:-


The cheese ones always go first! ( Taken at South Worcester College only last week.)


Friday, 5 October 2012

Getting our design skills back in gear.

Alumni Project 1.

We are taking the work of Michael Brennand Wood as a starting point for our individual projects especially his work based on fabric structure and construction. With this in mind we were given a design exercise to get our teeth into...enough to keep us busy for a year by the looks of things. I think our tutor suspects that we no longer research artists and keep copious sketch books full of explorations and samples. ( As if!)

I won't bother to plough through the list of what to do but just show you what I've done so far. (Which to honest doesn't look much!)
 We had to take an image that we liked and copy it. I chose 'The May Queen' by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, one of the 'Glasgow Girls'. Then we had to cut up the image in strips 1cm apart but leaving a strip at the top uncut to keep it together. We had to do a colour analysis then, using this information, do a series of exercises by weaving coloured strips into the image.


I wondered what would happen if I wove it with the same image but putting it top to bottom.


Not such a strong result but it was just an idea. It did highlight some of the little details though and at least the colours matched.
But I did like the back of the first one.....

Little bits of random text and odd letters and photos appeared...perhaps this is what was meant to happen and lead us down another route. (May try this route if it's raining on Sunday.)
Michael BW does lots of work with lace and my antennae sort of wavered a bit when I read this....I do tend to hoard bits of lace..... so working along this train of thought I started leaving spaces in the weaving and filling in gaps with flowers...well she was The May Queen. We were warned not to predict the outcome of our design adventures but I'm pretty sure I will end up exploring lace.


Well, I've made a start and who knows where it will lead. Before I go I'll lead you up my garden path to explain where the rest of my time goes!


Ah! Wednesday Group. You were hoping for cheese scones, I know. I have a picture to show what you're missing but it's lost for the moment.